Brisbane academy of gastronomic art

In the last week or so Charlotte has latched onto the dual ideas that (1) food can be something to play with, as well as to eat, and (2) this feeding malarkey doesn’t look too hard, and dammit if dad can feed me that I can sure as hell give it a try as well.

The result is that to varying degrees she is not letting us just feed her directly, but rather insisting on picking up the food with her finger, or (more messily, strangely) trying to use the spoon herself. Now given that she’s transitioning into chunky finger food type meals (perhaps unexpectedly she quite likes broccoli) away from “You’d better not ask what’s in that” mush, the potential for food spreadage is theoretically reduced, but not enough that the overall process isn’t creating a fair bit more work for me at the end of every dinner.

So for the next little while at least we get to roll up her sleeves and ours, and spend the evening making enquiries into the canvas properties of high chair trays, the aesthetic qualities of spaghetti and pre-chewed potato, and the role of passing cats as professional art critics (I don’t know art, says Jack, but I know what tastes good when it’s dropped).

The Gecko Nation

Something odd that seems to have accompanied the arrival of summer temperatures has been a lot of geckos in the house.

Whereas they used to be something you would see occasionally scuttling out of the way earlier in the year, now they seem to be around all the time, and it’s creating some amusing moments because Jack feels compelled to chase them, but because they seem to always crawl around on the upper edges of the walls he is helpless to do anything other than watch them with his tail flicking excitedly back and forth. It’s actually like some kind of remote sensing system, because Jack will be tearing around and then suddenly stop and stare intently in a direction, and you can bet there’s a gecko there.

Luckily however he hasn’t managed to catch any yet.

Jack the mighty hunter

The other night Jack managed to drag in a bird.

Given that he was wearing what I swear is the loudest bell on his collar that you can get without earplugs and a permit (it really is very intrusive, and makes jack jingle like santa’s sleigh whenever he walks) I can only assume that either Jack was very very cautious, slow and clever about his hunting, or that his prey was the dumbest (and possibly deafest) bird in existence.

Swinging from the chandaliers

In a nice illustration of our familial eccentricity, our standard routine when Simone and I are going out is to say to Jack, “Now you behave yourself while we’re gone. No loud parties and no swinging off the ceiling”.

It stems from a piece of silliness early last year where I suggested that while we were out Jack and my childhood stuffed toy “Teddy” were throwning some kick-ass parties together.

Now the other day I noticed that the leading edges of the ceiling fans were looking a little grubby, so I got a cloth and wiped them down, and guess what! The “grime” was in fact a uniform thin coating of Jack hair. Now a logical person would suggest that his hair is sufficiently light to loft up and get caught on the front of the fan, but I can’t help wondering whether it’s up there as a result of Jack ignoring our parental edicts, and swinging off the ceiling fans while we’ve been out.

The next question is of course whether he’s doing this in relation to a party or as practice for his try out for circus school…

Jack the Xenophobe

The house we are currently renting has been put on the market to be sold, and so we are in the ever so fun situation of having the land agent bring people through to see the house every two or three days, and Jack doesn’t like it one bit.

Having just lived with Simone and I, Jack is something of a ‘fraidy-cat when it comes to other people. If it’s friends of ours coming over for dinner he’s usually happy to watch them for a little while and then sidle over for some belly scratches and head pats, but when people just come into his home and stomp around and ignore him he’s not pleased at all.

In fact I’ve been told that he tends to tear into the spare bedroom and hide under the bed, or under the duvet on the bed, only to emerge after the strangers are gone and everything is quiet again.

Goodness knows how he’ll cope if we ever have kids…

Jack the academic

As I have mentioned perviously, I have begun studying for the surgical part 1 exam in october, and so it would seem has Jack.

Whenever I sit down at my desk to study he plonks himself down behind my textbook to supervise.

Sometimes he sleeps. Sometimes he swishes his tail across my textbook or my computer, and sometimes he decides that I’ve been studying long enough and steals my highlighter and bats it around on the floor until I come and take it back/play with him.

Below, for the pleasure of the jury, is photographic evidence.

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Today, given the page Jack was trying to knock my physiology text book open to, I think he wants to learn about Excitatory postsynaptic potentials and neuron membrane physiology. I can certainly see why that would be an issue of some interest to him…

Jack’s hectic month

Jack has, over the last month or so, had to put up with some rather major impositions to his usual lazy lifestyle.

Firstly, over christmas, while Simone and I went to NZ to see my folks, Jack took his first trip to the cattery. Apparently he settled in pretty quickly, but I think he was pleased when we came to collect him.

Then he had to put up with strange people coming to his house and packing up all the stuff, leaving him with ony his mum and dad, two suitcases, and a blow up mattress to interact with. How boring!

Then shortly after that was the further indignity of being put in a carry case for a plane ride to cairns, and another stay in a cattery while Simone went looking for a house.

Finally we moved in to the house, recieved all our stuff, and picked jack up again, so that he could “help” us unpack everything. He likes the new house, because it’s big so that he can rn around and spend his time between different rooms, but dislikes it because it’s in an unfamiliar neighbourhood with a couple of little yappy dogs in the house next door, and no easy way for him to get in and out without us opening a door.

Jack tells me that all in all he’s had enough adventure for the time being, and would like a nice calm month or two, and a tall scotch (if that’s not asking too much).

The pitter patter of muddy paws

It has been raining around our house recently, and while Jack, like any good cat, dislikes being out in the rain, he has no problems with running around in the mud afterwards.

This creates certain problems because Jack then tracks mud wherever he goes, including across the floor, on the sheets, in the shower, and perhaps most amusingly, all over our cars.

Now up until now I hadn’t really realised how frequently Jack gets up on to the tops of our cars when they’re parked in the drive.

We’ve seen him do it once or twice while we’re hanging out laundry or otherwise working outside, but it hasn’t been common.

Then the other day, after it had been raining, I came out to go to work, and got in the car. Only from inside the car did it become apparent that all up and down both the front and back windows were a series of little muddy paw prints.

Subsequent days saw similar situations, until the yard dried up again, and the paw prints disappeared.

I wonder where else he gets into while we’re not looking.

Jack Jack Attack

(this title from the amusing mini-movie on the DVD of The Incredibles, and my friend Chantelle’s favorite instructions to my cat)

I’ve just put up another video of Jack. It’s about 3mb, and shows how Jack has gotten all big and grown up.