Tag Archives: Cats

THE WEDDING VENUE CATS


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Chocolat calling. Yes, AGAIN.  Twice in twelve days. I know it’s a bit much, but you’ll just have to put up with me. I have to get this off my chest. Actually, my whiskers are severely ruffled, I don’t mind admitting it.

Ever since my Personal Assistant  returned from The Wedding, she’s been burbling on about Fuggly the FarSide Farm cat. Apparently this Fuggly person made a big impact on my PA. I can’t think why. Here’s Fuggly  lounging on a Persian carpet at FarSide Farm.  Kindly note, she’s a portly person, wearing  common old tabby stripes.  No comparison to my sleek lines and rich brown coat. The prettiest thing in the picture is the magnificent Oriental carpet, don’t you agree?

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It seems that Fuggly was rescued by Noble Hero, Graham, when she was an abandoned kitten.  NHG was driving way out in the sticks. Luckily the dirt road forced him to drive slowly, otherwise he would have driven over the scrap of a kitten lying in the road – burnt, dehydrated, flea infested, starving, a whisker away from death. NHG picked her up, nursed her back to life at his FarSide Farm, where she now supervises weddings. As you can see from the picture below she is checking out the table decorations and keeping a close eye on the preparations.

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Due to her exacting standards, the tables looked very striking once they were completed.

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Fuggly didn’t stay for the wedding  reception. She doesn’t care for loud music and dancing feet. Little cats tend to get trodden on, in all the excitement. However, Gulliver, a very grand person also in residence at FarSide Farm, graced the festivities with his presence, by lounging just below the bridal couple’s central table. Unfortunately my PA didn’t take a picture of him, so she’s begged a studio portrait from Olivia, the unflappable FarSide Farm Events Manager.

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Gulliver likes to try and lord it over Fuggly, because he’s an Abyssinian , and I must say, as another purebred person, I agree with his attitude.

I don’t t understand why my PA keeps on talking about Fuggly and Gulliver. I mean, she has me in residence, 24/7, devotedly providing hot-water bottle services under the duvet nightly; singing her awake on cold winter mornings; bringing gifts of mice, birds, grasshoppers, lizards.  Really, there’s just no pleasing humans! I think I shall retire to my cat cave and sulk.

P.S. If you’re wondering why my picture at the top is so big? of course it is. I’m the most important person. Surely I don’t have to remind you ?

 

 

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Filed under CHOCOLAT: MY CAT, HUMOUR

Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki – Haruki Murakami


 

I’m so glad I picked up a brand new copy of his latest novel in Books Galore for only R140 as opposed to the retail price of R360.I’d been  very tempted by pre-release offers from my favourite bookstore,  but had resisted them, and tripped over a bargain instead.  And I will have no trouble in taking this one back to the BG shop & claiming my one-third back on it. It’s not a book I want to keep and re-read.

This said, I have to report that the book has a stunning cover design : vibrant orange, red, indigo, black and white discs – anything but colourless! Plus a large pull-out sheet of small stickers which seem to be related to the story, but are confusing – usually its pre-teen girls who are sticker mad, not adults reading Japanese novels. I don’t know – visualize me shaking my head, shrugging my shoulders, at this point. It’s a mystery, but then this is Murakami.

Suddenly I’m over my Murakami madness. Having now read some of his other novels, I can see how he returns to the same themes over and over again. TT is yet another of Haruki Murakami’s self-sufficient 30-something young men who cook, clean and iron their shirts and lead quiet, modest, regulated lives, apart from a dramatic incident in his early 20s which nearly kills him, but leaves him stronger and even more self-sufficient.

And of course, Music plays a role – a piano piece by Franz List, Le Mal du Pays  seems to be important but somehow isn’t. And there’s the ghostly jazz pianist Midorikawa, who features in Haida’s story, with a maddening clue about a mystery object in a cloth bag, reverently placed atop the piano, prior to playing. Yet another fascinating clue which evaporates  into ..? what? I don’t know: I’m baffled! This is either the charm or the irritation of Murakami’s writing, depending on the reader’s mood.

However, in this book, there are no cats! Often these are a feature of his novels, particularly in Kafka on the Shore.   Also much less of magic realism, or surrealism, or just plain magic, whatever you want to call it. There’s only one magical section where a long story is told to the main protagonist (TT) which – at one point – I thought might be a clue, or a suggestion as to the how & why of  the  murder in the NOVEL; but he never develops this suggestion and the story stands alone – a strange almost ghost story – it’s difficult to pin it down. And the murder is never solved.

Another strange element is the introduction of polydactylism – people who are born with six fingers. Very late in the book there’s a short section about lost property on the Tokyo Metro, and one of the bizarre things in the Lost Property is a mayonnaise jar containing two neatly severed fingers in formaldehyde.  Which may or may not be connected to the jazz pianist and the ghost story.

Despite all my grumbles, I  read on, quite intrigued, and continued to the end of the novel. One of the things I like about Murakami is his intense Japanese-ness. There’s a sort of stark minimalism about his work. Despite the oddness of his plots/story-lines, I keep on reading.

My friend Anita thinks his short stories are better than the novels and she may well be correct. I need to read them.

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