Sunday, 17 May 2015

The definition of a GOOD day!

‘Today was a GOOD day! All went well, nothing unusual or unexpected happened. I ate at the right times, I snoozed at the right times, went out at the right time…. All very satisfactory!

One thing that most people should know about felines, is that we value a well-established routine. Routines are good. They make us feel safe. 
The moment Humans start talking about trips, our hair stands on end. 
The moment a Human comes with a pot of paint, a roller and starts taking things off the wall, we go into hiding. Renovations are NOT appreciated. The sound of drills, saws and vacuum cleaners make us run a mile.

Redecorations are slightly different though. Bringing home a new printer or side table is quite all right. They usually come with boxes and bubble wrap, which seem to be irresistible. The Christmas decorations also have a great appeal. In fact, they are very dear to many of us. We greatly enjoy the baubles and tinsel, and will gladly assist you with their arrangement.


My own routine goes like this: the first thing is waking the humans from their slumber, to make it perfectly clear that I need some biscuits. It is a very simple procedure, yet they are sometimes very slow to comprehend.
Basically, what I do is: I jump on the bed, walk all over them, make cute, chirrupy sounds and bump their faces. I do not settle down for a cuddle. Instead, once there is some reaction (any ‘hrrmph” will do), I jump back down and move towards the door. If they don’t follow I repeat the whole sequence.
After I get the desired response (aka biscuits), I go out for a stroll. About an hour or so later I make sure to be back home, because by now the humans will be preparing their breakfast. I just know that if I'm present and sound cute, some tasty little snacks like bits of cheese, butter and ham will come my way. You may call this my 'second breakfast'. They seem to call it 'Titbits'. 
Indeed, this day bits of cheese and ham found their way to me. After that, I always have a nice, long snooze in the bedroom, for which I resurface somewhere late in the afternoon. By then it is time for our afternoon stroll. The Humans are slow, but they are good company. They admire my sprints for one thing, and are ridiculously easy to beat. Today, they both walked with me, wearing their big boots and sipping from glasses of bubbly stuff. 
The sun was getting low in the sky. To me, this indicates time for my dinner. I make sure the Humans don’t forget it, by miaowing, and jumping up and down. My personal menu is very short:
Tinned casserole or tinned tuna.
Today is was casserole.
Evenings are the right time to go out; I check the roof or scout the area for vermin. By the time I want to come back in, I just hang in the window screen of the bedroom. It seems to make it clear to the Humans that I want to come back in, and they will open the door. After that, I join them in the bedroom for the night.

So, today all has gone well. No adventure, no strange cats, no snakes, no strange food, and the Humans behaved themselves. In short, a perfect day!’


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Wedding

Phooey, it has been a challenging time. No peace and quiet around here. The elegant lady has had her head in the clouds for a while, talking about 'our wedding', 'my dress', 'cards' and 'food'. Not that that had a negative impact on me mind you. I still got my food and my cuddles. In fact, I was actually looking forward to the thing they called 'holiday' in which the wedding would take place. It would mean that the Gentle Man would be at home, relaxed, and we would be at Kin Kin for a few weeks. No trips in the car, just the peace and wildlife of home. We did go there for a few weeks, however, sadly, we were not alone. First, there were the Gentle Man's kids. They were alright. They were clearly used to cats, adoring me with the appropriate level of pampering, but then came the 'wedding guests'. Numbers swelled. Dreadful. So much for everything being bigger and better here in Kin Kin. This time the house was full. Chockers. If I wanted some privacy, I had to withdraw to one of the wardrobes. Things can be a little bit hot here between the clothes, but at least it smells nice.

Two eyes glaring back at the Elegant Lady from the back go the wardrobe..

The day before the wedding, people started to arrive. There were cars all around the place and strange little domes sprouted up on the grass. I learned a new word. These domes, I discovered are referred to as 'Tents'. Well, I was hoping they would all soon be in the past. For the wedding day itself, I made myself scarce and withdrew to my cosy hideaway in the wardrobe. The Elegant Lady came to see me. Her big head appeared up-side-down in front of my shelve. These humans are so big, they have to bend over in order to see me. She tried to persuade me to come and see these people. 'You have seen them all before', she argued. 'They adored you when you were a kitten.' There was a pause, and then she continued, 'Some are asking about you, you know.' Yes, I had heard it, and no, I am not interested. I am not some silly little kitten anymore that will be nice and cute to just anyone. No, I am a grown cat: I have my dignity. And I want my peace and quiet. The Elegant Lady drooped off after that. I remained peacefully, and stubbornly, in the wardrobe, surrounded by shirts and socks and jocks.

