A belated gift

Monday, 14 February 2011

We’ve been having work done in the garden to make it a good exploring place. As this involved having a whole tree dragged through the house, we had to move the sofa out the way.

At which point, nearly two months after he died, Sébastian gave us a parting gift. A mummified mouse corpse. It was brittle.

Sébastian’s kill count

  • Rodents:
    Rats – 3
    Mice – 54 55
    Voles –12
  • Birds:
    Sparrows – 5
    Dunnocks – 1
    Robin – 1
    Ringed (or other) pigeon – 4
    Blackbird – 1
    Wren – 1
    Uncertain – 11
  • Other:
    Frogs – 1
    Unidentifiable remains – 3

I miss my mouser. But I don’t miss the corpses.

Sébastian Schrödinger Halliday 199?-2010

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Sébastian Schrödinger, my ruthless mouser, died on 13 December 2010, of a particularly aggressive cancer.


Séba was never really a cuddlesome cat: laps were things to claw at rather than sleep on. His idea of a gentle wake-up was to put his paws under the duvet and dig the claws into any toes he found there. He didn’t sit on my lap while I worked: he preferred to sit close by, between the chair and the heater, so that I developed a habit of looking under my chair before wheeling it backwards.

Sébastian of the Rooftops

I found Séba at the Little Valley Animal Shelter in March 2005. I blogged about his backstory at the time.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know he most regularly featured as a mouser extraordinaire – his final kill count had over fifty mice, twenty-four birds of some sort and three rats. He loved leaving them in stupid places (warning, photo contains dead mouse).


He started to quack like a duck a little while back, and the vet found a very aggressive lump against his throat. It was inoperable, and untreatable, so it was a case of waiting till he couldn’t eat properly. The vet I saw on Monday suggested he might have been older than the four years he was guesstimated at back in 2005. I hope so, I hope he had a lot longer than 9 years of life.

green check and  grey tabby

Well, obviously.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Happy (Belated) Naming Day

Saturday, 21 January 2006

Yesterday was Saint Sebastian’s day which is also, in the absence of an actual known birthday, Sébastian Schrödinger‘s Naming day.

He was admitted to the Little Valley RSPCA shelter last year with a broken pelvis and pubis, a damaged tooth and other signs that he had been run over by a vehicle. He wore a red velvet collar but no one came to collect him. The woman who admitted him, who was Spanish, named him after the saint (hence the é in his name). They estimated he was about four years old, so he is now about five.

Since he came home with me, he’s slowly settled. The vicious attacks are over, although he does still playflight. He still prefers to lounge about on the chairs but, in the last few weeks, he has started sitting briefly on my lap. He’s my big brute of a cat and I’m so happy that someone found him and the RSPCA took him in a year ago.

Because there’s no such thing as too many cat posts

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

These are the claws which kindly wake me each morning by digging into the underside of my toes.

I have a really big post in draft form, but it’s in word form as blogger ate it the other weekend. I spent tonight finishing some documents for the day job and watching the modern version of Much Ado About Nothing. I’ve also had far too much French yeh yeh pop on my playlist, which is like aural caffeine for me.

Remember remember it’s the 5th November, you f-ing morons!

Tuesday, 1 November 2005

Originally uploaded by Mags.

Séba really doesn’t like fireworks. He has found himself a den to hide himself in when they start though: where the throw falls to the floor at the front of the sofa, he has created tunnel. Lifting an edge, he will stare at you with big worried eyes. If you are sitting on the sofa when he disappears into hiding, like a priest vanishing into a hole, an undulation reveals his whereabouts.

I’m all for fireworks. And Guy Fawkes night is great fun, not least as there’s an urge to call him Guido amongst modern historians (and to mutter about Catesby, obviously) which appeals to my vague Spanish-speaking side. Plus the 400th anniversary of the Plot interests me more than the 200th of Trafalgar. Anything which is commerated by a) a rhyming couplet allegedly by Shakespeare and b) pretty explosions is fine by me. I especially like the ones which explode into a whole load of screaming white sparkly things. The problem is the tossers in my neighbourhood who think that, for example, 28th October is a good time to start letting off the whizz-bangs. And, hello? Hallowe’en! Not a whizz-bang night. It’s a night for ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties, not the thundercracker rocket illegally imported from SE Asia. For the next week or so my poor boy will be hiding under the sofa so give it a bloody rest!

This site give the common sense stuff about cats and Guy Fawkes night but irritates me with the assumptation that cats are female. I was discussing gender assumptions with someone tonight who mentioned that her history textbooks always refer to the historian as ‘he’ and this feminisation of cats seems to come from the opposite assumption. Cats live with humans via a negotiated system instead of a simple pack hierarchy. Cats like indoors. Cats like to be fussed but are also left to pursue mysterious daytime lives whilst their owners (i.e bread-winners – or rather Iams-buyers) are at work. Therefore cats are female. My cats have always been toms, with one co-owned exception (a queen called Willow). After a decade of buying stuff for a male cat which is labelled ‘good girl’, the genderisation of cats has really started to piss me off. Just as I tend to use ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ in generalised writing, so I deliberately want to call cats ‘he’ and reclaim my darling boy’s balls.

Although not literally. Séba has, obviously, been snipped.

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