Orlando the cat is an integral part of the Autumn Voices team, and he invites all humans over 60 who love cats to join him (and us) online. You don’t have to live with a cat; maybe the cat you adore lives with a friend or a family member or is a local cat who drops by quite a lot. Perhaps you have memories of a cat from the past? Like everyone at Autumn Voices, Orlando believes in equality, diversity and inclusion, so he also invites humans who live with other animals (or fish) to tell us about them. He assures us, albeit begrudgingly, this even includes dogs.
Online With Orlando is a new series of regular content on the Autumn Voices website designed to celebrate our love for our pets and the joy, companionship and inspiration they bring us . . . as well as some of their mishaps, mischievousness, and mucky moments. We’ll be doing this through different types of content, as follows:
Tell Orlando about the cat or pet in your life. What is their name? How long have you lived with them? Tell us three things about them. You could also:
- Post something on Twitter (@AutumnVoicesUK) or Facebook (@AutumnVoices) and tag us, using the hashtag #TellOrlando
- Send us a very short story or essay (less than 1500 words) or a poem (40 lines or less) about your pet for us to publish online, along with your details
- Tell us about your favourite book or film about animals or let us know your favourite animal pun (Orlando is purr-ticularly fond of puns) or animal expression (Orlando objects to the phrase, ‘It’s raining cats and dogs’.)
- Send us an anecdote about a memorable holiday you’ve taken with a pet, or an experience working with animals.
- Tell Orlando in what ways a cat or animal has contributed to your wellbeing. It would be great if you could illustrate anything you write with a drawing, painting, collage, whatever (please photograph it and include a file to send to Orlando).
- Challenge yourself! Orlando is dedicated to catering for education in CAT. Orlando challenges you to communicate to him a short paragraph in which as many words as possible have ‘cat’ in them.
We’ll be featuring new Tell Orlando content on the Autumn Voices website monthly.
Show us your pets or favourite animals by sending us pictures of them, past or present. This might be a photo you’ve taken yourself, or a good quality image of a drawing or painting you’ve done of your pets or other animals, or your favourite drawing of the family pet by a grandchild or young person in your life.
Orlando says: ‘Being hopeless at art at school is no excuse. Have a go!’
Stick drawings are absolutely fine by us.
Show Orlando what cat or animal paraphernalia you have at home. For example: clothes, cushions, ornaments, fittings, paintings, furniture or crockery that depicts your favourite creatures. Please collect as many as you can together, send Orlando a photo of them and tell us the story behind how you came to possess them.
With either of the above, tag us on social media using the hashtag #ShowOrlando have that depict a cat.
We’ll also feature new Show Orlando content on our website monthly.
This is a new fortnightly advice column in which Orlando helps you deal with your animal–human dilemmas. If you are a pet with a paw-sitively dreadful ‘owner’ problem, or vice versa, Orlando has solutions and a (mostly) sympathetic ear. He has years of experience resolving cat-astrophes and dealing with fur-midable opponents, as well as qualifications in both human and animal psychology from Purr-ham University.
We invite you, our readers and Autumn Voices members, to email your (lighthearted, real or imaginary) pet problems to Orlando to resolve. Nothing too tricky remember, he sleeps a LOT.
Competition over! See the winning entry
Ask Orlando will be a regular column and needs a fitting image for the star of the show. We love Orlando, but he’s notoriously poorly behaved at photo shoots and his agent refuses to get any more professional shots taken due to scratching incidents. We invite you, budding cartoonists and caricaturists, to draw your best likeness of Orlando in his capacity as Agony Uncle inspired by the photos we’ve provided here.
Please send your entries in to us by email (if you have access to a scanner) or by post by October 31st, 2021. The winner will be chosen by Orlando himself, supported by his staff team, and will receive a prize of £50 plus a copy of the Autumn Voices book and a design credit on the website. Over 60’s only!
How To Send Things To Orlando
Please send any Ask Orlando, Show Orlando or Tell Orlando contributions in text form as a Word document, and anything in image form as a JPEG file by email to:
Postal Entries (for the Orlando cartoon/caricature competition only) should be sent care of Robin Lloyd-Jones, 26 East Clyde Street, Helensburgh, G84 7PG.