Monday, August 24, 2009

In the pink

Or perhaps that should read "orange".

Bonjour, Haricot Blanc, le blogging French cat here.

Comment ça va?

Me, I'm just fine and dandy, back from my hols, "in the pink" and ready for a riot in the house.

Wasn't that kind of dear old (and I use the term respectfully) Hector to share a few of his thoughts?

For sure he can teach me a lot, but I'm in so much of a hurry to learn all sorts of new stuff that it's often difficult to stay still and pay attention let alone actually listen to anything he's saying.

Once again though, I have to ask the question what or who is the PRESENCE?

There have been so many references made that I'm now totally intrigued and cannot wait to discover her (for it's a "she" that much I've ascertained) identity.

Well while I'm waiting, I thought I would share a couple more short videos HMDT took while I was trying to sleep.

If only I could be allowed to sleep

And this is where I have to say that while there's so much mention of me always storming through the house, it seems that every moment I've settled down for some quiet time, I awake to find that lens pointed in my direction, just waiting to take the next shot.

So I'm awake. Now What?

One thing before I forget, I really should extend my thanks to those of you who've taken the time out to read my ramblings and leave comments.

I haven't been blogging for long, and I really appreciated the number of you who dropped by after Poppy Q had made me a Friday Friend last week. That was especially touching.

And finally before I go and wreck the house (gosh it's great to be back on familiar territory) and give Hiro a heap of hassle, is the good news that I'm "in the pink".

Yes I've been given a clean bill of health!

The tests the vet ran for Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) both came back negative, which was a relief all round, although everyone (vet included) is a little perplexed as to what my "malaise" was and what caused it in the first place.

Still the course of antibiotics seemed to do the trick and I'm full of beans......ooh a play on my name there.

Right I must go. I have havoc to wreak.

A bientôt.

Haricot B.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hector's House

Guten Tag. I'm Hector - the senior citizen here at the home of Haricot Blanc, le blogging French cat.

While she's away on holiday with the comfy laps and the lop-eared nutters, I've taken the chance to slip in and introduce myself.

To start with I'm not the PRESENCE, as mentioned by my much younger buddy Hiro in an earlier piece.

No, I'm the much- travelled doyen of the household.

Born in Germany (hence the reason I broke into my mother tongue right at the beginning) and brought up there for the first three years of my life, I moved to Italy with HMDT before ending up here in France..

In fact we've been together now for more years than I can remember and I'm the only four-legged male here among a bevvy of feline beauties.

I met HB for the first time just before she left for her break, and it sure brought back memories of my distant youth.

Not that I'm old or anything, but taking a look at my passport informs me that I've just turned 14.

As far as I'm concerned I'm in the "prime of my life", although the excesses of youth have perhaps taken their toll a little.

In my younger days I was quite the little tearaway, regularly getting into scraps and happily spending days (and nights) combing the countryside and generally making clear who was boss.

But those days are behind me now. I've not many of my teeth left, a slightly raggedy left ear from an altercation, and on top of that I still dearly miss my old pal Hoagy.

He left us three years ago at the ripe old age of 19.

I get on really well with Hiro mainly because she reminds me so much of him - same colour, same enormous purr and same gentle character.

And she was in fact the one who suggested I pop in to introduce myself and helped me upload a couple of photos. I'm not really into all this new-fangled technology myself, preferring to leave it to youngsters.

If my initial encounter with HB is anything to go by then I have to say she certainly seems energetic and full of bounce, but that's always the way with the young 'uns isn't it?

A curious nose-to-nose greeting was followed by a sudden change of gear as she ricocheted around the hall and disappeared up the stairs in a fury of activity.

She didn't appear to be frightened in the slightest, just terribly over-excited at meeting.

We'll get along just fine as long as she doesn't insist on too much rough and tumble and realises that when I'm settled on the sofa between the comfy laps, I really don't like to be disturbed.

As for the PRESENCE. Well like Hiro, I don't want ot give too much of the game away, and I certainly wouldn't dream of influencing HB but let me just say that she (the PRESENCE) is definitely bipolar material.

All right, I feel a doze coming on. It's baking hot outside, so I'm going to try to find some shade for a quiet nap.

I hope to be able to share some wise words with HB when she returns, but for the moment I'll leave her (and you) with a couple of recent snaps of myself.

Bis später.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Holiday encounters

Bonjour, Haricot Blanc, le blogging French cat here, from a very sunny and hot France.

As you might have guessed, and will be able to see from these pix, I'm on holiday.

Last week the comfy laps stuffed the car to bursting point and headed south to spend some time in the countryside.

They didn't forget me (how could they?) and rather than leaving me in the care of a lovely lady who looks after the house and garden while they're away, decided that I too should come along.

After a three-hour drive, during which I didn't complain too much, we arrived and even though everything is new (again) I've had the chance to do my fair share of investigating and have had some enthralling encounters.

First and foremost was my introduction to the sitting room sofa.

