The series opens in Botswana, where the hard-drinking handsome American Jackson Oz (James Wolk) and his best friend Abraham Kenyatta (Nonso Anozie from Game of Thrones) are taking tourists on safari to see the lions. Conveniently, Oz’s father (Ken Olin, seen in old videos) was a brilliant zoologist who got kicked out of Harvard for espousing the theory that animals would rise up and overthrow humankind. Shortly after we hear the older Oz’s lecture, lions attack a tour van and kill all the tourists. If those tourists were taking selfies with the lions, they deserved to get eaten. Yay, natural selection.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, two lions raised in captivity kill their trainer, break out of the zoo, and attack two men urinating in an alley. Again no one looks into the simplest explanation for the violence: lions don’t like public peeing. (Seriously, don’t mark their territory.) Newspaper reporter Jamie Campbell (Kristen Connolly) believes that the big cat attacks have something to do with the brand of animal feed the zoo uses. This is plausible because whenever we run out of Fancy Feast cat food at home, my cat Saffy sharpens her claws on my favorite books.
In a repurposed garage in a city not very far away (Cebu), Johanna Velasco Deutsch, Mark Deutsch and their team make stuff.
Such as their rendition of a certain seat of power. Instead of swords melted by dragonfire and surfaces so sharp they caused the derrieres of kings to bleed, they fashioned a comfy chair from old action figures, toy cars, Lego bricks, Viewmasters, and plastic animals.
They do animation, design, illustration, painting, sculpture, toys and photography. Coming up: an alphabet book in Bisaya.
Under the glass are 364 pictures they took, one a day, for a year.
They pay tribute to our feline overlords and encourage people to drink better coffee. Their work is delightful without being self-consciously cute.
Visit them at Happy Garaje.com. You can also check out their work for the Four Seasons Marrakesh and Raffles Seychelles.
Today Saffy will listen to your questions, petitions, and dilemmas and dispense her wisdom. Post your issues in Comments.
She will also give books to those who post questions, petitions and dilemmas that amuse her.
She has spoken. Incidentally Saffy speaks in the third person, unlike her human who speaks in the first person plural.
Warning: Saffy is not polite like Mat or friendly like Drogon. Saffy is close to 90 in cat years so basically she doesn’t give a crap.
Update: Saffy is through answering your questions. If you posted a question that she answered and have already disinfected your scratches, email firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, 21 June 2015 to claim your book.
Regulars may have noted that we have not been posting articles daily. This is because the last week of May always tries to kill us, so we took time off from writing columns and blogging. Also our ancient Mac and slow internet connection were sucking all the joy out of going online. The allergy (to prickly heat powder) is gone, the Mac is new, and the connection is fast, so we are back.
This is how we spent our “vacation”.
1. Defrosted the fridge. Why we do not do this regularly is a mystery, since all it entails is pushing a button. Maybe because we think of it as housework and we hate housework. We only remember to defrost the refrigerator when the icebox is sealed shut. When the ice has melted after a day or so, we expect to find The Thing in the freezer.
2. Thought of writing fake family history to claim relationship to the late billionaire Edmond Safra. There’s so much unsubstantiated information online, just posting a claim gives it traction. The only thing stopping us is the sheer weirdness of Edmond Safra’s story.
3. Read The Love Object by Edna O’Brien.
4. Shopped for feline overlords. We have found a regular source of Fancy Feast, which of course we will not reveal.
Sidebar: We’ve mentioned the cat epidemic in February which killed three of our outdoor ampon. We did not mention that Meriadoc disappeared on the day the outdoor cats started falling ill, because we could not accept the possibility that he had gotten infected.
Yesterday the guard reported that Meriadoc has been turning up very late at night, wearing a collar. He has found other humans. Traitor! Deserter! Then we realized that he did the smartest thing in order to avoid the epidemic. Humans get sentimental about cats; cats are not sentimental. They survive.
5. Watched 6 seasons of The Good Wife, which we had avoided seeing because everyone told us to. The full review in our column on Friday. We enjoyed the show, but cannot rein in our indignation: What is the point of casting Matthew Goode, possessor of the most adorable overbite on the screen, and then not giving him anything to do?
According to reports he won’t be back for the 7th season as he is joining the cast of Downton Abbey. So we’ll start watching Downton again, but not the two seasons we missed since Cousin Matthew died in the Xmas special. Here’s Matthew Goode in Stoker, which we missed for some reason or other but have to look up because it’s inspired by Hitchcock’s Shadow of A Doubt, which we love. Stoker was directed by Park Chan Wook (Old Boy) and written by Wentworth Miller (Prison Break).
6. Started listening to Basic Russian audiofiles. It’s supposed to be easier to learn Russian than Hungarian. It occurred to us while pronouncing common Russian names (Boris is “Ba-REES”) that world leaders have gotten Putin wrong. If you want anything from him, you challenge him to single combat.
This is one of exactly two cats we’ve seen on the whole trip. One was inside a carrier at the Market Hall in Budapest. This one was in a store window in Venice, around Castello. The sleeping cat looks like Saffy. (Saffy: That was me. I bilocated.)
Next to the cat, a sign telling people not to tap the glass. Some linguistic confusion here. “E io mi irrito!!!!”— The cat gets irritated by the tapping, the storekeeper gets irritated, or is the cat in the window because she annoyed the storekeeper?