perlmonger: (lilith)
Our weekend was bracketed by death.

Friday night, maybe midnight or thereabouts, we were woken by mad scrabbling on the landing. Investigation revealed Ron with a new toy: another mouse was moments away from its end.

There was a degree of oh-buggrit-we-want-to-sleep-clean-up-the-bits-in-the-morning and we subsided; until, that is, Ron brought his prize into the bedroom. No way I wanted to risk the rodent being deposited in several bits on (or worse, in) the bed, so up I got and chased the PoD downstairs to grab hold of him at the foot of the stairs. For a brief moment.

Ron does not like to be thwarted.

He emitted his bloodfreezing scream of fury and slipped away (I wasn't going to try and hold on anyways), but the scream necessitated the opening of the Maw, and the Fangs Therein, and thus the now dead and still miraculously intact rodent was left behind for me to grab - quickly! - to enbag and, given the hour and my naked body, be hurled outside the front door for attention come the dreadful light of day.

This was not the end of the story, for on Saturday Mac went out onto the patio, and lying there, still in its (admittedly slightly punctured) baggie was the mouse. How it got from front to back, given our home is mid-terrace, is left as an exercise for the reader.

The weekend itself passed peacefully: I went shopping on my bike on both days, for food on Saturday and to Brislington Maplins for a can of airduster, Roomba, switches, for the cleaning of. The A4174/A4 junction really is a miracle of Bristol Cycling City planning: the only practical (for unusual values of practical) way of turning right on a bike is to filter between two narrow, car filled, lanes through one set of light and to another. The filtering bit is fine; the pedalling down the white line with vehicles overtaking on both sides mere inches away after the first lights change to green is less so. That the shedpark on Bath Road is entirely bereft of Sheffield racks (at least anywhere near my destination) just provides a little shining jewel of experience before the return, stopping at the lights heading straight on into Brislington, and feeling the rush of traffic again in a fine intimacy as the turn left filter goes green.

I'd decided to return via the Sweet Mart in Easton, to pick up the 5 litre can of olive oil I lacked carrying space for on Saturday. Taking a scenic route for a change, I diverted through the pastoral joys of St Annes, down to the river before crossing same next to the charming and friendly sight of the Village Centre. Thence to Barton Hill where the skies opened and I got as soaked as a very soaked thing. I dripped into the shop, bought my oil and a bunch of spring onions, and headed home. Pausing briefly by the Floating Harbour to tramline, tip over elegantly, and land on my arse. Was bound to happen one day, and no significant harm ensued (I'm too old to have retained any dignity).

Sunday night, The Aliens (being Mac and I, and friends Pat and Dave) acted as quizmasters for the first time at the monthly village quiz night at the Legion. The consensus seemed to be that our questions were too hard, but I think most had fun; we certainly did and might contemplate doing the same again in the unlikely event of being asked.

Oh, and I promised death after: that came at around 6am this morning. Mac got up to go bathroomward and discovered a cloud of feathers, an observant Henry, and a Ron, who was whacking the very ex blackbird in his jaws against the banister rails. That murdered sleep (as well as the bird) quite effectively for both of us. By the time I got to gathering up the remains, the part-chewed, feather-denuded bird was in Henry's jaws in the kitchen, being whacked against the floor and the fridge as H. leaped and swivelled in the air. I added the Bits to the bagged mouse from before, still awaiting final disposal, and vacuumed up feathers from the kitchen, hallway, stairs and landing.

Ron and Henry, or maybe Ron and Reggie, or possibly Doug and Dinsdale: I expect they were good to their mum.
perlmonger: (lilith)

getting their priorities right
Originally uploaded by perlmonger.
New arrivals (Foul Ole) Ron and (Coffin) Henry showing the uncertainty and diffidence that they've exhibited since their catbox was first opened on our return home.

Henry, on experience thus far, seems to be in intimate association with Ron's Smell.

perlmonger: (lilith)
[livejournal.com profile] ramtops and I had a small whiskey each (Bushmills 10 yr old malt, what we call a "restorative", because it is) Tuesday night after Aliss died.

Yesterday morning, as I stopped in the kitchen before going out to dig her a hole, I spotted that my glass, abandoned on the worktop the night before, was loaded again: somebody (no names, no packdrill, Iggy) had very neatly refilled it, hardly a drop outside the glass. It must have just happened as Mac had been down not long before to make some tea.

Whatever it means, I remembered as I was processing this photo that the glass (and the glass Mac used) were engraved with images of cats by Iain, of Olive and Iain (of Nemorez) who bred and sold us Aliss a few months over nine years ago. It never occurred to me last night, as I picked them out of the cupboard, but it seems fitting now, somehow.

