tiger loaf

Yesterday was the inaugural Charu-day. May 10 last year we started feeding her and not long after decided to adopt her. We’ve all had a lot of fun together but recently I can’t help but think she’s a bit like a <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribble”>tribble</a>. There’s a little voice back there saying it’s time to get important things done like study but when the cat is sitting on my lap and purring… it’s hard… to concentrate.

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I am hesitant to write

yet another blogpost about my cat but in the absence of motivation to write about anything else, I will simply say she is _phenomenal_ with pest control. I guess now that it is late spring the four legged critters are in the upswing of their population growth, or rather, _would be_ if it wasn’t for the Charu treating them like an _hors d’oeuvre de jour_ dining menu.

 

We have this ritual where I feed her the usual tin cat food and a little dry food. She meows, I put the bowl of food down on the floor, she starts eating, I put the can in the fridge and do this or that for a moment. I come back over to her, hover above her and give her a pat. She looks up at me, often with mouth full and does this two-sylable mu-weow. And I always took that to mean ‘thankyou’ but I am starting to think it means, ‘is there any more?’ because she often seems unsatisfied with the amount so she goes out the back and swipes a young rat or mouse from near the neighbour’s chicken coop.

I was originally going to keep count of what she brought in but there’s been way too many. I’d say easily one per week.

I am reminded of that kids’ story about the goldfish. The more it was fed the bigger it got. Sometimes I wonder what the Charu would be like as a proper full-sized Bengali tiger.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/15749607380″ title=”HipstaPrint by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7505/15749607380_89931bb670.jpg” width=”500″ height=”500″ alt=”HipstaPrint”></a>

death death deady deady dead dead

1. Charu brought another rat into the house last night. By my calculations that’s 2 in just over two weeks! We were in bed when we heard her in the hallway talking happy sounds, which is odd if she’s not begging for food. The rat was lying in front of her and not quite gone. It move a bit and she grabbed it and it squeaked, which I guess was it’s death-squeak. See, that’s disturbing to me. Even if it is a rat, it’s disturbing to be right there because I start to think about what it would be like to be _being killed_ and be living that last moment.

Charu only has three of those big canine teeth which is weird. We’d never have found out ourselves either if the vet didn’t tell us because charu’s not the biting kind of cat the way boy cats are.

Anyway, she took it outside by herself. I guess, learning since I took the last couple. Je went out and watched… charu ate parts of the rat. That’s probably not a good thing.

 

2. Gough Whitlam died. Abc news website had some photos. I C & P’d a couple for the perpetuity.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/15411959789″ title=”3576984-3×4-700×933 by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5598/15411959789_780ff7b94f.jpg” width=”375″ height=”500″ alt=”3576984-3×4-700×933″></a>

I like this one because Mrs.Gough’s feet/leg positioning is so rock n roll. If she was leaning over a bit and wailing on a Les Paul, that’d be great.

Anyway, it was cool that Gough introduced free education, I just wish I coud’ve got some. Although, not paying for it until I’m making decent money is nothing to complain about either. I also like how he bought Blue Poles too. However I wish he’d done something when Portugal pulled out of East Timor and Indonesia invaded. Australia shouldn’t have let that happen.

I’ve been getting more angry about politics again lately. I think it’s a result of just being more stressed.

3. And a week or so ago I got word that a former colleague died. I worked with Graham doing bidness english in korea and although I only talked to him properly a few times. He’d lived in Korea in the 70s which is really interesting if you ask me, and a whole bunch of other places too. His family put a whole load of photos of his up on the internet but I don’t know how long they’ll be there for. He was 66 which seems a bit early to me.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/15412753397″ title=”20141004115121-e0092642-me by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5601/15412753397_e101a7eec9.jpg” width=”500″ height=”336″ alt=”20141004115121-e0092642-me”></a><br/><em>That’s Graham on the right.</em>

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/15412141029″ title=”20141004115119-4612e7ff-me by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3935/15412141029_fdacf92e51.jpg” width=”500″ height=”353″ alt=”20141004115119-4612e7ff-me”></a><br/><em>There wasn’t much English in the signage back in the ’70s</em>

bucket of chips

Update on two mundane things that arose at the same time -> early May.

