Saturday, 28 February 2009

And they say my humans are silly!

This post has taken me a lot of time to write because I think my humans are very nice. They take their toy cats on holiday; persuade Disney characters to pose with them for pictures; and even let me keep an internet Diary. This seems entirely rational and sensible behaviour to me. Why would anyone think that silly?

Well, everyone's odd in someone's eyes and I'm still happy. Take last week. We drove to see Andrew's mother - about 80 miles each way. I travel with them in the car and sit with Andrew on the front passenger seat. But we don't zoom past other cars that are already going at the speed limit; we don't weave in and out of lanes without even indicating and we don't try to overtake a line of traffic and try to cut in just before a lane closes. And our driver (Mikki - if Andrew tried to drive that is what I would call crazy!!) doesn't use a mobile phone while driving. If those are the sort of guys who think my humans are crazy, then they're as happy about that as I am.

Right now they are rushing around packing for our next big trip. This is to Bermuda and we will be there in a couple of days. I can now say "we" because my silly humans were thinking of not taking me - or were they just teasing me: they do that a lot.

I haven't explained the reason for our visit yet. I am told there are no Disney theme parks there but there are lots of good and special reasons to go. I am sure we will enjoy ourselves lots.


Friday, 27 February 2009

Another Figaro (again)

My family continues to grow as we welcome my latest "cousin". He came from the Disney Store in London. My humans visited London last Saturday.

He nearly missed us - if it had not been for Mikki's persistence. As I told you, we saw him online and I sent the humans to look at him in the store. There was a cast member "greeter" at the entrance. They asked her if the store had the new Figaro. She said, "no". They had no toy cats apart from Marie - and there is always more available online than in the store. Well, we have come this far so they thought they might as well check anyway. Also, the greeter was standing in front of a display of cuddly toys from "Bolt" with several toys of Mittens the cat on it so her claim to have no cats apart from Marie couldn't be taken entirely at face value.

My new cousin was hiding upstairs. He and a few "brothers" were sharing a bucket with rather more toys of Pinocchio. My humans picked up two - this one for our family and one for a gift.

This Figaro sits about 8 inches tall and has lovely ears that curl round just like a real cat's. He also has a label "Disney Store Exclusive" sticched to his rear end. That must be quite painful. His other feature is that he has quite a long tail - sufficiently long that he is getting to be known as "LT".

After collecting Figaros, my humans went to look for trading pins. The Disney Store in London is said to be experimenting with selling them. My humans were not sure how well the experiment is going because they had to ask to see the pins which were on a board behind the counter. This may not help their popularity.

Anyway, it was after my humans thought they had finished and had paid that they turned round and saw a lovely fridge magnet of Disney's cutest kitten. So it came home too and is in the picture.

And, yes, my humans did tell the greeter where they found Figaro. She was suitably embarrassed. Perhaps the Disney Store should improve her training on stock. Or is it that they realise that Figaro is a very special toy and only determined and dedicated Disney nuts should be allowed to find him.

So, welcome "LT" Figaro. You are offically our 21st family member.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Does Tinker Bell feel the cold?

We were looking at the UK Disney Store web site yesterday evening and we saw a new Tinker Bell doll. It is called "Tinker Bell Winter Dress Up Doll Soft Toy". The picture shows everyone's favourite pixie "wrapped up ultra warm for the colder months" in a long, fur-lined coat and hand muff. The description then gets a little confused. The picture is definitely Tink and not Cinderella so you are very tempted to take them up on the offer and undress her to see whose gown she has on underneath. Go to and you'll soon find it. The doll seems to be one of a series of princesses in winter outfits.

This does make me wonder if Tinker Bell really needs to wrap up against the cold. We never see her on screen in anything but her short dress. My Mikki says that is like an ice skating costume. Even so it can't be all that warm for her. OK, Neverland may be magically as warm as you want it to be but in her film Tink flies to the mainland at the end of winter when there is still lots of snow and ice about. Did she feel cold?

Yes, I'm just joking. It's one of those lovely Disney questions that animation makes possible. It's like another one I heard about: Why does a family company like Disney allow Donald Duck to wander about with no trousers on? I've heard official answers ranging from, "He's a duck: he has feathers all over him below his sailor top" to something to the effect of, "He's a drawing, you idiot. He's only a few pencil lines on a piece of paper. He has nothing to cover up. And we drew him so we can dress him how we like".

It's just a bit of fun. Besides, whatever else Tinker Bell is, she is definitely a girl. So why shouldn't she just like dressing up? Her very first act in Neverland was to take the scissors to the awful outfit the clumsy (male) Tinkers made for her. And I'm sure "Winter Dress Up" is far from the first doll to give her alternative costumes (come to think of it, I'm afraid there's already one in this house somewhere).

