Thursday, March 31, 2005

Some dogs are smart! or why can't a cat be a detective?

I haven't got much to say today, but I thought I would tell all my kitty friends about a really smart german shephard (Deutscher Schäferhund).

He is the star of his own police drama on television in Austria (Europe) called Kommissar Rex. Rex helps his master who is a detective in Vienna solve homicides.

Luckily our multi-language national public broadcaster (funded by government and some advertising) in Australia (not Europe) SBS Television shows this every week (auf Deutsch mit englischen Subtitles) as Inspector Rex.

Rex on the streets of Vienna

Now wouldn't it be good if one of us kitties had our own detective show? It would be really cool, checking out clues and helping the police solve crimes. I think this show should be set in Paris helping the Gendarmes (although the poodles would be annoying - especially on the Metro), or San Francisco with the SFPD (as long as we don't bump into that guy from Monk!).


I spent most of the morning on a dining room chair catching some sun rays as the weather had got cooler (especially at night) and listening to ABC Classic FM.

I wish to add that I am really proud to be friends with the cats who have been chosen as diary picks - Winnifred, Gracie and Cooper. What is really cool is that they write about interesting things.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

tea, coffee or catnip?

I still haven't had my dead catnip plant replaced, so it will now have to wait until spring before they are available from the garden shops.

Meanwhile, my human can indulge in catnip equivalent beverages like beer, wine, gin and vodka. Not fair!

Other beverages that my human drinks have a slightly different effect compared to the catnip-like ones.

The first is tea, of which there is a lot in the house. You can read all about tea from the Tea Council. Most of the tea in the house are green and oolong leaves.

Lately, my human has also been drinking ground arabica coffee (grown in the highlands of Papua New Guinea). You can read all about coffee from Just About Coffee.


Today was just an average day. I am back on the chicken wing - but I did have some ham this morning. It has been quite cool, so I have been demanding the lap. I went to bed early last night to keep my human warm, so he must not be feeling well.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


The word copycat (also rendered as copy-cat or copy cat) is used to refer to someone who duplicates or copies the actions of another.

It is most often used in association with criminal activity, as in copycat crime (for example, copycat arsonist) where a particular notorious crime inspires another to repeat the modus operandi.

In other words, plagiarism of criminality!

Some think that the word copycat came from the observation of kittens imitating their mother, like learning to use the litter tray for example.

Personally, I don't think us cats should be tarnished with such a negative word. Dogs learn by copying. They even do as they are told by humans! Sit! Come! Beg! We have our own minds.

They should think about using the word copydog when talking about plagiarising criminals!


The long weekend was too good to be true! This morning I was feeling very playful and tried to get my human to chase after me, but instead he made me sit on the couch before he went to work. I miss Fatty very much. We used to play chasey all the time in the mornings. I did get some ham this morning though.

As our clocks went back on Sunday, it was almost dark by the time my human got home (compared to last week). At least he gave me steak for dinner. I must have been a real good cat!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Allergy will no longer be an excuse for avoiding me!

According to science, I and my fellow felines produce a protein, Fel d1 which is an allergen. This induces symptoms of asthma and allergic rhinitus (sniffles) in certain people. This does not stop all of these people from loving us (my human included).

According to a report just released, there may be a new treatment coming soon to treat this allergy.

You can read an abstract of this work from UCLA in the April online edition of Nature Medicine called A chimeric human-cat fusion protein blocks cat-induced allergy.

If that explanation is too scientific, then Medical News Today has published a media release from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases called Novel therapy tested in mice could chase away cat allergies.

Basically what happens is that when a person is allergic to something (like to us cats, or more specifically, to a protein Fel d1 that we produce), their immune response is to produce histamines which brings on allergy symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing, itching, watery eyes and sometimes asthma.

What these great scientists did was to join up Fel d1 with a human antibody called IgG Fcƒ×1. Together, the new combined protein (called a chimera) prevents the immune system from responding to the allergen. And voila, no more sneezing, wheezing, itching etc.

Once a 'vaccination' is available, even more people can open up their homes, lives and hearts to us cats as their bosses, err I mean companions.


My human stayed home again! What is going on? Seriously, he told me that Easter Monday is a public holiday in many countries except for the United States. We had a good day together, and he gave me a big brush.

Neil and Emily came over for a quick visit in the afternoon. They told me that they are going to live in Manila in the Philippines for a year for work. I will miss them. A whole year is a long time to us cats.

Sunday, March 27, 2005


I couldn't think of any interesting topic to write about today. So I won't.


My human has been home with me three days in a row! Surely he needs to go to work to earn money for my food?

I was fed late in the morning. Something about the clocks going back an hour.

