Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Most Embarrassing Name In The World!

Are you like pensioners I wonder who seem to have all the time in the world when they are waiting to have hip replacements and other enormously costly surgeries to help drain the taxed income of us all?

Why I ask is that pensioners have time to think and frankly I can't wait to be one for a lot of reasons. The first and probably most important reason is that I will be able to recoup all of the taxes that I have paid and of course receive so much more in benefits, healthcare and the like, which you have to admit is a tempting prospect. But more than that, I will be able to have time to think while the pensioners lucky enough to be up ahead of me on the various hospital waiting lists and benefit queues have all manner of important and frivolous procedures carried out on them by health professionals so that they can live even longer and drain so much more money out of the 'system' before they complain for their last time.

What I am talking about when I say that I will have time to think is just that, time to sit in a recliner somewhere and actually use whatever portion of grey matter is left by then. And one of the things I want to think about and indeed if I can provide a definitive answer for, is what is the most embarrassing name in the world?

I also want to find the source of snot, you know the runny stuff in the nose, Livingstone found the source of the Nile so it shouldn't be too difficult, but then that is changing the subject and that is not a good thing to do when writing, which is a shame really because this adorable genius does it all too often.

So which name do you think is the most embarrassing name in the world? Is it a first name like Dick or is it a second name like Hitler?

Obviously I haven't arrive yet at 'the' name because I am not a pensioner and don't have much time to think about these things, but I have a few candidates which I thought I would share with you and of course I hope that you send in your own suggestions, I also hope that you buy my book - as they say I don't wish for a lot do I.

Somewhere at the top of any list of the most embarrassing names in the world has to be anyone who is unfortunate enough to have the last name Hitler, and if their first name is Adolf well then! Still Adolf Hitler isn't the worst name in the world because help is at hand in the form of a free name changing service provided by the German government to change your name if it just happens to be Hitler and you aren't that happy with it though it has to be said that not all Germans who are called Hitler want to change their names, which is rather revealing isn't it?

Personally I think that the Saudi government should immediately provide the same service for anyone called Bin Laden because it must be really very difficult to get on an airliner if your name is Bin Laden. Although the real Bin Laden's family were, and probably still are, residents of the US so presumably they aren't worried about the name which all means that neither the names Hitler nor Bin Laden are really at the top of the list of worst names in the world.

I have to say high on my list of the worst names in the world would be Poo Bear - imagine a Bear made of Poo and you will see where I am coming from, but still I don't think that Poo Bear is the worst name in the world do you Disney don't do they, although they are concerned that Poo's revenue stream is not as strong as it should be?

Happily we do have a little help in our search for the worst name in the world and that is because of the www (wheally wonderful web) and the gigantic but gorgeous Oprah Winfrey who you may remember devoted a whole show to the worst name in the world. In my opinion it could have been a series because it was by far and away the most interesting show the large but lovely presenter had ever presented.

Here are some of the names that come up time and again but still I think that we haven't found the 'big one,' do tell me what you think and don't forget to send in your own suggestions as well.

Dick Assman who comes from Canada - he would wouldn't he! Actually Ramsbottom is a very 'popular' (if that is the right word) surname from Yorkshire and one can imagine just what it would be like for Dick Assman to meet a member of the Ramsbottom clan, things would get out of hand!

Still these names aren't bad enough though are they! They are on a par with the idiot translator's name John Woodcock apparently at school he was called 'Timber Tool' or worse 'Splinter Pr**k' but the scars have mostly healed and so Woodcock, though not a name I would choose to live my life with, is not the winner here.

Below is a list of other contenders but still we don't have one that stands head and shoulders above the rest although the German name of the British Royal family is a bit of a horror and was only replaced by Windsor during the Second World War, just proving that they are the enemy!

Horniman
Smellie
Pigg
Sidebottom
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
the German one mentioned above.

All of the above proves that when I become a pensioner I will have a lot of time to think about the worst name, although I swear once years ago my colleagues and I were listening to BBC Radio 4 and a German expert was introduced to talk about something or the other and his name was Klaus Shirtlifter which you have to admit is not only a contender but also a word not to be played with. I remember we all looked up from doing the clever stuff we were doing and said "Klaus Shirtlifter!" In a variety of disbelieving tones.

Here is the coat of arms of the royal family before they changed their name as you can see as typical Germans their emblems are printed on top of the British ones to show who won the war etc. Though quiet where the Welsh disappeared to no one knows.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Has Come To The Czech republic


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It is that time of year again! Summer is here at last. Sadly the supreme being who created peadophiles, rapists, slums, poverty, cruelty and all of the other gifts that 'he' gave us convinced the Czechs, and indeed a lot of other misguided people in the surrounding area such as the Germans, Slovaks and what not, that they should leave their clothes in a pile somewhere and 'enjoy' the sun's rays the way that 'he' had intended - au naturel!