Later:

I eventually did come out. For food, of course. After that I fled outside, and took refuge on the roof. Great place, the roof. I can see for miles, which makes it very safe. No human was coming to pester me for cuddles. From here, I could see the spectacle, and a spectacle it was. The humans had been quite busy; there were big tents with lovely lights all over them, tables and chairs so they could sit down for dinner, which by now smelled absolutely delicious.
The Elegant Lady came outside and looked quite glittery: long shimmering dress, glitter in her hair, glitter on her shoes. Oh my, I reckon she must be compensating for the lack of fur. (Humans do that all the time. I, however, don't have to do all these silly things to be gorgeous. In fact, I have to hide in order to have some privacy.) 
Anyway, in the spectacle before me, She was striding towards the Gentle Man like a shining beam of light, while he was waiting for her in the field. There they held hands, and looked at each other with puppy-dog eyes. They didn't say much; instead another gentleman did all the talking. All They said from time to time was 'I do', in strange, strangled voices. Then They kissed. Cameras flashed and everyone went like 'Ooh' and 'Aah', as if it was a big thing. (Huh, they kiss all the time. What's so special?!) After that, they signed some paperwork, smiled some more whilst drinking their beloved 'bubblies'. Out of the speakers someone crooned 'What a Wonderful World' and by now the whole group looked rather soppy. Apparently, my Elegant Lady and Gentle Man are now husband and wife. 


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Dog in the chicken pen

"This has been a very distressing day. I'm going to spend a lot of time sleeping and grooming. Weasel and Muppet are hiding with Catwoman in her bedroom; Muppet under the bed, and Weasel close to Catwoman. I don't expect to see them any time soon. We all need time to settle. So, what happened, you ask? I'll tell you what happened. A dog. A dog is what happened. 

This morning started out as any other day, but then I noticed that the chickens were unusually noisy and running all over the place. They were obviously ill at ease. Then I saw the chicken pen. It was closed. The chickens were outside. Inside the chicken pen is now a large, golden dog. I remember thinking to myself: 'What is a dog doing here? This is not a place for dogs!' Besides, as far as I know, dogs don't live in chicken pens.....



I heard voices from the main house. Catwoman echoed my sentiment: 'He is not supposed to be here! Where is his collar? Have the neighbours forgotten it AGAIN? We have young chickens and peafowls, he'll just slaughter them! We already lost a full grown peafowl the other day. This is not right!' (This is just the sanitised version of what she said. I left out a few colourful adverbs).
Yes, I thought, he would easily have those young ones for breakfast. Even I am not allowed to come near them (for they do look tasty). The dog, however, is MUCH bigger than me. Snapping their necks would be simple for him, including the necks of their parents, the peafowls, and, coming to think of it... mine. I'm not that big yet either. That realisation really struck. I was getting more and more nervous now. My heart was hammering in my chest as if it wanted to jump out.
So I did what cats do: sit safely behind a window and keep my eyes GLUED on him. He was not going to catch me unawares!
Whilst keeping watch, my thoughts drifted to a conversation I overheard from the Elegant Lady. She was talking to the Gentle Man about a huge wall that had separated a large city for many, many years. She called it: 'the Berlin Wall'. Apparently, it was very hard to get from one side of the city to the other. Some people even died trying to do so. 
It sounded very drastic, but I couldn't help but wonder if that was going to be good solution to our problem. Meanwhile, the chicken pen was also doing a good job protecting us. 


MUCH later.....

Finally the neighbours came to pick up their dog. They trotted up the hill, all smiles. By this time, my eyes were getting a bit strained from focussing on their dog. I even tried not blinking, which turned out to be very hard. Meanwhile, Catwoman had such a headache that she was not coming to greet them. She stayed in the bedroom with her cats.
Fortunately, Fruitbat is home. He is a stern man. He was calm and friendly to the lady and gentleman, but made it Ab-So-Lutely clear that this is not a good place for a dog. The lady splutters a bit... explaining that HER dog is such a LOVELY dog with a gentle nature.... It has no effect on Fruitbat what-so-ever. He simply repeated that this place has young poultry, cats, guinea pigs and a kitten. (eh, yeah, that would be me!) 
After that there was nothing to be done but for them to walk down the hill with their dog. All three of them were looking slightly deflated.
So now I can relax, and my heart can stop making such a racket. I have some serious grooming to do. I could also use a few cuddles and massages. And biscuits. And sleep."






Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Hare and the Tortoise - feline version!

