Friday, September 30, 2005

BEWARE Кошатник

I hope all my kitty friends are wary of Кошатник. That's right, Кошатник, is a Человек, промышляющий ловлей кошек.

If you can't read Russian Cyrillic script, Koshatnik is the Russian word for a dealer in stolen cats.

Makes you wonder that if they have a special word for 'a dealer in stolen cats', how common this catnapping and cat-slavery is in Russia!

You can learn about this word, and plenty of others in a new book called The Meaning of Tingo. Sorry folks in America, it is not released there until January 2006 (but it is just out in the UK, and end of this October in Australia - woohoo, I hope my human buys me a copy).

You can also read an extract in
Weird and wonderful vocabulary from around the world from the UK Independent newspaper.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Thank goodness it's Friday! I had another afternoon nap with my other human today, who came home in the afternoon. What a good habit!

I am looking forward to lots of lap time this weekend.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Turning Torso

No, it's not a human body part spun like a spinning top!

I enjoy writing about interesting looking buildings. Here is another really cool one.

A new multipurpose building (working, living, meeting) is being built in Malmö, called the Turning Torso.

Turning Torso

Malmö is a really interesting city in Sweden linked to Copenhagen, Denmark via the equally interesting Øresund Bridge. My human told me that the train ride is also really cool as it goes under a tunnel from Copenhagen's Kastrup airport and emerges out of the water of the Øresund (strait) onto a bridge. I told him he should have had a better look around Malmö, rather than just walking through the park from the train station, then going to lunch and shopping (Swedish crystal is fantastic, he told me).

Anyway, back to the story about the building. It is 54 floors and made up of nine 'cubes' which twist or turn around a 'pole'. Check out the link above for pictures. It is quite astounding, really.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.

**Camilla is moving house across state lines, and I hope she is not too stressed with the change to warmer weather in Florida.


It was so cold today. It was only 15 degrees Celsius and it was raining (as it has been the last few days), and it's nearly October!

Anyway, I had a good day. Cooked chicken for breakfast and dinner. Corn fed, no less. Oh, that's what happened to the rest of the chicken (from which I ate its raw wings a few days ago)!

I had a visitor tonight. Woohoo! Julie from Papua New Guinea, who is in Australia on government business (with my other human), came over for dinner. They had chicken, mushroom and asparagus risotto (using brown medium grain rice, not arborio - an interesting change to the texture).

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Public intellectuals

My friend Camilla who is my 'spiritual' cat sister wrote about 'Smarty Pants' a few days ago.

As she mentioned, Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines have compiled a list of who they think are the top 100 public intellectuals and have asked readers to nominate their top 5. And add in any name that was not included, who deserves the honour.

I love reading Prospect, and my human used to subscribe to Foreign Policy, although he reckons you should also read Foreign Affairs magazine as well.

Anyway, out of the list of 100, my human and I recognise 31 of the names. Some of these were very interesting:
Jagdish Bhagwati. Very smart man.
Noam Chomsky. Neocons hate him, so we like him.
Jared Diamond. If you haven't read Guns, Germs and Steel, do it now (it is brilliant).
Germaine Greer. Very very smart. Enough said.
Robert Hughes. My human told me he saw a clip of him as a very young man being interviewed about intellectualism, beat writers etc. Very impressive.
Peter Singer. I wrote about him back on 12 April. He's given people and smart kitties lots to think and argue about. A sign of a very intelligent person (or cat) is someone who can influence you to re-examine your values and to keep an open mind (as opposed to narrow or closed minded people, which is a sign of feeble mindedness, heh heh heh... zealots).

Of course, there were a couple more, but I won't mention them. We do have reservations about:
Jean Baudrillard. I mentioned him back in February. I think post-modernism is a crock. There are lots of other French intellectuals.
Francis Fukuyama. He was certainly very influential with the State Department crowd. However, his ideas may be a bit outdated, but don't tell him I said that.
Samuel Huntington. He is so very misguided and has caused enough angst already!

We think the following should have been considered:
Tim Flannery. He has challenged thinking on ecology.
Michel Houellebecq. He's a wonderful stirrer.
Paul Davies. I wrote about him back in April. He is definitely a thinker.

Ooh, my brain hurts now thinking about all this!

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


My other human came back early today and I had a nice nap with him in the afternoon. We were catching up on three months worth of cuddles.

Last night and tonight, I watched I, Robot with my human. We like Asimov, however, the movie was a very loose interpretation, but keeps with a theme of interest to my human. The same theme occurs in The Terminator movies, the new version of Battlestar Galactica etc.

Tonight we also watched another episode of Food Lovers' Guide to Australia. Those lotus plants are unreal.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Where do cats go when they disappear?

According to William S. Leavengood and Michelle Lorrie Castro-Feulner, cats who disappear go to Cat Moon Do.

Four Cats lived happily in the Sea Green House with the woman who feeds them. Seven Toes, the old gray cat, had been rescued from the animal shelter on a sudden whim. Vanna White, the lazy bed-cat, had been bought at a fancy pet store in the new mall.

But one night, Seven Toes did not come back inside the Sea Green House.
Nor was he meowing at the door the next morning. His friends searched high and low, but Seven Toes was nowhere to be found...

And thence, commences the story of their journey to Cat Moon Do.

An except from Cat Moon Do

About Cat Moon Do

The pictures are very nice, and those humans have a wonderful imagination.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Last night I had the best brush of my fur. The usual triple action - the wire brush, then the fine comb, and finally the knobbly gloves. The knobbly gloves took off a lot of my undercoat which tends to moult badly when it gets warmer, and redistributes all over furniture and clothes.

This afternoon, I got such a surprise. A visitor - it was the human who used to live here, coming to visit me! Woohoo! We had a nice chat.

