Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Nasally inserted wake-up kittens

It looks like everything's working again -- thanks to all of you who helped in identifying problems.

So a hasty late night post, being typed around an asleep-on-my-keyboard medium-sized tabby kitten who rejoices in the name of Captain Morgan. He looks a little like Buddy-who-vanished, being sort of brown and sort of stripy, and was found by Lorraine hanging hungrily and miserably around the house a month or so ago. He and Coconut, Maddy's kitten, immediately became inseparable. Captain Morgan is a sweet-natured kitten, who has only one failing.

He waits until you're asleep, then climbs onto your bed, and tries to insert himself into your nose.

It never works, a hefty kitten being much larger than the interior of a nostril, but he keeps trying until you open up an eye and pick him up and drop him onto the floor. And then he bounces back onto the bed and tries to stick his head into one of your nostrils again. So you sweep him unceremoniously onto the floor, and bury your face in your pillow; and he sneaks back onto the bed and waits patiently while you go back to sleep and roll over, or just come up for air, and all of a sudden there's a small brown cat patiently trying to push its head into your nose.

Sooner or later he'll wake you up enough that you'll get up, carry him into the hall, and shut the door firmly, with him on the other side of it, and go back to sleep for the rest of the night.

I commented on this peculiar habit to my assistant Lorraine today, in the casual way you do when you don't want someone to think you've gone mad. "Er, Captain Morgan the kitten keeps trying to push his way into my nose while I'm asleep," I told her. She looked relieved. "Yes, he does that to me as well," she said. "I think it's because he probably wasn't weaned properly."

It's possible, I suppose, although I thought that misweaning just meant they sucked and chewed on things, not that they had grandiose fantasies about being nasally insertable, small wet muzzle first.

Sometimes I worry that one night I won't wake up, and he'll succeed in his bizarre quest, and in the morning there'll be nothing but the tip of a kitten-tail sticking out of one nostril to tell me he was ever here at all.

Which wasn't what I meant to type when I sat down to do this -- I thought I'd just stick up a bunch of interesting links before bed...


Let's see: Some Wolves in the Walls reviews -- one from the Cooperative Children's Book Centre, and one from the Toronto Globe and Mail (Which also reviews Little Lit 3.)

The Guardian talks to Scott McCloud about Micropayments. And I kept putting off posting that until I'd used my 25 cent micropayment to read "The Right Number", but I still haven't got around to getting through the whole credit card number thing to actually sign up to pay my 25 cents...

I shall, and then I'll write about it. Honest. is an excellent article by Peter Sanderson about the Mirrormask panel in San Diego.

A couple of minor errors worth correcting (mostly because it is such a good article) -- Lisa Henson explained that The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth had each "cost more than $4 million twenty years ago. No, they cost more than $40 million each, twenty years ago. Henson and Gaiman discussed a short film that McKean had made, called "N[eon]." "It's a very wonderful short film that Dave made for nothing in his mum's barn and on her pond," Actually, that's Dave's film "The Week Before". "N[eon]" was shot partly in Venice and partly in a town square that was entirely in Dave's imagination.

Yet, either because I missed hearing it or because it was not made clear, not until I got back from San Diego did I learn that MirrorMask is actually intended to go direct to video in 2004 without theatrical distribution. That means that the majority of film critics will probably end up ignoring it or being oblivious to its existence. Not true, I'm happy to say. Currently the release plan involves opening it small theatrically in major US markets.

Information's here, at


I think this might, potentially, be the single coolest piece of news in a long time; the BBC plans to make its radio and TV archives fully downloadable. The service, the BBC Creative Archive, would be free and available to everyone, as long as they were not intending to use the material for commercial purposes.

(And Maddy will be more than happy to learn that she'll be able to listen to more than just the latest week's episode of "Just a Minute".)


Incidentally, has a dangerously moreish quality -- particularly the wedding stories... It's hard to read just one.