Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Bubble Trouble

The Housekeeper has been a bit busy this week. A huge trunk of Aladdin costumes came back from hire recently and she decided to make the most of the good weather last Thursday and Friday doing 9 loads of washing. A friend came round today and they both spent the day mending seams, hems and re-elasticating in the conservatory. The four Abyssinians all lent a hand. Scissors, cotton bobbins and pin boxes are all VERY interesting to an Abyssinian, as is a sewing machine. Worryingly interesting!!!!!

Three of them managed to supervise whilst one helped by airer surfing on the remaining drying clothes, sitting in the crate of unchecked costumes and sitting in the trunk of finished ones. Thanks Jasper!

The Housekeeper suspects that Jasper may just also be responsible for the latest misdemeanour. She had a consignment of bubble wrap delivered on Friday and has yet to take the excess to her storage unit where the hire costumes are stored.

The result. Plastic wrapping everywhere .......


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Sorrel Sunday

Sorrel Sunday was brought to you today by Dino
Pictures taken 22nd March 2011

Friday, 25 March 2011

Fawn Friday

Fawn Friday was brought to you today by Jasper
Pictures taken 22nd March 2011

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Parsnip's Story .....

Raving Parsnip Purrikiss was The Housekeeper's first Abyssinian. He was born on 2nd October 1998 and came to live with The Housekeepers when he was almost 10 months old in August 1999. We were introduced to his breeders through a mutual contact, having been told that they had a Fawn Abyssinian who needed to be in an "only cat" environment.

We went to visit. He hid under the furniture (hence why no one else had bought him) cowered and hissed. A LOT. Everything you should avoid when choosing a cat! The breeders had given up on him finding a home and had decided to build him a garden run to live in as a last resort. His saving grace was that he loved to play and when given the opportinuty, when no one was watching, played with a screwed up post-it note on the wooden floor.

A week later, we took him home, with the option to take him back any time within the first year, if things didn't work out. For the first three days we had him, we barely even saw him. We heard him feed at night after we had gone to bed, but by day he hid under the beds and the furniture. After a week of coaxing, he would come out to play with "Feather on a Stick", "The Dr Who Scarf" and the post-it notes but would retreat to one of the dining rom chairs under the table and peer at us through the holes in the table cloth.

Once we had gained his confidence to play, we also started picking him up and putting him straight down, once a day, leading on to picking him up and counting to two and putting him down etc etc etc until we were in a position, about a year later, that we could hold him for long enough for him to accept being stroked. He became, in time, the most affectionate cat  - however it was always on his terms and he only ever sat on a lap twice in his entire life. At bedtime, he would wait until the lights were out, do a full check of every room in the house, and then settle between The Housekeepers where he would purr for England and accept a stroke or two, before settling on their feet for the night.

If The Housekeeper was ever ill in bed, he wouldn't ever leave her side. If she went downstairs to make a drink, he followed her. If she went to the bathroom, he did the same and then returned to his watch post on the end of the bed with his head on his paws, much like a puppy. He really was a true companion.

He is the only Abyssinian we have let out, because he showed no desire to hunt or stray and used to sit happily in the back garden. If he wanted to know where his humans were - he would walk into the house, chirp to get us to answer him, come for a headbutt and then set off again for another laze in the sun. After he had used his litter tray!!!! He never ever used the garden as a toilet but came in to use his loo and then went back out to play !!!!!!!! The only garden presents we ever had were huge moths, which he would deliver proudly at our feet and then devour, and the odd frog. He never killed a bird, for which we are grateful.

The one aspect of Parsnip's personality that The Housekeepers never managed to control throughout all this time, was Parsnip's temper. He growlled like a dog. He hated visitors and would bite ankles and go for hands left in the way. He would sit outside the bathroom door and hiss at anyone who dared go up to use it. Whilst this was somewhat amusing to start off with, having to tell anyone who walked into the house NOT to touch the cat, or put their hands down to him was difficult, because he looked so, so beautiful but friends often went away with a war wound on a hand or ankle.

Parsnip left us far, far too soon on 11th September 2008, just short of his 10th birthday. We had taken him to the vets because he had started walking with his head to one side and was following the lines of the furniture and walls to move from room to room. He had antibiotics for an ear infection, which did no good, followed by a blood test which was sent to Germany for possible Toxoplasmosis, which proved negative.

Each day we watched our beautiful boy get sicker and sicker and the vets had absolutely no clue as to what was actually wrong with him. They eventually suggested that we take him to an animal hospital approx 20 miles away where they were expecting a mobile MRI scan unit that evening and they booked him in to have a full head and body scan.