Anyhow, Aliss' body now rests under the ground at the end of our garden, zipped up inside an empty 10kg sack of Basmati rice, with a piece of string and a strip of cloth to guard with her eternal vigilance.

We had tickets for a gig last night: Show of Hands at St Mary's church in Marlborough. Both exhausted, we still went as getting out of the house felt like a good idea; we're glad we did, as Steve, Phil and Miranda were as fine as ever and a church as venue allowed for acoustic wanderings around the audience to superb effect. Feeling much better, if still battered and weary, we drove home on a pissing wet and windblown M4 to the three remaining Tribe members and bed.

Bada used to crawl under the covers on cold nights (or when she just felt like it), as did Zool (and her tongue: don't go there) before her, but last night, for reasons unexplained, Lilith and, later, even Iggy ventured under the duvet briefly. It's a time of change, I guess, and the social dynamic of our home is in flux, but it's all very disconcerting to say the least.

farewell

Oct. 28th, 2008 11:43 pm
perlmonger: (lilith)
AlissThis is getting to be a habit, and one that can stop right now, thank you very much.

Aliss, the maddest cat I've known, died here at home half an hour ago. Whatever ailed her took its final hold this afternoon and evening: she knew, we knew, and what remains of the tribe knew that her time was up.

She took up residence on the carpet against the sofa; we've sat up with her to the end, which came quickly: a brief convulsion, she arched her back, and was gone.

Quite why we should lose three of our family in less than three months, and to three unrelated causes, I don't know. Enough now.

We're having a small whiskey each, in remembrance, before going to bed: I'll be out digging a hole in the morning, cutting through the frost to give her body back to the Earth.

Goodbye Aliss; you were loved, and you are and will be missed.

Thanks…

Oct. 7th, 2008 06:13 pm
perlmonger: (pete)
Many thanks to everyone who's posted sympathies and thoughts for our losing Bada, here, on [livejournal.com profile] ramtops' LJ, on the the cats' blog, on my Facebook, on IRC, and in real life.

I'm not having what you could call the happiest of birthdays today, but you've all helped as much as any help other than the passing of time can do. Life (and its inevitable end) will continue, but can we please not lose any more of our tribe quite yet, please?
perlmonger: (Default)
RIP Liessa, Bada Ning; I held her this evening as she died, maybe two seconds after the vet injected her. After a good night and optimistic morning, she had deteriorated all day, bringing up food and with her ulcerated tongue getting worse, there seemed little chance she'd last the night, let alone recover.

She had a joyous, if far too short, life; we gave her the last gift we were able to: an end to her suffering.

Goodbye Bada, I'll miss you.
perlmonger: (lilith)
We visited Bada at the vet hospital this afternoon, after her emergency admission yesterday. No certainties yet, but she survived the night, which was very much in doubt, and is at least out of her oxygen tent and on nasally administered food as well as intravenous saline and antibiotics.

I like to think that she was aware of who I was when I gave her a gentle skritch; she lifted and turned her head to accommodate my finger, but that could as well be an automatic reaction. All we can really do now is wait, and worry, and hope that we don't get phoned before we get in touch tomorrow afternoon for another visit.

It was my bad judgement call last week that, while it didn't cause her illness, likely made its development worse. Which, frankly, makes me feel like shit, but bad decisions can't be undone, only learned from, and I hope that I have.

Anyhow.

In an attempt at finding a lighter tone (or at least one in more questionable taste), would I be alone in feeling just slightly disturbed by the sight, driving home, of a passing van labelled "D & C Snacks"?

go well

Aug. 20th, 2008 11:05 am
perlmonger: (skydancer)

companions
Originally uploaded by perlmonger.
We got a phone call this morning from the vet in Nailsea: Pepper was hit by a car and killed on the main road through the village late last night.

There's not a lot I can say right now; I feel raw. She was the Prettiest Cat In The World, the most vexed, and the most charming. She'll never come running into the house sounding like a fishwife again; she'll never lie on my legs in bed attached, grumbling, like a Klingon no matter how much I turned around in the night; she'll never be assaulted by Mustrum, her abusive partner, again.

Go well, Pepper, you would have been on this planet for nine years next month: I'm glad I spent those years with you.
perlmonger: (music)
Somebody, unidentified, widdled on Jamie Oliver in the night. This is double-plus ungood as I thought they might have given up on such things, but the Boy Oliver may be salvageable as he appears to be covered in some sort of wipe-clean plastic sheath.

We will be applying moist towelettes, or possibly a steam cleaner, to the Mockney One shortly.

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] ramtops and I ventured out last night to Nailsea Folk Club to see Phil Beer and Miranda Sykes, supported by Issy and David Emeney with Kate Riaz, and a splendid evening it was too.

