Monthly Archives: September 2007

Rhubarb rhubarb Ruadhàn

“Rhubarb” is just one of our new Maine Coon baby cat’s nicknames.   Rhubarb because it sort of rhymes with Ruadhàn (pronounced Roo-ahn; it means “little red head” in Irish Gaelic) – which would however, make Aoife “Custard” which I’m sure she would not appreciate.   A few of Ruadhàn’s other nicknames are Snot Boy, Mr Squiggle because he squirms and wriggles so much, and You Little Bugger.

He has just turned six months old, and is going to be enormous even by Maine Coon standards, he’ll look like a polar bear by the time he’s through growing.  Maine Coons are the largest breed of domestic cat, the boys can get up to over 15 kg, although 12 kg is more usual, and they don’t really stop growing until they are five years old, so our “little” boy has a way ahead of him still.  I think I mentioned before, he’s a red silver tabby, which is kind of a strawberry blonde* colour, with redder stripes, and white trim – paws, chest, tummy etc.  His paws and legs are huge; his back legs are so long and strong he doesn’t know what to do with them and when he sits down they splay out to the side; as for the paws, well he looks like he’s wearing boxing gloves.

Ruadhàn has a perfect profile, lovely big round head and tufty ears, a big square muzzle, and huge golden almond shaped eyes.  His body too is massive and growing almost in front of our eyes, and his tail is taking on the classic Maine Coon yet rather absurd “tail with cat attached” dimensions.  His head, however, is tiny, very funny to behold on top of this big strong boofy body.  Ah yes, “Pinhead” would be another nickname; cruel yet accurate.  Apparently this is totally normal for Coonie boys; the girls grow much more proportionately and steadily but the boys are all over the place.  The wee face on him is so exceptionally pretty that I can’t tease him for long; he would make a champion show cat but no way am I exposing my cats to any more germs from unknown animals, and I have heard on excellent authority that WA cat shows are particularly rife with bugs and therefore dangerous.  

He’s the sookiest, most pathetic boy cat I’ve ever come across, he loves to roll on his back across my lap, all four (huge) legs in the air and have me rub his chest and tummy and face, while he purrs and purrs.  Yeesh, talk about an impressively loud purr.  Constant too; he purrs if you so much as look at or talk to him.  In general he IS very good tempered, except when he tries and fails, and keeps on trying and failing to get his own way over something (eg, jumping on the kitchen bench, lying on my laptop and deliberately smacking the power button) when he will heave a dramatic sigh and wander off.  And then poop in the shower recess, just to show who’s boss.

The lying on my laptop and whacking the power button is one of the behaviours that’s earned him the You Little Bugger title; I don’t know how he knows, but it is definitely deliberate as is the pressing of the F1 key.  Fucking Microsoft Help, argh.  He’s fascinated by all the computers and hardware in the house, and likes to sit on Tuxedo’s lap following the action on “Guild Wars” or “Command & Conquer”.  I recall Abigail’s favourite was the movie “Star Wars” (Part IV); as soon as she heard the opening theme she’d come running, leap on to the closest lap/chair/sofa to the screen and watch with utter fascination.  Aoife seems to like “Lord Of The Rings”, and “Hot Fuzz” got a good reception.

Blonde is about right, though; he is rather dumb and again, that’s an acknowledged difference between the girls and the boys. All Coonies are intelligent, interested in everything, naughty and playful, great problem-solvers, extremely dextrous with their paws, very affectionate and loyal, and quite dog-like in some of their behaviours.  They love water for instance, and going for walks on a leash!  However, the boys are a bit on the dumb and sooky side while the girls are clever, very mischievous and while smoochy, tend to be a bit more independent.  The strawberry blonde colour is almost pink; amongst Maine Coon fanciers his colour group is affectionately known as “the pink pussies”.  He’s blonde in other ways too.  Tuxedo and I swore we’d never give our cats “voices” – ha, how the mighty have fallen.  Aoife has a posh Dublin accent, while Abigail’s was broad Yorkshire.  Ruadhàn, on the other hand, is 100% Valley Girl.  As in:  “Well, like, whatever, I don’t know, is that my food bowl?  What’s that?  It’s fluffy!  It’s my tail!  Is that a ball, gee I hope it, like, rattles, ooooh hey is that my food bowl?  Hey a fluffy tail!  Like, whatever…“  He seems to get stuck in a loop, looking from food to rattly ball to tail without figuring out what it’s all about or what to do with himself! 

