RIP Biltong the Cat, Very loved and Dearly Missed


ZULU and AMARULA: We are overwrought to announce that Biltong passed away a few days ago from kidney disease. The sadness seems unbearable. It is as though someone has taken away all of our  sunshine.


He was only three years old. Mom is heartsick. She used to love when he would “help” her work at the computer.


ZULU and AMARULA: There are a million reasons we all loved him but here are just a few:

ZULU: He was the best cuddler and hugger in the world!



ZULU: I will miss the way he used to love eating while warming his bum by the vent. It took so little to make Little B happy.


ZULU: All he needed to be content was his favorite toy, a sunbeam and a warm cuddle.

seriously just try to take away my toy




cats in box 2

Bask in your success





ZULU: He was so brave! He never gave up on trying to make AMARULA love him (AMARULA: It worked cause I finally came around and did –begrudgingly–love him)


ZULU: And he was obsessed with packing peanuts!

biltong after playing with styrofoam peanuts1

biltong and styro peanuts 2


ZULU: He was always ready to laugh (especially if it was at Amarula!)



ZULU: I always admired his ability to sleep virtually anywhere and in any position!

billy twisted 2

co-worker close up


ZULU: I will miss washing him, too!


ZULU: He was my big brother and he always took care of me. He is irreplaceablezuandbilkittens kittens zuluandb


ZULU: I love you Biltong!


AMARULA: Though I like to tease the little bugger. I will also miss him terribly. I will even miss his hug attacks.



AMARULA: What do you say if just this once Zulu, I let you cuddle with me.



We can find some solace in knowing that the little imp has gone to be reunited with Charlie the basset hound and all of Mom’s beloved pets who have gone to the rainbow bridge.



The house (and litter box) will be so empty without you Biltong. Be well little guy. Bless you.





R.I.P Charlie the Basset Hound in Cape Town; Much Loved and Dearly Missed



Well, this is the first time Charlie is not doing her blog in her own singular voice. She passed away this weekend of cancer. The vet came to our home and Jonathan and I were each holding a paw when she passed. It was peaceful. I am not sure what will happen to this blog now but I do want to end it for now with photos of some of Charlie’s best moments.

As you all know, some of Charlie’s favourite activities were hiking with her dad:





Her dad would have to carry her home when she got too tired!

Hanging at Arden Gardens with the guinea fowl:


Swimming at the Reservoir:


Walks on the beach:


Sitting in the sun:


Burying bread in the garden:


Getting together with fellow distinguished bassets like her best friend Waffles:


Going to UCT Campus with dad:



Running in the flowers:


Eating Biltong (the dried meat not the kitten!!) at Neighbourgoods Market



Hanging out with dad while dad worked:


Naps were also a favorite activity:



Being a very tolerant and patient basset she put up with what she would call her mother’s “feline infestation”:  Though it took awhile, Charlie, Chosun and Amarula came to an understanding:




Charlie even came to tolerate the kittens:


And though Charlie would never admit it, she even came to like my (now deceased) cats. In fact, they are probably playing together now as I write this

Charlie and Mogy:


Charlie and Kimchie:


And Charlie and Chosun:

charlie25 charlie24

Charlie loved sneaking up on Chosun and stealing his food:


She loved sharing her life and adventures with all her readers. And she would want to thank you all for reading her blog. Now she is packed and ready to go on another adventure. She will have Grandma MacGregor and a bevy of cats (whether she likes it or not) to play with. And every walk will be unleashed. We love you Charlie! Until we meet again…



HELP! Mom Adopts Two South African Kittens! I am Outnumbered!

Through a terrible accident I lost most of my previous posts from my original pet blog – A Basset Hound in Cape Town. But these were saved thanks to so I am posting them here!

There are Aliens Among Us! And I am Outnumbered!

Well, just when I thought my life couldn’t get any worse after mom adopted the South Africa stray cat, I wake up to this:


Sweet God they are ugly!


Clearly mom has lost her mind! She already has one cat and then she goes out and buys two more! And then names them Zulu and Biltong! Doesn’t she know that giving them names makes them REAL!

Apparently they are Orientals (related to Siamese) and she paid real MONEY for them! Who actually pays money for a cat!?? Like dad says, you can just go to any neighbourhood dumpster and grab one from there! Worst of all, the kittens seem not to realize that I am a BASSET TO BE FEARED AND RESPECTED! They seem to have no fear of me at all and, in fact, seem to find my softness and warmth irresistible (well, ok , I am incredibly soft and warm…but still!)

kittens and charlie

I just don’t get it… my menacing basset stare just isn’t instilling the fear and sense of doom I expected. They just can’t seem to get enough of me!