The results were devestating. Parsnip had a minor deformity in the structure of his nasal cavity. Whilst this had not previously affected him, other than the production of some quite disgusting snot! over theyears, the deformity had accumulated scar tissue and this scar tissue was now pressing on his brain and had pushed his brain backwards and brain damaged him.

Looking back, its no wonder that he was such a grumpy cat with such a short temper and fuse. He had probably had a headache for much of his adult life and we suspect that is why, on the odd occasion that he had to be scruffed by the neck, he always screamed. When he had swiped us with his paws whilst we were stroking him, he would look at us as if to say "Why did I just do that?" - and now we knew exactly why.

Parsnip was the most loyal and fun companion and we have so many precious memories and funny stories that we could write a book about him, let alone a blog entry and we will share some more of his pictures some other time.

He would have absolutely loved The Housekeeper working from home, as she does now. We can imagine him pottering around the garden and putting his nose around the stable door of the workshop where she spends her days, looking pleased with himself with his latest catch in his mouth and THAT chirp.

Even with our four current Abyssinian charges, we still miss him.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Caption Challenge

The Housekeepers thought that Crystal's expression was worthy of a caption.

Crystal thought that it should be a Caption Competition and that first prize should be Jasper and second prize should be Dino. The Housekeeper wasn't so sure. Somehow I don't think anyone would take them, even for free, after reading some of these entries !!!!!!!!!!!!

So... over to you..... What is she saying?!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Catnip Capers

A very rare shot of all four Abyssinian's together!

A parcel arrived from Napiers today. Napiers used to be called Culpepper. They used to have shops. Now it's just delivery. They sell anything and everything "herbal" teas, supplements, skincare etc.

In The Housekeeper's circle of friends, they are known as the "drug dealers". Napiers sell the most amazingly stinky strong catnip mice and fish toys. They are the strongest catnip that The Housekeeper has ever smelt - turning most cats to a dribbling gooey wreck within 10 minutes of playing with one. There then follows a long period of sleep (and with Parsnip this was then followed by a long period of grouchiness and withdrawal symptoms until he got his next fix!!!

Crystal wasn't very bothered about catnip when we first had her and neither of the girls have ever really shown interest in the catnip toys. So The Housekeeper decided to buy one each for the cats to see how the kittens, in particular, would play with them.

Needless to say, the boys took to them immediately and the girls didn't want to be outdone. Even Crystal was rolling round the floor like a loony - all Four Abyssinian Cats are now sprawled in different parts of the house and are all completely zonked!!!!!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Cuddle You, Cuddle Me

With thanks (and apologies to Genesis!)

In your arms, I feel so safe and so secure
Everyday is such a purrrrfect day to spend
Alone with you
I will cuddle you, will you cuddle me
All the days and nights that we know will be
I will stay with you, will you stay with me
Not one single tear in each passing year
With the dark, Oh, I see so very clearly now
All my fears are drifting by me so slowly now
Fading away
I can say, The night is long, but you are here
Close at hand, oh, I'm better for the smile you give
And while I live
I will cuddle you, will you cuddle me
All the days and nights that we know will be
I will stay with you, will you stay with me
Not one single tear in each passing year there will be
The Housekeeper did consider "Brothers in Arms" but the wording wasn't quite right!
Pictures taken Fri 18th March 2011

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Bob the Big Issue Cat

Today, we would like to take the opportunity to tell you about Bob! He's ginger, he's not Abyssinian, but he IS very special.

Bob has been adopted by James, an out of work musician who sells the Big Issue at Angel Islington and Covent Garden Tube Stations in London and they are inseparable. Bob himself is a licenced Big Issue seller

This link was forwarded on to The Housekeeper by another cat loving friend.


If you are a Facebooker, Bob even has his own Facebook Page !!! Bob the Big Issue Cat

Friday, 18 March 2011

Yeee Haa! Arhhhhhh

Jasper's in trouble again ....

You know that blue check bag that was hanging on the back of the dining room door? Well, it had costume hats in it that had been returned from a hire - and The Housekeeper had put them out of cat reach in the bag.

However she didn't anticipate Jasper, the High Altitude Kitten. Having retrieved Jasper from the green and white plastic bag and from the top of the door, she assumed that all was well, until she came to take the bag to the storage unit and looked at the contents.

And Yes, It is definitely Jasper that's to blame, readers. The fur on the hat is fawn and the Crystal girl is just too laid back to contemplate such a misdemeanour. It's not so much The Cat in the Hat as The Cat who trashed the Hat. Remember the blog about Dino and the tricorn?!!!

