Saturday, April 29, 2006

A saving of 75,000 pounds in that sentence alone.

I have the best box ever, a fruit cocktail of a box. It's early morning and the sun is just breaking over the rooftops. I think I'll get up in a minute. Well i've thought about it and I think i'll stay here for a while longer. I'm in a very thoughtful mood.

I'm reflecting on words, thinking about if words have a price, and sentences a cost? And if words have a currency then can speech be free? So how much is freedom of speech worth?

A twelve-year-old boy who spoke the words Paki, and Bin Laden to a classmate was sent before the courts. Three words. How much did each of those words cost? Well there was a judge and a prosecution, defence, clerks and social workers, etc, 60.000 pounds -my guesstimate. That is 20.000 per word or 5,000 pounds a letter.

Words then have a price. Therefore, they can be traded, and the rich can afford to use bigger words than the poor, and stock markets flourish selling syllables. Perhaps words should be rationed so every body has a fair share. A day when no one can use vowels, perhaps

nd nthr dy whn prhps th lttr Z ws nt t sd.

Well that's quite good, sort of readable and i've made a saving of 75,000 in that sentence alone.
So when is freedom of speech not free? when there is a high price to pay. So perhaps it should be called expense of speech.

My musings have cost me 5,960,005, mind you, I have been prudent, this blog article was going to cost 13,098,095 until I edited it, very good value for money. I bet even Dickens did not make that much per book. Just wait till I tell Dolly how much my word's worth.

Ferdinand, the famous ginger cat economist.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Anyone who had a heart

Between her garden and cats, she chose her garden. And a very nice garden it is too. I've tried many times to convince Eileen disliking cats is maybe fair under certain circumstances; not liking me, Ferdinand the very handsome ginger tom cat is not acceptable. Ailurophobia is a terrible condition and one that I am determined to help her recover from; whether she likes it or not! One of the symptoms of this illness is a sufferer doesn't recognize they need help and worse refuses any aid that would be given.

The first stage of treatment is desensitisation, so, whenever Eileen was in her garden I would sit on the wall and just watch her (at a safe distance on health and safety grounds; the start of the treatment can be quite traumatic for patients who may become unpredictable even aggressive.) After a few weeks, she accepted my presence and even managed a few words.
"Bugger off."

Eileen soon realized that I would always be there for her. I had taken the first steps in gaining her trust. The next stage was to help her understand that she should allow herself to like me. It is surprising that anyone could dislike me but this is a cruel and debilitating sickness.

I would serenade her. I have a very good singing voice. It's loud and carries well and Eileen is a music lover; so like my singing = like me: Ferdinand ginger tomcat. Many have commented that Cilla Black (world famous Liverpuddlian chartreuse,) and I have a similar pitch. Anyway, the very first night, and after singing just the first verse of Cilla Black's 'anyone who has a heart,' Eileen's bedroom window flew open and she clapped her hands together in sheer enjoyment. The following night my repeat performance brought not only more applause but also her calling out my name,
"Ferdinand, bugger off."

The second stage of treatment had worked faster than even I dared hope and now she, and I, were ready for the third stage. This was more difficult because not only must she not have panic attacks when she saw me but she should look forward to my company. I would not let her see me for a week maybe two, (absence making the heart grow fonder,) she should then miss me, and then when I do reappear she will be overjoyed.

I managed to stay out of her sight for a couple of days, the third day she suddenly appeared and I had to make a dash for cover. Luckily, her shed door was ajar and I leapt in there. Quite a nice shed actually; large, big glass windows facing east capturing the morning light. Some sacking on a bench under the window and a box of, oh! Not a lot inside just a couple of bits of bubblewrap. A very nice box, it has a picture of a television on the side and the letters SONY. Nice and deep and comfy. Too comfy, I nodded off. Stupid of me, remiss of me, but a ginger cat of my calibre can admit to a few flaws, but then nothing is perfect not even me; although my faults are paltry in comparison to others I could mention -not naming any names but stripes and fish breathe come readily to mind. Anyway; I woke, stretched; and... and the shed door was closed! I checked the windows, they too were all securely fastened.

