Tuesday, April 19, 2011


So the Tabby has selected his packing container, labelled "Optimum" (it bears the subheading "mature cat", which is a little unrealistic; since there is a lot of kitten still in this young chap).

The lessons of history

It was really the new tabby's idea to move away from the beach. He has been traumatised (as have we all) by the TV images of the Japan tsunami.

It has been poignant to learn of the ancient stone markers along the Japanese coast, warning later generations "not to build below this point" and "if there is an earthquake" to beware of a tsunami.

Apparently it only takes three generations for beach dwellers to forget the threat from the sea, and to again move back to the sight and sound of the tide.

Maybe we need to erect some stone markers in New Zealand too.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Little cat feet

Yes, I guess, I'll even miss the fog!

Flotsam & Jetsam

What I'll miss: beachcombing. Which mainly consisted of picking up all the rubbish - glass and plastics.

Very few treasures, just sadness at what we are doing to our planet.

One memorable time, a shipping container washed up.

I am so glad there was never an oil spill. Yet.


The sunsets on this beach have really made everything else worthwhile, yes even the micro climate hurricane.

Big Ships

I love the way the cruise ships come and go to Port Chalmers and unload thousands of lovely holidaying people who speak in exotic accents and are amazed at and adore everything.


What I'll miss - celestial signs that the universe really does care.


What I'll miss: the many ways the gulls come in to land, and it's not always graceful.

The Ned Kelly Gang

What I'll miss: the Sidney Nolan letterbox.

In for the krill

What I'll miss: (well maybe not so much when it all starts decaying and gets a bit smelly) - the krill. Is it really krill? That's what we call it anyway, waves of small red crustceans floating in on some mysterious tides and then being stranded on the Otago peninsula beaches, attracting the shrieking ecstacy of karoro and other birds.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

At a stretch

The agency Tabby is an exotic beast,
with a unique fashion sense.
He's not afraid
to wear stripes and plaid
with polka dots
and plain.

Squid Pro Quo

What I'll miss when we move closer to the city: driving back late at night over the spine of Otago Peninsula after a long day in town, looking down to the Southern Ocean; the lights of the squid boats.

Oh My Godwits

What I'll miss when I move away: the godwits.

Last saw them in early March, they were fat, and red, in breeding costume, ready to fly away on that mad long journey. It was what I've come to think of as 'godwit weather', grey, misty, drizzly, and as almost always here, pretty windy. They're not easy to spot - they blend in so well with the sand and the edge of the tide that they are almost transparent.

I think they left around about then. Last year I was lucky enough to see them go - in their flying wedge, circling once then climbing away.

That was just a day or so before the terrible quake and tsunami in Japan.

I worry about them. Where were they when the East Asian catastrophes were at their worst? Have they flown through any radioactivity? have their stopover feeding grounds been destroyed or contaminated?

We heard that the Japanese tsunami killed thousands of albatrosses at Midway atoll near Hawaii.

What else has been and will be the cost to wildlife from the earthquake and tsunami? Especially from the dangerous radioactivity pouring into the sea?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Moving On

New Tabby (not the starving stray any more, you may note) looks wistfully out at the swans and ducks and gulls and pied stilts and oystercatchers. We don't let him out there; we don't think it's responsible.

Our two years at sea level at the edge of the tide are coming to an end. We're moving to a brick house on a hill. There'll be a lot to miss but the cat will get outside more once we move further away from the wildlife paradise.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Tuesday Poem

The Tabby rifles around in Schroedinger's Box for a Birthday Poem.

The communal Tuesday Poem blog is one year old. Happy birthday!

The Tabby was for a time a TP contributor, but, ah, cats need their sleep, so The Paradoxical Cat features now as one of the "alumni"... a fellow traveller, fellow dreamer...

Ah look, a favourite cat poem has been unearthed! This is an excerpt from Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart (1722-1771).


For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.

For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.

For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.

For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.

For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.

For he rolls upon prank to work it in.

For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.

For this he performs in ten degrees.

For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.

For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.

For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.

For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.

For fifthly he washes himself.

For sixthly he rolls upon wash.

For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.

For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.

For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.

For tenthly he goes in quest of food.

For having considered God and himself he will consider his neighbor.

For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.

For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.

For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.

For when his day's work is done his business more properly begins.

For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.

For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.

For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.

For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.

For he is of the tribe of Tiger.

For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.

For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.

For he will not do destruction if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.

For he purrs in thankfulness when God tells him he's a good Cat.

For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.

For every house is incomplete without him, and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.

For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt.

For every family had one cat at least in the bag.

For the English Cats are the best in Europe.

For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.

For the dexterity of his defense is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly.

For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.

For he is tenacious of his point.

For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.

For he knows that God is his Saviour.

For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.

For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.

For he is of the Lord's poor, and so indeed is he called by benevolence perpetually--Poor Jeoffry!

Poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.

For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better.

For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in complete cat.

For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in music.

For he is docile and can learn certain things.

For he can sit up with gravity, which is patience upon approbation.

For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.

For he can jump over a stick, which is patience upon proof positive.

For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.

For he can jump from an eminence into his master's bosom.

For he can catch the cork and toss it again.

For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.

For the former is afraid of detection.

For the latter refuses the charge.

For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.

For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly.

For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.

For he killed the Icneumon rat, very pernicious by land.

For his ears are so acute that they sting again.

For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.

For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.

For I perceived God's light about him both wax and fire.

For the electrical fire is the spiritual substance which God sends from heaven to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.

For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.

For, though he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.

For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadruped.

For he can tread to all the measures upon the music.

For he can swim for life.

For he can creep.