Tag Archives: Cats

Apple iPad Pro Pencil, not the first Tablet or Stylus by a long chalk

Apple iPad Pro Pencil

Apple have invented something revolutionary and yet familiar, or rather they’ve reinvented something that has been around as long as the wheel. It’s the pencil. Well, ok, we’ve only had pencils since 1564 but we’ve had writing implements since 4,000 BC. Rather amazingly the new £79 Apple Pencil has a full 12 hours of battery life – not as long as a real pencil, but you won’t need a sharpener, just a charger, when it runs out.

“When using iPad Pro, there may be moments when you want even greater precision. So we painstakingly designed Apple Pencil to expand on the versatility of Multi-Touch. And while the technology inside is unlike anything we’ve ever engineered, picking up Apple Pencil for the first time feels instantly familiar. It lets you make any number of effects, right down to a single pixel, giving you more creative freedom than ever before….The precision and versatility of Apple Pencil make it a natural tool for artists”Apple Pencil

Artists may disagree, having used stick brushes for millennia, as far back as 40,000 years. With Chinese writing and calligraphy came the use of more conventional brushes around 300 BC, ultimately reaching Western art many centuries later and first being mentioned Tuscan painter Cennino Cennini in his Il libro dell’arte, written in the early 1400s.

Read the review by Guardian illustrator Chloe Cushman:

“it didn’t feel like drawing with a pencil. It felt a lot like drawing on an iPad, which is sort of like drawing on a sheet of glass with a piece of plastic while having bright light beamed into your eyes. It’s not even the best tool for digital illustration – that’s a Wacom tablet, the gold standard used by professional artists and illustrators.”

Cushman quotes Steve Jobs who in 2010 said: “If you see a stylus, they blew it.” He thought the idea of a digital stylus was an admission of failure to design a graphical interface that worked with mouse or gestures alone. Gestures and flicks were actually patented by GoCorp and their PenPoint OS before Microsoft and Apple, back in 1991. Indeed, IBM brought out the ThinkPad 700T in 1991/2, the first iPad, well Thinkpad, back then:

Pen and Stylus Computing

We’ve had stylus based devices on Windows and Android since 1998 and earlier – Windows for Pen Computing was 1992. The 1998 Palmax touchscreen modeled on a Toshiba Libretto ran a customised touch-screen version of Windows 98, pre-empting Windows XP Tablet edition (2001) and Windows 8. My VHS cassette-sized 6.1″ screen Palmax PD-1000 still works. Compaq iPAQ PDAs running Windows Pocket PC 2000 & 2002 and HP Jornadas from 1998 running Windows CE had stylii, as did the Palm Tungsten and the 1993-98 Apple Newton. Around the same time as the Newton there was also the commercial failure, the Amstrad PenPad. Great innovations all of them – only the Apple iPad has been a real commercial success. One of the best smartphones or phablets is actually the Samsung Note and its stylus pen which is leaps and bounds ahead of innovations over a decade ago.

In 2001, IBM released the ThinkPad TransNote a combination X20 Thinkpad and convertible tablet as well as a real paper and pen notebook with electronic digitiser to convert notes to the laptop!

IBM Thinkpad Transnote
IBM Thinkpad Transnote usage variations

The Transnote didn’t sell well at its $3000 price tag, but it’ll still set you back £300 on the rare vintage market. Pen Computing said this of it in 2002:

“In many ways it is too darn bad that IBM gave up on the TransNote. It is an unusual design that includes a lot of great ideas–the result of many years of research in IBM’s advanced technology labs–and the overall package works surprisingly well.” – Pen Computing Magazine

First hybrid convertible laptop/tablet

IBM Thinkpad X41 Tablet
IBM Thinkpad X41 Tablet configurations

In 2004, Lenovo bought IBM Thinkpad and in 2005 their first touchscreen tablet convertible laptop came out, the Thinkpad X41, with a stylus pen that docked inside. Aside from the abandoned Transnote, this was the first convertible tablet – that wasn’t linked to a notepad. These ran Windows XP Tablet edition but from Windows Vista and 7 onwards tablet features were embedded within the Windows standard operating system.

Pen and Paper

Of course, pen and paper have been around for nearly 2,000 years, since the Chinese invented paper, the same Chinese whose descendants bought IBM and now resell it as Lenovo! The pencil has been around since 1564, the first patented pen in 1888, and the first tablet – neither Apple, IBM, Windows, nor Samsung, but ancient Sumer, around 4,000 BC.

