The return of ‘Little Miss Loud’

As some of you will be aware, our cat Goldie went missing last weekend. It’s not the first time. Once, she went missing for about 5 weeks (and cried in her sleep for weeks afterwards), but this time didn’t feel good. That might just because of the other things going on, such as the dog being sick and Tony having pneumonia. You need some background to fully appreciate what happened this morning.

We rescued Goldie as a very young kitten. She spent two days crying in the front garden at Christmas time before we softened and bought her into our household. After all, we already had a cat and a dog. The lesson Goldie took from that was that yelling works. 

Goldie is an unusual cat. Oftentimes she’ll call out to us as she comes into the house, and then call out all the way down the hall. If we don’t answer her she just waits, and keeps calling; so we call out things like “come on, it’s okay, you know were we are”. She calls back, we call out again, she calls back – you get the idea. And it’s loud (see above). We call Goldie the “loudest cat on the planet”. We’ve watched some tv programs where people reckon their cat is loud. We have news for them! Mum is two-hearing-aids worth of deaf but as a young cat, she could wake Mum.

This morning at about 7.45 I heard a cat cry, and it got louder and louder. I called out “Goldie” as I shot out of bed. The yelling got louder and by the time I got to the back door she was really yelling. I opened the door, said “where have you been?”, opened a tin of food, then left her to it and went to tell Tony in case somehow he had missed the commotion. She finished her food then started up the hall, crying out to us and she walked. I called back and she yelled again. By the time she got to our room she was crying so loudly we were both laughing. It’s hard to find a way to describe how loud she was; there’s just no obvious way of indicating her true volume. Tony did mutter that she has the volume of a smoke alarm, but at a different pitch!

She seems fine. She isn’t skinny, dirty or injured. We used to wonder if she gets herself shut in people’s houses, because we know she goes visiting, but I can’t help thinking she just goes hunting. She has spent the morning wandering in and out of the house, eating a few more biscuits etc – and every time she comes back to find us she calls out to us the whole time. Welcome home again Little Miss Loud! 

Visiting time

Oprah used  to talk about things she knew for sure. What I know for sure is that some years are easier than others, and few things stay the same forever. This is not turning out to be an easy year but, you know what, no one ever promised things would be easy…

Tonight I visited Mum and she was having a good night. We chatted for about half an hour and she was quite connected. It was a nice visit. Some days I really don’t feel much like going up but I  know how important it is to keep our connection going.

Is Mum the bright intellectual person she once was? No. Is she still my mother? Yes? In the end it’s family that matters.

What I’m reading


I’m finding this more academic than I expected but loving it all the same. I’m particularly taken with the Wolf Kahn and Hans Hoffman works, and some of the gentler abstract expressionist works.  I sometimes forget what a profound impact colour has on me though. I read this till about 10pm then spent half the night with possible paintings dancing in front of me, and vivid colour schemes making my brain as far from relaxed as I could possibly get!

I’m wanting to do a new, large-scale, painting for our kitchen and am thinking about really strong colours along the lines of those used on the book’s cover. I might even work in pastels instead of acrylics for a change. We’ll see … I need some peaceful sleep first though.


The raven in the room

Some nights I am sleepless, for all kinds of reasons. People talk about the elephant in the corner of the room, meaning something people all know about but no one wants to discuss. I think of my sleeplessness as a menacing black raven, watching over me.  This work depicts the raven, with lyrics from the Alan Parsons Project.

Life sucks? Make art.

For reasons I don’t think I can put into words yet, today has been awful. I feel sad, unhappy and flat – sad mainly. Not my usual state at all. So I have made art, lots of it; which is good, because the signature swap is getting closer. I have done approx 30 A4 pages today, and my hands testify to the colours I have used. Here’s a wee sample.

Envelope swap

A while back I asked if anyone wanted to do an envelope swap – enough people were keen so we all got underway. It’s taken longer than I imagined but no one seems to mind. I packed up all the envelopes and they are in tomorrow’s mail back to people. I forgot to ask permission to show people’s work on my blog so here is a very general show of just some of the loveliness that arrived in my mailbox. I hope people enjoy what they receive – I loved all the work that came in. We’ll be doing it again at some stage…