Edgar: A Short History

I am asked so many things about Edgar. How old is he? What kind of cat is he? Has he always been this cute? How does he get on so well with the dog?

This blog post (apart from a shameless excuse to post adorable older pictures of him) is an effort to answer those questions.

Who am I, really …?

We think Edgar is about 11 now. He was given to my daughter, Lily, when he was a few months old by a friend of hers who was moving and couldn’t keep the kitten. I didn’t meet him until he was about a year old and Lily moved back home, bringing Edgar with her, in 2010.

The friend who gave Edgar to Lily owned his mum, who was a pure Scottish Fold ginger and white cat.  Scottish Folds are known for their tiny folded ears, large eyes and propensity for quirky poses. All are descended from Susie, a Scottish barn cat born in the 1960’s.

The background of Edgar’s father remains a mystery as his mother got out of the house one day, and …

A typical Edgar pose.

As a half Fold, Edgar has inherited most of the typical characteristics. His head is somewhat smaller and less fuzzy than a pure Scottish Fold, making his eyes look even more enormous, and his general demeanour, even more owl-like.

I didn’t see him as a kitten, so I can’t say how cute he may have been then.

But … fear not, Lily found some photos, given to her by her friend,  that she has kindly forwarded to me.

So, yes, pretty cute, I’d say …

Edgar and his brother with their mum.

Edgar has been with us for ten years now. Lily moved out again, but kindly left Edgar with us, as he has more room to range about the house here, and someone is always home. These are the logical reasons. There was also the small matter of me refusing to let him go.

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He is, after all, an invaluable office assistant.

… and the best possible role model for a relaxed approach to life.

When Edgar moved in with us, I was a bit worried about how he and the dogs would get along. Back then we had two of them — brother and sister yellow labs, Taz and Molly.

Luckily all three of them shared an interest in repose, so things worked out very well. Edgar is a very easy going cat and takes most new things in his stride.

He’s always been an indoor cat and seems very happy to be that way, enjoying his social life via the pals of various species he finds himself housed with.

Taz and Edgar were good buddies (sharing similar ultra-chill temperaments) and often chose to hang out together.

Taz and Edgar, pursuing a shared interest.

Unfortunately Taz died at 12, just a year or so after Edgar arrived, leaving Molly (with her slightly more uptight personality) and Edgar to maintain a cool but civil relationship for the next couple of years. As she got older, deafer and slower, the two of them became closer.

Molly and Edgar

Once Molly died (at a venerable 15) there followed a long period in which Edgar was the only quadruped in the household. He seemed just fine with that too.

edgar crop 2010

Edgar with Christmas Lights

Edgar on his ladder

Edgar loves Christmas — not because of the decorations — but because of the ladder that comes out to assist with the hanging of them.

yes please

Standing up to receive a treat.

His days as an only-pet ended in 2016 when Geordie arrived in our lives.

More on When Geordie Met Edgar in the next post …

 

Edgar and the Great Outdoors

Edgar doing a bit of supervised bird watching/conversing with the crows this morning.

He has only once tried to make a break from his back deck playground.

Many years ago I had a market tent set up for a summer studio sale in the garden. The tent roof was, apparently, enticingly close to the deck.

I was inside the tent when I heard a thud as Edgar landed on the cloth roof. As quickly as I ran out to try and rescue him, he was faster.

Somehow he deployed his “terrified cat” superpowers to make the gravity defying leap back to the familiar safety of the deck.

The experience confirmed his (correct) belief that the outdoors is a dangerous and unpredictable place.

Surfaces that look perfectly solid, for example, are deceptive.

He has never tried to escape since then.

The Edgar Diaries

Edgar, so confident that all will be well, now finds himself nodding off during the Prime Minister’s daily briefings.

He is however, adamant that everyone should listen to the Health Officer’s advice and keep on staying the bleep home. Do not cross this cat. You have been warned.

staycation

And, just in case you need a reminder about the vital importance of hand washing …

More on the importance of keeping to some sort of schedule during these discombobulating times.

4:57 Edgar arrives at my desk.
4:59 Geordie arrives as back up.
5pm is dinner time and some schedules must be adhered to, regardless of whether the humans have lost track of the days. Honestly, they say, what would the people do without us …? A good question.

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Because his own luxury pet bed is starting to seem a bit cramped, or perhaps just because he feels like a change, Edgar has now laid claim to the dog’s bed as well as his own. Luckily Geordie is willing to roll with the punches.