When my human got home from work, he told me that on his way home, he saw a white cat walking on a lead with her human, through the little park. Then I smelt her on his hands. He patted her! Eeww! And how undignified to go for a walk just like a dog! That other cat's human told my human that Miss White Cat is only one year old (practically a kitten), and likes to walk around the block. Hmmmph!

But I did get corn-fed chicken wings (one and a half) for dinner. Yippee, I love those ones, they taste much nicer. Then I played with a lid ring and my tiny mouse toy with my human. Of course, I was humouring him, by making him chase me for it!

Monday, September 26, 2005


I've previously written about really cool buildings. Most of them have been modern.

A really cool and old one (practically ancient) is the Παρθενών (Parthenon). It stands at the top of the Acropolis in Athens and has been there for nearly 2,500 years. That is a long time.

The Parthenon has had quite an interesting history, with successive invaders using it for their own purposes - it has been turned into a Catholic church, a mosque and been looted many times.

In spite of that, it is still a very awe inspiring building.


The Acropolis of Athens - Greek government site

You can also see parts of the Parthenon Frieze (also called the Elgin Marbles) in The British Museum in London. My human loves that place. There are also tensions between the British and Greek governments over the ownership of the Frieze - it was earlier removed by Lord Elgin and taken to Britain. Elgin was the British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


There was a huge loud thunderstorm today. I was so scared by myself. But thankfully, the storm ended and my human came home. I gobbled up nearly two chicken wings for dinner.

Tonight is Numb3rs on tv night, and the long brushing of my fur.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

so many movies... how to choose?

I love movies. Even when I find it boring and fall asleep, I still get to lie on my human's lap while he watches. Of course this only applies to movies we watch at home. If my human goes to the cinema, I miss out (much to my annoyance).

With so many movies, one must be discerning with what one chooses to watch. My human and I are guided by friends' recommendations (word of mouth) and movie reviews. By the way, we both get annoyed when people (and kitties) spell recommend with two Cs and one M.

The best movie reviews are those on tv as you also get to see a preview (which is more than just the trailer). In Australia, we take movie reviews very seriously.

My human's favourite is Peter Thompson on the Sunday morning current affairs program called, wait for it... Sunday. Peter Thompson gives the best technical analysis. He really knows his stuff. And his brother is the well known Australian actor, Jack Thomson. Mr Thompson focusses on one movie in his 15-20 minute timeslot which gives him plenty of time to go into the details that others do not.

Then there is the rather odd couple of David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz who have been doing reviews since 1986 (they switched networks). These two sometimes argue a bit and carry on like old women (that is just a phrase and not meant to disparage older female humans). They are Australia's best known movie reviewers, however, my human sometimes thinks they are just a bit pretentious and rather shallow in their treatment.

Since Mr Stratton and Ms Pomeranz ditched their previous network, they were replaced by a younger team who haven't been too bad on The Movie Show. Megan Spencer, Jaimie Leonarda and Fenella Kernebone (unlike the others) are a bit more youthful but still know their stuff. And they are just as critical.

Peter Thomspon's film reviews
At the Movies with David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz
The Movie Show

Of course, I also read the UK Guardian which has excellent reviews and then share this with my human. We discovered Donnie Darko this way.

And if that isn't enough to help with choosing, we also check out Apple - Movie Trailers.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


My human went for a walk to the markets this morning (he muttered something about sausages and oranges), but he came back with some new toys for me. Woohoo! They are stuffed animals with catnip in them. I now have a green dragon called Alex (born 3 October 2001), a blue spotted frog called Josh (born 29 May 2001), and a brown kangaroo called Rachel (born 2 January 2001). Here is a picture.

Speaking of movies, today we watched The Time Machine which was a very liberally adapted version of the H.G. Wells book. It wasn't too bad, but a bit too much was added to the original story, which we accept, as H.G.'s great-grandson was involved in the production.

I also had visitors tonight. The cat-less Margaret and Lisa came over for dinner (they have rabbits instead). They had bangers and mash with peas for dinner. I didn't get any bangers, but I enjoyed sitting on their laps. They also watched a bit of Light Fantastic on tv, which is a documentary about light.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Jim Henson's Muppets

Jim Henson was born on 24 September 1936 (he died on 16 May 1990).

Mr Henson created the Muppets, many of whom appeared on Sesame Street, and The Muppet Show. Well known Muppets include Oscar the Grouch, Ernie and Bert, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great, and Fozzie Bear. There was also Rowlf the Dog.

What I want to know is, where was the Muppet cat? - official home
Sesame Street

By the way, I know my human's favourites are Big Bird and Grover.

If Noah Wyle can pretend to be a doctor on ER, he can also pretend he's a veterinary-ornithologist

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I am in big trouble! My human called me a snob and told me I am too judgemental for a cat. We had a discussion, and I agreed to apologise for offending any fat, err... weight-challenged people, and dumb, I mean kitties or their humans who don't have as wide an interest about everything as I do. He has a point, I would not turn down a lap from any human regardless of who they were.

Anyway, today was the football grand final and I watched some of it with my human. Admittedly, we had a little nap during the first quarter, then watched parts of it while I napped again while my human did chores. The final quarter was exciting as the lead changed a few times. Sydney Swans beat the West Coast Eagles in an exciting but low scoring match.

Nina's humans also came to visit me. First Hugh came over in the morning and made a lot of noise with the lawn mower. I didn't sit on his lap, but he did pat me a few times. Later, Deb Deb came around in the afternoon and I sat on her lap and I left messages on her for Nina, while she had some coffee.

Friday, September 23, 2005


1. There are plenty of laws that affect us cats.
2. We cats are very intelligent (except for those dumbed down by their humans).

Point 1+2=
3. (Intelligent) cats should have the same democratic rights as humans (even dumb ones) to vote for elected representatives who make laws.

There was a story about a stupid mutt in New Zealand who was enrolled (registered) to vote.