Today, Merlin's humans Kim, Jordan and Liam came by today. They didn't stay for long. After they left I was watching football (AFL, Sydney versus Hawthorn) with my human and we both fell asleep (me on his lap).

In the evening, Jim and Lesley came for dinner. They sat on the couch at first and I jumped up on Jim's lap and rubbed my head on him, and he seemed to like that. They then had dinner which was slow cooked lamb shanks in tomato with garlic, rosemary, bay leaves and anchovies (7 hours in the oven). You can find the recipe in one of my earlier diary entries. They ate that with bread, and broccoli and green beans. Lesley brought over a delicious orange flourless cake (so I am told, I wasn't allowed to taste that either). In fact, I did not get any lamb this time!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Fantastic (four!)

My human and I have a penchant for film adaptations of popular super hero comics.

In the Marvel versus DC stakes, Marvel is well and truly ahead.
In the Marvel stable: Spiderman, X-Men, Fantastic Four...
In the DC stable: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash...

The movie Superman Returns is currently being filmed in Australia (around Tamworth, a country town in New South Wales). Batman Begins will be released sometime this year.

An adaptation of Fantastic Four will also be released this year. This is something to look foward to, if Spiderman and X-Men are an indication. Fans of Horatio Hornblower will be pleased to know that Ioan Gruffudd plays Mr Fantastic (the smart stretchy guy) in Fantastic Four.

Another Hornblower actor, Jamie Bamber (who played Archie Kennedy) has now resurfaced as Apollo in the remake of Battlestar Galactica.


Today was a another really good day. It began with lamb in the morning and then my human stayed with me all day (except when he walked to the shops in the morning). I was on his lap on the couch for most of the day, except when he fell asleep and then I napped with my head buried under his armpit. Thankfully it was not a hot and sweaty day.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Ελλάς and excellent Friday

Ελλάς is the name of Greece in Greek script, pronounced as Ellás.

Today was a multiple anniversary for Greece - 25 March.
In 1821, Greece declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire.
In 1924, Greece became a republic for the second time (but not for long).

After its independence from the Ottoman Empire, Greece became a republic in 1828.

In 1833, a monarchy was introduced, as the 'independent' Greece was under the 'protection' of the United Kingdom, France and Russia. So Otto of the Wittelsbach family, Prince of Bavaria became its King. Apparently, Otto was a direct decendant of the Greek imperial dynasties of Comnenos and Laskaris.

Otto was 'deposed' and in 1863 George of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg family (related to the modern Danish royal family) was 'elected' as King, George I of Greece.

There were five kings until 1924, when the second republic came into being, with a bunch of presidents. Then the king was restored to the throne in 1935.

The last king, King Constantine II ascended the throne in 1964. During his reign, much of Greek rule was under a dictatorship following a military coup in 1967 with the king in exile.

In 1973, the military regime 'abolished' the monarchy and declared a republic. In 1974, the new democratic regime under Constantine Karamanlis held a second democratic referendum, which confirmed the monarchy's abolition, with the monarchy receiving only one third of all votes cast.

To this day, the Greek royal family retain their titles living in exile, hoping for the day that the monarchy is restored yet again.

I say to the Greek royal family, just give up the titles as you have no country to go with them. Dream on!

The word democracy comes from the Greek word δημοκρατíα "rule by the people". And they are doing just fine without an outdated irrelevant system of hereditary head of state.

I would certainly not be calling anyone from that family 'your royal highness' etc.


Today was a really good day, and even more so as it was Friday (not just a 'Good' Friday, but an excellent Friday), and my human stayed home with me all day. I sat on his lap while he watched a very scarey movie, Final Destination 2 which is more of a "splatter" movie if you know what I mean.

Merlin's human Kim, and Nell came over for dinner. They had slow cooked lamb with sebago and sweet potato mash with blanched beans. Nell also brought over a very nice chocolate cake (so I am told - I am not allowed to eat chocolate as it is toxic to cats).

Even though I had my usual chicken wings, I managed to beg some lamb for dinner as well.

I got to sit on Nell's lap for quite some time which was way cool!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Football - round 1, my team WINS!

You would think that all cats would support a football or any sporting team called Cats. Yes, of the feline variety!

But no, I am not allowed to be a supporter of Geelong Football Club (Geelong Cats). Thankfully my human friends in Melbourne, Elizabeth and Fritz who have visited me a few times, are Cats supporters. Meow!

Instead, I assist my human to support his team, the Brisbane Lions Australian Football Club. You'd think he was the boss around here wouldn't you?

