Have yourself a merry indoor-tree time (from Bouncer)

First of all, I’m assuming you remember me. If not, call yourself a loyal reader! Anyway, I’m Bouncer, self-appointed Guide Cat for the Autistic and aspiring co-writer of this blog. Now, I don’t know about you, but in our house, there has been a sudden increase in food, shiny things and human activity. I’ve noticed things like this seem to happen every winter, a time of year characterised by one thing: the big-indoor-tree.

My first encounter with the indoor-tree was when I was just a lad of six months. Actually, my brother discovered it first. Said it made a very comfortable bed. What a waste of a good tree! It grows indoors once a year and within a day, it even sprouts shiny cat toys. Why sleep when you can explore? I said as much to my bro, and since then I have explored every last nook and cranny.

When I’m in the tree, my humans like to play a little game with me. I have to see how close I can get to it before they react. If I keep this up, at least one will try to grab me, at which point I can either dodge as many limbs as possible or I begin my ascent. From there, they have to try to catch me, while I see how many squirrel stunts I can pull off. Such a blast!

In the past, there have been two trees to choose from. While there is more to be explored in the bigger one, the smaller one scored higher in terms of the adrenaline rush a couple of years ago. The best bit was when I managed to cling on as it came crashing down and its shiny toys shattered all around me. Not a game for the faint hearted.

I knew this big-indoor-tree time was off to a good start when the human I assist, whose blog I’m borrowing, and the tree both appeared with just one sleep in between. Tree related acrobatics were a key part of my youth. Can a less-young cat still do old tricks?

Much to my frustration, I haven’t had a chance to find out. It was a certain young madam’s first indoor-tree-time, and last week she decided she was taking over the humans’ part in the game. No, I’m not going easy on her because she’s a beginner; she didn’t play fair! First she swore at me every time I moved, then when I tried to make my upward escape, she lunged at me! And if, hypothetically, I did run out of the room, it was only to show her just how athletic I still am. The humans are wondering if I’ll retire from it all after being defeated. I’ll show them defeated…

Still, today has been good. It’s always exciting when you wake up to gifts of rustling paper wrapped around different shapes. Then for my tea, I got to taste some of that giant bird that only humans seem to catch. And finally, my girl and I are reunited. I’ve been showing her all the rooms in case she’s forgotten. But then I’m not going into how she keeps disappearing WITHOUT me. ‘Tis the season for forgiving and forgetting – if I forgive her, perhaps she’ll forget to disappear again.

And on that note, a happy big-indoor-tree time to you all!

bouncer christmas

Note: blog post suitable for vegetarians

Can anyone tell me why carbohydrates get such a bad reputation? These days, so many people seem to think that bread/potato/pasta based dishes make your arteries explode, while acting like meat is our number one life support.

Yet ironically, we need almost as many carbs as fruit and vegetables but only a small amount of protein.

I became vegetarian in recent years, having been brought up with very little meat by my vegetarian mother. As you may have gathered, I care very much about animals, and anyway, I was used to mostly vegetarian food. When I tell people I’m a vegetarian, the most common responses include the following:

‘How come?’ Read the above paragraph.

‘Where do you get protein from?’ Nuts, tofu, eggs, dairy, certain vegetables, pulses…not really rocket science.

‘I couldn’t be a veggie.’ Ok, fair enough, but this is where it can potentially get irritating. I don’t mind people eating meat. Come on, I live with four cats when I’m not at uni (that said, I hope none of the humans in my life develop a taste for squirrel…). I just don’t get why having meat in a meal seems to be compulsory, while meat free food is deemed at best a special diet alternative, and at worst boring just because it doesn’t contain chicken or bacon.

It just seems that people forget that there are other foods and recipes out there sometimes. Protein and fat are essential. Iron? Don’t get me started. Meat, on the other hand, is just one of many sources of the above nutrients. It’s not our main energy source; that’s the carbs’ job. What can you cook without it? Risotto. Curry. Pasta. Chinese food. Vegetable chilli. Soup. Just try it some time – you can do pretty much anything with these basic dishes.

Fun fact: in Spain, a vegetarian option is what you have when you make an omelette and rather than using meat, just add bacon or seafood. Spain has many perks, but for my mum on that particular occasion, veggie food isn’t one of them. Over here, the main ingredient associated with a veggie diet is tofu. In Asia, it’s just a food eaten by vegetarians and meat eaters alike, while in the west it is often labelled as bland and disgusting. Bland because most people here don’t know what to do with it. Disgusting? Remind me how meat is made. Haha.

Another anti-veggie statement, which I’ve yet to experience directly is that plants feel pain. For one thing, if we avoided any organic matter at all, we would starve. For another, plants don’t have brains, hearts or central nervous systems. Fellow veggies: remember this argument!

So if you have ever been thrown by the mere concept of vegetarianism, I hope this gave you something to chew on, and that it wasn’t judgmental. Vegetarian or not, eat healthily, respect other’s views and enjoy your food. But don’t try squirrels; they’re bad for the breath.

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Thomas not realising that cats cannot be vegetarian…