Saturday, 26 April 2014

On Madison

I'm a mummy again. My beautiful cat Madison came to live with me on 24th April 2014. Here's a photo of her.

I don't know a great deal about her background - just that her previous owners split up, and rather than fight over who got to keep her they gave her away. She also had another cat living with her. Although they tolerated each other they weren't friends, so it was fine to rehome them separately. She's seven years old, which made rehoming her difficult, but my last cat was seven years old when I got him, and a ginger, and he was the best decision I ever made.

Maddie is in need of some retraining. She can't yowl at me all night and expect me to get out of bed. The first night she was here I had to shut her out of the bedroom, because she woke me up at 3am and yowled repeatedly in my ear until I got up. I only got up to shoo her out the room, though. She'll have to learn that my alarm is set for an hour and half before I have to get up and snoozes every ten minutes, because getting me out of bed isn't easy. I leave her everything she needs before I go to sleep, so it's definitely an attention thing. Initially I planned to get another cat a few weeks down the line, but she got here first, and if she is going to turn out to be needy then I don't want to upset her by bringing another cat in. I'll have to see how it goes. Even though getting a kitten and training him or her to be a vicious ninja attack cat, and setting him or her loose on my upstairs neighbour, is a constant temptation.

I Googled how to deal with a noisy cat, and one of the suggestions was scooshing them with water. I suspect her foster parents tried this, but with a bottle that wasn't cleaned properly. Madison smells faintly of furniture polish.

So my home is once again full of cat toys and food and litter. And I couldn't be happier, even though there's some hard work ahead. I hope we can come to be friends, although I will always be in charge. I'm quite a strict cat mummy, but making her happy is my top priority. For now and for all the years I have with her. I consider myself very lucky, and I can only hope she will too.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

What Jesus Wouldn't Do

The Daily Mail sent one of their "journalists" to lie to a foodbank and get a free food parcel. Wow. That's amazing journalism. Have a slow hand clap.

In The Daily Mail's view of things, everyone who's not you is a disgusting bag of human pus who should not be allowed to live. Gas chambers on every corner! Give a kid a packet of crisps, that'll lure them right in. Then we can all live this bizarre white Anglo-Saxon Christian idyll that never existed in the first place.

Why are Daily Mail readers so scared? They're scared of everything. Gay people, immigrants, riff-raff. As if a non-white person might burst their bubble and they'll have to live in the 21st century, and God knows that's a hideous place to be. Whenever I picture a Daily Mail reader I see an upper-middle class white man, probably ex-army when the army didn't exist just to beat up brown people and secure oil supplies, with a big red face and a nostalgic view of people who aren't like him Knowing Their Place. His nervous, belittled wife serves him breakfast tea in a china cup and cuts his bread into soldiers with a ruler lest he get volcanically angry again. He's never physically beaten her, but he might one day. He has two children who loathe him and won't bring friends round in case he starts using demeaning racial epithets again. They're difficult, of course. Liberal arses. Nothing to do with him. He has no more relevance to current British society than a Georgian dandy, yet he clings to the idea that he's the important moral majority of this country.

What a way to live.

Sadly, there are plenty of politicians of all colours willing to indulge this man's fantasy. I'm getting increasingly sick of it. He's a dinosaur, a throwback, a hypocrite. He benefited hugely from his roots and school and upbringing, yet would happily throw a working class kid up a chimney because they're all useless with no work ethic, and the kid's mum's on her own because the dad fucked off at the first available opportuninty but she should have kept her legs shut. A man can't be expected to go without. He wasn't even a soldier - he pushed paper and almost spilled port on his map of the Falklands during a braying dinner party while other young men and women, the cannon fodder, cemented his position by dying in a worthless fight about nothing.

Why do we want to protect or coddle these people? What good have they ever done? If I could ever do anything in my life to offend someone's sensibilities it would be theirs. They have no right to my life or anyone else's. They can long for the days when their postman wasn't black and the local Post Office wasn't run by Asians all they want, but I am not their enabler. Our Britain is not the same, and I have no desire whatsoever to inhabit their Victorian snow globe.

I hope that "journalist" chokes on his Tesco Value cereal - I have no doubt he will keep and eat it - and I hope he can consider for one moment that children might be going hungry tonight because he stole their food parcel. I hope he can go and meet the family that were last in the queue that day and went home hungry because he took their only hope of a decent meal away, look them in the eye, and sincerely apologise. I hope he can reconsider what he does for a living and go to them with two weeks' worth of groceries. Will he do that? No. Because that would make desperate poor people real. That would mean that government policy is to actually starve people to death. That would mean facing evil, and that's not The Daily Mail's agenda. The Daily Mail's agenda is to dehumanise people who need foodbanks. Starvation is not a worthy cause. A worthy cause is getting more red-faced blowhards with not one single idea of what people in Britain have to do to survive to castigate poor people and maybe spit an aneurysm out over breakfast. Hurrah for the Blackshirts is not too far from their psyche, ever.

Any government that tries to put a positive spin on starving its citizens has no moral right to power. Any media organisation that would try to help them out with that has no moral right to exist. It's Easter Sunday, and if God exists and has a spare lightning bolt or two, I have a west London address for him. In the meantime I'll just seethe.