The Art of the Catnap


Let’s face it, 2016 was a big year for many reasons and it left a lot of us just a little bit weary. Now that 2017 is here it may be time to reconsider our priorities.

In the immortal words of Michael Leunig from The Curly Pyjama Letters:

Dear Vasco,

In response to your question “what is worth doing and what is worth having?” I would like to say simply this. It is worth doing nothing and having a rest; in spite of all the difficulty it may cause, you must rest Vasco – otherwise you will become RESTLESS!

The letter from Mr Curly to his friend Vasco Pyjama continues for another couple of paragraphs before ending with this:

So I gently urge you Vasco, do as we do in Curly Flat – learn to curl up and rest – feel your noble tiredness – learn about it and make a generous place for it in your life and enjoyment will surely follow. I repeat: it’s worth doing nothing and having a rest. 

yours sleepily, 

Mr. Curly XXX

And thus we consider the art of the catnap. I have been looking after two sleepy boys for the past ten days and they are very good at taking Mr Curly’s advice. I marvel at their ability to curl up and sleep at any time, or indeed to sprawl out and sleep, or nestle in and sleep, anywhere they happen to be.

Cats are indeed the experts at catnapping, sleeping up to twenty hours a day. Mr Curly would be pleased.

I’ve never been a good napper. It always seemed to be a waste of perfectly good daylight. But at this time of year I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that noble tiredness. Remember, we must rest, otherwise we will become restless. So let the cats be our guides as we take Mr Curly’s advice to curl up and rest.

Have a happy, and restful, New Year.



Emergency Pet Sitting

Here’s the thing, life is unpredictable. You never know what might happen. A couple of nights ago a neighbour’s brother knocked on our door with a request.

Our lovely neighbour, who often looks after our dog when we’re away for a couple of days, had been taken to hospital and would we please take care of her two dogs and her cat.

Of course we said yes. So now we’re getting to know these interesting little characters a lot better than we did before.

There’s the cheeky puppy who loves to play…and eat!

The older dog who was adopted by her owner from an animal shelter and loves nothing more than to sleep on the couch all day.

And Delilah, who has an entire bedroom to herself because, after all, she is a cat.

They all hope their owner gets well soon but in the meantime they’re being well taken care of.


The Thing About Cats.

img_2002I love cats. I grew up with them. There was old Smokey, the black Persian, who, truth be told, was not all that friendly. But then there was the lovely Ginger Puss and her very cute kittens Marmalade, Whiskers and Fluffy – well, we were only kids when we named them.

When I was old enough to have pets of my own I had a tiny little cat called Graben. She was so small I took her to the vet to find out why. That’s when I discovered that there is such a thing as a dwarf cat.

Since then I’ve always enjoyed other people’s cats when I’ve visited friends, giving them a scratch and a pat and listening to them purr – the cats that is, not the friends.

My latest house/pet sit was looking after two Tonkinese boys. They were both very independent young men. They’d disappear for most of the day and I was never quite sure where they went to, although under the house had a certain allure for one of them – that’s where he found his pet mouse.

Yes, one of them kept a real mouse as a pet. It took me a day or so to realise what he was up to. He had the mouse trapped in the corner of one of the bedrooms, under a bed. He didn’t try to kill it or even bite it. But if it tried to escape he would give it a swipe with one of his paws and send it back to the corner where he would watch it vigilantly. Needless to say, I rescued the mouse and set it free only to find he’d found his pet and brought it back to that very same corner.

The other cat was like a teenage boy. He only came home to eat and when I tried to keep him inside at night he complained bitterly. He even knocked the bedside light over onto my head and did a wee in my suitcase! But he was smoochy some of the time and his purring made up for his transgressions.

And that’s the thing about cats, they can be snooty, off-hand, naughty and tricky, but when it comes down to it they’re just so downright lovable. Even when they sit on your head to wake you up, they always purr.

The Little Farm in the Hills

In the Sunshine Coast Hinterland there is the most magical little farm. We were lucky to take care of it and all the assorted animals while the owners were away.

There’s a very happy cat.


Some clucky chooks.

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The always hungry pigs.

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The cute calves.


And the curious cows.