Archive for June 16, 2009

Old Talk

Posted in Books, Talks and Reviews, The Universe and Stuff with tags on June 16, 2009 by telescoper

I just stumbled upon a post about a talk I did last year at the Multi-Faith centre at the University of Derby. I’ll let you follow the link to see how the talk and discussion went, but here’s a copy of a photograph of me trying to talk with my mouth full.

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The Cat and the Rat

Posted in Columbo on June 16, 2009 by telescoper

I was just about to go to work this morning when I heard a screaming sound from the garden. Thinking that Columbo had suffered another funny turn, I raced back into the house. There he was, sitting in the kitchen, pleased as punch, with a small wriggling animal in his mouth. He dropped it at my feet and it tried to escape by running up my leg. That took me a bit my surprise and I kicked out, sending the furry thing flying against the wall. Stunned, it fell to the ground and Columbo got hold of it again.

A few seconds later he let it go and, using my forensic skills to establish that it was dead (separation of the head from the body is quite a good indicator of death), I took it away before he could dismember it any further. This could have been the small creature that led him a merry dance under the decking some time ago. However, it wasn’t a mouse. The scaly tail proved beyond all doubt that what he’d caught was in fact a baby rat.

I hope its mother doesn’t come looking for it.

Anyway, this is the second remarkable thing that Columbo has experienced in the last few days. The other is that he seems to have acquired a girlfriend. A very pretty lady cat has started calling for him and, unlike all other cats that have entered his domain, Columbo doesn’t mind her at all. There’s not going to be any rumpy-pumpy of course – Columbo was “done” when he was a youngster – but they hang out together quite comfortably, and he cries when she goes away. She can easily jump up and climb over the fence at the back of the garden, whereas Columbo is too old. Still, it’s nice for him to have some company. She’s been here most days. Perhaps he was hoping to impress her with the rat he caught.

The cat that visits Columbo wears a collar and is friendly enough to let me look for her name on it, but there isn’t one there. I’ve decided to call her Maud, because she comes into the garden.