Brisbane played St Kilda tonight and defeated them. Off to a good start. These are the stats.
BRISBANE LIONS: 4.1, 10.5, 14.5, 18.8 (116)
ST KILDA: 2.4, 6.6, 12.11, 13.15 (93)
GOALS – Brisbane Lions: Brennan 4, Bradshaw 2, Keating 2, Akermanis 2, McGrath 2, Pike 2, Copeland, Voss, Lappin, Adcock
St Kilda: Riewoldt 3, Milne 3, Hamill 2, Harvey 2, Fiora, Ball, Thompson
BEST – Brisbane Lions: Johnson, Voss, Power, Leppitsch, Macdonald, Brennan
St Kilda:Dal Santo, Hamill, Ackland, Ball, Thompson, Harvey
INJURIES – Brisbane Lions: Johnson (thigh/two teeth out), Brennan (leg), Lappin (ankle) St Kilda: Riewoldt (shoulder)
CHANGES – St Kilda: Peckett replaced in selected side by Fisher
UMPIRES - McBurney, McLaren, Ryan
CROWD - 33,369 at the Gabba

Brisbane Lions came into being in 1996 after the Brisbane Bears (which began in 1987) merged with the Fitzroy Lions (a Melbourne team since 1883). Naturally as Brisbane is the birth town of my human, he has supported them since 1987 (like he has a choice).

Prior to the Brisbane team's existence, my human supported another great Melbourne team called the Essendon Football Club (the Bombers). He still does.

When Brisbane plays against Essendon, my human goes out of his mind!

To my American readers, I should explain that Australian rules football is a unique game which is almost a variation of Gaelic football. The game is too difficult to explain in 20 words or less and I will not even attempt it (after all I am a little cat). You can find out more from the Australian Football League official site.

You can find teams in the US in cities like San Diego, Atlanta, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Austin, Boston, Denver, New York etc. Indeed, the game is gaining popularity in the USA. You can find out more from the United States Australian Rules Football League.

There is a new photo of me above with my Lions scarf, team football and a mini Sherrin. These are usually made with pigskin, but mine is plastic.

Even though I am not allowed to support the Cats, the Lions are just bigger cats in any case, wouldn't you agree?


I tried to get my human to stay home today by hopping straight back to bed after I finished breakfast. But he left me anyway.

When he came home from work and fed me dinner, he disappeared again. A few hours later he came back with Jake's humans - Amanda, Craig and Dane. Jake is a ten year old ginger (who does not have a page on Catster yet). I was fussed by them (so nice) and showed them what I could do with a ping pong ball.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

James Bond's Pussy

Pussy Galore is not a pussy cat, even though the name sounds like one.

Pussy Galore (played by Honor Blackman) was a character in a James Bond film, Goldfinger from 1964 (after the book by Ian Fleming).

Pussy worked for the villain, Goldfinger who kidnapped James Bond. Of course she turns good and ends up being a "Bond girl".

Of course, sometime during the film, James Bond says "A martini...shaken, not stirred". Of course all good martini connoisseurs know that you should never shake a martini!

James Bond never had a cat. Only the villains did - such as the "bald man with the white cat" in For Your Eyes Only - 1981, and the other "bald man with the white cat" - the head of SPECTRE in You Only Live Twice - 1967, Thunderball - 1965, and From Russia With Love - 1963.

Thankfully in later Bond films, there is no association between cats and villains.


It was cooler again. I think the weather is changing and summer is well and truly over. The leaves are also starting to change colour.

Oh dear, I missed Bach's birthday on 21st March. I would have had lots to say. But Eurovision is fun too!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A piece of my mind...

This kitty cannot hold her tongue any longer. Here goes...

1. Queen Camilla
Who cares? What does it have to do with anything? These people in Britain will insist on keeping an outmoded system for head of state based on birthright and not merit. What do they expect? Quit complaining or dump the monarchy!

2. Terri Schiavo
To live and suffer, or to die and no longer suffer. From a cat's perspective, humans' four legged companions are euthanised to end pain if treatment fails. This is called being humane. Okay, if you were vegetative, what would you choose? Is it your choice to make, or does that belong to the state/government? If the US government considers life to be important and sanctified, what does this make capital punishment?

3. Another shooting rampage
Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Yeah right. Guns are for protection. Yeah sure. Why have a police force?

Ooh, for a cat, I think I am getting very political. Is this a good or bad thing?


It rained again today. I had some rare cooked lamb for dinner (it must be Tuesday, red meat day!). My human bought me a plush pile bath mat which is now on my bench in the study (which I lie on after I have used the computer). You can see a picture of me lying on it above - of course I had to ask my human to take the picture. And another picture of me in my basket.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Two months to go

There are now only two months to go before the final of the Eurovision Song Contest on 21 May 2005, at 2100 hours, Central European Time.

