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Ghostly Movies….of the not to scary kind. ….

As I had such a wicked time compiling my spellbinding screen witches post, I thought I would assemble a list of ghost movies.Bare  in mind though I’m a bit of a scaredy pants when it comes to ghosties and ghouls , so most of my films contain friendly apperitions.

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Blithe Spirit (1945). ~ Noel Coward’s madcap comedy is given the big screen treatment with Rex Harrison playing an author whose late wife’s ghost comes back to haunt him and his present wife. Margaret Rutherford plays the ditzy clairvoyant house guest who appears to have summoned her over from the other side.

The Corpse Bride (2005). Bittersweet fairy tale, animated in Tim Burton’s kooky style. A nervous bridegroom to be accidentally finds himself betrothed to ‘the Corpse bride’ , when practising his wedding vows in the forest. Johnny Depp stars.

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Scooby – Doo (2002). Scooby, Shaggy and gang are reunited after acrimoniously going their separate ways. Can they solve the spooky goings on in an island horror resort.Scooby-Dooby-Doo!

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Truely, Madly, Deeply (1990). When Nina’s soul mate dies she pines for him so much, he finds his way back to her.Heart warming love story about the choice between an enduring love and new beginnings. Get the hanky’s out.

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The Ghost and Mrs Muir ( 1947).
Rex Harrison must have enjoyed appearing in spooky romantic comedy’s. Here he plays a grumpy sea captain ,haunting
prospective buyers of his coastal cottage.Gene Tierney is the young widow who won’t take any nonsense.

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Casper (1995). Based on the cartoon strip ‘Casper, the friendly ghost’ , this is a sweet family fantasy film. A slightly kooky ‘ghost therapist’ takes a job in a creepy old manor house to rid it of its resident trouble making ghosts. He is accompanied by his young daughter Kat , who befriends the spirit of a young boy living there too. Fave line of the movie ~ Casper saying to Kat, “Can I keep you”. Aw.

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Portrait of Jennie (1948). An aspiring artist (Joseph Cotton) meets a young school girl Jennie ( Jennifer Jones) and paints a portrait of her. Over the next few months he sees her several more times and at each meeting she seems to have aged a little more. He soon realises she may not be of this world…..

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Charlie St Cloud (2010) Zac Efron plays Charlie whose younger brother was killed years earlier in a car accident. Charlie can still see his deceased sibling as long as he meets him in the same place ,at the same time every day. Eventually he will have to choose between living in the past and saving a life. A sweet touching tale.

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Beetlejuice (1988). This has to be my favourite Tim Burton film. :) Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin play a recently passed away married couple who seek the services of bio-exorcist ‘Beetlejuice’ to rid their home of its awful new owners. Michael Keaton and the wonderful Winona Ryder co star.

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The Uninvited (1945). Spooky ghost story about a brother and sister who fall in love with a house on the coast, only to find out it contains an evil presence……..

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Scrooge ~ A Christmas Carol ( 1951). There are lots of versions of Dicken’s spooky Christmas classic. My personal fave is probably the muppets one …..but Alistair Simm makes a suitably humbug Mr Scrooge in this version. Will nightly visits from three ghosts convince him to change his miserly ways….

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Paranorman (2012). Young Norman sees spirits of the dead everywhere he goes, but nobody else can see them, so he gets bullied.:( Halloween arrives and so do witches, ghosts and zombies. I love this cute animated comedy horror!

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Ghostbusters (1984).
A ghost catching business gets more than it bargains for when huge marshmallow like monster ghosts invade New York.Classic 80’s comedy.Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver.Who ya gonna Call? Ghostbusters!!

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Ghost ( 1990). And I’ll end with a big dollop of spooky romance. Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore provide the emotion and Whoopi Goldberg the laughs in this tear jerking and spine tingling drama. I think this other worldly hit might be on my Halloween film list this year….

What ghostly movies will you be snuggling up to on the 31st?

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Iceland day three~ The Blue Lagoon & Reykjavik.

