Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Cats’

Drogon tries to read by osmosis

February 05, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats No Comments →

drogon le guin

Obituary for a black stray cat

February 04, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats 2 Comments →

black cat

She was a small black cat, extremely frisky, always trying to get in the door. We had to be careful when going down the stairs because she would dart between our feet. She didn’t have a name, we didn’t give her one, she was just “yung pusang itim”—if we gave her a name she would become part of the household, and we already have three and a half feline housemates (Three indoor cats, one outdoor cat who walks the earth and appears at mealtimes). She lived downstairs in the garage with the other strays, and was particularly close to Meriadoc our outdoor cat—we’d open the door and they’d be curled up in a single ball on our welcome mat.

This morning the guard reported that she’d died. They found her in a corner, by a stack of old furniture. She got sick and went quickly. We last saw her on Sunday night and she seemed less frisky than usual. Sad. Terrible things are happening in the world, violence and bloodshed and body bags, and we mourn over a nameless black stray cat. On balance she had a fairly comfortable life—she had regular meals, shelter, and the company of other cats. And she could roam the neighborhood, though she stayed close to the garage. And her life didn’t go unnoticed.

Evolution of cats in art: Japan

January 27, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Cats, Places 1 Comment →

19th century Japanese art featuring cats doing people stuff.

Their descendant in the media: Maru.

From Des Hommes et des Chatons. Of course a cat would be reading Murakami. And we know that Ben Affleck is super-smart, but the cat looks more convincing.

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.