See - Toby the Jack Russell on electoral roll

(They let stupid people vote, and now dogs...)

Jack Russell Terriers are a bit smarter than most other dogs. But if a dog can be enrolled/registered to vote (even as a joke), then really...

some of us cats should have more say than many of the stupid humans in who runs our countries and makes laws.

I think our American and Australian felines would have voted much more wisely than many of the humans.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


After I confused my human with my French miaou, we have returned to conversing in English again. Cat 1, Human 0.

Merlin's human Kim came over tonight. I was glad Merlin didn't come again. I am sorry for hissing at him and trying to drive him away last time, but he is a male cat. The humans had a frittata for dinner made with onion, bacon, mushroom and English spinach.

I am so glad the weekend is here. I didn't feel like my chicken wing for dinner and my human refused to give me something else. It worked last night when he gave me some of his thick sirloin steak. There will always be some ham for breakfast... hee hee hee. Dinner - Cat 0, Human 1.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Car Free Day

Today was Car Free Day in many cities (mainly in the centre, or downtown area) throughout Europe and parts of Canada.

What a wonderful idea in this time of spiralling petroleum prices. Imagine how much fuel was also conserved.

I hope that lots of people walked where they needed to go, particularly if they also lived in those cities, in which case, they probably wouldn't usually drive anyway, as parking in city centres (the downtown area) is usually difficult and expensive.

My human told me that there are some car free towns that he has visited and they are much more pleasant that way - like Venice (Italy); the towns of the Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso in Italy); Fez (the medina, in Morocco); Prague (the old town, in the Czech Republic) etc. Everybody has to walk.

My human said that cities like New York and San Francisco are also best explored on foot.

Perhaps all those drive-through windows for fast food, banks etc should be abolished (thankfully they only exist in the US) and those lazy people wouldn't get so fat. Overly busy people with no time on on their hands should take a lesson from us cats. If they have too much to do, then they've missed the whole point of why they do anything at all.

My human told me that he overheard a terrible conversation at the bus depot in Buffalo, NY when he was there a couple of years ago (on the way to Niagara Falls). There was an obese woman who asked the desk clerk at the bus company where her bus departed from, and the desk clerk said bay 5 which was probably a 10 second walk. The woman's response was "all the way over there?". Catch-22. We rest our case.

Car Free Day - from Wikipedia (it has some great links)

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


My human has decided that he will now only speak to me in German, so I have decided to only miaou back to him in French - hee hee hee!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

from Katrina to Rita... what's in a name?

First Hurricane Katrina and now Hurricane Rita. There was something about Hurricane Ophelia not too long ago. Some kitties and their humans might be wondering who picked those names.

Actually, there is some method involved. After Katrina, there was Lee (boy), Maria (girl), Nate (boy), Ophelia (girl), Philippe (boy), and now Rita (girl). Get the picture? And that is only for the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic Ocean region (Region I).

There are also another ten regions such as Coral Sea region (Region IX) which has a circular list of names for tropical cyclones off the coast of Queensland.

Hurricane is the name used in North America for a tropical cyclone which is the proper name. In Northeast Asia, it is called typhoon.

The word hurricane comes from the Mayan Huracan who was the god of wind, storm, and fire. Typhoon may have come from the Chinese word dai foong for big wind. Cyclone comes from the Greek κύκλος, meaning circle.

More information - World Meteorological Organization's Tropical Cyclone Programme (check out the fact sheet on storm names 2005-2010).

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.

**Woohoo! I've reached 7,000 views! My page reached 6,000 just under a month ago (but that was the sad weekend). I hope to get to 10,000 before the end of the year. Time to throw a party and you're all invited! Chicken wings for everyone!


Nothing much to report today, except that I finally have my lap back on demand tonight. Oh, and the daytime temperature is warming up again.

My human went to my usual butcher (Gino) and this time, the wings are a better size for my teeth. I would love to go and visit the butcher, but that would probably get them into trouble with the health authorities. It would be fun to go and nibble on a bit of this, then nibble on a bit of that....

We watched Food Lovers' Guide to Australia and there was an interesting story on sea cucumber. It's not a plant but a slug related to the starfish and sea urchin, and people actually eat it. Yum yum!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tumbarumba and other cool places

When we get the local weather report following the news on tv, which includes all of New South Wales (of which Sydney is the capital city), Tumbarumba usually records the highest rainfall.

I think it is a cool name. Tumbarumba is the local tribal name meaning 'sounding ground' which refers to the acoustics of the surrounding hills and mountains which amplifies the thumping noise of kangaroos hopping about.

Where I live, Canberra is named after Kamberra which is the local Ngunnawal word for 'meeting place'.

Other cool place names include:
- Coonabarabran
- Ulladulla
- Murwillumbah
- Yackandandah
- Wangaratta

You know you're talking to a real local Aussie when the names of these towns rolls off their tongue. Imagine a German or Japanese person saying it!

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I thought I was having a visitor today. My human came home about 20 minutes earlier than usual with a friend from work, Malgosia (whom he used to work with - it's a Polish name). She sat down on the couch while my human made some coffee and I hopped straight on her lap. It was fun and I could smell her dog Jack. She told me I was a very sweet cat. But I had to hop off as my dinner was served.

Then they left to go and see a film. I heard something about Little Fish.

Little Fish

Oh hang on. I think I hear him coming to the door. Be right back.

I'm back now, my human told me that the film is really good and if you enjoyed Lantana, you will like this better. It portrays the grittier side of Sydney with characters struggling through life. My human also said that it is also great to have big Australian names returning to quality Australian independent films which are different to the usual Hollywood blockbusters.


Monday, September 19, 2005

a cat looking at a cat looking at a cat looking at a cat looking at a cat looking at a cat...

Some kitties have too much time on their paws. They should be napping! Or checking out Catster! Or thinking of ways to overthrow the human order and install felines into positions of power (in a peaceful bloodless coup kind of way).

