Of Cats and Cuts

Posted: May 15, 2011 in Photography
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’m presently watching the Graham Norton Show, featuring Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow. My only love sprung from my only hate! And, on the subject of TV shows, the cast of next cycle’s ANTM All-Stars has been revealed! I’m as excited to see my all-time favourite, Allison Harvard, again as I am dreading the return of Ange-fucking-lea. (Yes, that sentence feels like a betrayal to my beloved Melrose but this and this, might just have tipped the balance.) However: Angelea, Domnique and Isis? I mean it’s basically RuPaul’s Drag Race. Alas, the other announcement I read this morning – namely that ABC has decided to prematurely cancel V despite it ending on a cliffhanger – was slightly less welcome. My only consolation: John bought me all of the original Vs on DVD so I still have countless hours of Jane Badler in my future. (I literally couldn’t contain my excitement every second she was on-screen in the remake.)

I also watched the Smallville series finale this morning, fully 10 years after it started airing. Doing so alone? Definitely the right decision. I recognise that it wasn’t the best show in the world, but that didn’t stop me from bawling my face off. (Ironically, it was John who started me on it in the first place, but – as his real-life duties of saving lives expanded in direct opposition to my complete lack of employment – he hasn’t actually seen it in years. Case in point: he was gone before I got up yesterday and wasn’t back when I got up this morning. Remind me again why anyone would want to be a doctor?)

And now, two announcements of my own, both of which took a backseat to the fact that I went to Manchester within moments of them happening. The first – plainly visible before you even read this sentence – is that I’ve decided to test the old adage about gentlemen’s preferences. The second – and more newsworthy of the two – is that Alf is getting a baby brother! (Details and pictures below.)

“I’m not offended by dumb blonde jokes because I know that I’m not dumb. I also know I’m not blonde.”
~ Dolly Parton

My regular hairdresser, Robert, wasn’t available for the task, having just moved to Aberdeen with his partner, Mark (and their ragdolls – oh, the parallels!) to start their own business. I was, however, left in the hands of the more-than-capable and very lovely Joni, and a slightly less confident (though equally lovely) trainee who wasn’t sure of the mechanics of shampooing and may or may not have accidentally bleached the cardigan I bought in China. Bleaching – by the way – is the most curious sensation; like novocaine-ing your scalp then setting it on fire. Or, less dramatically – like a gentle burning that’s not entirely painful but impossible to ignore and itchy as all hell. I took pictures to documents the process; first when the bleach itself was on, and later when they applied the toner.

Nothing, however, quite prepared me for the moment when my hair started to fall out when it was all over. Thankfully, this only happened to the sections that had been bleached already during my last, half-assed attempt at blonding when I chickened out and ended up with highlights…which, let’s face it, is probably karmic retribution for getting honest-to-god highlights in twenty-fucking-eleven. The colour – which you can see here while I’m waiting for the train to Manchester – wasn’t quite what I’d intended (namely: colourless) but Joni did warn me beforehand that bleaching my hair to that extent straight off the bat would cause my entire head to suffer the same fate as my former highlights. I’m planning on finishing the job in a month’s time but John’s years of blondness have, in the interim, proved a godsend, and thanks to his encyclopaedic knowledge of blue shampoos and toners, I’ve managed to get it that lovely (if I do say so myself) shade of ash grey you see in the picture above. Maintaining said shade is still something of a balancing act, but at least when I dye it purple (as I’ve now done on three separate occasions) I can pretend I’m channelling vintage Gaga.

This beautiful creature has no such concerns however, being a perfect shade of silver and Alf’s sibling-to-be!

He’s also our most impulsive adoption to date; somehow sidelining the red Persian I’ve been angling for since I was six years old. After vetoing John’s choice of a Singapura (the world’s smallest cat), he started researching the Bengal: a hybrid breed formed by the cross of a domestic feline and an Asian Leopard Cat (with the colouration of the latter and temperament of the former). About two hours later, he’d not only tracked down and e-mailed a breeder in Glasgow, but arranged for us to meet with them the following week.

We were joined by my mum (who rescheduled her entire visit to make it – I swear, crazy cat lady is hereditary), and though we’d assumed from their names that the breeders were a guy and a girl, they actually turned out to be another gay couple. (Somewhere out there, another set of mothers have resigned themselves to getting kittens instead of grandchildren.) Naturally this meant that the lovely Lennox above (mother of our future child) wasn’t named for Lennox Lewis as I’d first assumed, but rather our fellow Scot and former Eurythmics frontwoman, Annie.

The kittens were only a week old when we arrived, and some – including ours – hadn’t even opened their eyes yet. We were, however, allowed to hold them, and the first very one I was handed was the one we’ll be taking home. I was sorely tempted to go with the one who’d half-succeeded at opening his eyes (and fully succeeded at looking like a pirate) but our kitten-to-be was much more placid and – with Alf being about two DNA sequences away from a marshmallow – probably a better fit for our home. One major difference: Bengals love water, which is one of the few things that inspires Alf to very unragdoll-like behaviour.

…and here he is! Suggestions for names more than welcome. The currents frontrunners are Pip (short for Philip) and Hap (short for Hepburn – and with slight allowances to make it the same as Audrey’s character in her final movie, Always). Nothing in the Whiskers/Stripes family, please (though I am keen on something a bit more tiger-ian).

We can officially bring him home with us on the 21st of July, and we’re allowed to visit/handle/hand-feed (!) him before then so that he can get to know us before the big move. Expect more (increasingly less restrained) posts as the date draws closer!

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