Uruk Cuneiform Clay Tablet, 3000 BC, Beer Allocation
Uruk Cuneiform Clay Tablet, 3000 BC, Beer Allocation!

The original clay tablets came in a choice of colours including “bone white, chocolate and charcoal“. History demonstrates that just because we have great technology does not mean that we will use it for lofty pursuits. Cat videos, adult entertainment, and Kim Kardashian on the Internet, all come to mind. This very early writing tablet is not the Epic of Gilgamesh but an early record of beer rations!

Franz Marc, German artist, painter of not just cats & abstract blue horses

German Artist, Franz Marc, 1880-1916

The Tower of Blue Horses, Franz Marc, 1913
Franz Marc, “The Tower of Blue Horses”, 1913, (missing since 1945)

Bavarian artist Franz Marc died 100 years ago today on 4 March 1916 at the Battle of Verdun, despite an order to withdraw him as a prominent artist. With his love of horses, he appropriately signed-up as a cavalryman and also developed artist-inspired Pointillist painted camouflage for German artillery.

It was a First World War that he oddly believed in despite his art being proscribed as an entarteter Künstler, or “degenerate artist“, during the Nazi era, a quarter of a century after his death. That led to the removal of some 130 paintings from German museums in the late 1930s, some of which were only rediscovered in 2011 in the Cornelius Gurlitt art horde.

Franz Marc, 1910
Franz Marc, 1910

“Serious art has been the work of individual artists whose art has had nothing to do with style because they were not in the least connected with the style or the needs of the masses. Their work arose rather in defiance of their times.” – Franz Marc

Marc painted and drew well over 500 oil paintings, drawings and watercolours, as well as being a woodcut and lithographic printmaker, and whose works now appear on postcards everywhere. Whilst his father Wilhelm Marc was a professional landscape painter he was influenced by studies in Munich and Paris, and inspired by Vincent van Gogh and Expressionism.

Friendship with Wassily Kandinsky

The Last Judgement, Kandinsky, 1912
Kandinsky, “The Last Judgement”, 1912

He counted Russian-born artist Wassily Kandinsky as a friend and co-founder of the art collective Der Blaue Reiter, 1911-14.

The Blue Rider” comprised artists formed out of tensions with NKVM, also founded by Kandinsky in 1909, and the rejection of Kandinsky’s “Last Judgement” painting. Although “The Blue Rider” was a 1903 painting by Kandinsky he later suggested the movement’s name was derived from his love of riders and Marc’s enthusiasm for horses, and their shared love of the colour blue. The group folded with the deaths of  Marc and fellow artist August Macke in World War I and the return of Russian-born members to their home country.

The First Abstract Art Painting

Hilma af Klint, Chaos, 1906
Hilma af Klint: A Pioneer of Abstraction V – “Primordial Chaos”, painted 1906-07. From an exhibition at Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Although Kandinsky is often credited with creating the first abstract artwork in 1910, Tate‘s 2013 retrospective and The Serpentine Gallery‘s current exhibition (3 March-15 May) of Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) would suggest otherwise.

She, yes – a female artist for Sweden was ahead of other nations in allowing women to study art and paint alongside men, was producing abstract paintings from 1906. Curator, Iris Müller-Westermann, describes Af Klint as an “outsider”, a “disturbing artist” who could “rewrite art history”.

Art, Nature, Spirituality & Cats!

Hilma Af Klint’s love of animals, plants, and their science, forged a bond between her art and the the natural world, and an evolution from traditional landscape to abstract art. Her non-traditional ‘occult’ spirituality also inspired her work.

“Today we are searching for things in nature that are hidden behind the veil of appearance… We look for and paint this inner, spiritual side of nature.” – Franz Marc

Franz Marc was also engaged by animals and wild colours that reflected inner emotion and spirituality not the natural world as seen on the surface. Thus his trademark blue horses, a red horse, yellow cow or even a purple hare, might be represented, though many of his earlier painted cats bore more naturalistic colours:

 Increasingly abstract cats in the art of Franz Marc, 1909-1913
Increasingly abstract cats in the art of Franz Marc, 1909-1913

Whilst not as obsessed and pursued by colour as perhaps Monet, nonetheless he imbued his use of colour with meaning and metaphor:

“Blue is the male principle, stern and spiritual. Yellow the female principle, gentle, cheerful and sensual. Red is matter, brutal and heavy and always the colour which must be fought and vanquished by the other two.” – Franz Marc

He was looking for the “inner truth of things” and it was a quest that took him back to nature:

“Marc found this nature-oriented quest for spiritual redemption inspiring. His vision of nature was pantheistic; he believed that animals possessed a certain godliness that men had long since lost. “People with their lack of piety, especially men, never touched my true feelings,” he wrote in 1915. “But animals with their virginal sense of life awakened all that was good in me.” By 1907 he devoted himself almost exclusively to the representation of animals in nature.” – Guggenheim

Marc had planned to train as a theologian but instead went into art and married artists, twice. His artistic depictions of the beauty and innocence of animals were painted against a contrasting backdrop of the years leading up to the First World War, a war that cut short his life and art career at just 36 years old.

