Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Cats’

A straitjacket for cranky cats

January 12, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats 1 Comment →

We know from experience that Saffy should be treated like Hannibal Lecter: restrain or get your face bitten off.

Saffy, our feline housemate who is almost 15, has a toothache. How do you know if a cat has a toothache? If they drool, their breath smells worse, they make horrible faces and noises while eating (like they’re trying to dislodge particles caught in their teeth) and keep batting their cheeks. Saffy kept swatting her face so much, her cheeks became raw. To prevent her from wounding herself we cut her claws, an operation which takes at least three people—one to hold Saffy, one to wield the nailclipper, one to hold the other front paw or she’ll take your eye out. There were just two of us, and Saffy split our upper lip so we had duckface for a couple of days. (Drogon allows us to cut his nails. Mat spends half the day buffing his claws on cardboard so we don’t need to cut them.)


Yesterday we took Saffy to her vet, Dr. Mayem at Pendragon Clinic in QC. Mayem extracted four of Saffy’s rotten teeth some years ago—we’ve kept them in a sealed vial, in case we need to cast a terrible hex—and is familiar with the little monster (some of the staff still bear scars). But this time, the vets had something to prevent Saffy from maiming them: a cat grooming bag, or as we like to call it, a straitjacket for crazy cats.


Thanks to this genius invention, Saffy got through her blood test without fuss. Her liver and kidney are fine, so she could be sedated for a dental exam. The vet found an abscess in her gums that was causing her pain and prescribed an antibiotic and a cat-friendly analgesic. No extraction, although we will have to bring her back in a couple of weeks to have her teeth cleaned.

We got a cat grooming bag/straitjacket so we could administer Saffy’s antibiotics without bloodshed (ours). Cat grooming bags are available at Pendragon, Php1,288 for the medium-sized one. Call Pendragon, 0922-VETHELP.

Dear Uncle Haruki: Murakami to write an advice column

January 07, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats No Comments →

Haruki Murakami with cat.

TOKYO, Jan 06, 2015 (AFP) – Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is to offer advice to troubled readers in an agony uncle column on his website, his publisher said Tuesday.

The website, named “Murakami-san no tokoro” or “Mr. Murakami’s place” will solicit problems from fans of the surrealist, whose novels are published in dozens of languages around the world.

The publicity-shy writer will pen answers to queries, offering his opinions and advice on how to tackle all manner of difficulties, said Shinchosha Publishing.

“He will receive questions of any kind,” a company spokesman said, adding that he will answer queries written in a variety of languages.

Murakami will also answer fans’ questions on his likes and dislikes — including cats, a favourite animal of his, and the Yakult Swallows, the Japanese baseball team he supports.

Problems and queries will be accepted until the end of January, and Murakami’s answers will be published over the following two months.

The scheme echoes a similar project in 2006, and offers a rare chance for Murakami’s legions of fans to communicate directly with a writer who spends much of his time hiding from the glare of the media.

“After so long, I want to exchange emails with readers,” Murakami was quoted by the publisher as saying.

Murakami is one of Japan’s best known writers and has repeatedly been tipped as a future Nobel Literature laureate.

The 65-year-old, who reportedly spends much of his time in the United States, has a cult following for his intricately-crafted tales of the absurdity and loneliness of modern life, and peppers his work with references to pop culture.

The website’s URL or email address for questions is not yet available, the publisher’s spokesman said.


Dear Uncle Haruki,

There are many cats in your books. Do they get royalties? I ask because I get written up by my human who pays me in cat food and I wonder if it is fair.

Yours truly,

The Cats wish you a Happy New Year.

January 01, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats No Comments →

Illustration from A Visit to William Blake’s Inn by Alice Provensen

The King of Cats Orders An Early Breakfast
by Nancy Willard

Roast me a wren to start with.
Then, Brisket of Basilisk Treat.
My breakfast is “on the house”?
What a curious place to eat!
Continue reading

Meriadoc Brandybuck eats his brunch, a grilled saba Whiskas pouch and Tripro kibble. Merry lives outside.

Brief Incident in Short a, Long a, and Schwa
by Lydia Davis

Cat, gray tabby, calm, watches large, black ant. Man, rapt, stands staring at cat and ant. Ant advances along path. Ant halts, baffled. Ant back-tracks fast—straight at cat. Cat, alarmed, backs away. Man, standing, staring, laughs. Ant changes path again. Cat, calm again, watches again.

How can we get any work done?

December 17, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, The Workplace 1 Comment →

You’re looking for something? What? What? Can I help?

Have you looked in your bag? I’ll find it, I’m very helpful.

Maybe it’s on this shelf. Ooh, books. Will you read a book to me? I love stories.

Are you writing your column? Can I write it for you? Look, I can hold a pen.

Are you tired? Why don’t you rub my tummy? It’s very soft.

Look into my eyes. Your eyelids are getting heavy. Sleep. Sleeeeep.

Cats in raincoats

December 10, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats No Comments →


Dear Manny,

Thank you for the raincoats, they make us look very dashing. However, they are too small. We wear Medium in dogs’ sizes.

Drogon and Mat


Lydia Davis has a new book

December 05, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats No Comments →


We wantsss it, preciousss. If you spot it anywhere, give us a holler.

* * * * *

A Story of Stolen Salamis

My son’s Italian landlord in Brooklyn kept a shed out back in which he cured and smoked salamis. One night, in the midst of a wave of petty vandalism and theft, the shed was broken into and the salamis were taken. My son talked to his landlord about it the next day, commiserating over the vanished sausages. The landlord was resigned and philosophical, but corrected him: “They were not sausages. They were salamis.” Then the incident was written up in one of the city’s more prominent magazines as an amusing and colorful urban incident. In the article, the reporter called the stolen goods “sausages.” My son showed the article to his landlord, who hadn’t known about it. The landlord was interested and pleased that the magazine had seen fit to report the incident, but he added: “They weren’t sausages. They were salamis.”

More stories from Can’t and Won’t here.

Lydia Davis photo from The Cultural Cat