Diary Of A Slightly-Madman

Ahascaragh, east Galway, which has little if anything to do with the rest of the post

I wonder just how much more of this I can take.

Since I arrived back from Germany I’ve been house-minding out in the country, with only one of those things for company. You know, hairy things. Eat animals. Don’t talk much. Cats, that’s it. My language skills are slipping away here. When your only interlocutor doesn’t care whether you’re saying “You’re a kitty aren’t you yes you are!” or “Bacon bacon bacon bacon sandwich, going to make a sandwich of you now”, your language patterns become increasingly random.

Ahascaragh water garden. Still very little to do with the article

Comfortable lemon.

Cats make peculiar companions, but they are warm and furry so it’s easy to forget this. Until you find yourself, out shopping, having to choose between something that comes in a clumping and a non-clumping form. Little good comes in a choice between clumping and non-clumping.

But lord knows how disconnected I would have gotten without having the cat to take care of. It needs to be feed regularly even if I don’t. I’m already living like one of those cognitive science lab experiments. The weather has been pretty crap but it’s not at all cold, so on days when I don’t leave the house I entirely eschew clothing. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it feels great. As long as I don’t pass a mirror. This isn’t nudism any more than walking around with nothing on under your clothes is. (Though I do like to refer to that practice as “cryptonudism”.) Effectively I am wearing a house. I like it, it’s very roomy in the crotch. And everywhere else.

My sleeping too has grown unconventional, drifting from the usual eight hours at a time to two separate “watches” of four hours, leading me to suspect that this is actually more natural. At least, for abnormal people. What I mean is, it’s quite natural for a significant proportion of the population to pass the night… differently. Would it not make sense, for humans or human ancestors sleeping in vulnerable groups, to have an innate variation in their sleeping patterns so that they’re never all asleep at once?

So if you ever ask again what I’m doing awake in the middle of the night, I’ll be forced to tell the truth. I’m protecting you, you ungrateful bastard. From leopards.

A Gift From China

Unfortunately China is the name of my mother’s cat, and her feline idea of a neat gift is a small mammal. In this case, about as small as they get – a pygmy shrew. Poor little thing. I’ve shown it here with a credit card as they’re the same size the world over. As you see, it’s no bigger than your thumb.

Well, it’s nature’s way I guess. I mean, we actually have this cat around in order to murder small mammals, so I can’t be mad with her when she catches a non-verminous one. Though I notice there’s an ongoing debate in the US about whether cats are a major threat to the balance of nature as they’re not a native species. Well I suppose nothing is a native species if you go back far enough, but as domestic cats have only been in North America for a few hundred years you could see how the native birds aren’t prepared for them, and though it would be surprising if there wasn’t a native predator in the same niche, I can’t actually think of one. What catches small wild birds in North America? I don’t think coyotes do. Fisher cats perhaps, and related weasel-like things. But they are only found in some climates.

I don’t know; as far as I’m aware, cats in North America have never really gone feral and therefore are only found where humans live. And with a few exceptions, the balance of species in such places is never going to resemble what it did before farming and industry. So I suspect removing cats would be like trying to make a shopping mall more like a forest by painting it green.

But perhaps I should know better than to get into an argument between cat people and bird lovers.