Most days in the afternoon I go for a walk with the Elegant Lady and the Gentle Man. Usually I've been sleeping all day. By four o'clock it is time to stretch my limbs, check out my territory, and spend some time with my humans. 
You have to realise that humans are cumbersome things. They are very tall, yet walk on their hind legs. Imagine keeping this huge body upright all the time..... No wonder they are slow. Mind you, they are very good at some things, like opening doors and giving me massages. When it comes to running and jumping, though, they are useless. 

Most afternoons we have a race. I do give them a fair advantage. I wait until they are far ahead, then thunder after them, race past and climb the nearest tree. There, I'll patiently wait for them to catch up. 'Oh Mooch, you are such a show-off', she always says. Nope, they are just plain slow. The fact that they wear big wellies (against snakes apparently) and hold a glass of 'bubblies' probably doesn't help. 
I'll let you in on a well-known secret amongst felines. 'The Hare and the Tortoise' was based on a true story. Originally, it involved a cat and a human. However, a cat would never be as silly as the hare, who took a nap in the middle of the race. No, a cat would simply win the race, or find something better to do, such as take a nap, climb a tree, or chase a mouse. In that case, the race would be off, but NO cat would lose the race. 
Strangely, humans didn't find our story exciting nor flattering, so they turned it into 'The Hare and the Tortoise'. They also found the story more meaningful this way. 
Now the humans teach it to their young and mumble something about 'pride'. They seem to think it is a bad thing, but I have a hard time following their logic. No, I think they completely killed the story. I think the original story of 'The Cat and the Human' is much more meaningful. It simply illustrates that if you get bored with some rules, you change them. We felines fail to see the point in abiding by rules that turn you into a loser. No, you simply change the rules, and use them to your advantage. THAT is living life the 'feline way'!


Saturday, 26 July 2014

The reward....

"Today is a good day. Yesterday was a fantastic day. Yesterday was the day I almost caught a bird. And guess what? Today, my humans rewarded me. They told me how wonderful I am, and gave me a collar with some silver, shiny, tinkling balls on it. 
I know for a fact that when The Elegant Lady wants to feel pretty, she puts on a collar around her neck as well. They call it a necklace, I think. The Gentle Man always tells her how beautiful she looks, and she just shines. 
Muppet has a collar as well. He must have done some great deeds in the past. I used to be afraid of him. He really didn't like me. But then I realised that I could hear him coming from miles away, so I could hide. However, over time he mellowed, and now we sometimes have a chat. 
I asked him about his collar once. I was wondering whether it was irritating to hear this tinkling sound with every move you make. Muppet  just looked at me with his big eyes and said: 'Balls? Tinkling? Noise? What are you talking about?' Catwoman did say he's not that bright. I mean, how can you miss the fact that you are wearing a collar, and that you are tinkling all the time? On top of that, how can you forget that you were rewarded somewhere along the line? Never mind, what matters is that I have one too! 

To be honest though, this day is not even over yet and my enthusiasm is already starting to wane. I do not like this sound that follows me everywhere. It is a high sound, but not quite like the squeaking of a mouse, or the chirping of a bird. "Tinkling" is the best way to describe it. Very annoying. Doesn't quite feel like a reward anymore. And when I come to think of it, those pretty collars The Elegant Lady wears make no sound at all. I don't think this is fair. I am going to make my sentiments known and sit right here, where The Gentle Man does not want me to sit. On a silver thing. Flat and rectangular, with a shape of an apple on it - a convenient reminder to centralise the position of one's posterior, perhaps? He really hates it when I even come near it. So I am just going to sit right on top of it, and plot my revenge..."

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

This is the day I ALMOST caught a bird....

"This is a very special day. This is the day I almost caught a bird. To be more precise, I actually CAUGHT a bird. I've caught plenty of flies in the past. In fact, it is some kind of specialty of mine, but today I caught an actual bird. They are WAY bigger than flies. I was sooo close.. It was so exciting; a real adrenaline rush. The Elegant Lady (EL) and The Gentle Man (GM) are very proud of me. They've been praising and petting me, telling me how wonderful I am. Rightly so. Nevertheless, I have this strange, niggling feeling that something is wrong. I just can't put my paw on it. Maybe if I write the story as it happened, I can make some sense of it.

This morning the EL and GM had breakfast outside. It was a beautiful morning and I was scouting the area. This is MY territory and I need to know what's going on. There were some birds nesting in the thick grass by a small pond near the house. The grass is so high and thick, it is hard for me to enter, but easy for them to hide in. However, I am patient. I did notice some movement, and I waited. 