[livejournal.com profile] thunderbox might rock or, indeed, keen at the thought of a melodeon, but Issy plays it very well, and Kate is a remarkably fine cellist, understated but holding the trio together while casually adding little flourishes from the back of the stage that made me smile. Issy’s singing voice is perhaps a little over influenced by Maddie Prior, and I generally preferred the instrumental parts of their set, but if you’re at all folkie, catch them if they’re playing in your area and you’re unlikely to regret it.

Phil and Miranda, now. Well. Jointly, severally; in folk, blues, lounge jazz, standards from the last four decades, and songs but recently written… It’s impossible to sum them or their performances up in short as they cover such an incredible spread of style and genre except to say that they are both astonishingly talented musicians, and that the two playing together gel into something far more than the sum of the parts, unmissable as each part would be alone. Notice of things to come, too: Phil, in his introduction to Willin’ announced that Little Feat will be headlining at Trowbridge this year: they can’t ever be as they were, with Lowell George gone, but I think that’s definitely something to be looking forward to.

A good night.
perlmonger: (Default)

On being red
Originally uploaded by perlmonger.
[livejournal.com profile] ramtops and I return, from the broadbandless (courtesy v.omit media) wastes of Norfolk, where we’ve spent a very fine five days in the home and company of [livejournal.com profile] kalunina, her wonderfully charming Harrington Gurney and, for much of the time, Harry’s granddad, Maurice. And, of course, Esk and Ptep who serenaded us across the country on the way to their new home on Saturday. They seem utterly traumatised by the experience, to the extent that they made themselves at home by half-way through Saturday night and only got antsy just before we left to come home, presumably fearing a repeat of Saturday’s forced basket insertion manœuvres. It seems Maurice’s elbow pits are an acceptable alternative for nuzzling to mine.

Anyhow, a splendid time was had by all, I missed being online not the least tiny bit, and I’m going to make little or no effort to catch up with intervening happenings on LJ: please prod if there’s anything I should read.

Happy $WINTER_FESTIVAL to you all.
perlmonger: (lilith)
This morning.

Under [livejournal.com profile] ramtops‘ desk.

As dead as a dead thing, and the biggest yet; perpetrator unknown, but the usual suspects may apply.

That’s all.

[ cross-posted from the cats’ blog ]

Trowbridge

Jul. 24th, 2006 10:20 pm
perlmonger: (kumu)

Mike Visceglia
Originally uploaded by perlmonger.
[livejournal.com profile] ramtops and I got home from Trowbridge festival this morning, where we had a pretty damned wonderful time, some of it in the company of [livejournal.com profile] gmul and [livejournal.com profile] purple_peril. You can find photos here.

We returned home to:

1) sundry organic deposits scattered around the house, being the gift of the Tribe

2) a server that conveniently chose to go sideways just as we arrived back

3) a tomato plant that had clearly had a not inconsiderable mass deposited upon it, flattening it and rendering about half the branches detached or semi-detached from its root system (see item 1)

I’m going to bed now.

five days

Jul. 5th, 2005 12:28 pm
perlmonger: (lunch)
Prompted by a dying scream, I've just watched Lilith toss, behead and consume (most of) a mouse. The crunch of tiny bones; the blood stains on the carpet... Its few remains are now interred in a bag awaiting final disposal along with the mouse (entire, decaying) that I extracted from under our bed after it made its presence known one morning and the rat and the frog from the living room floor. The dead toad on the patio I've left there though, at least for now.

Not a bad tally for the last five days. I thought the corpse count had been low this year; they've clearly just been waiting for Solstice to pass.
perlmonger: (Default)

golden-eyed judgement
Originally uploaded by perlmonger.
“How he hated that small Asian face, those clean good looks. He had never known anyone—man, woman or animal—who was so attractive and yet so evil.”
[Miguel Rosas in Across Realtime]

Sometimes, when re-reading a book, a passage leaps out and grabs you by the metaphorical throat in a way that, other than by some nightmare precognition, it couldn't have first time round.

That happened to me last night. This morning I was compelled to go back and add a caption to this photo on my flickr account…

sigh...

Jun. 12th, 2005 11:55 am
perlmonger: (lunch)

sigh...
Originally uploaded by perlmonger.
I was cleaning the cathair and grit from my mouse innards when [livejournal.com profile] ramtops offered me her USB optical rodent, as the Apple mouse will do her fine on the very rare occasions she doesn't use her artpad.

So. Time to venture under my desk for cable surgery.

This is what I found lurking in the far corner... For reference, the pillar is ¾" in diameter. Sorry about the blurredness; the Pro90's autofocus doesn't in low light (and neither does its LCD viewfinder), so this is the best of a bunch of full manual shots, prefocussed in relative daylight, pointed through the cable-strewn gap behind my computer, and with the flash partially blocked by my fingers else the image was overexposed.

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