Saturday, December 22, 2007

Solti's medal

Reading Emlyn's comments about my generous distributing of the prizes without paying any compliments to myself (see comments on JDCMB Awards list), I have decided to award an extra medal to the one and only person who really appreciates me around here.

Natalie Dessay a des chats!

Mad props to Opera Chic for informing us that Natalie Dessay has CATS, something that my chief-of-staff scandalously neglected to discover during her own recent interview with this stunner of a soprano. Watch her talk about them here, on the marvellous French website Tele-Animaux - going straight into my Bookmarks in its own right.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Worth a new Guinea or two

In a 'lost world', lurking in the forests of New Guinea, scientists have discovered a species of giant rat, pictured left.

I am now trying to persuade Jess to investigate cheap flights out there, including cat transportation.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Bearing it all

We knew that Knut, our favourite polar bear, who's celebrating his first birthday, would be a good singer. It's the German Lieder tradition, of course.

And in sunny London, the artist Mark Wallinger has just won the Turner Prize by dressing up as a bear. Watch his interview with The Guardian here.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A wake-up call from your cat...

Thanks to Brendan for sending us this!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cats and books don't always mix

Apologies to my chief of staff (she's busy celebrating my namesake's birthday over at JDCMB, so while her attention has been snaffled...)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I've been ill

So They dragged me off the nice cosy bed and into that beastly cat box, then up the road and into the dreaded White Coat Room where the Man in the White Coat got out a thing Jess calls a thermometer, I can't bring myself to say what he did with it. It was HORRIBLE and I told them so in no uncertain terms. What humans don't realise is that cats carry knives. Even a third nurse called in to help could not keep me back...So, yes, it was bad news, but I got a fish treat back at home and I'm now on the mend and being entertained with my dear staff-member's favourite Youtube videos of dead performers.

I particularly like this one, taken from a documentary about Richard Tauber, which includes Schubert's Serenade and some home movie footage. I adore the scene where he and his family play with lion cubs. Jess cries over the Schubert, even though the guy seems to be in his dressing gown.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cat power

At the top of the stairs, I am the boss. I am higher up than everybody else. Anyone who attempts to pass me or remove me must bear the consequences.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Please look after my marmalade (and ginger)

Here in this (ahem) literary household, we are distressed to read today that the image of Paddington Bear has been conscripted to fuel sales of Marmite. Of course, I like Marmite - it tastes especially good when licked illicitly from the rim of the jar when everyone's looking the other way. But Paddington is a Marmalade bear. You know my views: a) all things orange are sacred, and b) the written word is the property of its author and shouldn't be ridden roughshod over, especially not by those without the first notion of characterisation principles.

[Solti, what are those? - jd]

Marmite is not only the wrong taste for Paddington: it is the wrong colour.

read the whole thing here...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

How cute is this?

Nimra, a mother cat in Jordan, has adopted seven orphaned baby chicks and is looking after them alongside her own kittens. The Times has the full story. How cute? Too cute. I hope she isn't just fattening them up for future reference.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Match the animal to the musician

London Zoo, as ref'd by Jess yesterday, has a wonderful scheme that allows members of the public to 'adopt an animal'. Jess once adopted a tiger for Tom for his birthday (but he told her they have one already, :-))) ). Still, some of the little guys in those photos simply look made for certain friends and contacts of ours, so while Jess is away she suggests that I could provide you with an entertaining game.

Above is a selection of animals you can adopt. Here's a list of musical adopters for them. Which creature(s) would best suit which human(s)? No prizes, but enjoy...

Riccardo Muti
The Bekova Sisters Trio
Bryn Terfel
Angela Gheorghiu
The London Philharmonic
Kurt Masur
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Lang Lang

Friday, March 23, 2007

Born free

So who wants to live in a zoo? Today's Independent explains that there's a risk that the tigers could get out of London Zoo and into the park. Can't say I blame them. And there's an interesting history of creatures escaping from zoos around the world - we particularly enjoyed the one about the spectacled bear that tried to 'commandeer a bicycle'.

Jess couldn't find a clouded leopard. Or wouldn't: apparently some of her fellow bloggers don't like cats. Tough litter.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My new cousins in Borneo

Big mrows today to celebrate the discovery of a whole new species of big cat. Bring on the clouded leopard!