Mr Housekeeper suggested that The Housekeeper should keep the hat and say that its a bullet hole in the crown ... Hmmmm

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Paws for Japan

Crystal, Amber, Jasper and Dino are supporting Paws for Japan

Paws for Japan

Here is another link as well for the Japan Earthquake Animal Relief Fund. Please "Chip In" with anything you can afford to help our Abyssinian relatives in the Pacific


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

An Abyssinian Morning

A typical morning in The Housekeeper's conservatory .........

Football, Washing, Chewing, Fighting, Playing, Cat Yoga, Mountaineering and Yelling,
Looks of disguest from Crystal at the boys antics - and Amber trying her best to not be video'd

The Cat sat UNDER the mat. The other cat sat on the mat, on the cat under the mat ......

With apologies for;

a) The picture quality in some parts as these were an experiment in videoing the cat's antics and were taken on the spur of the moment this morning on the iphone ....

b). The neck ache. The Housekeeper can't work out how to rotate individual frames within the clip so that they are the right way up !!!!!

Monday, 14 March 2011

High Altitude Abyssinian

There are days in this life when, if you didn't see something happen with your own eyes, you wouldn't  believe they were possible. Or if someone told you that it had happened you'd think they'd just made it up for a good blog entry...

The Housekeeper was sat at the dining room table about 20 minutes ago working on the laptop and chatting on MSN when Jasper came up for a cuddle and a head butt. He then turned round and got climbed onto the back of the dining room chair to her left with all four paws in a row, nearest the open door and made a diagonal leap to the top of the dining room door.

The door currently has an "over door hanger" on it and hanging from it are several costumes waiting to be mended and a couple of returned hires which have been hung, in their bags, out of Abyssinian reach.

The Housekeeper's only thought process was whatever you do Jasper, don't try to get in the bags

So what happens?.....

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Green Eyed Monster

We have a jealous Jasper.

He has been getting very vocal and has been making a point of coming to The Housekeeper when she is cuddling one of the other cats and muscling his way into the cuddle.

This morning, The Housekeeper was standing in the kitchen, in her PJ's, making some tea and picked up Crystal for a morning snuggle whilst the kettle was boiling. Jasper wasn't happy and decided that he needed attention as well, or a cuddle. So he stood on his hind legs and reached up The Housekeeper's legs.


One Housekeeper with PJ bottoms round her ankles, still cuddling Crystal and one very puzzled Jasper

Saturday, 12 March 2011


It would be fair to say that Dino is a one kitten eating machine. He will willingly swap between all the cat's food dishes as The Housekeeper dishes up their dinners to ensure that he is eating from the fullest bowl at any given time. He's also the last to leave the bowls, long after the others have grazed and gone.

He has the ability to sit VERY close to The Housekeeper when she is eating and will willingly sit with his chin on the plate edge, given half the chance, smelling what might come his way later. The Housekeepers have a food policy that any treat tit-bits are saved to the side of the human plate and that if the cats have not begged for the food whilst they are eating, anything saved for them is fed to them once they have both finished eating. This saves any begging and ensures a stress free meal time for the humans.

Dino has also perfected a cat look that says "would I like that?"

Curiosity got the better of the cat today. The Housekeeper was standing in the hallway, next to the stair banisters with a banana in her hand when Dino appeared on the stairs and put his head through the gap in the banisters to ask "would I like that?"

Mr Housekeeper dislikes bananas intently. The housekeeper has to eat them quickly away from him and discard the skin before he can smell it in the house. She is sympathetic because, having a serious nut allergy, she cannot bear the smell of a peanut or peanut butter anywhere near her.

The look on Dino's little face as he sniffed the banana had both The Housekeeper's in stitches. He opened his mouth as if about to projectile vomit or dislodge a fur ball, shuddered and shook his head and walked away with a look of sheer disgust on his face.

The Housekeeper ate her banana in peace!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Fawn Friday

Dre-e-e-e-eam. Dream. Dream. Dre-eam.

When I want you in my arms, when I want you and all your charms

When I feel blue in the night, and I need you to hold me tight

Only trouble is, gee wiz, I'm dreamin' my life away

I need you so that I could die, I love you so, and that is why
Whenever I want you, all I have to do, is
Dream, dream dream dream

Fawn Friday was brought to you today by Jasper
Pictures taken February 2011

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Windy City

It's exceptionally windy where we live today and that means only one thing. MANIC ABYSSINIANS!!

