Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Furry Four are taking over...

We do acknowledge that Mom makes reference to us in the intro of her website, but she really has not given us the attention we deserve. She meows on about The Alien and Chicken Man but has not given us the web time we deserve.

Hence this take over. We would like to introduce ourselves.

Cuddles

I am rough and I am tough and I come from a building site on the Durban Point. I take no sh#t and that scares my Mom. I am not afraid to challenge the pesky monkeys that invade our garden every day (bloody cheek - those freaks are the same colour as me) I am in charge. No-one stands in my way. That neurotic Patch tried to get me to respect her authority but, give me a break, she is a fruitcake! She turns to putty with one side glance. As for that Candy chick! Thick as a brick and too easy for me to even get my fur in a knot. This recent fox terrier dog addition I am still unsure about. A dog? Bloody ugly thing makes a hell of a noise and keeps chasing me around trying to scare me with its superior set of teeth. Give it up you woessy dog. I am the boss. Yes, I am gorgeous on top of it and could have made a fortune if I was left to my own devises at The Point (for those of you not from my province – The Point is where all the prostitutes and drug lords hang out.)

Patch

I have been forced to do this by Cuddles. I hope I am not offending anyone? I know that if Mom knew the true level of my phobias and psychological problems I would be at weekly therapy. Mom and Dad keep questioning Why? Why should a cat who was born on their bed and has had the life of Riley be such a nut? I cannot answer that but my life has been made hell thanks to that Cuddles thug. I have to fight to get a spot on my Mom’s lap and seem to spend a lot of time in the roof cowering away from that bully. Oh, I love Roxy. She thinks she is a dog but she really is a big pussy cat. Mom’s name for me has become a concern. Patch became Pitch Patch which became Pitchy which became Bitchy. Bitchy seems to have stuck but I promise I am not a bitch. Yes, I lash out occasionally but what is a girl who is scared of her own shadow to do??

Candy

I r not cleva. I r very cute and all but must hav suffid lak of oxygen to my brane befor I was rescueded and brout to my howse. I r beautiful and likes to rap myself around Maw and Paw legs when thy cum hom. I wil trip them up one day. I likes fuuuud a lot. Meeety nuggets r my besstest. I luff all the udder furry ledies in the howse.

Roxy

This is an insult! I am not a pet! I am one of them human beings! Don’t I sleep under the covers between Mom and Dad and have my food microwaved to get the temperature just right? I have heard the rumours that I came from a breeder in Dundee but seriously, my Mom and Dad is all I have known since the tender age of 5 weeks so until I see the adoption papers, I will deny my dog heritage. Now, as for those three furry 4-legged other people in this house... They are all certifiable! I keep trying to bite their heads off but they think that I am playing with them! What does a girl have to do to get respect around here?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Traffic Chaos in the Sky

It happens every year round about this time. After a good rainfall, the sun comes out and warms the earth. Out come the flying ants from the numerous homes that they have in our garden (rent free). Within minutes of them making their mass exit, the sky above our house resembles the N1 in Joburg during rush hour.

The variety of all these birds en mass is quite a sight to witness. Whilst watching the traffic jam this afternoon I couldn’t help but compare each bird to a car. Just please bear with me. I am clueless about birds and all the different names and species.

Little brown birds – so tiny and timid they made me think more of kids on tricycles or those plastic, black motorbikes than any type of car.

Weavers - Small bright yellow birds – Citi Golfs driven by reckless teenagers as they swerve clumsily (probably drunk!) amongst all the big cars.



Pigeons – Toyota Corollas driven by stressed-out parents. A lot of them suffering from middle-aged spread.

Indian Mynahs – definitely Taxis. Of course there were loads of them, hurtling through the traffic with no sense of direction or consideration for others, shouting abuse at anything that got in their way.



Starlings – big black birds that glisten in the sun. Mercedes Benzes driven by government officials. All that was missing was the flashing Blue Lights.

Hadedas – Large, slow and noisy - just like Putco Buses. Picking up passengers as they foraged for the ants on the ground. Polluting the atmosphere with their fumes. Hey, have you ever seen the poops that Hadedas make?!