Well, like, whatever, we love him and am so glad he’s joined the family. (if I ever get around to the horrendously difficult task of working out how to insert photos, I shall do so.)

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Toys for grown-ups

… No no no, not those kinds of grown-up toys!  (although there may or may not be a bedside table drawer full somewhere, you know, if we were into that sort of thing).  No.  This is all further to the last post, a bit more detail on birthday presents and real estate.  Am I a tease or what?

Birthday

So I didn’t have the very best birthday this year, being in too much pain (and possibly puking) to even answer Happy Birthday Phone Calls, let alone go out to eat or celebrate in an appropriate fashion.  The pressies certainly made up for that though; in fact they made up for the whole icky month, and then some!  Especially Tuxedo’s contribution/s … I am so terribly spoiled, I really do NOT deserve it.

My family knows me well; my parents gave me a wee bit of cash, specifically to spend at the MAC counter, which stricture I obeyed last week, being the darling respectful child I am.  My big bro and his wife gave me a gift voucher to Mecca Cosmetica, I still haven’t had a chance to spend it; my second big bro gave me credit at the Swanbourne Book Café.  So, books and make up, all good.

Now Tuxedo has a history of teasing me – often for months beforehand – as to what he’s giving me for birthday/Christmas.  Successful teases have been foot spas and pink fluffy bowling balls.  This year he told me there was one gift I knew about and one I didn’t; the one I knew about was a new iPod, although I didn’t know the details.  Turned out to be a sweet 80 GB number, black, with “Shine on you crazy diamond” laser-engraved on the back.  Pink Floyd lyric, and a very, very cute, loving and Tuxedo-ish way of saying “Keep on truckin’, you insane loon”.  (also, awwwww …..)

However there was no sign or mention of the supposed “second present” and I figured that was a Tuxedo tease and forbore bravely from yelping “Where’s my second present I want my second present WHERE’S MY PRESENT.”  Because I’m all mature now, you know.

Come 28 August, when I was feeling a tad blue, partly the old sick and tired of being sick and tired thing, also worried still about the Aoife girl-cat, and it was also the first anniversary of Abigail dying (I still miss the sweet wee girl dreadfully).  Not a great trifecta.  And then my brightly-Lycra-clad bloke came home from work and I tried to put on a happy face; I turned around to get us a drinkie from the fridge and when I turned back he had a very cheeky look on his face and was hiding something behind his back.

After a few rounds of “go on, guess” he produced the item.  It looked like a large white envelope, larger than A4, one of those padded ones and a few centimetres thick.  Weighed a couple of kilos?  The ‘envelope’ was made of some rather flashy durable plasticky-foam material with silver trim.  Inside the envelope, or as much as I could tell by feel, was something flat and hard.  At this point I noticed the silver badge twinkling SONY VAIO at me and the litany of “holy shit holy shit you didn’t oh my holy shit” began.  Went on for quite some time before I actually opened the damn thing.

And out slid one of these.  Namely, a Sony Vaio CR13 laptop in pure shimmery white. So very very pretty.  Specs:  Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, DVD/DVDRW, 100 GB hard drive, 14.1 inch LCD display (that’s 35-ish cm for us metric folk), Windows Vista etc and oooohhhh it rocks.  So easy to use and fast and  nice and light for general carry around-ability and the keyboard is beeee-yootiful and, just, YUM.  Plus, of course, the whole thing of it having the “kind of” look and style of a Mac Notebook without actually being a, you know, Mac.