The days started with the kittens in disgrace. There's been a small tear in the bedroom wallpaper for a few weeks now. It looked like it had been tweaked by a paw or a tooth. However this morning, when The Housekeeper woke up, there was a piece of wallpaper missing from the wall, approx 2 inches wide by 6 inches deep. We assume it had help being removed from the wall as the paper evidence was on the landing.

Everyone has been RUNNING at full steam today. Running round the house, in and out of the conservatory, in and out of the outhouse, up and down the stairs.

Then there's the yelling. Yelling at leaves being blown. Yelling at the other cats in the house as they are all running. Yelling at, well, everything - but nothing in particular, really.

The Housekeeper has retired to the workshop. Exhausted by all the activity around her!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Frosty Receptions

The Housekeeper decided to defrost the tall upright freezer in the outhouse yesterday evening, before the supermarket delivered her shopping.

She isn't sure which was funnier;

The look on the cats faces at her carrying the remainder of the frozen food up to the bath to keep cold, wrapped in towels.

The quizzical look on Jasper's face as he sat on top of the freezer, looking down over the front, with one paw on The Housekeeper's shoulder to "help".

The look on Jasper's face when he stood on his back paws and put his front paws on the icy shelf to look into the freezer.


The sight of Dino running up the length of the hallway, shaking himself,  having been inside the still defrosting freezer and having ice cold drips of water running down his back!!!!

Monday, 7 March 2011

You Tube - Cravendale Milk Advert

Not an Abyssinian in sight - but it catches the cats attention whenever it comes on the TV !!!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Lesson of the Day - Dino

CAT: If I can open the conservatory door by leaping at the handle, then I can open any door in the house.  I think I'll try this bedroom door which is often closed.

Easy! I'm In!!!!

Bugger. There's clothes hanging on the back of the door which means that it has closed behind me as it's heavy and its too heavy to open with my paws. So now I'm stuck behind the door until Mr Housekeeper, who has flu and is sleeping, hears me and rescues me.

I now have a sore throat from constant mewing

HUMAN: We need to swap the door handles for round door knobs like the ones downstairs. ASAP!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Piles of Kittens

Crystal (RHS) with sorrel sisters Ruby and Scarlet

Amber (LHS) with her usual sister Flora and usual brothers Fox and Forest

Jasper (front) and Dino with sorrel sister Daisy and usual brother Leon (top)

Friday, 4 March 2011

Escaped Convicts

The Housekeeper had a big fright yesterday. A wide open conservatory door and all four cats outside.

Amber and Crystal know better than to go far and were stood on the patio outside the door and made a run back inside the house as soon as The Housekeeper spoke to them. Dino took a little more convincing and had to be followed and picked up and taken home.

And Jasper. Jasper was nowhere to be found. Not in the house. Not in the garden. He had decided to walk round the edge of the conservatory out of the side gate and was eyeing up the gap between the two garages.
Luckily a quiet upbeat word from The Housekeeper and he came scampering towards her and was picked up too.

Much relief.

But how did they get out?! The door does stick occasionally (you have to lift the handle up to lock the door, but The Housekeeper is absolutely convinced that the door was shut tight when she came in. And she still is, having now sat at the table and watched Dino leap at the door handle to try to repeat "his trick"

So now The Housekeeper will have to go through a routine of not only closing but locking the conservatory door every time she goes to the workshop.

To make matters worse - when The Housekeeper took the bags of post out of the workshop and went back to the house that afternoon, Amber put her paw into the open door and let Jasper run past her, between the post bags. The Housekeeper wasn't quite so lucky. It took a good 5 minutes to convince him to come out from behind the workshop.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A Question...

If a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.....

What is a toy mouse in a boot worth?

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Ears and Tails

The Housekeeper has been somewhat busy over the last few days. Understatement!

It's World Book Day in the UK on Thursday 3rd March and as one of the primary sales lines in The Housekeeper's company is children's costumes, she's been inundated with orders as all children in the UK go to school dressed as a book character on World Book Day.

One of the best sellers this year has been some brand new sets of animal "Ears and Tails" from her supplier in Cat, Dog, Fox, Mouse, Rabbit and Tiger.

Sadly, the Abyssinians would like to point out, the sale of Fox Ears and Tails is on a ratio of 6:1 to both Cat and Tiger. They feel that this is wrong, somehow.

They feel that it is even more wrong for The Housekeeper to be threatening to don a pair of Ears and a Tail for World Book Day itself.

Humans. Tsk.