The Eurovision Song Contest is a very famous song competition which is broadcast throughout Europe and luckily for us, also in Australia (but sadly not the USA). The first Eurovision was held in 1956. The one this year will be the 50th.

This year, the Eurovision will be held at the Sports Palace (Palats Sportu) in Kiev, in the Ukraine.

The fun part is not the entries from each country (though that is often entertaining), but in the tallying of votes in both English and French.

"Hallo Kiev, here are the results from the tele-voting by Cyprus. United Kingdom, one point, Royaume-Uni, un point pwarnt... Greece, twelve points, La Grèce, douze points pwarnt".

And so on until the winner is announced, and it goes on for hours.

Eurovision Song Contest official site

It is a lot more fun than Pop Idol (the UK original), American Idol, Australian Idol etc.

And Eurovision was how ABBA came to the attention of the world when they won in 1974 with Waterloo.


It rained today. I was also given a long brush.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

My favourite instruments

I have already written a lot about some of my favourite music.

I thought I might write about some of my favourite instruments.

I love the strings, and my favourite of these is the cello. The best example of music written for the cello are Bach's Cello Suites (BWV1007 to BWV1012). One of the best recordings is from Pablo Casals. It makes me purr like mad!

I also love the French horn. This is played together with oboes, bassoons, trumpets, and strings in XI Alla Hornpipe of Handel's Water Music. This is one of the most famous movements of that piece. You can listen to it here.

I also love listening to the human voice sing (especially soprano). It is much more pleasant than listening to a cat on heat (except to a tom of course)!

I am so glad my human has the same taste in music as I do... although sometimes he forces me to listen to all sorts of strange rock music.


Once again, I helped my human to do just about nothing today. I practically stopped him doing anything by insisting I sit on his lap all the time. I followed him around everywhere! I eventually fell asleep and he went outside to do some autumn pruning. Who rules the house? I do!

Friday, March 18, 2005

to set the cat amongst the pigeons

Some people say that (what they do, or what someone else does) will set (or put) a cat amongst the pigeons.

What they mean is that it will create a disturbance.

The expression was originally about a cat in a dovecote when pigeons used to be raised for food (delicious!).

Sometimes the expression is now used instead of putting a spanner in the works.

I think visiting a house full of pigeons would be a lot of fun, if they don't shit on you first.


Today was cooler again. Last night I was cold and I went under the covers for about five minutes for a cuddle, and then I was too warm so I hopped out. Today was another boring day, but tomorrow is Saturday!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh! is Gaelic for St Patrick's Day blessing to you.

Pionta Guinness, le do thoil.

You can read all about St Patrick here.

Green is also one of my favourite colours. Unlike dogs, we cats can see in colour. We also like patterns (as mentioned in earlier blog entries - I have my favourite human painters like Monet and Renoir).


Today was also cooler. Thankfully I am back on to chicken wings, a cat can eat vegetables for only a short time!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Hundred Years War

My human was telling me about the Hundred Years War which happened from 1337 to 1453. This was the time when Joan of Arc, in 1429, was asked by God to help the French drive out the English from Orléans. It was also during this time that the papacy had moved from Rome to Avignon.

It was probably not a nice time or place to be a cat.

In relation to my second blog entry yesterday, I hope my readers recognised that the spam email I received was a scam. Here is some advice - US Secret Service information on Nigerian 419 (and related) scams.


Today was a bit cooler and there was some drizzly rain. I had chicken and vegetable (potato, carrot, cabbage and corn) soup for dinner.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


I am doing something very unusual which is to write TWO blog entries in one day (scroll down for my earlier diary entry today) . I received some spam in my email, and I thought I would share with you my proposed response (not that I would bother replying to the email).

Dear Mr Paul Komoni

Thank you for your email offering me 25 percent of USD 26 million. I cannot meet you face to face. I am a cat - I do not travel with a passport, but in cargo!

I am appalled by your greed. It is people like you that keep the people of Africa in perpetual poverty, if indeed this money exists.

Your fellow Africans are dying of malnutrition and AIDS. The sort of greed which you are exhibiting is one of the reasons why many African countries will never get out of the basket case economies that they are in. Corruption, nepotism and incompetence are problems which need to be addressed.

If indeed you do have USD 26 million, I suggest you find some way to put it towards programs that will help your people, and not yourself.

Because Mr. Ben Andreas died without a will (intestate), according to the laws in most countries, this money will be claimed by the government. I am sure the government of the Republic of South Africa can spend this money on health and education programs.

Your sincerely

Keiser Cat
(I am a genuine cat - Felis catus. I do not have a bank account. My human caters to my needs)


Subject: Confidential Transaction!!
Date: Mon, Mar 14 2005 7:43:31 PM -0800




In my quest for a reliable and trusted partner for a highly important and lucrative venture cum investment, I came across your contact as a reliable partner for this venture.

