Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: Cats

Why having both cats and dogs is necessary

Both Big Friendly and I have been under the weather, with a looming lurgy that hasn’t fully realised but has been simmering; not bad enough to take us to bed, but horrible enough to make the daily grind more grindy.

Jasmine, the old Florence Purringale of the house has kicked into action, following us around, sleeping hard up against us and purring her head off. Chassie has been joining me in the bathroom, rubbing his head on my feet while I sit on the toilet (very disconcerting but well meaning), and the dogs Frieda and Linus are a tag team of love and devotion. It is only Jonesie, the part time cat, who has not picked up on our needs, and continues with his irrational demands to be let in and out again whenever he screamingly calls for it.

Linus offers soft love, of the lolling about sort, while Frieda follows me from bed, to table to couch. She is a deep and close snuggler. Chassie looks for Big Friendly and attaches to his legs when he sits down on the couch. Often, neither of us can move because we are being pinned down by an animal who would be terribly disturbed if we did. The spin-off of being looked after by cats and dogs is that they huddle closer to each other too, which is seriously good for my heart.

The Rat

I should have known the particular “Megan!” that Big Friendly shouted, early yesterday morning, before the sun was even up. I should have recognised the tone, but I was still half asleep, so I wasn’t fast enough when he shouted “close the door!” and I jumped up, too late and a thing crawled in and under the spare bedroom door.

Thus began the stand off between us, the thing, the cats and terrified dogs, that is a rat/mouse in the house. The last time it happened, Chassie had caught a mouse and it was screaming for help as he squeezed it in his jaws. It was a Saturday night and it took Big Friendly two hours to catch it after forcing Chassie to release it, then building a fort, blockages and various other obstacles. I was pretty useless. I was used as look-out and pet body guard. The tension between Big Friendly and useless me was big.

Yesterday’s drama was a bit of a repeat. Big Friendly had to create barriers, and take out most of the stuff that was moveable in the spare room. I took the terrified dogs for a long walk. When we came back the rat/mouse/thing was stuck under the small, but very heavy old cupboard in the spare room. There was no way we were going to manage this operation on our own.

Enter Facebum and our fabulous Woodstock group. I searched for pest control and was immediately reminded of Sebastian Seelig from Pest Free SA. I buy GR5¬†from him, a strong, environmentally friendly, multi-purpose household cleaner. I saw on Facebum that he also does ‘extermination’ and pests. I called him, desperate.

Sebastian came, and the first thing he asked was, “do you want …?” And we knew exactly what he meant. We said, “please do the other thing, release it somewhere.” and he said “sure.”

And between him and Big Friendly they caught the small rat/giant mouse and got it into a cardboard box, and Sebastian drove it away, and we all saw on Facebum later that he released it at Paarden Island. I don’t know if these guys are territorial. I hope we haven’t started a rodent gang war.

Some of the chat on my thread on Facebum was the best. Apparently rodents don’t like damp cotton balls covered in cinnamon or peppermint. Apparently this makes them run away. We didn’t try that, but I’ll bear it in mind.

But Big Friendly and I have spoken, and we want to save our relationship. These rodent encounters are too stressful. And we have 2 and a half cats (Jonesie the part time cat is actually probably a rodent exterminator specialist, since many a front door mat has had to be thrown away with blood and guts soaked fur or feathered dead thing mashed into it). I mean what are they there for, these cats of ours? We need to let them sing (or kill) for their supper. They eat enough Royal Canin Feline Senior Consult Stage 1 anyway.

There is a construction site down the road, that has basically been a dump since we have lived here. All the feral cats, various rodent life and any other scavenging, desperate thing are being moved out. Some are going to find their way here. And next time we are taking the dogs for a very long walk and leaving the thing to the cats. We will deal with the bloodbath after the war.

The Regular Visitor

11753291_10152862001211008_4366445429864192582_nIt started a while back. The small furries of the house would get antsy. The dogs would pitter patter down the passage to the open front door, and back, look at me with ‘help us’ eyes, and then start back to the door. The cats would sit on the threshold; Chassie doing that weird jaw shaking accompanied by a guttural growl/meow. The other two pointed in the direction of where I needed to look with their eyes and heads.

A starling had started to visit. He would sit on the broken sensor light above the front door and call to his friend. It was a tight squeeze, and not enough space to build a messy starling nest, but I think he came every day for a week just to check. And then he realised what kind of effect he was having on the more domestic and house bound creatures that live with us. And he started coming back to tease them.

Now he comes for a visit every day, in the late afternoon. He perches even closer, on the security gate. He announces his arrival with a few shouts, warbles and shrill whistles. The animals get incensed. He calls them out to tease them. It’s his entertainment, and without fail they deliver.

I love him. I love his cheek and sass. I love his bravado. I am utterly convinced he has a unique personality. And, when I suffer life’s mundane disillusions he cheers me up (at the expense of dogs and cats, who hate him a lot).

Sunday Cat Moments

Suffering Artist Syndrome

It’s confession time again. I have to confess to being deeply angry, jealous, frustrated and sorry for myself when I was told that a particular review show (one of many hundreds that appear on our stages all the time) had sold out and audiences had loved it and wanted more. I don’t understand.

I actually don’t really get review shows or tributes at all. here’s the deal. Off you go to watch and listen to other, not famous, people singing other famous people’s songs. Now, it stands to reason that the person or people covering that song will never be able to do it as well as the original, and, while I’m not being a snob or a purist, why not buy the CD or even watch it on youtube?

There is no shortage of review shows. And they obviously get big audiences. There are some performers here in Cape Town who do nothing else. And people are delighted to buy tickets for these shows. My theory is that audiences feel safe going to see something that they ‘know’. They know the words and music to the most popular songs of the eighties (oh, how many times can Sweet Dreams or It’s Raining Men be shoved onto stage?), the greatest hits of Neil Diamond, Queen (the favourite, commonest and most supported choice of all tribute shows), Elvis, or even ‘mix ‘n match with a weak little theme to string them together (greatest rock ballads, best boyband songs, disco fever).

I guess it’s the same with musicals, which get churned out over and over again. Fiddler on the (same old) Roof, Cats, Phantom, My Fair Lady. what sells them is the fact that people know the story and recognise the music. Try staging a new, local, original musical and see how hard it is to get an audience; even with the greatest crits and big publicity.

And even that isn’t half as bad as trying to put on a brand new play that isn’t comedy and doesn’t have songs. Talk about pissing in the wind.

You know what’s going to happen here? I’m going to tag all those musicals and artists and this post will get a thousand hits, with people looking for those shows!

Bah humbug.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén