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06 October 2014 @ 10:51 pm
KItten of EVIL  
It was a long weekend in Sydney. On the Saturday we went on a little night-time bushwalk with friends in the mountains to a glowworm cave, which was nothing short of delightful. It was particularly good to see how physically adept most of the kids in the group were and how open to Odd Things in the Outdoors. The one who wasn't was actively helped along by some of the others, which was lovely.

Yesterday, the rugby league team we sort of support (we don't really follow league, but they are Erskineville locals and were always so lovely when they were training at the oval or grabbing a kebab that we started to watch their games and cheer for them) won the premiership for the first time in 43 years. Their opponents were enormous, one of them looked like a polar bear, and for the first 65 or so minutes of the game it was very scary and could have gone either way. And then in the last quarter hour, the Rabbitohs went from securing the lead to streaming away to 'Chaps, are you still playing? The game is still on, you know.' I may have cheered quite loudly, which made this morning a little awkward when I realised my neighbours had bedecked their house with flags for the opposing, losing team.

They're still going to like us more than the previous person who lived here, he was a bastard.

Today I was catching up on the gardening. One of the biggest jobs was laying new pavers in the front yard, where there was originally a muddy path and where we've been making do with slabs of sandstone I just plonked down when we moved in.

Mr Brammers said that he was going out the back to read a book and let the cats have some outdoors time. I told him to keep an eye on the cats, as Rusketus had been eyeing off the Catproofing, looking for ways to thwart our efforts. Some half hour later I could hear a little chirruping miaow. I looked around and could see nothing. 'Have you got the cats?' I called down the side passage. 'It's fine,' came the reply.

I went back to digging in the concrete-like ground (the WORST soil: building waste, stones, cinders in one bit. HOW?! And full of onion weed …) and then heard the same sound. I looked up to see Ruus with his tail straight and high (the position that says 'I am cleverer than my humans! Hurrah!') trotting across the front garden towards the gate.

He had slipped through the catproofing at the side of the house, trotted down the passage to the gap under the neighbour's fence, squirmed through, made his way down to the front where he could hear me and offer commentary on my work, then squirmed through another gap to return to our garden.

The good news is that he does come when called, and since I had just dug a hole, things were relevant to his interests. He was extremely offended to be returned to the indoors. This was his face:

I suspect he is plotting my death. It will probably involve divebombing from the shelves beside the bed, and occur around 5am.
Hueyphoenixacid on October 6th, 2014 11:59 am (UTC)
I'd so love to see the insides of a glowworm cave! Also, omg Ruus' face is so adorable.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 6th, 2014 12:14 pm (UTC)
It is his 'I hate you. I kill you later!' face.

Glowworm cave was more of an overhang than a proper cave, but it was very cool: like a constellation of stars, but inside. We got tired of standing while the kids were running around scaring the glowworms and the yabby in the pool nearby, so sat on a fallen tree nearby. After a minute of sitting there, watching the waterfall spill over the lip of the cave, we noticed a light blinking in a tree. One of the glowworms had struck out for freedom! I said the blinking was actually the leaves of the tree moving across the glowworm's position. Mr B said it was morse code for 'Help me! I can't get back!'
Hueyphoenixacid on October 6th, 2014 12:33 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a really amazing sight to behold! We have a popular river here where you can see a lot of fireflies, but I don't think we have anything like a glowworm cave - just ones filled with bats and guano! Hee!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 6th, 2014 12:37 pm (UTC)
We have bat guano under trees here, the most populous Sydney bat is a macrobat called the flying fox, which is cute as the dickens, but nests in large numbers in fig trees and craps sticky figgy poo EVERYWHERE.

And yet, still cool!

Fireflies are amazing. I don't think there are any here, alas.
Hueyphoenixacid on October 6th, 2014 12:47 pm (UTC)
Omg flying foxes always look so cool on telly!

We have them here too but I don't think I've seen one upclose! :D Just small bats.

But guano is horrible. The stains I got from that one bat cave trip couldn't come off. xD
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 6th, 2014 12:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, sticky AND pooey AND wee-smelling … not a winner!
leecetheartistleecetheartist on October 7th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
What we have glow worms in Australia?! Why wasn't I told!?

Oh. I just was. Thanks!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 7th, 2014 10:32 am (UTC)
Do you know if we have fireflies?