What the misguided people in the surrounding area such as the Germans, Slovaks and in particular the Czech don't seem to know is that nature au naturel is rather attractive, but their naked white bodies blistering in the sun's microwaves are not, I wonder how one small but clever Cat can get through to these misguided hordes of naked humans and convince them to wear something and please not a thong and a frown like the French do at the beach?

Frankly I don't know how to go about convincing the entire continent to cover up, I did think about naming and shaming but there are too many of the buggers, then I thought about showing photographs of them to a wider audience in the hope that the world would campaign against these lovers of nature but if I did that my lovely blog would look like one of 'those' sites that you get when you mistype some url's and we can't have that can we? I am a lot of things and have been called most but I'm not a pornographic pussy if you see what I mean.

So I am at a loss on how to stop all of this vast and unwelcome exposure of human flesh, you know sometimes I wish I was a politician because they are really rather good at cover ups aren't they!

The trouble with being a good looking Cat I suppose I just don't understand humans sometimes, what on earth gets into them that they have to take their clothes off and try to improve the beauty of a wooded, lakeside beauty spot.

What is worse is that from my lofty offices up here where the Barrandov Film Studios are I can actually see... sorry I just don't have the vocabulary to describe what I can see or indeed the stomach!

Unfortunately there is one other problem today and that is what photograph to use in my pretty blog and so here is the only thing that I could think of it - is a suggestion of apparel for Czechs and the other misguided people in Europe to wear when they want to be 'au naturel' in nature.

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Here are the instructions for using fig leaves for the more simple minded ie the entire nations of France Germany, Slovakia and of course the Czech Republic.

Men should wear one fig leaf and women three and men try to resist choosing a fig leaf that is too big you will only look ridiculous, and never wear a fig leave with any figs attached that would only lead to 'complications' and increased female expectations that I couldn't possibily describe here!

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Cats Are Not Pests!

Some of you humans have a lot to answer for you know. I saw the dreadful Google.com had pasted this ad onto my blog page here.

"If this silent cat repelling device fails to get rid
of that pesky cat you pay nothing.
pestcontrol.netfirms.com"

Firstly I would like to say that the title of this blog "CAT'S ARE NOT PESTS" is true and secondly I would like you good readers to never ever click in the link of this disgusting pest control firm you do that for me? (A nice smile is added here) the trouble is that as you will know from my book available here Amazon.com that Cats aren't very good at smiling, it tends to make us look more than a little evil, and of course I hate, loathe and detest the smiley faces you see in emails and everywhere else on the web almost as much as pestcontrol.netfirms.com.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Well Done Oscar I'm Proud Of You

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A very brave Cat called Oscar who had his back feet severed by a combine harvester has been given two prosthetic limbs in a pioneering operation by a UK vet and this Cat would like to say well done Oscar I am very, very proud of you to not only get the new legs but also to get something back for all Cats after your visit to a vet, as we know it is usually the other way around.

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Oscar's new feet are actually custom-made implants that "peg" the ankle to the foot. They are bioengineered to mimic the way deer antler bone grows through the skin. Oscar's amazing operation which was the first of its type was done by Noel Fitzpatrick, a veterinary surgeon based in Surrey.

It is possible, in time, that Oscar's operation might be replicated on humans and of course it is nice to know that yet again the bravest and most intelligent animals on the planet lead the way for the taller ones.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

When Charity Goes Absolutely Bonkers!

Recently a 77 year old widow who lives in Norfolk a rural, tranquil backwater of England decided that she couldn't live without a Cat, a very sensible view in my opinion, and so Mrs. Margaret Baker contacted a charity called Feline Care to see if she could adopt a Cat.

Mrs. Baker then went along to the charity's Cat sanctuary and fell in love with a Bengal Cat called Lilly, it was about then that the charity's cold hearted madness began.

First the charity said that they would have to 'vet' Mrs. Baker, which I suppose is reasonable. Of course Mrs. Baker agreed because she dearly wanted Lilly as a companion, because her husband Ted had recently died, but frankly the word 'vetting' sends a chill up my spine because I remember being 'vetted' and I still think to this day that I lost something in the 'vetting' process. I just hope that Mrs. Baker's 'vetting' was a newer different type of 'vetting.

After 'vetting' Mrs. Baker the charity called her with the rather bad news that in their opinion she lived in the wrong postcode area (post codes are like zip codes) and so she couldn't have a cat. Feline Care apparently turned down Mrs. Baker's application because her home of 38 years on Abbey Estate in Thetford, Norfolk (pictured below), was deemed by them to be in too rough an area for a Cat, they didn't mention whether it was dangerous for pensioners in their 'esteemed' opinion.

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Mrs Baker was rightly absolutely speechless and said:

"I was numb then I put the phone down and just burst into tears."

