Saturday, April 30, 2005

Louisiana purchase 1803

One of the most significant events in United States history was the Louisiana purchase of 1803 which was signed on 30 April by Robert Livingston, James Monroe, and Barbé Marbois at Paris.

It resulted in the almost doubling of land area of the United States at that time.

What would North America look like today if this did not happen? Would French America have defeated the British in the north (with a divided Canada)? Would Spain still have held on to its territory in the west coast of America?

Would Americans now be speaking French instead, and eating baguettes and croissants instead of burgers?

Football - round 6 my team wins and they played away from home! Here are the final stats.

ESSENDON: 3.2, 6.6, 11.14, 12.16 (88) defeated by
BRISBANE LIONS: 7.0, 13.3, 19.6, 21.10 (136)
GOALS – Essendon: M.Johnson 3, Lloyd 2, Lovett 2, Solomon, J.Johnson, Lucas, Murphy, McPhee Brisbane: Brown 8, C.Scott 3, Power 2, Akermanis 2, Sherman 2, Voss, Notting, McLaren, Keating
BEST – Essendon: Peverill, M.Johnson, Lovett, Laycock
Brisbane: Brown, Power, Lappin, Michael, Leppitsch, Black, Johnson
INJURIES – Essendon: Hird (hamstring), Haynes (suspected broken wrist)
Brisbane: Black (quad), Moody (ankle)
CHANGES – Essendon: Bradley (hip) replaced in selected side by Richards
Brisbane: Bradshaw and McGrath replaced in selected side by Spaanderman and Moody
UMPIRES - James, Head, Meredith
CROWD - 44,055 at Telstra Dome

Centre half forward Jonathan Brown played a superb game with eight goals. Match report.


I managed to go outside for a short time this morning when my human hung out some washing. I spent most of the day napping as usual, except when I helped my human watch his taped tv programs like LAX.

Jimmy and Lily's humans, Brian and Jacki came over for dinner. They had roast lamb with mashed potato and sweet potato, and baby brussel sprouts and broccolini (a strain of broccoli with longer stems). They finished with a self saucing chocolate pudding for dessert.

I managed to sit on Brian's lap for some time which was excellent. Hey, I didn't get any of the lamb!! I only had chicken wing for dinner.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Battle of Orléans 1428

The Battle of Orléans in 1428 (29 April) was a significant victory for the French led by Joan of Arc. This was one of many campaigns during the One Hundred Years War (1337 to 1453).

Much of the reason for this war, and for the tensions between the French and the English for centuries following was to do with English claims to the French throne.

You can read more about it in Wikipedia.

In fact, this history goes way before that back to 1066 when William, Duke of Normandy (now a part of modern France) invaded England.


My human came home late so my dinner was two hours late. I forgave him quickly as he brought back Declan and Nell who stayed for over an hour and I enjoyed sitting on Declan's lap and playing with his collar and zipper with my head.

It seems they went out to dinner in town and had Eritrean cuisine. Eritrea only recently gained independence from Ethiopia (in Africa). The humans said the food was interesting and different.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Mr Bigglesworth the cat

Mr Bigglesworth is a hairless sphynx who is Dr Evil's "pet".

You can see Mr Bigglesworth in the Austin Powers movies; International Man of Mystery, The Spy Who Shagged Me, and Goldmember.

Mr Bigglesworth is Dr Evil's most trusted confidant and chief consultant in all matters 'evil.' When Dr Evil gets angry, Mr Bigglesworth gets upset, and when Mr Bigglesworth gets upset, people die!

Yeah, baby!

Mr Bigglesworth in Austin Powers movies.


Jess is a Cocker Spaniel dog who lives next door. She now has a friend, another Cocker Spaniel living with her in the backyard. Her mistress is hardly home and I think adopted the other dog to keep Jess company. Bad idea. They both bark all day and night. The neighbours have been complaining. Even the back neighbours who have two Great Dane dogs Barney and Sophie, are not happy. This morning my human talked to the neighbour across the road who have a brown dog called Dusty, and they are also unhappy.

It seems quiet tonight. Somebody must have talked to Jess' human and mentioned the problem to her.

I got my chicken wings back for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Big metal birds that fly - part 2

As I foreshadowed about a week ago in my diary, the Airbus A380 aircraft has just taken its first test flight in Toulouse, France. See Reuters.


Today was another usual day. I napped on the couch all day listening to the radio, ABC Classic FM. I had to have tinned tuna for dinner tonight as my regular organic butcher didn't get their supply of chicken in today. I will just have to wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

wow, pictures from outer space...

There is nothing more intriguing to a cat than trying to fathom the concept of interstellar and intergalactic space.