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Day Three in Iceland and our last full day here. We had already fallen in love with the place and Reykjavik itself is a small city that makes you feel so much at home. In the morning we had booked a trip to The Blue Lagoon which turned out to be as amazing as it looks. I guess the Blue Lagoon is the Ultimate Spa! The Lagoon is about 40 minutes drive from the city and only 10 minutes drive from Keflavik International Airport, so some tourists go for a relaxing dip before catching their flights home. Surrounded by lava fields and close to a geothermal power station , the location is not the most scenic , but is certainly interesting. The warm waters are a toasty 40 degrees celsius so there is nothing nicer than swimming around in them, even on the coldest days. And they contain minerals that are good for the skin.:)
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There are various entry packages for the Blue lagoon. We chose the comfort package which includes a towel, bathrobe, a drink at the swim to bar and a mini spa treatment. These set us back about £50 each but we totally appreciated the towels and robes when getting out of the hot water into the cold air. Everyone wears wrist bands which cleverly operate the changing room lockers and they are scanned at the bar too ,when paying for drinks.

We spent a good five hours in the resort and found plenty to occupy us. The pool area has hot tubs, a steam room and sauna and a massaging waterfall. There are pots of silica mud to put on your face (see above photo :)) and the whole experience is amazing and surreal. It even started snowing a little! We had our lunch in the cafe and also had time for a walk round the lava fields afterwards. The lava fields location certainly gives the Blue Lagoon an otherworldly feel. :)

Wil on our lava field walk where there are more geothermal waters.
Wil on our lava field walk where there are more geothermal waters.
Lava fields surround the Blue Lagoon.
Lava fields surround the Blue Lagoon.

We headed back to Reykjavik late afternoon and the weather had gotten colder and very windy. Look how choppy the sea was at the harbour. Had a bit of a wander round, a nosy in a Christmas shop :) and then located to the Bunk Bar on Laugavegi ( the main shopping street) , which by an amazing stroke of luck had a Happy Hour on. :)

Choppy seas.
Choppy seas.
Colourful house in the old harbour area.
Colourful house in the old harbour area.
Longboat on a roof !
Longboat on a roof !
Inside one of Reykjaviks Christmas shops.
Inside one of Reykjaviks Christmas shops.
Theres also a shop devoted to puffins.
Theres also a shop devoted to puffins.
A beer and a rhubarb, vodka and aniseed cocktail in the Bunk Bar.
A beer and a rhubarb, vodka and aniseed cocktail in the Bunk Bar.

So there you have it, my last Iceland post…..for now anyway. Now that I have seen a tiny part of the country, I would love to see more. Maybe one day hey. :)

Have you ever been to Iceland and what was your favourite part of your trip?

Walking around the geysir area.

Iceland day Two ~ Reykjavik and the Golden Circle.

Hofoi  House.
Hofoi House.
On Day Two of our trip to Iceland , we did the touristy thing and went on a couple of sightseeing tours. I had booked them before we came away, using Grey Line , a reputable excursion company with an office in Reykjavik, not far from the harbour.

In the morning we did their City Sights Tour and our guide was interesting and informative. A mini bus picked us up from our hotel and we were on our way. This is a bit of a whistle stop tour of the city with a few hop on and off photo opportunities. Places we saw included the Hofoi House where the Presidents of the US and Russia ended the Cold War in 1986, Icelands President’s residence on the coast ( unfortunately obscured by fog), the glass domed Perlan which has great views over the city and a revolving restaurant & also the massive Hallgrimskirkja, which we had taken a look at the day before.

Pretty church looking out onto a fog obscured sea.
Pretty church looking out onto a fog obscured sea.
The Perlan.
The Perlan.
View of Hallgrimskirkja from the Perlan.
View of Hallgrimskirkja from the Perlan.
Hallgrimskirkja Church, a focal point of the city.
Hallgrimskirkja Church, a focal point of the city.

There was time at the end of the mornings tour to go in search for lunch and so we found Gamla/Old Island on Laugavegi 72, which is the main shopping street in Reykjavik. We both had warming Salt Fish au gratin followed by Icelandic pancakes served with whipped cream and rhubarb jam. Delicious!

