George's Big Adventure

George discovered the cat flap on Sunday night. He’s had the run of the house, but despite the fact we’d left the cat flap unlocked (so Ming and Saffy could come and go), we didn’t think he’d be able to get out because his previous owner told us he’d never had a cat flap so wouldn’t know how they worked. Of course, we didn’t think about the fact that he’s now had a couple of weeks of watching Ming and Saffy demonstrate its use… Anyway, on Sunday night we realised we hadn’t seen George around for a while, and quickly discovered he wasn’t in any of his usual spots – in fact, he didn’t seem to be anywhere in the house at all. Thinking maybe he’d got out when H went out to get some wood from the shed (he’s followed H outside a few times now, but has never strayed far from his side), I switched on the outside light and had a look out the back door. There was no sign of him until I called his name, when suddenly two bright yellow glowing eyes appeared in the middle of the lawn right in front of me – it was George, looking very pleased with himself (he’d been totally invisible until he’d turned his head so I could see his eyes – it’s amazing how well a fluffy black coat blends into the shadows. Ming’s black too (mostly – he’s got a few white patches), but you can still see him easily enough unless it’s really dark – his coat is shiny enough to reflect some light. But with George the light just seems to be sucked into him). He came back inside happily enough, but half an hour later went back out again (and this time we saw him go through the cat flap – which was really funny – he’s got so much fur that he almost got stuck half-way through, and was left with his back legs waving in the air for a few seconds! He’s actually much lighter than Ming and Saffy (who are both a bit overweight), but all that fur really bulks him up), and this time he was off across the fence to check out the neighbours… so much for him being a timid cat that hates the outdoors! He came back on his own, so at least we know now that he knows where home is, so we don’t have to worry about him when he goes walkabout.

Had our usual last-Sunday-of-the-month breakfast meetup on Sunday – me, lytteltonwitch, awhina and meerkitten were there of course, plus a friend of awhina’s and her daughter, and later a new member, Bookswild, turned up. For a change, I managed to not pick up any books, but I contributed a few to the OCZ: White Teeth by Zadie Smith; Starplex by Robert J Sawyer; Cosmonaut Keep by Ken Macleod; The Artist’s Widow by Shena Mackay. After the meetup, lytteltonwitch and I took the kitten to a talk on astronomy at Shirley Library. It had sounded really interesting in the advert (it was about what amateur astronomers can achieve), but unfortunately the speaker had an incredibly dull way of speaking and had pitched his talk at way too high a level (even though he said at the start he would keep it simple because there were a few children in the audience) – if he’d had some pretty pictures of planets and things to enliven his talk it might have helped, but all he had were a couple of small charts (even though part of his talk was on how you can photograph the night sky!). I found a few things to interest me in the talk because I already knew enough about astronomy to understand what he was talking about, but the kitten was completely lost and obviously bored. Luckily she had a book with her, so I whispered to her that it was ok to sit and quietly read it if she wanted (which she did!). They were supposed to have a telescope set up on the roof of the parking building next door after the talk, so that we could look at sunspots, but after wandering around up there for a while we didn’t manage to find them (and it’s not *that* big a roof!), so we just went and had afternoon tea in the mall instead – I think the kitten appreciated her hot chocolate a lot more than she had the talk!

Currently reading: Don’t Postpone Joy by Peter Taylor

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