Thursday, September 2, 2010

Our Siberian kitten - The Saga of Noggin the Nog....

Krasnogorsk Felix
 * This is now the 28th March 2012 so Oggie (his name was modified over the first few months of arrival) is now a BIG adult (neutered) Siberian! Yesterday a lot a people clicked on this particular post, but I just can't work out why! Please let me know, and put an end to much curiosity! As you should know, curiosity killed the cat - it's certainly getting me!!! Was it the Russian connection? A link to President Medvedev's and Gorbachev's feline friends? Or was it simply Bagpuss?  I saw his home town of Canterbury this weekend - he shared it with Rupert Bear, no less.... 
I'd love to know.... * Just found out why... Oggie himself doesn't have a Twitter account...

In a few weeks' time I'm going to Le Mans to collect the latest addition to our family so that the children and I finally make the long-awaited acquaintance of our Siberian kitten, of the pedigree name 'Krasnogorsk Felix'. For the moment we just have to content ourselves with the photo above and are naturally trying to imagine what this mischievious little creature will be like when he finally arrives!

In anticipation of the real thing!

Although the history of this Russian cat breed dates back over the centuries it is only relatively recently known to European and American cultures and was first mentioned in 1871. This breed is thought to be mix between domestic cats, brought to Siberia by Russian settlers, and wild cats of the Ural mountains and the central Siberian plateau. Having similarities with the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest cat, the Siberian is the national cat of Russia...

 Indeed, 'Dorofei' is the current Kremlin inhabitant, prized Siberian cat of President Medvedev, taking over the occupancy from Putin's black labrador. However, the presidential pet recently hit the headlines for entering into a cat fight with Mikhail Gorbachev's feline! Apparently Dorofei lost the fight, although you would never guess from the proud expression from the photo session...

As you can see the Siberian is a long-haired cat with a dense mane enabling the breed to withstand the severe conditions of the
Russian winter months; this gives the body a certain barrel shape. The breed is said to have a unique triple purr, enjoys water (like the Turkish Van), has a dog-like personality & loyalty and many other qualities that we are soon to discover for ourselves!

Listen to me and I will tell you the story of Noggin the Nog
As it was told in days of old....

In the lands of the North,
Where the Black Rocks stand guard against the cold seas, 
In the dark night that is very long,
The men of the Northlands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale...

We have decided to shorten our cat's breeder name from Krasnogorsk to Noggin (the Nog). This is a little reference to the magical work of Oliver Postgate who, with Peter Firmin in the company Smallfilms, created many children's programmes -  the most famous being The Clangers, the Pogles and of course Bagpuss. Okay, so our cat is Russian and certainly not of Viking origin, but nevermind!
I was too young to have seen Noggin the Nog (1959-65), but I certainly didn't miss out on Pogles Wood (1966-1968)- with the adventures of Pippin and Tog - and I even had the 1971 annual.

1971 Pogles annual

 Compared to work using today's filming techniques these old children's programmes should feel really old-fashioned and clunky with their gentle stories and stop-frame animation, but I just find them fantastic. The lasting impression they give must explain the popularity of Bagpuss who is sadly the only Postgate character to have successfully entered the 21st century and to be recognized by young and old alike. The explanation for this must go far beyond the clever merchandising which even leads to Bagpuss hot-water bottles!
When I was little I couldn't even look at certain Pogles pictures before going to bed because of that edgy quality that affected children who could never even have imagined  today's full-on images.

With his pink and cream fur (an error during the dyeing process which failed to produce a more usual marmalade cat colouring) Bagpuss appeared in 1974. As an "old saggy cloth cat, baggy and loose at the seams" Bagpuss should not, in theory, appeal to image-conscious kids, but he does, as much as he always has.

So now we have to wait until the end of the month to meet Noggin - Keep you posted!

1 comment:

  1. Cos of the pix of the gorgeous cat.🐈😊👍


Please share your ideas...