NASA has released some photos to commemorate 15 years of the Hubble space telescope (which will be decommissioned very soon).

You can see the pictures here.

I think pictures of formations in space are fascinating. One of my personal favourites is the Horsehead Nebula in Orion


After all the excitement of the dog visiting yesterday, today was a bit more dull. I spent a little bit of time on my deck catching sunrays.

Tonight I had a very special treat for dinner. Cooked (poached) corn fed chicken thigh fillets. I gobbled it up really quickly. It has been a long time since I have had cooked chicken.


Monday, April 25, 2005

Anzac Day and a visitor

Today, Australia commemorated the 90th anniversary of Anzac Day. 25th April 1915 was the day that Australian and New Zealander troops landed on the Gallipoli peninsular (of the Ottoman Empire, now Turkey) during World War I.

It is a solemn occasion to remember the young men and women who lost their lives in war and conflicts. In Australia, Anzac Day is commemorated more prominently than Remembrance Day (11th November).

You can read more about Anzac Day from the Australian War Memorial website.

Many Australians make the pilgrimage to Gallipoli to pay respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The site of endless rows of white tombstones and reading the inscriptions of the ages of those buried are a stark reminder to people today about the reality (and usually pointlessness) of war.

My humans visited the Florence War Cemetary five years ago and told me it was a humbling experience (the great-uncle of one of my humans is buried there).

My other human who is temporarily in Port Moresby attended dawn service there this morning. There are many Australian soldiers buried in Papua New Guinea as it was a major theatre during World War II (repelling Japanese invaders). The Kokoda Trail campaign was one of extreme hardship.

There was a special Anzac Day football game today. My human's other team won. Essendon Bombers 11.17 (83) defeated Collingwood Magpies 10.9 (69) - sorry about not listing the progressive quarterly scores. It was a close game in the beginning.


Today was a public holiday and my human spent the day with me, although I was on the couch napping for most of the day, except when I went outside to supervise my human taking the laundry (bedsheets and towels) off the washing line.

A really exciting thing happened today. I was looking out the front of the house through the screen door when a silky terrier dog came visiting. My human checked the dog's tag (her name is Chloe) and tried to phone the number. As the address was on the tag too, he was going to take Chloe back to her house. But Chloe's human just happened to walk by, so they were reunited (she was not walking with her lead, tut tut).

I was so displeased. I wanted to see if I could boss around a dog that was smaller than me. She was very friendly (but to my human)!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Interesting people, part 3 (Nelson Mandela)

All cats and their humans will know of Nelson Mandela, so I won't write much here. His prisoner number was 46664, which is now used in association with his Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Ingrid who came to visit me was telling me that she has met Mr Mandela. She is from South Africa. That would be amazing. Mr Mandela is in the same league as Mahatma Gandhi (leaving comparisons of political methodology aside).

Football - Round 5 - my team is thrashed! Here are the stats.

WEST COAST 4.4 13.9 17.14 23.19 (157) defeated
BRISBANE 3.2 6.3 8.10 12.12 (84)
GOALS: West Coast: Q Lynch 4, D Chick 3, A Embley 2, M Gardiner 2, A Hunter 2, A Sampi 2, M Seaby 2, D Banfield, M Braun, C Fletcher, A Hansen, P Matera, T Stenglein.
Brisbane: C Scott 5, J Akermanis 3, C Keating 2, N Lappin, M Voss.
BEST: West Coast: D Chick, B Cousins, A Hansen, C Fletcher, T Stenglein, C Judd, A Embley.
Brisbane: J Akermanis, C Scott, N Lappin, C Johnson, J Sherman.
Umpires: M Vozzo A Davis M Avon.
Official Crowd: 33,007 at Gabba.


The catless Charles and Ingrid stayed overnight in my day bed (they came all the way from Sydney). It seems that Charles also has an allergy to me! They may not be adopted by a cat in the end. Hopefully anti-cat allergy pill will be developed very soon.

I was interested to learn that Charles went to high school with my human (and is my human's oldest friend, in terms of years known)! Charles and Ingrid got married in February, but my human missed the wedding, so he gave them a belated gift this time. Any cat who adopts them will be very lucky indeed (allergies notwithstanding).


Saturday, April 23, 2005

Today, I declare....

Today, I declare my abode as the independent state of the Kingdom of Keiserlia.

dated this 23rd of April in the year Two thousand and five.
Keiser Cat
Queen of Keiserlia

I was reading about Independence Day in the Republic of Conch today, which started me thinking about other micronations.