Selection of Franz Marc paintings
Selection of Franz Marc paintings (click for more)

 

January Blues? National Hug Day may offer an Oxytocin rich cuddling cure

National Hug Day combats January Blues

National Hug Day was an idea put forward by one Kevin Zaborney in 1986. Whilst January 21 was not overly significant it fell halfway between New Year’s and Valentines. Zaborney thought US society was “embarrassed to show feelings in public” and hoped a National Hugging Day would help change that, but actually didn’t hold out much hope that it would catch on. Well it did, and nearly 20 years on, folk are still hugging. (If you want more cuddling cats then read to the end!)

Free Hugs Campaign

Across several continents, during public demonstrations or random acts of kindness, one can often witness people offering “FREE HUGS”. A phenomenon that began in Australia around ten years ago and has since taken off everywhere.

Over 77 million people have watched this “Free Hugs” video:

I’ve participated in Free Hug events, even a public mixed-sex kiss-in to challenge public perceptions of same-sex displays of affection and homophobia. I’ve also done cuddle workshops, had cuddle buddies, and queued for hours to hug with Amma, the 34-million-people-hugged queen of hugging. Amma, or Mata Amritanandamayi, says her only religion is love. Hate and war aren’t working, so perhaps we need a revival of 1960s-70s peace and love.

Monkey hugs - National Hug Day
Monkey hugs – why so glum?

As an atypically unreserved Brit, I can safely say that most of us consider our American cousins overly huggy, not me I can’t get enough of them – giving or receiving. That said, research has also shown that many European nations, such as the French or Spanish, spend even more time hugging or kissing.

In the midst of the Ferguson riots and response to the Michael Brown shooting one good news story emerged at a Portland demo, that of a kid offering hugs, even to a policeman. Devonte Hart was photographed hugging Sergeant Brett Barnum. According to the original Oregonian article, Hart was holding a “free hugs” sign. Barnum called him over and they talked about the demonstration, school, life and art. Afterwards, Barnum pointed at his sign and asked: “Do I get one of those?”

Commercial Cuddles by the hour

One woman in America has seen her cuddle-by-the-hour at $60 a time therapy business take-off with 10,000 enquiries in the first week! The www.CuddleUpToMe.com site, aka Samantha Hess, offers safeguards and various non-sexual options. She describes herself as a “professional cuddler” and offers to be the “big spoon or the little spoon”, although she is a petite 5ft tall, height is barely relevant when lying down.

Even in the usually reserved and private UK there are cuddle meetups, parties, and workshops, to be found.  Bastion of poking fun, The Daily Mail actually has a healthy write up about one. Anna Shekory of Cuddle Workshop and Tom Fortes Mayer of FreeMind are involved in the UK workshops and meetups.

“Cuddle Workshop is not affiliated with Cuddle Parties in the USA. We are similar yet different from Cuddle Party. Like them, we offer a safe boundaried space to explore nurturing non-sexual touch.”

Oxytocin the oxygen of happiness

Call it human comfort, closeness, community, or what you will but one chemical name it goes by is Oxytocin, the cuddle compound, hug hormone, and slightly more doubtfully, the moral molecule.

Oxytocin is my drug of choice. Oxytocin is a very potent and powerful hormone. When we hug, kiss, or share closer intimacies our oxytocin levels shoot up. Half-a-minute’s hugs can raise oxytocin levels and maintain them throughout the day. Hugs have been shown to act an as anti-inflammatory healer, pain relief, mood relief, counter stress and anxiety, increase generosity, trust, ease PTSD, aid social bonding in autism, relieve heart pressure and more!

More oxytocin means less stress, mental and cardiovascular, and an improved immune system. According to Dr Zak, author of “The Moral Molecule“, even hugging strangers releases the oxytocin sense of wellbeing, so long as the hug is permitted and welcomed, I would hasten to add, nor an excuse for a fondle or grope.

