Friday, 16 April 2010


As you will have read in the last post I am the new occasional contributor to this blog. Firstly I should probably introduce myself. I am Elwood. Elwood J Blues, harmonica and vocals. My brother Jake E Blues was the other half of the team. We are two dude cats, separated soon after birth and we have gone our separate ways in life. Of Jake, I have no idea what became of him. That’s what happens to cats. We are an independent breed who lives a life of relative freedom compared to dogs that are carried, led, fed, bred and made to take part in other human designed activities. We, cats, on the other hand occasionally slip in and out of humans’ lives in a kind of semi destructive sort of way, and so make our presence known.

I was originally cared for by my current mentors daughter, who lavished enormous amounts of care and affection on me, and I kindly returned this love by inflicting a cat dust/hair aversion of huge proportions on her other love, namely her partner. This resulted in me being adopted by her father and his long-suffering wife. At least that is what they think. I actually adopted them, and they in turn have yet to agree the terms of our co-habitation, but they will eventually see the main conditions I’ve set are right and proper and come round to my way of thinking.

That therefore is the basis of my existence etc. I like to think my mother was an errant Siamese of good breeding, and my father a randy Tom who happened to be passing by. I have inherited my mothers’ good looks, and possibly a slight smattering of my fathers ‘streetwise’ cunning and panache. I fear I may well have also picked up the genes from my grandfathers stupidity and in some cases, a hell of a lot of them. This is not good. It has little or no kudos in the big wide world, and you will see in the posts that follow that this has a large bearing on all that I do and all that happens to me.

Suffice to say, this little tale of Fire and Water is a case in point. I generally find weather a phenomenon I could do without. I don’t need seasons. I need sun and warmth. Snow is not in my list of pluses. Ok, I do sometimes let myself slip and find rare moments of fun and excitement in snowy days, where I accompany the man of the house in his moments of madness, and we sledge down the hill together. He then carries me back up to the top of the hill on the back of the said sledge, which he finds highly amusing and of course I find very satisfying and saves me platching through the deep drifts. Good combo.

This particular day I had been out for a small ablution moment, and to say it was cold is not the word, it was bloody freezing and my whole head and body was a freeze zone. I blundered back into the house and took up residence directly in front of the Rayburn. An essential item in every cat home. However, Mrs Boss was busy cooking soup this evening and I appeared to be in the way. How that could be I just cannot imagine, but I was summarily shoved through to the sitting room. I made a mental note to rub up alongside her black newly ironed jeans, just so as we understand who’s really the Boss around here.

I sauntered casually into the sitting room, giving her one of my ‘looks’ and wandered through towards the mulberry coloured rug in front of the fire. A good spot of back rolling, leg waving, head rubbing ensued and I then sat up and satisfied I’d left enough hairs to merit a comment and a Hoovering session tomorrow morning I stretched out and dozed fitfully. After a moment, although I felt comfortable, I was still suffering the effects of squatting down on my haunches in the wet, cold snow. I decided to take up position closer to the wood burning stove. A thing of beauty and delight. It was in full furnace mode, having just had a load of wooden logs supplied, it crackled and spat, and so I edged nearer and sat there staring at the glowing red embers and absorbing it’s warmth and cosiness.

I may have dropped off for a brief moment, but the next thing I knew I was grabbed from behind, hoisted in the air and the room was filled with the cries of “Oh My God … look at the cat” and “For the love o’ God what a stupid animal” and one phrase which did attract my attention more than the rest … “Quickly, fill the basin with water, his head’s on fire!” I have to say I was slightly aware of a burning hair sensation and more accurately a slight singeing smell wafting through the air as I was transported at some speed I might add through to the kitchen. This manoeuvre seemed to fan the flames so to speak and I have to say I was quite annoyed at being grabbed in such a violent manner and lashed out at Mr Mentor. I managed to leave my mark on his bare arms, so we both understood my annoyance, and unfortunately he seem to tighten his grip even more.