And I have a vague idea the glowworms are endemic across the country, but they're certainly across quite a bit of the east. If you ever want to do this walk in the Blue Mountains (very easy), I'm in!
Loyaulte Me Lie: tell shocolateshocolate on October 6th, 2014 12:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, that face! I love your cat, he is ridiculous.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 6th, 2014 12:15 pm (UTC)
He really is! And he could sulk for Feline Kind!
Loyaulte Me Lieshocolate on October 6th, 2014 12:18 pm (UTC)
I don't know if tomatoe told you, but [edited].

So, thank you!

Edited at 2014-10-06 12:18 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 6th, 2014 12:21 pm (UTC)
This makes perfect sense to me. HURRAH!
Loyaulte Me Lieshocolate on October 6th, 2014 12:29 pm (UTC)
[edited comment about a black leather jacket]

Thank you.

Edited at 2014-10-06 12:30 pm (UTC)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 6th, 2014 12:33 pm (UTC)
If I didn't like you so much I would definitely be hating you right now :-)

As it is, I am very happy to spread joy around the world.

And do let me know if you ever want a house swap and psycho kitten … Comes with two sane and pleasant girl cats!
Loyaulte Me Lieshocolate on October 6th, 2014 12:43 pm (UTC)
Much as I adore Dan and Rupert, I wasn't flustered, because they're ultimately children, but...

Sounds good - we have a cottage and we'll have kittens next year - and master button has just taken on an allotment - you'd have fun.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 6th, 2014 12:47 pm (UTC)
I'll have the rose and vegie garden well underway by then. It's a bungalow on the hill by the river, ten minutes from the station, fifteen minutes on the train from the CBD. It could be a thing!

And I So Hear You.
ecosopherecosopher on October 6th, 2014 12:38 pm (UTC)
Haha :D Banjo has that very same face (and is also a tabby).
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 6th, 2014 12:45 pm (UTC)
A boy tabby? One of my friends warned me that boy tabbys were to mischief what girl torties are to naughty, I, fool that I am, said 'Fie! to your stereotypes! I am a kitten whisperer! My kitties are all calm and well adjusted, if slightly tricksy and hilarious …'

So wrong. So very wrong.
ecosopherecosopher on October 6th, 2014 12:48 pm (UTC)
Yep, a boy tabby. I am particularly partial to boy tabbies :D Actually boy cats in general, but tabbies especially.

Banjo hasn't been especially mischievous... but the two boy tabbies we had before him were both hit by cars, so perhaps Sasha whispered something in his ear about behaving himself!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 6th, 2014 12:58 pm (UTC)
I haven't had a boy cat in years and had forgotten that they only get survival instincts somewhere between three and seven. He is hilarious and adorable, but we're having to keep a little bit of ourselves prepped for the 'And then gravity won' possibility.

The last boy tabby I had was when I was young and he was officially an indoor cat, but he shared some gene pool with the farm cats. He used to beat up all the farm dogs and sneak into the farrier's van and get a lift into the village, where he would beat up more dogs, before demanding a lift back with the grocer or walking the several miles home. My Dad accidentally ran him over once, breaking his leg. From that day until his death years later, he would swipe my Dad's leg whenever they walked past each other. He was a magnificent beast!
ecosopherecosopher on October 6th, 2014 01:03 pm (UTC)
I hope he manages to stay one step ahead of gravity for the entirety of his life!

Your old cat sounds so ace. One of the things I find amusing, talking to 'dog people' is how they dismiss the potential for cats to be able to have any kind of personality. Adam used to make silver balls out of aluminium foil and throw them for our first boy cat to fetch. We'd be able to throw them from the upstairs window into the garden, then he'd dash downstairs and go hunting for it, and bring it back upstairs about ten minutes later. So awesome.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 6th, 2014 01:13 pm (UTC)
I think those two cats would have been excellent friends if they'd had the chance!

You're right, I've had dogs and cats, they *all* have their own personalities. Though Monster the cat these days reminds me of nothing so much as my old corgi, both ambulatory pillows ;-)
Gayle Madwinqueerbychoice on October 6th, 2014 04:50 pm (UTC)
I'm confused: what is the difference between mischief and naughtiness?

