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The Real Snufkin Speaks To the World

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1st February 2008

5:20pm: RIP Snufkin
December, 1994 – 31st January 2008

We had to take Snufkin to the vet's for the last time yesterday.

He had been unwell since just after Christmas, without anything being obviously wrong.

He began to lose weight, lose his appetite, lose interest in life generally. After various tests, the vet determined that he had a mass in his intestine, and that it was growing rapidly. He wasn't in any obvious pain but he slept more and more, ate and drank less and less.

His condition began to deteriorate markedly on Wednesday night, and yesterday we decided that the time had come to let him go.

We had plenty of time to make a proper goodbye, to cuddle and stroke him during the morning, and when we took him to the vet it was all over very quickly.

It's hard to say goodbye but we know it was the right thing for Snufkin.

We've buried him in the garden, against the wall, where he spent so much of his time sunning himself in the late afternoon sun.

All cats are special to their humans, so of course there never was and never will be be another cat quite like Snufkin, but he was undoubtedly the most intelligent cat I had ever met, and sometimes the most amazingly inept, as if he couldn't quite apply all that brainpower to very simple things like retracing his steps when he got himself into trouble. He was adorable and we loved him.

And we also miss him. As do others.

Travel well, Snufkin!

10th April 2005

4:05pm: Here at St Brisingamen's home for bewildering cats, life progresses much as usual. Bandit has shed his collar in the last couple of days but is still pursuing his death-defying new life as a blind cat. He can now climb fences, has visited the top of the house and has kicked me off my typing chair.

Chia has taken up residence in the laundry basket on legs as it's apparently safer than anywhere else in the house, but at least she is still willing to share the sitting room with Bandit.

Minnow is Minnow, with a curious tendency for everything in her body to sag round her tail when she sits down. She tends to look like an inverted comma.

Not sure what Smudge is thinking, but then, am I ever? And Snufkin is scarily planning on achieving sainthood soon (santo subito) by being unnaturally well behaved. I fear he may be sickening for something.

3rd April 2005

10:28am: Living with the Great Bandini
So, now Brisingamen Towers learns how to live with an active blind cat, and believe me, it's a learning experience and a half. Bandit has now stopped clawing frantically at the back door, but now hangs around there if he thinks there is half a chance someone will let him out, or else trots purposefully towards the front door. I'm in two minds as to whether we should let him out. I think his problem is that he is trying to relearn the neighbourhood, and people keep stopping him, though if he's standing in the middle of the road, with traffic swerving to avoid him, they probably have a point (and no vet's bill).

Today, though, he is exploring the rest of the house and has ventured onto the upper floors, growling and purring by turns. He seems to growl when he's not quite clear what's around him, but nonetheless he seems to have a basic mental map of the house and where most things are and is getting around without colliding with things, unless they happen to be cats suddenly stopping still in front of him.

I'm hoping he doesn't decide to dig his way through the cat flap again but feel we must allow him to roam indoors, otherwise we will all be nervous wrecks.

16th September 2004

9:54pm: Photos
Behind the cut ... cute kitty pixCollapse )
Current Mood: feline

6th December 2003

12:53pm: Life with a kitten ...
even a half-grown one, starts early. Minnow, the Mighty Min as MKS has dubbed her, does not appear to have an 'off' switch. After the humans go to bed at night she rushes round the house, hurdling everything that's stationary, wrestling anything that looks as though it might be warm-blooded. A few hours' kip and she's raring to go again at 4 a.m., which does at least persuade MKS to let us into the bedroom or else ensures an early breakfast.

Today, just look at her. In the space of a few minutes, she leapt out at MKS from behind a door, shot off down the hall to kill some leaves she'd brought in earlier, before arriving in the kitchen back legs first, to help with the unpacking of the shopping and point up some of the finer deficiencies of the housekeeping around here. Wow, look at that dust bunny! Will you be my friend, dust bunny? Please, please, sproing, sproing. The MKS put down some cat kibble and Minnow came hurtling down the hallway, her tail quivering in indignation because she'd been left out (not that this worried her as she just muscled her way in, upsetting Smudge again) and then went off to make 'friends' with Bandit again.

She's now sitting in the printer tray again, eyeing the seagulls outside.
Current Mood: exhausted

23rd November 2003

5:22am: Minnow's toys – an inventory
They have been tidying the house, so the kitten's toys keep turning up. The list is frankly appalling. We didn't have all this stuff when I was a kitten.

