Hubcat goes to Geelong

I am finally out of the Spotswood Quarantine Center (sorry, centre) and I am heading to Geelong!  While in Spotswood I chatted with some kids who were visiting the Scienceworks Museum and they told me they had a school library that was staffed by a qualified teacher librarian!  That deserves an award so I am heading to Geelong to find their school and make a presentation to the principal.

To help me find Geelong I have done a lookup on Google maps and it tells me it’s west of Spotswood.  I have also discovered it is home to the Geelong Cats football team!  That is a very good omen for my first public appearance in Australia. 

I love sports almost as much as I love reading.  I think I will make Geelong my favourite football team.  Does anyone know which ice hockey team I should follow while I am in Australia?   I saw some type of ball game being played on an oval near my home. There was a red oval ball and people were kicking it all over the place and running in every direction.  They seemed to get upset at the ball because sometimes they would punch it.  Someone jumped on someone else’s back and I thought they were going to start playing piggybacks.  It all looked very dangerous and I had to go and lie down for a while.  I have decided to call this game FrenzyBall.

I think I like soccer most of all.  In soccer you are not allowed to use your hands which gives me a big advantage as I have four paws and I can stand upright on two of them.  This lets me run around carrying the ball in my paws and throwing it into the goal.  At least I used to before they banned me.

Apparently it’s a good time to go to Geelong. The cats are playing in a Grand Final game in a few days, so lots of interesting things are happening in town.   I might even get to see Karl Stefanovic on Friday!

Published in: on August 22, 2008 at 3:45 am  Comments (1)  

Hubcat from Spotswood

Hi it’s Hubcat again.  Still enjoying my holiday at Spotswood Quarantine Station and I would like to bring you the story of one of my friends I’ve met here, Mad Dog Snuffles.  Mad Dog is a pure bred cat coming in from Spain and he’s as mad as a cut rattlesnake.  If you thought pure bred cats were eccentric, this guy makes them look like Karl Stefanovic (I’ve been catching some breakfast TV on the widescreen). 

Mad Dog had a tough childhood.  He was raised by a pair of guppies (I’ve been picking up the lingo although I’m not sure whether they were dinks or guppies), they had lots of money and no kids and an apartment in Madrid.  They spoiled Mad Dog a lot but they were so intent on making him happy they forgot to teach him anything and Mad Dog grew up without knowing how to read. 

He had trouble during his early years.  He couldn’t read the instructions on boxes so he used to eat his cat litter and I don’t want to tell you what he did to his dry cat food.  He used to cover up his deficiency by playing the clown.  As he got older he started to play the bully. He liked to put other cats in their place.  By the time he was an adult he was too wild with other cats to be let out of the apartment.  His owners have moved to Australia to get him away from his old gang and to give him a new start.

I’ve been teaching him how to read.  It passes the time and it keeps me sharp.  I started by helping him read the importation guidelines for cats.  I got through the section on mandatory neutering and that’s when we had the first escape attempt.  He went straight through that chain link fence like it wasn’t there.  He would have made it out if those damn Irish greyhounds hadn’t jumped the fence in excitement and taken off barking like the world was on fire.  The Spotswood staff rushed out and caught him on the outer fence.  Mad Dog was okay but three Irish greyhounds were treated for wounds.

He has calmed down since he started concentrating on his reading.  He no longer makes up far fetched escape plans in his head, now he writes them down and shares them with the other cats and he has a possum who smuggles them across to the dogs.  If you are in the Spotswood area and you see a large group of un-neutered animals rushing by, that will be thanks to our Mad Dog and the power of the written word.

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– Mad Dog Snuffles surrenders to Spotswood security during a recent escape attempt.

Published in: on August 22, 2008 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Hubcat Arrives in Australia

Hi there, I’m Hubcat.  I am here to help the Hub spread the good word on school libraries and teacher librarians.  I have made the trip from America. I’m from New York originally, I had to leave there due to some … unpleasantness.  I borrowed a library book from an upstate library in 1998 and forgot to return it.  A couple of months ago the library police came collecting.  I heard them shout out at the front door and I hightailed it out the back window before they had broken through.  I ran like crazy through Manhattan and eventually lost the chopper by travelling under the Brooklyn Bridge.  Scary times.

In California I met some Hubbers at a conference and they invited me to Australia to join their cause.  Since library fines do not carry over between countries I leapt at the opportunity.

I had heard Melbourne is a cosmopolitan city with exotic dining and eclectic shopping but I have to say the Spotswood quarantine station has not lived up to my expectations.  I get the same food every day and I have a cat run that is about the same size as my old laundry.  The good news is I arrived just at the right time, with the Olympics on widescreen TV in every cat run.

Some bozo designed this station so the dog area was in plain sight of the cat area.  We have a bunch of mongrels in there who just wont shut up.  Every time I leave the shelter and sprint up and down the cat run it’s like I’ve entered the Beijing Bird’s Nest at the end of the marathon.

I have started earning a bit of extra money already, doing Westgate Bridge traffic reports for a breakfast radio station.  It gets difficult with all the barking.  If there is one thing I’ve learnt since arriving in Australia it’s that you shouldn’t drive to work between 8:15 and 8:45am.

I am looking forward to starting my work for the Hub and you might see me at some events.

Here is a picture from Google Street View of the beautiful surroundings of the Spotswood Quarantine Centre:

Picturesque Spotswood Quarantine Station

Picturesque Spotswood Quarantine Station

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There is plenty of parking for visitors.

Published in: on August 22, 2008 at 3:25 am  Comments (2)  

Coming soon……

…the adventures of Hubcat, feline champion of school libraries across Australia.

Born in New York in 1995, Hubcat was led by his natural pussycat curiosity to travel to Australia to meet with people and let them know that school libraries make a difference!  A law abiding cat, Hubcat is currently relaxing at the AQIS quarrantine station in Spotswood, Melbourne, until they confirm that he is a disease-free and rather fine specimen of cat.  After this time, he will be looking for opportunities to meet with principals, teachers, students and parents and check out some great school libraries. 

For now though, it’s just rest and relaxation.

Published in: on August 17, 2008 at 5:08 am  Comments (1)