Swallows – super fast and superior. Ferraris of the sky driven by tenderpreneurs and wealthy old men trying to regain their youth.

And then there was the pièce de résistance. A bird with a red beak and bright blue feathers. I think it was a Kingfisher. There was just one and it looked arrogantly down on all the chaos. Unquestionably a Rolls Royce.

My cats looked like they were staring at a smorgasbord at a Michelin star restaurant, but without a cent to their name. Drool on cats. You have clearly eaten far too many Meaty Nuggets. Roxy the fox-terrier made a few half hearted attempts to chase the hadedas. Give it up Roxy – they are bigger than you.

The pandemonium will happen a few more times until the flying ant lemming run is over. I think I am going to get a Birds of South Africa book before the next traffic jam.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sometimes you just have to believe.


Have you ever eaten cat food? Dog food? Never! I hope would be your response. If you answered yes then please contact me and I’ll gladly buy you a Happy Meal or a tin of baked beans or 2.

So why the dumb-arse question? Let me respond with another question (slightly less dumb) Do you believe everything you are told in adverts? Let’s face it, unless you try out the product or service to prove the claims made in adverts, you really don’t have much choice but to take their word for it.

Sure there are some ads that are so outlandish that you actually feel sorry for anyone who believes them (drive this car and you will pull all the hot chicks; take this tablet and you will lose 5kg’s in a week; use this cream and you will appear to look 20 years younger; use this nappy and your baby will never cry again.......you get the picture?)

But how do you prove the claims made by pet food producers? We have established that none of us eat cat/dog food on a regular basis, so they can say anything and we have to believe them. They can tell you that there is real fish in their cat food tins and real meat in their dog pellets. Are you going to test their statements? Image phoning them and saying that you have tasted Fluffy’s food and it tastes nothing like hake and Butch’s pellets taste more like lamb than beef. They will probably think that you are Whackhead Simpson or from a new series of Candid Camera.

But this morning I established that one of the claims made by pet food producers was true. My three hungry cats were lined up staring at me, obviously using mental telepathy which I could not pick up on being a two-legged species. “Feed me, feed me” they were all saying. I do not follow any guidelines about recommended daily allowance and all that – I feed my cats on demand. And they were demanding!

I watched them closely for once (I had not had my first cup of coffee so was non compice mentice.) True as bob, the first thing that they ate were the “meaty nuggets” that Whiskas claim are in their dry food pellets. It is the reason why the girls fight over being first to the bowl when it needs to be replenished. It is why they stare at me to refill the bowl even though there is still food in it. They are after the meaty nuggets!

I found this discovery a revelation! Mmmm...maybe I need to get more of a life but I get excited when I learn anything – even if it is that my cats actually do appreciate the meaty nuggets in their Whiskas.

So, next time you feed Fluffy or Butch, look at what the package is claiming the food contains and I dare you to prove it wrong!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It’s Squishing Season!



October is Breast Cancer awareness month. Yes, you have been bombarded with pink ribbons and pink just isn’t your colour, Sweetie Darling, but are you getting the message?

I added SheeBeeGee and BecauseIcan’s twibbbon to my Facebook and Twitter avatars because I liked the simple message it relayed. “Feel Ur Boobies” Sure, it could lead to random dirty old men asking if they can cop a feel but that is a small price to pay for the awareness it raises. Some of us poor suckers don’t get let off that lightly with just self examining our breasts. Some of us have to go through the dreaded, annual MAMMOGRAM.

What would I know, I hear you ask? I am on the right side of 45 (just) so, at a push, have had probably 1 mammogram so far? No such luck. Let me explain my history. Stop yawning, I haven’t started yet! My grandmother had breast cancer when she was a young woman and had a breast removed. They were somewhat clueless in those days and so she lived with an arm that was double the size of the other that needed to be “hung” every night so that the fluids would drain. My beautiful grandmother lived a good life and died in her 70’s.

Her daughter, being my mother, also had her breast removed but even with all the advances in medical technology, she died at the age of 47 - the day before her 48th birthday. She never got to see her eldest son turn 21. I was 15, the youngest of her 4 children. Show me a person who has ever met my mother and doesn’t say that they loved her and I’ll show you a liar. She was the most special human being. Enough said.

