scribbles tagged ‘Sampo’

Laundry ship set to sail

Sunday, February 16th, 2014 | tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  |

Laundry ShipAnother stormy weekend chez Wendy House.

A temporary break in the flood production system. No rain this morning.

Laundry to be washed and dried. No modern tumble-drier accessories. My laundry its catching some rare sun rays in the Wendy House wind-swept garden.

Extra ballast had been added to the ‘airer’ to prevent it attempting a take-off garden tour. Bricks.

The ships that carried lumber from Seattle to San Francisco, to build the beautiful houses there, carried stone back to Seattle as ballast to weight the ships appropriately on the return journey. The stone was used to build many of the Historic buildings in the Pioneer square area of Seattle. Awesome.

Sampo stretchSampo is staying in.

The RSPCA has warned that cats are likely to take-off in these strong winds. Despite her own substantial personal ballast, Sampo’s a cautious cat.

Sampo’s not risking any unplanned flights.

 


7 bits of fabulous banter »

smiling in her sleep

Thursday, December 12th, 2013 | tags: , , ,  |

pumkin chooses an odd sleeping postionThe cats at Mum’s house are calm and carry on. Some of their habits have been disrupted but they don’t seem too put out.

Sampo is so glad to have me home she’s sleepy smiling. The cats don’t show sympathy, they appreciate here and now and get on with being a cat. I find their being around very grounding and comforting.

I’m getting increasingly tired, everyday has less sleep than I normally need and more stuff to fill the day. The funeral wasn’t a relief and I just want this to stop. It’s only been 3 weeks since his death.  I’m hoping that being patient keeping active and engaged with normal life will bring back restfulness and a background of good cheer. I need to be more patient.


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holiday camp

Sunday, May 26th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

Sampo - settle'dSampo was near-feral when she joined the USA based wendy house in 2003. She liked cat’s, not people. The idea was that her and Matrix would bond and entertain each other during my long work days. Matrix was a lap cat, Sampo was Matrix’s companion, not mine.

When people come into the house, Sampo hides. Sampo’s never been a lap-cat. Since Matrix’s passing she has voluntarily ventured onto my lap for short explorations. Sampo’s increasingly tolerating my picking her up. Something near impossible 3 years ago. Toleration is definitely her experience. I’m hoping that the advanced stroking that accompanies being picked up will eventually lead her to relax and enjoy it. Mostly our separate silences work to bond us well. She’s taken to talking to me when I get home from work and she likes to follow me around the house. She’s companionable at an arms-length distance.

When I go away, my neighbours pop by to change her water, feed her, and they’d like to pet her.  They rarely even see her. When she hears the key in the door she runs upstairs and hides between the boxes under my bed. Looking after her is not a rewarding experience for my neighbours.

For the route 66 trip I’ll be away for nearly a month. I’ve decided to take Sampo to a cat kennels where someone can actually keep an eye on her elderly body. She’ll be seen, and the comings and goings of the kennel will keep her entertained. She’ll have her own view of bird-filled trees.

 


3 bits of fabulous banter »

snowed under

Saturday, January 19th, 2013 | tags: , ,  |

Snow-covered glass roof Iced tea and Tennessee Bourbon on the menu today at the wendy house. We don’t often get snow so this is a bit of treat.

iced tea in the garden?There was an impromptu party in my local convenience store. Groups of young folk were discussing what essential supplies they wanted in case food deliveries are blocked by snow. I wandered around slowly, enjoying the cheerful young folk and sensibly dressed adult impersonators. Alcohol, tea, bread and milk were selling fast.

Snow on the roof of the wendy house orangerie is keeping the heat in without blocking the light. It’s my own little igloo-style roof. Meanwhile Sampo snores with unabashed contentment in prime position by the woodburning stove


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Today is a day for going belly-up

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 | tags: , , ,  |

Sampo goes belly-upA month’s worth of rain falls overnight, 96 flood warnings in the UK. Sampo’s gone bellly-up. We’re expecting Trouble, and that starts with T which rhymes with P and that stands for Pool, which is bigger than a Puddle which rhymes with Trouble.

I suspect Sampo will float if the Thames decides to rise up to the Wendy House garden.


