One of my all-time favourite beings turns 18 today. She’s been by my side through everything. I can rely on her to give me strength and unconditional love no matter what. She’s my cat, Melora, and its her birthday today, September 25th.

Melora was born on my doona in my first share house to my housemate Stefan’s cat. She was the only kitty in a litter of tailless manx cats to have a tail and I fell in love with her instantly. I still giggle when I remember her following a much larger grey cat with a tail (Ziggy – who was not her father and not a kitten kind of guy) around trying to figure out what to do with this strange furry appendage. I almost lost her when she was still very young to the boot of an evil man who kicked her hard enough to shatter her pelvis. But a late night rescue from Miss K and a sizeable loan from my folks brought her back from the brink and back to her rightful place as queen of the house.

She’s moved with me through countless sharehouses, tolerated me leaving her behind for a whole year when I went to Canada, fallen in love with my husband easily as deeply as I did (she still prefers his lap to mine) and grown up with me. When she was born, I was only 18 and yet to find my place in the world. She watched on with those beautiful yellow-green eyes while I made terrible choices, dated spectacularly wrong men, achieved amazing things, worked, laughed, cried, fell over and made a life for myself despite or because of all that. And she was always there.

She’s pretty spry for an old cat. She can still jump up on the couch or bed and demand affection. She’s sitting on the rug right now washing herself while occasionally watching to see if I’m going into the kitchen to give her some wet food. Her purr is one of my very favourite sounds – even if it’s more of a snore sometimes in the night. She’s been my companion for half of my life and I love her. Happy birthday, Melly Cat.

612 ABC’s Queen of Weird – Me!

Every week, I get to join the lovely and talented Kelly Higgins-Devine on air for 612 ABC Brisbane to bring the weirdest and most bizarre tales from around the world.

This time, we went to eating contests in the US, death defying Russian marriage proposals and the festival of the ginga.

Click through to have a listen..

And the week before,┬ástories of women on a sex strike to force political change, a clothing company surprised at the offence they created with the name of their shop – “Hitler”. Then there is the story of UK fire fighters who had to save a cow stuck in a tree; then there is news one man who decided to surprise his girlfriend by posting himself to her.

Click through to have a listen..