ID-100194768Ridley: I love animals. I always have, even as a child I used to spend half my time animal-napping other people’s pets. One of the days, when I was seven, I remember grabbing a full packet of ham and laying a meaty trail in through our front gate for this gorgeous basset hound I’d spotted on the street.basset_hound

The minute he’d ambled into our garden, I leapt forward, slamming the gate closed while laughing, ‘He’s mine now!’. Mind, he was quite clearly someone elses, with his lovely new collar and name tag (complete with address and all on the back) but I cheerfully ignored all these obvious signs of people ownership as I hugged him and he became mine for all of half an hour until my mother released him. *sigh* I even tried to adopt a skunk once, not really understanding that they weren’t fluffy cats with large white stripes (all those episodes with Pepé le Pew tricked me!).download

That aborted animal stealing event ended with me being scrubbed in the bath with tomato juice. It was shortly after this that my parents eventually relented and got me a white kitten, which I called Precious (no, I didn’t really think that name through too well, that or I was already showing Gollum-like tendencies, ‘My Presciousssss’)images

Since then, we’ve had numerous beloved, and not forgotten, animals. Not least of which are the ones at home at the moment.

We have three dogs, which are known as the twins (two cairn terriers – Ernie and Daisy) and the big ‘un (Raffles, half dalmatian, half cocker spaniel).


Back Camera

image-1382389505275-V (1) image-1382389820538-V

There’s also our cat Pigeon, who is basically the princess in the house, we (okay, I) spoil her rotten (little treats of tuna, special Whiskas milk) and she now expects it. I am convinced all cats remember the time when they were once worshipped in ancient Egypt; Pigeon in particular must have been some high priestess or something, as she gets annoyed if she’s given normal cat food.20130405_24820130405_265

I swear the four of them think they’re humans, or at least they act like it. And yes, I’m sure you noticed that I called my cat after a bird, I really wanted to call her something like Cleopatra (she would have been Cleo for short, I had it all planned out) or Crookshanks, but the family vetoed all of my well thought out (and pilfered from various movies/books) names, so eventually I said, ‘she’s grey, we’re calling her Pigeon’, of course everyone protested, telling me I couldn’t call a cat after a bird. Ha, watch me. (Latimer wanted me to call her Dobby, but I didn’t think she had big enough eyes)


Pigeon also has the three dogs wrapped around her little paw. If she’s ever in a fight with another cat, she races down the wall, happily leading her would-be attacker into the back garden. Then she hops down right into the centre of the three dogs. Who see another cat chasing their special Pigeon and they rear up barking. All the while, behind them is Pigeon, with a smug little expression staring up at her shell shocked enemy who turns tail and flees in horror. Ingenious really, and kinda evil, is it little wonder she’s my cat…haha

old timey photo

Anyone else have crazy cats and dotty dogs? What would you do without them, eh? 😀

Easily Amused

Ridley: I’m amused easily. I’m also a people watcher. Add these two together and you can have endless entertainment! Who needs television when you have a brain like mine?

I find amusing or entertaining things just staring out my bedroom window. Now I don’t live in a beautiful picturesque mountainous region, overlooking a glacial lake, or even in a bad neighbourhood with knife wielding hoodlums (not that I’d class this as amusing, more dramatic with a pinch of terrifying).

It’s all fairly standard, there are houses around me and across the road there is a green area.

Despite the normal surroundings, the other day I leaned out the window absolutely fascinated by two scenes that were happening simultaneously. Most people would probably have passed by without a second glance, while I stood for twenty minutes staring out, absolutely riveted. (Part of it, of course, was also to do with me making up the story and adding dialogue in my head as it was happening. I probably looked strange, staring out, unblinking with a glazed expression and a wide grin….creeepy….)

Now, that makes me sound a bit like one of those nosey neighbour types (or worse) that always have the net curtains twitching, I’m not! Though I do fear it for my sixties, but I’ll fight against the urge. 

Back from that little side journey…the first scene had two cats. The second had two male students, moving out for the summer.

Let me set the first scene…

Travelling through tall grass, a sleek black cat spotted something ahead and froze. Then after a full body quiver, he crouched low along the side of the green. He was every inch a miniature lion from the Serengeti, stalking its next prey. Paw by paw he stepped forward through the grass.

Behind him, slipping round the corner of the wall was a cute fluffy orange kitten. He looked like he was high on glucose injected skittles.

Whatcha doing, Spike?

Meanwhile, in a house across the street, the two male students were loitering outside their front door. They were soon joined by a car pulling up beside them; their parents. The Irish mammy and daddy had arrived to the rescue, to help them move out. They had a trailer too. They started parking it, awkwardly, up the drive way.

In the green, the kitten had joined the hunting cat, scurrying up alongside him to stare down at him with its head cocked. The black cat’s tail flicked, he tried to ignore his cute fuzzy visitor. Still almost lying flat along the ground, he sped up to try to escape him. Orange kitten paused, peering after him and then bounced forward. 

Play? Play?

In the house across the road, it soon became clear that the two boys had decided to collect their rubbish during the year, instead of paying for the weekly bin collection. Black plastic bag after bag was carried out by them from the back garden, as the mother wrung her hands, and supervised. The father crossed his arms with a heavy glare.

You can just imagine the conversation once they’d finished and the trailer was packed high.

Irish Mammy shook her hands at her boy, “Oh Johnny, why did you do this to me? If you’d asked we’d have given you the money for the bin collection.”

“Sorry, Mam,” Son rubbed the back of his neck. Nearby, his friend was kicking the side of the pavement with his head lowered, trying to avoid the frowns and anguished cries.

“What sort of state is the house in?” Irish Mammy wandered to the front door. She disappeared inside.

At the same time, the black cat had almost reached his prey, all the while valiantly ignoring the bouncing kitten at his side.

Irish Mammy reappeared at the front window as she threw back the curtains and turned to stare at the room with her hands on her hips. With her back to the garden, the Son glanced at his Dad.

“Eh…there’s more…” He jerked his thumb to the side of the house and began to walk backwards. His friend was poised, ready to sprint to the back with him and help. They were both staring at the Dad.

“For feck sake…” Irish Daddy sighed and folded his arms. “Go on, but don’t let your mother see, otherwise I’ll get it in the neck and then you’ll be hearing about it from me.”

“Thanks!” The two boys scuttled away. They brought back five more bags.

It was then the orange kitten finally realised what his more serious friend was doing…

what is that…it’s moving…

He shot passed the black cat, no finesse, no planning, just pure enthusiasm. He ploughed at the butterfly, which then fluttered into the air, untouched.

The black cat turned away with a violent flick of his tail and a hiss, leaving the kitten leaping after a butterfly that was now around ten feet too high to ever reach.

Teehee…jumpy jumpy!

At the house, the parents folded themselves back into their car and beeped as they drove away. 

Once they were out of sight, the two boys abandoned their slumped shoulders and bowed heads. They glanced at each other, gave a massive high five and then scrambled back inside with giant grins….

You’ll just have to imagine I was like a spectator at a particularly fantastic Wimbledon match, my head was whipping from side to side, trying to catch it all!

Ah easy amusement, never leave me…