Seriously! Seriously! Is this what my life has come to? Not a shred of dignity or solemnity left!?? Oh the indignity!!! I try to hide under the bed so they can’t find me.

Even Amarula has the good sense to try to hide in a box to get away from the kittens:


I don’t know what mom was thinking! They seem to have no redeemable qualities at all and have the intellect of a dust-ball! From what I can tell they do little but chase their tails and then sleep all day:

Often sleeping next to me!

Not only do they sleep all day but they sleep in the craziest, most uncomfortable looking positions!

Suffice to say, I am NOT IMPRESSED! I will have to consult my good basset-pal Waffle to see what he thinks my next move should be! I have already tried to strangle them while looking like I am actually enjoying sleeping with them, but that does not appear to have worked–the kittens still breathe!

The sleep-strangle hold is one of my best moves. Sadly it does not appear to work!

Well dear readers, until I come up with a plan, pray for me!


How Amarula the Stray South African Cat Came into my Life!


It looks like we have a new permanent houseguest. If you read Charlie’s blog, (see this entry) you know we have been visited frequently by a charmingly insistent stray who paws at the window daily (and nightly) and then proceeds to hang out here for hours. As you can see from the following photos, it has made itself quite at home here.

the trio


All this time, I had thought I was entertaining our neighbour’s cat so I had been letting it in and playing with it etc., assuming I would not really have any responsibility for the thing cause it always had a “real” home to go to. Well, it turns out I was wrong. Terribly wrong. The neighbours have confirmed that, though the cat visiting us is ALMOST identical to their cat, it is in fact not theirs. So it looks like I have “adopted” a stray despite myself. The stray clearly wants to stay so I realized it was time for a family discussion to decide once and for all if we should just accept that this interloper, this neighbour-cat-in-disguise, is ours.

chosun and ama

The discussions with all those concerned went something like this:

Discussion with the stray cat (a.k.a the Feline Menace)

Me: I really don’t want another cat. You’re cute and all but one’s enough.

FM: Let’s end this dance, this sham. You’ve been letting me into the house for weeks. You know you want to adopt me and let me live with you and teach me your crazy, foreign, Canadian ways. Besides, foreign adoptions are all the rage now. I’ll even learn to speak French. Le meow, le purr.

Me: I’m not sure it’s a good idea to take in a stray. You seem like a potential trouble maker.

FM: Rumours and lies! Falsehoods perpetuated by jealous neighbourhood cats trying to take over my corner. The legend of my misdeeds is greatly exaggerated. You’ll adore me. What’s not to love; I’m a cuddly, soft ball of fur. What could possibly go wrong? Now feed me.

Me: I’m just not sure…

FM: Seriously. I’m self-cleaning, have no special dietary requirements, and I promise to poo in the garden to save you money on litter. Now pet me.

Me: You already poo in the garden. In fact, you use all the neighbours’ gardens as your own personal litter box, that’s why they hate you.

FM: Rumours and lies! I’m being framed. Probably by that miscreant Charlie…

Me: Well…

FM: Just give up already, you can’t win this fight. I’m a Cape Town stray. I once single-handedly beat up a gang of street rats (and believe me, South African rats are nothing like your wimpy, Canadian, first-worlder rats). You can’t win. Now feed me.

Me: You’ll have to wear a collar…

FM: NEVER! Vile Woman! I’ll kill myself before I’ll put that thing on!

Me: …with a bell…

FM: I detest you!

Me: Take it or leave it.

FM: I’ll wear the collar, but in exchange I want only organic catnip, no curfew, no more speeches from you about me getting too serious with the neighbourhood tomcat, and you get rid of the dog.

Me: OK, but the dog stays.

FM: I plan to cough up a hairball on you and Jonathan as you sleep tonight, but I accept your terms. I hate you. Now feed me.

With Jonathan:

Me: Can I keep the stray?

J: No. I hate cats.

Me: Please!

J: No! Do you see the way that thing eyes Charlie! It plans to take over, I know it. NO WAY ARE WE ADOPTING THAT CAT!

Me: Pretty please?