In their defence Feline Care said that they had heard of reports of Dogs attacking Cats in the area but didn't seem to have the supporting documentation to hand. Since this terrible disappointment Mrs. Baker has adopted a British Grey Cat called Smokey, who is a rather good looking Cat in this Cat's opinion, because life didn't seem to have much of a point anymore.

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Mrs. Baker said: "When I went out I realised that when I came back home I hated it. There was nothing to come back to. You could say that my husband Ted and I were joined at the hip and we did everything together."

Smokey sounds as though he will be the perfect partner for Mrs. Baker because he is obviously a house Cat and therefore won't be worried about Dogs who chase Cats and not knowing where the closest tree is.

With the last words on the subject Mrs. Baker said:

"Now I've got Smokey I don't mind coming home any more."

The Cat's thoughts!

So did Feline Care get it right? Well as you can see from the picture above of the Abbey Estate it doesn't look much like anywhere else in rundown, redundant Britain and sadly the Abbey Estate and its inhabitants have probably seem the 'best' times that they will have because of the economic mess Britain is in.

Is the estate only fit for humans and Dogs and not Cats as you can see in the picture the speed limit if it is enforced would be helpful, there are trees and some grass and on balance it looks ok and although choosey, this Cat believes that he could live there as obviously so does Smokey who already seems at home on Mrs. Baker's armchair, though I have a feeling that Smokey really wishes Mrs. Baker would move so he could stretch out in the chair.

Smokey does has that 'stoaty' look that Cat's have when they want something and the chair is a no brainer, better still he is rejecting the Cat treat Mrs. Baker is offering him, on the spoon in her right hand, a clear indication that he gets a good few Cat treats.

Yes this Cat believes that Smokey is truly at home on the Abbey Estate in the wonderful care of Mrs. Baker and is better off for it, let's face the hard reality as a stray Cat he has a 70% chance that he would not survive on any street anywhere for more than a week or so and the figures are worse in places the undeveloped world like India and don't forget he could become a dinner course in China.

Of course this Cat understands that charities such as Feline Care have to protect the Cats that they rehouse and indeed have an obligation to the good people who support them financially, but a lot of Cats are what is known in Catty circles as 'home Cats' they tend to not want to go out and are really happy to be indoors on a convenient lap or stretched out above a radiator in the Winter.

Surely Feline Care have Cats like these to offer pensioners who themselves a bit like home birds? Well that is what this clever Cat thinks although of course this Cat is definitely an outdoor Cat of the world as you all know from my wonderful book available at places such as Amazon.com and my wickedly wonderful website or www www.thecatsdiary.com

In my considered opinion you should really think hard and long about giving money to any charities because firstly not much of your hard earned cash actually goes to doing what they say they are going to be doing, especially the big global charities like Oxfam, Greenpeace, Christian Aid, Amnesty International or indeed the much smaller though no less bossy and opinionated charities like Feline Care.

To be brutally honest charities actually do very little good with the money that you entrust to them because they have large prestigious offices to maintain in so many different countries, CEO's on extremely generous salary and benefit packages, vast numbers of staff and worse they are increasingly connected to governments and not adverse in lecturing you and I, the common or garden people and Cats, on what we should be doing with our lives and that isn't right is it?

But by far and away worst of all charities not only have a significant contributions from the public they are constantly given enormous amounts of money by governments, UN and other funds to spend but still they ask for more and more.

Whatever you do when the charities show the next humbling picture of poverty, neglect or heart wrenching torment don't forget the last crises in Africa was manufactured by them just to get the general public to drop money in their tins. Maybe it is time charities became a lot more accountable in every way!

Still after all is said and done and the hot air has settled this Cat hopes that Mrs. Baker and Smokey are happy together, there are too many lonely people in the world to say nothing of the number of Cats without a home!


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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Cat - Always Giving

Yesterday afternoon instead of finding the person responsible for the oil spill outside The Cat Towers and getting them to start a massive clean up operation I had to rush to the rescue of a dear talented and tortured friend. Yes it was an emergency and so I took loads of tissues, nasal spray, chocolate, sticky buns and of course Mint Imperials.

My dear friend and fellow best selling author J.K. Rowling called around tea time in floods of tears and in between the sound of her blowing her nose and grizzling she asked me to drop by and have one of our heart to hearts.

J K Rowling.jpg


Obviously this is not an uncommon emergency, dear J.K. Rowling or 'Pesty' as I call her has been a constant caller over the ten or so years she has been writing her best sellers. You know she calls for advice on grammar, spelling, story lines, character's names and so much more. In the early days when she was a struggling single Mother she'd even ask for change for the electric meter or a cup of coffee and some toast so that she didn't get ejected from the coffee bar she used to write in.

Frankly I thought after she became the patron saint of the publishing industry she would stop calling but the calls have just become more frequent if anything. When she'd call she would ask not only for help with her writing but also what did I think of the latest movie, was a Harry Potter theme park a good idea?