Hours passed. I was hungry, it was time for my tea and I needed a pee; in fact I was bursting. I sat down pondering my predicament. I needed to go home, I needed to eat and I needed to pee. And definitely not in that order. My bladder was absolutely bursting, What if it were to burst literally? Would I die, here alone?, my handsome ginger furry body in smithereens of stinky bits. No, this was not going to be my fate. Jumping down from the bench and climbing behind some shelving I found a little pile of sawdust and that was that. Oh the relief! I was not going to die of burst bladder syndrome. I scraped at the sawdust and made a very tidy job of covering my damp patch. I could not mask however; the fragrance of pure eau de ginger tomcat. The Ferdi fragrance, heavenly perfume of an angelic ginger cat.

In my comfortable state sitting on the bench in a pool of sunlight, I began to sing:
'Anyone who had a heart, Would take me in his arms and love me, too oo oo da dum , da dum da da da daaaaaaaa da da da daaaaaaa da do do.' Into my fifth rendition of this song I was quite oblivious to the shed door being flung open. But I did hear Eileen as she clapped her hands, the applause was thunderous, she shouted my name,
And again,
"Ferdinand you horrible smelly tomcat."
I bowed out, hightailed it back to my glass ceiling abode, applause and cheers ringing in my ears.
"Bugger off."
I'm most content, Eileen's treatment is almost complete and what a success it has been. Doctor Ferdinand the human healer and fine feline physician. I'm most content indeed.

'Anyone who had a heart would take me in his arms and love me, too oo oo...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I could become independent!

I've just had a look at my adsense account and very soon I will be able to buy a whole box of Friskies.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The rabbit ate my hat

My hat looked cool. Electra loved it, loved me in it and loved me wearing it, quite, quite literally. I am the happiest ginger tomcat in the whole world.
I don't have a bald spot (Dolly!!!!) and I had Electra. Happy, happy ginger me.

I'm nearly home, almost safe. I can just see my conservatory roof and I imagine me in my box on my blanket. Nearly home, unsquished by big black rubber wheels, ungnashed by the jaws of the canine lunatic fringe, undrenched by the water hurling Mrs Higginbottom (funny; Dolly was determined to write about the events on the night she accompanied me and got soaked by the said Mrs Higginbottom, but she hasn't mentioned it in days, perhaps she's forgotten? Good!)

Raymond spends most of his days incarcerated 'cos he is stark raving bonkers. Raymond is a psychopath. This early morning he is out of his cage and on the loose. Luckily, I have seen him before he sees me; everything about him is tense and twitchy. Nose one big tic. Whiskers a wobbling. And those two big yellow ugly teeth and beige/grey furry huge ear type things, one standing up the other hanging down; he is just one big ugly animal.

I creep stealthily; keeping close to the hedge, I am intent on crossing this garden without his noticing. I keep an eye on the rabid rabbit but I am concentrating so hard on my paws not making one solitary sound that I forget the hat. Although aesthetically pleasing it has enlarged my head and I have misjudged the space needed for me plus hat, it, and I become entangled in a mahonia bush. Horrible little thorns stick in my nose and an involuntary squeak alerts the berserk bunny from his foraging.

"Ah! Ferdinand I believe! I seem to be having a ginger cat for dinner."

He is hopping to me at a ferocious pace. He leaps. Luckily, his weight knocks me out of my hat, which is left impaled on the mahonia bush. With expert timing, I dash to the fence, and he, although strong, as well as enormous, and ugly and with a bland shade of fur, lacks stamina and I am on the fence, on high ground and safe in a single bound. I stare down at him and he glares up at me. My hat at that moment plops to earth and he is upon it in a flash, teeth ripping at the straw, a thing possessed. I am transfixed at this horrible sight. That hat could have been me. I was still watching with fascinated disgust as he devoured the last of the daffodils.

He looked up and said in his deep slow drawl,
"Ferdinand maybe next time youll stay for dinner."
That is one scary rabbit.