Then I thought, well I do rule this place, so I may as well declare myself formally a ruler, Queen of Keiserlia, with my human as my slave, err I mean subject. Perhaps Lord Chamberlain (whatever that is), on second thoughts, my personal assistant (primary duties being to feed me, brush me, provide a lap for me to lie on, and to keep me warm).


I had a very exciting day today. My human gave me a big brush before that noisy vacuum cleaner made an appearance. Then Charles and Ingrid (who are catless, but will hopefully be adopted by one) arrived later in the afternoon and I had fun with a selection of laps. Ingrid loves me! Devi arrived later and everybody sat down to bográcsgulyás with crusty bread for dinner. That is the Hungarian name for goulash. My human made it from a Gundel recipe. Gundel was a very famous chef and now an equally famous restaurant in Budapest. My humans didn't get to eat at Gundel the last time they were in Budapest, but they did eat at Bel Canto which they told me was a lot of fun.

Friday, April 22, 2005

The world's best places where a cat can't go and eat!

UK's Restaurant magazine has published its list of The 50 Best Restaurants in the World 2005.

This was also reported by National Public Radio (NPR) in the USA.

At number 4, is one of Australia's better known restaurants, located in Sydney, Tetsuyas. My humans told me they went to Tetsuyas a little while ago, for a special occasion with friends in Sydney. An experience to behold.

Number 33 is Flower Drum, a Chinese restaurant in Melbourne. And number 42 is Rockpool, a great seafood restaurant in Sydney.

Dogs are allowed into some restaurants in Paris (why are they usually poodles? Many poodles I know of are quite neurotic). Many places cite health and hygiene to forbid non-human companions. I think certain well behaved cats (like moi) should be allowed into the world's finest restaurants. At home, I sit on a dining room chair and smell the food and keep humans company. At a fine restaurant, I would not mind being fed a nice fancy dinner under the table.


I tried to convince my human to stay home with me today, but he still left me to go to work. Obviously my pleading looks on the deck and on the couch did not work. Nor did my telepathic commands.

Merlin's human, Kim came over again. They had shepherd's pie for dinner. Later they watched Room with a View on DVD, which appears to be one of my human's most favourite movies of all time (it makes him gush). It is a wonderful adapation of an E M Forster book of the same name. I also sat on Kim's lap for nearly two hours (the length of the movie) which was blissful.

I must go to bed now.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Big metal birds that fly

Any day now over the next 15 days, the world's biggest commercial aircraft will take to the skies on its first test flight.

This is really exciting. The world's biggest commercial aircraft is the Airbus A380. Airbus is a European rival company to United States' Boeing.

The aircraft has two decks and four aisles, and will seat 555 passengers.

The first cat who travels on this gigantic metal bird should also get a medal.

Crewing up for the first flight (Airbus media release)

Airbus test flight within '15 days' (ABC news, Australia)


Today was the usual. I listened to ABC Classic FM most of the day. Merlin's humans, Kim and her offsprings Jordan and Liam came to visit. Then Suzanne and her offspring, Jeremy also came. They belong to a big fluffy dog (but I don't know her name). They all stayed for a quick meal of sausages (from the organic butcher), mashed potato (organic Sebago variety), and peas. I sat on Kim's lap very briefly.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Tensions in East Asia: Sino-Japanese relations

There have been many global events happening to keep a cat interested. Death of a pope, and the election of a new one. The death of a prince (Ranier of Monaco) and the second marriage of another one (Charles of Wales etc).

What has been very interesting are the tensions between China and Japan. Here is a good analysis by The Independent newspaper in the UK which gets right into the heart of the matter - Nanjing Massacre: The deepest of wounds.

In hindsight, the American occupying administration (General Douglas MacArthur) let the wartime Japanese government off very lightly, as they were more concerned about the emergence of communism.

Compare this to what happened in Germany with the Nuremberg Trials. The Germans will always be reminded of its history, so that it will never be repeated. There is a sense of collective national guilt.

In contrast, many younger generations of Japanese have no knowledge of its history during the same period. This upsets the Chinese, as in their eyes there has been no atonement.

The Chinese have very long memories which can stretch hundreds of years, and they do not easily forgive.

I think this is what it is all about. And I am a simple little cat. At least my human agrees with me.

Keiser Cat (military historian)


I woke up very early. I don't think red meat agrees with me much, even though I do prefer it. My human also hopped out of bed very quickly (so unusual) when the alarm came on, with an announcement of "Benedict the sixteenth". He turned on the television news to make sure he heard right. Unfortunately, he had.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

cat burglars

Cat burglars are not burglars (what a funny word) who steal cats, or cats who burgle (what another funny word - it sounds like something you do underwater, not that a cat would find him or herself in such a situation).

