… taking a nap on a warm pile of laundry fresh from
Taking pictures of my cats is fun. And by “fun” I mean “a frustrating, hellish ordeal that would be fun if only my frigging cats would cooperate for ten frakking seconds, I mean Jeebus Farging Cripes, is that really asking so flipping much?!?” (Note skillful and subtle use of Lenten euphemisms.)
Tiffy is a particularly difficult subject, since it is a given that the moment she realizes my lens is trained on her, she will suddenly realize that The Most Fascinating Thing Ever has suddenly and magically appeared far, far across the room at a precise 90º angle AWAY from the camera. Thus I tend to get a lot of pictures of Tiffy that look like this:
Of course, the solution to this is to yell “Woo-hoo, Widdle Tiffums! Wook at Daddee! Wooky-wooky!” in a shrill, fishwife-like voice while holding up one hand and wiggling the fingers while hoping that my other hand can manage to hold the camera still enough to snap a non-blurry picture, should my humiliating antics be sufficient to tear Tiffy’s attention away from the manifestation of the Virgin Mary juggling a chainsaw, bowling ball, and flaming Tiki torch or whatever the heck is so blasted interesting over there in the opposite direction I want my cat to be looking.
If I am lucky, the result is a picture like this:
While cute, Tiffy’s expression still has a vaguely “What the HELL?” quality to it — one familiar from many baby pictures I’ve seen, where you know the photographer must have been yelling “Woo-hoo, Widdle Baby! Wook at Mr. Professional Baby-Photographer! Wooky-wooky!” while waving a rattle off camera. Oh well, at least I’m not alone in my humiliation.
I’m a kreptacular photographer, I’ll admit. A few years ago I bought my first (and so far only) digital camera second-hand from Carl — a Kodak DC290 Zoom with a mere 2.1 megapixels (and given my lack of skill, that’s probably more pixels than I deserve). It’s a testament to the high-tech photographic smarts built into digital cameras that they can enable even inept shutterbugs like me to occasionally take really cool photographs, like this one of Mimi (snapped earlier this week, using ambient light):
This almost has a studio look to it — partly it’s Mimi’s pose, with that wonderfully formal way cats have of sitting (as if they were expecting you to carve their portrait in basalt), softened a bit by a coquettish tilt of the head; partly it’s the lighting on the blue-grey wall behind her, which looks very much like a photographer’s backdrop. Of course, a real studio photographer would have managed NOT to capture a reflection of his own huge, doughy midsection in the stereo, but other than that it’s a nice picture if I say so myself. If you click on the picture above, you can see a bigger version (you KNOW you want a better look at my gut reflection, admit it).
The top of the stereo is one of Mimi’s favorite napping places, by the way. It’s warm, it’s high up (five feet at least) so she can keep an eye on things, and the incessant “NN-chik NN-chik NN-chik NN-chik” of the trance music I prefer probably kindles reassuring memories of her mommy’s heartbeat, back when she was a kitten (either that, or cats are closet ravers, though Mimi seems to prefer catnip to Ecstasy).
After 40+ years of being a “dog person”, in 2003 I decided it was time for a change of pace and adopted two cats (both domestic shorthairs of dubious lineage). I quickly became a cat-convert — nauseatingly so, I am told by friends. Hey, any housepet that instinctively buries their bidness in a box of deodorizing sand and doesn’t bark frantically at every falling leaf outside is all right by me!
So, meet my girls:
“Submit to my Fluffy White Tummy, puny human! Worship it!”
Name: “Tiffy” is short for Tifil, the Goldogrin form of Tevildo (meaning ‘Hater’), the monstrous demon-cat in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Book of Lost Tales”. A.k.a. Tiff-Tiff or The Tiffinatrix. Personality: Tiffy’s name is intentionally ironic, since she’s quite the dainty little princess and a veritable black hole of emotional neediness who is constantly demanding lots of love and attention. Coat: Tiffy’s a “dilute” calico, meaning her spots are grey and fawn rather than black and red. Likes: tummy rubs; playing with rabbit-fur-covered toy mice (she knows the sound of the kitchen drawer in which the Sacred Holy Mice are kept, and comes running when she hears it being opened). Weird dietary preference: loves yogurt and Jello.
“Well if you didn’t want me to break it, then
why did you hide it on top of the fridge?”
Name: “Mimi” is short for Miaulin, another Goldogrin name (hey, I’m a language geek, so sue me), this one meaning ‘she-cat’. A.k.a. Meemers, Meemerton Q. Cornflake, Farmcat. Personality: Mimi’s my mischief-maker; but like her “sister”, she’s a gooey little love-sponge at heart, and often acts up just to get some attention. Coat: brown mackerel tabby. Likes: pushing things off counters and tables and watching the results; climbing up onto unlikely places; dangly cat-toys-on-strings; chewing on bendy straws. Weird dietary preference: Likes eating coffee beans.
Well then — I guess this is that “blogging” thing all the kids are talking about nowadays.
In J.R.R. Tolkien’s early writings, the Gnomes had a saying: i·weg na an fofrin ‘man is a foolish creature’. While this is pretty bitchy, especially coming from a race sharing their name with a lawn ornament, it’s also undeniably true — and it’s nowhere more evident than on the Internet. I’m glad that Carl has started this blog to cast a “baleful eye” on the foolishness that runs rampant here in cyberspace (and elsewhere), and grateful that he’s asked me to be a contributor.
This opportunity comes at a particularly appropriate time for me; if you can imagine 2006 as a long, dark tunnel, then my 50th birthday is the light at the end of it. Yes, this is the year in which I’ll officially be entering middle age (and if it weren’t for my pesky Y chromosome I’d be able to join the Red Hat Society). My mother once noted that as she entered her 50s she started “getting feisty”, and now I’m seeing the same process in myself — I no longer suffer fools gladly (myself included), and CavScrip will provide a nice way for me to vent (and hopefully be entertaining in the process).
Oh, and there WILL be Friday catblogging. Don’t say you weren’t warned.