Neuroeconomist Zak, or “Dr Love”, calls oxytocin our “social glue” and according to one interviewer has all the appearance of “having been constructed in a laboratory charged with creating the ideal deliverer of TED talks”.

Zak encouraged skeptical New Yorkers at an event called Love Night to embrace each other, “If it works on 500 random New Yorkers, it’ll work for you,” Zak says.

TV and Social Media can be good for you

Feelgood movies can lead to a 47% surge in oxytocin levels. Television can actually be good for you! Especially, if watched whilst cuddled up in bed or on the sofa with another warm human being.

Even Facebook is good for you, or can be when used for positive social interactions in the absence of face-to-face possibilities.

“Social media is often heralded as the end to meaningful interaction” but science can demonstrate a different story. “While studying people’s oxytocin levels after using Facebook and Twitter, Dr. Zak saw oxytocin release in every participant…Though in-person interactions are much richer, he says, there’s room for the Internet.” Commenting on a Twitter experiment, Zak says:

“Your brain interpreted tweeting as if you were directly interacting with people you cared about or had empathy for, E-connection is processed in the brain like an in-person connection.”

It is also showing up as a drug to aid against obesity, act an as anti-inflammatory healer, pain relief, mood relief, counter stress, increase generosity, trust, and more. Indeed, “oxytocin is proving to be a crucial ingredient to what makes us human”.

Studies are showing that it may be effective in treating debilitating shyness, or to help people with social anxieties and mood disorders. It’s also thought that oxytocin could help people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. In addition, given that autism is essentially a social communication disorder, it’s being considered as a way of helping people on the spectrum as well. And lastly, oxytocin, through its trust-building actions, can help heal the wounds of a damaged relationship — another example of how the mind gets its plasticity.”

The realists and skeptics out there may need to read something more balancing, such as this piece by Ed Yong who kicks oxytocin and Dr Zak back into touch. Further pointing out that for some the benefits may only enhance your pre-existing mindset. One study showed that oxytocin actually caused less trust and cooperation among people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Amanda Palmer in the Guardian writes that if she “were queen for a day, cuddles would be mandatory. I would counter the epidemic of human encounterlessness with cuddle centres for those who never get a proper hug.”

If you are one of the 7-8 million single people or third of the UK that will be living alone as we age, then if the encounter with a cuddle party, meetup or professional cuddler, is just way beyond your British reserve or shyness, what can you do?

If cuddling is out of bounds, try petting

Cat cuddles
Cat cuddles

Clinical psychologist Dr Glenn ­Wilson suggests that “getting a kitten and petting it might have a similar soporific, calming effect.”

That may explain the equal rise of cat cafes and the opportunity to go and cuddle a kitty, or some other furry, if you live alone in rented accommodation that bans pets. People with pets apparently recover faster from illness and find their stress levels reduced. It may also be easier to maintain one’s boundaries with a cat!

Hugs on prescription?

Okay so they may not bring about world peace just yet but they can comfort or console what they can’t cure! So have a hug or pet a cat on me today!

Fat Cat Tuesday about FTSE100 Bosses earning 100x more than UK workers

Fat Cat Tuesday Trending

Today sees the trending of Fat Cat Tuesday on social media platforms, accompanied by ubiquitous photos of mega moggies and fat fluffies. Unlike #Caturday, which is devoted to real cats, the hashtag #FatCatTuesday is actually about FTSE100 bosses earning more by the end of today, the fifth day of the year, only the second working one, than the average UK worker in a whole year.

In fact, they could knock off early, sometime this afternoon, having earned £27,645 – the UK average salary, in less than two working days, according to the High Pay Centre, which has labelled today ‘Fat Cat Tuesday’ and launched a compare-your-pay counter online.

Feline Takeover…

The Internet’s ailurophilic love of cats almost meant the serious social and economic point was lost amidst a flurry of furry cat-selfies:

…Back to Business

Britain’s top executives make an average of £4.96 million a year and even assuming long hours, rare holidays or weekends off, their average hourly pay is still more than £1,260, nearly 200 times the minimum wage of £6.70 and easily 200 times the wages of those who build the skyscrapers in the City of London or the nurses that treat them in A&E. Assuming they do play golf at the weekend then it is over 200 times the basic guaranteed UK wage – voted the most successful government policy of the last 30 years.

Pay inequality

These levels of pay inequality, whilst legitimate in a free society are nonetheless abhorrently unethical and unnecessary. Who needs £1260/hour to live off, that’s £20 a minute. Whatever the crime, you’d expect a lawyer charging that much would get you off scot-free. In fact, many people earning these figures employ accountants and lawyers to find ways to avoid paying taxes on their exorbitant earnings.