I am Mr. PAUL KOMONI, one of the senior Accountants of AMALGAMATED BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA (ABSA). To highlight you on this proposal, there is an account opened in this bank since 1980 till 1990 after which, nobody has operated on this account again till date. After going through some old files in the records, I discovered that if I do not remit this money out urgently it would be forfeited for nothing. The owner of this account is Mr. Ben Andreas, a foreigner, and a miner at Kruger gold co., a geologist by profession who died since 1990. No other person knows about this and my investigation further proved to me that his company does not know anything about this account and the amount involved as he made it his personal account. The money outstanding before his death was (USD 26 Million) Twenty Six Million United States Dollars.

I am now contacting you as a foreigner because this money cannot be approved to a national with a local bank account here. But can only be approved to any foreign account because the money is in US dollars and the former owner, a foreigner. I implore you to act as foreigner and beneficiary to the fund as I will then intimate you on the processes abound as well as procure all the necessary documents required to lay claim to the money.

If you are capable and willing to handle such amount in strict confidence and trust according to my instructions and advice for our mutual benefit I shall highly appreciate. I need trusted person in this business because I do not want to make mistakes; I need your strong assurance and trust. With my position now in the office I can effect transfer of this money to any foreigner's reliable account, which you can provide with assurance that this money will be intact pending my arrival in your country for disbursement. On the alternative, you can come down here to South frica for us to meet one to one.

Send me your private telephone and fax numbers upon receipt of this proposal, if you genuinely want to assist and be a co-partner. I will also wants us to meet face to face, to enable us sign a binding agreement.As soon as you receive this money into a foreign account or any account of your choice where the fund will be safe. I will proceed to your country for onward percentage distributions and investment. I need your full co-operation to make this work because the management is ready to approve this payment to any foreigner, who has correct information of this account, which I will give to you later immediately.I will use my position and influence to effect legal approvals and onward transfer of this money to your account with appropriate clearance forms of the ministries and foreign exchange departments. At the conclusion of this business, for your assistance, 25% of the total amount will be accrue for you, 70% for me, while 5% will be for expenses both parties might have incurred during the process of the transfer.

I implore you to maintain the absolute confidentiality of this transaction.You can contact me with and phone number +27735972422.

Your earliest response is urgently awaited.

Truely Yours,

sabre rattling - don't say what you mean or mean what you say.

I'm not one to follow the middle east conflict (which goes round and round with no resolution in sight), but the cross-straits tension between the People's Republic of China and Taiwan is amazingly fascinating, as I have been discussing with my human.

China has passed an anti-secession law to enable the use of force if Taiwan declares independence.
Article 8 - In the event that the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces should act under any name or by any means to cause the fact of Taiwan's secession from China, or that major incidents entailing Taiwan's secession from China should occur, or that possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted, the state shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Now, Taiwan's reaction in some quarters (The Taipei Times) include suggestions of:
First, launch an "anti- `anti-secession'" movement. All political parties should join the demonstration scheduled for March 26, to tell the world that Taiwan's sovereignty belongs to the 23 million people living here.

Second, initiate greater contact with the international media to promote Taiwan's position and clarify that its sovereignty does not belong to China.

Third, enact an "anti-annexation" law. The legislature should show the international community that Taiwan and China are two separate political entities.

Fourth, hold a "preventive referendum" establishing the broad support of the Taiwanese people for self-determination. The people must demonstrate that they resist any non-peaceful means of unification.

Fifth, reform the Constitution to distinguish it from China's. In so engaging in this propaganda and diplomatic war that has been forced upon it, Taiwan will then be able to keep from being entrapped in the mire of "one China" rhetoric.

Hmmm. Taiwan claiming to be a separate sovereign nation. I wonder if that is tantamount to declaring de facto independence.

In the high stakes game of global diplomacy, what you say and what you mean can be two totally different things.

Until recently, this too went round and round with no resolution in sight. It looks like China has finally placed another card on the table.

Keiser Cat (world diplomat)


Today was another really warm day. Hey, I said that yesterday.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Alas, the poor Swiss!

First it was Swissair going bankrupt in 2001. My human told me they were a fantastic airline - very efficient, very smart, very clean, very Swiss. Swissair was Europe's seventh biggest airline before collapsing.

Now Swiss International, which was created in a 2.7 billion franc public-private bailout after grafting the remains of Swissair onto regional carrier Crossair is also in trouble.

They are about to undergo a takeover by Germany's Lufthansa. Thankfully, they will not be absorbed and will continue to fly as Swiss and still hub at Zurich.