2 bits of fabulous banter »

the cat ate my homework – again

Monday, April 2nd, 2012 | tags: ,  |

SampoI think sampo’s diet might be a bit indigestible

She keeps eating my homework before I’ve had a chance to do it

She’s eaten the:

  • dirty laundry
  • washing-up
  • scum from around the sink and bath
  • dust from the window-sills

She’s still pretty plump too. And then all the stuff re-appears in the house. We need to have an executive wendy house meeting to sort this out


1 wonderful musing »

Sampo’s going to be a script kitty

Saturday, March 17th, 2012 | tags: , , ,  |

SampoThe wendy house business support team, including Sampo the fat cat, are on stand-by. We’re excited by the thought of earning money from Matthew’s javascript code hosting suggeston

Unfortunately, Matthew seems to think there is no cost for us hosting his code. After chatting with the crew here, we’ve given him some insight into our current business charges. We’re not cheap, but we’re worth it. If this flow of interest from marketters continues the wendy house might have to go so public or become Limited!

Do you think Matthew will

  • write back?
  • ask me directly for my bank account details?
  • rely on his script doing direct evilness to my cupboard?

Matthew Phishing Replying to Matthew's Phish


2 bits of fabulous banter »

ways of describing the vernal equinox

Sunday, March 20th, 2011 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Ostara, in the form of a hare is cohorting around the garden today, delighting the local adult children (Sampo and I) celebrating the shift from more than 12 hours of night to more than 12 hours of daylight.

With a clear view of the sky, in the Wendy House orangerie, the circular dining table has taken the role of an altar dressed in green cloth, laid with candles, flowers, seeds, pen and paper. Drinking large mugs of hot spiced apple juice from the caldron on the woodburner. Yummy. In a small celebration we’ve danced a clockwise circle round the table, written our hopes and desires on the paper, burnt the paper. Tomorrow I’ll put the ashes in the garden, plant the seeds where the growing daylight will nourish and draw them towards the sky

That’s the vernal equinox described in story form. The focus is on the people words that draw images and emotions, describing what people do and how they do it. This writing style is traditionally the domain  and humanities.

I find the scientific style of writing which often deliberately excludes explicit reference to people and beliefs fascinating in itself. Some ‘social sciences’ have included people by treating them as the objects to be studied, for example psychology that conducts research with human participants (not called people) and produces research papers written in the scientific tradition of the passive 3rd person. Wikipedia articles are examples of writing in the 3rd person passive, which I understand as core to the current scientific style. Wikipedia describes the vernal equinox in detail.

Here’s a few things I found out written in a more scientific style:

The word “vernal” is of Latin origin and refers to the season – spring. The word “equinox” is another word of Latin origin that means “equal night”. The vernal Equinox is a time when day and night are of nearly equal length, 12 hours, across the world. Today is the March equinox, which is the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere and the autumnal equinox in the southern hemisphere.


3 bits of fabulous banter »

hand immobilisation

Saturday, January 1st, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

Sampo hatching her catchDespite her recent loss of wieght due to an effective diet, Sampo still persists in using her previously successful prey-immobilisation technique.

Prey? My hand

My hand is evil and should be immobilised at all costs

Sampo achieves this by a swift placing of her ample stomach on my hand. She then delivers this self-satisfied-success sneer while securing the position of my arm with her carefully placed claws. It’s effective

Sampo hatching her catchThe sneer doesn’t last long because Sampo is ever-aware of the friendly ghosts in the house. Matrix. Maybe Matrix is loitering upstairs ready to release my hand from its fluffy flattening

PS 100 word post before the PS

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hatching the bottle

Friday, December 3rd, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Mirror above fireplaceSampo has developed an outstanding new skill. It’s as if she wants my hot water bottle to hatch. Even when it is hidden beneath a duvet and wooly blanket combination Sampo can find the bottle and lie on it. When I wake in the morning the bottle is still warm because Sampo has been incubating it all night.

Here we see Sampo trying to hatch a cushion infront of the Wendy House woodburning stove.


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Sampo’s arrival in 2003

Saturday, November 27th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

Warning <long soppy story>

Brother and sister kitties exploringI rescued Matrix and Nexus from mad cat woman in Southsea, she told me that I had to give them a home, that they’d always lived together. They joined the Wendy House in June of 1995.