Sometimes I have a feeling I think I made things worse but not better, especially when I voiced my 'concerns' over the movies but good advice honestly given is a valuable commodity and Pesty was a ardent customer.

So there we were sitting in her 'drawing room,' her butler and maids dismissed after arranging the coffee cups for the tenth time, yes this is a girl who has gone up in the world, and she just broke down again. It seems that my dear friend is having some trouble with her latest literary project and earnestly wanted my advice.

After the fifth iced bun and in between cracking open yet another pair of Mint Imperials between her molars Pesty let out an enormous sob, blew her nose on a very damp tissue and opened her heart yet again.

It seemed that pesty's latest blockbuster in progress was not going at all well, in fact although Pesty had taken a multi million advance from her publisher to buy Rhode Island or something she was stuck, and she wanted to run the story line (so far) by me.

The latest series of books Pesty had decided should be a story about a boy in a kindergarten. The boy called Larry Cotter possessed special powers and two idiot friends who would follow him through any nonsense of a contrived plot.

I sort of sighed and opened my mouth to offer my opinion but before I could dear Pesty put her sticky finger to her mouth to not only ssssh me but also to pop in a couple more Mint Imperials to crack open and crunch as she went on.

"There's more before you tell me what a good idea 'The Mystic Adventures of Larry Cotter' are!" Pesty said with a bravado that nearly broke my heart.

"The teachers at the kindergarten are all very strange and all seem to be against poor Larry who is a bit weedy, but they all turn out to be really rather nice," the fingers ssshed me again, "and there will be computers, Robots and modern stuff because Larry is not only weedy but also a computer nerd who can build Robots and other modern stuff."

When Pesty took a breath I expected her sticky fingers to touch her lips for silence but it appeared that she had stopped talking 'that' was 'it' the entire plot for the next series of five or so books - "mmh I though."

Well what could I say? I have always told Pesty the truth and look what that has done for her so that is what I told her now, as she rang for a plate of fresh cream filled cakes and after they had arrived took one in each hand so that her mouth would not be empty while I continued.

Had she really explored all of her other ideas I asked earnestly, well yes she said she had started with a story about a college student called Barry Otter who had special powers but that didn't seem to pan out because he kept growing up and becoming a Cost Accountant.

Sobbing and dripping tears onto the last mouthful of cream cake in her left hand she said that she had then explored the possibilities of a book about a young primary school boy called Nigel Jefferies who came from a children's home, had a club foot and was in the school choir because he could sing like an angel, but sadly she didn't seem to be able to work any special powers or magic into the tale and worse when she imagined Nigel playing 'Poundpitch' which she thought would be the next 'Quidditch' all she could see was him falling off his broom.

Things were, I decided, worse than I thought! Pesty had lost it! Unfortunately it was now up to me to tell her the brutal truth but how that was the problem?

Then I had a brilliant idea, the best way to ensure that people in need suddenly dry their eyes, cheer up, and it has to be said get rid of their visitors as quickly as possible is to ask a favour and rather than break the news that Pesty's literary career was in a mess this is what I decided to do.

"Actually I have a problem too," I said as earnestly as possible, "I am starting out on my latest series of books which have a working title of 'Things and People I Really Loathe Vols 1-3' and I wondered if you could help me with some of the references. Was the name Harry Potter your first choice name for your main character?"

Just as I expected the tears dried, the cream smeared hands were wiped on the sofa and the last Mint Imperial chewed noisily to destruction.

"Cat" smiled Pesty, "you know I love you and I owe you a lot because you have offered me so much help over the years and that is why I am so sorry I have to say that I can't help you at the moment. Actually I have something really important to do so you must leave, it has been nice but I do have a book to write."

As I left Pesty Mansions I knew that the old Pesty was back and soon Barry Otter, Larry Cotter or indeed a female hero called Carrie Lotter would be soon weaving his or her magic over his or her adoring fans, Pesty was back!


On Mint Imperials

It is possible that some readers don't know what a Mint Imperial actually is and because I am a caring Cat and best selling author I thought that I would offer you a description and a photograph of the little tooth breaking delicious minty treats and indeed a link if you want to try the little minty devils for yourself.

Mint Imperials are small misshapenly roundish candies. They have a Minty rock hard sugar coating and a Minty softer inside they are definitely supposed to be sucked to extinction but because most people who have one, two or in pesty's case three of these delightful treats in their mouth, tend not to be able to resist crunching on them they are not only delicious but noisy and of course literally Minty through and through.

Obviously the crunching is what can, and does, break teeth which is why dentists say they think that eating Mint Imperials and indeed any boiled sweet is a bad idea, but at night at their dark gathering secretly give thanks to the confectionery industry for making them and thereby increasing dentist's income by at least a factor of four.