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In the afternoon we did the Golden Circle excursion , which I would say is probably a must if you visit this part of Iceland. The Golden Circle is a 190-mile round trip from Reykjavik which takes in some of the most important historical and geological sites in Iceland. Included was Pingvellir national park( the site of Iceland’s original parliament), Gullfoss Waterfall with its awesome flow and the Geysir area which was my favourite part of the day. The original Geysir unfortunately rarely spouts anymore but luckily Strokkur nearby still has the ability to make you jump out of your skin every five minutes or so. :)

Pingvellir National Park.
Pingvellir National Park.
Gullfoss - The Golden Falls.
Gullfoss – The Golden Falls.
Gullfoss from the top.
Gullfoss from the top.
Strokkur Geysir.
Strokkur Geysir.
Engulfed in the steam.
Engulfed in the steam.
Walking around the geysir area.
Walking around the geysir area.

It was great to get out of the city into the countryside. I had imagined Iceland to be a bare and barren place once you get away from the coast, but the National Park area was actually really scenic with moss covered lava fields, grassy meadows, mountains ( every one is a volcano) , farmsteads with colourful buildings and planted forests dotted here and there. Saw lots of beautiful hardy looking Icelandic ponies, sheep, flying geese and grouse as the coach made its way back to the city in the early evening.

Once back in Reykjavik we had a few drinks in town and went to Icelandic Fish & Chips at Tryggvagata 11 and had just that. :)

Fish and Chips. :)
Fish and Chips. :)

This post is my last one for #take12trips. Look out for my Day three post featuring The Blue Lagoon very soon.

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Our stay in Smoky Bay ~ Reykjavik, Iceland.

Reykjavik Rooftops.
Reykjavik Rooftops.

For a very long time I have wanted to visit Iceland and recently my dream came true. Early on Saturday morning our plane landed at Keflavik International Airport and our Icelandic adventure started. It was cold ( though not as cold as I imagined it would be!) and damp but our spirits were high as we made our way to the capital city of Reykjavik. I thought I would write a short post about each day we spent there ( three days in all ) so here is the first. :)

Day One.

After checking into our room ( we stayed quite centrally at Hotel Klettur) , we walked down to the harbour, purely because I’m always drawn to the sea. Just before the shimmering glass Harpa Concert Venue is the beautiful Solfar ( Sun Voyager) sculpture , looking out accross the ocean. It is said that this art work symbolises hope, light and freedom. Another interpretation is that the Sun Voyager is a vessel that takes dead people’s souls out to sea. Anyway it has the perfect location and I’m glad we saw it. :)

Solfar Sculpture.
Solfar Sculpture.

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Further down from the sculpture is the Harpa Concert Hall looking resplendent in all its glittering glass glory. I wish I had taken more photos now as none I have do it justice. There seemed to be a multitude of monster trucks outside in the car park !

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The harbour area has various cafes and bars, fishing boats, whale watching boats and two whale hunting vessels. Although whale hunting is practised in Iceland’s waters , they do seem to have a ‘Meet the Whales, Not eat the Whales’ attitude going on. :)

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Not far from the Harbour we came across Reykjavik’s famous Hot Dog stand. Tourists and locals flock here for Baejarins beztu pylsur ( the best hot dogs in town) and the business has been doing a roaring trade since 1937 apparently. Not sure why the stand is such an institution….but it is incredibly cheap for Iceland , about £3 for a hotdog with the works. And yes they are tasty with crunchy onions, raw onions, mustard, ketchup and a sweet onion sauce.

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Reykjavik is full of wall art.
Reykjavik is full of wall art.

Next we headed for Hallgrimskirkja, the largest church in Iceland. Its rocket like appearance is easy to spot all over Reykjavik, so its a good place from where to get your bearings. We took the lift up to the top of the church tower and were rewarded with gorgeous views of the cities colourful rooftops. :)

Hallgrimskirkja.
Hallgrimskirkja.

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After we walked to Tjornin which is the city pond and a favourite haunt of ducks, geese and swans.

