Friday, 17 July 2015

Oh, what a night!

'Oh my, what a night! I just came home from what must have been one of those glorious nights like you experience only a few times in your lifetime. Absolutely perfect! The sun has yet to come up. I reckon I’ll just get a whisker of sleep before breakfast.
We moved house a few months ago, and since we moved in here, I’ve hardly been out at all. Frankly, times have been hard. For some reason They kept me inside or, when I did go outside, I was on a leash. Me! A grown cat! As if I'm an irresponsible kitten. 

(And don't get me started about the time I bungee-jumped off the verandah to catch a bird. To make a long story short: I didn't catch the bird and it was a good thing my leash was made of elastic.... grumble....that was a downer.)



I was also pissed off with Them for taking me away from Catwoman. They called it ‘moving-into-a-new-place’. Well, new is not always better; any feline can tell you that. However, I needed some time to get used to this new place - its occupants and its smells. You know the routine - find out where I can hide, where I can sleep, and where I can just simply watch the world go by. I have come to the conclusion that there is no real danger for me here, although it has taken a while.
On the whole, like any other self-respecting feline, I like to be safe and have my routine. Any deviation from that routine can cause some upset. But there are times when my old blood sings; when nature and adventure beckon. The lure of the wild, the need to run, the desire to rekindle the ferocity of my feline ancestors, (or even my current African cousins.)
Tonight was the night, deep within my bones, I sensed the call.
I was prepared. I waited for someone to open the back door and I slipped through as they entered.
And then I ran. I ran free, unbridled, unrestricted, unfettered. I had the night to myself. I had the time to do all things feline. I ran some more, I stalked, I sniffed, I climbed a tree, I jumped down, climbed another, crept along a branch, slid down its bark and back to the ground. Up again, on to a wall, a ledge and then: a roof! And then another roof. Freedom. Freedom is cool. I like rooftops too. I like to dash over tiles or wobbly metal. Too fast for the neighbour's cat. He’s such a dork anyway…. 

At various times during the night I heard The Elegant Lady calling my name. She even rattled the box with my favourite biscuits. Last night however, her tricks were not going to work on me….

I came home on my own account; which was about five minutes ago. The Elegant Lady was ever so happy to see me. I only had to meow once before she let me in. Consequently, she cuddled me and gave me biscuits. Amazing! Even the Humans behaved themselves perfectly tonight! 
I can now curl up in my favourite spot and close those peepers for a while!'

To be continued....

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Oh my....Humans are such slow learners....

‘Oh my, what a day. Humans can be so thick. Their assessment of certain situations is so slow. Also, their ability to turn something simple into something complicated is absolutely staggering.
The day started as per usual. All was well in my world. My daiIy routine went as per normal. I like routine. It makes life safe and comforting.

Today, everything went fine. It wasn’t until somewhere in the afternoon that I started to realize that something was wrong. Something smelled wrong.
In case of doubt, always follow your nose, and in this case it had a strong reptilian scent to it.
Reptilian equals Bad.
Very bad.
Despite this, The Elegant Lady did put on her gumboots in order to go for a walk. She likes wearing her gumboots in summer, because she is afraid of snakes. She thinks those high, cloncky boots will give her some protection if she were to step on a snake.
Yeah, as if….

So, here She was, boots and all, urging me to go with her. Again, going for a walk in the afternoon is something we usually do. It is part of my daily routine, which I greatly value. Nevertheless, today I was sitting safely behind the screen door, trying to work out the level of danger to which She seemed oblivious. The scent was by now very strong and I was not at all keen to go out. Despite her fear of snakes, the scent and my hesitance, She still didn't get it. Noooo, instead, She opened the screen door and waited for me to come out. I didn’t want to go outside! What was She thinking? Nevertheless, She bent down and tried to pull me outside. I completely tensed up, and whilst being bent over, she peered between her legs. That’s when She spotted him. He was right behind her, between the pot plants. (I have to give it to them: they do know how to blend in.)
She reacted as if stung by a bee. She screamed something unintelligible, jumped INSIDE and closed the door, leaving me OUTSIDE, right in front of a huge snake.
I was stunned. I mean, it is not as if he was a great threat to her, boots or no boots. He was a big snake, but humans are still way to big for him to eat. Me, however, was the perfect size for a tasty, little snack.
Out came The Gentle Man to the rescue. He swooped outside (on his bare feet; no boots), scruffed me and whisked me back inside.

The Elegant Lady was still whimpering.

He called out for a tube. She came with a plastic tube.

‘Nono, wrong tube.’

‘But I don’t know what you want’, she whined.

‘You look after the snake, and I’ll go and get it. DON’T let him out of your sight’.

So, there She was, looking rather frightened, whilst He made what appeared to be a snake catcher. I am by now confused: I sure don’t want them to catch a snake. Kill it, yes, but why catch it? Surely we don’t want to keep him? Or maybe they’ll eat him? But no, they normally don’t catch their meat; they buy it instead.
Meanwhile, He came out with a metal tube that had a piece of rope poking out of one end to form a loop. He was also carrying a box. (I have to say I really didn’t know what this was all about. What’s wrong with simply swiping the snake really hard with a clawed paw? I mean, I was too small for this snake, but The Gentle Man is big enough. Oh, of course – they have this anatomical flaw, characteristic of lesser mammals, non-retractable claws, that I think they refer to as “nails”).



Snakes are not very smart, and this one was no exemption. He simply slid his head through the loop, without so much as a hint that he noticed anything was wrong. The Gentle Man tightened the loop and wrestled him into the box. To my great relief, the Humans didn’t take the box inside. Instead, They put it in the car and drove away. Hah, I was hoping he’d get carsick.
Anyway, I could breathe a bit easier now the scent in the house returned to normal. The Humans returned, with an empty box. From their conversation I understood that They had released him in a forest, far, far away. It appears that The Gentle Man had stayed true to his nature. He had let the snake live, because he saw no reason to kill it. It took a long and complicated procedure, but hey, that’s humans for you.


We survived the crisis and all I have to do now, is some serious grooming. I’ll also pester Them for some extra biscuits. In my humble opinion I definitely deserve pampering, pandering and cuddles….’  

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..."