Reasons to be grateful: My heroically stubborn cat is teaching my son to be gentle

We have two black cats in the Magpie ‘s Nest that we adopted several years ago. They were already middle age by the time we adopted them, understandably nervous, and had fully embraced some eccentric habits. When we first bought them home to our flat we did not expect to be soon bringing a baby home as well, and thought that they may have a long time to get used to us in relative peace.

However, fate had other plans, and in that year the cats moved home three times. Once from their original home into a cat refuge, then to our flat in Central London, and then finally out of central London with us as we moved further afield to be able to afford a house. Not long after that final move we bought home a baby, and they have learned to live alongside him as he has grown into busy toddler.

Recently my son has developed a deep and enthusiastic love for our cats, which unfortunately is not returned in kind. As he has become more and more mobile, one of my cats, who was the more anxious of the two, has decided that his best strategy is to remove himself from the situation, and to hide if he feels necessary. This was the kind of reaction I expected.

Our other cat, however, has decided on a different approach. Over the last year as he has got used to us he has decided that he really liked to hang out with us, and will endure quite a lot of unwanted heavy handed patting from my son if it means a good chin scratch a few moments later. One of his favourite things is to lie on the window sill and watch people or birds through the window. My son takes advantage of these moments to practice stroking him, but excitement will soon over take him and there are more than few occasions on which a tail has been firmly grasped. My beautiful stubborn cat clings to his spot on the window anyway, refusing to be moved on, never batting him away and waiting for a parental intervention. In do so he allows myself and Mr Magpie to try to teach my son about what it means to be ‘gentle’.

Thank you for reading. I also write, make art and films. If you want to hear more about my writing projects please join my mailing list here. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Lunch monitor

One of my cats has become very interested in any butter or roast chicken we may have in the house. So interested that he’s decided to guard the fridge like this, which he has learned is the source of such things. Most afternoons I go into the kitchen to get a cup of tea and this is what I see.

I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

My cats have opinions on our interior design

wp-15944758543198870228975902411095.jpg We moved into our new digs just before Christmas, and just three months before baby magpie was born. The previous owners were quite fond of woodchip wall paper, which isn’t really to our tastes. Given everything that has happened, since we moved in (by which I mean learning to look after a baby) we’ve not been able to replace much of it, and my cats have begun to express their opinions. wp-1594475754132348089463864678055.jpg

I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Toe beans

We have two black cats who are difficult to take a photo of at the best of times. Since we moved into the new house however they do seem a little more relaxed.

Recently the more irritable of the two posed long enough for me to take this shot of his lovely little foot. Enjoy!

I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

My cat is nailing social distancing

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In the UK we have been ‘social distancing’ for eight weeks now. I don’t think it has come that easily to many humans. People like to hug each other, even in socially uptight England. Social distancing prevents that for many people. I feel very grateful to be in lock down with my partner and baby, who I can hug all day should I want to, although they may find this very annoying.

My cat, in contrast, has developed social distancing into an art form. I think he has taken a bit of time to get used to us being in the house all the time. He now spends most of his day sitting in this basket high up on the top of a dresser. He spends his time sleeping, with occasional breaks to scowl at us or clean his bum. So at least some of us are having an ok lockdown.

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I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Reasons to be greatful: a morning of rain

It’s been so hot this week and it turns out that it’s quite difficult to cool down our flat when the sun is out. I really struggle in warm weather as I get light headed a lot and find it difficult to concentrate. I have not done much art this week, but I have done lots of extra sleeping.

This morning when I woke up I could hear the rain against our windows and the air was significantly cooler. Our cats have been having a nice time this morning looking out of the windows into the rain.

I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

I think my cat may be a vampire…

I have been a bit quiet lately, despite saying I would be getting back to blogging. I’m knee deep in an IVF cycle at the moment and I’ve been really tired. I hope to be more functional soon.

In the meantime here is a little picture of my sleepy cat, who I think may be hiding a secret double life as a vampire.

Reasons to be grateful: being able to change my living situation.

It’s been a while since I’ve been here on the blog. After a lot of disruption we’ve finally managed to move into a new area in London and have even unpacked some of the boxes. ┬áThere were a few months when we were looking and looking, but it turns out that just before Brexit is not the best time to move, and there weren’t many flats available that would work for us. But we did manage it in the end. We’ve been in for about two weeks and have some interesting new views to look at, as you can see in the picture above. The change of location has really made a difference to our life style, which I’m pretty pleased about. I have managed to claw back an hour of free time in the evening through the move, and am able to walk a good chunk of the journey to work now (although some mornings my legs are not so happy about that). I would like to say I’ve immediately put that hour to use by making art, but I’ve only been mildly successful there. One of the reasons for this is that we have welcomed some new additions to the Magpie Nest.

Yes, we’ve adopted two rescue cats. They are older cats, and have arrived with us in a somewhat ‘plump’ state, shall we say. For followers of this blog you will know that we spent the last year trying to deal with infertility, and that there will be more fertility treatment a bit later this year. While we have not been successful so far in conceiving, we have been successful in expanding our little family to create a home for these fellas, who have settled in quite quickly to their new surrounding. In the process I am rapidly transforming into someone who can sustain long and meaningful ‘conversations’ with her cats. I am not sure what this will mean for my art, but I do feel pretty happy about it.

I am hoping now we are at least partially settled that I will be able to resume a more consistent blogging schedule from now on. Hopefully it will be something like once a week, with some extras here and there. I think I’ll be getting back to the Objects with Meaning project, and will be sharing a bit more art as well.

I hope everyone who reads this blog is well, and that I will hear from you all in the near future.

With Love

Magpie