J: No; it is ugly and probably has rabies, not to mention likely flea-infested. There is absolutely no way that thing is living in this home. For the 10 years we’ve been together, I have been waiting patiently for your cats to die. You started with four, now we are finally down to one. Chosun is the only cat left and I have been waiting for him to die so I can finally be cat free. CAT FREE! I am too close to attaining my dream to give up now by adopting a stray.

Me: Please!

J: NO! It will probably cough up hairballs on us while we sleep.

Me: It would never do that!

J: It is not living here! Absolutely not!

Me: You’ll still be the Alpha of the household. I promise.

J: That goes without saying.

Me: If you let me keep the cat I promise that our next pet will be a basset hound.

J: Hmmm…Make it two basset hounds and we have a deal.


With Charlie:

Me: So Charlie, what do you think about a new cat?

C: NO! They disgust and repulse me and stand for everything vile and non-canine in this world. They live for spite! Plus they are always strung-out on catnip and smell faintly of old socks. Absolutely not. Now feed me.

Me: It could be your new best friend.

C: No. Now walk me.

Me: I promise you will still be the Alpha here.

C: That goes without saying. And by the way, you cheapen our relationship by bringing up the Alpha thing—it is tacitly and bindingly understood that I am, and will always be, the Alpha in this house no matter what mongrels you let in.

Me: I’ll give you extra walks if you agree.

C: Ha! Who do you think you are talking to! I am a strong, proud basset hound who cannot be so easily bought! I will NEVER bend. There are not enough walks or treats in the world to get me to agree to let that fiendish feline stay in this home!

Me: Well, why don’t I just give you a tummy rub and if you wag your tail during it, I will take that to mean you want the cat to come live with us.

C: NO!!! Vile woman! You know I am powerless against the power of a tummy rub…

Me: Your tail is wagging so I guess the cat can stay.

C: DAMN my weakness to tummy rubs! Curse all cats!


Discussion with Choson

With Chosun:

Me: How about a new cat friend?

Chosun: …hacking sound

Me: Is that a yes?

Chosun: …Spits up a hairball…God no, even I have the good sense to hate cats and I’m a member of the species! Feed me.

Me: I promise you will still be the Alpha.

Chosun: That goes without saying. Have you seen my catnip anywhere?

Me: There’s extra cat food in it for you if you say yes.

Chosun: Will the addition of this feline to our home annoy Jonathan?

Me: Undoubtedly.

Chosun: Then it’s a yes for me. Hee Hee. Now feed me.




Oh the betrayal, the heartbreak…and isn’t the cat too chunky for treats!?


Through a terrible accident I lost most of my previous posts from my original pet blog – A Basset Hound in Cape Town. But these were saved thanks to so I am posting them here!

Oh the betrayal, the heartbreak…and isn’t the cat too chunky for treats!?

GASP! I have no possible explanation…no conceivable reason that could explain the madness…! My mom just received a care package from her mother in Canada (grandma MacGregor) that contained a plethora of goods for the cat, Chosun, and not a SINGLE (REPEAT: NOT A SINGLE) thing for me. Yes, I know, shocking! And believe me, I checked and double-checked the package and not a whisper of a dog treat in sight!

charliecheckingoutparcel Oh the betrayal, the heartbreak...and isnt the cat too chunky for treats!?



But there where dozens of packages of treats for this THING! (I mean really, the creature’s barely sentient! And look into those eyes…PURE EVIL! And by the way, the cat is sitting on me yet again)

sitting oncharlie Oh the betrayal, the heartbreak...and isnt the cat too chunky for treats!?


Doesn’t grandma MacGregor realize we (well, at least dad and I) are trying to speed along Chosun’s  “departure” to the Great Beyond?! And providing yummy sustenance and increasing the cat’s happiness quotient is in no way helpful. Just look at all these treats! Worse yet, look at the happiness on Chosun’s little cat face! (Yes, that is me waiting patiently in the background)

snacks2 Oh the betrayal, the heartbreak...and isnt the cat too chunky for treats!?

Oh Grandma MacGregor! Why have you betrayed me? Isn’t this the face of a dog deserving of many treats!?

charlie Oh the betrayal, the heartbreak...and isnt the cat too chunky for treats!?

But I did (as usual) eventually get my revenge!

revenge Oh the betrayal, the heartbreak...and isnt the cat too chunky for treats!?

