Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Cats’

Saffy is 15! Today she is The Oracle and Dispenser of Books

June 15, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats 25 Comments →


Happy Birthday, Saffy!

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.

saffy shelf

Update: Saffy is through answering your questions. If you posted a question that she answered and have already disinfected your scratches, email by Sunday, 21 June 2015 to claim your book.

We now return to regular programming.

June 06, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats, Language, Pointless Anecdotes, Television 1 Comment →

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.

Sleeping cat in Venetian store window

May 08, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Language, Places, Traveling No Comments →


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?

The cats are all right.

April 27, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats 1 Comment →



Report from home: Our feline housemates are fine, despite having tried all the different varieties of emotional blackmail when we were leaving the house last Wednesday. They have a catsitter who shows up everyday. Usually cats can manage on their own with a month’s worth of kibble, but Saffy and Mat are teenagers and someone has to open their canned food. Our catsitter is our cleaning lady, who is devoted to our cats. She did time for defending herself against her abusive husband, so if there are any threats to the cats she’ll shiv them.

Drogon is 3! This week he is The Oracle.

April 12, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Cosmic Things 23 Comments →

Drogon likes attention, hugs, and parkour.

Happy Birthday, Drogon Targaryen-Targaryen Hiddleston Cumberbatch! The vet says he was about a year and a half when he joined our household and we picked a birthday for him. It’s also the birthday of Koosi, who would’ve been 16 today.


Whenever our feline masters celebrate their birthday they deign to read your future. This week Drogon is The Oracle. To ask a question of The Oracle, you must go out and feed the first stray cat you encounter. Then look into Drogon’s eyes and post your question in Comments and await his reply.

White Walker-blue eyes.

We have readers who ask the same question every year (pertaining to acquisition of boyfriend, more desirable employment, or both). If you want a different answer, try rephrasing it.

Our secret city is gone

April 06, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Places 3 Comments →

saffy meaulnes

We’ve always stayed in Metro Manila during the lenten holidays. While everyone makes a mad dash to the provinces, enduring traffic, congestion and the infernal heat only to run into the exact same people they encounter daily in the city they have just escaped, we enjoy Manila. Emptied of its frantic inhabitants, this place is actually charming: temporarily quiet, comparatively less polluted and chaotic.

We can tool up and down the highway at top speed and visit the burbs which we never see during the working week. Hence our decades-old plan to shut the entrances to Metro Manila and declare it an independent republic one Black Saturday, preventing the vacation crowd from returning to block our view. Aalis-alis kayo, huwag na kayong bumalik.

In recent years many people have caught on that the best place to spend the long weekend is Manila. (Or maybe there are just more people.) We no longer have the city to ourselves. More restaurants stay open, but they’re all full. You have to make reservations at Old Swiss Inn and good luck getting into Cafe Adriatico. Traffic around the restaurants is as heavy as weekday traffic.

Our secret city is gone. Next year we will contrive to get as far away as possible. (Unless by saying this everyone decides to get out next year, in which case we will stay.)