Scot Free

The phrase ‘scot-free‘ has little to do with the Scots and everything to do with the Scandinavians and the French – linguistically, at least. The word comes from Old Norse and French escot which came into Old English as sceot, meaning “a payment, lot, portion or share”. Some merchants and nobles were given a tax “get out of jail free” card absolving them from paying, then royal, taxes, leaving them ‘lot’ or scotfreo – ‘scot’ free.

Old English scotfreo “exempt from royal tax,” from scot “royal tax,” from Old Norse skot “contribution,” literally “a shooting, shot; thing shot, missile,” from PIE *skeud “to shoot, chase, throw” (see shoot (v.); the Old Norse verb form, skjota, has a secondary sense of “transfer to another; pay”) + freo (see free(adj.)). First element related to Old English sceotan “to pay, contribute,” Dutch schot, German Schoß “tax, contribution.” French écot “share” (Old French escot) is from Germanic. – Online Etymology Dictionary

Maximum Pay Ceiling/Ratio

Should society, or government, at lease intervene to create pay controls, for example a fixed maximum pay or flexible least:most pay ratio balance?  Left Foot Forward argues that it’s time. What would be a fair rate when NHS and council chiefs can already earn multiples of MP and Prime Minister salaries and that’s just the public sector. Even the most free-market liberal socialist would surely argue for a rate around 10-20x base wages. Actually, many are arguing for 75x which is still a 50% cut from the 133-200x reality that currently exists. Over time, it would be great to bring it down further, whilst also raising minimum pay. John Lewis already employ a 75:1 maximum ratio and employee profit share. A 2010 report recommended a maximum 20:1 ratio for public sector pay, a ratio which is mostly currently observed:

  • 19:1 in major universities
  • 14:1 in largest NHS trusts
  • 10:1 in government departments

It’s an ethical economics catch-22 whether everyone earning more is better than nobody being paid disproportionately too much, in other words should we work on raising minimum wages irrespective of maximum wages, or whether it is the imbalance itself that is the problem. There are so many small-print ways of evading a suggested or mandated pay ration, what it boils down to is that an ethical company would want to observe such a policy whether it was law or not. Fat Cat Tuesday is so shocking that it should lead to fewer fat cats and more healthily average-weight and salaried employee kittens across the board!

Fat Cat Tuesday moggy on mounds of cash #FatCatTuesday
Photo credit: Ginger the cat by KJW and miscellaneous mounds of money #FatCatTuesday

 

RNIB launch CatNav Guide Cats for the Blind

Guide Cats for the Blind

Today, the RNIB announced a trial program of seeing-eye “mobility” cats, “Guide Cats for the Blind“, or CatNav, for the blind, partially sighted, and visually impaired, alongside their Guide Dogs for the Blind training.

From Cat’s Eyes to CatNav

Sleeping cat pile, CatNap
Sleeping cat pile, more CatNap than CanNav!

After all, we have cats’ eyes in the road to guide car drivers at night, why not by day as well? Cat’s eyes were introduced as far back as 1933 in Yorkshire, in the UK, and are now used the world over. Whilst the cat’s eyes in our roads never sleep, any attempt at CatNav is liable to be more prone to falling asleep for 22 hours a day, CatNap! As recent TV documentaries using GPS trackers have also shown, cats tend to go round in circles hunting, retracing, guarding and marking their territory.

Cats are Easily Distracted

The cats are being rigorously disciplined to avoid distractions such as mice, birds and shiny lights, like Puss in Boots was prone to in the Shrek movies franchise.

These are not to be confused with the original poem, “Guide Cats for the Blind”, by Les Barker, and the five subsequent “Guide Cats” albums of songs, poems and humour: “Guide Cats for the Blind”, “Missing Persians File”, “Top Cat, White Tie and Tails”, “Cat Nav”, and “Herding Cats”. Listen to the audio reading of Les Barker’s poem below:

Les Barker described any attempt to harness the intelligence of cats as Guide Cats for the Blind, as futile. “The best place for a blind man isn’t half-way up a curtain” or on the roof at 4am! “Only a fool would follow … Guide cats for the blind“.

