It all began with a shopping list that became a doodle that turned into a plump little pussycat dressed in tutu and ballet slippers. Quickly forgetting the weekly repetitive boredom of my shopping list, I studied my doodle with quiet pride and began to question…

dame-pusska-1st-sketch-11-09-2019Now who can this pussycat be? She needs a name, Pussy Pavlova perhaps?

Hmm,The last of course; a mixture of both the animal and the human world. that seems good or what about Pusskarina Pavlova? Yes, I think she would like that; a Russian sounding name for a ballet dancing cat.

But what is she? Is she a child’s toy?

Oh no! I don’t think so. She looks too real and too alive.

Well where has she come from? The animal world? The world of humans? A mixture of both?

Yes, of course, that’s it; a dancing cat in a human world. But surely not a performing cat for human eyes.

Oh, no, that would never do. My little dancer must dance in real ballets, but with other cats, soloists, a corps-de-ballet forming a complete company and on a stage and in a theatre that is just their size and where no human can ever go.

That’s good, but what about the music? They must have music and an audience? These little dancing cats must have an audience to see them perform.

Yes, that’s right. How about a small musical ensemble made up of a variety of other animals, not just cats but dogs, rabbits, birds and even mice? And the audience should be all kinds of animals and birds too; fans of the ballet.

So Pusskarina Pavlova, her company, her stage, her theatre and her audience of eager ballet fans now needed a setting. It should be near the human world but hidden safely away from the interfering curiosity of prying human eyes.

Hmmm! Difficult!

Wait! What about a big country house with a secret cellar and tunnels where a cat size theatre could be built; where this little pussy ballerina and her company of cats could perform?

Yes, that’s it.

And they could live and play and dance within a whole complex of studios, music rooms and dormitories, comfort stations, a canteen and everything required for a flourishing company of dancing cats.

Well very soon, my little Pusskarina Pavlova developed into two kitty-cat characters; a small white cat named Pusskarina Pavlova, the prima pussy ballerina of the company and Dame Pusska Moggyinsky, the founder of the ballet company who just had to be of the Russian Blue cat variety. Other characters quickly followed and the secret tunnels beneath Pluckerslea Hall, as it became known, were quickly filled with the musical cacophony of meows, barks, quacks, clucks and squeaks of the many creatures that went to make up the legendary, Pusska Moggyinsky Ballet Company.

But this creatively idyllic lifestyle could not be without its problems; there would be no real story in that. With my imagination working overtime, trouble came thick and fast for the ballet company, with the appearance of the evil Bruiser Bumfluff and his ruthless Black Treacle Farm Gang.

But what about the magic? I hear you ask. There has got to be magic to make it all work.

Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out about that!

They say truth is stranger than fiction, but in some stories (like mine) fiction can be pretty strange too!

Marmite’s True Life Blog

Marmite Harris is the inspiration for the character of Marmie Moggyinsky, Director of the Pusska Moggyinsky Ballet Company.

marmite-berlioz-at-3-months-copyMer-ow and Hi! I’m Marmite. Now when my brother Berlioz and I were young we always seemed to be moving home. This time it was to a tumbled down old house in a place called Portland, which is a kind of island, but with a long thin bit covered in nasty common seagulls joining it to the mainland. It was in our time at Portland that I learned to loathe seagulls.

For the first two weeks Berlioz and I were prisoners; locked indoors, we were told, in case we got lost (as if!). We used to sit for hours at the sitting room window, gazing longingly at the overgrown garden and imagining all kinds of adventures we might have out there. But then the seagulls would arrive, strutting around ‘our’ garden as if they owned it, coming right up to the window, screeching that awful screech they make and poking their beaks at us in a very unfriendly manner. Berlioz, always a cool cat, ignored them but I used to give them my extra evil stare, the one I keep especially for enemies. However those hateful birds just laughed and waggled their tails at me in a most indelicate way. My super deluxe, blood curdling war cry was my next weapon, but unfortunately, with the double glazed window between us, they couldn’t hear me. Hmmm! Mer-row! Then as a final insult, they would turn their backs on me, flick up their tail feathers and give a loud screech and… Oh, how rude…that’s disgusting!

Just you wait, I thought!