Premier League unplugged [18]

It’s the exasperating stage of the season where an unsuspecting cat wants the home team, Cardiff City FC, to win in order to gain points aiming for Premier League survival; while also wanting the away team to win, Liverpool FC, so they gain the points to give them a fighting chance of winning the Premier League! A draw suits neither team.

Confused woman

Until we speak again, the final score was Cardiff 0 Liverpool 2… and football remains a massively frustrating game when a definitive result still doesn’t guarantee any of the permutations you want! Here’s looking over the cliff edge…

Immigrant Song

How is a cat who has moved between countries supposed to feel with all this anti-immigration stuff in the media? Where is the evidence for all this negative impact of immigration? It seems to me like us cats bring nothing but diversity and peacefulness into your miserable whining lives.

I ask you, am I putting additional pressure on your precious veterinary resources? It seems to me like not many of your indigenous cats are desperately queueing up to get additional appointments at the local vets. What’s more, I am a fairly healthy cat, doing my own thing and not needing much else other than an annual check-up. Hardly the basis for claims I might cause the collapse of your animal health and welfare services.

Do you really think I am just an opportunist trying to cash in through some kind of ‘cat litter tourism’, cynically just trying to avail myself of the benefits of your superior quality litter? It seems to me like you should be more concerned about the way your indigenous cats just go around digging up other people’s gardens with no consideration for the inconvenience they cause.

What do you think about the fact I simply arrived in your country and moved straight into a nice flat surrounded by quiet canals, close to all the amenities of the city centre and the bay? It seems to me, listening to the headline grabbing nonsense in the media like you think I obviously deprived one of your indigenous cats out of a home.

Do you think I have suddenly arrived and put one of your local mouse-catchers out of a job? It seems to me that there is an absence of local cats queueing for any available jobs currently; more interested in waiting around for a ‘more for less’ job opportunity to show up. Taking in the rays and having naps seems to be the preference for many of the indigenous cats (though I can’t criticise them on that count).

What about the issue of dog immigration… after all, don’t they go in for eating your children? It seems to me like that would be a real alien invasion; so perhaps you need to get a more positive immigration policy in place, not just allowing any old dog in, but prioritising how we integrate and get on well together.

        

Fortunately for me my host servant recognises the value of us cats moving into their humble abode, and bringing some colour and variety into their lives. It seems to me like many of you people should be a bit more selective about the scare-mongering nonsense you listen to from a small minority of those on the small-minded political extremes. Sure, one or two of my kind step out of line a little, and they may cause you a few problems; but don’t let that be your view of all of us. However, I am a bit partial to the idea I keep hearing called UKIP… I like to kip as often as I can, after all this amount of beauty doesn’t come without a great deal of sleep you know!

Juno cushion [3]

It seems to me like you do have some of the more objective media reporting around, if you can be bothered looking for it; and until we speak again this immigrant wouldn’t have anything other than the Observer lining my litter tray.

Fat cat bankers

Some of my superior species seem to have attracted bad press in recent years. I was just telling my human credit card that I couldn’t understand why, when they drew my attention to a few uncomfortable truths, that some unsavoury characters leading the financial industry have been frequently referred to as fat cats… clearly not eating out of my bowl!!

[Pictures downloaded from internet search ‘images of fat cat bankers’]:

                

Economic disaster, casino banking, double-dip recession… the language of our day-to-day transactions has been transformed by a few people doing something to a mouse that hardly seems worth getting out of bed for:

     The majority of the reasonable population goes into spasms of indignation, demanding these cats be cut down to size. Yet they even seize on our well-known sense of nonchalance, claiming that any threat to their power and wealth will be met with the wholesale departure of talent overseas.

                 

Talent! Talent? Seems to me that anyone whose main talent is to screw everything up for everyone else is better off overseas… any contributions to the one-way tickets should be sent to my accountant for payment into the ‘I wouldn’t mind becoming a fat cat‘ account.

I do smile each time I hear a government representative boasting about all they have done to get our slick-suited armageddon merchants helping the honest trades-folk of Broke PLC, when the usual response received to a cap-in-hand request goes something like this: 

Even more impressive was the recent tactic in the City of London of creating buildings that can set fire to the ordinary peoples’ attempts to scrape a livelihood. While the casino bankers relax in the richest sun-belts of the world, they have found something they are happy to share with the proletariat… spreading the heat!

So, it was with great delight, as I slinked around the local city centre, that I came upon a vision of divine retribution… a Barclays Bank building now occupied by Poundland!

Barclays PoundlandCould it be true, that representatives of the once almighty financial institution of ‘total disrespect for the ordinary punter’, where numbers only mattered if they were interrupted by several commas, are now in the business of selling goods to the proletariat for numbers that don’t even need a decimal point!? Or will I wake up and find it was all just a lovely impossible dream? I have been your intrepid financial correspondent, Juno, until we meet again soon.

