Monthly Archives: February 2014

Cats shouldn’t eat….

I am an animal lover.  I admit it unashamedly.  Anyone and everyone who knows me, even slightly, will know that.  My first, as yet, unpublished, book is about my cats.  So, it will come as no surprise to you to learn that I am signed up to a number of blogs, etc, about animals.

I received an e-mail today that told me about a number of common foodstuffs that cause cats a problem if they eat it.  That got me thinking.

Four cats, all with different tastes in food.  All with different eating habits.

Rhea, for example, loves a spider plant.  She’ll have a little chew whenever she can.  I tell you, I can put a Sergeant Major to shame now, for my shouting abilities. I’m sure that isn’t good for her,

“You ‘orrible little cat, get off that plant!”

Artemis:  Pretty much anything that is edible goes where she is concerned.

Oceana: she is convinced that she’s human, except of course, when she is bringing mice home.  And is very keen to take food off of my plate (or anyone else’s, come to that).  Even the bones of sprats, which was one occurrence.

Telesto: I think she comfort eats.  For a cat that doesn’t much like humans, she certainly finds enough humans to feed her.  Anyone who puts food out for stray cats or the foxes, Telesto finds her way to their homes and then comes back her for seconds.  I seriously thought she was suffering from bulimia when she vomited over my freshly changed bed linen on Monday morning.

And Dreamies.  They will do almost anything for Dreamies.  Or the supermarket home brand equivalent.    Rattle a bag of Dreamies and I can do anything.  Actually, I’m a bit surprised that they still fall for that one, but they do.  Polythene bags.  What is the fascination for polythene bags?  Rhea loves a little chew of them; Artemis tries to sit in them.  (I know, I know…)

Cats are curious.  Whatever it is, they want to know all about it.  This morning, Artemis was standing like a meerkat, sniffing the bottom of my coat.  (That will be the dogs I stroke on the way to work.)  They even go through the waste bins, just in case I have inadvertently thrown away some food that might be essential for their survival.  I can’t have a glass of wine without them checking that it’s not something they might like.

Telesto knows that she doesn’t like peanut butter, but it doesn’t stop her from holding a full inspection of my breakfast every morning.  Just in case something might have changed.

So I’m not surprised that cats often eat things that they shouldn’t.  I’m only surprised that they stop where they do.

©Susan Shirley 2014


The Italian Bookshop

I posted a few months ago that I had started to learn to speak Italian.  I purchased my textbooks online, but through the Italian Bookshop in Soho.  Of course, now I’m on the mailing list, and recently received an invitation to a function that was taking place there yesterday.  I didn’t understand most of the e-mail – way too advanced for me, but my Italian friend gave me the gist of it, and agreed to come along with me.

The basis of it was that there were two female journalists, one of whom has written a book called Do You Know Who I Am.  More correctly, that’s how it translates into English.  The author, who writes for Marie Claire, Vogue and others, was talking about her experiences interviewing various Hollywood stars, and other aspects of her working life.  My friend told me that I’d really have enjoyed it had I been able to understand it.

The event ended with wine and nibbles.  The manageress of the bookshop started to talk to me in Italian and my friend explained that I am a studentessa.

The manageress said, “Maybe it was too advanced for you, but brava!”

She was right, it was too advanced for me, I understood a few words, but that was it.  Good job I had V to translate.

What I did realise though, was, that although I didn’t understand most of it, I did hear the words.  Most of them, anyway.  I’ve always thought that Italians and Spanish speak so quickly that I’d never be able to understand, but I realise now, that’s not the case.

The journalists – and I am ashamed to say that I didn’t get their names – were lovely ladies and it was a very pleasant evening.

Thank you Italian Bookshop.  Until the next time.


©Susan Shirley 2014