The Infinite Cat Project is a silly project devised by a bored kitty to get their human to take a photo of them. Then put it on the computer. The cat (this one is called Frankie) then looks at himself on the computer and the human takes another photo. This picture of Frankie looking at himself is put on the computer and lo and behold, another cat looks at this picture on the computer and a human takes another photo. And so on.

Yup, they're up to the 1056th cat looking at a cat looking at a cat looking at a cat etc on the computer.

The Infinite Cat Project - just keep on clicking Next Cat.

the height of stupidity or damn cuteness?

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Monday. Blah blah. Left at home during the day. Just as well I had napping to do. My human was kind of punished, just as he walked out the door, the radio started playing Puccini - Che gelida manina from La bohème (with Pavarotti). There was also lots more Puccini on, and some Verdi, Mozart etc. Wonderful!

Numb3rs isn't on tonight on account of the telecast of the Emmys. Bah humbug. Why would we watch that? In last week's episode of Numb3rs the application of Riemann's hypothesis to a hacking scenario was rather creative.

Better go for my fur brushing session now.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


A little while ago, I wrote about catfish after I was surprised to discover that they had nothing to do with cats and were not mercats (like mermaids).

Well, I was equally surprised to discover that catbirds are also nothing to do with cats, though the thought did cross my feline mind of a cat with wings. What a hoot - a flying cat could go and tease those mutts, especially the big ones like great danes.

No, catbirds are actually birds.

There is the Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) which is also called the Slate-colored Mockingbird. This bird has a song which sounds like a meow. They also imitate calls of jays, kingfishers, swallows, grosbeaks, and other songbirds. It is native to North America.

There is also the Green Catbird (Ailuroedus crassirostris) which also sounds like a cat meowing. This bird is native to Australia. If you visit the link, you can actually hear a recording of the birdcall. I listened to it and it almost made me jump, as it really sounded like a nasty cat.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.

**Catster has been really slow and sluggish today. Has that been the same for everyone else?


I had a lovely day again today. Like yesterday, I went outside to chew some grass while my human hung out more laundry (big things like towels and sheets).

I meowed and meowed and sat on the arm of the couch to try and get my human to sit there so I could sleep on his lap, but he told me he had things to do ("like what", I answered, "you vacuumed yesterday", but he might not have translated my cat-talk fast enough). While I napped on the couch alone, he did put on The Cat Empire for me to listen to.

Anyway, after he did whatever it was he had to do, he finally let me convince him to lay on the couch and we had a nice afternoon nap together until he got up and pottered in the kitchen.

Later on, Jimmy and Lily's humans came to visit, where they had a roast lamb dinner. Thankfully, I smelt this meat cooking and refused my chicken wing, so eventually, I did get lamb for dinner. Oh, my favourite!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

cat slavery in the 21st century

I was shocked to find out that cats were being kept as slaves and made to perform tricks. That's right, cats that do not give orders to humans, but take orders from them. There can only be one explanation. They are being kept against their will.

oh what humiliation!

These cats are from Russia, and they are in New York at the moment to perform. Imagine that, cats doing tricks just like dogs and other circus animals. I nearly threw up, and not just a fur ball.

maybe they are really 'Stepford' cats...

I urge all cats to forbid their humans from going to see such a freak show. I can only imagine the ideas it would give them to make us all do tricks. Sure, fetching our favourite toys is one thing, coming when called is another. But to perform paw stands, push prams, jump through hoops, etc is plain barbaric. We are not dogs!

We should also send emails to Russian President Vladimir Putin deploring this activity.

I urge all cats in the tri-state area to descend upon NYC to the Tribeca area to try and free these cats.

Moscow Cats Theatre

How to send an email to President Putin

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.

**I wish to thank Scooter for giving me so many treats to bring my total up to 6000, and the anonymous treat-givers for taking it past that. I am so chuffed!


I had a lovely day today. It was sunny in the morning and I got to go outside to chew on some grass while my human hung out the laundry. I also checked out Fatty's ring of daffodils, around the plum tree. My human looked sad.

Me with the ring of daffodils behind me - aren't they lovely?

Early in the afternoon, the sky turned overcast and it rained. My human and I had a nice nap together on the couch while we half watched the preliminary final of the football game between the Adelaide Crows and the West Coast Eagles. The Eagles won, which means that the grand final next week will be between two birds - the Sydney Swans and the West Coast Eagles (from Perth). The poor people in Melbourne will surely be upset that this has gone inter-state again - but it is a national competition now.

Friday, September 16, 2005

update on Secret, and some music

Back on 2 August, I wrote about Secret, a cat that went missing from Beloit, Wisconsin.

It has now been two months since Secret went missing. Recent news is that her human, the very devoted Shawn Tinder will now start looking for her in Evansville (about 30 miles from home).

Tinder thinks that a neighbour took her to Evansville, where the neighbour works. The neighbours were unhappy that Secret was peeing or was it crapping in their yard. Well excuse me! Secret would have been covering up her crap which would help to fertilise their plants. And peeing? Yadda yadda blah blah. Actually, the news article used the word "relieving", but that could mean she was scratching herself, which is "relieving" her itching.

Humans are strange (especially American ones), they should just say what they mean. Directly. Sheesh! Like going to the restroom. Hello? Were they going there to have a rest? No, they went there to either wash their hands, do a pee, or do a crap. Yes, they went to the human litter tray, also known as the TOILET!

Anyway, back to the story. Secret was allegedly seen on West Main Street between Second and Third streets and behind the Ace Hardware on East Main Street. Of course Tinder also consulted psychics. Maybe a bit fanciful, but his heart is in the right place.

The Janesville Gazette (Wisconsin) - Search for missing cat leads Beloit man to Evansville (12 September 2005)

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


There is a new picture of me watching my human on his way, walking to work. After he was out of sight, I hopped on the dining table to investigate, but there was nothing interesting.