Perhaps not the most extraordinary experience for the more world wise among you, but a complete revelation to me.

Then there was my the chance to explore the outside world, initially from the safety of a first floor window and later during a short chaperoned romp in a meadow.

That's where I came nose-to-nose with one of the Lop Ears.

You might remember my pal Hiro mentioning them earlier, but you can read and see a little more about them here in a piece which includes selection of short videos taken by HMDT while they were splashing around in a nearby lake.

For the moment though, I'll leave you with some shots of me taking my first tentative steps in to Big Outdoors and of course blissfully rolling around on the sofa.

You can also see a few more photos of me outdoors here.

Bonnes vacances.

Haricot B.

Haricot B encounters a sofa

Haricot B. and the Big Outdoors

Les Lop Ears

A holiday bonjour from Haricot Blanc, le blogging French cat.

I mentioned in an earlier piece that I don't live alone in Fontainebleau.

There are of course the comfy laps, HMDT and Toowfu. That goes without saying.

Plus you've already "met" my pal Hiro, the female cat who has no problem with gender identity even though the comfy laps insisted on giving HER a boy's name.

And there was an allusion to the PRESENCE, about which (or whom?) I know as little as you at the moment.

Perhaps though you remember a passing reference made by Hiro to some other four-legged critters whom she called the "lop-eared nutters".

Indeed I've had the pleasure of hearing them exercise their vocal cords - to the delight of everyone else in the neighbourhood - while I've been trying to snooze in the afternoon.

But up until now I haven't actually seen, let alone met, any of them.

That though has all changed.

Holidays are all about relaxing, enjoying the weather, discovering new places and making new friends.

And that's exactly what I've been up to over the past week as I came muzzle to maw with La Grande Dame and watched in amusement from the safety of the bedroom window as les Lop Ears raced around outside.

Meeting la Grande Dame

La Grande Dame is a rather hefty and somewhat sloth-like old gal whose major pre-occupations in life as far as I can tell seem to be eating, sleeping, eating, sleeping, swimming, eating and sleeping (in that order).

She's placid and gentle and like many of her ilk "not quite all there".

Her daughter, Blondie, is a bit of a stunner, but every bit as barmy.

Blondie - not exactly camera shy

The trio of daftness is completed by Silly; the comfy laps must have spent hours trying to come up with that name!

Silly by name, silly......

Yes they're dogs - which explains a lot I suppose - and pedigree English cocker spaniels at that, with monikers longer and more illustrious than their behaviour would seem to support.

Anyway, as promised, here's some short footage HMDT shot of the three of them during a recent splash-about in a nearby lake.

They might look a little half-baked, but they could be fun.

I'll keep you posted.

A bientôt.

Haricot B.

Mother and daughter

Such a racket

More racket

Monday, August 17, 2009

First tentative steps in the Great Outdoors

Haricot Blanc, le blogging French cat, goes walkabouts in the meadow.

And ends up with a little more than she bargained for!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's playtime!

Bonjour à tous et à toutes. Haricot Blanc, le blogging French cat here once again.

On my mind today are TOYS (intentionally writ large) and especially the shape, size and sheer variety provided, all in the name of keeping me entertained.

After all toys maketh the cat, do they not?

A veritable industry has blossomed to keep us occupied, and dare I say it, one totally unfounded on what we all know we really want and need.

Sure it's lovely to have the odd plaything bought for us, and when I first took up residence here in Fontainebleau at the end of June, one thing in particular struck me about the welcome I received.

I was inundated with a selection of toys the comfy laps had decided were to provide the basis of my "favourite things".

They had clearly raided the local pet store in anticipation of my arrival.

Let loose among the shelves, they had tried to buy a selection of the cutest, most chewable and enticingly dangly knickknacks and playthings that would keep me forever enthralled.

Hah! Perhaps they hadn't realised I have the attention span of a goldfish.

That said, while I'm not going to gripe about the toys (too much) some of them quite honestly defy belief...even to a three-month-old kitten.

There's a little grey hedgehog (er hello, have cat toy manufacturers ever seen a grey hedgehog?) with a pull-out tail (ditto) to make it zip across the floor with me in hot pursuit.

A grey hedgehog - say no more!

Similarly preposterous is the pink bear equally sporting the extendable tail that retracts once at full length.

Pink bear say "hello" to grey hedgehog

A blue hippo (of all things) with an incredibly long tail is regularly proffered to lure me into chasing around in circles to tire me out. I have to admit that I succumb whenever it's waved in front of me.

Tussling with the blue hippo

And then there's a vitiman-packed, green-olive scented scratch post welcomely promising "attraction maximale" (I don't think I need to translate) to prevent me from sharpening my claws where I shouldn't.

All very well-meaning and certainly I have got some use out of all the gifts. But let's face it - and here's the crux of the matter - comfy laps just don't get it do they?

I mean, had they asked me what I really wanted the list would have included the following...and not an extra penny (or centime as we say here) would have had to be spent in the first place.