Mind you, we have been known to sneakily take food from time to time from humans, but that is with their full knowledge. We are not sly like dogs.

Anyway, a cat burglar is a thief who enters premises stealthily and undetected. It now more commonly refers to a thief who climbs walls of buildings and enters by a window from an upper floor.

Notorious cat burglars prefer jewellery or famous paintings.

I am not sure if either definitions are much of a compliment to us cats.


Normality has returned somewhat. I had breakfast for the first time since Thursday! Tuesday also meant red meat for dinner, and I had very rare pieces of lamb.

I also had a quick visitor. Devi came over after work and she let me sit on her lap with one of my towels over her nice black work trousers to stop my lovely fur from sticking to them. She stayed for a quick dinner of hokkien noodles with teriyaki pork and bok choy, then left again.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Back again

I will resume writing about interesting things tomorrow.

Unfortunately, the Meow Recognition Program (MRP), sometimes known as MRS (S being for System), has fallen into a heap.

I had a very strange Friday. My human was up around 4am when it was still dark and disappeared at 5.15am. He didn't come back until today (Monday) around midday then disappeared again until my dinner time. I am so glad he is home as I have had to spend lonely days and nights by myself except when Nina's human came over to give me my dinner and let me sit on her lap.

Not only that, he switched off my computer at the wall, so I was not able to do further testing of my MRP until this afternoon.

Football - round 4 results My team loses yet again! Here are the stats.

HAWTHORN 4.2 10.4 14.5 18.7 (115) defeated
BRISBANE 4.0 5.3 6.7 10.9 (69)
Goals: Hawthorn: M Williams 6 P Everitt 2 C Bateman S Crawford M Osborne T Clarke L Hodge H Miller L Franklin J Roughead J Barker B Dixon. Brisbane: J Charman 3 D Bradshaw 2 A McGrath D McLaren C Johnson A Corrie D White.
Best: Hawthorn: S Crawford S Mitchell M Williams P Everitt T Croad J Lewis. Brisbane: C Johnson J Leppitsch S Black.
Injuries: Hawthorn: J Smith (hamstring) replaced in selected side by B Dixon. Brisbane: nil.
Umpires: C Donlon S Wenn M Ellis.
Crowd: 27,778 at the MCG.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Hello testing 1 2 3.

I am trying out the new Meow Recognition System from Macrohard (MH). Not to be confused with Microsoft (MS).

My name is keeser. Stupid software, that is not how you spell it. Try again. Spell K-E-I-S-E-R. Yes I know meow. You stupid program. My spell M-E-O-W is supposed to turn into English words.

Dear friends on catster. No, the C is supposed to be in upper case. Try again. Dear friends on CATSTER. No, just the C, you silly program. Try again. Look you are not supposed to type that. Please erase. Oh never mind. Space Dear friends on Catster. I meant insert space. Nevermind!

There seem to be lots of glitches in MRP. It will take me a few days to get it sorted. In the meantime, I may take this time to take a short break in my diary.

Stay tuned on Monday. Have a good weekend. Please send me catmail.

love Keiser

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Today is the traditional Thai New Year, สงกรานต์ or Songkran. Songkran means 'move' or 'change place' in the Thai language.

While Thailand now uses the Gregorian Calender like most of the world, the Songkran festival is still traditionally celebrated.

The holiday is celebrated with lots of water as people believe that water washes away bad luck. Water is thown by people carrying bowls of it, and the use of water guns and even garden hoses to drench each other and 'innocent' passersby. It is also known as the 'Water Festival'.

Of course this time of the year is around the vernal equinox (when night and day are about equal), which is also the hottest time of the year in Thailand.

In Australia, there was one event marking celebrations in Sydney on 4 April this year. It is a shame it is not celebrated more widely as it sounds like a lot of fun (but not for us cats who prefer to remain dry).

My humans always enjoy their visits to Thailand. They show me interesting things that they bring back such as handicrafts made of silk, bamboo and metals.


Thankfully today was Wednesday and I am back on chicken wings.

This morning, all these big black birds flew really close to the latticework of my deck. I think they were currawongs and they must have discovered the caterpillars or the berries from the Virginia creeper which is turning really cool shades of purple and red. Anyway, I stared at the birds until they flew away.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Interesting people, part 2 (Peter Singer)

Peter Singer is the Ira W De Camp Professor of Bioethics, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University (part-time) and Laureate Professor, University of Melbourne, Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (part time).

He wrote the book Animal Liberation which set the animal rights movement in motion.