3 red ping pong balls
1 yellow ping pong ball
(mostly under bits of furniture)

1 white plastic ball (she doesnt play with this)

2 larger multi-coloured plastic balls with bells in
(she likes the noise the bells make, but isn't too fussed about the balls)

1 cat nip mouse (helpfully marked 'cat toy'; she doesn't play with this)

1 'thing on an elastic string' with bells (she doesn't play with this)

2 shoelaces, each with a piece of paper tied to one end.
(1 is tied to the banister, the other roams freely through the house; she likes to carry it around with her)

A collection of feathers, courtesy of numbat, which make her sneeze

3 tear-off strips from US airmail packets
(she carries these round the house at will, and they turn up everywhere)

1 piece of plastic packing strip, tied in a knot
(she carries this round the house)

Polystyrene packing peanuts
Snail shells
Pieces of pasta
Gravel

(These turn up indiscriminately, all over the place)

2 humans, 2 cats
Small twigs
Pieces of dead vegetation
Current Mood: cataloguing

7th October 2003

6:19pm: Cautious optimism
As I write this, Bandit (big, black, tuxedo cat; stray but has lived here for at least ten years; we're losing count) is sitting in the tray of my printer. Not in itself remarkable – all the cats believe that my printer is for their personal use and they get a touch miffed if, you know, I use it myself (though I don't sit in the paper tray as a rule). However, this is only the second time in two and a half months that Bandit has been into my study, and the other was about two hours ago. I'm stunned but also relieved that he is finally coming into the house again.

The full detailsCollapse )
Current Mood: relieved

12th August 2003

12:47pm:
LiveJournal Haiku!
Your name:therealsnufkin
Your haiku:that one's owner
figures in one's list of
close kitten update
Username:
Created by Grahame

3rd August 2003

3:53pm: As a matter of idle interest
It's comforting to see that one's owner figures in one's list of close non-Friends

Created by ciphergoth, see trustmetrics for details.

Closest 50 non-Friends for therealsnufkin:

1: ares_p, 2: jhaelan, 3: ladymoonray, 4: flick, 5: missfairchild, 6: swisstone, 7: ang_grrr, 8: brisingamen, 9: fishlifter, 10: gummitch, 11: hawkida, 12: _jamez_, 13: ajr, 14: magicturd, 15: sand_l, 16: tizzle_b, 17: world_of_if, 18: galluskit, 19: charmingbilly, 20: craigparker, 21: doggiejack, 22: esyld, 23: lunarburn, 24: macybloom, 25: orli_bloom, 26: seanbeanie, 27: spritesx4, 28: startwister, 29: sweetasice, 30: big_cat_diaries, 31: ally_bug, 32: bat_cat, 33: blackcatcrew, 34: bobbythecat, 35: camkitty, 36: demonspawn, 37: downwardlashes, 38: escadevotion, 39: fatcatlove, 40: fenn, 41: kissy_face, 42: kitty_ears, 43: kittypix, 44: kittyporndotorg, 45: kytheraen, 46: meatball_kitten, 47: miata, 48: midnightcat, 49: mister_jasper, 50: noahspride

2nd August 2003

1:27pm: Kitten update
Amazingly, toilet training seems to be working out just fine. Feeding Minerva (now Minnow, for short) in the kitchen and then putting her on her tray seems to be establishing the right kinds of connections, though I did discover that at some point in the night she also used her cat carrier in the bedroom. She's obviously getting the idea that 'bed is bad' if she's bursting (I am stunned at the quantity of liquid a small kittn can contain). I've also covered the bed in newspaper, which rattles when she walks over it, and I don't think she likes that (though she loves playing in and under the bedclothes, given the chance).

Other than that, she is in a routine of playing intensely for several hours, and then collapsing in a heap for several more. It's extremely funny watching her trying to stay awake, as her eyelids close and she falls over sideways. She's been playing all over the house today and has ventured outside for a short while; and is now asleep in one of the book boxes under the bed. Last night she went to sleep in the rocking chair but when I woke in the night, she was on the bed, next to me, and somehow climbed over me and then pushed me to the edge of the bed. She has got this 'cats take their half of the bed from the middle' routine just perfectly.

Smudge and Snufkin are still coping well; Bandit met Minnow for the first time this morning and left hurriedly, having made his excuses; Chia remains convinced that the fuzzball will murder her. This, I think, is as good as we can hope for at present, and I'm pleased. It's all gone so well!
Current Mood: exhausted.

31st July 2003

6:41pm: I find it a little alarming that every time Snufkin sees Minerva, he licks his lips.