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As you can see it was a bit of a damp and drizzly day, so time to get toasty with a brew and cake. We found a fab place called Laundromat Cafe in Austurstraeti 9 which is a laundrette/cafe with a library and board games and friendly and cozy atmosphere. By night it turns into a bar.

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Laundromat Cafe.
Laundromat Cafe.

On our way back to the hotel to get ready for our Northern Lights trip, we passed the Icelandic Phallological Museum which I totally forgot to photograph in my infantile fit of giggles.It houses over 200 penis specimens ( mostly mammals) and has a gift shop too…..

Picture from website.
Picture from website.

Saturday night we went in search of the Northern Lights with Grey Line Tours , who took us out of the city and away from any light pollution. Unfortunately the lights are unpredictable and I guess the cloudy weather was against us. :( Grey Line tours , to give them their dues tried their very best for us, chasing ahead of the clouds as if chasing twisters! It wasn’t to be though. :( They do offer to take you out again for free if you don’t see them. Unfortunately the weather was against us this time.

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I enjoyed my Northern Lights cocktail in the hotel bar though! I will post about Day Two of my Icelandic adventure very soon. :)

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Pendle Sculpture Trail.

Although I live a stones throw from Pendle Hill ( I can see its gently brooding slopes from the bedroom window), it is not often that we have travelled to the other side of Pendle and explored the countryside there. Such an occasion though came up on Sunday afternoon.The weather was glorious, both sunny and warm, quite rare for an Octobers day. We arranged to meet my sister and her family and some friends in the pretty little village of Barley which nestles at the foot of the hill. Having done some research online , I had come across various information about ‘The Pendle Sculpture Trail’ in Aitken Wood. In the process I found a lovely new blog to follow ( Home Jules) and this is Julie’s great post about the trail and surrounding area here…

pendle Hill from Black Moss reservoirs.
pendle Hill from Black Moss reservoirs.

Having parked in Barley car park ( £1 charge for the day), we headed out of the village towards Black Moss Reservoirs and followed the track up to Aitken Wood. The trail is signposted so was no problem to find.Leaflets and maps are available from the Cabin Cafe, next to the car park.

Walking to Aitken Wood.
Walking to Aitken Wood.

The Sculptures take their inspiration from the areas wildlife and nature as well as various events that are associated with Pendle Hill. It is from the top of Pendle that in 1652, George Fox had a religious vision which led him to found the Quaker movement. And Pendle also has connections with witchcraft. Over 400 years ago nine innocent residents of nearby villages were hanged in Lancaster, after Britain’s biggest witchcraft trial. The sculpture trail celebrates the area’s beauty and reflects on those times past.

Broomsticks. :)
Broomsticks. :)
Witchfinder Sculpture.
Witchfinder Sculpture.
Beautiful moss.
Beautiful moss.
Upside down Bat.
Upside down Bat.
Curving tree sculpture.
Curving tree sculpture.
Toadstools ( real ones.)
Toadstools ( real ones.)

I especially liked the ceramic plaques by artist Sarah McDade ,which were dotted around the forest. There are nine to find and each one represents one of the ‘witches’ who went on trial.

The sheep's skull  representing John Bulcock, who was said to have roasted stolen mutton at a meeting to plot the release of four witches taken to Lancaster Castle Gaol.
The sheep’s skull representing John Bulcock, who was said to have roasted stolen mutton at a meeting to plot the release of four witches taken to Lancaster Castle Gaol.
The Hare plaque represents James Device who apparently saw a strange Hare like creature after eating communion bread.
The Hare plaque represents James Device who apparently saw a strange Hare like creature after eating communion bread.
Anne Redferne was accused of making a clay doll , to put a spell on a local man.
Anne Redferne was accused of making a clay doll , to put a spell on a local man.

We had such a lot of fun doing the Pendle Sculpture Trail, although we somehow managed to miss out on spotting a few of the sculptures. Thats ok though as we intend to go again. :)

Four kids, two Bedlington terriers and a few of the grown ups. :)
Four kids, two Bedlington terriers and a few of the grown ups. :)

When we got back to the village , the kids had a play on the swings and then we stopped for a pint at The Pendle Inn which is dog friendly and has a decent looking menu and a selection of real ales.

