Archive for February, 2007

Great photo’s, cat video’s, turn off the light!

February 28, 2007

I love photography. I think a picture can really touch someones heart. Unfortunately, I cannot make the pics I would like, except those of animals. Note: career possibility = animal photographer. Evidence that I have more cute photo’s of cats and other animals will follow later!

Anyway, some of my favourite photographers are:
Alfred Stieglitz
Alice Wielinga. Alice is a friend of mine, but whew, she has a keen eye if I’ve ever seen one!
Annie Leibovitz
Chema Madoz
David LaChapelle
Gerard Kingma

***

I have seen some really cool cat video’s the last couple days.
– First of all, Cat me if you can. Weird video, even crazier lyrics and song accompanying it.
– A nice compilation of cats doing stupid things I hadn’t seen before.
– Yes! A classic video of a cat fight between B.J. and Cognac. I never thought I would see it again. Thank you, YouTube!
– And last but not least: I watched part one of the two-part DVD “Cats of Rome” that I bought at the Torre Argentinain Rome. I have yet to see part two, but if it is as good as part one, I will not be disappointed. Part one is filled with footage of Roman (stray) cats and the people that help them. I had to cry about seven times while watching it, because there are a lot of sad stories. But, because the footage of the cats is so cool, I laughed even more! The documentary is not a totally professional production, but it is edited very nicely, has a great narrator, and is definitely worth checking out if you love cats. And all proceeds go to the Torre Argentina cat shelter. What is not to like?

***

Lately, I have become more and more aggravated with people around me. It may sound like a pet peeve, and maybe it is, but I really hate it when people leave a room and leave the lights on. Just turn them off! I mean, come on, would it kill you to flick that switch? I really think that when everyone just pays a little attention to turning off the light and appliances, a lot of energy could be saved. I am not a person who is all ecological and sure, I sometimes stand under the hot hot shower (there I go with the shower again!) a little too long, but I try and pay attention to the amount of energy I consume. It is such a small thing to do, and it should be instilled in children from a very early age. Otherwise, I think I will be rowing a boat to work in a couple of years. I know this “turn off the lights” thing will not solve the energy crisis, but you have to start somewhere. At least, that’s what I think, but when I look around me, I think a lot of people don’t give a crap and maybe they are right. I am not ready just yet to become as cynical and / or defeatist as them!

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Bathing your cat

February 21, 2007

I have never washed a cat before, but I can imagine it can be quite a challenge. The thing is, I have never met a kitty smelly enough to grab him, risk life and limb and put it in the shower. Obviously, some people have had the (dis)pleasure and were kind enough to share their experiences with us through YouTube. O YouTube, you bring me so much feline joy!

To wit: Tootsie the cat in the shower. I love how the cat’s owner can’t stop laughing while he is having his face clawed. The first couple of seconds I was horrified and really felt bad for the cat. But then I started laughing and couldn’t stop laughing for a full half hour. Sorry Tootsie!

For those that feel a wee bit squeamish about washing your kitty, there is a very helpful instructional video for you.

And remember, not cats were harmed in the two video’s above, so feel free to laugh as hard as I did when I saw them.

Stats rule!

February 20, 2007

I am a huge number and statistics geek. Whenever I see stats I get the great urge to keep looking at them. For instance, when I’m downloading something I keep staring at the time that is left before the download is complete, and the speed in Kb/sec. A bit creepy actually now I think about it.

Because of this little, shall we say, quirk, I also check how people end up on this blog. Believe you me, not a lot of people make it here, but when you look for “show litter as a adjective” on AOL, you end up here. Amazing… I really wonder what this person was looking for and what he or she thought when they came across this blog. I am sure a post about a blind cat in Rome wasn’t on the agenda, but hey, I would be happy with a find like that!

Cat sitter – Klutz

February 18, 2007

Don’t worry about the title of this entry. No cats were dropped of balconies, no tails were stepped on… 

The last couple of days I have been a “cat sitter” for someone that was out of town. Since I don’t have a cat of my own (I know! It’s horrible! But my room is just too small.), I always take a cat sitting opportunity when I see one! Especially with this one, he is just quite a character:

07-02-15-roefes-1.jpg
Yesss, keep petting me!

07-02-15-roefes-2.jpg
Why did you stop petting me! I told you not to!

07-02-15-roefes-4.jpg
You say something?

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Can we go back to petting then?

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Yay!

He really makes contact with you and he comes up to you face when you ask for a kiss. A perfect relationship if you ask me!