This all brings me to the question of why we were looking at soft toys on the UK Disney Store web site in the first place. You guessed it: there is a new Figaro soft toy there. We have to go to London in the next week and I have already got Mikki to re-organise things while we are there in the hope they have one (or two - we may need a gift) in stock. Pictures are fine but we would like to look at him for real. It doesn't look like he has a ribbon round his tail (like I do) but if Disney want to dress him up, that's OK by me too.

Look out for another new addition to the family in the next week. Lots of love to all families everywhere.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

House 1 - The new Den

Here is a picture of the room my humans have been painting last week. When I say "my humans", I mean Mikki did all the actual painting and I think she did it very well.

This room connects with the kitchen through an arch. The humans use the table for casual eating and there is also a television. We call it "the den". The colour on the left hand wall is called "brown sugar" but most people think it looks like milk chocolate. The other colour is called "pale gold". We think the overall effect is a lot warmer and more cosy than the previous neutral colour.

I hope you can see - and like - the pictures on the walls. The oil painting on the left hand wall is of a house where Mikki used to live as a little girl. You may notice there are three drawings of Figaro the cat - the two on either side of the oil painting and the one to the far right of the photograph. They are all the sort of drawings you can buy at "Art of Disney" or in the Studios. I think they are all old enough that we only had to pay $25 each for them. They show the only 3 poses of Figaro we have ever seen. We persuaded the artist to add "Clever Cat" to the one to the left of the oil painting. He had to think about it a lot to see it was allowed by Disney rules. I think we managed it by reminding him that Figaro's song starts, "Figaro was a clever little cat". The picture on the far right was drawn by Lindy, who used to work in the Disney Studios. We met her several times and I think we have a photo of her somewhere. We have other characters drawn by her but only one of me because there were no new poses she could do for us. She shaded in Figaro's dark fur much more than the other artists.

In fact, all the pictures you can see on the right hand wall are by Lindy. There is Mickey Mouse in his "Band Concert" outfit and a lovely Millennium offering with the classic motto, "If you can dream it .. You can do it!" Quite appropriate in a house called, "Horizons". There is one more picture on that wall which the camera didn't include but I'll keep that for another time.

This photograph was actually taken from the path outside the window. I made sure I was in this photograph after Mikki wouldn't allow me in yesterday's. I have called this post "House 1" in the hope that the humans will allow me to put up other pictures of interesting things around the house in the future.


Saturday, 14 February 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everybody.

We went into town yesterday. I stayed in the car while the humans went to shop. They went for a special deal where you could buy food, sparkling wine and a rose for £20. The store (yes, it was M&S) was busy. Andrew was pleased to see from the crowds that Valentine's day (or is it just a good deal) is not just for young lovers (or lovers with the name, "Young"). My couple were in longer than they expected because there was a mistake at the checkout which meant they did not at first get their discount. A supervisor sorted it out but it took a little time. They had the pink sparkling wine and a chocolate souffle desert as part of their meal yesterday evening. The rose sat on the dining table - where it is in my picture.

My humans' Valentine card is a lovely one they found several years ago and have got out every year since. Like spouses (and toy cats), if it's right why change it? On the outside are Mickey and Minnie Mouse with the message, "We're good together ... ". Inside it adds, "And we look cute too".

I offered to add to the cuteness of the picture by posing next to the rose but Mikki vetoed it. I'll try to get into some other pictures for you.

Andrew also bought Mikki some other flowers: she likes daffodils.

Tonight my humans are going for a special meal out at their favourite restaurant - which was also recently judged the best restaurant in the county by a local magazine. The food is great and it has the added advantage of being about 50 yards from the house.

Lots of love to everyone.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Characters 1 - Rafiki

As promised, here is my first picture of me with one of the other Disney characters. I thought of this one last Wednesday while we were listening to "Circle of Life" on the CD "Classic Disney, Volume 1".

This picture was taken in November last year. We met Rafiki, the wise baboon from the Lion King, at the Conservation Station in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Rafiki picked me up and did this without any request or prompting. It's like he presented young Simba to the animals gathered below Pride Rock. He must have thought there was something special about me - and who am I to question him on that.

My human who was taking the picture forgot to take one lookng the other way to show all the other visitors bowing like the animals did in the film. I'm sure you can imagine they must have been. We all have our dreams and they say Walt Disney World is where dreams come true.

Prrrr; Prrrr.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

More Snow

In fact, the snow has just about gone by now (Wednesday). We had a little bit more on Monday but since then there has been rain. Either way, I am glad I am a toy and not a real cat so don't have to go out in it and get cold or wet.

