In the past I've posted a few pictures of my adorable dog Finn (otherwise known as Finbar Finley Finneas Finbarrsson the third). I got Finn during a period when I felt very depressed and unhappy. I was convinced that getting a dog would improve my life. I was probably right: a dog WOULD have improved my life. But a yipping, bouncing, insane puppy with more energy than a squirrel on steroids? No.
I spent the first two months that Finn lived with me thinking I had made the biggest mistake of my life and feeling more depressed than ever. The fact that he never let me get more than an hour's sleep didn't help. But then suddenly, sometime during month three, I started to have fun. I realised I had found an amazingly clever and devoted friend who was always happy to see me. At about the time I taught him to 'high five' I fell in love, and now I wouldn't be parted from him for all the Brazil nut toffee in Thornton's.
Me: "Finbar! What should I do? I finished my Big Secret Project chapter and synopses and I don't have to start baking for Christmas until tomorrow and I feel all weird and loose-endy!"
Finn: "Use the Force, Zolah..."
This one is after his second walk of the day. In such cold weather I fold the towels over the radiator in the kitchen so that I can easily melt any frozen snow out of Finn's long, curly ears, or the fluffy fur between his toes. But Finn likes to think of it as a bespoke spa treatment. He's been known to lie down in the towels and roll around, resisting all attempts to get him out.
Finn: "I shall not be moved."
Me: "Right, that's it. You're going on a diet!"
Finn: "I shall be in the living room."
Five minutes later in the living room...
Finn: "What? YOU were sitting here? But this is my seat. And look how cute I am. Can you really say no to this face? Hmmm?"
Okay, moving on from Finn, let's give some attention to my two feline pals, who I've never featured on the blog because they are notoriously camera shy. They do not like the camera-thing that goes flashy flashy in their eyes. I had to bribe both of them with pieces of cheese (yes, cheese) and catnip treats to get them to stay still long enough for the photographs.
First of all is Echo. She is a rescue cat who came to me when she was two and half years old, and spent the first week hiding under my sofa and behind the bookcase, emerging only when food was on offer, rinse, repeat. Frankly, after a while having a silent black cat silently slipping around the house started to creep me out. However, when she finally did decide that my adopting her wasn't part of a nefarious plot to turn her into catfur mittens, she turned out to be the dopiest, sweetest little cat in the world. She's called Echo because any noise that a human can make, she will happily echo back at you. If you open a door for her, she says 'Meeeankoo' which sounds uncannily like 'Thank you'.
Me: "Come on, you're not fat! You're precious. Look at your cut little white paws! Do you know how many cats would kill for paws like those? And your whiskers! They're the finest whiskers in England!"
Echo: "What, really? Well, if you saw so...How do I look now?"
Me: "OMG, you're so FLUFFY! It's adorable!"
Echo: "And you're really SURE I don't look fat? Make sure to get my profile in this one! It's slimming."
Next up, Hero. Hero was also a rescue cat and came to me when she was eight months old (my mother named her for the Shakespearean heroine). She was possibly the friendliest little cat I've ever met. If someone sat still for more than thirty seconds, she'd be snuggled up to them, purring like an out of control electric toothbrush.
However as she kept growing, and growing and GROWING (she's one of the largest female cats I've ever met, and built along the lines of a Swedish supermodel) she began to display the fact that she was a serious One Woman Cat. She followed me from room to room, supervised me in the bath, ran to say hello when I came home from work and only consented to sit on *my* lap. Anyone could stroke or snuggle her, but if anyone else attempted to pick her up she'd go stiff as a board and dig her claws in with every appearance of terror.
This is probably explained by the fact that her previous owners were a pair of teenagers who abandoned her in a box by the side of the road, may suffering be upon them with swift wings.
Hero says: "U bringz cheese?"
Me: "Who's a beautiful girl, then? Who's the most beautiful girl in the whole world?"
Hero: "I am, of course! I don't have self-image issues, like that other cat. Hand the cheese over. And stop trying to sneak the camera out, I can SEE what you're doing."
Me: "Please let me take some pictures. The world deserves to enjoy your beauty. All you have to do is stay still for thirty seconds. Have some more cheese."
Hero: "Okay, cheese gone. You can go too. I'm having a nap now. Unless you'd like to stroke under my chin? No - wash your hands first! I don't want cheese all over my fur."
So these are my cuties, without whom, I am sure, I could never write a word at all. Do you have pets, and how do they help you in your day-to-day life?