Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Cats’

Meet some heroic cats

August 10, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats 4 Comments →


Crimean Tom, also known as Sevastopol Tom, saved British and French troops from starvation during the Crimean war in 1854.The regiments were occupying the Russian town of Sevastopol and could not find food. Tom could. He led them to hidden caches of food stored by Russian soldiers and civilians.Tom was taken back to England with the soldiers when the war was over. After his death in 1856, he was stuffed and preserved and is a permanent part of the National Army Museum in London.


Missy, a tabby from Newcastle, has something of a medical bent. When she sensed there was something amiss with her owner – if cats can ever said to be “owned” – Missy alerted her by refusing to stop pawing at her chest. Angela Tinning says it first happened in 2013. “Her behaviour was so unusual I got checked out and it was found I had pre-cancerous cells. Three years later it happened again. “I felt fine and I honestly don’t think I would have bothered if she hadn’t drawn my attention to it. If it weren’t for her, my story could be very different today. “She is my little hero.”

Read Cats to the rescue: When felines turn hero


A fast acting feline who alerted her owners to a house fire has been named Cat of the Year by an animal charity. Tink jumped on top of Claire Hopkinson who was asleep in bed when an electrical fault sparked a fire at a neighbouring property in Shrewsbury. Her family managed to get out of the house safely but Tink was overcome by the smoke and had to be revived by firefighters using a tiny oxygen mask. “Without Tink we wouldn’t be here today,” said Mrs Hopkinson.

Fire rescue Tink named Cat of the Year

boredom alert

Drogon alerts his human to boring passages in her drafts by falling asleep on the page.

cliche alarm

Saffy does a quadruple-take whenever she encounters a hackneyed phrase in her human’s notebooks. And in 2003, she alerted us when the building next door was on fire.

Rogue Male to be filmed with Cumberbatch; who will co-star as Asmodeus the cat?

August 03, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats, Movies 1 Comment →


Geoffrey Household’s wonderful thriller Rogue Male is coming to the screen! The film will star Benedict Cumberbatch, who will also produce.

It will be the third adaptation of Rogue Male, after the Fritz Lang version (Boring) and the TV movie starring Peter O’Toole (Somewhat better).

The novel is the gripping tale of an unnamed hunter who decides, on his own, to bag himself a dictator in an unnamed Central European country. He gets caught and tortured by enemy agents, but manages to escape and make his way back to England. There he is hunted by enemy agents, so he goes on the run in the English countryside, and Household’s description of the countryside makes me want to go camping (I have never gone camping in my life, being suspicious of nature). The hero makes himself a hideout, where he holes up for many days. His only companion is a stray black cat who has decided to stick around. He calls the cat Asmodeus, and I am looking forward to scenes in which the Cumberbatch converses with a cat.

Asmodeus is possibly the greatest role for a cat since Jonesy in the first Alien movie, so I hope they cast the right cat. No whitewashing: let it be a black cat.

Read the BBC News report.

Rogue Male

Saffy’s favorite cat performances
1. Jonesy in Alien
2. Tonto in Harry and Tonto
3. Philip Marlowe’s fussy cat in The Long Goodbye
4. Ulysses in Inside Llewyn Davis
5. Cat in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

What are your favorite cat performances? Beside’s Blofeld the Bond villain’s white cat (and its Austin Powers parodies).

Do you feel like the world is going to hell in a hand basket? Here is some relief.

July 26, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats No Comments →

It won’t de-assholify the world, but it should temporarily cleanse your optic nerves of the sight of Trump’s hair and other grotesqueries.

Poem to read while waiting for the page to finish loading with your “fast” connection

July 07, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats 1 Comment →

Buddha is the Bookstore Cat of the Month.

by Czeslaw Milosz
translated by Czeslaw Milosz

The history of my stupidity would fill many volumes.
Some would be devoted to acting against consciousness, Like the flight of a moth which, had it known,
Would have tended nevertheless toward the candle’s flame.
Others would deal with ways to silence anxiety,
The little whisper which, though it is a warning, is ignored.
I would deal separately with satisfaction and pride, The time when I was among their adherents
Who strut victoriously, unsuspecting.
But all of them would have one subject, desire,
If only my own—but no, not at all; alas,
I was driven because I wanted to be like others.
I was afraid of what was wild and indecent in me.
The history of my stupidity will not be written. For one thing, it’s late. And the truth is laborious.

How to catcall

June 07, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats 1 Comment →


To call a cat:

– Here, kitty, kitty, kitty. Here, kitty.

– Ming ming ming muning. Sssswssswssssw.

– Ao raqagon mirri klios? (If the cat speaks Old Valyrian.)

– Dracarys!

– So. Cleganebowl, what do you think?

– Lady Stoneheart? Won’t that be too many resurrected Starks?

If Drogon makes the catcalls:

– You remind me of Natasha at the ball in War and Peace. The Louise and Aylmer Maude translation.

– Is that vintage? The pattern is very interesting in an Escher kind of way.

– Kessa, nyke va moriot merbugon.

– Valar morghulis. By the way you’re much prettier than Daenerys, almost as pretty as Jon Snow.

– San-dor! San-dor! Woof woof!

– Bring back Lady, Shaggydog and Summer!

Writing a novel vs tickling a cat

May 29, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, The Workplace 4 Comments →

work cats

I have to finish writing a novel in three months so I’ve been in lockdown for two and a half weeks. I only allow myself out of the house twice a week for appointments and chores. So far it’s been working: I’ve written down half of it, and expect to complete the first draft well before my August 31 deadline. Also, I’ve made a detailed outline so I know where it’s going. More importantly I can stand it, so it’s safe from the shredder.

Technically this is my second novel. The first one, I never published. I didn’t like it. However, it wasn’t total garbage so I took the parts that worked and published them as short stories. They’re in The Stories So Far, the ones where the protagonist is named Jude.

So I’m living inside my head these days, and the only witnesses are the cats. They are not the most cooperative creatures. They want attention. Saffy challenges me to staring contests.


Drogon invades my workspace in stages.

What are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing?
Would you like to rub my tummy? It’s very soft.
I’m sure you won’t mind if I park my butt on top of your notebook.
Fur! Soft!
I’m sleepy. This is a good place for a nap.