Living with six cats

Many book lovers are also cat lovers. Work experience student Tayla was over the moon the day she discovered a litter of kittens joined her family – all of a sudden, they had six cats to look after! Here is Tayla’s story, in her own words: 

You never know the moment your life will change forever. It can happen any minute and you wouldn’t know. For my family, we were just returning home from my sister’s Year 7 Graduation. We didn’t become billionaires or win a trip overseas or anything… instead a small, scrawny kitten approached us from the darkness of night. We knew there were a few other cats that lived in our neighbourhood but we had never seen this one before. Either way, we brought it inside and poured it a small bowl of milk to quench its thirst. I can remember how my sister and I were over the moon with excitement, thinking we were going to have a new pet cat! But of course my parents thought otherwise…

It was after all of our begging and pleading that my parents agreed to take care of the kitten and see where things went from there. Little did we know this decision would change our lives forever! At the time we already ‘owned’ one cat, which would come and stay with us whenever it pleased… even though it technically belonged to our neighbours. Of course, our neighbours were fine with ‘Patch’ living with us as long as she was happy too.

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One of my cats, Squizzy

Months passed and after asking around the neighbourhood to see if anyone had lost their cat, we decided it was time to give the kitten a name. Now my family have never been good at naming animals. In fact we usually just stick with the first thing that comes to mind… so we called it ‘Squizzy’. I think it was probably because of the fact its bushy tail resembled a squirrel in some way.

One day we happened to notice something strange about Squizzy. We were petting Squizzy’s stomach and saw it looked bigger than usual. When we felt it there was a small kick that responded. It was from that day onward we concluded that ‘it’ was actually a ‘she’ and Squizzy was going to be a mother! But excitement aside – my parents immediately decided we were to give away the kittens once they were born… but my sister and I didn’t give up hope yet. We had decided that we were going to keep those kittens one way or another!

The day of arrival came at last. My mother came and picked me up from school early that day due to the fact one kitten had already been born! She was tiny, fluffy and was curled up in a small ball in the corner of Squizzy’s basket. Soon after the first kitten, later named ‘Rosie’, was born, a second small ball of fluff popped out and joined her. We called him ‘Badger’. Another hour passed and we were presented with two more beautiful kittens, which we named ‘Panther’ and ‘Navi’. I know, creative names, right? Once we saw them we knew we couldn’t let them go, and thus it was the beginning of how we came to own six beautiful cats!!

My four cats Navi, Badger, Panther and Rosie

Front row: Navi, Badger and Panther and Rosie is the one up the top

Over the years we have been through a lot with our cats. Rosie, our eldest, had to get a bone in her hip removed due to falling out of a tree! It was a tiresome few months for her as she couldn’t walk or move and had to spend her time in a large cage watching cartoons on the TV. She was very quiet throughout the days but after she recovered, she was up and running again like nothing ever happened. We call her ‘our little mechanical girl!’

Another thing that happened the same year the kittens were born had quite an impact on everything. My favourite cat, Badger, had grown quite close to me since he was born. He took an instant liking to me and his younger sister, Navi, and became the happiest cat alive. And the strangest. He would always sleep alongside me at night and before we would go to sleep, he would come up to my face and lick my nose. Badger would also purr so loudly that it was impossible to fall asleep before he did. Whenever the heater was on Badger would go and sit directly in front of it and stare into the flames. He became my best friend in such a short amount of time.

I never knew it would end so soon…

I can remember the day like it was yesterday. Badger had been missing for a few days but seeing as our cats wandered outside, we didn’t think much of it at the time. I was talking to my sister in the living room when my parents told me the bad news. They had found him on the side of the road a few hours earlier and buried him out the back. It felt like my world came crashing down in one night… Of course I was upset but we had a nice funeral for him and buried him with some flowers. His sister Navi seemed to distance herself from the rest of the family over the years, yet she grew closer to me. Badger was only a few months old when he died but I believe he had a great time while he was alive and we made lots of memories. I will forever hold him in my heart and remember all of the good times that we had!