Anyway, I am glad it's Friday night. I will have so much lap time this weekend. I also had an enjoyable day listening to ABC Classic FM on the radio. I forgot to mention that earlier in the week he left the radio on ABC Newsradio and it was broadcasting the parliament in session. I was mortified, but it did send me to sleep listening to legislative bills being debated. Boring!

Today, on the other paw, was great. There was the choral to Beethoven's 9th (Ode to Joy), thankfully in German from the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. Then there was Barber's Adagio for Strings, Op 11 from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Leonard Bernstein), and if that wasn't enough, there was the choral version Agnus Dei, Op 11 from the Trinity College Choir, Cambridge. My human loves that piece by Barber.

But I was really indulged as there was also Dvořák Symphony No 9 in E minor, Op 95 'From the New World' with the Scottish National Orchestra (conducted by Neeme Järvi). My human told me he used to listen to that ALL the time while he was studying for his undergrad science, especially in his first (freshman) year. He hasn't listened to it since.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Dr Karl on cats seeing in the dark

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is the smartest human in Australia and knows lots of things about science.

He has a weekly show on talk back science on radio, a regular segment on breakfast television about science, has written numerous books on science, and has a regular column in Melbourne's The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald Saturday magazines, GOOD WEEKEND called 'mythconceptions'.

Last Saturday, Dr Karl wrote 'Claws and effect' about cat's seeing at night. He said that I can share this on my blog with you (my human asked him if it was okay). Note that this was written from the human perspective.

[A] bold claim about cats is that they can see in the dark. The truth is that they cannot see in absolute darkness any more than we can. However, they are much better adapted than humans for seeing in low levels of light.

To understand why cats see better in semi-darkness, we need to know that rods and cones are the main cells that turn incoming light into electrical signals. Rods are more sensitive and work better in low-light situations, while cones are less sensitive and work better when there's lots of light. A cat's eye is much more richly endowed with rods than a human's eye.

Also cats have an extra layer in the back of the eye behind the retina, which means that the incoming light has two chances to hit the rods. This layer is called the tapetum lucidum. It's made from 15 types of cells and is very reflective. It glows a silvery-greeny-golden colour in most cats, but can be ruby-red in Siamese cats. The incoming light enters the front of the eye and passes through the transparent innards of the eye and enters the retina. At this stage, the light will register if it hits a rod. In the human eye, if it misses, the light is absorbed in a black layer behind the retina and is gone forever. But in the cat eye, if the light has not hit a rod, it will reflect off the tapetum and be bounced forward. The light now has a second chance to hit a rod and be registered.

So when you shine a very bright light (such as a camera flash) into a human eye, you get a reddish colour, from the blood vessels that nourish the retina. These blood vessels are in front of the retina, so they light up as well. When you shine a bright light (such as a torch or car headlights) into the eyes of a cat at night, you see a reflection of that light thanks to the tiny "mirror" in the back of the cat's eye.

All about Dr Karl

Dr Karl is not only really smart, he is also modest and very funny. Although my human can't understand his jokes.

Dr Karl (having coffee with my human in June 2005)

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Last night we watched Psycho Beach Party (don't let the price fool you, if you can get it for A$4.99 like we can in Australia). It was so bad that it was quite good and pretty funny.

I didn't feel like dinner tonight. All I want to do is to sit on my human's lap. In fact, I insisted he sit on my chair while I sit on his lap to use the computer (but that means he gets impatient and looks over my shoulder at my typos).

I did have a bigger breakfast than usual though. I had the middle bit of a chicken wing and also a big slice of ham. Boy was I hungry this morning, but now I'm not.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

leonardo the genius

We cats love Leonardo da Vinci. Not just because he:
- painted the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa amongst numerous others;
- drew the Vitruvian Man;
- was a great inventor;
- was a great sculptor;
- knew more about anatomy than any person alive during his time;

but because he had this to say -

Il più piccolo felino è un capolavoro.

If that wasn't proof of his genius, I don't know what is.

ciao bella!

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Wednesday night, and I am looking forward to the weekend already, and lots more lap time!

Tonight, we watched the first episode of the new series of The Food Lovers' Guide to Australia. My human now wants to get his hands on some of those snails.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The cat that turned pink (I kid you not)

In the village of Bratton Clovelly in Devon UK, Brumas the cat (who is white) went for a stroll one morning and returned home with a pink tinge.

How he turned pink was a complete mystery. Maybe Brumas was making a statement!


Mwah ha ha ha ha...

UK Daily Telegraph - The cat that turned pink by Richard Savill (6 September 2005)

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Nothing to report today. I got the triple brush last night. It was blissful too.

Tonight is another episode of The 4400 which means more lap time.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet

Sounds scarey doesn't it? Don't worry kitties, it's just another political insult, which our Canadian kitties and their humans may remember.

During the 2003 Ontario provincial election campaign, the Progressive Conservative Party (which was in power at that time) called the Ontario Liberal Party leader Dalton McGuinty Evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet.

The incident was reported widely in Canada and the comment backfired badly on the Progressive Conservative Party (what a tautology) which subsequently lost government.

Of course, Mr McGuinty is not from another planet, is not evil, nor reptilian and nor does he eat kittens.

Premier of Ontario - see for yourself.

Of course political insults are not unique to Canada. Australian politicians are well practiced in the art of the political insult in between debating bills in the chamber. We have spineless jellyback which goes down a real treat. One time, the leader of one of our minor parties was called skanky ho with the meaning not registered, until she looked it up. She was furious.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I was left alone all day today, and it was also a cold day too. I did play with jar lid rings in the morning with my human before he left, which was nice.

We're gonna watch Numb3rs soon and hopefully I will have my fur brushed.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Guardian - casting call

Meow! Muurr!