Announcement by Swiss International.

Now why couldn't somebody have saved Ansett, which was one of Australia's great airlines?

Now why is a cat interested in all this? Why not? Indeed.


Today was another really warm day. Hot weather makes me sleepy.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Dr Who (who?)

If there is anything worse than a Trekkie (a Star Trek follower. Fan is too mild a word for these people), it is a Dr Who one!

Well it seems that the BBC in the UK has finally resurrected the series. It originally aired in the UK in 1963 (that's right folks three years before Star Trek) and ran until 1989, except for a one time movie in 1996 to test the American audience/market.

TARDIS, daleks, K-9, sonic screw driver, UNIT, Cybermen... it is the fixation of two generations of viewers in the UK and Australia.

The new series begins in the UK on 26th of March 2005.

There is no word about screenings in Australia, but I will have to monitor my human's behaviour very carefully if it does. In the meantime, he will have to get his fix of the re-runs of the old series on our public broadcaster, the ABC.

Official site Dr Who.


Today was a really warm day. I had hoped for a day of cuddling, but napped on the deck for most of the day instead. My human seemed to be up and about doing chores like vacuuming etc. I did go outside for a few minutes while he hung out washing. I did get lamb for dinner which was nice. I will go now and ask him to brush my fur.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

rat busters!

Some people go on and on about how useful dogs are, blah blah blah.

Some dogs work on sheep farms rounding up sheep (except for a little pig called Babe - but that was fictitious of course, pigs can't talk!).

More vicious ones work with police, or as guard dogs. Then there are those who use their noses to smell certain things like drugs or vegetables etc.

And of course, the guide dogs who are on duty when their harness is on, who are very smart and can show their human when to cross the road.

But hardly anybody talks about the great jobs that we cats do. Aside from the most obvious that was written up today in The Guardian, we cats do a lot of useful things.

We are a repository of ideas for intellectuals (except for post-modernist drivel of course), counsel to diplomats and world leaders, and a source of inspiration to poets and writers.

Oh, and once upon a time in Egypt we were gods.


Ah, the weekend. I have been helping my human watch his taped during the week tv viewing. He is a sucker for that silly show called LAX which "explores the behind-the-scenes dramas and conflicts of both travelers and staff transpiring daily at the bustling Los Angeles International Airport". He thinks Heather Locklear is a good actress, better than when she was in Melrose Place.

He told me that aside from LAX, he has also 'transpired' through SFO, IAD, SEA, BYG, ORD, LHR, LTN, FRA, VIE, ZRH, GVA, PRG, CPH, LIS, TUN, CAS (CMN), KUL, PEN, JKT, BKK, CNX, HKT, SIN, HKG, SHA, ADL, BNE, CBR, DRW, MEL, PER, SYD, HBA, CNS, ASP, GOV, TSV and POM. I'm sure that ORD, JKT, ASP, GOV and TSV don't count as he didn't actually exit the airport itself.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

experimental and cutting edge music

Kraftwerk is an unreal band from Germany which has been around for years. They use electronic music to create some really unique sounds. You can read more about them at VH1 blurb on Kraftwerk and Kraftwerk official site.

You may have also heard of B(if)tek. They are an Australian band. My human tells me that they have taken a break (he sort of knows one half of the band).


Today was another quite dull day. I am anticipating the upcoming weekend with much anticipation.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Cat madness in Martin Place, Sydney

Today in Sydney, Martin Place was turned into a giant cat playground including the world's largest bowl of cat food. An award was also presented to Australia's bravest cat.

The event was to raise awareness of the Animal Welfare League, particular after the recent reports of cat cruelty around Australia.

Watch video (2 minutes 13 seconds) from the Sydney Morning Herald website.

It would have been a lot of fun for cats and their humans. The playground would have been fun, but I don't know if I would have liked the crowd or the biscuits (I don't like cat biscuits).


I napped all day listening to ABC Classic FM on the radio, and really enjoyed the Flower Duet from Lakmé by Delibes just before midday. It is one of the finest duets ever written for opera and one of my favourites.

Most of this evening has been on my human's lap.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A remarkable lady

While my human has been reading Voltaire's Zadig out loud to me at night, this morning he also started reading the biography of an amazing woman, Lady Carol Kidu. By the way, today is also International Women's Day.

Lady Carol Kidu, A Remarkable Journey (Longman an imprint of Pearson Education, Melbourne 2002. ISBN 0733932274)

You can read also read about Lady Carol Kidu from the transcript of a recent episode of
Australian Story on 13 September 2004.

You can also hear the recording of a radio interview with Lady Carol on ABC Radio Queensland on 4 February 2005.