Our cat Leo

Year 10 student Sophie was with us for a week’s work experience recently, and decided to write about her beloved Leo, her family’s moggy. Read her story below. 

We got Leo when I was four. We never thought we would get a cat as we had just moved into a house which is right next to a busy road but my mum loves cats so much. The first year Mum would always try to keep Leo in at night so he wouldn’t go wondering, but he soon worked it out and started hiding in the bushes, so Mum couldn’t find him to bring him inside. Leo didn’t seem to be going on the road because he would always be back home the next morning, so we started leaving him outside at night.

Leo was mostly in a playful mood. Even though he passed the kitten stage pretty quickly, he would never give up an opportunity to claw something. You would think he was a playful cat, but in fact, he was mostly scared. He was always hesitant walking through the front door or turning a corner – instead he always liked to be hiding under his favourite bush out in the front yard.

Leo

My beautiful cat Leo

When I turned ten, I started getting bored with Leo and I wanted a dog. I would complain to Mum that Leo wasn’t fun and if we had a dog you could take them on walks and on holidays. When I was eleven we got a dog and named her Lizzie, I was so happy. Lizzie didn’t like Leo but Leo didn’t really care. Leo kept out of the backyard and spent his time inside and out the front, away from Lizzie. I played with Lizzie as much as I could after school. I soon realised as I got older that Lizzie wasn’t as great as I thought she would be. Lizzie would smell, but Leo didn’t. Leo loved cuddles, but Lizzie didn’t. My sister started being great pals with Lizzie and I then went back to loving Leo the most.

On the 23 of January 2015 at 9:11pm (I remember it very clearly) we were watching a movie when mum’s mobile phone rang – it was the local vet. The vet said Leo had been brought in because he had been hit by a car. My mum then asked if she could come and get him the next day (thinking he was OK) but the vet then told mum he didn’t make it. Mum told us what happened and we all started crying. I was then crying for the whole night and the next week.  I couldn’t believe he was gone forever and I would never see him again. It really hurt I didn’t get to say goodbye.

My mum spoke to our neighbours about Leo’s death and they mentioned there had been a dead fox on the road. We now think Leo had been chased by the fox onto the road. I had Leo for eight years and I am glad I have beautiful memories and photos of him. We are not considering getting another cat at the moment but when I am older, have a house of my own and live next to a quiet road I would like to have another cat like Leo.

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Work experience student Holly recently spent one week with us at Tea Tree Gully Library. Not only did she learn about the library and all of the work that goes on behind the scenes, she also learned a lot about herself.

‘Hi, my name is Holly and I attended work experience at the Tea Tree Gully Library. I am going to be writing about stepping outside of your comfort zone.

What types of qualities do you need to step outside your comfort zone? Courage? Bravery? Persistence? Resilience? I think they pretty much cover it. This year, I have had to deal with stepping outside of my comfort zone a lot. I still am. Is it easy? No, of course it isn’t. A way to help me through a confronting situation is to think about the positive outcomes. Stepping outside of my comfort zone makes me more confident and independent in the long run, even if at the time I am really nervous or freaking out about it. I know that if I do the certain activity, I will be better off for it.

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‘Stepping outside of my comfort zone makes me more confident and independent in the long run.’

One instance of me stepping outside of my comfort zone was whenever I had to deliver a speech to my class. Sure, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I can’t help but get nervous. When I get nervous like that, my hands shake and I talk really fast. I am sure that’s common. However, the more times I get up in front of people and talk to them, the more confident in speaking I will become. Over the year, I have gotten better at speeches in front of people. There is still room for improvement, but practice makes perfect. In all honesty, I don’t mind delivering speeches, but my shaking hands and pounding heart suggest otherwise. It must be a subconscious thing. To get rid of this subconscious worry, I will need to face the anxiety head on by delivering speeches. The more I do it, the more comfortable I will feel, which will decrease my nerves. I hope that in the next couple of years, I will get even better at public speaking.

