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RIP Mugsy


For those of you who met him, our boy-cat Mugsy left us this evening. He spent most of the day lying in his favourite basket in the sun from the window, quietly letting the life seep away. In the end, after a few spasms of which he may not have been aware, he fell asleep one last time. It was almost as peaceful as that.

We brought Mugsy in from the wild about a dozen years ago after he'd had a fight with a raccoon. The vet reckoned he'd been out there for perhaps four years, although we don't know how old he was when he left domestication -- and domesticated he certainly had been at some time. Not only did he know what a litter box was, it took us years to persuade him that it was okay to jump up into chairs -- if we walked into a room when he was "naughtily" snoozling on a chair, he'd panic and run -- and we never did 100% get it through to him that being on our bed, whether or not we were in it, was not just permissible but welcome. Less comically, it was evident that in his earlier domestication he'd been kicked a lot: for at least the first couple of years he was terrified of my shod feet.

The one who really brought him in from the wild was my little black cat Angrboda, who came across with me from the UK: he fell in love with her through the French windows, and once he was in the house she was his solace during those early fraught weeks, and soon his best chum evah. After a bath from Boda he'd run happily around the house with his fur sticking up in spikes: Punk Mugsy. When Boda died and Danu and Morgan came into the house, Mugsy was obviously convinced that Morgan was Boda reincarnated, only blue-grey rather than black.

About two summers ago he went deaf and started losing weight; we thought he wouldn't last 'til Christmas, but the little bag o' bones managed not just one more Christmas but two. It was only in his final couple of days that he seemed really disabled. Our guess is he must have made it to about 20.

Sorry to woffle on. He was one of the best-natured and sweetest-tempered of cats; if a cat can be gentlemanly, Mugsy was that cat. He was a great little fellow and we're going to miss him dreadfully. We already are.

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Tiger Bay (1959)


A treat for all the HayleyMillsophiles among us: the latest posting on my Noirish site. It's a great little movie, probably my second favorite of hers after Whistle Down the Wind (1961) -- there's not many movies come even close to the latter, for me, so this is high praise!

Screengrabs (that's the great Yvonne Mitchell in the first):

Tiger Bay 1959 - 2 Anya (Yvonne Mitchell) fights fire with fire


Tiger Bay 1959 - 3 Chorister Gillie (Hayley Mills), picture of innocence


Tiger Bay 1959 - 4 Gillie (Hayley Mills) hides in the church attic


Tiger Bay 1959 - 5 'Come any nearer and I'll shoot. I mean it.'


Tiger Bay 1959 - 6 Supt Graham (John Mills) interrogates seedy broadcaster Barclay (Anthony Dawson)


Tiger Bay 1959 - 8 Best buds - Broni (Horst Buchholz) and Gillie (Hayley Mills)


Tiger Bay 1959 - 9 Gillie (H Mills) protests that it's not her in the paper

Stand Up Guys


This neonoirish dark comedy is the latest entry on my Noirish site. Although the movie was widely panned by the critics, I rather liked it -- and it was great to see Walken and Pacino reveling in their irascible codgerhood. Some screengrabs:


Stand Up Guys - To hospital Val (Pacino) must go after a viagra o-d


Stand Up Guys - From near to the outset we know Doc (C Walken) has to whack Val (Pacino)


Stand Up Guys - Sylvia (Ferlito) prepares to exact revenge upon her rapists


Stand Up Guys - Doc (Walken) and Val (Pacino) decide to go down fighting - 'I didn't bring any gum'

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The Animation Top 100


Time Out has created an online compilation that I think will prove of lasting value: the top 100 animated movies (listed and reviewed), as voted on by a battalion of animators, journalists, moviemakers and even humble scribes such as moi. Obviously I disagree with some of the choices, and there are, in my opinion, some regrettable omissions, but that's inevitable with an exercise of this sort. Good to see Miyazaki taking two of the top three slots!

Overall, an essential reference source for anyone even remotely interested in animated movies, is what I'd say.

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