Recently arrived books

The cat is briefly tolerant.

The cat is briefly tolerant.

NK Jemisin, THE FIFTH SEASON; Jay Posey, THREE and MORNINGSIDE FALL; Ursula K. LeGuin, THE WINDS TWELVE QUARTERS & THE COMPASS ROSE; Walter M. Miller Jr., DARK BENEDICTIONS; Patricia A. McKillip, The RIDDLE-MASTER’S GAME; John Scalzi, LOCK IN; Anne M. Pillsworth, SUMMONED; Bethesda Software, SKYRIM: THE HISTORIES; and Paul McAuley, CONFLUENCE.

The cat awakes, and disapproves.

The cat awakes, and disapproves.

There the road ended.

I had the idea that I was going to write about What I Did On My Holidays in the company of excellent people in Newcastle and Glasgow.

But I dug a hole under a flowerbed and buried my cat tonight, so I’m not feeling as cheerful as otherwise I might. Even the contemplation of Saturday afternoon at Barter Books

Barter Books, Alnwick

Barter Books, Alnwick

and Sunday at Housesteads…

Housesteads Roman fort, Hadrian's Wall.

Housesteads Roman fort, Hadrian’s Wall.

in glorious company, of custard and cake in a café with pictures of cows on the wall…

A café in Hexham, after dark.

A café in Hexham, after dark.

… is not able to make me a cheery human tonight. Nor the contemplation of Glasgow and lovely people and a delightful second-hand bookshop (Caledonian Books) where I found copies of Oxford Classical Texts in mint condition really cheap.

I brought things home, and the memory of good company.

Things from Newcastle.

Things from Newcastle.

Things from Glasgow.

Things from Glasgow.

But Vladimir is as cold and stiff and dead as my grandmother, and it makes me gloomy as fuck.

In my kitchen window stands a tower of books

A leaning tower of research books, mostly. Since the cats like to come in and out the kitchen window, this presents… problems.

"Let me in!" Visi-cat complains.

“Let me in!” Visi-cat complains.

I am a cruel monkey.

"I hate you."

“I hate you.”

(Immediately after gaining entry to the house, Visi disappeared under the kitchen table and sprayed the wall. I hate you too, cat. I hope you’re happy.)

Supervising the work

One of the neighbours has a half-grown cat called Misty who likes to come around and stare at me through the window while I’m working:

One cannot leave the window open and unattended.

One cannot leave the window open and unattended.

Much staring. Sad cat staring.

She doesn't like it when I try to close the window, and sits and cries.

She doesn’t like it when I try to close the window, and sits and cries.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the kitchen table, one of the resident household gods emits small snores:

"Don't wake me, monkey, I'm busy."

“Don’t wake me, monkey, I’m busy.”

Friendly cat!

Today I met three tortoises in the ruins of the Library of Hadrian – the ruins green with spring growth of all kinds of plants I did not recognise, apart from daisies and the odd dandelion and green barley, white butterflies and at least one small red and black butterfly that could have been this or maybe this – and later, one very friendly, playful young cat.

Who wanted head-scritchings.

Who wanted head-scritchings.

And to catch and lick my fingers.

And to catch and lick my fingers.

And to catch my camera strap.

And to catch my camera strap.

And generally to be admired.

And generally to be admired.

So of course I obliged the youthful catling with attention and the regard that is every cat’s due (according to them).

Libraries and cats.

I have been working in one lately.

This is the view of the outside of l’ÉFA’s (the French School at Athens) library building:

The French have nice premises.

The French have nice premises.

This is a partial view of the inside of Salle A:

Salle A

Salle A

This is a lovely flowering plant that I wish I could identify:

Anyone know what the pink thing is?

Anyone know what the pink thing is?

And these are two of the three cats I saw in the garden at lunchtime:

White cat.

White cat.

White cat enjoys sunlight.

White cat enjoys sunlight.

Sneaky marmalade.

Sneaky marmalade.

Hiding under bushes.

Hiding under bushes.

Two at once.

Two at once.

Cat pictures

Visi, who's taken to urinating at random all over the house.

Visi, who’s taken to urinating at random all over the house.

Visi is much recovered from his recent wound, but I suspect he is under stress from the presence of Strange Cats hanging around outside. Well, poor lad, I’d be stressed too if one of them had recently put a hole in my face.

The free vet clinic found nothing wrong with him, so he gets to live in the bathroom until I can acquire soothing cat pheromone thingies to try, and see if that calms him down enough to give him free range of the house again.

Cats.

Vladimir, annoyed by the fact he did not get to eat the humans' chicken.

Vladimir, annoyed by the fact he did not get to eat the humans’ chicken.

Mind, Vlad is as calm as he always is. Cranky, but calm.

Walking Wounded

Visi, the Younger Cat

Presently in need of fussing over, and bathing with Dettol and warm water, and treating with Sudacrem, and careful watching. Oh, cats.