Another instance of me stepping outside of my comfort zone is performing in front of my drama class. Don’t get me wrong, I love drama, but sometimes doubt seeps into my mind. What if I’m not good enough? I bet everyone else is better than me. This is so embarrassing, I look ridiculous! I don’t even want to know what people are thinking of me right now! Those are some of the thoughts that whirl through my mind as I try to perform. This results me in getting very nervous, my hands shaking, my heart pounding and me speaking my lines way too fast. Sometimes, my performance levels will drop because I’m too scared that I will look ridiculous. If I am holding a prop, it will be very obvious my hands are shaking. I have to do a monologue in drama for my exam in a few weeks and I find it very difficult to rehearse it in front of everyone, as my character gets a little crazy. However, the more times I do it, the more times I step out of my comfort zone, the easier it gets. My confidence has built so much since my first drama lesson this year. My teacher has noticed it too. I now can rehearse my monologue or other parts of the script without the nerves or fear of people watching me. Again, there’s still room for improvement, but if I keep persevering, I will get there. I love drama and wish to continue it throughout school and maybe even after it, so if I can build my confidence, which would enhance my skills, that would be amazing.


One of the biggest examples of me stepping outside my comfort zone is when I volunteered to go to my school’s Sri Lanka mission trip. At first, I was just very excited. I haven’t really been overseas before, aside from a cruise to the Pacific islands with my family. I have never been on an international flight. I haven’t been that far from home before. This would be the longest time away from my family and most of my friends. As the time got closer, I started to feel more nervous, doubts creeping into my mind. It was feeling a lot more real to me now. What if I couldn’t do something that the team wanted me to do while I was away? What if I humiliated myself? What if something goes wrong? What if people in the team didn’t want to talk to me? What if I became lonely? What if the kids at the homes don’t like me? These questions were clouding my mind, making me feel more anxious about the trip. Even with all of my doubts, it didn’t stop me from wanting to go. I still wanted to make a difference to the kids’ lives. I leave for Sri Lanka this Sunday, which is both exciting and scary. I need to step outside of my comfort zone and deal with any problems that come my way the best that I can. I have pushed out all of the negative thoughts and try to focus on the positive. Just because it’s a new situation doesn’t mean that it will be bad.


The most recent instance, which also includes the time that I was writing this, is my work experience. I applied to the Tea Tree Gully Library. I thought it would take a while for them to contact me, but it only took about a week or two, which was a pleasant surprise. I have to be honest here. I, like almost the entire Year 10 cohort at my school, did not find a work experience placement at the start of the year when we were handed our forms. My reasoning was that the places I already looked up either didn’t accept Year 10’s, didn’t have the correct days, or already had work experience students. I am glad that someone suggested I should try the library, as I do like to read myself. It’d be interesting to see what is going on behind the scenes of a library.  Right up to the moment I stepped into the library, I was feeling extremely nervous. I had no idea what to expect or where to go. The same could be said for the interview process. I was worried because I had just come from school and was still in my PE uniform! I had wished I had time to change. At least when I went into the work experience week, I had time to make myself look presentable.

Once I got to the council, one of the librarians came and got me and brought me down to the work room. This was when I was most nervous, but I pushed through it and carried on. There were a few little introductions. I knew I wouldn’t remember anyone’s names straight away because I am not really good at names. Michele talked me through the introduction to the library and gave me a tour. I started to feel more relaxed, but I still felt a little bit nervous. Soon enough, I got into some work. I started off at the chute with Chris G. I enjoyed it, especially since I got to know Chris a little bit better. I think that’s what I like most about each job. I get to talk to and learn more about the workers here at the library. This helped me feel more relaxed. My favourite job on Monday was probably being at the customer service desk. You can interact with customers as well as the staff around you. Even though checking in lots of books and sorting them into the right boxes and trolleys may seem tedious and a little boring, I didn’t mind it. I found myself getting into a rhythm. By the end of the first day, I was really tired. I wasn’t used to this type of work day. I went home tired, but looking forward to coming back for the next few days.