Rio de J’Cardiff

Strolling northwards at the lower end of St Mary Street I pass under the railway bridge drawn by the magnificent site of the Victorian thoroughfare ahead. I try to ignore the modern overpowering hotels to my right and left because us cool cats have an appreciation of history and what it has brought to a place. Suddenly I feel a shimmying movement in my legs (four are always better than two, so I am told), as I involuntarily respond to the sounds and smells of Brazil.

I drift back in my memory to a previous life when I was a panther able to bring down and devour wild beasts, but fortunately for the afternoon shoppers and early city centre revellers, I come across a restaurant of infinite potential and delight… I am greeted by Viva Brazil.

Viva Brazil [2]I decide this is a must for my human carnivore and friends. On their return they are so full of the experience they don’t even stop to thank me for the tip off. I dive behind the sofa before they turn into a demented bunch of Samba cats themselves. All I hear about is ‘the meats’, ‘the non-stop skewers of freshly cooked meats’… and here am I looking into that bowl of rocks that is supposed to pass for cat food again.

‘Churrascaria’, I meow at them… don’t you people understand the cultural nuances when you go out to eat! The 15 or so meats are slow barbecued in this Portuguese/Brazilian style, and when you sit at your table they will be brought to you on skewers by the ‘passadores’ who will cut the meat at your table while you hold the slices with tiny tweezers provided on the table. This is known as a rodizio style of service, and you just eat as much as you like. The red and green sided beer mat on your table is not for standing drinks on, it is your signal to the meat-wielders whether your stomach is open for business, or you are just stuffed. I am told that one good tip is not to eat much at all earlier in the day, as this stuff is not just plentiful but beautifully cooked on the charcoal barbecue.

Load up as often as you like from a central salad bar with so many delicious Brazilian stews, with salads, fruit, breads, and rice dishes. Isn’t it nice when you can taste so many different flavours without generally having a clue what exactly you are eating… well, looking at my cat bowl I wouldn’t know about that. I also drink a lot of water so you don’t have to… and judging from my samba compatriots here, it doesn’t look like they drank much water either. But they are a bit fussy about their wines, and seem to be moaning on a little about how they could have made better choices for gargling considering the range of wines and cocktails the place had on offer.

They say another tip is to book, as this place gets busy, often. A good sign if I ever heard of one. But it is cheaper if you sit down to eat before 17.00. So, if you are there on a less busy early evening they are lenient about you staying beyond an allotted two hours, otherwise you might feel a little time-limited for such gastric wonders. Then again, you can always pay the evening price and go for broke.

Next time my personal food fascist leaves me with the delights of scientifically prepared cat crunch, and goes on another Latin American excursion around the corner, my suggestion is to ditch the much overused doggie-bag idea and get with the programme on cat-suitcase-sized take-outs. I’ve been Juno so you can be a little wiser… and I’m watching you.

Black Cat

The above image is from http://www.catimages.com/

A bowl full of India

Cats and Indian food are probably not a combination that comes to mind that often. Dogs in Indian food has been a frequent joke we like to share at many a feline soiree… but they usually don’t have as much flavour as many of our other animal friends (you humans are so queazy about eating your ‘friends’). Don’t get the idea that I just lick clean those left-over silver trays either… oh no, I have my personal standards and exquisite tastes. Here I am tasting a particular favourite tandoori dish:

Arrival in Cardiff

My personal litter-tray shoveller prefers that I leave the spicier vindaloo dishes alone, and my own sense of sophistication prevails when it comes to the chilli count.

My old stomping ground of East London likes to promote its Indian food credentials, but to the uninitiated you are often eating the just as tasty Bangladeshi cuisine. To my surprise, Cardiff is home to a very adventurous Indian restaurant at Moksh in the heart of the Bay.

Moksh [1]

Some of my less sophisticated alley-cat colleagues do me the favour of checking out the left-overs in the bins out back late at night, and pass on their critical appraisal of many establishments. Though this Moksh joint serves up a lot of what you would normally expect in a British Indian restaurant, Top Cat and mates were highly complementary about the twists and turns in the following selection:

Starters of Prawn Bollywood and a Moksh Delight (Chocolate and Orange Chicken Tikka).

Main of Duck Lemongrass Coriander (tangy sweet and sour curry).

Sides of Avatar Aubergines, Green Tea Rice and a Chilli Chocolate and Honey Naan.

Not quite sure what all of that is going to do to my litter tray, but it sounds fabulous. The place also decorates outside with a range of critical and customer tributes:

Moksh [2]

Moksh [3]

One problem I have found, as I slink around the Bay is that the place is usually closed while all the other usual chain restaurants around it are open! For those of you who want a true Indian culinary adventure, these things are best sampled at night, but you might want to book a table on busy evenings because it does seem very popular. I suggest you get more information from their own website at: http://www.moksh.co.uk/

As to what ‘Moksh’ actually means, I offer you the following from their outside decor:

Moksh [4]

“Release: Liberation: The term is particularly applied to the liberation from the bondage of karma and the wheel of birth and death: Absolute Experience”.

Any the wiser? Nor me… just be a cool cat and go and enjoy the food and leave the philosophical meditations to the academic cats. See you again soon on my stroll around Cardiff. Juno