1. Driving a car. It’s been pretty okay. Still haven’t gone that far, the furtherest probably being down to Mum’s. It’s extremely convenient for things like that. Like all convenient things it’s easy to forget how inconvenient life was before it. I always drive at the speed limit or under it but I seem to be very much in the minority. Especially on the highway. It used to bother me a lot but less now. It’s interesting how various public campaigns like quit smoking, drink driving etc. seem to have gone fairly successfully (at least that’s how I see it) but speeding seems to be one of those things that many people do as much as they can get away with. Maybe it’s that most people think they can safely drive faster than what is prescribed, and maybe they can. It’s just one of those things (like telling half-truths) that makes life a heck of a lot simpler if I don’t do it.

I guess I don’t drive anywhere near enough to get really frustrated with other drivers. Last Monday we drove through Torquay and up through the middle of Geelong to N.Geel – through all the traffic and traffic lights – and for me that was draining. I can only imagine what it would be like driving in busier places.

It’s a bit disconcerting playing a couple of hours of GTA V then going straight out and jumping in the car IRL. I am concerned I’ll just slip into game mode an mount the kerb, run the red light and ram the guy in front. I still have moments of wishing I’d got a Cube instead of the Micra. It’s barely less bland than a korean car.

2. Cat. It’s been a whole lot of fun having a cat. Since May she’s been gradually getting used to being part of the family to the point where she’s now pretty cocky; meowing and head-butting me an hour before feedin’ time–literally putting her paw on top of my hand and saying ‘hey, … food’. Well not quite literally, but the hand part is true. Charu is obsessed with food.

I have now had to clear three (3) dead offerings out of the house. One, a pigeon in the weeks after Charu started living inside. The pigeon looked like a murder scene investigation set-up on the kitchen floor with drops of blood and small feathers around it. Charu witnessed my dismay when I found it and shovelled it out the door, and I fancy she had a facial expression of remorse, confusion or something like, ‘but I thought you’d be happy’. Then there was a small, drowned-looking mouse in winter. Then last night a full-sized rat. Both the last two placed in a central-axis of the house, near the heater and where I put my bag when I come in. Charu was lying next to this dead rat and rolling around looking all coy and happy. The rat looked very fresh and thankfully not bleeding. It’s hard to get used to this death aspect of cats.

In some ways it’s not a great co-incidence that these two things, getting a driver’s license and cat happened at the same time. We’d like to go away for longer than a night but always end up thinking about the cat going hungry. We’d like to take Charu with us but cats aren’t like dogs. It got me thinking about the history of cat domestication and I read a little about it last night. Indeed, while dogs have been around us for much longer, and are into the whole travelling nomad hunter tribe thing, cats on the other hand only started hanging out with humans once we started settling down into farming anchored down lifestyles.

“We go where we choose”

I remember once going to the immigration museum in Melbourne and seeing this big walk-in diorama explaining the immigration journeys of different groups of people to come to Australia. And in a porthole window was a cat with the above inscription.

When Elon Musk finally starts sending spaceships to Mars a cat will slip onboard. The astronauts will eventually find it but they’ll keep it because the human loves the cat.

I has a cat.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/14208762109″ title=”Ouh? by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2905/14208762109_8e24b4c0e1_n.jpg” width=”320″ height=”320″ alt=”Ouh?”></a>

She had actually been here all along. I remember in the first few days of being at this house, going into the backyard and seeing this cat sitting out there. I wagged my finger at it as if to say, no no no you can’t be here, because I really like the native birds too. Je eventually found out from the neighbours that they were kind of caretakers of the cat. It had been abandoned by someone and the neighbour was feeding it regularly but because they already had a cat (that lived inside their house) this cat always stayed outside.

One day Je decided she wanted to feed the cat and with a guilty expression brought home a packet of catfood from the supermarket. Anyway, long story short, we started feeding the cat (which the neighbour was fine with) and she has moved with us and is now named Charu. The quick adapting to being inside leads up to think she started off maybe as a christmas present and was ditched because someone moved or something like that. From what the neighbour told us, Charu was just past kittenhood when they started feeding her, so we’re guessing she’s about a year and a half old.

I am chief namer of all things in this house so I chose Charu. I thought she looked a bit like a bengal tiger (eventhough I later read that a cat that’s a mix of tabby and calico is called a calaby) and Charu is a bengali female name meaning beautiful.

I know that cats kill native wildlife. And I know that western domestic pets are part of our overconsumption and that they use more global resources than Africa. And I know that supermarket petfood is rubbish. But in the end we’re not robots and I’m not mr.spock.

<a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/14362062724″ title=”Chara Charu Calaby by Hi!  my name is:, on Flickr”><img src=”https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2928/14362062724_b8a0be1041.jpg” width=”500″ height=”500″ alt=”Chara Charu Calaby”></a>