Bitch on the Blog

January 24, 2017

Wildlife

Filed under: Amusement,Animals,Questions — bitchontheblog @ 16:06
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Being a practical person I search for solutions. In absence of which an answer may suffice.

Here is a question. I’ll paint you the scenario: I just picked a book (off my well tended and regularly and lovingly dusted bookshelves) and opened it. So far so great. Like meeting an old friend. You pick up where you left off; revisiting the past.

And then? AND THEN? Then, and no sooner had I opened page 172, one of those tiny little critters shoots out of it, hurtling along, no doubt not knowing what to do with exposure to daylight. ┬áLet’s leave aside that I never knowingly disturb anyone, I’d not even dream to raise the dead; however, and this is the question: What is the actual purpose of “beings” like that? What do they add to the world – ours and theirs? On the bright side they don’t bore holes into your books, they don’t sting, they don’t make any noise, they don’t defecate (as far as I can tell); they just are. What for?

U

September 14, 2016

Sticks

Filed under: Animals,manners,Wildlife — bitchontheblog @ 15:39
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Cheerful Monk aka Jean posted a cartoon on rescue dogs. Since I can’t leave an answer there (I did alert Jean that her new fire wall is the Cerberus of all gatekeepers) I’ll leave my comment here instead:

“Every time a dog wags its tail what I, first and foremost, feel is their sense of anticipation, a dog’s hope. That’s why it’s hard, almost impossible, to disappoint a dog.”

U

Summer

A swallow just caught my attention.

Once upon a time we lived in the middle of nowhere. Even our immediate neighbours, one either side (we were in the middle) were a good walking distance away. Let’s say, not in earshot.

Yes, surrounded by fields, meadows, a little stream, dried out ponds (spare a thought for the frogs), and generally all that I was accustomed to from my earliest childhood I’d spent with my grandparents. And, the FREEDOM. I was allowed to just wander anywhere. Then I met a bull. But that’s another story. I am a fast runner.

So, on the outhouse right next to our patio/terrace there was the swallows’ nest. You think bricks and mortar, the pyramids, the London Eye, a miracle? Look at a nest. That’s a miracle. An act of perseverance, ingenuity, hard relentless work and focus. Not to mention purpose.

Enter the farmer’s (on the left depending which direction you were looking from) cat. When I say cat I mean panther. Nowadays probably classified as feral. I dare say there was no “cat food”. Cats fed themselves doing it by means cats do best: Hunt.

Great. So far so good. Here is the recipe: Enter the swallows, their freshly hatched brood, my father AND the CAT into the mix. Watch this for a while as the baby swallows are being decimated. Swallows getting agitated, cat getting bold, my father getting ANGRY.

So, one morning I wake up and there is a big black panther lying under the outhouse roof. Shot. There was no blood. But that big black Tom of a cat was dead.

Not so. Apparently it was all in my imagination. I was never to breeze so much as a word to said farmer neighbour and generally condemned to silence. That’s when I decided to become a spy.

I don’t know why, twelve years old, a long time ago, I do remember the cat’s body.

The swallows? Did they come back the next year? I don’t know. By then we had moved.

U

August 30, 2016

Delivery

Filed under: Amusement,Animals,Atmosphere,Beauty,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 15:03
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For light relief, and please forgive me before you continue reading, I have just come across an article stating the obvious. Namely that dogs react to the way you speak to them, your intonation.

Who’d have thought it.

I once, and once only since I am not cruel, tested this on our then two cats, Fleury and Bouncer. Despite being mother and son they couldn’t have been more different in temperament. Which was great. Who wants sameness in everyone around you?

As an aside: Unfortunately (for Bouncer) he inherited his mother’s looks and his father’s brain. The other way round would have been better (for everyone) but, being placid and not destined to be an alley cat, he made the best of both his beauty and his deficiency.

My experiment? Mitigating circumstances – both my arms broken and in plaster cast, being more or less immobilized lying on the sofa, I needed diversion from watching Bette Davis films on the loop. So, there they both were and I told them truly horrendous not so sweet nothings in a soothing voice. They purred. Oh, did they purr. Not a clue what I was actually saying. It wasn’t nice. No one talks to ME like that. Then, some time later, I shouted at them that I loved them to bits. And – guess what – just on the strength of my voice they bolted through the cat flap. It broke. Served me right. Collateral damage.

Don’t report me to the RSPCA. I wanted to prove a point. And I did. As they say in the motherland: “Intonation makes the music”. Pity in many ways. I’d rather content set the tone. Still …

U

June 19, 2016

RIP

Filed under: Animals,Dizzy,Future,Kitchen — bitchontheblog @ 18:49
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I have my uses/come in useful.

Today, no shit, a neighbour (in terms of evolution she could be my daughter) knocked at my door. She was devastated. Once you get to bottom of hysteria all is well. She had no one, not even her brother or my son come to think of it, but me to turn to. How sweet is that? Thus I killed a mouse – in her kitchen. As Sundays go this one, well, let’s just say nature takes it course (or should that be “cause”). Yuk. At least it [the mouse] was small. And I didn’t hang about to relieve it of its misery.

U

June 5, 2016

Primal

Just listened to the news. The script said: ” … the shark responsible for the attack …”.

Surely, an animal can’t be held “responsible” since the concept implies a conscience?

U

January 30, 2016

Shades

Whilst I do believe that colour does not beat the starkness of a black and white photograph I do have difficulty liking those who paint the world in black and white. Those who indulge in generalizing instead of taking their magnifying glasses to the particular.

Yes, the general and the particular. What a marvellous subject. Lending itself to all FACETS of life. Today, going the way of least resistance, I shall focus on the soft subject of dog and cat lovers.

