From Typewriters to Broadband. Our Cats and Us

Intro from Admin: this is a republishing of an article published some time ago but inadvertently deleted. Sorry. The comments were lost but I managed to recover the article.

A potted history of our journey from using typewriters to broadband internet accompanied on the way by our loving and loved cats.

I was thinking about how much richer our lives are for meeting like-minded people through Internet sites and groups of people who care about the same things as we do, through for instance Ruth and I have both met people we are proud to call our friends even though we may never meet up in person, and of course on Facebook we’ve met people, fallen out with people, started causes, helped other causes, made protests and signed petitions to name but a few of the things we all get up to online.

old computers and cats

But it’s not all that long ago that I had no idea what the Internet was, certainly in my youth a worldwide website that could answer almost any question I asked and where I could meet, talk to and see pictures of people and their cats from all over the world would never have even featured in a dream, and yet here it is and here we are, all hooked on it in the nicest way.

Looking back to our first “computer” it was almost a prehistoric monster which our brother gave us when Ruth’s trusty typewriter gave up the ghost after years of her pounding away on it.

“Get a word processor”, said our brother. “A what?” said we, and so he gave us his old machine and spirited-up for us, also, an ancient printer that used tractor paper with holes down the sides that fitted onto little teeth that chugged it through the printer. Luckily he gave us a good supply of paper as well as we were never able to find any more.

We couldn’t get onto the Internet with it of course and barely knew even then what the Internet was, this was in about 1995/6, but we used it for writing letters and stories and there were some games on it that I enjoyed playing. We had a lot of use from it and in fact still have it in the dark recesses of the bedroom cupboard.

But we kept hearing from friends how exciting the Internet was and really wanted to join the fun, but where to get an internet ready computer was the problem, until I saw an advert from a company called Fiche and Chips selling refurbished PC’s with printers as well. Trustingly we sent off a cheque for what was to us a fair amount of money, after a few anxious weeks sure enough we took delivery of a big box containing all the exciting stuff, everything we needed to get online was there, except we had no idea how to start!

Eventually after we’d arranged dial up Internet access we found a friend of a friend who was willing to come and set it up for us and give us a basic idea of what to do, that was enough and from there onwards we soon picked it up and were hooked on the ‘Net though we had to share it between us and we were always conscious of the cost of dial up but we did manage to join some online communities, animal rights groups and cat lovers groups mainly. This was before Facebook was launched in 2004 of course and it wasn’t so easy to link up with people.

Eventually we were able to afford a second, new this time, PC for me and Ruth said she would happily settle for having the old one for herself, but disaster struck not long after and it died suddenly taking with it lots of files and photos and teaching us a never to be forgotten lesson – back it up! So we purchased another new PC for Ruth and treated ourselves to Broadband and the world became our oyster!

Bryan our gorgeous brown tabby (who we sadly lost in 2000) was a good little office boy, he would sit with, us in bygone years, while we were hammering away on typewriter or PC, purring happily and watching the screen just as Walter does nowadays, he likes to sit by me and he pinches the computer chair to do so, and often watches the movements on the monitor, Jozef isn’t into technology he’s the one I call the doer while Walter is the thinker. Jo likes to preserve his energy for stalking the neighbourhood.

So in that short time, a matter of less than 20 years how much our world has changed, I like to think that during our time on the Internet we have done some good, and I think we have, with the anti-declawing crusade and various other animal projects and groups we have been involved with, I hope so anyway.


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From Typewriters to Broadband. Our Cats and Us — 11 Comments

  1. Babz, I had intended to sneak your article back onto the website without notifying people (the most recent posts list) but I failed to get that right. So it is as if it is a new article 😉 Sorry.

  2. Very well written article… uuppps! not written actually types for internet 😉

    Yes you are right. I have still my type writer which is in order and I look at this classic type writer which is German and is about 50 years old. This is my dad’s. I still have COMMODORE 64 and all its essentials. I have more and more antique items for which I care very well because these are my past friends.

    I used to be alone in my life, specially a regular library freak. 😉
    Never had many friends but loved research. Still now the cats are my main subject of study and I always keep myself updated towards the issues related to cats.

    It is my experience that I have 96% western friends on facebook, and personally I have in my real life many a many western friends. I avoid east. I know it but am unable to type here. It does not mean that I hate EAST. Nup! but there is a great gap between my inner culture (orthodox ISLAMIC culture) and the modern (Self defined/ selfish inhumane ISLAM). Western love humanity and welfare (towards human beings and animals) and it recall me the welfare aspects of my inner spirit which is directly connected with all prophets.

    Waaooo! cats are wonderful and if internet can help us to share the different new or old ideas about cat welfare, The internet is the BEST opportunity of the present time. The basic sense is to avoid being selfish or rude and become stand with hand to hand about the main issue of welfare of CATS and KITTENS.

    Humanity and welfare both must be as blind as COURT OF LAW (Justice). And why not? No color, no religion, no creed may stop us to do the humanity works or welfare to human beings and cats. This is what I often think when I am totally sad and alone.

    God bless you Barbara and your family, ameen. And thousand thanks for the article <3

    • Ahsan you are Western in your thinking. When I communicate with you it is like communicating with a friend here (almost). But you have a very spiritual approach to life through the Islamic faith. I think you have achieved a lot where you are. You have done very well.

      • HAHAHAHA Ahhhaaaaa nup My friend! I think that Westerns are orthodox moslims in their thinking and and it is vise versa now to both 😉

        well thank you, jazaka Allah (means, May Allah bless you and reward you, ameen).

        Actually, I always think positive, even about cat killers. I pray for them that one day they will get the merciful heart and spirit towards the innocents. I have never shown my hate to them. Hate can never rectify anyone, but LOVE can conquer the HEARTS.

        This is my approach which I have received through out the prophets, saints of Islam, Christianity and Judah. Three brothers standing as they are a Bermuda Triangle while the light is the same but the acts are far away different in our time.

        If we make boundaries between Cat lovers and Cat haters. We are both in WAR. And I now that what Winston Churchill said about war.

        “The first causality of war is innocence.”

        And in this case, its the cats and kittens. So, be patient and keep a control over the tolerate level is the best to avoid such circumstances that these innocent creatures suffer much and more.

        This is my straight opinion. God guide us all, ameen. Thank you Michael <3

  3. lol oh my curly perm, how old fashioned it looks now.
    Bryan was my little shadow, I still miss him even after 14 years. We are so lucky to have shared/share our lives with so many beautiful cats, each and every one with us in our hearts always.

    • In a way it is quite nice to republish because it brings back a memory and we can take a fresh look at things. Although I had intended to republish it quietly and to restore it to the way it was and not give the impression it was written yesterday.

      • It was nice to see it again, a lot of wonderful old articles get lost in the mists of time, there are so many on PoC, I like rereading old ones anyone has written.

        • That is true Ruth. I’d like a software program which brings the old articles forward and stirs up the site. I am looking for one. There are many good articles that are lost somewhat. Although, the big pages are viewed a lot, and found by the search engines such as “wild cat species” and “hair loss in cats” including also some of the essays.

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