Peter Singer has also written on various other issues to do with life and death, and animal ethics etc from an interesting perspective. Cats and humans may not necessarily agree with everything he writes about (or says), but he is provocative which is not a bad thing. It makes us think about issues and to have an open mind.

Professor Peter Singer

You can read more about Peter Singer from his homepage and from Pablo Stafforini's Utilitarian Philosophers series: Peter Singer.


Today was another warm day. I refused to eat potatoes for breakfast (even if they sorta taste like chicken, well I guess they would having absorbed all the chicken stock). So I had a tiny piece of ham instead.

I spent most of the day napping on the couch listening to ABC Classic FM. More diced potatoes for dinner (the bits of chicken are a bit too dispersed). Ho hum. I hope tomorrow is Wednesday as my butcher will be open. I hope I get some tinned fancy feast tuna for breakfast in the morning!


Monday, April 11, 2005

The heir will be king

So HRH the Prince of Wales has wed the love of his life, who in turn has acquiesced to public opinion and relinquished her rightful title (as Princess of Wales) to be known as the Duchess of Cornwall.

Furthermore, it is reported that on the ascension to the throne by her husband she will be known as Princess Consort and not Queen.

Now, there are reports that 'Six in 10 Think Charles Should Give Up Throne' in favour of his son. This is according to a poll in the UK by YouGov for the Sunday Times.

What a load of crock! Hello? The system is called a monarchy. It is a hereditary system based on birthright NOT democracy. It is quite astounding also that Clarence House is giving in to public opinion.

The people do NOT get to choose. If they want to decide who they want as head of state, there is a system called democracy.

Either put up with it, or have a referendum to abolish the system of monarchical head of state and replace it with a republic. These people can not have it BOTH ways!

There is something inherently wrong in the royal household when they do not have cats living in the palace, but corgi dogs instead.

Keiser Cat
political analyst


I wasn't feeling too well last night and think I had a funny tummy (must have been the lamb). I didn't stay in bed for most of the night and spent most of today outside on my mat on the deck.

This must be why I was given diced vegetables (potato and carrot) cooked in chicken stock (mind you, not the packet/tin stuff, but homemade stock with organic chicken bones).

Emily came to visit me and she stayed for dinner which was beef vindaloo with basmati rice and blanched broccoli. Later, I sat on her lap for ages purring away as she and my human watched Desperate Housewives (episode 9). She is going to Manila to work as an Australian Youth Ambassador (aid work) for a year, so I will miss her.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


As foreshadowed in my previous diary entry of last Thursday, I will write something about Rufus Wainwright.

My human and I love reading The Guardian. The quality of their reviews of literature, music (both classical and popular), films and the arts are without parallel in the print media in the English-language speaking world.

My human came across a fantastic review for Rufus Wainwright sometime ago in The Guardian and thought it might be worth checking out.

Rufus is considered to be a musician's musician by the critics. The Observer said, "Rufus Wainwright, lauded by his peers as the most extraordinary songwriter of his generation".

His album Want One is indeed extraordinary. The companion album Want Two, is still growing on me.

Rufus Wainwright official website.

My human also learnt about the excellent film, Donnie Darko from a Guardian review, prior to its release in Australia.


After all the excitement of yesterday, I had a very lazy day. It was a warm day for autumn and I spent most of the morning on my mat on the deck, where I had a good long brush. In the early afternoon, I also had a big cuddle with my human as we listened to Rufus Wainwright. My head was resting on his arms and we both ended up having a nap together. Big purrs...

I had some lamb for dinner tonight.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Canaletto and Venice

Before I start, here is a photo of me sitting up at the computer. It takes me ages to type with my paws so I am thinking of getting my human to take dictation like most of the other cats on Catster who have a diary/blog. Or install a Meow Recognition Program (MRP).

I meant to write about Canaletto a few days ago. Usually, before the lights go out at bedtime, my human reads to me (sometimes, my requests which are currently Homer's Iliad and Voltaire's Zadig, but usually it is what my human is reading at the time). On Monday night, however, he showed me pictures of Canaletto's paintings. Some bedtime reading huh/meow?

Entrance to the Grand Canal

Giovanni Antonio Canal (7 October 1697 – 19 April 1768) was a painter from Venice who painted landscapes of his hometown. He was the son of painter Bernardo Canal, so his nickname was Canaletto.

Canaletto also travelled to England where he painted landscapes of the Thames, Eton etc. These were bought by King George III (the one who handled the north American colonies very unwisely).

About 12 years ago (give or take a few), the National Gallery of Australia put on a "blockbuster" exhibition of the Queen's Pictures (these were paintings which hang in Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle). Amongst the Queen's collection were a few Canaletto paintings (passed down from King George III).

