Pyrite And Purrsonality…

20517376_163233007565240_1015633897_oFascinating cubic Pyrite, thank you to Lizian for letting me photograph them

I’ve written about Pyrite before, but it’s a purrsonal favourite (hehehe!) so I think it will take a little bit more, especially since it ties in so nicely with the second part of the title. The second part of the title was arrived at through an initial reply by Dolly of koolkosherkitchen, please go and visit – she has a wonderful blog that consists combines a fascinating mix of recipes and history – irresistible! The point of debate was: “Does neutering arrest a cat’s development and make them kittenish forever, or is it purely personality?”

I must actually apologise as I don’t remember where I saw the original claim – I’ve looked everywhere, but it was either obviously a figment of my imagination… or it’s been hidden by fairies.

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Do cats’ personalities change as they get older, like humans do… I’ve known some perfectly pleasant sixteen year olds grow into unbearable adults. Does anybody feel that their cats did indeed change in temperament after being neutered? I must confess, I do feel that Charlie became a little more bad tempered, and less tolerant of Lily, as they did used to sleep curled up together, but now they very rarely bother with each other, save the occasional:

“All right?”

Yeah, not so bad – yourself?”

Tooty and Ting have always had a very strong sisterly bond – apart from when they’re fighting – so they continue to get along well with each other and still make friendly overtures towards the big girls, even though they’re likely to get a slap for their trouble!

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Maybe I’m just reading too much into the situation, and the reason that cats still sometimes adopt a kittenish persona is to get their own way/

I’m so beautiful… How can you possibly say NO!”

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Oh yes of course, I’m sorry, Mummy’s little princess, I’ll rush out and get fresh chicken right this very minute even though it’s 12 o’clock at night, pouring with rain and local shops are shut…”

Yeah right. Crazy cat lady.

20472626_162915264263681_1093126036_oA beautiful and shiny Pyrite sphere, courtesy of Lizian’s wonderful stall

Perhaps I should carry my Pyrite more often… sometimes known as ‘Fool’s Gold’, this stone is very protective and will encourage you to trust your own judgement, take stock of a situation and implement solutions where needed. Its shiny gold surfaces act as a spiritual mirror and enable us to look within, to see our own characters, aspects, both good and bad, uncovering suppressed memories that are ready to be dealt with. A warming, magical stone, it has traditionally been used in amulets and in healing as a ‘warming’ stone – Pyrite suns have a special pain alleviating quality to them as well. So. A warming and grounding crystal… as warming as the love you share with your cat.

20464803_162867477601793_496060702_o (1)A splendid Pyrite sun, from Lizian 

So, please, opinions about personality please, whether feline or otherwise…

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Tooty’s Tale

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Tooty had a… confused start in life. She is Ting’s sister, no doubt about that as they share a bond of sibling affection that I don’t see between Charlie and Lily, even though they’ve known each other since they were a couple of months old. How we found them is the subject of an earlier post: ‘The Finding of Kittens’, but although Ting’s place in our family was assured – my partner knew of my secret, long-held desire for a Siamese – Tooty, as a black cat was held as being surplus to requirements in my partner’s opinion. Besides which, we already had a black cat, little Lily, the dainty, pretty murderess who had captured my partner’s heart with her killing charm.

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However, I loved Tooty the moment I saw her for her bravery. She was the first one to leave the safety of the hedge for an unknown future with us. I had absolutely no intention of separating the sisters. I just never mentioned it. So she stayed, and I say a ‘confused’ start to life with us since we were convinced she was a tom, and actually called her Derek for her first few months of living with us.

She grew and developed into a black cat with a charm and beauty of her own. She doesn’t have the fragile prettiness of Lily, rather the sleek, powerful lines of the traditional parlour panther. She is the only cat I have with eyes the colour of Citrine or Amber, depending on the light… a proper witch’s cat but she has the temperament of a particularly cuddly marshmallow.

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Like all my girls, I took her to the vet to be spayed, however, she did develop a chest infection after, and although it cleared up after antibiotics, it has left her with the tendency to snore. And I mean snore. A real roof rattling reverberation… Her meow is quite funny too. She’s not the most talkative of cats, unlike Charlie or Ting, but when she does meow, it’s more a croaky “Wah!” sound. A bit like a goose. Tooty “Brrrp’s” a lot though.

Brp! Hi, I’m here,”

BRPP! I didn’t see you there, you scared me!”

Brp-wah… sure it’s feeding time…”

Tooty has the most wonderful purr though, a deep, melodic soothing rumble. She likes to cuddle in the bed next to you and will lie, legs in the air, so you can stroke her chest, eyes blissfully closed, purring away like a little motor.

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She and her sister, Ting, still play together as well – sometimes a little too roughly and the fur tufts fly. It’s soon forgotten though, as they greet each other affectionately with a tender lick between the ears.

So. Despite having a duplicate of colour in cats, Tooty brings her own special qualities to my feline fur family. She is loving and affectionate, a confident panther who stalks the rooms of my house, “brrrping” and throwing catnip mice around…

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“We are Siamese if you please…”

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Ever since I was a little girl and I heard those immortal words from the classic Disney film ‘Lady and the Tramp’, I was besotted with Siamese and overcome with the desire to have one for my very own. When I was a little girl they weren’t exactly a common breed, but when my old cat passed, my parents moved heaven and earth to find me a suitable replacement. A Burmese. Don’t get me wrong because I adored him, and my fondness for Siamese faded into the background.

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I have had a succession of cat family members, my most recent being the four ‘Girls’, the ‘Big Girls’ and the ‘Little Girls’. I have already told the story of how we acquired the ‘Little Girls’ in an earlier post and how I finally came to own a Siamese.

image[9].jpeg“Yay! My forever home!”

Granted she has no pedigree to prove her background, but she is the sweetest natured cat I have ever had the pleasure to know and love. Admittedly she is not the brightest of cats, but from the tip of her chocolate kinked tail to her brown leather nose she is every inch an elegant Siamese to look at. And hear.

CAM00115.jpgIn my son’s bed – I’d just changed the sheets!!

Waaaaahh! I’m here! What’s happening!”

It is heart-rending when we have to go out… a puzzled brown face and slightly crossed blue eyes watches our departure and her howls echo after us… even round the corner…

Waaaaoooh! Whyyyyy! Nooooah! Don’t go! Please! Come back…”

The look of sheer pleasure on her little face as she comes running to greet us, purring thunderously and then flopping at our feet so we can rub her tummy. She will roll ecstatically from side to side, grabbing at our hands with her paws and mouth – never to bite or scratch, although there have been a couple of accidents where she’s snagged me… The devastated look on her face afterwards has me comforting her!

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She is certainly the most talkative cat I’ve ever had, and will keep up a running commentary on whatever she sees me doing:

Hi! What shall we do Oh, you’re going to clean the bathroom, that’s always good for a laugh…”

My partner chose her name… he likes ‘Little Britain’ and doesn’t have to take the cats to the vets…

Ting Tong! Ting Tong Maccadangdang!” muffled snickers from the – of course – crowded waiting room…

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She adores having her photo taken. The other girls don’t mind and will quite happily pose for a while, but Ting actively loves the camera…

Oh yes! He’s got the whirry box! Me! Look! I’m here right now! I’ll waive my fees…” as she tramples over Lily to get to my son and rub her face lovingly on the camera.

She is the sweetest, most loving cat. From the lost little kitten, she has grown into a happy, confident cat who never fails to put a smile on my face as she gazes at me with love in her – slightly crossed – sapphire blue eyes.

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All photos were taken by my son!

The Finding of Kittens

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It was a bitterly cold winter’s morning. Dull and grey, like lead; not the sparkling mornings that glimmer like crystal, instead the flat grey cold of snow and ice that has melted and re-frozen. Consequently, there was a layer of ice on the ground, covered by an inch of frozen slime.

My son and I were returning from the shops through the park, me holding on to him, afraid of slipping and falling. If that happened, I was determined not to go down alone, hence my grip on his arm. We approached the cut through, only to find an old lady with two small dogs peering anxiously into the hedge. She looked at us hopefully and said:

The dogs think there’s a rat in there and they won’t come away!”

I replied somewhat blankly: “Oh, right, well, that man next door has chickens, maybe it’s come for the food…” I bent down to have a look, unsure really of what she wanted me to do. Rescue the rat? Drag it out from the hedge by the tail and send it on its way? Cautiously, I bent down to have a look…

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Peering back at me, was a small black face, lit by yellow eyes, as round as an owl’s. It was a kitten. I relayed this fact to the old lady and she said:

Oo, I’ll go home and get it some cat food…” She left, towed along by her two small dogs who had obviously given up hope of finding a rat to play with, so I sent my son ahead to our house to fetch some cat treats. (Usually I carry some in my handbag, but a white cat, begging for donations, had already had them at the bus stop…)

In the meantime, I knelt down and “Brrrp”-ed encouragingly at the kitten. It gazed back at me, resigned, cold and comfortless. There was a feeble movement next to it and a flash of white fur.

Oh no,” I thought, “two of the poor little things.” My son returned with treats and we set to persuading the kitten to leave its temporary nest of dead twigs and rubbish. It was very timid. Finally, after much “Brrrp”-ing and my best imitation of a mother cat call, a little black cat slid into the open. Hesitant but hungry, the kitten grabbed a mouthful of treats and I said to my son:

Quick, grab it now and tuck it firmly against you…” I sent him back to the house to alert his father and turned my attention back to the dirty, frozen hedge.