After I finished last night's diary entry on Catster, I was brushed for a little while. This morning I also had some ham in the morning. For dinner tonight I had lamb leg pieces.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Bloody Sunday - 40 years ago

Forty years ago a protest march from Selma to Montgomery, the state capital of Alabama, was planned to highlight the discrimination in that state against black people (African Americans) from registering to vote - violation of voting laws by the state.

The demonstrators/marchers were assaulted by local state police.

Dr Martin Luther King then filed a federal lawsuit for the right to march on to Montgomery. On 21 March, demonstrators began the third and final march under the protection of federal troops. Dr King and his supporters arrived a week later and held a rally attended by thousands.

Finally President Lyndon B Johnson signed a new Voting Rights Act in August 1965 that banned discrimination in voting practices and procedures on the grounds of race or colour.

You can read more about it here from:
USA Today
BBC on this day
US Library of Congress

But it seemed that even recently, in November 2000, some people in the state of Florida forgot about civil rights. Hard won civil rights.

Some 90.2 percent (who were African American voters) on a list of 57,700 names were deleted from the voter rolls because their names were similar to names of felons (who lose their right to vote in Florida).

The name of the 'felon' was counted multiple times (hence all the extra names). They were also all black. The deleted list had that person's race next to their name.

Why was/is there a need to list someone's race or skin colour?

This is an outrage. My feline friends in Florida should ask their humans to march against this civil rights violation.

Cats do not discriminate against people whatsoever (we even tolerate disgusting food and bad taste in music). Humans should also not discriminate against each other.


Today was quieter after all the excitment of the weekend. The weather is starting to change for the better (in cooler weather, I get more cuddles).

My human has also started reading Voltaire's Zadig out loud to me. Here are the first two paragraphs:

Du temps du roi Moabdar il y avait à Babylone un jeune homme nommé Zadig, né avec un beau naturel fortifié par l'éducation. Quoique riche et jeune, il savait modérer ses passions; il n'affectait rien; il ne voulait point toujours avoir raison, et savait respecter la faiblesse des hommes. On était étonné de voir qu'avec beaucoup d'esprit il n'insultât jamais par des railleries à ces propos si vagues, si rompus, si tumultueux, à ces médisances téméraires, à ces décisions ignorantes, à ces turlupinades grossières, à ce vain bruit de paroles, qu'on appelait conversation dans Babylone.

Ha ha ha ha ha... he is actually reading it to me in English, not French! But I translate it back to French in my head.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Where is the cat/kat in KitKat?

The KitKat was first made by Britain's Rowntree confectionery company back in 1935, and was called the Chocolate Crisp until 1937, when it became KitKat. It is thought to be named after a bar or club from the 1920s*.

KitKat is now made by Nestle around the world and by Hershey in the USA.

Sales have been soaring in Japan as the name sounds like "kitto katsu" meaning "I hope you will win" which is an expression of luck used between students before exams. See BBC News report.

*According to Nestle, "No one can be absolutely sure where the name KitKat came from but it is believed to be from the famous 1920's KitKat Club in South East London which had some influence. As the building had very low ceilings, it could only accommodate paintings which were wide and not very high. In the art world, these paintings were known as 'kats'. It's believed that KitKat derived its name from paintings, which had to be snapped off to fit into the rooms with the low ceilings." See KitKat.

So this yummy chocolate bar has nothing to do with kitty cats. Drats, I could have been the model for the wrapper! By the way, chocolate is toxic to cats.


Elizabeth and Fritz from Melbourne left at 11.45am# today. It was a whirlwind visit. I was left alone last night from 6.30pm# til nearly midnight so they did not even stay for dinner. Where could they have gone? I heard mutterings of a birthday party.

Anyway, I sat outside with them this morning before they left. It was still exciting to have visitors for the weekend.

The weather has been more pleasant. I have been a lot more skittish which my human seems to like to see as he thinks I am a geriatric cat! We've played the ping pong ball a few times now. It was also cooler last night, I even snuggled under the covers for a few minutes.

#Do cats care about measured time? Of course we do. I know I should be served breakfast at 7am and dinner at 6pm. And the rest of the time is nap time.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Music abuse!

After such aural pleasures yesterday, my senses have been assaulted. Today my human forced me to listen to Linkin Park. Can you believe it?

Linkin Park - Live in Texas CD/DVD cover

He told me I should not be so snobby about music, and that each genre/style has its merits (except of course, country and western which is repetitive and formulaic).

He said Numb and In the End are actually quite good songs.

Well, I guess people said that about ABBA in the seventies, and experts today agree that much of their music is quite complex and sophisticatedly written.

Thankfully after Elizabeth and Fritz arrived (see below), he put on some Bollywood (refer earlier entry), and Renee Fleming.