Heading back with views of pendle.
Heading back with views of pendle.
Friendly cat in the village.
Friendly cat in the village.
Pendle Inn Pub sign.
Pendle Inn Pub sign.

For those of you who are interested , nearby Newchurch ( 1 mile from Barley) has a witchy shop and cafe called ‘Witches Galore’ , with a scary looking witch stood outside. I made Wil take me for a nosy before we met the others. :)

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I’m so glad we found a new area to walk in. I think its somewhere we will take a certain ‘Mr Hugo’ when he is old enough. :)

Thanks for dropping by.

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October Photo an Hour.

Its Photo an Hour time again :).Yesterday I joined in with several other bloggers and took a photo on the hour , every hour. Its a challenge carried out every month by Janey from Is That You Darling. I join in when I can. Here goes!

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8am ~   This is Slinky. She is basically telling me to bugger off and let her have the bed to herself. She thinks its her bed.

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9am ~ Today I’m doing a craft fair in the church up the road. I sell teacup candles. Yep I’m the crazy teacup lady. :)

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10am ~ Just my luck , I’m next door to the chocolate stall. ;-)

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11am ~ My other neighbor is Vicky from Daisy Louise Jewellery. She makes quirky pieces from objects such as cake forks.

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12pm ~ Heres a shot of my fave candles on the stall. These pretty wildlife ones were soon snapped up. :-)

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1pm ~ A quiet moment, so reading up on puppy training.we pick Hugo the pup up in two weeks. :)

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2pm ~ Yummy carrot cake from the craft fair cafe. Couldn’t resist!

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3pm ~ Admiring a gorgeous felt owl on the stall opposite.

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4pm ~ Finally home after my day at the Artisan Market.

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5pm ~ walking through the park to the local pub. We fancy an hour or two ~ its weekend after all. ;-)

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6pm ~ A friend joins us with his springers Ted and Molly. Here they are with an eye out for biscuits!

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7pm ~  A quick pic of us in the pub.

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8pm ~ Chilli nuts. Might end up being our tea!

After this more friends joined us and we stayed out until about ten, got a takeaway  ( after about five packs of nuts :( )and headed home. Quite a nice day really.

Thanks for dropping by….

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A Celebration of Black Cats ~^^~

Recently I found myself some what astonished by the information that black cats in animal rescue centres are usually the last moggies to find homes. :-(
As the human of a black cat called Slinky ( named after the mischevious storybook kitty) , I can asure cat lovers that black cats are just as lovable, annoying, naughty and adorable as any other variety. I speek from experience, having always had furry felines in my life, of differing sizes and colours.

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Slinky Malinki.

Of course black cats are often asociated with superstition and witchcraft, especially at this time of year. In the middle ages they were often percieved to be witches familiars or even witches in disguise. And the myth that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck is still a superstition some people believe, like a broken mirror or not walking under a ladder. It is easy to logically see why a smashed looking glass can be bad luck…but not a cat….unless you trip over him! Who am I to speek though.I always have to greet any solitary magpie I see with a cheery hello…..

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A rather bewitching witch and her companion.

In any case doesn’t the magic and mystery surrounding the black cat make them more alluring. I’ve been having fun on Pinterest collecting beautiful images of le chat noir. :-)

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Moi !

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Love Cats. :)
Playful Puss.
Playful Puss.

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Moon Moggie.

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Chat Noir Poster. Le Chat Noir was a Parisienne nightclub in the late 1800's.

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Chasing leaves.
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Black magic.
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The Owl and the pussy cat.
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1960's advertisement for Christian Dior featuring a black cat.
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Slinky Malinki was blacker than black by Lynley Dodd.
Pumpkin Puss.
Pumpkin Puss.

I devote this post to all the Midnights, Jets, Buntys, Bouncys, Kingstons, Tommy Sues, Boos, Miles, Maus, Sisis and Slinkys out there ~ black cats who have been the beautiful kitty companions to myself or various friends and family over the years.

What are your thoughts on black cats?

These are a few of my favourite things.

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