There is a great pile of information here Wikipedia if you want to read more about Mint Imperials.

Mint Imperials.jpg


If you really would like to try the little devils and risk a tooth or two you could always order some here Sweet Memory Lane.co.uk

I have to stress that I don't have any connection with Sweet Memory Lane.co.uk in any way what so ever and that means sadly that when my fans put in bulk orders on my recommendation I won't see a "brass farthing" to quote Charlie Dickens which is a damn shame because Sweet Memory Lane.co.uk seem to know how to charge if you see what I mean, when I was a Kitten a quarter of a pound which is probably 113 gms was sixpence now Sweet Memory Lane.co.uk want a whole British Pound and although British Pounds are pretty worthless a pond seems a lot, but they are worth the cost - promise and you could always send me some.

No not the Mint Imperials the British Pounds silly! You can donate them here - www.thecatsdiary.com just use the donate button here often!



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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oil Spill

You know I think that BP may have been passed 'The Cat Towers' my Prague HQ, and the centre of my ever growing empire, because there is the most enormous oil spill outside on the footpath (see below).

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The enormous oil spill here prompted me to ask a favour of anyone living on the Gulf of Mexico coastline. If they could take a stroll down to one of their now black beaches and sniff a tarred pelican or two and then let me know if they smell of Vegetable Oil, because I have a feeling that is the odour that is drifting up to my office window and of course if the beach and the wildlife do smell of Vegetable Oil it will confirm my suspicions and I will start to make my compensation claim.

BP say that they have a 20 billion dollar fund that they will use to pay for the damage they have created which is a hell of a lot more than the 1.28 billion dollars that Exxon reluctantly spent in 1989 after the Exxon Valdez hit the rocks off Alaska.

I wonder if BP will wash whiter? Because people who live on the coastline that the Exxon Valdez sprayed with oil say that they are still suffering the ill effects all these years later, but then as the general public have a very limited attention span who out there cares? Definitely not Greenpeace those guardians of the environment who spend so much of our hard earned money on their offices, ships and of course staff needed to collect even more of our hard earned disposable income.

I only know that they don't care about those poor Alaskans because nowhere on their website do they say that they are doing anything for those poor sods, but then the Exxon Vadez doesn't have the cachet of the BP disaster does it? And that means that Greenpeace couldn't use that old Alaskan disaster to make a grab for more of your money could they! The Exxon Valdez disaster is now only relevant to Alaskans.

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But think about it can you blame greedy corner cutting corporations when it is 'you' that they are getting the oil for at the cheapest possible price so that you always can use your car and don't pay too much for gas!

Tell you what, if you are 'that' concerned about this disaster then the obvious answer is to give up your car, don't fly anywhere and then happily the developed world will need less oil.

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If we give up our cars and trucks and save loads of oil then that will leave the two biggest polluter China and India (who of course don't have any international legal obligations to stop polluting) to pay ever greater amounts of cash for oil, which I have to say is a nice idea isn't it?

Still thinking about the BP disaster for a moment - did you know that the BP disaster is not the worst oil spill ever, yes, you wouldn't believe it would you? There is at least one worse oil spill. It happened when that arch villain Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and then offered a "Mother of all Battles" then ran away before 'Mother' arrived and the battle could begin.

During Saddam's brief time in Kuwait he was worried about the American Marines landing from the Persian Gulf and so being the 'hero' that he was he ordered that the valves at an offshore oil terminal be opened. The result was a loss of hundreds of millions of barrels of oil and a 4 inch thick oil slick that covered 4000 square miles.

To give you an idea of what that was like just imagine Rhode Island not only covered in oil but swamped with it to a depth of a foot.

Lastly on an equally unhappy note I recently travelled to Hungary to write a little more of my next book which is a Travelogue, now you can see why I went to Hungary it wasn't for any sort of literary inspiration or anything I hope you didn't misunderstand.

The whole trip was awful because basically Hungarians are the rudest people I have ever encountered and I have met Prince Charles!

You can read all about my trip in the book when it finally comes out, but I thought I would share an observation and show just why people are acting unwisely if they wear t-shirts with writing on.

As I passed through downtown Budapest I saw a t-shirt which had a very odd message on it! It said "I Love BP" actually it was one of those even worse than dreadful t-shirts that said "I" then had a little graphic representation of a heart "BP" if you see what I mean.

As you can imagine I thought that this was a very risky stance for anyone to take on behalf of BP in the light of what they are doing to one of the prettiest places in the world, but this was Hungary and as I explained, though I hope not too critically, 99.99% of Hungarians are rude bastards.

It wasn't until I was on my way home and had spent several hours sighing with relief to get out of Hungary alive it sort of dawned on me "I ♥ BP" meant "I Love or ♥ Budapest."

