Showing posts with label Middle Ages. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Middle Ages. Show all posts

Saturday 28 October 2023

Black Oriental Shorthair is your perfect vampire cat companion for Halloween

This is a beautiful jet black, Oriental Shorthair with a slight squint and golden eyes, together with massive bat-like years and fangs, which make him, Toivo, ideal as your vampire bat accomplice for the forthcoming Halloween parties.

Black Oriental shorthair is your perfect vampire cat companion for Halloween
Image: A Tuomas Ikonen and MikeB collaboration.

RELATED: Why Siamese Cats Are Cross-eyed. Note the Oriental SH is a member of the Siamese cat family and Siamese cats are predisposed to being cross-eyed.

He is five years old and he lives in Finland and a social media star. I have taken his photograph and removed the background and added some fun background objects to make him look more like a Halloween cat. 

I hope his owner accepts it and perhaps approves of what I've done. Anybody can use it provided the copyright owner agrees. I believe the copyright owner is Tuomas Ikonen. I have sent a message for his approval.

Toumas clearly loves the Oriental Shorthair breed, which has a very particular look: slender, sometimes very slender which is described as "Oriental" by the cat fancy.

He is a very calm cat according to his owner. Despite looking like a badass, vampire cat with massive fangs, he is a sweetie with a great personality and a big voice which sounds like an out of tune falsetto opera singer.

He loves attention and of course he has found fame at this time of year. This brings to mind a more serious side to Halloween and black cats. It is that time of year when sometimes, crazy people, like to abuse black cats because there are hints of witchcraft about them if you believe in that kind of stuff. 

This is a throwback to the Middle Ages; around the 13th century. It's crazy but as I recall, some animal shelters do not let people adopt black cats at this time of year to protect them from these crazy people.

And of course, there is another serious side to this time of year which is fireworks. This is one of my pet hates and you will find that it is a pet hate of many cat owners (and dog owners). We don't know how Toivo deals with the sounds and sights of fireworks but if the general population is anything to go by, he hates it just like I do.

I have a page on advice from the UK's Cats Protection charity about how to look after domestic cat during this torrid time of year which you might like to peruse at your leisure by clicking on this link!

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 9 January 2023

Cat owner's in medieval England advised to keep cats out of the bedroom

The French adage "plus ça change" comes to my mind immediately.  It is a phrase which means that things don't change because basic human nature does not change even over thousands of years.

Medieval bedroom with woman and her cat
Medieval bedroom with woman and her cat. Photo-edited pic by MikeB.

And so back in medieval times (500-1500 AD) a well-known book which can still be found on Google, "Boke of Nature", advises in the strongest terms to keep domestic cats out of the bedroom:
"Dryve out dogge and catte, or els geve them a clout"
I guess you can understand it but it must mean:

"Drive dogs and cats out of the bedroom and if they enter hit them!"

Nice. A bit unfriendly to say the least. 

There is a strange medieval story of a knight and a lady he loves. She has a cat companion. She rejected the knight's advances. He goes to her bedroom at night in disguise. Her cat scratches him. She softens as a result and becomes his mistress but he refuses to marry her because he is scared of her cat! 

Some knight of the realm 😒. Lacking a bit of courage. Although the story is very modern in that the woman has the cat and the man appears not to be very keen on them.

The debate about domestic cats in bedrooms continues. I expect it has been a firm discussion topic since the domestic cat was imported into Britain by the Romans!

The best solution is compromise. Allow cats into the bedroom as it is so important to them. It is a major part of their home range. Don't deny them access. 

Make a nice, warm bedding area for your cat in the bedroom full of delicious cat owner smells and hope that she uses it. I understand the difficulties as cats disturb sleep but you get used to it. It is one of those human behaviour adaptations that cat caregivers have to transition to.

Source: Medieval Cats by Kathleen Walker-Meike.

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