A few years later, whilst living in London, I got a phone call from my cousin. My beloved, sweet Aunty Andy had died. She too had had a mastectomy years before but, like with my Mother, they had not caught it in time. I remember the clothes she used to sew for me and my brothers and the yummy “boerekos” she used to cook when we visited her in the Cape. She was as short as my mother was tall. What a unique couple of sisters they were! Both had hearts of gold and so much love to give.

2 generations of women dying having suffered from breast cancer. Surely it must skip a generation? So you’d think. One of my 2 cousins, even with regular mammograms, discovered a lump in one of her breasts and had a mastectomy just before her 40th birthday. I know that her early discovery and swift action will spare her the fate met by our mothers.

History lesson over. Are you still with me?

Thanks to that history, every year since my early 20’s I gather up my ever expanding folder of past mammograms and schlep off to the radiographers to have my boobs squashed and squeezed in-between cold, hard plates. “This shouldn’t hurt” Yeah right! Why do they have to make the room so darn cold? You don’t know whether you are shivering from fear or because you are developing frost bite on all your sticky-out bits.

After listening to my history the radiographers are always extra cautious and take a few extra “photos” at angles that one cannot believe ones boobs could possibly be extended to. At my first ever mammogram, the radiographer politely asked if I minded if all the students watched as they don’t often get to see such young patients. I was 23 so of course “I nearly died” as my boobs were examined by a bunch of young male student radiographers. They even got to feel them so that they could tell the difference between young breast tissue and old breast tissue.

Horror stories aside, a yearly mammogram is a small price to pay if it means that I get to see my daughter turn 21; walk down the aisle; hold her own child; achieve all the dreams she has for her life.

Ladies, when all the pinkness of October starts to make you feel like a bag of marshmallows with the white ones removed, please remember what it is all in aid of. Feel Ur Boobies or go for your Mammogram. It’s like paying your TV license.....the right thing to do.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Thank you

My little family are all asleep. I am sitting quietly by the candlelight listening to the sounds around me.

The bats are making their high pitched squeal that I have stopped hearing after all these years. I hear the barking of dogs, they must be bored as their voices are devoid of malice or anger. Frogs are singing their irritating yet strangely beautiful song.

There is a flutter and I watch one of the bats swoop clumsily down to drink from the swimming pool. It looks like a handkerchief flapping in the wind yet the air is still for once. Not a breath of wind.

The privilege of watching that bat so close to me that I could touch it makes me think of my early mornings and my afternoons. A troop of Vervet Monkeys grace my garden with their presence. The rampant guava tree needs serious trimming and the paw-paw trees are taking over but how can I cut them down when I have the joy of watching monkeys eating the fruit of these trees? Their human like antics are a joy to watch, a privilege to experience so close up.

My Eurythmics CD is playing softly in the background. Annie Lennox singing with her gruff voice is the perfect backdrop for this perfect evening. I have one of my cats curled up on my lap purring her melodic, peaceful purr. In the distance there is lightening flashing. Too far away to be a threat. I am nervous of thunder storms since my old lady got struck by lightning. My house is over 60 years old and she is in need of a facelift but I love her just the way she is.

The peace is overwhelming. I feel tears welling up in my eyes for no apparent reason. Who is responsible for such a beautiful world? The lights are twinkling around me. The evening sounds and movements are so tranquil. I do not believe in religion. Why do you have to go into a man built structure to talk to the Big Man? Isn’t he all around me as I sit here quietly enjoying his amazing creation?

A hadadah screeches in the distance. What on earth does it have to complain about this late at night? Oh yes. I spent last Saturday trying to find an organisation to help me when we found a hadadah with a broken neck thanks to a cruel human being with nothing better to do than destroy the beauty around him.

Yes, I am an agnostic but the magnitude of the beauty which is around me right now leaves no doubt that there is a higher being. Annie Lennox’s crooning, the frogs croaking, the dogs barking, the bats pinging.......Thank You. The tears that are flowing from my eyes are from pure gratitude and appreciation for what I sometimes take for granted. Wrapped up in the hustle and bustle and superficial “problems” of modern life, how seldom do I stop and appreciate what I actually have in abundance. Thank you whoever You are.