Saturday, 25 December 2010

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Thursday, 16 December 2010


Urchin isn't sure about tinsel, but she is always happy to help.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Ear Tufts

According to the Maine Coon breed standard, Maine Coon ears should be "feathered and preferably tufted at the tips; the ear feathering should extend beyond the outer edges of the ear". Like this.
But sometimes when a cat has been playing outdoors, running through cobwebs and climbing trees, her ear tufts get a bit unruly and look more like this:

Friday, 3 December 2010

Urchin and the String

Even the bliss of a hammock can be improved with some toys. Urchin's current favourite is this ball of string - she absconded with it while we were using it for gardening. I can absolutely assure you that it is not the same ball of string that I used for trussing my chicken, although she has her eye on that one too.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Climbing the curtains

She can get all the way to the top, when she is being really attention-seeking.

ETA demonstration of being REALLY attention-seeking!

Friday, 26 November 2010


Another example of Urchin liking to be up high at the moment. She sits on the back of Paul's chair and waits to be admired. It's a good position for showing off the magnificence of a Maine Coon tail too.

Monday, 22 November 2010


As the weather has become colder, Urchin has remembered that the most comfortable place for a cat to be is in her hammock, suspended from the radiator. It's a very snug place to snooze.

Monday, 15 November 2010


Recently Urchin has decided that the bannisters are Very Interesting. She yells at us to come and see her trick, then she very proudly sits on the newel post. She has also been seen trying to walk up the bannisters. She wasn't successful, and I didn't get a photo, but the claw marks in the wood show that she got quite a long way up.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Daddy's Girl

Not that she's indulged at all. Oh no! It is perfectly normal for a cat to be carried around in a hammock made from a fleece when she indicates that there is something interesting happening in the kitchen. Perfectly normal.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Emotional blackmail

The downside of living with a vocal animal like a Maine Coon is that they tell you how deeply they are suffering. Even as I type Urchin is sitting behind my chair telling me that she is going to write to her MP about the cruelty that she is enduring. In this instance my major shortcoming is that I only let her have 15 minutes out doors this evening before it got dark.

But every weekend, when we sit in the conservatory drinking our coffee, we are treated to the most heartbreaking wails as she tries to dig her way to freedom. We generally last about 15 minutes before we cave in.

Thursday, 21 October 2010


Urchin would like to congratulate Stewie, for his fine effort in upholding the Maine Coon's record for being the longest cats in the world. While she can't compete with his prodigious 48" effort, she does stretch out to quite an impressive length.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Friday night

Paul is still working away during the week. So when he gets home on a Friday, Urchin celebrates his return by rolling up in a tiny catcake and sitting on his lap, at such an angle that he needs to have both hands around her. It's very passive aggressive really. She looks adorable and vulnerable and exercises total control over him. He doesn't mind.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Somewhat indelicate

I think this series of pictures is hilarious. She was finding her tail distracting and kept wrapping herself in knots trying to capture it.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Reflected beauty

Another picture from Urchin's birthday. She does regal and serene very well.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Protecting her demesne

One of the neighbouring cats desperately wants to be Urchin's friend. On one memorable morning he actually let her out of the cat flap (which was set to ingress only - he pushed it from the outside and she shot out). Unfortunately, she isn't having a bar of it. Her home is her castle.

Paul got this wonderful series of photos demonstrating how she sees him off.

After assessing the threat (and correctly judging it to be much smaller than her) she gets into slinky attack mode and starts nipping at his heels. It is possible she thinks she is a sheepdog.

She follows him right down to the back of the garden and doesn't come back until she is totally satisfied that he is gone.

Then she looks very smug about having defended her home. This is also how she looks when she has been protecting us from squirrels.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

New Catnip Mouse

Urchin's Aunty Irianwen very kindly offered to make her a catnip mouse. She has access to fresh, homegrown catnip and a goodly supply of felt and thought Urchin may be amused by such a thing. I think the video shows that Urchin was very much impressed by this kind thought! She fell on it as soon as she saw it and gave it a good kicking.

I feel a bit irresponsible, letting my baby cat have access to drugs like that, but she does enjoy the occasional nip.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Birthday Girl

Today Urchin is 2. A fine figure of an adult Maine Coon! She has quite a bit more growing to do, we think - rumour has it that they keep growing for much longer than other breeds of cat.

Friday, 27 August 2010

All chairs are my chair

It's amazing how far a cat can stretch out to stake her claim on prime seating.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Friday, 20 August 2010

For me?

This is one of my favourite pictures of the fuzzbeast. It makes me laugh every time I see it. She was helping Paul repot his oak sapling in February (it was very root-bound), but I just think it looks like she's rubbing her paws together with glee.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Urchin and the new fishing rod

Paul has a new fishing rod, which Urchin is helping him test. She's very generous with her assistance that way.

Monday, 26 July 2010


Urchin has a very keen interest in gardening. She felt that the proportions of vermiculite to potting mix in this batch of soil was just about right.

Monday, 12 July 2010

On the patio

There is a part of the patio that is particularly good for rolling on.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Urchin and the Chillies

Here is Urchin in December last year, in one of her favourite spots on the conservatory windowsill between our 2 chilli plants.

What a sweet cat. How pretty and innocent. Sitting like a picture on a box of chocolates. Just adorable, and in NO WAY a menace.