Last week was pretty cold every day except Wednesday. Fresh snow on Wednesday night meant that on Thursday the plumber couldn't get up our drive in his van. Fortunately, it was only a short way and he didn't have heavy things to carry so he walked. Mikki is having some work done in her bathroom (water again). One thing was fixed last Thursday so she is a bit happier now. One thing remains to be done.

We were lucky that last Wednesday was the best day to travel. We all went to see Andrew's mother - who lives about 80 miles away. I usually go too when my humans go for long car rides. I sit with Andrew in the front passenger seat. Sometimes, they expect me to amuse them and help the driver's concentration. Last Wednesday, we all listened to nice music on a CD (Classic Disney Volume 1). There weren't any tracks from my films on this volume but I enjoyed songs from other films that reminded me of some of the characters I have met. I think I may start posting some of my best recent pictures.

When it snows, the humans tend to stay about the house more. This can be great if they spend the time cuddling you - and this did happen once or twice. On the other hand, they can just spend their time wandering aobut the house looking for things to do and disturbing you when you want to sleep. One of the worst things is when they go out trying to clear snow or ice and come back cold and wet and then want to play with you.

For the last two days, the humans have kept out of my way while re-painting the walls of one of the rooms downstairs. So far, I have been lucky that they have cleaned all the paint off themselves before coming near me. That sort of thing can be even more worrying than water and snow. I'll see if I can find a nice picture when the work is finished.

Prrrrr; Prrrrr.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Let it Snow

It's been snowing in England. There is hardly anything else on the news (which is not entirely a bad thing bearing in mind what else is on the news most days). London ground to a halt. On Monday, there were no busses and few trains. Some people got to Gatwick Airport to find their flights cancelled and no trains to take them back home.

They say this was the worst snow for 18 years. I can't say because I'm only 16 years old. But my humans were in London for over 20 years and then never missed work because of snow. Now we live outside London, we join the rest of Europe and the rest of the World making jokes about London and the south east of England. Snow in winter and leaves falling in autumn: these are the sort of totally unforseeable things that London's transport system can't cope with.

The BBC has asked everyone to send in their pictures of what they are doing in the snow. I got my human Andrew to take one of me. I won't be sending it in because I don't think it is really what they want even though there may be many people who agree it is the best thing to do in the snow. I dedicate the picture to all the brave humans who have spent hours standing at bus stops or on open railway platforms.

Joking apart, I have been busy while it was snowing. Apart from this blog, I have now prepared more than 30 pictures of me (and 1 of my cousine Travelling Beanie) standing on or next to various Christmas decorations in Walt Disney World. This is for all those Intercot members who like a holiday variation of "Where's Figaro?"

Keep warm; keep safe; and good luck.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Quiz Time

We had a general knowledge quiz in our village on Friday. There were 8 rounds of 10 questions each. My human, Mikki, was the questionmaster and compiler - so people should have guessed what one of the subjects for a round of questions would be. But she wanted a cryptic title for the round.

Oh, haven't I told you about Norton Disney! I'd better now.

When we lived in London and visited Walt Disney World, it was easy to tell anyone where in Britain we lived. At least everyone had heard of London. When we moved to Lincolnshire, Andrew decided he wanted to say something more than, "about 100 miles north of London". So now when people ask where in Britain we live, we say, "About 30 miles from the original Boston and 3 miles from a village called Norton Disney".

Walt did visit Norton Disney on one of his European trips when he was interested in tracing his ancestry. In old english, "Norton Disney" meant "the big house of the Disneys". It is assumed a knight from one of the french villages of Izney (someone "d'Izney") came to England with William in 1066 and was given land here. The name was later anglicised to "Disney". We guess someone from the family may have gone to north amierica but I don't think Walt was ever able to join up all the connections. Of course, nobody in Walt Disney World has heard of Norton Disney (precious few of the original Boston) so we still have to explain we live, "about 100 miles north of London".

Anyway, Mikki was bound to have a Disney round in the quiz, but called in "Not Norton". Somebody should have guessed!

And now the questions:

1. What was the first full length animated feature film?
2. Name the father and son Kings in The Lion King
3. What was the first Pixar film released through Disney?
4. Who was The Little Mermaid's prince?
5. Who voiced Mrs Potts in Beauty and the Beast?
6. Name all seven dwarfs.
7. In which US state is the original Disneyland?
8. What year was Walt Disney born?
9. Mickey Mouse very nearly had a different name, what was it?
10. Who is Donald Duck's girlfriend?

I think they are pretty easy (except, perhaps, No. 8) even if none of the answers is me or comes from my film of "Pinocchio". So, I'm not giving the answers for the moment.

I'm not giving any prizes either. The winning team at the quiz received a prize of two bottles of "bubbly" (for the adults) and a box of sweets for the kids. Everyone seemed to have fun and they also raised some money for the restoraton of the village church.