***

I have the periods when I am super super super klutzy. I trip into anything that crosses my path, and if it isn’t in my path, I’ll do my very best to trip over it or walk into it anyway. It would be just rude to hit the table, but to not walk into the door now wouldn’t it! I have just had one of those periods recently, so I’m covered in bumps and bruises. My favourite thing is walking into doors by making a turn to soon. It’s just wonderful when your shoulder gets disjointed ten times a day! I have resigned myself to the fact that these periods of instability are just part of my life and my dorky charm. What else can you do…

Feed the Kitty ‘n stuff

February 14, 2007

One of my favourite cartoons is Feed the Kitty by Chuck Jones. He really was a genius and could capture subtle humour and emotions so beautifully. This video always makes me laugh, and cry, and then laugh again! I’m sure a lot of people know it and have seen Feed the Kitty a lot of times, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it. And I don’t just like Feed the Kitty of course, but almost everything Chuck Jones ever made. One Froggy Evening, Duck Amuck, What’s Opera Doc, High Note and The Dot and The Line are classics as well.

***

Since I don’t have had any cat excursions the last couple days, like the Cat Cabinet or Torre Argentina, I am just posting some cats that I photographed over the last months. I love the pictures, because you can really see the character of each cat:

Humans are strange!

Ain’t I lovable

Scaredy cat

***

I have read some wonderful books lately. One by a Dutch writes called Marjon van Royen. She wrote a book called The Night of the Scream, about her experiences living in Mexico. Since I have been in Mexico I realized how enormously naive I can be sometimes. Although it is a beautiful country with a rich (and horrible) history, I never noticed how corrupt Mexico is, and how oppressive the government is. Still, I would go again in a heartbeat, because most of the people living there are so nice, and the nature is gorgeous.

I have also read The Hotel on the Roof of the World by another Dutch author, Alec Le Sueur. If you want to laugh until tears stream down your face, I strongly recommend it. Le Sueur’s descriptions of his experiences while working for the Holiday Inn in Lhasa, Tibet are extremely funny. Still, he also talks about the way China rules Tibet and gives a great insight in the troubles of the country.

***

I was thinking about a film that I would like to see, but that I am not sure of exists. I would love to see a documentary about a product, from start to finish. And not just the clinical approach (resources, production, end product), but really how many human hand touch the product and the way the product travels. Just following a single toothpick would be interesting. First someone chops down a tree, someone else transports the wood, another person slices the wood, someone packages is, then more transport by truck, even boat or plane, someone else gets the package from the truck/plane/boat, a truck-driver brings it to a warehouse, someone else transports it again, people unpack the box, place it on the shelve, a salesperson sells it and the customer takes it home. I even skip some people, and then imagine that a toothpick only costs about 5 cents… Amazing.

Bathroom hypnosis

February 12, 2007

In some bathrooms there are a specific sort of tiles:

Bathroom floor

In my shower I have the same tiles on the floor. Ever since I was little, I have been fascinated by the patterns and the images they can portray. It’s like one of those 3D-books, where you have to stare at the pages until you see a pyramid or a UFO or something. Well, I have never, ever seen an image pop out of me from those books, even when I stare at them for an insanely amount of time. But these bathroom tiles have always triggered my imaginations. I can see faces looking at me, or spot a frying pan in the corner of my eye. When I try to focus, the floor turns into just grey and white and black spots again. I love looking at the floor of my shower and see what I can find. The thing I see most in these patterns are bunnies, for some reason. I wonder if anyone else has seen things in these tiles as well…

P.S. I just looked back at some posts, I think I might have a slight obsession with showering. I seem to talk about it quite a bit. Don’t judge, at least I am clean!

Rome – Torre Argentina

February 11, 2007

So, I’m back from Rome. I consider it to be one of the most lovely cities in the world. I have been four times, and it never disappoints! This time I only went for two days, and it also rained two days straight. My shoes were totally soaked and even my winter coat couldn’t withstand the rain, so I was cold as well. But I didn’t mind at all! And not in the least because I visited the great cat sanctuary Torre Argentina. I know this link is in my link section as well, but it never hurts to mention this great cat shelter. The people that work there all work at a voluntary basis and are one of the few sane people working for animals in Italy. They try and sterilize and castrate all cats that enter at Torre Argentina, to prevent more street cats coming along. Also, by castrating males, they prevent attacks from other male cats.
One vet once had a cat in his office that had his eye scratched out because other males thought he was an intruder. He fixed the eye, but did not castrate the cat. Result: the cat got in a fight again and also lost his other eye. I had the pleasure of meeting this poor guy:

Blind cat at Torre Argentina

He got about really well, and seemed to find his litter box, his food and my hand with no problems! Still, castrating cats should be practised on a much wider scale, and for some reason Italian law does not seem to like practising this very sane attitude towards kitty welfare.

But, I am getting off my soapbox and will just post some pictures already!

