Wednesday, March 14, 2007

the view from here

There are cats, and then there are Bengals...I had been told this, I believed it, I had met some adult Bengals and some teeny weeny baby Bengals, and they were everything our family wanted in a cat - talkative, intelligent, different, just like our kids.

As a child I showed my cat "Mitzi" she was a stunning Silver Tabby British shorthair, her cage was always covered with ribbons, and I made good pocket money out of the sweepstakes, the judges loved her pliant good nature, she was the smartest cat we ever had. My family has always had cats, except for our stay in Oz (where I had to cuddle the cats on my walks) so I have had plenty of feline experience.
Frasier has rocked my world, he is demanding, and unrelenting - he is the cat version of a toddler, he cries when someone leaves the house, has very clear ideas (which clash with mine) about what he is going to eat, loves his toys...and Layla's toys, and Jussi's toys...(read my green chibi holder - not the pink or the white, only the green, and my photolink cable)

Frasier walking off with my chibi again

and my cable...

and climbing my leg when I take them view looking down

This happens a few times a day,we are getting better at anticipating his next move, just like a toddler he gives you clues, he vocalises to himself and paces when he is about to do something "naughty", so we have warning. He learns new "words" everyday, and chats with us constantly - "where are you?, where are you going?, what's that?, can I eat it?, no I want meat - I said meat not biscuits!" oh and he definitely has a word for "no"

Having teenagers has made it a lot easier to train Frasier though, everyone in the family helps - if he jumps onto the table everyone responds the same way, by saying "down" and placing him on the floor, so even though he is full on, he isn't being spoilt too much.

I am so glad that we decided to keep Layla, if I had known that Bengals really need another cat around I would have bought two. He is busy all day long and Layla helps to relieve him of some of his boundless energy by chasing him relentlessly, she has taken on some of his behaviour too, they both follow me throughout the day, and she has learnt his words as well. Unfortuantely I have had to seperate them at mealtimes, Frasier vomited 2 mornings in a row, I called the vet and had a chat, and we worked out what was happening, Frasier vacums his meat and then vacums Layla's, then of course the inevitable happens and it all comes back up. Yuk.

In other news, I have a FO that I can show you for a change, a simple garter st scarf for Blaise, long and skinny (30 sts on 3.5 mm needles until the skein of Koigu ran out)

and finally a word about Lichen.

A couple of eco-nazis, sorry, concerned citizens have emailed me anonomously (chickens) to advise me of my evil ways, apparently Lichen is endangered in some places and my suggestion that people use it dye wool is abhorrent, and I should be pilloried for the suggestion.

I would like to make a couple of comments in my defence.

1. I live in New Zealand - little country in the South Pacific, not part of Australia, lot's of sheep.

2. In NZ we are quite good at conserving flora and fauna, ok we aren't great, but we're up there, our government has just spent 10 million dollars to save some snails.

3. The upshot of this is that we don't have the huge populations, acid rain and deforestation issues that North America and Europe have, so our local lichen population is very healthy, thank you. I agree that dyers should act responsibly when gathering plantstuffs, and should be aware of their local environment. In my local environment I was able to gather a small pot of lichen from pruned branches and windfall, this is more than enough to dye 2 kilos of wool, and will last a year or two if stored correctly.

I would suggest that if anyone wants to use plant dyes ensures that the plant is not endangered locally, gathers a small amount, or grows plants for their own use.