I thought it would interesting to write about a film which hasn't even been made yet. My human and I watch a lot of movies (thankfully in the comfort of home, with me on the lap!) and usually I let my kitty and human friends know if there was one we particularly enjoyed, or even not at all.

Anyway, there will be a new film out next year that is still being made. I don't know if it will be any good, but the pre-production process is nevertheless quite interesting.

The film is called The Guardian, and according to IMDB (what a wonderful database online) - In an effort to find his place in life, a troubled young man enlists in the Coast Guard, where he's taken in by a renown rescue swimmer who's hardened by the loss of his team from an accident years back.

IMDB - entry for The Guardian

Kevin Costner, Omari Hardwick and Ashton Kutcher have already been cast (uh oh, the fact that Mr Costner has a role means we probably won't be watching this).

Anyway, the interesting point I want to make is that the casting agent is still looking to cast other principal roles - male and female swimmers aged in their early to mid twenties to portray swimmers in the US Coast Guard:
Casting is seeking athletic and outgoing candidates of any ethnicity who would be comfortable in challenging ocean conditions. There are at least five principal roles available. We are conducting interviews in Los Angeles, California and are pursuing candidates from other regions nationwide via taped interviews. No prior acting experience is required.

Any ethnicity? I wonder what the equal opportunity statistics are for Hollywood? And they forgot to mention good looking, which is always the case.

Filming location may have to be moved as it was scheduled to begin in Louisiana in the fall of 2005.

If your human fits the bill, more details can be found from Finn*Hiller Casting (including script pages).

I meant to write about the casting notice for The Fast and the Furious 3 set in Tokyo and make some very sneaky observations, but didn't get around to it. Nevermind.

Another Fast and Furious sequel without Paul Walker is, simply not right...

My human nearly had his 15 minutes of fame. He told me a few years ago he auditioned for a cooking program for cable tv. He was very very close but they went for an older lady instead (all the tv cooks were old in those days, and this was just before Jamie Oliver came on the scene). Big sigh!

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Last night and part of today, my human and I watched Pretty Woman (with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts). No we didn't watch the movie with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts on the couch with us, they were inside the movie. No, I mean, they were in the movie. Oh, they played characters in the movie. Anyway, it is one of our favourites. And it was a bargain at A$9.98 for the director's cut DVD (usually A$34.98).

My human made pea and ham (and celery and carrot) soup today which was simmering all afternoon (some 6 hours) filling the house with a nice smell. We had a nice afternoon nap together on the couch before he got up to do chores. My human put on La Traviata (the Pavarotti/Sutherland recording) for me, and half way through the first act, he turned on the vacuum cleaner which drowned out the music. How inconsiderate!

Later, (no cat) Devi came over for dinner which was the pea and ham soup and she brought over a sour dough loaf of bread. I hope to try this bread out soon when it gets toasted and spread with Vegemite. I did have some bits of the ham though, off the bone. Ham off the bone - simply the best! Unlike those re-manufactured meats with chemical binders etc. Blech! Read the label and you will find that meat actually comprises only 87 to 92 percent of what they call ham and the rest are chemicals.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

where is the pied piper?

According to the Polish newspaper Gazeta Poznanska, German programs to sterilise cats (both domestic and strays) have resulted in less cats and a growing rodent problem there.

In nearby Poland, particularly in the neighbouring city of Poznan and others near the German border, cat-catchers are trapping strays to sell in Germany where they get 40 euros per cat to help alleviate the rodent problem.

I guess this is a less risky solution than asking for the Pied Piper (of Hamelin).

And, it makes some of the Germans realise just how important we cats are in the environmental balance (though some of us prefer to live indoors and not have to catch our own food).

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Today we had a visitor in the morning, the cat-less (at the moment) Sue. However, she is temporarily caring for a dog and a cat, and a cow, and some ducks out on a farm nearby, so she is good sniffing material!

Anyway, she came over and my human made a type of Nicoise salad for lunch with iceberg lettuce, baby endive, cold blanched beans, grape tomatoes, cold poached salmon cutlet, hard boiled eggs with parmesan and salad dressing (just good olive oil and balsamic vinegar).

It was fun as I got to sit on her lap, until she had to leave in the afternoon.

I had a good afternoon nap on the couch with my human - a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

I've been eating good food today - aside from some tinned tuna for breakfast this morning, I also had a slice of ham. Later on, I was given some cold sliced steak (from the humans' dinner last night), and bits of cooked salmon. Mmmm, all my favourites.

Friday, September 09, 2005

a cat radio station?

I've just disovered a radio station just for us cats. Woohoo!

It's called Cat Pirate Radio. I discovered it via iTunes radio streaming. And it broadcasts in the US in violation of FCC regulations. Well, they don't think so.

Actually, it's not really for us cats. It just uses our name (they should be paying a fee to their local animal shelter). It has some good stuff on it like BBC World News. Actually, I haven't been able to listen to them live streaming on the internet yet.

Anyway, I still prefer my regular stations like ABC classic FM and ABC Newsradio (which relays BBC World Service and NPR).

Pirate Cat Radio

They also operate a television station in San Francisco (probably also in violation of FCC regulations - Pirate Cat television - channel 13

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Merlin and his human Kim came over tonight. I didn't notice him at first but when I did, I hissed at him and then tried to drive him away. He hissed back and tried to hide. They put him in my day room where he hid under the bed. My human told me I was being really mean, but Merly Werly is a male cat and I didn't want him in my house! We can be friends on Catster but I don't want him visiting!

Merly Werly and his human were going to stay overnight to test the arrangement for when he stays for two weeks when his humans go on holidays next month. I guess that won't be happening now. Sorry Merly.

The humans had thick rump steak with blanched green beans, broccolini and asparagus for dinner and I didn't have any. Mind you, I did have two chicken wings for dinner which were the grain fed ones from the chicken shop at the markets and were much smaller.