“He’s not going to like this, but it’s all we can do!” ….. Well he got that bit right. We sailed through into the kitchen and in a moment of sheer madness, he upended me and plunged me head first into the basin full of water. What the hell did he think he was playing at!? For God’s sake cats and water … not a combination you want to play around with. There was a loud hissing sound as my head disappeared into the bowl, and a further loud hissing sound as I re-emerged. The first was from the burning hair and the second from my mouth. I lunged desperately at the idiot that was holding me and managed to inflict an open wound on his other arm and then set about systematically wiping every dish, cup, pot, pan, utensil, and cutlery from the kitchen drainer as I made my escape. He had by now slipped his grip on me and was dancing around the room, waving his arms about like a windmill, and she in turn was chasing after him shouting something about ‘blood everywhere’ and to stand still.

I took a calculated risk and leapt from the drainer, soaking wet and abseiled down the towels onto the floor and skittered across the wooden floor and made my escape towards the bedroom. Always a good safety position, as being old and becoming infirm they cannot always get down to crawl underneath the bed and get hold of me. I just lie there for a while until they are both down on all fours crawling in, and then just leap towards their heads, they in turn shoot upwards and crack themselves on the bed planks, and in the confusion that follows, I simply walk over the top of them and out of the room. It works every time. You would think they might learn, but no, not ever.

After an hour or so, I ventured out and casually lay in the sitting room doorway and listened to the conversation. I gathered after a moment they were discussing me ….

“I saw him, he just was sitting there with his eyes closed leaning slowly forward”

“What, was he asleep then?”

“Yes, fast asleep … then he just leaned a bit too far and fell slowly against the stove, with his forehead firmly clamped up against the side ”

“Why didn’t you shift him?”

“Well, I didn’t think the stupid twat would just lie there, I thought he would spring back when he realised he was burning, but he just lay there, his eyes closed, his head burning and a little wisp of smoke slowly rising upwards from his forehead !!”

‘Stupid twat’ .. That’s no way to refer to your pet cat ... another mental note to sit on his newly washed car next weekend, after I’ve walked through a couple of puddles first.

So, so … seems I may have inadvertently fallen asleep headfirst into the side of the wood burning stove, and obviously caused a minor incident that escalated into something resembling a small nuclear war the way it was being portrayed by the humans. I did notice that the soup was no longer in the pans, there appeared to be a few broken plates in the waste bin, and virtually all the walls and floors in the kitchen had been scrubbed, though the tell tale specks of red seemed to linger on every one. Hmmmm … I slipped outside for a while and had a sleep in the garage until the dust settled, and then He was out in the morning whistling on me with a bowl of fresh new biscuits. Nice one Elwood.

Monday, 12 April 2010


Hi there … I have been away from here for a while, and you have probably never noticed, but we’re back! Just really to say cheerio … again !

What’s happening is this … apparently the book ‘Cats, Clouds & Flatpacks’ turned out to be the Shetland Times Christmas Bestseller and firstly, many, many thanks to all of you out there who bought a copy. The feedback has been brilliant, and it seems you all seemed to enjoy the nonsense contained within and liked reading about my misfortunes. That’s nice !

The result of this now is that the ‘Times’ are interested in a second book for the 2010 or more probably the 2011 Christmas market, and so I have been busy compiling another selection of short stories to share with you all. There seemed little point in ‘blogging’ them all on here initially, as if they then all end up in the book, there will be nothing new for you to savour or complain about, so hence the forfeit of postings!

However, as I sit and type away on the computer there are other moments, mostly in the life of Elwood, my feline companion, which I think you might enjoy, and so as these little snippets will most probably never end up in any book, I intend to share them on here.

So from time to time, I will hand over the laptop to Elwood, and he will randomly post moments of madness from his life, his thoughts on world events, and his take on the Theory of The Copenhagen Interpretation (The part where the furniture in your house behaves differently when you’re not around) and so on …

He tells me he wants to share with you the time his head went on fire, and so sometime in the next week or so he may scribble down this traumatic story from his life. There are other similar events apparently that he feels may need a wider audience and has listed car surfing, sky-diving, sleepwalking among them. We’ll see if he masters the intricacies of the computer keyboard, and hopefully from time to time a small epistle may well appear.

Meanwhile, once again, many thanks for all your support for ‘Cats, Clouds & Flatpacks’ the book; and hopefully by November I may have managed to write another slim volume of utter nonsense for you to slip unnoticed into somebody’s Christmas stocking for 2010 … or if not then maybe 2011 ;)