Category Archives: Cats

How to make the best FREE DIY cat toy ever in just 5 minutes

I feel like the cat toys you buy in pet shops are made, not to attract cats, but to attract humans. After all, the toys are there to be sold, and it’s the human who has the money, not the cat. So the manufacturers make the toy look like something the human thinks a cat might like, something cute with bright colours and perhaps a cheeky little face or something, and of course cats couldn’t care less about that kind of thing.

The last few cats I’ve either looked after or owned have ranged from an incredibly hyperactive 1 year old (who once got so excited about a sunbird hovering over the water of the lake that he jumped into the lake itself) to a un-neutered male Norwegian forest cat who at about 2 years old was as much like a surly teenager as it’s possible for a cat to be, to a stout and dignified 14 year old lady.

The only thing all three of them have had in common is that they’ve absolutely LOVED the toy I’m about to describe. Even the old lady cat whose expansive belly made it quite hard for her to run around.

First of all, you need a short piece of string, some black thread (and scissors to cut it) and two elastic bands. I got the elastic bands off some bunches of asparagus that I bought, so if you don’t have any right now just save the ones you get when you buy vegetables.

Then you need to go for a walk in your local park, and pick up all the feathers you can see (unless they are old and yucky, and a stick (long and straight is better, but it needs to be reasonably strong).
Final step: Add cat!

Depending on how much spin you get on the toy you might find the cotton thread gets wound round a bit, so you’ll need to let it dangle somewhere to unwind it periodically. The cats also seem to like chewing the toy and kicking at it, so the rubber band is ideal but don’t be tempted to add anything metal to it to weigh it down or anything.

Once play time is over you’ll need to hide the toy away, don’t leave it anywhere the cats can access it or they might eat it and choke or something.

I use antlers in all of my decorating

So maybe the body corporate of apartment blocks and the flat and house owners of the world would like to tell me what it is they have against pets? The body corporate on the apartment I want to rent have just told me that they do not allow any pets at all. Does this include goldfish and hamsters? Yes. Does this include my pet caterpillar ? Yes. Does this include the tiny spider I’ve accidentally brought in on my shoe? Yes. It’s odd. Inexplicable. Do they do full body searches checking to make sure you aren’t attempting to smuggle any ants in to the complex whenever you enter? Probably, going by the way they carry on.

It’s strange and unreasonable. If you have a guinea pig and you keep it indoors and there is absolutely no way anybody will know about it or it will disturb anybody then what on earth is the problem? So, ok, my cat isn’t quite a guinea pig but she’s one step up from one, she’s an indoor cat who just sleeps all the time. If it was the owner objecting to the cat then I could understand it – perhaps they are worried about damage to the carpet (keep in mind the flat is unfurnished). In which case I would offer to pay a pet deposit, whatever they like, because I know she doesn’t scratch the carpets. I don’t see what kind of reasonable person could object to this unless they actually fundamentally enjoy pissing people off. I kind of want to say it’s aggravated by the white South African Oh-God-Everybody-Is-Out-To-Steal-My-Stuff-Quick-Let’s-Erect-A-Portable-Fort-To-Move-Around-In mentality (which in its turn of course is caused by the high crime rates, which in turn is caused by the terrible inequality and poverty in this country so, huh, looks like everything comes down to the bloody economy again and SA’s sad history), but I’ve encountered similar problems in London.

So I think we’ve got to the bottom of it now actually: body corporates are sadists.

Top 10 reasons to hate top 10 lists

  1. They are everywhere and they are annoying. Surely? Surely someone else is annoyed by them? Ahhh lovely internet, 5,140 hits for “top 10 lists suck”.
  2. It’s depressing that humanity’s attention span is now so short that most article writers seem to have to bribe people with the promise of there only being 10 sentences for them to have to read. So much brevity in their writing makes it, well, even more tasteless and trite than normal.
  3. It’s destroying the sexiness of numbers. And numbered lists. <ol> is nearly ruined for me.
  4. They’re nearly always subjective opinions given as the gospel truth, and goodness knows how many impressionable young minds there are out there scurrying around clicking on them. Think of the children, people!
  5. I usually get bored at number 5. This is sad because I only ever bother reading them when I’m bored in the hope that they’ll make me slightly less bored. It’s a sort of sadistic spiral of brief optimism, even briefer interest, a flare of irritation, a moment of distraction where I try to count the typos, and then I sink into an even deeper pit of boredom.
  6. Based on this I’m going to guess that most people don’t bother reading any further than 6.
  7. What do you think it is about cats that makes them like to sit in flower pots?
  8. Cat in pot
  9. Yeah, she’s got the right idea. Find your flowerpot, sit in it, and then don’t move for anyone, that’s my advice to all you avid readers of top 10 lists dissing top 10 lists. And no, there isn’t actually going to be a #10.

WordPress 3.3

This blog has recently been updated from WordPress 1.something to 3.3. I’ve got to say, the new WordPress interface really is lovely, makes me realise why so many people complain when they move from WordPress to Joomla or Drupal. Besides looking stylish it’s also very well organised, and I think that being able to install plugins in 1 click is a massive bonus, as is the ‘autosave’ function.

And I’m very impressed by the default 2011 theme which I’m using. I feel a bit uneasy about the MASSIVE amount of whitespace up near the header, plus the huge header image – I guess above-the-fold space no longer is the precious commodity it once was. It’s a responsive design though, so at least it degrades nicely for smaller screens.

To celebrate, here is a  cat attacking a paper bag: