You know when you’ve been…..

So we have another new cat bringing the total to 4.  I’m told that this is it – definitely no more! I was looking at my e-mail one morning when I saw a message on Freecycle offering a “Ginger fluffball” . Now I’ve always wanted a ginger cat so I did the pathetic look at Sarah and she told me to e-mail for more details. So to cut a long story short, his owner couldn’t keep him because he kept picking up fleas from her neighbours cats and one of her children was reacting really badly to bites from the fleas.

So after a few e-mails passing backwards and forwards the cat was brought over on Sunday afternoon. he is very similar to Diesel and Louie in that he is a huge furry cat with a big fluffy tail. He’s bigger than the other two and didn’t react quite as badly to his new home as Louie did. he hid for a while and is still wary of the other cats but he is starting to settle in.

tango 1

tango 2

His name?


Eggs, Snails and Pussycat tales

The week before we went on holiday we had been trying to convince Louis that he would really like to go outside but every time we opened the door he looked out, sniffed and then went back in again. On the rare occasions when we did manage to get him to cross the threshold he would only go a few feet and then scarper back to the house!

The on the Friday night while we were packing he decided to go a bit further and without realising he was outside the door got shut and we went to bed thinking he was hiding in the house. It was only the next morning that we noticed he was missing and despite lots of shouting he didn’t reappear. Lissi set off round the streets and alleyways armed with some chicken and calling him and while she was getting ready Bex went out to look for him, but he was no where to be seen.

So we had to set off on holiday and text Alex who was feeding the animals to let him know that Louis was missing. Unfortunately Alex had never seen Louis so keeping an eye our for him was going to be difficult. We had a few reports while we were away but they were all to say he hadn’t reappeared. Alex had been putting food outside for him and it had been disappearing but he had no way of telling if it was Louis or one of the other cats who were eating it.

So as we made our way back we were convinced that he wasn’t coming back. I half expected his former owner to call us up and say he had turned up back there! So it was a nice surprise to find when we opened the kitchen door that he was sitting there, large and life and twice as hungry!

Meanwhile Brian the snail was back to stay for the Easter break and Lissi was insistent that he couldn’t be left at home so we had to take him on holiday with us! So she put his cage in a carrier bag and sat with him on her knee all the way to Portsmouth. She then insisted that he couldn’t stay in the car on the ferry so took him up onto the decks with her.

Once we arrived in Shanklin he had a nice spot on the shelf above the fire in the caravan where he stayed for most of the week munching on cucumber! Except he didn’t – he ate the first few bits but then didn’t touch any more all week – we were getting worried about him….

brian hols

Then when we returned on Friday evening after being at Flamingo Park all day we noticed 8 little round white balls in the corner of his cage where he was sitting. Surely they couldn’t be eggs…..could they? We googled Giant African Land Snail eggs and sure enough they looked just like the ones that were in his cage. Now we knew that snails are hermaphrodites but we also knew that Brian hadn’t seen another snails since he arrived at the school about 6 months ago. So we googled that too and found that they can still lay eggs even if they have already laid some since they were last in contact with another snail!

The next morning there were hundreds of them. I think Lissi counted 178 in all. We have no idea if they will hatch and it hasn’t helped that the “Snail Lady” who knows these things had been stuck abroad – a victim of the Volcanic Ash flight ban. So we could be hearing the slither of little Brian’s and Briony’s very soon!

Louie Louie

After the sad demise of Woody we talked about getting another cat, the idea was mooted that we should get a young female cat that Tag could mother instead of Woody. Then the other day one of Sarah’s colleagues asked he if she would like her daughters cat as she was moving somewhere where pets weren’t allowed. So we said yes.

Then on Friday night Louie arrived.

Louie is very much like Diesel, except he is grey instead of white, sort of like antidiesel and he wasn’t very happy about being moved to a new home. He hissed and growled at everyone and even woofed at us! So musch for something for Tag to mother, to mother this ball of fur and razorblades she would need a step ladder and protective clothing!

And like when matter and antimatter meet, Diesel had gone missing the night before Louie arrived. When after 48 hours had passed with no sign of him we were starting to fear the worst. I’d even been looking around the streets in case he was lying somewhere. I hoped that if he didn’t come back he’d been taken in by someone nice and that nothing bad had happened to him. It was getting to the point where we were almost starting to think about making “Have you seen this Cat” posters when I heard a pathetic squeaking at the back door, I opened it and in he sauntered as if he had only been out for 5 minutes. I don’t think he understood why every one wanted to hug him.

Meanwhile back to Louie! I haven’t had a cat react this badly to a new home since Oliver who sat underneath a chair in the kitchen for 2 days without moving. He is slowly coming out of his shell and has even been known to purr when stroked but the big confrontations between the two males is probably still to come! Odd thing is that Tag and Diesel now seem to be best buddies whereas before he went AWOL they were often scrapping! United against the newcomer would seem to be the order of the day.

Watch this space!

Bye Bye Budgies, Budgies Bye Bye


Sadly we have had to let our three budgies go to a new home. George, Mildred and Flo had been under constant attack from one of the cats and after the cage got knocked off the top of the piano once again it was decided it was unfair on both budgies and cat.

All 3 cats have had a go at the budgies and in doing so fallen attached to the cage sending, seed, shit, feathers and budgies flying. Quite how the birds have survived each time is a mystery. Diesel and Woody both did it once and never did it again but Tag never seemed to learn no matter how many times she did it. Just before Christmas we had to buy a new cage and the old one finally smashed to pieces as it hit the floor.

We weighed up the pros and cons of the cat vs budgies and decided it was better to give the budgies away.  Ben and Lissi are both quite attached to Tag and if the temptation of the budgies has gone then we won’t need to have to lock her out the back when we go out. So Sarah put them on Freecycle and they’ve gone to live with a young lad who suffers from Asperges Syndrome who love animals.

Y Viva Espana

This year we’re off to sunny Spain….

Lissi has gone to Spain on a school trip to visit the Spanish school that came over here before Christmas and especially Luis who came to our house each night after school. As seems to be normal with these things the departure time was 6am from outside the school. This meant that we had to get up at 4:30am and be out of the door in an hour. Thankfully Ben didn’t wake up so we moved Bex into our bed so she could keep an eye on him!

Almost as soon as the coach pulled away Lissi started putting comments on Facebook – here are a few of them:

is on the coach going to Gatwick Airport!!

is bare tired so goin sleep now…Miss you brian ♥

Our flight is at 9 everybody so my last status will be as we taking off!!!

Just arrived at Gatwick!!!

is shopping at the airport!

Will be boarding soon!

IS boardin the plane!

is taking off at Gatwick! Adios Inglaterra! (9:45)

has arrived in Barajas!! Mum how do i do the code?*

is frikkin hot!

has nearly arrived at the hotel, is really hot yet there are patches of snow randomly on mountains and ground?!?!

will be at the hotel in 15 mins, got no batery on phone bye

is at the hotel

is walking around Tudela? Like wtf??

Is being dragged round deserted alley ways by spanish boys who clearly need a map!!! :@

is eating popcorn in bed, will be on here for about 30mins cos its nearly 11 in spain but really not tired. Talk 2 me!
And that was it – it turned out that they had been taken by some of the Spanish kids to a bar to eat but they didn’t know what there was so they decided to go to a Pizza place but they didn’t get there till 10 minutes before they were due back at the hotel so the whole group had nothing to eat. Sarah wasn’t best pleased – hope the organisation picks up today!

* She’d ran out of credit already and need a voucher code sending through!

Ben’s Science Experiment

Question: “ Dad what will happen if I drop this bluetac from the top of the stairs?”

Background: Ben is bored at Lissi’s parents evening and has been investigating the Science labs and the Geography room. He has been frustrated by the the fact that unlike the Sixth Form open evening much of the school is closed and he can’t go and investigate the other buildings (like the music department with it’s lovely drum kit!).

While in the Geography room he has spotted a lump of bluetac stuck to the side of the blackboard which he now has a small piece of and he is now standing at the top of a staircase after again been denied the ability to investigate the balcony in the school hall.

Hypothesis: “I guess it will splat when it hits the ground”

Experiment: The bluetac is launched from the top of the stairs

Observed results: When it hits the ground it bounces and disappears under a trolley in the hallway.

The experiment was repeated from the top of another flight of stairs and the same result was observed.

Analysis: Dad……

The (Not so) Secret cake

It all started when I got home on Friday night and I found a message from Lissi on Facebook entitled “Read this when Mum isn’t near you”. It said:

I had this idea that sometime this sunday you could like do the food shopping in asda and take ben and mum with you, you’d have to take your time tho so that i can make mum a special tunis cake and decorate the edges with icing like i did before and i’ll find some sort of birthday decoration for her when i go shopping tomorrow, but you’ll have to go shopping on sunday tho or she’ll find the cake plus it will last longer if we do it on sunday 😀

Unfortunately Lissi being Lissi she couldn’t help her self and as time went on she became less and less subtle about the whole secret escapade. For example she came into the living room and announced Kevin can I have a word with you out here! Then just outside the door and within earshot of Sarah she said “I forgot to get a lemon can you get one when you go to the Co-op?”. Then on Sunday she also rang me when I was out buying prezzies for Sarah and asked me to get some eggs. However the piece de resistance was when she left the recipe for the cake on the dining room table and Sarah found it.

Anyway my instructions were to keep Sarah out of the way for 4 hours. FOUR HOURS! How long does she think it takes to do the shopping? And anyway on a Sunday the supermarkets close at 4pm and we didn’t leave till 2:30. So we did the shopping and then drove back to the house with it – Sarah had to stay in the car while I went in and put the shopping away. She made Bex take her a cup of tea out to her. We then went off to pick up a monitor from Sittingbourne (which I had bought on ebay and actually turned out to be broken) and on the way back we got a text asking us to stay out for another half and hour!

In the end we went back to the house and Sarah hid upstairs for a while but we had to stop Lissi as we needed to start dinner! She iced it in “secret” on the Dining room table after dinner! So was all the effort worth it in the end? Well you judge, what do you think?