In 2003, the National Gallery of Australia also had another "blockbuster" exhibition The Italians: Three centuries of Italian art which also had a few Canaletto paintings.

The view of San Marco Quay from the Bay

View of Piazza San Marco

My human tells me that Venice still very much resembles the "postcard" landscapes painted by Canaletto. The only real difference is that; people now wear different clothes, there are more tourists, there are some neon signs, vaparettos (motorised water buses) on the canals, and it has sunk a little bit more.

My human tells me that there was a great pensione near the Venice train station where a number of cats lived (a number of years ago now) who used to visit the human guests (including mine). But it was a very noisy area.

My human likes Canaletto, but I still prefer the French Impressionists and Australian Indigenous art.

Football - round 3 - my team loses (but only just - again, big sigh!). Here are the stats.

SYDNEY SWANS: 1.3, 2.4, 6.6, 13.9 (87) defeated BRISBANE LIONS: 1.5, 4.10, 10.14, 11.15 (81)
GOALS: Sydney: Hall 5, Goodes 2, Ablett, Buchanan, O'Keefe, Williams, Bevan, J. Bolton
Brisbane: Bradshaw 5, Akermanis 2, Corrie, Lappin, Adcock, Power
BEST: Sydney: Hall, Nicks, J. Bolton, Goodes, Williams, Maxfield Brisbane: Bradshaw, Johnson, Akermanis, Power, Voss, White
INJURIES: Brisbane: Lappin (corked thigh), McGrath (ankle)
UMPIRES: McBurney, James, Meredith
CROWD: 33,960

I am not impressed. I expected more from Aka. SIX points! That is one goal. Just one kick!


Nina's human Deb's husband Oscar brought their offsbring Hugh over to mow the lawn and do some pruning. Deb then came and collected him when he finished. In between I sat on Hugh's lap (after he had finished). I hope Nina (who is a Russian Blue) gets her own page soon so we can be friends on Catster.

I also had VIPs visiting. Alfie's humans, Reg and Viv are visiting Australia from Kilsby, which is a village near the town of Rugby (where the game was invented) in the UK.

Alfie is a dog (see a picture of him above), but I won't hold that against him (what's it all about, Alfie?). They came to dinner, along with Jimmy and Lily's humans, Jackie and Brian; and Merlin's human, Kim. I hope Jimmy and Lily also get their own pages on Catster soon. I also sat on Reg's lap for a little while (I hope Alfie does not mind!).

Anyway, they had slow braised duck (marylands - the joined leg and thigh) in sangiovese (red wine), onion, bacon, porcini and chestnuts. This was served with mash potato/sweet potato/pumpkin and blanched fresh broccoli and brussel sprouts. For dessert they had 'do it yourself' pavlova (with double thick cream, passionfruit, banana, strawberry and kiwi fruit. And a few bottles of wine and beer!

Friday, April 08, 2005

(Siddhartha) Buddha's birthday

Today was the birthday of Siddhartha Gautama who became the Buddha. He was born on what is now 8 April, sometime between 563 BC and 483 BC (before the birth of Jesus Christ).

Siddhartha Buddha was not a god but an enlightened or awakened human. He never claimed to be a god.

You can read more about Buddhism on Buddhanet.

People say that if cats were not worshipped in their own right as gods (as was the case in ancient Egypt), we would be Buddhist.


Today was a strange day. My human left me for the day. I spent most of the day on the couch listening to ABC Classic FM. He did come home earlier before it got dark. I helped him watch LAX and Lost on the couch tonight (taped during the week) as there was nothing on tv except for a funeral.

My human told me that Rome is full of unhoused cats who live independently on the streets, particularly around the Coloseum. I hope that the 5 million people visiting to pay their respects to the late Pontiff do not chase all the mice away, otherwise our Roman feline friends will be very hungry.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Interesting people, part 1 (Paul Davies)

Since my diary/blog started, I've written about some interesting things. Well, things that I find interesting anyway.

Some humans also have interesting and thought provoking ideas.

Professor Paul Davies, head of The Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University in Sydney is one of the leading minds in astrophysics and astrobiology today.

My human says that one of the best books written on the Grand Unified Theory and Superstring Theory is Superforce by Paul Davies (even though it is about 10 years old now).

Professor Davies has interesting ideas on cosmology, other life in the universe, time travel etc.

Professor Paul Davies

You can read more about Professor Davies on his website.


Today was a strange day. My human was home with me all day instead of going to work. When I want him to stay, he leaves. When I want to do my own thing, he stays. I pretty much ignored him all day and napped on my towel on the couch. I guess he wasn't feeling well enough to go to work.