Mooch, not-so-cute anymore....
Patience is a virtue. It paid off. One of the birds moved and came close. I grabbed him, quick as a flash. Quite a mouthful actually, especially compared to a fly. As I walked back to EL and GM, I saw their eyes widen. Then the Lady said gently: 'Hi Mooch, what have you got?' I opened my mouth just a fraction wider to tell her what I've done, and the bird flew off! Eh? What?! I regained my focus while the bird looked rather disoriented. The next sequence of events are still very difficult to comprehend. It all happened so fast. 
I think it went like this:

I dashed for the bird - 
GM reached out and scruffed me. (NOT helpful) - 
I'm in the thick of a chase here, and wriggle free - 
Ran after the bird (again) - 
I was gaining; getting closer and closer - 
I heard EL shout: 'MOOOOOOCH!' 
I gave her a quick look. Just a fraction of a second. She's cheering me on, right? -
Bird gone. He flew up to a power-line.
  
There I sat, panting and slightly disappointed. The Elegant Lady and the Gentle Man came up to me and told me how wonderful I am. They were all smiles and praise. He picked me up the way I like it (no scruffing this time) and they both admired and stroked me. With all this lavish admiration my confusion just melted away. Of course, I am a glorious feline. It's in our blood.
Now, a few hours later, I am still pleased. It's just this strange, inexplainable feeling. Like something is wrong. But it can't be. I guess I'd better let my sentiments be known for some more biscuits, (surely I deserve some extra), a massage, (you can NEVER go wrong with them), do some grooming and have a snooze. That is a fail-safe recipe for feeling better. Because I should be feeling great. I should, shouldn't I?"  

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Fly-hunting and castrati

"It was a beautiful morning and I was doing one of my favourite things: fly-hunting! I am attracted to ANYthing that moves. Flies buzzing around are one of my prime targets. This one seemed to get trapped by the window all the time. Meanwhile, the Elegant Lady was sitting in her spot, scribbling on some paper, and the Gentle Man was tapping away on his computer. They were listening to the radio. The Elegant Lady likes classical music; she considers it soothing. Soothing. Right. This high-pitched, screechy and tinny, voice was going on-and-on in the background, going something like:




Pia-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-ah-AH-ah-AHah-AAAAAAHHH-NGOOOOOOOOO....
I really don't know about soothing... To me it sounded like whatever it is, is in pain.... The voice, if one can describe it as such, goes up and down, trilling irritably, just like a bird, then fading away. Meanwhile, I was doing my utmost to get that pesky fly. I was running, jumping, swatting, flying over the benches, the Elegant Lady: no obstacle is big enough (except walls, of course). I SO tried to concentrate. The fly was very fast. However, in the background this voice kept on going..


Il DO-lo-OOOHH-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-OH-OH-oh-oh-OOOOooooooooOOOooooo- re....
 
I NEARLY got the fly, several times in fact, but that howling was actually VERY distracting. So much pain and sorrow on my beautiful morning. Apparently, I was not the only one not liking it: the Gentle Man commented about this strange voice. The Lady explained that it is a male voice with some music from long ago. 'Male voice???' Off course. I understood! 'He's trying to get a mate!' 'Well, I'm sure I'll do MUCH better when my time comes.....'
(At least, that's what I thought at the time.)
'It is called a counter-tenor', continued the Lady. 'In the olden days when women were not allowed on stage, they castrated boys to keep their voice high.'

'Eh?' I found myself thinking. 'A man pretending to be a woman? That won't get him a mate. What is 'castrated' anyway?'
The Gentle Man took pity on them, sighing, 'Poor boys. No women for them.'

The fly was still buzzing around. I was trying to focus, and get back on the program. However, everything seemed to happen at once, like this: 

Run... focus....swat! 
ah-AH-  ah-AH-ah-AAAA
Fly buzzing; he escaped..
Gentle Man  was still talking in the background: 'they got castrated... 


ah-AH-ah-AAAA
...their balls got taken,

...focus on the fly...

oh-oh-OOOOoooooo
...just like our poor Mooch!!!'

..................................................................
'What?!?!?!?'
..................................................................
'I'm WHAT?!?!?'  'Castrated?!?!?' 'No females?' 'Impossible!'

This had stopped me dead in my tracks. Meanwhile the fly had found it's way to freedom through the front door. I just sat there, too stunned to react.  

'Me?' 'Castrated?' 'Without my balls?'
'I am a cat; which means perfection incarnate!'

Now I am sitting here. I lost my fly, my balls and my infallibility.
There's only one thing to do now in this time of extreme distress: clean my fur. Thoroughly. For the rest of the afternoon..."