Talk about fucking spoiled right?  I am still in shock, over the moon and totally in love with this sweetie.  Oh yeah, also quite enraptured with the laptop.  *smirk*

House

We’ve been looking at houses to buy for ages but never saw anything we had the remote desire to take a second or closer look at.  This was mostly due to our very strict guidelines or “requirements”, which I listed of course!  Namely, a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom townhouse; with a large gourmet kitchen, big shiny bathrooms, close to the CBD – not out in the ‘burbs where we’d need a car *, close to amenities (public transport, shopping precinct, cafes and pubs, bike path), a courtyard large enough for entertaining and cat proofing but low-maintenance, within a small radius of one particular suburb, and liveable NOW (no 1920s renovator’s dreams for us).  Oh yeah, and within our price range.  You can see how much we’d have to choose from with that list, given Perth’s current market.

* we do not own a car for environmental and economic reasons, and while it can be an inconvenient pain in the arse especially in a car-driving city like Perth, it has many advantages.  And we can feel all good and smug about our carbon footprint and greenieness.  Al Gore would love us!  Oh … we both loathe and despise driving (actually that’s not true; I’m plain terrified and phobic) which has nothing to do with anything whatsoever.

Anyway.  Tuxedo spotted a good looking place on one of the real estate websites, which the best way to buy/sell, nowadays – most up to date and lots of information and photos, no need to start leafing through crap newspapers at ungodly hours of the morning to find the property went last week.  So, he spotted a place that fitted pretty much all requirements, PLUS the pictures of the house actually looked good, so off we went to the home open that weekend.  By the end of the home open (a couple of hours) we’d pretty much decided to put in an offer.  Which we did on Monday … and got accepted three hours later! 

Many will say (including my dad and eldest brother, but NOT my mum, huge surprise there as she tends to panic about decision-making) that we rushed into it it but to those evil detractors I say:  We knew what we were looking for, we’d seen heaps that had not measured up one way or another, this was pretty near perfect, and we simply HAD to get into the market now otherwise we’d be screwed, the way Perth is going.  Plus, the living area/kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom (with a bath!!!) are on the ground floor, MAJOR bonus … especially the bath.  Wheeeeeee.

We settle in October, but don’t move in until March as there are tenants there and (a) we don’t want to chuck them out, we’ll have a few months of being “landlords”, which will happily offset our own rent; and (b) gives us time to look out for good deals on furniture and stuff like that, generally get ourselves organised.  (The thought of having only a couple of weeks to move out of this place, clean up, move into new place, was giving me a severe case of the collywobbles, so I’m very content with this outcome, despite the lack of instant gratification.)

So yeah … we’re homeowners, how grown up can you get?

Brain dump

Well the last couple of months have been a bit of a write-off, really.  I had a heap of posts planned for July and August, and see, none of them made it.  Not for want of trying, mind you.  We’ve all been sick, really really really sick.  Tuxedo; the cats; me.  The whole process has been very distressing, tedious and exhausting.  Hopefully we’re all the mend now.

Tuxedo got a nasty ‘flu sometime in July, which developed into an even nastier chest infection, and looked like heading toward pneumonia.  He was off work for two whole weeks, and took another two-three weeks to recover completely, with multiple courses of antibiotics and trips to the doc.  It was definitely the sickest that I’ve ever seen, and the sickest he’s been since childhood, so pretty damn awful.  I did my best to nurse him – and I’m a damn good nurse, plenty of practice! – which I believe helped, but there was plenty of other stuff going on too.

Namely, the kitties.  Yes, cats plural.  We returned from our holiday over at Rotto on 23 June, and on 24 June collected our new baby cat from the airport where he’d arrived all the way from his breeder in Sydney.  He’s a Maine Coon just like Aoife, in fact he’s her full brother; same parents but a different mating.  They’re about six months apart; not what the breeder was intending but the mother cat is a trollop and got out just when she shouldn’t have.  His name is Ruadhàn Tighearnach (pronounced Roo-ahn Teer-nakh, yes another unpronounceable Gaelic name), he’s a red silver tabby with white trim – feet tummy etc – and is exceedingly cute and pretty.  More on him another time.

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