Couscous is now on Catster (under my friends list). I hope his human visits me soon. But he is also a male cat, so I probably won't want him to visit me. Mind you, he is so big, he might not fit through the door, mwah ha ha ha ha...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Two days ago, I intended to write about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as it was the birthday of the author of that book, Robert Pirsig (he was born in 1928).

The book (out in 1974) described the author's motorcycle trip across the US while discussing philosophy.

Robert Pirsig with his son Chris on their trip - there was lots more philosophy compared to motorcycle maintenance

It was a bestseller and a monumental piece of work. My human read it when he was younger in his first year of undergrad, when it had already done the rounds amongst the earlier sets of students of years past, and he told me he was stumped about half way through with Phaedrus (the other narrator) and couldn't finish it. I suppose I better read the book and then explain it to him.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance from

Professor Henry Gurr's website on ZMM - Professor Gurr is Emeritus Professor of Physics at U of South Carolina in Aiken

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Nothing to report today. It was a warm day (21 degrees Celsius - my friends in hot tropical climes will be exclaiming 'you call that warm?') so the heater didn't need to go on when my human got home after work.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Deep Impact and the truth about comets

NASA has finally reported on the findings of Deep Impact on comet Tempel 1. What they found was that the comet was actually fluffy, like my fur. Well, not like my fur, but more like powdery snow.

NASA's Deep Impact Adds Color to Unfolding Comet Picture - 6 September 2005

More information about NASA Deep Impact mission

What this might mean is that we need not fear a comet heading to earth. Or do we? Asteroids on the other paw, are a different matter.

TOMORROW: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, unless I think of something more interesting...

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Wednesday night means the end of the week is closer and thus the weekend. The days are starting to get warmer. Our first few daffodil flowers are up in the front (one) and a couple out the back so Spring is definitely here. Daffodils will always be a reminder of my brother Fatty, as he loved to curl up inside the ring of daffodils growing around the plum tree.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

help still needed for furry victims of Katrina

Adding to what my kitty friends Camilla and Madeline have written; most humans have been evacuated from New Orleans, and attention is now turned towards finding people trapped in buildings or bodies, there is also relief work being done to help the 'pets' that were left behind.

CNN reported that "a doctor euthanized some animals at the request of their owners, who feared they would be abandoned and starve to death. He set up a small gas chamber out of a plastic-wrapped dog kennel." and also "in Mississippi, many pets were either left to fend for themselves in the powerful winds or trapped in flooding cages as owners fled. Others survived, only to die after days without food and water."

These are very heartbreaking stories.

Many cats and dogs (and even birds) who are lucky enough to have been found or partially evacuated are now in animal shelters across several states. These animal shelters need assistance and donations. Many shelters are now too full. You can help if your humans live in those states and can assist the shelters to temporarily re-house kitties or dogs.

Assistance is also being provided to try and reunite animals with their humans.
Katrina Found Pets

I would not ever want to be separated from my human in such a tragedy.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I had the triple brush last night. The wirey brush, the thin comb and also the knobbly glove.

I think tonight, we are just going to be sad.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Monday songs

Please check out the Dogster page of Rex. Rex is my very own dog. A cat who has her very own dog? Yes!

Seeing that today is Monday, I thought I'd write something interesting about songs about Monday(s).

Boomtown Rats with I Don't Like Mondays (that would be Bob Geldof):
The silicon chip inside her head
Gets switched to overload.
And nobody's gonna go to school today,
She's going to make them stay at home.
...blah blah blah...
Tell me why?
I don't like Mondays.
I want to shoot
The whole day down.

This song was based on a school shooting by 16 year old Brenda Spencer in 1979 (she didn't feel like going to school because it was Monday and thought it would be fun to go on a shooting rampage) who is now doing life in jail. Creepy.

The Mamas and The Papas with Monday Monday:
Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Work that one out.

New Order with Blue Monday.
Won't even try with that one.

Duran Duran with New Moon on Monday:
New moon on monday
And a fire dance through the night
I stayed the cold day with a lonely satellite

Maybe that one was written under the influence?

The Bangles with Manic Monday:
It’s just another manic monday
I wish it was sunday
’cause that’s my funday
My I don’t have to runday
It’s just another manic monday

I can relate to that!

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Ha! Today is Monday. D'oh! Of course I stayed home by myself during the day, on the dining chair catching sun rays, before napping on my day bed in my other room.

My human tricked me at dinner. He fed me my raw chicken wings first while he watched the Dr Who re-run, then gave me a slice of ham. I was full as I gobbled up all the wing. Then, he proceeded to cook himself a rare thick cut rump steak! Oh, the torture of the smell of red meat cooking. He even deglazed the pan with verjuice. I am reporting him to the cat cruelty authorities.

We are going to watch Numb3rs tonight which also means a long fur brush, so I guess I can forgive him... a little.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Katrina reveals a lot

Please check out the Dogster page of Rex.

The great tragedy of Hurricane Katrina was not what nature had unleashed, but what happened afterwards.

Here is a good editorial from The Seattle Times:
When the richest nation on Earth cannot get water and food to stricken citizens for three or four days — our citizens, our people — something is wrong.

Perhaps there is some painful truth in what is being said - poor black Americans do not matter as much as white middle class Americans. The great American shame.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


The weekend is nearly over!

We watched Oliver Stone's Alexander (Director's Cut) last night and today in three installments as it is such a long movie. It is a shame the hysterical negative hype lowered the reach of such an excellent movie. It is by far, a superior movie compared to Troy which was lame with ridiculous dialogue (and if you know your Homer's Illiad, also very annoying).

My human also did chores between rejoining me to watch Alexander and I had to endure the arts programs on television. There was one show about the Sydney Sympony Orchestra in Vienna and I had to put up with listening to Strauss' Radetsky March. Ach, Gott im Himmel! (My human told me he had to put up with a live version of it in Vienna amongst the excellent Mozart recital).

