Two pieces of information: 1) Peter hates his birthday. 2) I would place him approximately to the right of Lord Melbourne (Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister) on the political spectrum, which is why he had to leave the country for two months to avoid seeing a Democrat elected. So how ironic was it that his 65th birthday fell on Inauguration Day? (Or that Inauguration Day fell on his 65th birthday.)
Yet, to my extreme surprise, he had a wonderful birthday! He played with the cats most of the day, watched a bit of the Inauguration without noticeable discomfort, and was delighted with his birthday gift, which was a Drinkwell Platinum Water Fountain for the cats. "You could not have given me a birthday present that pleased me more," he told me earnestly. The little cats have such pleasure in swatting their little paws in the stream. And then, two of our dearest friends who are a newly unemployed editor and an newly unemployed journalist respectively, turned up at the Novel Cafe to give Peter some home baked raisin cinnamon bread for his birthday. Generosity, nobility, kindness, friendship in dark days. As we walked back to the car Peter was heard to say reflectively, "This was a very good birthday." I'm thankful it was so.
We are all waiting to hear the gory news of severe budget and staff cuts at work. What can you say? Brother, can you spare a cat?
A birthday present for the man who has everything (or nothing): Cat water fountain
Yes, unbelievable as it may seem, on January 10, Pindar, Martial and Catullus celebrated one month's residence with us. Here is a retrospective exhibit of their behavior and ours as we have been learning to live with each other. (The exhibit concept alone is so barmy, it shows that the Birchall household is already long past the point of no return on its startlingly precipitous descent into Crazy Cat Shelter.)
Pindar in Vermeer mode
The Mad Face of Martial
They have taken over the workplace
They do love windows
Pindar is still relatively small
Sometimes they sleep
Two lines Peter wrote about them...
Sweet, darling, little beasties, such as climb My shoulders as I search for phrase and rhyme
And two lines I wrote...
Tiny little cat with a silver tail
Seven A.M. I find them in Peter's study, eagerly looking out the window, all lined up together.
It's a good thing we had a new screen installed...
There is much to see...birds, even squirrels on the power line...
It's unusual to see them all together.
A tender picture of Pindar and Martial's beautiful faces in the morning light
A portrait of Catullus, dressed in shining fur
Pindar and Catullus. The colors of their coats show up in the morning light.
Hey! Wait! Don't take me away yet! I don't deserve the hook! You haven't let me show the pictures of the cats fighting in an empty bathtub yet! They bash their little skulls against the porcelain and then they stop and wash each other's faces. I know everybody will want to see that! And what about the one of Martial with her face in a sour cream bowl? Come on! I have a LOT MORE CAT PICTURES! Honest, I do!