Tea Tree Gully Library

‘I am glad that someone suggested I should try the library, as I do like to read myself. It’d be interesting to see what is going on behind the scenes of a library.’

On the Tuesday, I had to find my own way to the library, so I decided to take a bus, which is something I don’t normally do. I really didn’t want to get there late because there was a staff meeting, so I decided to get an earlier bus than I had planned. I was a little nervous, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and have a little faith in myself. It was the right choice. I got to the library in plenty of time. The staff meeting was right at the start of the day and I had a chance to look at all the staff, as I had not met everyone yet. My favourite activity of the day was helping run the ‘Facebook/Messenger on your tablet’ session. Even though I don’t use either application myself, I managed to help some of the people in the session, which was great. This session was a lot different compared to the other jobs that I had done so far. I even learned some things from attending that session. Just like the first day, I put 100% effort into everything I did, even with the more tedious tasks, like labelling wine bottles.

On the Wednesday, I caught the bus again, but I decided to catch a slightly later one. I still made it to the library in plenty of time. The first task I did was to find the expired holds. There wasn’t too many to do, so I spent about 45 minutes also just shelving books. After morning tea was the fun part. I got to attend the ‘Baby Bounce’ and ‘Toddler Time’. A couple of staff members and myself sat in the corner of the library in front of a crowd of kids and their parents. The 10:30 session was for babies and the 11:30 session was for toddlers. What we had to do was sing songs to the kids and do the actions to them. I was nervous and uncertain about it at first, but I quickly got into it. These sessions were something that I have never done before, but I really enjoyed them. The little kids were so cute!

Baby Bounce

‘What we had to do was sing songs to the kids and do the actions to them. I was nervous and uncertain about it at first, but I quickly got into it. ‘

I then spent a couple of hours at the customer service desk. I got into a steady rhythm. After the customer service desk, I had some time to continue this blog. While I was working, one of my school teachers came to see how I was going. We had a quick chat about what type of jobs I was doing. I then went back into the work room to continue writing. After the allocated project time, I attended an early development and index meeting with Holly, another librarian. Throughout the week, it would be disorientating when someone would call my name, but not be talking to me. I have rarely come across someone with the same name as me before. During the meeting, there was a power outage, so a lot of people left early, including me. It turns out the whole state had a power outage.

On Thursday, I started the day by doing holds. However, I only had time to do a few because at 9:15am, there was a morning tea for a staff member’s birthday. That lasted until 10am. I then went to help David for a couple of hours around the library. After that, I did some of the pick list with Stephen. I then spent another couple of hours in the toy library, which was interesting. It was good to interact with Lyn and the volunteers there. After that, I went back to the chute for a while with Pam. We also managed to do some of the pick list as well. To finish the day off, I had more time to work on my blog.

On Friday, my last day of Year 10 work experience, I came into the library early once again. It gave me time to look over my schedule. I started the day by doing some admin with Nicolle. It was a little bit confusing, but if I had more time for it, I am sure that I would have got it. I then went to story time with Kim and Julie. I listened to them read stories to the kids, helped hand out the crafts stuff and joined in with any actions for the songs. The kids were really cute and excitable. After story time, I went back to help Nicolle with admin. After lunch, I worked in the chute and customer service desk one last time. At the end of the day, I had a final catch up with Michele to talk about the week.

Now that the week has ended, I can say that I’m glad that I applied for the library. It gave me a good variety of tasks. It would probably be boring if I did one thing for the whole week. Work experience in general is a great way for kids to break away from their school life and have a glance at the real world. It may be outside of their comfort zones, but it does prepare them to do well in their futures when they do have full time jobs. Work experience gives you more independence and confidence, so I definitely recommend you doing it. Tea Tree Gully Library is a good option if you are unsure of where to go. It gives you a taste at a range of different jobs.


In conclusion, nothing worthwhile in life is easy. You will feel much more joy if you have to put a lot of effort into achieving something. If you could do anything without much thought or effort, the impact of the achievement will be a lot less. Something may be outside of your comfort zone, but don’t let that stop you. Be brave. Be resilient. Be persistent. Have courage.’