Torre Argentina site

Torre Argentina sign

Torre Argentina - ready to jump

Torre Argentina - full frontal

Torre Argentina black cat

Torre Argentina tent cat

Torre Argentina what do you want

Torre Argentina ignoring you

This last picture is another great example of a cat ignoring people, and pretending to not see you. Although you can clearly see he is annoyed by me. Hooray! I also gave a donation to the sanctuary and bought a DVD about cats in Rome. It’s a double DVD, I will check it out soon and tell you if it’s worth buying. I suspect it is! And you should, because it is a donation and a gift to yourself at once! Please, think of the kitties :).

I have some other things on my mind, but they’ll have to wait before I type them up. First, some rest and a hot, steamy shower!

Countdown to Rome

February 7, 2007

I will be on the plane to Rome in less than 12 hours. Because I’ve already been three times I know they have very cool cats there. The kind I like, with cranky faced and plenty of attitude. Evidence can be found here. When I come back there will be plenty of pictures! But since that is a week away, I can´t just not post a cat:

Hello!

This one looks kind of mean, but is really sweet. She is “talking” to me in this picture. I love talkative cats, and talking about them as well. And my cat frenzy has gotten worse and worse over the years. Hey, whatever makes me happy! And now: off to Rome!

The art of ignoring people (by cats and by me)

February 5, 2007

There is a cat living in my neighbourhood, that gives you a look of the utmost disdain when you pass him. He’s never outside, but always sits in the bay window of his house. Yes, I do consider it HIS house. He does not show his face that much, so when I do catch him I give him a little staredown. He always wins. It is one of the most arrogant cats you can image. Since coming face to face is quite hard (the bay window is a few feet above street level), I sometimes climb on a little wall to look him straight in the eyes. Last time, I took a camera with me while standing in the wall. Besides being stared at by quite a few pedestrians and concerned neighbours, the cat seemed upset about it as well:

Look of disdain

Ignoring you

The last picture is a pure, perfect example of the art of ignoring lesser species like humans, that cats and other felines have mastered better than any other living organism in the universe. After assessing me and deciding that I was not worthy of any more attention, he just stared to the street tiles. Far more interesting of course. I love him!

***

I had a great Sunday yesterday. You know how you have wonderful days that just zip by, or mind-numbing ones where everything goes wrong that just won’t go away? Well, Sunday was a combination of the best of both worlds. It was really nice weather, my boyfriend and I slept in,  but not to much, had a long and relaxing brunch, took a stroll, watched the lovely film Rushmore, played Wario Ware and Mario Kart 64 on the Wii and watched a nice nature documentary. I usually takes me three days to do that! A great end of the weekend.

***

O God, it sounds like my roommate has a flock of friends visiting. The sound like exited hens clucking about the cute rooster in the next pen. You hear them talking all at once, and every 20 seconds they start laughing: “Bokbokbokbokbokbok!!!”. I hate girly girl friend groups, they make so much noise and usually gossip about people that they are ever so friendly to when they see them. Methinks I will scurry away from my room, so I won’t get a migraine.

Bad logic, nice kitty

February 4, 2007

I have been living in a small, but cozy room in the centre of Amsterdam for a while now. [When I wrote this sentence I decided to look up just how long. It’s been 4 years! Jeez…]. It’s 18 square meters, or 60 square feet, and I’ll be happy when I find something bigger.

The reason I am sharing this very uninteresting information is because once my brain connects certain incidents, I can never, ever get rid of them. I swear that when scientists find out how brains work they should look at mine. Somewhere, in the depths of my gray matter there is a little chamber with “incidents or connections never to be forgotten, even when the are totally and utterly useless, but pop up all the time”. For instance, when I am behind my computer, (as I am right now), I can look into the apartments across the street. The first morning when I woke up in my new place, I opened the curtains and looked across the street. In the apartment I was peering into, a naked man walked up the stairs while drying his back with a towel. And ever since then, this incident has been connected to me looking at that apartment. So if you know how you are: well, thank you very, very much indeed.

Another totally ludicrous connection my brain has decided to make is linking Coca Cola to a person I know. Yes, I mean the Coca Cola that is quite readily available in every corner of this planet. Somehow, whenever I see a Coca Cola ad, or bottle, I think about this person. And you know why: because he drinks a lot of Coca Cola. It is totally insane, because I am quite positive about a billion people drink more Coke then he does, but he was the first person that I thought of: Well, he drinks a lot of Coke really. And therefore, someone I don’t know that well, and see about every two years is connected to Coca Cola for eternity. Don’t you love how the brain works!

***

On YouTube, there are many, many excellent video’s of cute, funny and cranky cats and other felines (I especially love the cranky ones!). So every once in a while I’ll post the ones I like the best. Real cat lovers probably know most of them, since Cuteoverload is one of my favourite sources of cat video’s. The vids that have made me smile and laugh out loud the most lately are those of a tiger cub from the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.
The cub a couple of weeks old
The cub in week three
The cub at four and five weeks old
The face on this baby is just totally ridiculous:
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You can also check my playlist on YouTube. Enjoy!