As you can now tell it was such a dreadful place, because of the Budapestians that it never ever entered my head that someone would love Budapest, or dare wear a t-shirt that showed any love to the oily polluter either for that matter.



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Monday, June 14, 2010

November Could Be Interesting

You will be pleased to hear that I am going to have a bit of a break, unfortunately that break won't be until November but it will be rather fun I am sure.

Have I piqued your interest? I do hope so! Where am I going I hear you ask - no go on please ask where I am going even if you aren't really very interested because I am really hyped by the prospect and when you hear you might just be a little hyped too - whatever 'hyped' actually is of course!

Ok I give in I'll tell you anyway. I am going to Florida, to Cape Canaveral that used to be Cape Kennedy, to watch a photograph of my face be launched into space on the last Space Shuttle flight ever, unless of course you count the return flight as a separate one if you see what I mean and surely the return flight is important enough to be counted separately.

shuttle.jpg

The great thing is that after NASA asked me to supply the photograph of me that is used on the cover of my world famous book "Getting Out Excerpts from a Cat's Diary" available from all good, and not so terribly good, bookshops near you and of course at these fine places Amazon.com and my wickedly wonderful website or www www.thecatsdiary.com I asked them nicely if they would consider letting ordinary people send their pictures into space along with mine.

First they said that was a wonderful idea and then as they thought about it more they suggested that they might encourage people to send their pictures to them via the wonderful world wide web and they went away to build a website to do that very thing, well we have to celebrate NASA's generosity because now if you are inclined to send your photograph into space you can do just that.

Simply go to the link below and upload a picture of you or indeed a loved one or family member (sorry old joke couldn't resist it) and then wait until the Shuttle you choose comes back to the planet.

After your Shuttle has arrived back on Earth all you have to do is to go back to the site and using your reference number (which they give you after your picture is uploaded) you can get a certificate to say that your face has been in space, which if you are as interest in Rockets and of course explosions as I am you will probably treasure for a long time or if you are cheap like some people accuse me of being send the certificates to your friends and family as Christmas presents - tee hee.

www.faceinspace.nasa.gov/index.aspxm

I am going on the very last Space Shuttle mission the 134th, you should choose that one because it is going to be the best and most memorable because it has me on it. If you look at the picture below you'll see some of our co-astronauts, a little bit about our mission on the STS-134 and a picture of the all important embroidered Mission logo - I want one of those don't you?

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Well although of course I am going to be really sad to see the back of the ugly little Space Shuttle it has ended up like almost all little ugly things, it has become an icon like, oh Mickey Mouse, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Chief Executive Officer of Dreamworks and of course the Statue of Liberty which frankly I believe the French couldn't off load fast enough once they realised just how ugly it was, so they looked around for a young, gullible nation and gave them a 'present.'

I think that the only reason that America accepted the French 'present' was that they thought that they were getting the Eiffel Tower, much as they did when the those nice folks in Lake Tahoe thought that they were getting the iron bridge called Tower Bridge and were justifiably surprised when the first stones of London Bridge were unloaded, though why they would want that ugly Victorian monstrosity is anyone's guess!

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Just to compare the bridges and to prove that the bridge the good people of Lake Tahoe got was a nicer bridge. Here is the London Bridge as it is today.

LDN Bridge LT.jpg

Do please let me know if you agree with this Cat or not and of course if you upload your picture to be blasted off into space later this year.

Personally I can hardly wait.



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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Millie Makes Me Proud To Be A Cat

Recent reports that a Cat called Millie who was allegedly 'stuck' in a tree, after being chased up it by another Cat, have come to this Cat's attention and of course I would like to not only report Millie's heroism but also confer her true story to the masses of readers who catch my blog now and again in the hope that the story of this brave and justifiable annoyed Cat will give an insight into the mind of a Cat.

An insight that appears to be sadly lacking in most humans this Cat has to say, especially to those in the rescue services and the ambulance chasing media who rush to this sort of 'event' and in doing so; firstly create the 'event' to fill their tawdry newspapers and tv bulletins and secondly cause considerable embarrassment to an innocent Cat who is carefully minding his or her own business from very high up.

I have to say that I have found a Cat after my own heart! In fact more than that I think I have found a Cat who has been reading my blog and of course my wonderful masterpiece of Feline literature "Getting Out Excerpts from a Cat's Diary" available at all good bookshops and at a place called Amazon.com which, as I say a little too often, you may have heard of because Amazon.com are nearly as famous as yours very truly.

In my wonderful book and indeed on my award winning and peerless blog I explain the annoyance that a Cat suffers when humans think it is stuck up a tree when in fact it is perfectly happy to simply take in the view. Sorry I had to laugh then I used the words human and think in the same sentence - I knew I could do it one day if I tried really hard

Still enough of the blatant and hard nosed advertising and plugging of my wonderful book, although vast summer sales are very important if I am to stay on top of the bestseller lists for a long time (unsubtle hint hint).

