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Fragments 13


including
Midge the Runner
Susan Boyle's cat Pebbles


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Midge the Runner

West Yorkshire


Midge the racing cat from Yorkshire An unlikely one-eyed feline gained her moment of fame from the 2009 Cannes Film festival by taking the leading role in an 8-minute film from England that cost just £1000 to make and was selected for the Short Film Corner. Midge is a tortoiseshell cat from Wrose, a district of the city of Bradford in the county of West Yorkshire; at the time she was 12 years old and came originally from a local rescue centre.

Midge loved to follow her owner, parish councillor Martin Humphreys, wherever she could, and she started following him when he walked to the local shops. She would wait on a wall outside for him to finish his errands, then jump down and sometimes start the journey back to his cottage by running. One day Martin decided to run with her — but found he couldn't overtake her! If he ran faster, she accelerated too. 'She always wins our races,' said Martin. She was a familiar sight as she accompanied him when he went jogging.

Midge the cat, from Wrose, near Bradford When he won £1000 in a competition at work, he decided to use it to make a children's film called The Great Race, featuring himself and Midge running one of their races. The film was made by Motus TV of Oulton, near Leeds; Martin wrote the musical part of the soundtrack, sung by a children's choir.

Midge racing with Martin Humphreys Martin flew out to Cannes for the film's screening, while Midge was looked after by a friend at home in Wrose. His dream was that a major film company, perhaps even Disney, would see the potential for a full-length children's film starring Midge, and he was convinced it would be a success. He already had ideas for it, including having Midge run against Olympic 100-metre champion Usain Bolt. He was convinced Midge would win!

For photographs see this Daily Mail article, and there's a short clip of Martin and Midge racing at BBC News. The full version of The Great Race (8 minutes) is also available: it may take a little while to load, depending on connection.

Midge the racing cat in 2012






Susan Boyle's cat

Pebbles


Singer Susan Boyle's cat Pebbles Millions of people around the world know the story of Scottish amateur singer Susan Boyle who in middle age totally stunned the audience, the judges and her critics when she appeared in 2009 in British TV talent show Britain's Got Talent, singing I dreamed a dream from Les Misérables. (If you haven't seen it, watch the performance that started it all at YouTube).) Such was Susan's new-found fame that she even appeared, by satellite, on Oprah Winfrey's show in the United States. On 30 May 2009 she took part in the final of the British show and was placed second, after which she needed a break for rest and recuperation.

Pebbles the cat, belonging to Susan Boyle At the time she still lived in her parents' modest council house (both parents are now dead), which she shared with her cat Pebbles. Pebbles was then 10 years old (photo courtesy of Kent Jeffrey in the US).

Update, March 2010

Pebbles with Susan, 2009 - click to enlarge It seemed that after becoming a star with numerous commitments, Susan Boyle no longer lived with her cat and former constant companion, Pebbles. A spokesman confirmed that the two were living apart, and the singer had seen her cat only three times since July 2009.

Apparently a member of Boyle's management team asked one of his neighbours if she would take Pebbles in. She agreed, and so the cat went to live with 76-year-old retired accountant Pamela Eaton-Browne in Wanstead, East London. The lady was paid an allowance for Pebbles' needs. Pamela, who had two other cats, said, 'I thought it would just be for a couple of weeks, but that was last July. The last time Susan came round Pebbles shot under a wardrobe and didn't want to know.'

Irish singing group The Corrigan Brothers (famous for their song There's no one as Irish as Barack Obama) produced a YouTube video entitled I'm Pebbles Boyle (Spare A Thought for Me).




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Our featured feline at the head of the page: your companion through Feline Fragments is Maggie. She came as a kitten from Powys Cat Rescue. One of their volunteers had seen her wandering around, apparently uncared for, and thought her rather young to be just left to roam. The person 'responsible' for her said she 'didn't care', and so the youngster was taken in for rehoming. Only about 4 months old when I brought her home in 2003, she was a self-assured soul, probably because of her early experience, and was soon climbing all the available trees in the garden. She was a determined hunter in her earlier days, and was usually outside, but now prefers snoozing unless the weather is good. She has superb whiskers — and as the photo shows, loves getting into things! (see it here without the puzzle effect)


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