Jack and Bad Cat's humans, Jess and Mans came by this evening but they didn't stay long as it was a "school" night (that is, go to work the next day) and my human needed his rest before going to work tomorrow. But they were here long enough to have vegetarian risotto (made with fresh onions, roma tomatoes, butternut pumpkin, mushrooms and asparagus and lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese).

I also enjoyed sitting on Jess' lap. I even walked across the dining table to get to her lap even though I wasn't supposed to (but there was no food on it by then). They listened to Rufus Wainwright (I will write more about him soon). Jack and Bad Cat have their own Caster pages (under my friends' list).

Rufus Wainwright - Want One CD cover


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Herding cats?

I previously raised concerns over terms which disparage us cats, such as fat cats and copy cat.

Another, which is offensive, is like herding cats. This is used in the human work environment to describe an impossible task, of controlling the uncontrollable. It is also used in management-speak to describe the difficult job of managing or leading people with differing viewpoints.

It is most pertinent in relation to managing leaders with divergent ideas. The analogy is that there is no "leader of the pack" when it comes to cats, as each cat wants to be the boss. This is not strictly true as any cat who lives in a more than one cat household knows. This meaning is also lost when it comes to big cats like lions who live in prides, with a dominant male.

On a lighter note, there was a television advertisement about "cat herders" for EDS (a business and technology solutions company) which was created by the Fallon agency. You can check out the commercial here.

His great grandfather was the first cat herder in the family


Today was a good day. I napped on my newly covered dining chair and caught sun rays again. My human also came home early. He said he wasn't feeling well at work and gave me a big cuddle. I had a raw chicken wing and cooked lamb pieces for dinner!

Emily also came by after she finished work for a very brief visit in her nice work clothes and I managed to redistribute some of my fur on it. I believe in sharing.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Radio is star

In 1981 (way before I was born), MTV started in the USA and the first video clip was Buggles' Video Killed the Radio Star.

Well, not in my house it hasn't.

The first alarm (radio alarm clock) is set to ABC Newsradio which also draws reporting from National Public Radio (NPR) from the USA.

About 15 minutes later, the second alarm (on the stereo hi-fi) comes on set to ABC Triple J which is a youth oriented network with lots of alternative music.

When they are both on, it is almost interesting trying to listen to two lots of morning news.

Then during the day, I sometimes listen to ABC Radio National which is very much like NPR with lots of interesting stories such as the Religion Report and the Law Report, and lots of interesting people talking about interesting things.

Most of the time, I listen to ABC Classic FM which plays a lot of my favourite music.

No commercial radio is allowed to be turned on in my house. All those advertising jingles and "shock jocks" with their "talkback" radio, pandering to the lowest common denominator peddling hate and ignorance would drive me and my human mad.


I was a bit more calm this morning, though I did try and get my human to chase me again. He opened a tin of (non-cat food) red sockeye salmon and gave me some (it is tastier than my usual tin tuna). And when he made his lunch with it, I insisted on more.

Tonight, I did not get any red meat! But the wing was not as big as usual and I could get my teeth into it in one piece (the big ones need to be jointed/cut). After my dinner I had a very long and exciting game of playing a ping pong ball with my human. But I told him I'd better type up my diary before I got too tired. Meanwhile I smelt steak cooking...

Monday, April 04, 2005

Boris the cat - resident of 28 Barbary Lane

Boris is a ginger cat who lives at 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco's Russian Hill. In Tales of the City, by Armistead Maupin, Boris does not own a human, but visits the various tenants as he pleases.

He takes a liking to Mary Ann Singleton who moves to San Francisco from Cleveland and falls under the charm of Mrs Madrigal the landlady.

The chronicles of 28 Barbary Lane first appeared as a serialised column in San Francisco newspapers and became a bestselling series of novels. These were later adapted into a number of mini-series with Olympia Dukakis as Mrs Madrigal and Laura Linney as Mary Ann Singleton.

One of the best scenes in book and the television adaptation is when Mary Ann first rocks up to stay at Connie Bradshaw's place (on arriving in SF) and Connie offers her creme de menthe (it was the seventies after all) and she responds to everything with the word "fantabulous!".

And of course, anytime that Boris appears.

I meant to put this up yesterday (as it was a Sunday afternoon game).

Football - round 2 - my team loses (but only just). Here are the stats. Still not a bad result considering these were the two teams in last year's grand final which Port Adelaide won.