Grandma MacGregor I will be waiting for an apology and an explanation for your dog-treat oversight! In the meantime, there is now an opening for “favourite grandma” (yes, that’s a hint grandma Esther)…Chosun here…finally got that stupid dog away from the computer keyboard. I just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU to grandma MacGregor. I loved the treats! Just ignore everything the dog just said…those canines are such drama queens. Just to really rub it in, I waited until the dog was asleep and buried her in my treats! For your viewing pleasure:

snacks Oh the betrayal, the heartbreak...and isnt the cat too chunky for treats!?


Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

Through a terrible accident I lost most of my previous posts from my original pet blog – A Basset Hound in Cape Town. But these were saved thanks to so I am posting them here!

Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

Dad has been kind of ignoring me lately (his Masters thesis is almost due—and thanks to my erudite musings and proof-reading abilities, and mom’s ability to nag, I am sure he will produce something brilliant and, more importantly, hand it in on time! That’s also the reason I haven’t blogged in so long, dad has been hogging the computer). Anyway to make it up to me, dad took a bit of time out of his busy schedule and took me and mom to Milnerton Flea Market. Since the folks moved (without my permission, no less!) they need to buy some stuff for their flat and this was a great place to shop cheaply. Better yet, as an outdoor market they allow—nay, welcome—dogs! And this place gets BUSY! Just look at how the parking lot was bustling. And you know what that means…lots of people to love me.

mil parkinglot Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

Yes, I know what you are thinking: “Charlie you gorgeous girl (…why did your dad give you a boy’s name…but I digress…) you don’t usually get so excited about walks where you have to stay leashed.” True, normally being leashed (a.k.a shackled) does inhibit my ability to fully enjoy my meanderings (but then again Neighbourgoods Market at the Biscuit Mill is the best walk ever and I have to stay leashed for that) but what Milnerton lacks in freedom, it makes up for in smells (over 250 stalls of different, wonderfully smelly stuff), tastes and attention-getting. And it is also a great place to meet friends (I had thought that because it is called a flea-market there would be lots of flea-bearing felines around—happily I was mistaken). Just look at all these dogs:

friendsandagreatmountainview Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

Lots of the vendors bring their four-legged friends. Some dogs even wear fashionable jackets cause the market is right beside the ocean and those breezes can get nippy.

vendorsanddogs Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

This dog also belongs to a vendor (that’s why he has leashless-privileges)

leashless dog Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

And many shoppers bring their best friends along too!

milnerton meeting newfriends Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

moredogs Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

And of course, what market is complete without a puppy (I bet this guy got lots of good deals; I helped dad get great deals with my sad, melt-your-heart basset hound eyes, and my Canadian accent charmed all the vendors).

puppy Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

And let’s not forget the food. There are many vendors selling all kinds of homemade goodness (lots of which falls on the ground, perfect for fast-acting pooches). We stopped to share some vetkoeks (a traditional Afrikaans fried bread) where I got a full stomach and more love from yet another adoring fan.

morefansVetkoek Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

It was a great day. I give Milnerton 8 paws out of 10.

Next time I promise to update my impressions about our new place. I love the neighbourhood but unfortunately I have a feeling there is a malevolent presence nearby. Something is watching us…I keep seeing strange shadows in the window

menacing presence Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

Everywhere I turn I can’t shake the feeling I am being watched…

issabelle anddog2 Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

I think even that orange oaf Chosun notices a strange presence

menacechosun Milnerton Flea Market; leashed and loving it!

Something is definitely afoot; I will conduct a thorough search and let you know my findings…

A Basset Hound in Cape Town

Through a terrible accident I lost most of my previous posts from my original pet blog – A Basset Hound in Cape Town. But these were saved thanks to so I am posting them here!

Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well-liked and not soon forgotten

Shocking update of substantial proportions: we have moved!


We are still in Cape Town but in a new neighbourhood (which also explains why I have been so lax in my communications—we are still waiting for South African Telecom to set up our internet and phone line [it has already been three weeks!] and I had to find an internet cafe that would allow dogs so that I could write this…I would just love to take a bite out of SA Telecom’s big, juicy calves.). Anyway, that’s not the shocker—the appalling thing is that my parents did not consult me about the move! I wasn’t even asked to inspect the backyard, confirm there were an adequate number of fire hydrants and parks in the area, or ensure the neighbours were sufficiently dog-adoring.