I shall dig my claws into Jess's feet until she knuckles down to finding a picture of this space...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Not a fake pianist

Nora - what a creep. I mean, she just makes it up as she goes along. miaowww!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My cousins from Argentina

Courtesy of The Daily Telegraph's Pictures of the Week, here are my three new cousins from Buenos Aires Zoo, where Jess & Tom spent a happy hour admiring their parents a year ago. White Bengal tigers. My kindred spirits. I may be orange with green eyes, but I can see in the faces of these little guys that we're soulmates. My staff may not recognise that I am simply another version of a Bengal tiger, but I know it's true, and that's good enough.

[NB: My staff request an addendum: they only read the Telegraph online and would never fork out for the thing unless there's a free giveaway of a 1940s movie with a soundtrack full of violins. Don't ask me.]

Friday, February 02, 2007

Monet's cat

So where did our favourite artist Clawed Meownet start out? Why, by doing pastel drawings of cats, of course. How else?

See Monet's early drawings in a new exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts (starts 17 March) and read all about it in today's Times.

“People discuss my art and pretend to understand it as if it were necessary to understand, he famously said, “but it is simply necessary to love.”

Monday, January 29, 2007

In my new capawcity as ballet reviewer...

...the other day we switched on The Sleeping Beauty, performed by The Royal Ballet, in the middle of the last act, not having realised that the TV broadcast started at 4pm. And not a moment too soon: we were just in time for the real star turn: the pas de deux of Puss in Boots and the White Cat.

Jess told me that usually this exquisite number is a lot funnier than those on-screen cats allowed it to be. But what do you expect? Cats have a way of putting on their best behaviour when there are cameras around. Apparently the oboes, too, usually have a high old time, camping up the score with feline yowls, but again they must have had their eye on posterity.

What puzzles me most of all, however, is the placement of the Bluebirds' pas de deux immediately after the cats. Any bluebird worth its salt would fly for its life if there were two self-respecting kitties anywhere nearby. Mr and Mrs Flutterfeet wouldn't stand a chance. Just as well we never see on TV what goes on backstage at the ballet...

The Wolf would gobble up Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots and his female friend would be trying to kill and eat the Bluebirds, the Bluebirds would be flitting about avoiding certain death and scaring any ladies with Birdophobia, the two-girls-one-boy trio would be scandalising everyone by coming out as a menage-a-trois, the Queen would be having a near breakdown trying to update the court fashions by 100 years in time for the wedding, Prince Florimund would be in therapy because he didn't believe in fairies before all this happened, and Princess Aurora would find a quiet corner for a little snooze...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Des pattes sur la neige

Jess has complained to me that there's some confusion between her blog and mine: this estimable site chronicles my recent unfortunate constriction to the interior of the present mansion, while hers describes paw-prints in the snow, as composed no doubt by one's favourite maestro Clawed Depussy.

So here's what happened. After the autumn debacles with Maurice and Big Ginge on various sides of various fences, we had one trip to the vet too many. After assurances from said vet that most cats are quite happy to stay indoors after around 3 weeks' acclimatisation, and will willingly use litter trays due to natural and admirable fastidiousness re bodily functions, They decided to lock the cat flap. A vile grey plastic Thing, its tray filled with bits of whatever they make this stuff out of, materialised in front of it.

Heck, this is meant to be clean? What planet are these people on? They expect a self-respecting feline to return to the same site over and over again for one's daily performance? Dearie me. I'd like to see them try if someone removed their flush facility.

Now, cats are possessed of one very important secret weapon. The claws and the teeth have their uses, as does the natural gift for running extremely fast and climbing things. But the real big gun is concealed safely in our bladder and can be applied at will, to devastating effect. It's wet, smelly and disgusting, and makes women in particular suffer neurotic spells and nightmares when it's found in places it shouldn't be. Such as her favourite cushion, his leather armchair, or the stove. Oh yes, the stove. Well, the stove gets cleaned every day, so what's the problem? Hehehehehe.

So finally They unlocked the cat flap. Now everybody is happy again.

Friday, January 19, 2007

What do you do when...

...your owner, who you really love even you'd never let her know that, starts waxing lyrical about other cats?

Last week, Jess went to have lunch with a friend who's into Korngold. But instead of returning full of useful (or even useless) information about the anniversary celebrations planned for this year, apparently the 50th anniversary of EWK's death, she was full of stories about 'Pip' and 'Tania', the guy's two beloved Maine Coon pussycats. Vast, fluffy, and oh so clever. Tania, it seems, weighs 8 kilos. They look a bit like the picture above...

I beg to complain. I am a mere 4.5 kilos and the vet keeps saying I'm overweight, so They never give me as much food as I want. Then they wonder why I try to steal the remnants of their fruit yoghurt. grr.