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:

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... 

...their balls got taken,

...focus on the fly...

...just like our poor Mooch!!!'

'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..." 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Muppet and Weasel, part 2

"Muppet and Weasel don't love me. I'm huddling in the granny-flat, licking the scratches Muppet gave me. They hurt. His nails went actually in my skin. I'm confused. I don't know what went wrong. Let's backtrack. A few days ago, I finally met the other two cats for the first time. I had been looking forward to it. However, they didn't quite react the way I expected. Nothing bad happened, but in hindsight, I can say that they were NOT happy to see me. Also, in hindsight, I realize the value of a screen door! 
So, the other night The Elegant Lady went to the big house, where Catwoman and the other two cats live. The Lady and I like Catwoman. I was hoping for one of her wonderful cuddles, so I followed The Lady. When I got to the house, the screen-door was closed. It kept me out on the verandah. I was mewing to get their attention to let me in, when suddenly Muppet appeared. He was sitting right in front of me on the other side of the screen. He looked startled. The Elegant Lady had told me he has a permanently startled look on his face, but soon his eyes narrowed and he started to growl. He didn't look startled anymore, but angry and menacing instead. It's not something I've encountered before. So, to remedy the situation, I'm putting my front-paws on the screen and make my cutest chirrup. I'm letting him know in very simple cat-terms that I want to be his friend. It doesn't seem to work though. He's giving no indication that he wants to play.
By now, Weasel noticed something was going on and spotted me. She, too, looked completely stunned. As if this was something that was not supposed to happen. Then she walked over and joined Muppet. 
They sat side by side, their narrowed eyes fixed on me. She too, didn't look like she wanted to play. The word 'menacing' again springs to mind. Both Catwoman and The Elegant Lady had told me the two cats didn't get along, but to me, they looked very much united. United against me, I realize now. I think I made a few more chirrups, but since they didn't respond, I got bored. 

Muppet went on-and-on with his growling, one long monotonous sound while Weasel just sat beside him. I didn't feel threatened, because they didn't do anything. The just looked frozen. Then, something caught my attention. A leaf. It rustled by in the wind. Now, I'm a kitten; Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is my natural state. Anything that moves fascinates me. It needs to be inspected, pounced upon, clawed and chewed. The world is my playground. Finally something to play with. So, I was happily playing with the leaf while Muppet was still growling in the background. Weasel had lost interest by now. She too, realized there was a screen separating us. She gave me a look that said: 'I'll get you later', and walked off. Finally The Elegant Lady said her goodbyes, and took me home.

That was a few days ago. This morning I met Muppet again. Outside. Without The Screen Door. Like The Lady said, 'He is a handsome male, with a wonderful fluffy tail.' He was again looking at me. Growling. (Eh? Has he actually stopped since we last met? Doesn't look like it.) Meanwhile, his tail swished from side to side. Being the ADD kitten that I am, I ignored the growling, and got completely hypnotized by the tail. I just couldn't contain myself. If something moves, it must be there to entertain me, so I wiggled my bum, focussed, and WHAM! I pounced. 
Muppet was furious. He let me know in no uncertain terms, with tooth and claw, that I am not to play with his tail. In fact, he doesn't want me to come near him at all, and he certainly isn't here to entertain me. 
Now I'm in the granny-flat, licking my fur. Both my humans have tried to comfort me, but to no avail. I just don't know what hit me. On second thoughts, I do know who hit me. Muppet. The unimaginable has happened: he and Weasel don't love me." 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Muppet and Weasel, part 1

"I have noticed that there are two more cats here at Bat End. Sometimes I hear them walking past the granny-flat. I usually rush to the door (which seems to be closed all the time) and call out to them in my cutest chirrup. I am sooo looking forward to meeting them and, of course, playing with them. The Elegant lady looks at me. She is worried. She doesn't think they are going to like me. She told me that Muppet is a handsome male; gray, with a white collar and black lines around his large eyes. She also told me that he had a sad kittenhood and wasn't properly cared for. Catwoman took him in, but Weasel, the other cat, hates him. He now walks around with a permanently startled look on his face. Weasel is the resident matriarch. She is a black and white fluffy lady, also called 'Hairy Beast'. She likes Catwoman, cars, men and dirty laundry. You can also find her on the toilet looking for fresh water to drink.
According to the Elegant Lady, she does not like sharing. 
I don't know why she is so worried. In all my 10 weeks I haven't met a cat or a human that doesn't like me. My mum loved and nursed me, with my siblings I played and huddled, and humans usually found me irresistibly cute. I mean, what can go wrong?
Catwoman however, seems to share Elegant Lady's concern. In order to prove it, she read out an excerpt from some old diaries she reckons were written by Muppet:

Day 25 at Bat End: 

'Weasel hit me. Again..'

Day 26: 

'Weasel swiped me as she strolled past. She always wants to hurt me...'