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And … a rare win for the human, staring contest-wise.

You know the days are long when you’re competing in staring contests with Edgar.

Stay safe!

The Edgar Chronicles Continued

DAY ???

Well whatever day of staying the &%#$*?! home this is, we all know by now that stress binge eating can happen to the very best of us.

It may be a comfort to know that even Edgar is not immune . . .

STAYING IN SHAPE

In the moments between sleeping, binge eating and watching Netflix, it’s important to fit in a spot of physical fitness. Edgar has found that almost anywhere in the house can double as a gym. An indoor cat can still be fearsome Jungle Cat.

He especially likes to show off while I’m doing my ungainly human stretching exercises on the floor. “I think you could stretch that hamstring a lot further. Make it burn.” A cat makes a stern and uncompromising personal trainer . . .

Edgar also likes to supervise my morning yoga stretches. Occasionally the Sun Salutations come with a bonus Rainbow Cat.

WATCHING THE WORLD GO BY

Edgar recommends some therapeutic bird watching to pass the indoor hours. Geordie, personally, is not that excited by goldfinches.

Now a squirrel, THAT would be something to get excited about!

REACHING OUT

It’s a stressful time and we all need some love and kindness. Edgar knows how reach out (with a gentle paw) and let his people know when he needs a helping hand.

DEEP RELAXATION

Every night Edgar sleeps under our bed, snoring very, very softly.
He’s only recently started sleeping there, so the first time I heard this barely audible and yet inexplicable sound in the night, I had to get up with a flashlight to investigate — and there he was, blissfully asleep and delicately snorfling.
It’s too dark under there to get a decent photo, but this gives you an idea.
Now I’ve figured out what it is, I find the sound very peaceful in the deep dark night.
Wishing you all a small portion of Edgar’s tranquility.

Edgar’s Guide to Staying Home

As I mentioned, Edgar is really an expert at this, having been an indoor cat for ten years now, so here are a few more little tips from his store of “avoiding cabin fever” wisdom.

DAY TEN

Hello from the outside …
Edgar reminds you to get some fresh air, even if you just stick your face out of the window and breath, for a slightly different perspective.

DAY ELEVEN

Don’t think, even for a second, about slacking on the physical distancing.
Edgar has his eyes (both of them) on you!
Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe, in the words of the wonderful Dr. Bonnie Henry.

You can do this!

[The actual story behind Edgar’s disgusted look — I was finally baking Phillip’s birthday cake and it overflowed in the oven, so batter was burning and making everything smokey, in spite of open doors and window. He did not appreciate the pollution of his indoor air quality.]

GETTING ALONG WITH YOUR POD-MATES

By now, things could be getting kind of tense with those you are sharing your socially distanced “pod” with, no matter how much you love them.

Small grievances or failures of etiquette can lead to dark places, without the use of some careful diplomacy.

Edgar, having led a harmonious indoor life for so many years, getting along with so many uncouth species, shows us how it’s done.

The morning begins with Edgar in his “rightful” spot in front of the fire.

Geordie wanders over and Edgar gets up to give him his morning head bump.

Geordie accepts the morning caress but then — oh dear — misinterprets the situation and moves into the fireside vacancy.

Now, this could have gone rather badly for Geordie (and you can see he’s thinking the same thing) but Edgar decides to take the high ground, satisfying his honour by subjecting  Geordie to a slightly passive aggressive “butt in the face disguised as a snuggle” manoeuvre,  before retiring gracefully to his second “rightful” place beside the fire.

So that’s how it’s done folks. Win, win and no noses scratched.

Edgar would love to hear about your domestic diplomacy victories in the comments.

More Tips From Edgar

DAY 7

When the sun  is shining, Edgar recommends sticking your head outside and absorbing all the Vitamin D you can.
Need I mention that he recommends doing this while observing the proper spatial distancing protocols???

It’s important, while you’re housebound, to give your day some semblance of sanity preserving structure..
Edgar and Geordie are both masters at this game.
Pet dinner time is about 5:15, so at 4:45 precisely their desk-side vigil begins.
Just in case I forget.

DAY 8

Edgar recommends socially responsible snuggles.
If you happen to be self isolating solo, a nice toucan with a bit of catnip stuffing might do.
Love the one you’re with, etc … 

Edgar demonstrates how to spend some of your waking hours during social isolation. He calls this technique “being one with the universe.”
Reminder: you should be aiming for 18 hours a day of sleep as per his earlier recommendation.

