Archive for January, 2014

So long and thanks for all the cat food.

Sadly, after 15-odd years and lots of sitting on laps, Binky Mackenzie has died. Upon reflecting on our time together I realised that I have spent more time living with him than any human apart from my mum (Ghengis and Fluff come ahead of him in cat terms). In his later years, in retirement in north Essex, he did lots of sleeping; but I like to remember him in his glory years, when you could lie in bed, thump your hand on the duvet, and hear his paws thudering along as he ran to jump up and sit on your chest.

The Little Monkey hides from the camera flash behind a conveniently positioned feline.

The Little Monkey hides from the camera flash behind a conveniently positioned feline.

Binky came to live with Mrs. Monkeyshines and I in the pre-Little-Monkey era, so has been a constant in his young life. I enjoyed watching them together; Binky was mostly oblivious, but the Little Monkey was always very kind, and enjoyed giving him “a nice gentle stroke” and listening to him purring. I don’t know how much he’ll remember about Binky, but perhaps the seed of cat-personhood has been planted…

Little Monkey Games

Little Chef It’s interesting how things seem to suddenly just ‘click’ with the Little Monkey. Until recently, he’s been a bit ambivalent about jigsaw puzzles; he’d do a few two-piece ones in a desultory manner, but that’d be it. But he received a 30-piece puzzle (a police mise en scene) for Christmas, which he loves doing, and is already adept at matching and orienting pieces. Presumably all the requisite skills were gradually being established, to lie latent until such time as he was presented with a suitable challenge.

Another recent skill is game-playing; two months ago, there’s no way he would have displayed his current mastery of Monkey Bingo. But now he understands the whole concept of matching the pictures, marking his card with little coins, being in competition, then shouting “Bingo” when he completes his card. Another Christmas game, about posting letters, is also a current favourite, and he enjoys telling you a) if it’s your turn and b) what you should do to win. So he’s still got some work to do on honing that competitive edge… DSC03484

(I haven’t got any pictures of us playing Monkey Bingo, so you’ll have to make do with him enjoying some of his other Christmas gifts. That plastic orange recorder in the picture on the right has seen some action; Father Christmas is going to be asked for quiet presents next year…)