Archive for October, 2011

Another new feline family member

Posted in Cats at 18:31

Susu - first day

About a month ago, a colleague told me that another of our co-workers had kittens he was looking to give away. The mother cat had been scheduled for spaying, but she fell pregnant just before! The timing was great, since the neighbors just above me got a kitten a few months ago, and Kanoko was simply delighted to play-chase with her across the fencing (she climbs down into the courtyard, and can’t get on my patio). Seeing that, I knew Kanoko would probably be just as happy to have a kitten friend at home, and would welcome one as easily as he did the neighbor kitten. I agreed to take one of the four kittens.

Three were grey tabbies, and the fourth was all black. Grey was a grey tabby, so I opted for the black kitten. It turned out that s/he was so shy and rambunctious, that the man caring for the mother and kittens could never get close enough to tell whether s/he were a “she” or a “he”! I didn’t mind since Kanoko is easy-going; female or male, either would have been fine. But what to name her/him?

Studio Ghibli films are some of my favorites, so I went through possible names: “kurosuke” was too straightforward (“kuro” means “black” in Japanese); “Jiji”, the name of the black cat in “Kiki’s Delivery Service” sounded too much like a rather vulgar word in French; so I thought perhaps “Mei” would be good for a female – it’s the name of the little girl in “My Neighbor Totoro”. Then a friend and fellow Ghibli fan mentioned that the soot sprites are also called “susuwatari”, and that “Susu” could be a good name, as well as “Tari”! That was perfect.

Today the little sprite finally let her/himself be caught, so the guy ran with his good luck and kindly drove her/him to my place in Nice. S/he cried and hid a bit at first, but after only an hour, had figured out how to push open a door far enough to get through and sneak past me without noticing. I thought I’d lost her until she finally mewed her presence behind the washing machine!

I was able to pick her up and put her back in her area, and noticed that she is indeed a female. So, here you have miss Susu the soot sprite! She and Kanoko are getting along swimmingly. As I’d hoped, Kanoko is peachy keen on having a new friend, and has been his usual sweet self. Susu cries a bit for her siblings and mother still, but seems comforted by Kanoko’s presence, since she keeps approaching him for sniffs, with ears forward and tail perked. I’m delighted it’s going so well, I never thought they’d be comfortable together so quickly.

Bientôt l’opéra

Posted in Crafts, Journal at 22:38

Following my Masters degree, I’ve been enjoying my newly rediscovered free time by preparing for the next big thing: my subscription to the Opéra Monte Carlo (Monaco) that will begin in November with Boito’s “Mefistofele“. It’s based on the legend of Faust. In Boito’s version, Faust barters with the Devil: his soul in exchange for worldly bliss. Faust then seduces trusting young women, is betrayed by the Devil, sees the death of one of the women he seduced, and nonetheless continues to seek out worldly pleasures and seduction. Neither world nor illusion satisfy him.

There will be five operas in all, so I’ve been using it as a nice reason to add some home-sewn items to my wardrobe. Currently I’m working on a capelet that will be made of black silk burnout velvet patterned with roses, and lined with a soft black cotton velvet. The pattern is McCall’s 3033 (M3033), view F with the stand-up collar. It will be perfect for keeping off the November Riviera chill.