Furry great tits

The cats are shedding at the moment — at times recently Dolly has seemed like a walking cloud of hair with a cat faintly discernible somewhere in the middle.

So I got a Furminator to help collect some of the excess, and that means great big clumps of cat hair to dispose of, so I put it out for the birds to use as nesting material. And it has been gratifyingly popular.

Incidentally, it is amazing how much you can rescue a picture taken in RAW format. I didn’t have the right camera settings when I took these pictures and they were all overexposed; especially that last one. This is what it looked like when I downloaded it from the camera:

And basically all I did was turn down the ‘Exposure’ setting in iPhoto, and a little bit of fiddling with the sharpness and the white balance. The adjusted version is hardly perfect, but when I saw it I assumed it would be completely unusable, so I’m pretty happy with the result.

Bionic Cat!

One of those OMG I’M LIVING THE FUTURE!!! moments.

We have our cats microchipped, so that if they get lost, they can be traced back to us. But that isn’t the futuristic bit; no, the futuristic bit is that we have a new cat-flap which has a chip reader and an electric catch… so it’s a cat flap which electronically scans the cat and only opens for cats it recognises. Very Star Trek.

If I’d designed it, it would have flashing lights and a robotic voice that said cyberfeline identity VALIDATED when the cat came through. Which is just one of the reasons why I’m not an industrial designer.

» that’s not my cat, btw.  Cat with glowing eyes is © Random Tony and used under a CC by-nc-sa licence.

New new cat news

A second new cat, to keep Dolly company; introducing Oscar:

Oscar

The company-keeping theory isn’t actually working very well at the moment — there’s a lot of hissing and growling going on — but hopefully they’ll get used to each other soon enough.

  • Me

Sad cat news

The vet came round to put down one of the cats yesterday.

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Posy big green eyes and the softest fur of any cat I’ve ever met, and huge scary claws that she only ever stuck into human flesh accidentally.

She had a tiny voice, not so much a meow as a mi.

She didn’t show any interest in meat or fish, but she did like blue cheese and prawns.

She didn’t like being picked up, and had limited tolerance for being stroked, but if she was curled up on the bed and you rested your head on her like a pillow, she would purr and purr. And then, once you lifted your head again, she’d methodically wash off any trace of contact.

She led a largely sedentary lifestyle, but when the mood took her she had a truly extraordinary turn of speed.

She brought in less prey than the other cats, but she did hold the house record for rarest catch: a big fat Convolvulus Hawkmoth, which is a rare vagrant in Britain.

She was a lovely cat.

Links

Links

New camera, same old clichés

I’ve got a new camera, so I thought I’d celebrate it in the approved internet fashion: catblogging. You can click through to Flickr to see larger versions.

This is Boris:

And this is Posy, who is a difficult cat to photograph, because she’s so black and shiny:

Fox cubs

The foxes have cubs at the moment. The foxes are pretty tame in London, since no-one hunts them, and once or twice I’ve seen the cubs playing on the lawn. Mainly you just hear them; squawking, screeching and making a high-pitched twittering like angry plovers.

The foxes and cats seem to co-exist in a state of cautious truce.

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