Then see the sight I came home to on Thursday night.
I suspect that she was chasing a fly up the window and the chilli got in her way. Fortunately the pot landed on the doormat and the floor tiles weren't chipped. The chilli lost a couple of branches, but it has now been repotted, and we wait to see whether it will survive the experience.

Monday, 28 June 2010

The sock drawer

At the moment you have to think twice before closing any cupboards or drawers, because they may have an additional, hairy inhabitant. She thinks she's very clever, and she lies very quietly so nobody knows she is there.

Our clothes brush is working overtime.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Urchin and the carpet

Some days our hall runner grows paws and attacks your ankles. Fortunately the enormous bushy tail that the hall runner sprouts is a pretty clear indicator of those days.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Urchin and the (toy) Mouse

Urchin has a toy mouse (or had - I haven't seen it in a while) that makes chirping noises when she rolls it over. But it isn't as interesting as I am when I have a camera. There are many more extreme close-ups of a hairy and curious nose than there are beautiful supermodel poses. This is a pretty characteristic picture.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Urchin and the plastic

She was still quite a nervous little baby in April last year when she decided to show this piece of plastic who was the boss. Now she prefers toys that move so she can chase them. We're thinking about getting a little radio controlled car for her; we may even cover it in faux fur to give her a real thrill.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Silver tortie-tabby with white

Apparently Urchin's colour scheme is officially known as silver tortie-tabby with white. She would like to draw attention to how well she matches a slate floor.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Rainy Days And Mondays

What is a cat to do on a Bank Holiday Monday when it is raining too hard to go outside? Pretty much the same as most other days actually. But with a bit more wanton abandon. Look at how she peeps out from the arm of the chair, calculating whether she is going to have to defend her tummy from an onslaught of tickling!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Urchin and the Watering Can

For a while after Urchin first came to us we were worried about her fluid intake. As advised, we kept her on the dry food that her breeder had given her, but she wouldn't drink any water.

Then she let us know that she was more than happy to drink water. Just not out of a dish. She sticks her whole head in the watering can - we have to keep it full enough that she doesn't have to squash her ears completely to get out of it.

She will also drink from the bathroom taps, and rainwater in puddles, and from Paul's glass if he leaves it next to the bed, and she will drink cat-formulated milk from a saucer. Bet never, ever water from a dish.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Urchin and the Bag

Here's another classic from the archives. This was March 2009, and Urchin was demonstrating how well she had settled in to life at our house. This has also set the tone of the following year - she just loves being in the conservatory while Paul potters with his plants. In typical cat fashion she gets into everything, and provides important assistance with anything messy or dirty.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Lying in the shade of a tree

Fur Face is a very discerning lounge lizard and only likes the very finest dappled shade. She finds optimum comfort in the shade of a few bonsai'd maples.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Mischief Managed

It took a few days, but she did it! Urchin prised the bird box off the walnut tree. She was very disappointed to discover that there were no birds or eggs in the box, but now she sits next to it, hoping that the coal tits will continue to visit it on the ground. No chance with that enormous hairy lump sitting there!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Carrying out her evil plans

Having spent several days in reconnaissance, Urchin put her plans into action. She climbed the walnut tree and tried to get her paws behind the bird box, to try to lever it off the tree.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Planning wickedness

We have a tit nesting box in the walnut tree - placed by our landlord, not us. Some coal tits are taking an interest in it, which is making the evil beast very interested! She'll stand up against the tree like that for an hour, waiting for signs of movement.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

After the hose

After an energetic round with the hose, she is very bedraggled and grubby, but very, very keen for more. And very disappointed when we'd rather take pictures than play.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Urchin and the hose

The people who say cats don't like water have obviously never seen Urchin. The hose is her favourite thing. She has been seen to lie on it and rub her face on it and purr at it. She also likes sitting in the basin and drinking straight from the tap.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The early days

I'm having so much fun going through Urchin's baby photos! What a tiny little bundle she was. It's particularly funny seeing how scant her tail was, when the most enormous plume just flicked past my nose, as she jumped over the keyboard to the windowsill.

You can see how quickly she adapted to life with us. And how quickly she learned to manipulate us with cuteness.

Because she was relatively old (almost 5 months) when we got her, we decided not to let her outdoors for a couple of months. We wanted her to become completely acclimatised to us, and we wanted to have her spayed and microchipped before she went outdoors. At the same time, we wanted to get her used to her environment, so when it snowed a couple of days after she came home, Paul brought a dish in for her to sniff.

She thought water that you could chew and play with was pretty good really.

We gradually introduced her to our home. For the first couple of days we restricted her to one room, then as she became comfortable, we'd open another door and let her explore.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Urchin's photo blog

In late January 2009, we brought a Maine Coon kitten home to live with us. She is a silver tortie tabbie with white, and of distinguished parentage. She was 5 months old and not very happy about being taken away from the other kittens. For the first couple of days she cried and cried, and hid behind the sofa, under the radiator.

Then she came to the realisation that it's pretty good for a cat to be a very much indulged only pet, and she came out from under the sofa.

Since then, she has become completely entrenched in our lives. She's won a number of fans through her regular appearances on my main blog, so I decided that she should probably have her own forum for photos and videos.

I thought I would go back to where it all began, and show some of her very early pictures - so you can see how tiny she is! I can't believe that isn't much more than a year ago. What did we do without her?