 

DAY 9

Our son, stuck in a social distancing pod with his old parents, poor lad — enjoys a moment of Edgar emotional support.

Edgar demonstrates the kind of dedication to hand/paw washing he’d like to see from you all … without the face touching part, naturally.

That’s it for now. Much love from me and Edgar.

Take care and Edgar will be back in a few days.

If you’re on social media, he has his own FB page at https://www.facebook.com/Edgar.Scottish.Fold where these posts appear first.

Edgar’s Cat Therapy

My bird posts are meant to be small flares of love, joy and kindness fired out into a suddenly dark and uncertain world.

Lacking any medical or scientific knowledge, the only other thing I can think to offer a hurting population right now is Edgar.

You may have seen Edgar in my blog before. He is our cat. An indoor cat, about ten years old, with immense charm and a “keep calm” attitude well suited for the times.

I have revived his Facebook page, but I know for a fact that many of you don’t engage in social media, for various good reasons, so I thought I’d reproduce his Facebook posts here, so you don’t miss them.

DAY ONE

Edgar feels he may have valuable advice to offer at this time of being responsibly socially distant at home.
He has ten years of experience in this field, plus he’s a bit of a personal cleanliness fanatic.

DAY TWO

Edgar would like to advise everyone to get outside and enjoy some responsibly solitary fresh air when the weather is good. Socially distancing in wet weather is a more advanced skill, but fear not, Edgar will have tips for that too!

DAY THREE

Of course, Edgar will have most to say on how to survive and thrive as an “indoor person,” but we will have occasional guest suggestions from Edgar’s lovely assistant, Geordie.

Today’s tip is from Geordie and concerns food in a time of social distancing and staying home.
Many people have posted about how they are either
(a) eating too much from boredom and/or
(b) bored with what they have on hand to eat.
Geordie’s tip: stuff your food in a kong and then try to eat it (without using your hands, obviously.)
This will (a) use up calories while you’re eating and
(b) make any food automatically more interesting.
Your’e welcome.

DAY FOUR

Edgar needs to have a serious word.
Stay the @*#% home.
He means it.
That is all for today.

DAY FIVE

Edgar’s key tip for those of you staying at home: NAPPING
It may take you a while to work up to Edgar’s napping prowess, but time really flies when you’re snoozing blissfully for 18 hours a day!

DAY SIX

When I couldn’t sleep last night Edgar was a very therapeutic companion. Here are 30 seconds of his soothing purring sounds, in case it helps you through an anxious moment too. ❤️

Stay tuned for more from Edgar as we get through this together.

 

 

A Small Care Package

I had meant to write another crow update blog post today, but somehow it was a bit hard to focus on pulling the images and words together.

So, instead, here is a small, somewhat random bouquet of things that are helpful for my mental health at this tough time. I hope they help you too.

First, here is Norman the Nuthatch visiting the garden this morning.

It’s just 5 seconds, but I find playing him over and over again kind of restful.

Second, here is Mr. Pants, looking at me from the wires on our morning dog walk.

Crow Therapy is proving to be a lifeline for me at the moment.

Third, in exceptionally good timing we have Luke the Super Emotional Support dog staying with us for the weekend. Triple-strength dog therapy with Geordie and Nina. They take their work very seriously.

Fourth, and last, we need Edgar’s advice …

As an indoor cat he is already a master of both social distancing and extreme cleanliness.

Further advice he would like to share:  stay safe, nap frequently, and be very kind to others.

 

 

 

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Last Minute Thanksgiving Tip

People are coming over. You could spend days cleaning and tidying the house from top to bottom.

Or … you could just painstakingly dismantle the vintage chandelier and polish all the crystals instead.

Of course, this will take so long there will be no time for other cleaning/tidying … BUT the chandelier will so very dazzling that visitors will be completely distracted from less than perfect bits by the blindingly sparkly light fixture.

Most important of all, the job will mean wrestling the old painting ladder out of the shed. This piece of equipment is one of Edgar’s favourite things and he usually only sees it at Christmas when it’s hauled out for decorating the top of the tree. Seeing it so early made his day.

So, if you happen to be coming over here tomorrow, kindly avert your eyes from dust bunnies in corners and feast your eyes on the mesmerizing chandelier.

And try not to trip over the ladder … 😏

Oh, and and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

For more handy home décor tips see Home Décor For Nature Lovers