Roused perhaps, by the absence of its sibling, the flash of white fur came nearer to the gap. To my great surprise, I saw blue eyes and a little dark face, along with white fur as the second kitten revealed itself to be a Siamese. It was cold and hopeless. I stuck my arm into the hedge and grabbed it by the scruff; it went limp in my grasp, tail curled between its legs, very cold and very frightened.

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Having had a quick check to ensure there was no mother cat who might object to the removal of her babies, I returned to the house. My partner was not best pleased, but unsurprised by my return with another kitten, as he is quite used to me returning with odd things. (I found my son’s budgie in a similar way…)

We got our first proper look at the kittens, who were delighted to be reunited with one another and set to working their way through a bowl of catfood, watched with disgust by the two bigger girls:

Look at that! Don’t they know it’s vulgar to gobble your food like that? Peasants…”

That was four years ago. Tooty’s continued presence in our household was debated at one point (“Really Samantha? Don’t you think three cats is enough…) but her sweet nature and endearing personality ensured her position. It’s a joy to watch the two sisters as they play, groom and sleep together, but their traumatic early start in life has left them both with a couple of personality quirks. (I later heard that a cat had been run over and killed on the road not far from where we found them.) They are both food orientated. Ting hates to be cold. And despite her early bravery in approaching us, Tooty remains timid and scared of strangers.

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However, they are now valued members of my household, the ‘Little Girls’. Wonder if one day I’ll find a goat, or a llama… or a unicorn…The possibilities are endless!

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All photographs Copyright © 2016 Alex Marlowe

Kyanite and Kittens

It was a long time since I’d had a kitten. I’d just lost my beloved tabby, Walter, at the age of 16. He had an inoperable tumour in his jaw. I was ill with grief and to this day I feel guilt, thinking maybe, somehow, I should have known, I could have done more.

The nine days I was without a cat were awful. My very bones ached with the lack of his warm, furry body and I missed him desperately. I wanted to punch people who said: “It was only a cat.” I haunted pet shops and scoured newspapers. Then one day, I saw THE advert.

I collected my son and hurried off to a nearby street to choose my kitten. We’re all wise with the benefit of hindsight; secretly I knew she was too little to leave her mother, but I was so desperate and bereft. Selfishly perhaps, we took her and left.

She was very angry when we got home. She mewed loudly and defiantly. She hated me. My heart broke again, and I wept for the loss of my kind and understanding cat. She wouldn’t eat. She wouldn’t drink. Late that night, as she cuddled unhappily against me in bed, I offered her a dab of water on my fingertip. “Please, baby, drink something…” She suckled hungrily at my finger and I realised. Emergency rush to the shop for kitten milk and syringes. Poor little baby was too young to leave her mother but the owner was disinterested and callous – I was heartbroken and lonely.

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Mummy’s little princess!

My baby thrived. She sat on my knee every two hours while I fed her from a syringe and introduced her to the wonders of kitten meat. My partner cared for her just as devotedly when I had to go out.

She is now six years old and a diva princess. No psychological issues, despite the too-soon leaving of her mother, although she doesn’t relate to other cats too well, and remains convinced she is a small, furry, vastly superior human.

My acquisition of cats was a lot like buses… nothing for what felt like ages and then another three… My son wanted a kitten. I love my son. I love kittens. No-brainer really. A little black panther joined our household. Then one winter’s day, as we were returning home, we acquired another two kittens, my Siamese and her sister, who were cold, hopeless, hungry and abandoned…

My cats have repaid my love with interest. They are all Mummy’s girls, although the two younger ones also view my son as a mother figure… My cats are loyal and bring me tranquility… furry Kyanite…

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This is black Kyanite… it reminds me of a witch’s broom…

Kyanite is a very interesting crystal when viewed closely and its properties can be highly beneficial. Thank you very much to my son’s crystal-wise lady https://lizianblog.com/ who was kind enough to let my son photograph these spectacular examples. A typical interpretation of Kyanite is that it aids attunement and meditation, helping the user to become more compassionate. I defy anyone not to look at a kitten and instantly become more loving and empathetic. A scientific study has shown that people who look at cat pictures are more productive in the workplace.. Both blue and black Kyanite are useful stones for meditation – I’ve mentioned before that my cats are wonderful meditation partners that both guide and focus you. Also, Kyanite does not hold negativity, so it will never need cleansing and is attracted only to the highest purpose. Finally, Kyanite balances and aligns the chakras, and stabilises the yin/yang energies.

I look at my Siamese and her sister, curled together on my bed and cannot help but think of the yin/yang symbol. Her cream fur and outgoing nature balances perfectly with her sister’s black fur and steadfast cat-ness. A feline harmony.