I am in my box; the stars have left the night sky and the first rays of sunlight break above the rooftops. This is the morning after the night before. And I Ferdinand ginger cat am the luckiest cat in the whole world.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I am trying to write my autobiography

I am trying to write my autobiography. I have been writing for six months and have written three pages; at this rate, I shall be one hundred and twenty five years old when it is finished.

Trouble is:
I suffer from interruptions. That is Dolly; stripy, female, small, tabby.
And that is Lilly, a large splodgey (well tortoiseshell -but I prefer the American sobriquet, calico-) female cat. She is deaf and consequently tends to bellow at the top of her voice mostly in the early hours of the morning (she suffers from nightmares and therefore; we suffer her nightmares.)
"Theres a lot of cats fur on this keyboard." (Susan, female human of the household, and a great stroker of ears.)
"That cat is going to the vets." (Martin, male human of the household.)

My story begins in the city of Portsmouth; Gertie rescued me from imprisonment in a telephone box. Not yet, a year old I was homeless again after her death. Ferdinand means adventurer and that is a suitable name for I have had many adventures on the journey from there to here.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The ginger cat's bald spot

Today it's blowing a gale and it's cold but I'm not going to write about that, I'm not going to write about our bloomin' weather until the sun shines and the daffodils are decorating the garden with splashes of sunshine.

Peace. Alone at last, in my box under my glass ceiling. There's a clump of fur on the tiles; a tumbleweed of fur moving gently on the draughts, it is not my fur, although it does have an auburn glint, could it be, it could, it is! Oh no! i've got a bald spot. Where though; legs seem ok, belly is good, back seems ok, tail is hirsute. It can't be my head, please I cannot have a bald patch.

In the bathroom on the shelf under the window is a mirror. If I just move the scents, shampoos, soaps and shaving thingies out the way I should see me. Yes, there is me. Ginger, handsome, furry, no can't see any bald patch perhaps though; it's at the back. So much stuff on this shelf...

"Dolly can you see anything peculiar at the back of my head?"
"Oh Ferdi!"
"You can?"
"It's huge."
"Never seen anything like it before."
"Would it be hidden if I brushed the rest of my fur over it?"
"We could try."
"You can still see my bald spot?"
"Bald spot?"
"Yes my bald head!?"
"Sorry Ferd just got distracted by my reflected pretty furry face in the mirror. Aren't you meeting "Electra tonight?"
"Dont remind me."

"Ferdinand, I have just the thing and what's more it is the must have item at this time of year. There, what do you think?"
"Looks good, and my bald patch?"
"No can't see that."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Oh groan it's...George Bush...

Another dull day, and it's cold. This is -accordingly to the weather forecasters- the coldest spring on record for a hundred years. There is and has been a wind blowing from the Artic and...