Your kitten is adorable!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 6th, 2014 09:50 pm (UTC)
Naughtiness involves wilful plotting: 'I see you like to sit on the sofa. It is mine now. I hear you telling me not to steal the chicken. I ignore you.' Mischief lacks thought beyond the immediate moment: 'A hole! I will investigate it! Hey! I can reach the roof from here!' He's quite a good boy when it comes to the known rules :-)
i can see your house from herewho_la_hoop on October 6th, 2014 01:52 pm (UTC)
Ahahahahaha, your kitty is going to kill you, I fear.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 6th, 2014 01:55 pm (UTC)
If you don't hear from me again, let the mods know it wasn't my fault I missed the deadlines!
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 7th, 2014 10:16 am (UTC)
He has a GENIUS for escaping! In a previous life he was either a British POW or Ronnie Biggs… Or that chap from Papillon!
Chiara Castelnuovo-McKenziecmcmck on October 6th, 2014 03:20 pm (UTC)
If looks could kill..........:o)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 7th, 2014 10:20 am (UTC)
I would regularly require a defibrilator! He has three major looks: 'I love you!' 'I sleepy!' or 'I KILL YOU!!' The death look often follows directly on from the love look and can mean 'I kill your hand, for it is evil, but I love the rest of you!' He is a conflicted little fellow.
Susan: kurtlil_shepherd on October 6th, 2014 06:50 pm (UTC)
He really is lovely. And what a personality!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 7th, 2014 10:23 am (UTC)
He is a darling. A teeny bit possessed by Satan, but delightful nonetheless!

I have always wanted a cat that looks exactly like the one in your icon, you know. And a small country to rule. Every official photograph would involve the cat.

Now that I think on it, it wouldn't be that hard to become Prime Minister of New Zealand …
Susan: Bibilil_shepherd on October 7th, 2014 10:57 am (UTC)
The cat in the icon is our home-bred Havana, Inazuma Nightcrawler otherwise known as Kurt. We actually sold him twice, both times it fell through, and he was plainly destined to stay with us. He is actually as soft as a brush and as loud as you might expect from his Siamese ancestry.

But he does look devilish and he has a habit of lurking on the stairs and yelling. Recently we had a plumber call to give a quote for some minor work and, as he was coming upstairs, Kurt appeared in the darkness at his eye level and yelled at him. He jumped about a foot and yelled, "What the hell is that?" Furthermore, he did not really believe he was a cat...

I am most envious of your boy's spots - they are much nicer than we ever achieved when we were breeding Oriental Spotted Tabbies.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 7th, 2014 12:11 pm (UTC)
He likes to fling himself on his back to show us his spots. In early days, he also had an expression of 'And marvel at mah testicles!' now it is more, 'Witness your betrayal.'

Kurt sounds magnificent. I have always wanted a Siamese, too, but all my pedigree cats were Persians, because my grandmother thought they were hilarious, or British Shorthairs. I found a Siamese one day while I was out riding in one of the lower fields, which were furthest from the roads. It sat there yowling at me. I dismounted and it ran over to demand pats, so I picked it up and went to remount with it, which was apparently akin to throat cutting. I wrapped it in my jacket, then remounted and rode home, accompanied for the first five or so minutes by a chorus of 'I AM BEING MURDERED EVEN NOW!', immediately followed by the chirps of 'Oh my goodness, I am so tall and I am moving quickly without having to move a single muscle! Excellent work, staff!'

We had that cat for six months, it would wake me to entertain it when it was bored, and organised all the house and farm cats into a retinue, audience or row of suitors depending on their bidability. And then someone saw one of the old ads in a local paper and told a friend of theirs, who rang on the very off chance … and it really and truly was their cat, so back it went.

Sadly, my commitment to rescue cats as an adult means I may go many years without fulfilling these cat dreams. But if I am ever PM of NZ …
Jae: Crazy cat ladyenchanted_jae on October 7th, 2014 12:38 am (UTC)
*howls with laughter*

I swear, Rusketus and Pickles are cut from the same cloth. When Pickles is thwarted in any evil endeavor, he literally squawks in outrage. OMGuh, so funny!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 7th, 2014 10:25 am (UTC)
I think they were separated at birth. Ruus has a little quack he makes whenever I stop him killing lizards. He is unfortunately good at catching them, though he generally just holds them in his mouth and doesn't fang them, so they can be rescued. I am having to redo the back garden to provide lizard refuges!
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on October 7th, 2014 08:57 am (UTC)
That is an impressive glare!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on October 7th, 2014 10:34 am (UTC)
He is the Veruca Salt of kittens!