The full text of Guide Cats for the Blind, by Les Barker:

The word futile springs to mind, mission impossible, yes, that’s the attempt
to harness for mankind, the intelligence of cats.
You’ve made a basic error, now let me expound.
This master/servant thing’s o.k. but not that way around
We don’t do the ‘faithful’ subject, we don’t do the daily grind
You should never have attempted this
Guide cats for the blind

Tabby Cat
Tabby Cat mesmerising humans

Give kitty so much trust, and we’ll abuse the privilege
You think you’re going out, you’re opening the fridge
You think I’m trying to help you, I’m not serving man but mammon
You think you’ve gained a faithful friend, you’ve lost a plate of salmon
I might lead you down the high street, I’ll be back when I have dined
We get very very hungry being
Guide cats for the blind

It can’t be very pleasant, of this I’ve little doubt
With your head stuck in a cat flap, whether facing in or out
You could be here a day or two, half out in the rain
I’ve got to go, I’ve things to do, maybe I’ll pass this way again
A dog would go for help, but cats are not that way inclined
Cats have better things to do than being
Guide cats for the blind

Of some matters I am ignorant, but this I know for certain
The best place for a blind man isn’t half way up a curtain
Why do they have to be up on a roof at 4am
It’s a perfect place for me, but what’s in it for them?
It was where I had to go, and he just tagged along behind
I don’t know why, only a fool would follow
Guide cats for the blind

I once met a man called Pavlov, from time to time he rang a bell
Simple things make humans happy, but I have to say that well,
I found it a disturbance and poor chap I think he knew it
And soon he only rang his bell when I wanted him to do it
Did you ask for our assistance, if you did then we declined
Here we are, an oxymoron
Guide cats for the blind

 

National Cat Day – A Day of Mourning for a Sad Mad Cat Lady

Tabby at a year old
Tabby at a year old

Today is National Cat Day, presumably a day for their owners – although we all know that dogs have owners, and cat lovers are owned by their feline masters. Because of course every day is National Cat Day if you are a cat. And there are some 500 million of them around!

It began in 2005 by an animal welfare and rescue advocate Colleen Paige, in the USA, and is an American National Cat Day. An International Cat Day on 8 August has existed since 2002.

Social Media and Cats

Cats are what the Internet was designed for, it seems, certainly on many social media sharing platforms at least where whether angry, grumpy, philosophical or just funny, they are more popular than dogs, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and bacon, accounting for more than 30m monthly searches, quite apart from the shares! Today though, cats are rightly trending on twitter under #nationalcatday.

Utopia and Cats

Kitten cuteness
Kitten cuteness

In Geoffrey Household’s The Cats to Come – most famously the author of Rogue Male also featuring a cat, a future furry utopia is imagined, for the cats at least, where they rule and are carried about by their human servants!

My utopia of mad cat lady cat trusteeship, for we are not owners, was dealt a heavy blow yesterday when our petite, precocious, and precious tabby cat, eponymously called Tabby, died on the vet’s operating table after some hidden trauma had caused blood to fill up around the lungs. $1500 later, she could not be saved and now rests in my garden below some freshly planted perennial flowers that will appear each year and remind me of her. She was not even 18 months old yet.

A small cat in a rather large wine glass
A small cat in a rather large wine glass

She was half the size of her two brothers, yet otherwise healthy. She loved getting into small spaces, whether a DL envelope, large wineglass, dressing gown pocket, hoodie hood, or my forearm curled around her.

Each morning she would run up to me and climb my chest and ask for croissant! She was my “Croissant Terrier”. Yes I encouraged it because she was so cute and never demanding, just pleased to be privileged. She was a princess without being spoilt and a queen who knew her position – generally on top of other cats twice her size whom she used as pillows, foot rests or royal seats!

Tabby wall of remembrance 12.5.13-29.10.14
Tabby wall of remembrance 12.5.13-29.10.14

She took up so little space, yet leaves a massive hole. She was a majestic moggy much loved. The other dozen cats will have to fill her space, but none can replace her memory nor large personality. Many tears have and will go on being shed for her passing. As I write this the smallest tortoiseshell runt of a later litter, called Biscuit, has settled on my lap in my writing study, warming my thighs and my distracting me from my grief.

Tabby’s photographic wall of remembrance can be seen in this public facebook album. She provided such joy in such a short length of time and amassed hundreds of photos in just months. I’ve always had a tabby, now I am without one, thought I have a dozen others from black to mixed, ginger to tortoiseshell and even a torbie – a tortieshell and tabbie mix.


An earlier version of this post was published on Bubblews.

More articles on cats

On coffee and cats
On cats and language learning
On crowdfunded cat cafes
Why kids and kitties prefer boxes
On cats, comfort, writers and their feline muses