I think that it is true to say that Millie the Cat is obviously an avid reader of fine literature - no Dan Brown books on her shelves I bet. Millie obviously had been reading my wonderful blog and book and thought that she would give tree climbing a bit of a go and gosh did Millie have a go! Not only managing, with a little help from a cast list of various and assorted humans who I will deal with as they appear but also by rewarding her eventual 'rescuers' with a lot of swear word evoking deep scratches.

I use the word 'rescuers' in inverted commas because as usual with any "Cat Stuck Up A Tree" story there is no hard evidence that the Cat in question who is up the aforementioned tree actually requires any 'rescuing' or indeed any form of outside 'assistance,' in any shape or form.

It seems as though Millie, a rather good looking Cat who looks a lot like me with Silver, Tabby and White fur and in her case the addition of some Tortoiseshell colouring on her back, was taking in the view of the neighbourhood from 40 feet, or 12 metres if you are of the metric persuasion, above ground in a conveniently tall tree and had been keeping this vigil for a few days, around five to be precise when her 'owner,' and of course I use that word loosely, decided that she was in fact stuck up the tree she was in.

Humans should stop for a moment before they start to panic and jump to conclusions such as "that Cat is stuck up the tree because she or he hasn't been down it for five days!"

Why?

Well I would have thought 'that' was obvious derr! Millie like most Cats who climb trees to take in the view and to feel the branches making their whiskers twitch to say nothing of feeling the wind ruffle their fur, usually climb down for food and a comfort break or two at night when it is nice and quiet and the humans in the neighbourhood are mostly asleep or rather drunk and unsteadily wandering the streets too lost to notice or care about a Cat having a err, comfort break in the front garden.

I am pretty sure that Millie was doing exactly that on the day when her human decided to panic and set in motion a procession of calamitous errors of judgements, actions and more and why did he wait for five days? Why not two or three, or seven why five days, it is bizarre!

The first thing Millie's human did was to disturb the Fire Brigade. Why do they do that humans? Firemen have probably the most important job in the world, they save people from very dangerous things like err fire and shouldn't be called to retrieve a Cat from a tree, especially when a Cat doesn't want to be retrieved in the first place.

In this case it would seem that the Fire Brigade were not too happy about the emergency call and worse still they were unable to put their ladders up against Millie's wonderfully tall tree because the ground wasn't safe, which just goes to show that Millie had chosen her tree very wisely for her period of private contemplation and obviously didn't want to be disturbed.

The Firemen decided to try something 'different' and rather uncharacteristically for Firemen turned their hose on her apparently to 'encourage' her to come down from the tree and presumably to shut her panicking 'owner' up.

So a soggy Millie did what any sensible drenched Cat would do in the circumstances and climbed higher up the tree to get out of the range of the hose, clever Cat! I wonder how many humans would think of that one.

Unfortunately for the 'rescuers' (and by now several hundred by-standers, gwapers and of course a number of media representatives) the hose trick had not saved Millie, unfortunately for Millie, her 'owner' and advisers had several more hair-brained rescue schemes in reserve and through the day carried them out not even stopping for sandwiches at lunchtime.

Next on the scene for an interview, with the media and an in-depth face to face with the BBC News cameras and then a rescue attempt were the 'RSPCA.'

RSPCA is short for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, of course any organisation with the word 'royal' in the title is going to be a bit useless and although the RSPCA spokesperson gave a very good interview to camera they couldn't really do much because the ground around the tree was flooded courtesy of a number of disgruntled Firemen and to most watching seemed to give in a little early.

Just as all hope of a 'rescue' picture exclusive was beginning to fade Millie's owner and the assembled crowd of well wishers, idlers and hangers-on had yet another cracking idea. They would order up some scaffolding. Not presumably for a public execution because this was Barnsley in Yorkshire and not downtown Tehran and as a consequence of the geography thankfully public executions had been outlawed a long while ago.

The scaffold arrived on the back of a truck with two scaffolders, who after they had managed to clear a space in the enormous crowd, very quickly used all of the poles they had brought to surround the tree and Millie. Unfortunately the scaffolding wasn't tall enough for the brave scaffolders to hear Millie spitting at then clearly when they were at the top, in short the scaffolding tower surrounding the tree was too short.

It was probably now as the crowd started to lose interest and shout things like "shake the tree!" "Throw your shoe at the Cat!" that the scaffolders decided to take matters and of course their lives into their own hands and instead of going back for more scaffolding they decided to climb the to the uppermost parts of the trees.

These parts of trees are also known as the flimsiest. They are in fact so insubstantial that if a tree was subject to the laws of the land related to say construction they would have to have a sign clearly displayed saying "These branches will not support the weight of a human not even a child." Or something like that! But they didn't and it is probably pointless to ask if the scaffolders would have heeded such a sign anyway, scaffolders being who they are!