3 minutes of poetic fame

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The Writes of Spring

Open mic poetry readings at the Library

11800067 - microphone and swirling text

Wednesday 28 September 2016

6.30 – 7.30pm (spectators) 6.00 – 7.30pm (performers)

North Eastern Writers Inc. will be presenting a free evening of poetry at the Library ‘The Writes of Spring’ on Wednesday 28 September 2016.

Come along to the Relaxed Reading Area of the Library and hear a range of emotive poetry and prose readings from members of the North Eastern Writers and the general public.

Or if you are a budding poet why not perform your piece? It costs $5 to participate and there is a three minute limit for each performer.  Registration is from 6pm.  Bare your soul, make a social comment, make us laugh or rap.  Whatever your style of poetry, you will be welcome.

A wine and cheese supper will be served.  Book online or telephone the Library on      8397 7333.

 

 

 

 

One Library, One Community – A work experience recap

Hello dear Reader, my name is Danielle, and I am from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College. For one week, I used my time to gain knowledge on how a professional and working environment functions and to learn and assist around the Tea Tree Gully Library.

As part of my Work Experience, I have been given the task of writing a blog post for the Library website (which is what you are reading now), and after considering many topics and ideas I have decided to write about the wonderful community here at TTG Library and how much the staff value those who come to visit. I hope you enjoy reading!

So on my first day, I began the week by helping “behind the scenes” of the library, such as in the Chute Room (where books are returned on a daily basis) as well as the Customer Service Desk, however, my first interaction with the public was when I helped Jessica and Natalie during “Toddler Time”. I enjoyed being around the younger audience and I loved how comfortable the kids were around Jess and Natalie. Even just joining in with singing the nursery rhymes was a fun and relaxing way to spend the hour, with two wonderful ladies. Later, I spent time in the Toy Library, which was filled with dozens of toys ready for the children before the holidays.

Next up, we have ‘Cover 2 Cover’, a book club run by Kim where young adults (like those who are teens) can come and be a part of the Library activities once every month. This week in ‘Cover 2 Cover’, the group discussed a recent book that they had been reading named “The Enchanted”. Written from the perspective of a man on death row, the novel followed many complex themes and metaphorical twists. I found it very interesting, seeing the discussion between those who were there and joining in with answering questions that related the topic of the book and to events in the real world. Being in Year 10, I definitely liked being able to spend my time with others close to my age and who also enjoyed my passion of reading. ‘Cover 2 Cover’ is now preparing for the Inky Awards, and so, I would definitely recommend the club to anyone who loves discussion and books and I will definitely try to attend another meeting!

During my time at TTG Library, I also noticed the enormous effort that the staff and those who work here put in to ensure the Library runs smoothly for the public. From hosting introductions about new technology, for those who wish to learn, attending presentations that provide information on new changes with social media (regarding the younger generation) and even just maintaining the library to make certain that anyone is able to easily access what they want.

 

After seeing the positive attitude here at the Library, small gestures such as being able to help with providing assistance to someone on the computer or aiding with the self-checkout machines for borrowing were tasks that I was happy to help with. Towards the end of my week, I was also given the chance to assist Penny with updating the Library website. During this time, I was given a run through of some of the tasks that Penny was assigned to perform and once again, I was amazed with how meticulously she was able to keep the website up-to-date in order to guarantee that any members of the library can definitely find what they need. We also experimented with different software such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop and the content management software, Seamless.

I would like to thank the staff who have made my week of Work Experience so enjoyable, especially those who acted as my buddy throughout my time here. I am incredibly grateful to those who helped me, especially on my first day as even though I was slightly nervous, you taught me to adapt to the environment here at the Library, which in turn allowed me to have a very successful week! To Kerry, Heidi, Deborah D, Lyn, Taylor, Nicolle, Sonya, Tegan, Stephen, Adrienne, Michele, Linda, Kim, Tricia, Chris G and of course Bronwyn: THANKS ONCE AGAIN!