The move happened so fast! One night I was awoken from a deep sleep, hit over the head, blindfolded, and shoved in a trunk only to be dumped hours later and barely alive in a ditch in front of our new abode…


Chosun the cat here…just ignore Charlie…as I’ve always said she’s a drama queen, not to mention barking mad…get it? Barking mad… (Ah, the feline wit, like our claws, is sharp). But I digress…the move was fine and we like our new place…I approve of my litter box placement in the new house and my scratching post is in a room with a view…and there appears to be a fine-looking female feline making occasional appearances in our back yard. (I may be 15 years old but I’m not dead.) And I still have the 50 pounds of cat treats Grandma MacGregor sent to keep me busy, so I’m happy. Who cares about the complaints of a curmudgeonly canine?


Sorry folks…Charlie again. Yes, I must admit that interfering feline is correct. The move was fine and I also like our new place so far (though I have seen shadows of a strange feline outside the window, which will require further investigation…). But in order to fully embrace this move I feel I must bid a proper adieu to our old home, and more importantly, I must give my former daily neighbourhood walk its due. I had to stay leashed at all times and there were some cantankerous cats that frequented the area, but all in all it was a fine walk. Voila:

The scenery was beautiful; Table Mountain always cut an imposing figure during my walks and the streets, lined with trees of all shapes and sizes, bougainvilleas, and even wild figs must have made Mother Nature proud.

dogwalk2  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten


dogwalk  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten

Here I am with dad; I am trying to escape my symbol of servitude (a.k.a. my leash)

dadandcharlie trying to free myself from symbole of servitude  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten

I was especially lucky when, in the last few months, a pair of ibises (known as hadedas) built a nest in a nearby tree and had chicks. A variety of detritus was always falling out of the nest so there were always good smells to rub in while mom was distracted staring at the birds. There is nothing quite like ibis poo to really make a canine SMELL! Mom was never too pleased but I shall miss my pungent, ibis-induced odour. If only it could be bottled.

poobath  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten


Of course it is my friends I shall miss most of all.


There were always dozens of dogs to say hi to.

sayhitofriends1  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten


My best friend was Charlie. Human Charlie. He always said I gave the name character and he was proud to share the moniker with me. He always took time to give me a big hug.

charlieandcharlie1  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten

Though I certainly won’t miss this neighbourhood bully. He was my nemesis (second only to Chosun). I never did get his name but I always encountered him on my neighbourhood walks. Worse yet, mom used to always stop to pet it (thank God dad had the good sense to ignore the flea-ridden beast). I never did get to give it a good chase…a bet he would have tasted good…one of my regrets…

myenemieslayinwait nowhereissafe  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten

We would always end the walks with a jaunt in this parkette. Though small, it was often filled with children who I often find are my most adoring fans (and usually often have sticky fingers from recently eaten snacks, which I am only too happy to clean). Sometimes mom would even offer the kids dog cookies to give to me (though this ritual came to a rather sad and abrupt end recently when one of the kids thought the cookie was for himself and promptly ate it before anyone had a chance to realize what was happening).

admireers  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten

Oh you crazy, not-too-bright-kids, I shall miss you too…

So in conclusion, a solid six paws out of 10 for my former Claremont walk. (I did have to stay leashed for which I detract a few points)

Finally, I would also like to take this moment for a little aside to let you know that Oscar was adopted and is from all reports doing extremely well!

I also want to take this opportunity to include some photos of my most recently acquired friends with whom I soon hope to go for walks with.

My new friend Roxy. She was recently adopted from a rescue organization. I am sure she is going to have a great life.

roxy  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten




Obviously a trio of trouble. I met their mother at the market and she had read my blog! She must be a saint taking on three bassets! (Though she didn’t ask for an autograph, which I thought was strange, probably too overwhelmed by my star quality)

GetInline  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten



Baileys’ parents also read my blog (clearly a sign they are very intelligent). Can’t wait to meet her.

baileys.summer2010  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten




A new friend from Canada, Voodoo, my cousin Cori’s gorgeous lab. Maybe she will bring him down to South Africa so we can go for a run!

voodoo  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten


And yes, even a human. Though I don’t usually include such photos (humans are just not as distinguished as us canines) I will include them if they are really good-looking. As Anya Bourke-Moffatt clearly is! Hopefully she will grow up knowing that dog biscuits are for sharing not eating!

anya canadaday  Ode to a last neighbourhood dog walk in Claremont; well liked and not soon forgotten


Coming soon…update on my new place and stomping grounds.