For starters, I love to get my teeth into the inside of a toilet roll - the cardboard bit.

It's just right for flicking out of the bin in the bathroom, grasping it in my mouth and then parading around the house with.

Better still of course is a whole toilet roll just waiting to be shredded. All right, I know I shouldn't. But it's soooo tempting just sitting there, waiting.

Waste paper bins in general are a toy treasure trove especially the one in the study.

It's full of paper and makes fabulous rustling noises when I leap inside and tip the contents on to the floor.

Perhaps it makes a little mess, but at least it gives the comfy laps something constructive to do as they clear up in my wake.

Shoes, slippers and laces - I've mentioned those before. But honestly, I just can't get enough of them. And there seem to be so many lying around just waiting.

Then of course there's that thing that at the end of my bottom. It has been there since I was born, and even though I know it's there, I still end up chasing around in circles trying to catch it.

Not really sure why.

Because I can I suppose.

So you see. I've only mentioned a few of my really "favourite toys" and already I've provided proof that most of the things I find fascinating are pretty inexpensive (running to "free" much of the time), available and provide hours...I mean hours of fun.

I'm sure I'm not alone.

Now where's that ridiculous blue hippo?

A bientôt.

Haricot B.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Under the weather - a health scare

Bonjour mes amis. Haricot Blanc, le blogging French cat back with you once again.

It probably hasn't escaped your notice that I haven't had much to say since I mentioned my last visit to that place I referred to as "fast becoming something of a four letter world".

Remember? The VETS.

Well that's mainly because I've been feeling poorly and have had to spend a couple of days in the clinic "under obs".

It all started last Thursday when I just felt so pooped. I didn't have any energy, wanted to spend all the time dozing and my normally healthy appetite was anything but.

I just drank a little water et "basta".

The comfy laps insisted that I pay another visit to that unmentionable place, where I was examined and my temperature taken.

Now I shan't complain about where they stuck the thermometer, but REALLY!

Sometimes these comfy laps and their accomplices just don't know the meaning of the words "dignified" and "decency".

Anyway, it turned out I was running a fever - 40 degrees celsius rather than the norm which is around 38.5 - so no guesses as to what came next.

One of those ruddy jabs in the backside, instructions to keep me calm and quiet (as if I really felt like doing anything else) and an anti-inflammatory for a potentially pulled muscle.

Wonder of wonders though, in the car back home I started feeling better, and by the time I had made it through the front door, I was back to my old (young) self, rushing around the house like a Force 10 gale and generally making my presence felt on the place.

Appetite back, motions (hate to mention that, but it's rather important) passing, everything seemed back to normal. And on Friday I was chirpy all day.

But then in the evening I started feeling woozy, not wanting to touch my food and hardly bothering to raise myself from by basket throughout the night.

Once again the comfy laps were concerned, and rang the clinic out of hours early on Saturday, and I was taken in for yet another consultation in the afternoon.

This time I had a flash test which indicated the possibility of the Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) against which I had been vaccinated a couple of weeks ago.

And more worryingly there was the fear that I had somehow contracted the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) against which there is no vaccination!

Blood samples were rushed off to a lab, and I was kept in for two days for observations and to receive a perfusion as I was still running a fever and had no appetite.

That didn't last long though, as by Monday I was wailing to be allowed home (the vet told HMDT all about it when he came to collect me in the afternoon) and gee was I happy to be back where I belonged.

No more silence and calm for me - even if it has been advised. Instead I'm full of spirits, eating heartily and enjoying making mischief.

The only downside has been waiting for the results and taking some revolting medicine (is there ever any other sort?) twice a day...some sort antibiotic in liquid form, served to me through a pipette unwelcomely (as far as I was concerned) thrust into my mouth.

HMDT and Toowfu are still, as they say, "Keeping an eye on me". Vets instructions apparently, but to be quite frank, I feel in fine this video more than attests to.

Oh yes, and here's a link to a selection of photos I've (rather pretentiously perhaps) entitled "Haricot B - a study against orange" and "The cat that didn't 'sat on the mat'".

A bientôt.

Haricot B.

Whoever said "The cat sat on the mat?"

Haricot Blanc - A study against orange and the cat who didn't "sat on the mat"

Bonjour, Haricot Blanc, le blogging French cat here.

I thought I would share with you a few photos taken of me recently as the sun streamed in through the window and I rolled around on the mat.

At not even four months old, it's hard to keep still, and taking photos can be more than a little difficult.

Of course the easiest time to take a snap is when I'm dozing, or just waking up.

And the best shots (IMHO) are those where the background provides a glorious contrast to the colour of my coat.

Here's a selection I've called "A study against orange" and "The cat who didn't 'sat on the mat'".

Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

A bientôt.

Haricot B.

A study against orange

Stretched out asleep


Half awake


The cat who didn't "sat on the mat"

Mats are made for chewing


Is this my best angle?