More visitors today! Elizabeth and Fritz from Melbourne arrived at 3pm today (they don't have any cats living with them). I was asleep in the night bed (where my human sleeps) and came out to the living room to see what all the ruckus was about. They have claimed my day bed (not that I have been sleeping on it lately as I have tended to nap on the couch listening to the radio during the day, but it is still my bed. In fact all the furniture is mine!).

Friday, March 04, 2005

My favourite arias

Today I was listening to ABC Classic FM. Today's program can be found here.

Between 10.05am and 11.05am, one of my most favourite arias was on. This is Vissi d'arte from Puccini's opera Tosca.

Tosca sings this in Act II after Scarpia (a villain) tells Tosca that he will not have her lover Mario shot by firing squad if she agrees to sleep with him instead. Such a dilemma. Tosca pleads with God, Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore (I have lived for art and love).

It made me think of some of my other most favourite arias. Aria is Italian for air, meaning a melody or tune for solo voice, usually extended with a stanzaic structure and with an instrumental accompaniment. They are used as part of a larger work, like an opera.

Anyway, here are some of my other favourites.

Un bel di vedremo from Madama Butterfly (Puccini)
O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi (Puccini)
Che gelida manima from La Bohème (Puccini)
Ebben? Ne andro lontana from La Wally (Catalani)
Der Holle Rache from Die Zauberflöte (Mozart)
Sempre libera from La Traviata (Verdi)

Of course there are many many others. I have not listed Nessun dorma from Turandot (Puccini) as it is way over-rated. It is even on pop CDs these days.

La Bohème was also very much Fatty's favourite.


Jimmy and Lily's humans came over for dinner tonight. My human and Brian had thick sirloin steak, while Jacki had slow cooked salmon cutlet. They ate that with mashed potato and sweet potato, and blanched green beans and broccoli. They also had a strudel with custard for dessert.

I could smell the steak cooking, but did not get any! I did have the skin of the salmon - delicious. I was upset I didn't get any steak so I sat with my back to them most of the night. No steak = no cuddles.

I must admit that I did get cold leftover baked kingfish for breakfast! Maybe there will be more for breakfast tomorrow, perhaps even salmon!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Mama Cass

No, I did not mean to write Mama Cats, but 'Mama' Cass Elliot.

My human loves Mama Cass and we listen to her music a lot. Mama Cass was born Ellen Naomi Cohen on 19 September 1941 in Baltimore, Maryland (where they make excellent crab cakes according to my human, and where he went to an Orioles baseball game about 5-6 years ago).

Mama Cass sang with The Mamas and the Papas. The great vocals of California Dreamin and Monday Monday were by Mama Cass. She also had great solo hits like Dream a Little Dream, Make Your Own Kind of Music, and Welcome to the World.

She died on 29 July 1974 in London, and according to rumours, caused by choking on a ham sandwich. Mama Cass was a big lady which might have made some people believe the rumours. She did not choke on a sandwich but actually died of massive heart failure due to obesity and crash dieting.

Mama Cass' daughter, Owen Vanessa Elliot has set up an official webpage dedicated to her mother.

An amazing lady.


Today was another warm day. I can't wait for the weekend. I am going to get cuddled now while my human watches Lost on tv.

Okay, I'm back. I also played ping pong ball with my human, so I am not so slow and old after all...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


François-Marie Arouet, otherwise known as Voltaire lived mostly during pre-revolutionary France (21 November 1694- 30 May 1778).

He wrote some pretty amazing stuff. My human loves his book called Zadig written in 1747 which he tells me is very clever.

Hmmm... I am still waiting for him to finish reading out loud to me, Homer's Iliad. I may request Zadig next. Come to think of it, he forgot to read out loud to me the third book in the Jasper Fforde 'Thursday Next' series, The Well of Lost Plots. But I digress.

You can read more about Voltaire in Wikipedia.

There is also a brilliant article on Voltaire in the current edition of The New Yorker called Voltaire's Garden by Adam Gopnik.

is also the name of one of my feline friends in Texas.


Today was warm. I seem to be getting more sedentary in my old age. Maybe it is the hot weather. Back to chicken wings. I knew the veal was too good to last.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

15 today!

I turned 15 today. According to vetinerary records anyway, as nobody remembers the exact date that I came into the world.

I had half a slice of round ham in the morning which was so delicious. For dinner I had slices of poached veal cooked medium rare (poaching was a quicker way of cooking it, and kept it moist). That was a real special treat although I was expecting cooked chicken which is another one of my favourites.

I also had a long brush.

Thank you for my birthday wishes from my feline friends!

I'm going to have another nap on the floor now.