In the Sunday Pape...
In the Sunday Tim...
George Bus...
George Bush Presi...
"Helloooo ooo ooooo ooo oooo ooooo oooo oo oooo."
Nuclear bomb...
"oooooo ooo oo."
"Helloooooo ooooo ooooooo oooooooo oooo ooo o."
...and Iraq..
"Helloooooooooooooo oooooo ooooooo oooo o ooo ooo."
"It's Lilly."
"I know. I can hear her."
"I'm HuNgryyyyyyyyyyyy yyy yyyy yyyyyy yyyyyy."
The presiden...
"Hellooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooo oooo ooo."
The president of US...
"You're shouting now."
"I''m trying to read a very important pie.."
"Helloooooooooooooooo oooooo oooo."
...Chicken flu found in a Scot...
"Dolly give her some Friskies,"
"Its not that..."
"Well it is but ..."
"Then give her something to eat."
"She's had another nightmare, besides comfort eating makes you fat."
"Oh groan!"
"I told her about Daniel coming here in the summer."
Anniversary his. ..Right... Charlie...Duchess...
"I signed really, not told 'cos she can't hear."
"Would you pay attention?"
I put down my paper.
" signed..."
"You signed what Doll, a contract, cheque, your life away?"
" I didn't sign anything."
"But you just said, you distinctly said..."
" ..signed, signed to Lil -Lilly is deaf, so I signed -about Daniel coming."
"Well that's good she won't be surprised and run up the chimney again."
"She wants comfort food but she'll throw up if she has any more grub."
"Comfort eating, nightmares, Daniel, what Dolly -and i'm asking this in trepidation- are you talking about?"
"He's a head hunter. I suppose he could be a cannibal which would be a bit of a blessing making we three furry felines a bit safer. But Ferdi, and if you weren't so wrapped up in your newspaper you'd undestand this, without Susan (female human) and Martin (male human) what are we going to do? They'd be no friskies, no radiator for big Lil to loll against AND Ferd, no boxes for you."
"What exactly Dolly, have you signed to Lil?"
"Well I did two paws walking then a fist knocking on the door, then mimed the door opening and then pointed at the yet imaginary Daniel, then I pointed at my neck and with my claw extended dragged it across my throat."
"That it then, no boiling oil or burning at the stake as the welcoming committee?"
"Aren't you scared?"
"Hmmpf! Dolly. Daniel is a head hunter not a hunter of heads."
"Same thing!"
"He connects intelligent talented people with people that need intelligent talented people. He does not hack their heads off and stick them on poles."
"Oh I'll tell Lil then."
"Good and give her some Friskies."
"I'll tell her she'll be ok 'cos the only thing she uses her brain for is to keep her ears apart."
"Hellllllllllllllllllllloooooooooo oooooooooooo oooooooo ooo ooooo."

..that Irans nuclear sites have been struck during the night by American bombers.

"Oh groan!"

Sunday, April 09, 2006

My silver frame; perfect

I have found the perfect frame. It is an old silver antique frame and it fits my photograph -my signed photographed of Richard Madeley and Moi -perfectly. I found it in the loft; Susan (female human of the household) who was stowing the Christmas decorations (its April! honestly if she'd left it for another couple months the debate would have been whether it was worth the clamber up the step ladder to the attic as the Christmas count would have begun.)

Anyway, I followed her up to the attic and found this frame laying around in a box of old pictures and prints...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I got from there to here, with difficulty.

Curled up on a drift of wind blown leaves in the bandstand under a bench.

Tomorrow I would decide to either pad north across the Southdown or south to the shingle shore.

I was hungry, cold and alone...

But not for long, urgent voices woke me from my dream: a feast of sardines and fresh milk (served room temperature) poured slowly into a silver saucer.

A pair of green shoes with scuffed dumpy heels swung to and fro next to a pair of sturdily plonked five nines shod in stain splattered Nikes. She nicked his chips. He stole hers in retaliation. I stayed low, hunched, my ginger body camouflaged amongst the dry red leaves.

Lager cans hissed open. Al fresco dining; fish and chips, in newspaper packages.
As she plucked again at his portions, he grabbed her parcel and tossed it to the floor.
The contents scattered across the staging and lay temptingly just a metre or so from my nose. But I did not move. He dropped his bundle; yesterday's news spilling chips and half eaten sausage. He lunged at her.
"Oi, you!"
"Pinch my chips would you?"
One green shoe fell amongst the fried potatoes and red sauce. I backed away slowly, my body pressed tightly to the low oak risers and I could retreat no further. The other green shoe rushed to join its fallen pair. Just one Nike rested on the bandstands wooden floors. A jacket joined the shoes; black leather with little gold flower detailing around the collar and cuffs. Zips were unzipped.

"No, Dave."
Dave ignored her protests. Dave was obviously deaf. Dave had a spotty bum and Dave sought a cure for his acned backside by exposing it to the sea salt blasted winds of a November night. Dave was vigorous in his quest for the cure of spotty backside syndrome and waved the pustuled covered twin orbs many times.
"Oh Dave!"
"Oh Tracey."
"Dave? Dave! Ere Dave! Dave! Theres a big ugly mangy moggy."
"OooooooH ooh ooh ooh ooh."
"Dave, 'es got hold of your sausage, Dave?"

