Dual cat alarm

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Regular readers will know that I sometimes write reviews of various kinds on this blog, particularly reviewing new technology. Today, I would like to review the Dual Cat Alarm (or DCA), which I seem to have acquired. I don’t remember actually wanting such a thing, but apparently I have one, whether I want it or not. Readers who also find themselves in possession of a DCA may be interested in my finding regardings the settings. Let’s face it, if you have a DCA, you will be chronically sleep deprived and — most likely — unable to stay awake long enough to read to the end of this review, so I’ll give you the short version now: the settings do not work.

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Tuna helps the medicine go down

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Bella recently had a bit of a medical problem. We noticed it first because one of the cats (we couldn’t tell which) was urinating on the carpet in the hall. This had never happened before, and so we worried that one of them had a medical problem or was upset in some way. Eventually, we realised it was Bella because I caught her in the act. I had to get up very early for a flight, and as I was sitting on the stairs, putting on my shoes, she peed on the door mat right in front of me.

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Upgrading the facilities

Last weekend, work on our downstairs toilet finished. There are various parts of our house that we haven’t really touched (other than painting walls) since we moved in about 7 years ago. The kitchen is really in need of being refitted1, and the bathroom could really do with being updated and having an extractor fan fitted2. We really want to get all of these things done in time, but the money required and upheaval involved has been holding us back.

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Cuddly cats

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I’ve known a few cats in my time, but I don’t think I’ve ever known a cat as cuddly as Bella. Bianca likes to be stroked or picked up at fairly regular intervals, but Bella demands to snuggle. She lurks in the bedroom, waiting for me to come to bed, and then launches herself at me. I barely have time to pull the covers up and brace for impact before nearly 4 kg of affectionate feline hits me square in the chest.

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On cat personalities

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Last week, we went on holiday to Norfolk for a few days, a trip that we had to delay by a day because of the snow. We had a lot of drifting in our neighbourhood, and the car was buried up to the bumper. We dug it out, but I wasn’t confident about a long drive on icy, un-cleared roads, so we decided that giving up a day of our holiday was probably worth it for the peace of mind.

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Living with an escapologist

One day last week I was working from home. As often happens at about 3.30 or 4 pm, the cats decided that it was time for their dinner. They start strutting about on the desk, staring pointedly at me from about 5 cm away1, chewing my hair, rolling on my keyboard, and flicking my pens off the desk. As you can imagine, this does not make for a conducive working environment, so at some point I usually crack and go to shut them in downstairs.

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Cat sounds

As some of you may know, our two cats are Somalis. Somalis aren’t as vocal as, say, Siamese, but they do have a distinctive range of chirrups and trills that are rather unusual. Even among Somalis, Bianca’s vocalisations are — shall we say — unique. I thought I’d talk a bit about some of the bizarre noises that come out of her from time to time. The Meoyawn As the name suggests, this happens when she starts a meow but then gets ambushed by a yawn mid-meow.

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A curl of the tail

It’s no secret that I’m a cat lover (or a crazy cat lady, depending upon your point of view). Like any person in thrall to all things feline, I love to watch them in motion. However, there are times when I find myself completely entranced just watching them sitting. They have such an elegant shape. I particularly like it when they sit upright, in a pose I like to think of as the “Goddess Bastet”.

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Feline inconvenience detector

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Sometimes you can’t help but be amazed by the awesome superpowers possessed by cats. Let’s take their uncanny ability to detect the maximally inconvenient location in which to place themselves, shall we? Mr. Bsag tends to come to bed a little later than me, since I’m a lark and he’s an owl, so while I get ready for bed, I usually have the bedroom to myself. Well, not quite to myself, because the cats tend to join me, particularly Bella.

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The Tale of the Lost Shoe

Settle down, while I tell you a tale full of intrigue and mystery. Well, some mystery, anyway. As I set off for work yesterday, I looked around for the heavy walking shoes that I usually wear on my bike. We don’t have any fancy dedicated shoe storage, so I usually put them on the floor of the hall, next to the stairs. One of the pair was there, where I expected it to be, but there was no sign of the other.

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