They were rarely more than a few feet apart, they slept, played and hunted together. Ying and Yang.  Three years later I noticed that Nexus was loosing weight and strength. A trip to the vet diagnosed him with feline Lukemia, he was dying slowly with no hope of a cure. It cost me £1.26 to have him euthenaised and the liklihood that Matrix was also ill, was high. It cost me £70 to find out that she was not infected.

The emotional cost was immeasurable. The effect on me, on you, on Matrix. Nexus was put out of his pain. No long lingering death, no fading away gradually. The end of Nexus’s pain was the start of Matrix’s. She constantly looked and called for Nexus, she cried for months. Cudding didn’t help, you wouldn’t let her sleep with us so I started sleeping downstairs on the sofa with Matrix, it helped her, and me, to sleep.

I asked the vet if getting her a companion would help. The vet said Matrix would associate the arrival of a companion with the departure of Nexus so they would not get on well. I had to wait until Matrix had finished grieving. When Matrix stopped grieving she seemed happy enough chasing the local birds and brawling with the local cats. But when I moved to Seattle the coyotes and cat-on-alead-condo-rules reduced Matrix’s ability to entertain herself. With my long days at work, she needed entertainment. A companion.

Cats at christmasI visited all the local cat rescue centres. There were so many. The cats were stacked in rows and rows of individual cages. It was heartbreaking. I wanted to take them all home. In the Bellevue rescue centre they had a large room where the cats could socialise and roam around. I sat in the room watching them. Sampo was wondering from cat to cat, licking each of them. She was elegant and affectionate to other cats.

It took the Bellevue staff two hours to catch her, she was elegant, affectionate to cats, slippery and very people-shy. The Bellevue adoption papers included the condition that I arrange to have her neutered.  The vet said she was about 3 years old and had already had at least one litter of kittens ‘she’ll be prone to putting on weight’

Over the years I’ve systematically tried to overcome Sampo’s fear of people with some success


2 bits of fabulous banter »

fat Sampo stalking supper

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Sampo has been on a diet for nearly 2 months.  Since starting her diet I’ve noticed the following changes:

1) Sampo is losing weight.  Yes, she was a lot fatter than this.

2) Sampo is much more determined to successfully establish alternative food-sources.  The rather stupid, local, wood pidgeons have presented this opportunity.  Sampo stalks at dusk and dawn.  She has managed to get a few loose feathers but not yet got a meal out of it.

3) Sampo shows much more public affection to me within an hour of scheduled feeding times.


4 bits of fabulous banter »

immitate Sean Connery

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Sampo has a duff sense of smell.  She ignores catnip, freshly cooked fish, chicken, meat, any and all cheeses and cat-treats.  Sampo compensates for her lack of olfactory sensitivity by being hyper-sensitive to sound.  Her favourite sound is me immitating a Sean Connery accent. 

Tip #1 for winning Sampo’s affection – immitate Sean Connery


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camouflaged cats

Friday, October 31st, 2008 | tags: , , , , ,  |

 Can you see them?

Scary!


3 bits of fabulous banter »

PMT treatment #4: strikingly ordinary

Sunday, July 27th, 2008 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

Today I am focussing all my emotional energy on striving to achieve the dizziest heights of most strikingly ordinariness.   The cats have already fallen into snore-laden sleep.  

I’ll let you kno ho it goes,  though it ont be anything special, so maybe I ont let you kno ho it goes.     e’ll see if its orthy,   after a bout of affly indecisveness of extremely ordinary proportions and hacking my mini-hammer on the wwwwww key.


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Popular conversational topics #3: kitty settling

Monday, July 7th, 2008 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

“how are the cats settling in?”

Thankyou to everyone who  inquired after the wellbeing of my darling  fluffballs.   I am happy to confirm that they have quickly adapted to this Wendy House and are exhibiting a full range of healthy fluff-ball-ee activities,   most notable of which is the Monaco-ish,   formula-1-ish speed and agility,   dangerous-staircase dash.