After that, there was a documentary on Outback Opera about OzOpera, the touring arm of the Australian Opera driving around country towns in southern Australia with their English sung version of La Bohème. I'm glad my brother Fatty didn't have to hear it. Imagine, trading lovely and poetic Italian lyrics like this:
Che gelida manina!
Se la lasci riscaldar.
Cercar che giova? Al buio non si trova.
Ma per fortuna è una notte di luna,
e qui la luna l'abbiamo vicina.
Aspetti, signorina,
le dirò con due parole
chi son, che faccio e come vivo. Vuole?

for vulgar English ones so that uncultured simple folk can have a fancy night out! (My human thinks I am a snob. Indeed! I am a cat!)

Tonight we also watched an excellent program called Broadway: The American Musical hosted by Julie Andrews.

I better go an supervise my human's ironing now.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

the truth about the Great Fire of London

Don't forget to check out the Dogster page of Rex.

Yesterday, I wrote about the Great Fire of London, but Catster turned it into gobbledygook. Here it is!

The Great Fire of London destroyed most of London between 2 and 5 September in the year 1666.

According to official history, the fire started on early Sunday morning of 2 September in Pudding Lane at the house of Thomas Farrinor who was a baker to King Charles II. Apparently, Farrinor forgot to put out his wood fire oven before going to bed. Some time after midnight, smouldering embers from the oven set alight wood nearby (in those days, the wood for the oven is stored next to it). Farrinor and his family escaped the burning house by climbing out through an upstairs window. Their housemaid did not get out in time and was the fire's first victim. Hmm... actually it should have been her job to put out the fire in the oven.

We all know this today because Samual Pepys recorded the event in his now famous diary:
2nd (Lord's day). Some of our mayds sitting up late last night to get things ready against our feast to-day, Jane called us up about three in the morning, to tell us of a great fire they saw in the City. So I rose and slipped on my nightgowne, and went to her window, and thought it to be on the backside of Marke-lane at the farthest; but, being unused to such fires as followed, I thought it far enough off; and so went to bed again and to sleep. About seven rose again to dress myself, and there looked out at the window, and saw the fire not so much as it was and further off.

So to my closett to set things to rights after yesterday's cleaning. By and by Jane comes and tells me that she hears that above 300 houses have been burned down to-night by the fire we saw, and that it is now burning down all Fish-street, by London Bridge. So I made myself ready presently, and walked to the Tower, and there got up upon one of the high places, Sir J. Robinson's little son going up with me; and there I did see the houses at that end of the bridge all on fire, and an infinite great fire on this and the other side the end of the bridge; which, among other people, did trouble me for poor little Michell and our Sarah on the bridge. So down, with my heart full of trouble, to the Lieutenant of the Tower, who tells me that it begun this morning in the King's baker's' house in Pudding-lane
(my underlining), and that it hath burned St. Magnus's Church and most part of Fish-street already.

Diary of Samuel Pepys - 1666 from Project Gutenberg
BBC - Red Sky at Night

It also just happened that the Time Lord known as The Doctor was in London at that time thwarting an alien invasion of earth (through eradication of life by plague). Coincidentally, the good Doctor and his companions were also at Pudding Lane. Check it out - The Visitation (from BBC Dr Who)

Blame him for the Great Fire of London

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Saturdays are great. I went outside this morning when it was sunny to nibble on some grass when the washing was hung out. It turned cloudy later in the afternoon.

I also had a nice long nap together with my human on the couch in the afternoon. I have him very well trained.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Keiser (that's me)

Before you read on, check the Dogster page of Rex.

Nothing much to say today. I started writing about the Great Fire of London, but the links went gobbledygook.

So all I will say is that I am not the only cat named Keiser. There are also some in Norway. That is because Keiser means emperor in Norwegian. Pretty neat huh? Even if I am a girl.

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I had a boring day today by myself at home, but at least the weekend is here. My human had a surprise for me after work. He finally got some smaller chicken wings for me, admittedly, not organic or free range, but still grain fed. I gobbled one up in one go, bones and all. My teeth are fine!

We watched the rest of Van Helsing last night. It was very silly, but how Carl disposed of the vampires from the ball in Budapest was cool.

I think we are going to either watch another movie tonight or the football on tv.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Cat Power !!! Woohoo!!!

Unfortunately, Cat Power is not a feline revolution initiated by me nor Winnifred in Alameda. Although given the control Winnie has over her dog Fox and her human servants, I would not be surprised by her abilities in our global struggle for world domination, meow! (dear humans who may chance upon reading this, from Dept of Homeland Security, that was a joke, we cats are not a threat...)

Seriously, Cat Power is the nom de plume of a Miami singer of folky songs, whose real name is Chan (pronounced "Shawn") Marshall. I wonder if she is indeed owned by a cat?

Cat Power - official mini-site (mostly using Flash)
Cat Power - from Matador Records

She sounds interesting. Kinda like Suzanne Vega meets Joan Baez, two music legends.

Yes, more music today, but I couldn't resist a name like Cat Power!

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.

**Kitties and their humans in the United States, please read this important note from Camilla. Cats, dogs and their carers need your assistance.


This morning I had my leftover second raw corn fed chicken drumstick. My human also gave me a thin slice of ham, and then a tiny sliver of Jarlsberg cheese when he made his lunch. What a good start to the day! Am back on to the organic free range chicken wings for dinner (my human mentioned to Gino the butcher that the bones might be too tough for me to crunch through these days).

As today was 1 September, it was also officially the first day of Spring (in the southern hemisphere, well this part of it anyway, can't speak for South America or Africa). Woohoo! The weather should start warming up a bit.

We watched some more of Van Helsing. It is quite tedious (and silly), and my human has left an hour of it for resumption tonight. Yawn!