Introductions are going well: Smudge and M. are on nose-to-nose acquaintance. Snufkin is ona watching brief and swats the small one if she comes too close. Chia has met her and is convinced that M. is going to murder her (much as I predicted).

I have washed assorted bits of bedding on three different occasions today. We are still having trouble with the equation 'bed does not equal litter tray'.
Current Mood: philosophical
8:13am: Kitten update 31/7/03
Life with a kitten has its ups and downs. Ineffable cuteness is offset by 00000000000000000it 'assisting in writing this entry, and dismantling my desk as it explores. Not to mention it peeing on the bed – twice. Right now, I'm doing a lot of laundry! And yet, and yet, how can one be really stern with something that doesn't so much climb and jump as float like thistledown. And just when you're about to get really, really cross, it looks up at you with those dewy eyes ...

Read more...Collapse )
Current Mood: besotted, inevitably

25th March 2003

3:53pm: Food ... is there anything else?
The vet (nice woman) says I weigh 6.05 kilogrammes, but that I'm not fat, just big-boned. I am officially the biggest cat in the house, so watch it. Chia is only half my size. To keep my physique in such fine condition takes a lot of work, as you can imagine.

Snufkin's dieting tips...Collapse )
Current Mood: hungry

12th January 2003

2:53pm: May I introduce, in living colour, therealsnufkin

14th November 2002

11:10am: Memo to self
Getting into the freezer when she's defrosting it is a bad idea. There is no food in there ...
Current Mood: cold
6:18am: Mmm – roast beef
I'd rather hoped she would have forgotten that I can open the fridge. Unfortunately, she hasn't. She can hear the rustle of a polythene bag at fifty paces, damn her, and got there before I did.

Still, she'll be careless again.
Current Mood: hungry

24th October 2002

9:27pm: It's not fair ...
Someone has put a large, heavy bag of cat litter in front of the fridge door. Just because I was playing with the fridge door and it came open in my paws ... just because I peered inside, like any self-respecting cat would ... just because I happened to chance upon a large piece of extremely nice-looking Cheddar ... just because it followed me out into the garden ... I don't know how it ended up with toothmarks all over it.

She's hidden it now, in the freezer ... I can open that too!
Current Mood: hungry
6:23am: Cats No Less Liquid Than Their Shadows
Many thanks to numbat for this poem about cats, which seems ideal for therealsnufkin's journal.

Cats No Less Liquid Than Their Shadows

by A S J Tessimond.

Cats, no less liquid than their shadows, Offer no angles to the wind.
They slip, diminished, neat, through loopholes Less than themselves;
will not be pinned

To rules or routes for journeys; counter Attack with non-resistance;
twist Enticing through the curving fingers And leave an angered, empty
fist.

They wait, obsequious as darkness Quick to retire, quick to return;
Admit no aim or ethics; flatter With reservations; will not learn

To answer to their names; are seldom Truly owned till shot and skinned.
Cats, no less liquid than their shadows, Offer no angles to the wind.

20th October 2002

10:55am: Thought for the day
A Mr Langford of Reading contributed this to my human's email this week.

"If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not
to put that thing in your mouth, particularly
if the thing is cats."
Lemony Snicket
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window


Mr Snicket is clearly a very wise man, though he must have a very large mouth.
Current Mood: sleepy

7th October 2002

11:45am: I have no idea what he means!
Noticed a postcard from gummitch to the humans, re a trip through the Channel Tunnel.

'We denied carrying any firearms, flammable gas or pets, but it suggests their worst nightmare is Snufkin with an AK-47 and a camping stove.'
Current Mood: shocked

4th October 2002

7:17am: The start of another thrill-packed day
Something has thrown up all over the kitchen floor (hey, it wasn't me, okay -- when I throw up, the world knows about it). Bandit has decided that his leg, which got bitten last week during another fight, is hurting him and has retired to the sofa to look dignified and miserable. And Chia has decided that chicken flavoured catfood will poison her. (All the more for me, then.) My human looks extremely fraught (no change there, then) and is apparently extremely embarrassed about setting up a LiveJournal for me. I don't see the problem, personally.
Current Mood: cheerful

3rd October 2002

6:32pm: Call it self defence
There are too many cardboard things appearing on LJ. I live in mortal terror of discovering a Cardboard Snufkin where I least expect one.

So, yes, I've given the bloody cat his own Live Journal. Now, maybe he'll stop cluttering up mine!

M.
Current Mood: distressed
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