Dangerous-staircase dash

Starts in the garden where Sampo cues-up Matrix by strutting backward and forward in front of her just out of paws reach.   Next,  Sampo runs for the front-door gathering sufficient speed to arrive before Matrix,    maintaining sufficient control to take the entrance-hall-front-room 90 degrees doorway-bend.   Occassionally Sampo misses the bend and ends up in the bathroom where she is cornered by Matrix and has clearly lost the chase.   After several months of practice she has the hall-front-room doorway-bend almost fully mastered.

The subtle curve on the approach to the foot of the stairs occassionally causes loss of footing on the bare floorboards and is invariably accompanied by liberal doses of meowing from both teams.   The main course-obstacle is the dangerous-staircase u-turn.   The dangerous-staircase u-turn either involves a headlong crash into the front-room wall for those missjudging their momentum,   or falling down the first couple of steps for those misjudging their paw-friction.   Sampo tends to crash into the wall due to belly-induced-momentum,   Matrix tends to slip on the steps.   Once past the first few steps,   if Sampo is still ahead of Matirx she’s pounces  safely to the finish line on the first-floor landing and is ready to start the next round.     Fresh water,   views of local trees and birds are provided on the landing at the end of the course for the competing kitties.

The cats are regularly able and willing to practice this tricky F1 course on a daily basis  often  changing  chaser-chasee roles and investigating route variations including the dinning room table top,   sofa-bends and comfy chair corner.

Ringside tickets are available.

Corporate bookings and sponsorship considered.


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Easter cats

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 | tags: , , , , ,  |

On the 1hr drive to Reading from the Gatwick Animal Reception Centre Matrix rode gunshot purring, chatting and rubbing the journey away. Sampo silently hid under her food dish. Within an hour of being given free reign of the Wendy House Matrix had eaten, drunk, pooped, then snooped into every cat-sized orifice she could find. Meanwhile Sampo slurped a sack of water then watched the goings-on from the safety of under the dining room table before a tip-toe exploration.

Then. They both got on with the serious matter of snore-laden snoozing in front of the fake-real fire.

Pleasing the kitties was a primary influencer when selecting a new-old Wendy house. The main bedroom, conservatory and fake-real fire are already big-hits. Phew.

Tricky-test passed.

Now champagne and kebabs… Hoorah!


4 bits of fabulous banter »

BIG boo-hoo-meow-ing

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 | tags: , , , , ,  |

 

Today I’m  catless, carless,  surrounded by dissembled furniture and half packed suitcases.  

Goodbye blubbing by me and soulful wailing  by Sampo.   Matrix looked her normal relaxed self.

Matrix and Sampo can’t join me in the UK until the last 4 months of their  PETS passport process,    6 months quarantine,  is finished.    Today they moved to their  US  foster home.  


4 bits of fabulous banter »

falling over: the Limerick edition

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

I like to test the diverse effects of  gravity in different countries and continents.   normally with the help of a curb.

While walking home from the atmospheric,   smoke-free,  Tom Collins pub after one,   well two,   actually three, definitely not four pints of Smithwicks,   while crossing the road I tustled with the uneven curb and ended up sitting in the gutter

Passerby:   Are you alright?

Wendy:   I’ve twisted my ankle

Passerby:   No dancing for you tonight then!

I scooped myself up and hobbled home.     Once back in the US I hobbled myself to a medical center to be triaged by my fabulous nurse:

nurse:   what have you done this time?

Wendy: twisted my ankle,   I wasn’t skiing,   just crossing the road

The last 3 times we met she confirmed that I had broken a bone during a fall while downhill skiing.   She’s recommended that I stick with cross-country skiing.     No broken bones.   I have got the ankle wrapped-up in fancy medical bindings with streamline black velcro.  


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crackling paper party

Friday, March 10th, 2006 | tags: , , , ,  |

Do cats have an informal, accurate, theory of static electricity?

My kitties adore paper.  I leave sheets of crumpled paper on the floor aound my home. They prefer  rolling and writhing  on the paper than the carpet.   The carpet is not natural fibre.   Rolling on the carpet builds static electricity.   Rolling on paper does not.  

Coincidence or clever kitties?   You decide….

Matrix and Sampo play in paper

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Why do kitties like being on paper?

Sunday, November 13th, 2005 | tags: ,  |

why, Why, WHY?

I’m not complaining. They’re very easy to please… …dare I say – ‘like me’?

Wendy Wondering-Why


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