Day 27: 

'The day started so well. Did a really cool game and Catwoman was proud of me. But then Weasel cornered me and bashed me up.'

Day 28: 
'Weasel hit me. It really hurt'

Day 29:

'Hiding under the bed. Weasel still found me and hit me. Feeling sad.'

'Muppet', when happy!

However, she also read me a few pages of Weasel's diary:

'This is my 25th day on top of the kitchen cupboard. Something disastrous has happened. One day (25 days ago that is) MY Catwoman came home with a little ball of fluff. He is white and gray, with large eyes lined with eyeliner, and a little smudge of cream on his nose. She said he was being mistreated at his previous home. I noticed the gooey look in her eyes though, and my heart just plummeted. This is MY house and MY human and no fluff-ball shall take that from me. I think I'll go down and teach him who's boss.'

'This is day 26 on the kitchen cupboard. Catwoman had a guest over for lunch. This lady went all 'Oooh and Aaah' over the new fluff-ball. I feel absolutely nauseated. I remember this lady. She used to go 'ooh and aah' over me, but no, not today. I did get my own back though. I waited untill both women were gone, and got down from the cupboard. I just 'casually' walked past 'Mr Fluff' and swiped him. Didn't see that coming, the stupid git, eh?!. Feel a bit better now.'

'What!?' 'My nap got interrupted on what must be day 27 on the cupboard. There is the noise of something thundering through the house. I cautiously peered over the rim of the cupboard and my heart took a nosedive. Nooo! I'm in shock. Disbelief. I closed my eyes and shook my head, but when I opened them, the scene and the sound were still the same. 'Fluff-ball' was racing through the house after the 'Red Dot'. He was completely absorbed by the game, eyes shining! Catwoman looked ever so pleased. This is outrageous! She is MY woman, not his. Mark my words: 'he'll pay for this...''


So, is Catwoman actually trying to tell me that her cats are NOT going to adore me? I can't wrap my tiny kitten-brain around that. Surely she must be wrong. No, Muppet and Weasel are going to love me, you'll see...."

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Kin Kin, where bigger is better!

"So, we finally went to Kin Kin. I was told when I arrived at Bat End that we have a beautiful place in the country, and that we will be travelling there and back again every week. As the time moved closer, the Elegant Lady packed more and more stuff. Humans really seem to have a lot of stuff. They seem to think they can't live without it. The Gentle Man was noticeably excited. So, Kin Kin seemed like a truly mysterious place, where life must be really good. What was a mystery to me is the name. It's the same word twice. Isn't 'Kin' enough? Or 'Double Kin'? What about 'Two Kins'? I figured there might be a reason for it, and I was about to find out.

The car was packed, my Humans excited, and I got strapped in my harness and taken in the car. Did-Not-Like-It. There was a rasping roar, everything started to wobble, and suddenly the trees were shaking again. Elegant Lady took me on her lap, and held me tight. It calmed me and eventually I think I must have fallen asleep because in the next moment we were arriving at Kin Kin, and I was introduced to my second new home. And it was BIG! I raced around, skidded over the tiles and flew straight into the fly-screen! It's all HUGE. Call me 'Lord-of-the-Fly-screen'. The rooms are bigger, the bed is bigger, the screens are fantastic! Even my food bowl is bigger, and my litter-box... actually, after a second glance I realise that my litter-box is exactly the same. Different colour maybe, not too sure about that. Apart from that I started to have an inkling as to why my Humans look so happy. Bigger must be Better!

Something strange happened the next day. I was snuggled up beside them on a bench. Before us is this BIG table. Did I mention the table is bigger too? Well, it is. Moreover, from the bench it's only a little stretch for me to get up there. I can see the whole room. The Elegant Lady came in with a roast chicken. Both my Humans go 'Oooh' and 'Aaah' over the scent. I couldn't agree more. I hop onto the table (not even a jump) and check it out. 'Noooo'. 'Mooch, stay away!' The Gentle Man's voice is not so gentle anymore. 'Huh?' 'You mean, Me?' 'You actually mean that I can't be here and can't have chicken?' I was actually whisked off the table. Not just whisked, scruffed like a naughty kitten. I am still utterly confused. I can be on a bench, but not on a table? What is the difference between this surface and that surface? It's easy to reach. Meaning, if I can reach it, it's my territory. More importantly, you tell me all day how utterly adorable I am, you want me to be part of this family, but I can't join you for dinner and have this chicken? It must be human logic. Fortunately, not much later some chicken appeared in my 'bigger-and-better bowl'. After that I fell asleep on the 'bigger-and-better' bed.
I was reflecting on the Kin Kin mystery on the way back home in the wobbly car. It struck me that everything was bigger and better in Kin Kin (except the litterbox). One 'Kin' simply won't cover it, so it's doubled up. Yes, I think that's a reasonable explanation. Mystery solved with some furry logic. Now I can go back to sleep!"