And Dave exploded into red-faced rage. With one hand grabbing at his jeans the other yielding one green shoe, aiming and launching he hurled. I had the sausage in my jaws and with one leap missed the strike of the missiled green shoe, and up and overed the little balustrade wall in a single bound. Supercat.
"'Ere Dave, that the first time a ginger pussy's run off wiv yer sausage?"
"Ha ha."
"Right old banger."

The sound, the shrieks, the guffaws, the groans, and the grunts became fainter as I hightailed it far from that place; the sausage sticking out of my mouth like a cigar stub. I reached Hilsea Lido before I stopped running; the pool emptied of water at this time of year. I snuck in under the rusty chain link fence and by the toddler paddling area gnawed breathless at the ketchuped torpedo. I did not notice the pairs of eyes, the gathering curious pairs of eyes and the single green eye gathering around watching from the shadows. The slitted pupils. Lots and lots of blinking pale green and yellow eyes.

But I became aware of the pair of black paws, the pair of huge black paws on the end of which exceedingly sharp white claws unsheathed themselves from velvet toe purposefully. One claw following another claw.
"What cha got there then, mate?"...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

An almost perfect day

I have a new box, a big bright red tomato on the side. I have my green tartan blanket which i'm just arranging into a comfy shape. And I've pasted my photo of Richard Madeley and Moi on the outside of my box. What I need to do though, is find a permanent home for this precious artefact, and I need to house it in a good frame so that is doesnt become dog-eared -perish the thought.

Dolly has just bashed me over the head claiming (an outrageous slander) that I have purloined or otherwise misappropriated her ping pong ball (I haven't, which I told her,) then she asked accusingly.
"Who did then?"
Lilly did, but i'm not informing; the only thing I do with grass is purely medicinal, I swear!
So normal relations have been resumed! But we were in danger of becoming The Waltons -the elation over The BBA must have made us both sentimental.

Bloomin blanket if I could only..., just..., nearly... If I could only just get it to.. .Nearly... Nearly perfect. Just get that wrinkle out... Now make a little rise for my head.. .Thats it then. Done. A good box, a nicely arranged blanket, an autographed photo of Mr R Madeley.
"Ferd?" Dolly!

Almost perfect...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Thinking in the box. Or Richard Madeley, Ferdinand and The British Book Awards.

I woke. My heart pitter pattering in my chest. What would it be like when I was there? I am just sooo excited. I' ve had my breakfast just a few friskies I want a light stomach. I have a full wash and brush up, not a bit of my ginger being is unlicked.
"How do I look?"
"Ginger! No, you look great Ferd very handsome. Break a leg."
"Wish I were coming with you."
"Maybe, maybe next time doll."
"Hang on a minute," and she smoothed a tuft of fur that was sticking up on my backside...
Dolly was up when I got back in the early hours.
"How did it go?"
"It was everything I thought and more."
"I saw you Ferd, on the telly."
"Did you?"
"Your tail was sticking out by Richard Madeley's leg. Did you get to speak to him?"
"Speak! more than that Doll, he's taken my email address and wants to interview me on his show when it returns in three months time."
Richard Madeley and Ferdinand
"And look."
"Wow a signed photo. A good one of you Ferdi."
"And there, Dolly, that fur my fur on his shoulder, he's not going to brush it off; ever. That's what he told me."
"Dolly we ought to get some sleep."
"I'm not tired I want to hear all about it. "
"I paddled down my blanket a green tartan 50 % wool. The other fifty is nylon. 100 % makes my fur stand on end."
"You going to sleep Ferd?"
"I may just drift, I'm sleepy but I also want to savour the day."
"Can I get in your box?"
"There's not much room."
"I'm not very big, Can't I savour with you?"
"Ok but don't fidget, And don't dribble."
"You could move over a bit."
"Hows that? "
"Can I come when you get interviewed?"
"I'll try and see."
"You dribbling?"
"Feels a bit damp."
"Love you!"


"Night Ferd."

"Love you too Doll."

The British Book Awards.The London ceremony was hosted by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan.Veteran actress Lauren Bacall, who was among those at the event at London's Grosvenor House Hotel, congratulated Rowling...