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)
[ 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.


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.


Oct. 19th, 2008 12:06 am
perlmonger: (pete)
Go well then, [ profile] blue_condition, you were a miserable, curmudgeonly old¹ git with fine taste in music, Indian food, BEER and social justice; I thank you for the gifts you gave me, and I wish I'd actually got to meet you.

My thoughts and sympathies are with all your family and friends; I'm not going to get up to York for the wake, so please, someone, have a pint on my behalf in his memory.

¹ you were ten years younger than me: there's no justice
perlmonger: (kumu)
Bzzzzt no more [ profile] ramtops and I pootled down to Nailsea Folk Club on Friday night, to see Reg Meuross and Phil Beer. A very fine night it was, opened by Mike Scott whom neither of us had encountered before for all that he's been working the folk circuit for some 30 years: anyone who can sing a song about Brenda finding a floater of a morning must have something going for them. Reg and Phil worked well together; we've not seen them together before, in fact we've only seen Reg once, playing with Miranda Sykes at Trowbridge two years ago, but he writes a good song: deceptively simple and well crafted. Recommended.

We got home just before midnight, decided against a whisky and episode of B5 and headed for bed. In the bedroom we found a wasp: large, yellow, going "bzzzzt"; this is suboptimal, so by the careful manipulation of light switches, we persuaded it into the bathroom with door shut and window open. By the morning it was gone.

Saturday, we needed to do a bit of food shopping, so headed to North Street and did so finishing by indulging in a lunch at Café Ceiturica (which astonishingly still doesn't seem to have its own web site; perhaps we should pimp ourselves to them). Good food, served by friendly staff in an unpretentious environment, as always. Mac had a monstrous tower of split bagel, salad, burger and goats' cheese; I had Persian lamb curry with butternut squash, roast lime, prunes and lentils. Looking at the specials board, they were serving Barramundi cod accompanied by, amongst other things, aubergine caviar: I think I should suggest to [ profile] ursulav that she paint eggplant rising up a stream to spawn.

After an afternoon and evening of B5, drop scones, tea and cake, we found the damned wasp back again, in the study this time. Enough. This time, as it finally headed into the bathroom (as opposed to buzzing against the glass pane above the door), [ profile] ramtops helped it on its way with a few squirts from the cats' can of Acclaim. She found it lying on the floor with its legs in the air this morning, so it seems that flea spray works on wasps too.

What I don't understand is what a singleton wasp was doing in the house, twice, in the late evening. I don't know how to sex wasps, and don't particularly want to find out, but I do wonder if it was a queen scouting out for possible nest sites; if so, I'm glad the thing is dead: I've witnessed wasp nest disposal once in my life, and that will suffice. Thank you.

go well

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

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.


May. 9th, 2008 10:51 pm
perlmonger: (dead)
While I'm at it, this photo seems to have attracted some attention since I uploaded it this morning (99 views in 14 hours, as I type), and will make a handy icon for those many, many times I feel the need to write about mouseless heads.
perlmonger: (lilith)
This morning.

Under [ 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 ]


perlmonger: (Default)

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