Tag Archives: Intelligence

Happy Easter from Prague

7 Apr

Easter is yet another tradition filled holiday in the Czech Republic. The picture above is but one of the many Easter markets around the city. This little square is a favourite of mine. The name of the square is Namesti Miru- translated as the square of peace.
One of the most notorious traditions is the ‘beating’ of the women and young girls on Easter Monday. A lot more dramatic than it sounds. Please let me add right here that the Czech Republic does not advocate the beating of women! The pomlázka, which is a whip braided from young twigs and decorated with coloured streamers, is used by men and boys to symbolically beat women on the legs to keep them young and fresh. Pomlázka, (from pomladit or “make younger”

The pomlázka

The tradition is till practiced although mainly in villages and small towns. Although the romanticism may have been somewhat lost down the ages it is done mainly for fun. The reward for the beating is usually in some form alcohol like plum brandy or slivovice so that during the afternoon many happy men can be seen around the streets.
A more docile tradition is the painting of eggs. Eggs bought for this purpose have two holes made in them and the inside blown out. They are then hand painted and dried then hung up as Easter decoration.
A lamb is another tradition and now in supermarkets lamb cakes decorated in white or chocolate frosting can be seen. However, many Czech Traditions are related to Springs and beautiful foral arrangements decorated with toy chicks and bunnies can be seen everywhere.

An Easter display in a shopping centre

I love the Easter markets. Apart from lovely Easter things to buy there is great food! You can smell the aroma of roasting pork enticing you to stop by.

The Easter market stalls

Zvonek’s Easter’s draw: Two lucky people to win a Zvonek 08 coffee mug as seen in the picture on here. Please answer the following question:
What is the name of kitten that went missing in Mau-ow? The answer can be found in the excerpt of Book 2 on http://www.gypsyshadow.com/AnneHPetzer.html#Zvonek2Exc
Please send your answers to: annepetzer.com. Draw ends on 13/4/2012
Happy Easter.
I wish you all a very Happy Easter. Be safe.


Feline Fancy

8 Oct

Feline Fancy

I always get asked the question: ‘Why do you like cats so much?’ My answer is usually, ‘I don’t like cats, I LOVE cats! To be honest there is no direct answer to that question for me. Although it is a fair one if you know me.
My house is a shrine to cats. I have a collection of cats ornaments (ever growing), cat coasters, cat teapot and mugs, cat salt and pepper set, cat jewellery and cat decorated luggage! I read books about cats and I write about cats..LOL. If you looked at my web history guess what you would find? Of course web addresses for feline sites. And yes.. I have been called the crazy cat lady 🙂
So, why do I love cats? To be honest I don’t really know why but I can’t remember a time that I didn’t. If I believed in re-incarnation I would say that I was a cat in a previous life or lived in Egypt and took care of the Temple of Baset. They have just always been there for as long as I can remember.
In case you wondering, I do love animals generally and growing up in Africa we always had an assortments of pets. We even had a bush baby monkey at one stage, Jacko. A delightful little chap that belonged to my brother.
The surprising thing is that I never actually owned my cat till I got Zvonek. Well in my 20s I smuggled a cat, Ashton Windsor was his name, into our apartment at the time. He was lovely, similar in colour to Zvonek with a great personality and totally spoilt, of course. However, we were renting and keeping animals wasn’t really allowed so when I got caught out, Ashton had to leave. Although he went to a cousin, who had a huge house and garden it broke my heart and I cried for two weeks! Unfortunately he disappeared from the house and we never heard of him again. After that I ‘adopted’ my cousin’s cat, Mary Poppins.
Mary was a great Diva. She died last year at the grand old age of 19. One of my favourite tales of her is how she intimidated the family dog. Lantis, is a huge cross breed of something, am not good with dog breeds. But about 27 times bigger than Poppins. Being around before most of the other animals Poppins claimed the house and garden as hers! Lantis arrived as a playful puppy and of course wanted Poppins as a play mate. Poppins was not having that. A canine! Whatever next? She brought Lantis into line and right up until the end if she entered the garden he would run to the far end out her way and stay there till she went inside.
When Zvonek arrived at nine months I couldn’t believe he was all mine!. I used, still do actually, spend ages just watching him. For the first weeks he would only sleep on the sofa in the living room. I can still remember the pure joy of waking up one night and finding him asleep against my leg for the first time. Now it’s his nightly spot. He is more friendly than Metaxa. On visiting me, he is the one who will meet you at the door and welcome you inside.
A few years ago I broke both my wrists in a fall during winter. I got home from the hospital with plaster casts from my knuckles to elbow. Zvonek immediately took charge and for the first few nights wouldn’t even let Metaxa on the bed! For the entire six weeks he would smell the casts twice daily and lick the part over the wrists! How clever was that? He knows when I am upset and will be by my side. If I cry he tries to lick away my tears.
Metaxa is the hunter of the family, my little predator. She is her Mom’s girl. Not as friendly as Zvonek, but will come up and smell you to check you out :). She is a one person cat and that person happens to be me! She loves to curl on my lap. Although at night unless it’s really cold, she will sleep in her bed on the window sill. At around 4am she will come and cuddle in by me.
He favourite game is playing fetch with me. She has this really old tatty mouse that she adores. It went missing one night and she had me crawling all over the place till we found it.
They both are individuals and I have a close but different kind of relationship with each of them. I do try and bring their individual personalities out in the books so if you reading the series I do hope it will bring a smile to your face. :).
Now he who must be obeyed is meowing for attention so I will end off here. Next week: My relationship with Prague.