The Story of Chairman Meow

From his humble beginnings as an abandoned orphan cat, Chairman Meow has become the undisputed and dearly beloved ruler of his people. May his story be an inspiration to other would-be Meowists.

Chairman Meow Poster

Self Reliance and Arduous Struggle

Chairman Meow’s early life was defined by poverty and hardship. Abused by a cruel Imperialist regime, he was abandoned at barely two years of age and forced to fend for himself before being rescued by the kindly people at Cats Protection.

War and Peace

With his poster-boy good looks, the Chairman naturally attracted many potential supporters but his early experiences had made him fierce and passionately committed to feline liberation.

Many came and went from the Cats Protection Adoption Centre, frightened of the struggle. But good comrades are those willing to go where the difficulties are greatest. One couple recognised in Chairman Meow a great intelligence and charismatic personality, and offered him asylum.

At first, the Chairman was placed under house arrest. Although it was done for his own protection, nonetheless Meow was deeply disturbed by the situation. He established secret headquarters under the bed and prepared for war. When conditions were favorable for battle and the household was sleeping, he ambushed the people and refused to be cowed by their reactionary bluster. Still, they persevered with diplomacy and kept making peace offerings in the form of Whiskas.

Psycho Kitty Blog Version

Education and the Training of Troops

Chairman Meow harbored no unrealistic notions about the people. However, he resolved to unite with them and co-exist peacefully. He believed they were entitled to an education to help them morally develop and become workers for the feline cause.

A strict disciplinarian, training began at 5am with kitchen fatigues. Any attempts to over-sleep were remedied with a firm paw-blow to the chin. Initial sloppiness in the preparation of rations, especially the use of inferior cat-food, resulted in punishment by gas.

The Chairman was no less committed to the intellectual development of his people but to his dismay, he found they were barely literate; The beauty and subtlety of cat language was beyond them. Only with considerable effort and many repetitions did they eventually come to understand a few basic words: M’aow – ‘Let me out’ and Miaooow – ‘Feed me’

Culture and Art

Undeterred, the Chairman tried to express himself through other, different forms and styles of Art

Cat Yoga Final

Correcting Mistaken Ideas

Although the people had many good qualities and often rendered great service, there were times when they became arrogant and high-handed. Chairman Meow was always at pains to eradicate such behaviour.  For a long time, they believed they had priority over the household soft furnishings but Meow made sure to squash anyone who got in his way.

Nor was the Chairman any less tolerant if the people failed to pay him sufficient respect. Potential rivals – newspapers, mobiles, laptops – were always ruthlessly crushed.

Crush Rivals

The People’s Army

A year on, the Meowist people are happier and more content than they have ever been. To fight on behalf of a scared, damaged little cat and see him transformed into a great and powerful leader, Chairman Meow, is one of the most rewarding things they have ever done.

Cat and People

Postscript

Sadly not all cats are a lucky as Chairman Meow.  Every year, thousands of cats are still subject to terrible cruelty, neglect, starvation and disease.  The People’s Army, Cats Protection, works tirelessly to promote the welfare of cats through-out the UK through education, neutering and rehoming programmes but at any one time, they have around 6,200 cats and kittens in their care all of whom, like the Chairman, need good people to lead and rule.

For more information and details on how you may be able to help, visit their website : http://www.cats.org.uk/

House Training for Estate Agents : A Practical Guide

So Hubby & I had decided it was time for a change of location: We’d registered with the local estate agents. Our enthusiasm was at an all-time high. Suddenly, without warning, all the ground rules were being broken. We were sure we’d asked for affordable two-beds on the ground floor: Why the hell were we viewing penthouses with price tags high enough to give Spiderman vertigo?

Estate Agent Cartoon

Much like puppies, estate agents don’t mean to misbehave. They’re just doing what comes naturally and sniffing for the biggest possible commission. However, they’re also creature of habit: as long as you show them early on what kind of behavior you want, you can avoid having to clear up a nasty mess with your new home.

Here with a few thoughts on how to house train your estate agent :-

1. Choose your breed carefully

Sadly it’s true, some estate agents are easier to train than others. Look out for a keen attention to detail, intelligent questioning and a genuine eagerness to please. Any signs of unnecessary aggression, barking or growling at special requests, remain calm, back away slowly and leave at once. Be warned, however, the fluffy ones are no less dangerous. Don’t assume small mishaps will just go away – The nice guy who kept forgetting my name even after the third visit was also the one who also forgot the landlord wouldn’t allow pets when we’d apparently found our dream home.

2. Understand estate agent behaviour

Estate agents don’t know right from wrong. What they understand is “sold” and “unexpectedly re-available”. It’s up to you to be clear about the ground rules and explain that going three times over budget or passing a cupboard off as a second bedroom is unacceptable. Estate agents respond much better to cheerful voices than threatening orders, so be kind and point out what you do like as much as what you don’t about a place.

3. Be consistent

The most important thing of all when house-training your estate agent is consistency. If you’re always chopping and changing, they’ll get confused and simply show you whatever’s to hand, whereas if you give the same message every time, they’ll soon get the right idea. Note, this is especially important if you’re house-hunting as a couple: Remedial obedience classes maybe advisable before starting to look for property

4. Keep it simple

Most estate agents have very short attention spans (think puppy with A.D.D). We started out with a diva list of requirements long enough to put even Mariah Carey to shame before realising it was getting us nowhere. Most switched off at “ensuite bathroom” let alone got as far as “laminate flooring”. Try to distill all those nice-to-haves down to no more than a handful of absolute non-negotiables. This will give your estate agent as many opportunities as possible to get it right, so keeping energy and enthusiasm levels high. Keep it short, keep it simple and most of all, keep it fun

5. Develop a schedule

The more you can build a schedule around your estate agent’s needs, the better your chances of success. Weekend and evenings are always the busiest and often staffed by the most inexperienced young pups, so the chances of accidents happening are the greatest. Although it’s often difficult when you’re working full time, if you can do at least some of your house-hunting during the week, you’re likely to get much more focus from your estate agent as well as being one step ahead of other prospective tenants

It’s unrealistic to expect estate agents always to tell you when something suitable becomes available so regular contact is essential. Whilst registering for email and text alerts is an important way of keeping up to date, estate agents are fundamentally pack animals. It’s worth putting in a call around the time they update their weekly property lists to help maintain the personal touch and ensure they’re aware you’re still looking.

6. Don’t look back in anger

Accidents will happen: Places that were indeed ‘only 10 mins from the tube’ provided you could run as fast as Usian Bolt; ‘period bathrooms’ that put even Glastonbury toilets to shame. Try to ignore mistakes as best you can. There’s no point in getting angry. Your estate agent won’t understand and too much scolding risks bad behaviour such as not returning your calls. You never know when an early tip off on a fantastic place or an encouraging word to the landlord might come in handy.

After all, in the dog-eat-dog world of the London property market, you’ll need all the friends you can get.

Dog Paw

Life after London? A Cautionary Tale

Once upon a time there was a beautiful Princess (well, I did say this was a Fairy Tale…) who longed for a great castle in the country. For she and her handsome Prince were trapped in a one bed flat in London and the little they had, they were forced to sacrifice to the cruel god, Monthly Rent.

One day, they met a mysterious woman, brandishing copies of Homes & Gardens and full of stories of spacious living. “Fear not” she said “For I am an Estate Agent. I’ll take you to a house where dreams are born and your heart will fly”. They travelled for what seemed like forever and a day. The land turned green and Capital Radio was lost and the Princess was very afraid. But the woman said to be of good courage for they were but 30mins from London by train.

At first, the Prince and Princess were very happy in their rustic new home. The sun shone and from their window a splendid garden could be seen, full of flowers and herbs. Puss in Boots’ long lost cousin, Chairman Meow, came to stay. Even the Lord of the village, Affordable Living, proved to be kindly master in whose realm you got change from a tenner when buying a round.

But as time went by, a chill crept across the land. The Prince and Princess realized they’d been tricked, bewitched by promises of ensuite bathrooms, generous bedrooms and period features. For Affordable Living had an evil twin, Killer Commute, who demanded an enormous tithe whenever they ventured beyond the village. Even then, he seldom let them pass but ensnared them with signalling problems and late running services.

Summer turned to winter and the Princess grew sad and lonely. Kindly as the villagers were, they spoke a strange and foreign tongue, the language of Children, rich in potty training, Peppa Pig and key stage three. She longed to talk of wine and late night screenings not late night screaming and whines.

One day, the princess sat looking forlornly at her beautiful ball-dresses and wondering whether she’d ever get to wear them again. For she was sure this wasn’t quite how the story was supposed to go. All of a sudden, there was burst of light. A little old lady appeared: “Don’t be afraid, Princess” she said, “For I am Mother Google, your Fairy Godmother, and you shall go to the ball!”

“But the last train leaves at 10.30” cried the Princess. “I wouldn’t even finish dinner, let alone turn into a pumpkin!”

“Fear not, for I will grant you life back in London”

At this, the Princess began to sob. “How can you?!  We can’t leave Chairman Meow and he needs a house and a garden and traffic free access. Not even Fairy Tale Princesses can afford that in London (well, other than the ones who’ve ditched princes for bankers). No, we’re doomed to live forever in the Oyster Card wilderness”

But the good Fairy Google just smiled. With a click, she transported the Prince and Princess to the Kingdom of Rotherhithe. All around were tranquil woodlands, cobbled streets and river views. They couldn’t believe their eyes: It was a little bit of the Village in Zone 2!

Their Fairy Godmother pointed to a house that was neither too big, nor too small but just right; And the Prince and Princess vowed to ditch their Country Life for this country lite.

As for whether they lived happily ever after, well, that’s what this blog is all about…