Please note that I said ‘and’ NOT ‘versus’. There is no law to say that you have to be either or. Or can’t be both. Sure, we may have affinities. Men, mice. Some even keep hamsters. A friend and neighbour of mine used to. I can’t say I loved them (I loathe anything on a treadmill) but they were living things (not that they knew it) so I looked after them when friend was on holiday. Even when friend was not on holiday I’d get those blasted things over to my garden and let them chew the grass. I’d have preferred a sheep or a goat but friends can’t be choosers.

If I were technically as adept as all of you I’d now attach to this post a photo of my fifteen months old self and Pongo. Pongo was my first body guard, an Alsatian. Sitting, at my side and on his hind, taller than me. And yes, the picture is black and white. Which is just as well because Pongo’s fur was black and it was midwinter and the snow was very very very white.

Where were we? Cats and dogs. Animals. By temperament I’d say I prefer cats, for purely selfish reasons. Cats want nothing from you. They give (not least half dead prey put at your feet as a sign of affection) but that’s about it. Dogs? Dogs are takers. They – not by desire, by default – may look at you as the leader of the pack. Don’t let yourself be flattered so easily. As leader of the pack you are looked upon to provide. PROVIDE. Like what? Fun, entertainment, and, naturally, food. You are at their beck and call. And those eyes. Those EYES. Pleading, needy. That’s ok. I don’t mind pleading, needy, that’s what makes dogs human. But, for heaven’s sake, there is that never ending sorrow in a dog’s eyes. It’s why, and please shoot me now, why I firmly believe that those prone to the metaphorical black dog on your shoulder should not keep dogs. Keep a cat – if you must have a pet – instead. Cats are affectionate to the point of suffocating (me) yet they never expect you to throw a stick. And to reciprocate I never expect them to fetch it [the stick].

As an aside and whatever you do: Do not keep a gold fish. They are soul destroying (their own and yours).

Hugs and hisses,

U

September 9, 2015

Smitten

Filed under: Amusement,Animals — bitchontheblog @ 17:59
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And now, for light relief and something else: Animals.

Not for the first time do I find myself bogged down thinking about man’s relationship with animals.

Why is it that some [animals] are so abhorrent to most humans, and others we keep as pets? For me the main criteria to like anything living (other than plants which have their own ways of enchanting or disgusting you) you have to be able to look them in the eye. Without eye contact, in my view, you are nothing. Which is, presumably, why I find mice (the speed runners of the small), spiders (snakes with eight legs) and any other you can’t nail down so abhorrent.

(Wo)man’s relationship with animals. There have been a few dogs in my life. One I grew up with. A magnificent black Alsation, impeccably behaved. Other dogs by proxy. There is one thing, no two, I don’t like about dogs. They go for your crotch and they are needy. Can’t stand it. Understand the crotch thing though they might be a little bit more subtle about it – particularly if you are a girl of seventeen, but that needy look when they can’t put themselves aside for a minute does test my patience. Main thing I keep reminding myself that animals do what animals do. It’s not their fault that some of them don’t fit my perception of good company.

Cats. I love cats. They are not needy. They do their own thing and when they come and talk to you they do so not because they want you to throw a stick to retrieve but because they want to talk to you.

Having said that, one of our cats, Bouncer, was probably the most stupid animal ever (in a sort of intelligent way) you may wish to encounter. Bouncer was born the youngest of our cat Fleury’s one and only litter. Born with his caul intact. A parcel. Which denotes luck. Well, he was lucky in as much as the Angel and I decided to keep him and give his two sisters away. Fleury, his mother, didn’t have that much patience with him – which led to some words between her and me, but that’s private. Anyway, where Fleury was eloquent but never a lap cat Bouncer was huge. I blame his father. So, yes there I was some years ago: Two arms broken and in plaster cast, one leg down, pinned to the sofa, on my back, watching Bette Davis’ movies on a loop when Bouncer descended on me. All eight and a half kilos of him on my chest and purring. That cat’s middle name was either affection or downright selfishness.

Miss both of them, and the one before who used to run after my pencil as I covered the page.

U

September 3, 2015

Encore

Filed under: Animals — bitchontheblog @ 21:16
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You know when I mentioned how patient I am?

Yet, just as with silent waters running deep, when a patient person runs out of that commodity [patience], anger rising, you will not want to be a mouse. In the house.

I have had it. Up to here. There are limits.

Admittedly I am torn. A mouse is just a mouse. And it’s not its fault – but I can’t live like this any longer.

What a little shite. Not only will it be dead I will bloody have my stomach turned.

U

August 30, 2015

Mucks maeuschen still

Filed under: Amusement,Animals,Elephant,Wildlife — bitchontheblog @ 20:11
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Caution

The bird was brought up to say to itself: “Man soll den Morgen nicht vor dem Abend loben.” Roughly translated: “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” True. Better translation: “The bird that sings in the morning may be caught by the cat before sun sets”. Emphasis on “may”. So don’t get dispirited before dusk.

Yes, the mouse. Which I keep spelling when typing as ‘mouth’. Such are the joys of the English language. You hear one thing it’s spelled another.

Ever heard of Gas Lighting? The film? Well, Sweethearts, I am not given to paranoia but if someone told me I was being had in this mouth/mouse saga I’d believe you.

It’s all gone quiet. Or maybe I am so exhausted I sleep through it. Or maybe the mouse has died. Like where? There is no exit from that room. Not even the tiniest gap a mouse could squeeze through and under. Bring on Monsieur Poirot, Miss Marple, even the Danish and their gutturals. This is true mind messing stuff (see gas lighting).

In the meantime I am making do (in the study) with a fruit fly.

U

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