PORT ADELAIDE 3.0 4.4 9.8 11.9 (75) defeated BRISBANE 3.4 4.4 5.5 11.7 (73)
Goals: Port Adelaide:
W Tredrea 5 B Lade 3 K Cornes D White R James. Brisbane: D Bradshaw 3 R Copeland 2 L Power 2 T Notting J Akermanis D Merrett C Keating.
Best: Port Adelaide: W Tredrea A Kingsley D Walsh K Cornes R James C Cornes. Brisbane: L Power C Johnson C Scott N Lappin A Corrie M Pike.
Injuries: Port Adelaide: J Surjan (ankle). Brisbane: Nil.
Reports: Nil.
Umpires: H Kennedy M Ellis K Nicholls.
Crowd: 34,892 at AAMI Stadium


I was very playful this morning and tried to get my human to chase me but he didn't want to crawl under my day bed. I wanted him to stay at home and play the ping pong ball with me, but he was running late. He made me hop up to my spot on the couch, but I insisted on playing and I scrunched up my towel and he gave me my blue mousey to play with, which I did vigorously. He went to pat me but I thought he had another toy, and I accidently scratched him (and drew blood). But he forgave me.

I think he must have decided to punish me as he returned home late and it was really dark and I was hungry.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


I can't think of any interesting topic to talk about today. I did think of something earlier, but now I've forgotten.


Today was warm and cool at the same time. How is that possible? The sun was shining and it was 29 degrees C. On my shaded deck where I spent most of the day napping on my mat, I let my fur catch the cool breeze.

Devi came over in the afternoon and she and my human looked busy on the dining table, pulling apart and then putting together a chair. They were making too much of a ruckus near my feeding area which put me off my dinner at the usual time... Oh, I've just inspected the chair. It is the chair I nap on in the morning when the blind is up, so I can catch some sun rays. The seat of the chair seems to feel different and my scent isn't so strong on it.

Anyway, Devi and my human had pea and ham soup (leftover from yesterday). She even let me sit on her lap for a little while, on the couch.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Hans Christian Andersen, and a recipe for pea and ham soup!

Today is the bicentenary (200th anniversary) of the birth of one of the world's greatest writers, Hans Christian Andersen (from Denmark, where he is known as HCA). In Denmark, HCA is revered in the same manner as Shakespeare and Goethe.

Andersen wrote wonderful stories like The Emperor's New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid (there is a wonderful statue in Copenhagen - my human tells me that it is a nice walk from the royal palaces, and no, the story was not written by the Disney Corporation!), and The Princess and the Pea amongst many others.

The anniversary is being celebrated all over the world. You can read more about the celebrations here: Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Bicentenary Festival and Danish Broadcasting Corporation - DR.

I love a good story and there are really good underlying messages in HC Andersen's stories (although my human is unable to read these to me in the original Danish language! Even I can understand Danish meows!).


Today was a warmer day, 28 degrees Celsius and my human was with me all day! However, I spent most of the day on my mat on the deck by the back door catching the warmth while my human did lots of chores like drag a vacuuming machine across the floor before mopping it. I managed to go outside for a little while, while he hung out washing.

He also cooked pea and ham soup which simmered on low heat on the stove nearly all day. It smelt delicious. I was so happy when he gave me some of the ham meat from the ham bone before he 'souped' it. My human uses the ham bone from a ham leg (available from most delicatessens - it should still have a fair amount of meat on it), 500 grams of dried yellow split peas (which have been soaked), 2 big carrots diced, and half a celery bunch also diced, and two bay leaves. He pre-cooks the ham the day or night before so it is cooled and when the fat has solidified on the surface (overnight in the fridge), it can be easily removed. When the soup is cooking on a low simmer, it needs to be stirred often (about every 30 minutes to stop it sticking to the bottom and burning, so a big heavy pot, or a slow cooker works best).

Merlin's human Kim came over too, and they ate the soup for dinner. My human told her that the soup can companies have really improved the pea and ham soup and they now taste almost home-made. She didn't believe him. I also got to sit on her lap.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Spaghetti trees!

Spaghetti is made from durum wheat as most cats and their humans know. The grain is ground into a flour, mixed with egg and/or other liquid into a dough and turned into spaghetti which is dried. It is then packaged and packed and distributed to shops all over the world.

My human was very excited to tell me that through genetic modification, a similar starchy substance can now be produced as a by-product of fruiting trees, in much the same way that cocao (chocolate) and coffee beans grow on shrubs/trees.

Spaghetti like strands can now be harvested directly from trees. Farmers who have an advance experimental crop have calculated that the yields by weight far outstrip what could be grown and made from traditional methods by ten to one.

A spaghetti harvest

You can read more about it here.


Just like yesterday, I spent most of the morning on a dining room chair catching some sun rays and listening to ABC Classic FM. Thank goodness the weekend is just about here.