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 Signing off,

Danielle Cooke

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Playing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ on the Library piano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What WAS the 90s all about? Shakira gives us her take.

My name is Shakira, and I’m from Golden Grove High School. I was very happy to be at Tea Tree Gully Library this week (for work experience) and am grateful to all of the employees for their assistance.  You heard it here first.

For some people, (me), the nineties are just as historical and ancient as the Bronze Age. For others, the time period was filled with childhood memories, clunky technology, and the leftovers of eighties’ hairstyles.

This week, a Ninetiespalooza was being held at the library, in honour of history month. Staff members have graciously bought along pictures of their past (see below).

Who can you recognise?

Tea Tree Gully Library staff 90s shots

Dated arcade games have also been put out for the public’s enjoyment, but don’t be fooled by their simple pixel screens. They’re really, really hard.

 

So, in honour of this event, we’ll go through some of the highs and lows of the nineties.

First off, is fashion. The 1990s truly were one of fashion’s worst decades – simply because all of the clothes seemed to be designed for cosiness rather than stylishness. A very natural look was encouraged, with minimal makeup and natural hair being very popular. Now in the 21st century, flat irons and hair dye are used all around – and of course in the eighties, hairspray and curlers was the thing. Compared to all that, the nineties were very free-spirited. What a disaster! Everybody knows that comfort does not equal style.

Now, something that even the 1990s couldn’t mess up: movies. Oh, the movies. If Titanic, The Lion King, Home Alone, Fight Club, Jurassic Park, Pretty Woman, and/or The Matrix didn’t inspire you, tug on your heartstrings, open your eyes, or make you feel something… then you clearly haven’t seen them. Nineties movies were the greatest, ya’ll.

Much like people’s fashion sense, the cars of the 1990s were much the same; bland, boring, and even down right ugly in some cases. It’s amazing how even a $13k car could look like a low-grade manufacture. That’s right, this decade messed up sports cars.

Just look at the comparison.

Here is a regular, middle class car. One your parents might get you for your sixteenth.

red car

Here is a Dodge Stealth TT, looking more or less as bad as the first car. Some car critics may argue “But it’s a classy, attractive car! Look at it – it’s closer to the ground! Rounder!”

fancy red car

These people are clearly living by the standards that old cars are good cars. No. Nineties cars were awful, and they age worse with every year.

And what was with those lights?

While the music would be generic at best by today’s standards, something about those old-school tunes really excites this generation. Masses will forever awe at Mariah Carey’s vocal range, and Britney Spears’ toxic singing is boundless. The Spice Girls didn’t need anyone to tell them what they wanted, and let’s not forget Barbie Girl, which was at the top of the charts for three weeks in ’97.

The Spice Girls

Image credit: whatculture.com

So, that’s the nineties basically. Don’t quote me on that.

Thanks Shakira. Tea Tree Gully Library has plenty to offer in the way of 90s nostalgia: books, CDs, DVDs and more. Come in and browse or take a look at our online catalogue 

Young and passionate about reading? And writing?

Read books you love. Or hate. Or have never heard of. With other young people.

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Tea Tree Gully Library’s youth book club Cover 2 Cover encourages passionate debate and discussion on all kinds of books. The group meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month, from 4.30-6pm and is free to join.

Cover 2 Cover members receive extended borrowing time on items, money to spend on new books, opportunities to write book reviews for library customers and delicious snack food at each meeting. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, with a strong emphasis on reading for pleasure. Guidance on texts and required reading for school and university can also be provided.

For young writers, Raven’s Writing Desk is the library’s youth writing group, who meet on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 4.30pm.

Raven’s Writing Desk is also held in a relaxed environment. Members are encouraged to share their writing with others in the group to gain honest feedback and their creative written style can be appraised and developed with the help of the group’s facilitator, an English teacher.

Book recommendations, inspiration for writing and tips on getting published are shared at monthly Raven’s Writing Desk meetings. Members also receive extended borrowing time on all items.