Sunday, February 13, 2011

Be my Valentine and Memories of a Very Fat Cat

The thaw started today. The first day above freezing since the winter began: sunny and glorious. By the end of it you could see green grass where the snow had been thin. Grass! And now there's a few more days of it to come.

I'm off to New York for some meetings tomorrow (I will also be the outrageously talented Sarah Jones' guest at the Nuyorican on Tuesday night. Regular tickets are already sold out but there may be standing room tickets left), which is good because I don't think I like doing Valentine's Day with a new wife half-way around the world. It feels lonely. It's strange to think that when I get back, most of the snow might have melted.

(Then again, in this part of the world, there might just as easily be a sudden blizzard while I'm away, and I'd get back to find a fresh 20 inches of snow.)

It's February. I know it's not Spring. But it might be nice to have some warm days now. (And by Warm I mean, Above Freezing.)

I wanted to say something like "even the dogs are getting tired of the snow" but it wouldn't be true. Lola will never get tired of ploughing face-first into snowdrifts, and Cabal still loves snatching mouthfuls of snow as he walks.

This is one of the dogprints Lola leaves in the snow. You can see her ears at the left...


I put a Valentine's Day gift for the world up at Enjoy. (There's more stuff up at Last.Fm, and you can still buy those original CDs from DreamHaven Books, or download them from


I don't know if you've ever heard of Josh Ritter but he wrote the sweetest, saddest song about a mummy who wakes up and falls in love with the archaeologist studying him. The video is done with puppets and it seemed like something you would like:


I really like Josh Ritter. "Girl in the War" was one of my favourite songs of 2006. And that's an excellent video, and so appropriate for Valentine's Day. A dance of loneliness and eternal life, performed by heartbreaking marionettes. Perfect.

And to continue our Decade Celebration of Greatest Hits (or at least of Blog Entries people liked):


My favorite blog post is the one you did about not shaving cats with old beard trimmers...

Mary Roane

Ah yes. A Furball post. I miss Furball...

From May 31st 2001:

Often people come to me and say "As a bestselling author, with many published works to your name, and a basement full of awards, most of them in need of a good polish, you must have some words of advice for the world that you wish to share."

And I do.

It's this.

If you have a 25lb long-haired calico cat whose fur is all matted into evil dreadlocks, and who is too fat to properly clean herself, do not put fresh batteries into an ancient beard-trimmer and attempt to shave her. You will only cause distress to the cat, and create a mess. There are professionals who will happily do this kind of thing, for a small fee. Leave it to them.

(This has been a public service announcement on behalf of Furball the cat, currently believed to be hiding in the attic in a severely traumatised state.)

and since I've posted that...

From November 6th 2002,

Furball is an astonishingly fat cat. She is so fat that many people, on seeing her for the first time, start impromptu comedy routines ("Is that a cat or a pumpkin? That cat's so fat you could use it as a pillow! I'm not saying that cat's fat, but, well, she is pretty fat, actually." etc.) She's a long-haired confection of orange, white and black, and is faintly reminiscent of a calico feline walrus. Her many skills include convincing everyone in the house, and some people who are just passing through, that she hasn't been fed in weeks, and convincing gullible songbirds that a cat that heavy and spherical could never jump high enough to be any kind of danger.

Being incredibly fat means that she often sits up on a chair or a sofa, on her haunches, like a person, which can be slightly off-putting. It also means she can't always clean herself properly. She's developing dreadlocks.

So tonight I gritted my teeth, rolled up my sleeves, and washed her. In the sink.

When she stood bolt upright and started trying to sink her claws into the mirror above the sink to get away, I merely smiled and carried on washing her. I knew that cat-claws, while wonderful things, cannot get traction on the glass of a mirror. And that just-trimmed cat-claws can't allow a cat the size and shape of a small walrus to climb sheer glass.

Nobody had explained these simple things to Furball, though, and she went straight up the side of the mirror.

Sooner or later, I'll figure out how.

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