It would seem that the tree climbing went rather well and slowly but surely the scaffolders managed to get onto the same level as their quarry although it is clear to see from the picture below that their 'quarry' was not exactly overjoyed to have the company of two burly scaffolders in her bit of the tree, and worse she had now started to run out of tree.

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To her credit Millie had managed to scratch and bite both scaffolders severely in no time at all, it has to be said here that the scaffolders really only had themselves to blame as they weren't wearing any protective clothing.

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Millie bravely put up a considerable fight against very unequal odds all the way down the tree as she struggled to stay up it and the scaffolders struggled to bring her down it.

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By the time Millie was reunited with her human (in the blue shirt covered in err urine - well she was still scared in her defence) she had happily drawn a lot of blood and though boggled eyed from the struggle cooly ignored the cameras, interviewers and the crowds whoops of joy that she was back on terra firma.

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Of course this story is not new it is the age old story of a Cat stuck up a tree and as it is being eventually rescued it mauls the rescuers and if you humans don't want to hear it repeated time and again you have to do something yourselves.

Next time you see a Cat minding its own business up a tree, no matter how high it happens to be up that tree, before you call out the Fire Brigade, the Army, the Police, Scaffolders, Helicopter Rescue and any other Fred, Ned or Ted please ask yourself this simple question first.

Does that Cat need rescuing or is it simply enjoying the view?

And then before you cause a media event involving the Fire Brigade and any number of other rescue services just ask yourself this simple question!

If Cats actually do get stuck up trees and can't get down why is it that we don't see a lot of Cats that suffered the ultimate price for their, as human's would put it 'stupidity?'

The answer is rather simple and one day I expect it to occur to a human - very few, if any, Cats get stuck in trees and if they do then they are only temporarily stuck!

Of course there is always 'one' in the crowd, there will always be the 'odd' Cat, and I would emphasise the word 'odd' here, who gets stuck in a tree and can't get down but they are the exception to the rule and even they are not stuck as a rule if you see what I mean.

What humans should be on the look out for is Cats who get stuck in places that have doors, where some idiot human tidily closes the door after a curious Cat has slunk in to investigate a new and probably dark place.

I have to say here that some of my best friends, yes including the half brained Ginger have been stuck on occasions but they tend to be stuck between floors in blocks of flats or in Ginger's case in the down section of a drainpipe, no I don't know why the clown crawled into a drainpipe backwards either! Although he says it was so he would be the right way round and therefore able to peep out of the drainpipe, which you have to admit has a strange kind of logic doesn't it?

Ginger in a Drainpipe.jpg


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Monday, June 07, 2010

The Resilience Of Donkeys

So here is a little story I came across that happily has nothing to do with palestine, pollution, politics or the pesky royals, although I have to say that the Donkey in the story looks a lot like most of the female members of the house of Windsor, especially fat Fergie's brood, and the really 'harrowingly beautiful' princess Anne and below is a picture of the Donkey likeness in question.

Please remember when you look at the pictures that the Donkey is the animal in distress in the Well and the princess is the animal in de dress.

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PRINCESS ROYAL OFFICIAL PORT.JPG

So why was the princess in the dress? Well that is simple this was a royal official picture, sorry "portrait" taken about 90 years ago and still used today.

More interestingly the Donkey was in the Well because the poor animal fell in! Sadly that wasn't the end of the Donkey's trials and tribulations because the farmer decided that the Donkey and the Well were both surplus to his long term agricultural requirements (and in that the Donkey had a lot in common with the 'fair' princess and the rest of the royals), so he decided to fill in the Well and in doing so bury the Donkey alive.

Obviously that could be considered a little harsh but let's face it farmers are, in the main, bastards and so this sort of behaviour is quite in character.

Well, the Donkey in the Well proved to be a credit to his stubborn and resilient race and as the farmer shovelled more and more earth into the Well (and of course over the Donkey) the Donkey just shook the earth off his back, sending the shovelfuls to the floor of the Well, then he stood on top of the earth that had fallen. And he kept doing that until he was able to climb out of the Well, kick the farmer and live a totally unfruitful life being too old to work and happily became a significant burden on the farmer, who couldn't get rid of the Donkey because his time in the Well made him famous and modern society says that you mustn't kill minor celebrities even on your own farm.

There is of course a moral for all of us here and that is to simply shake off everything that is thrown at us and then trample it under foot.

So The Cat says good on you Mr. Donkey! Sadly I don't know his or indeed her name but if he or she were this Cat's Donkey I would call him 'Rex' which I believe is a fine name and shouldn't simply be confined for use on Dogs and Kings and should be used more often, especially on Donkeys.

Tomorrow I hope to bring you a great story about a Cat called Milly who is without a doubt a Cat after my own heart, till then dear reader Purrs and Noses.


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