Treacle's diary. Extracts from the blog of a feline secret agent.
|Saturday 13 April. 19.00 - 21.00 hours.|
|Les laisons dangermouse|
|By and large I'm a sociable cat- which in feline terms means that I am prepared to admit that under certain circumstances other cats might be allowed to share the planet with me as long as they keep to the less desirable bits. Being of an outdoor disposition, I am on nodding (or hissing) terms with most of the local felines.|
Recently I've been hanging out in the waste ground by the old Co-op store with a lean and well-scarred bundle of fur called, insofar as he has a name, Thatdamnferaltomsbeenatthebinbagsagain. He may have ears the size of a rabbit and, judging by his tail, a streak of squirrel in his ancestry, but by gum, this thug is some mouser. We work as a sort of team - he bags 'em, I tag em. I know that this cat does this for a living, but it's a pleasure to work with a master.
Anyway, this evening, I came sliding under the fence as usual, and received that deep thundery growl that means 'back away!'. Naturally, this encouraged my curiosity, so I popped the rest of the way through. I was mildly surprised to see Thatdamnferaltomsbeenatthebinbagsagain engaged in carnal congress with La Contessa Wysyiwg III, the highly bred, rosette-winning Siamese princess from Poplar Drive. Only mildly surprised, because La Contessa has recently been expressing an urge to make whoopee at volumes that can be heard several blocks away. However, I thought her humans had her well under lock and key. Still, it's hard to keep a cat indoors if it doesn't want to be there.
La Contessa's people will be pleased. Humans love kittens.
|Munday 1 April. 10.00-10.30 hours|
|Hanging out with the chicks|
|As I dangle from the branch by one paw, I consider my options.|
Option A. Retract claws, and allow myself to drop. Not a perfect choice as I am currently some 15 feet in the air, and looking down at the roses bushes directly below me.
Option B. Yowl loudly for help. This will in due course produce junior staff and a ladder, but I am not sure that my pride can take it.
Option C. Hang on indefinitely. The best idea that I have come up with so far, but not really a long-term option. Apart from considerations of eventual starvation etc, my grip can only last so long until option A ceases to be optional.
I'll be the first to admit that this operation has not gone perfectly to plan. I took a benevolent interest in the young couple courting in the poplar tree on the edge of the garden. I watched approvingly as they built their cute little nest in its welcoming branches. Eventually I heard the welcome tweeting which signified that new life had been brought into the world. Then I shimmied up the tree to eat it.
The nest is in a fork of a long bendy branch. I had got far enough along it to see the little nestlings, blindly and trustingly opening their little mouths. I was reaching out a paw for the greediest, on the basis that this would probably be the fattest, when something hit me on the back of the head.
It wasn't hard, but very distracting. Hence my predicament. Not helped by the fact that mother bird is still about, sqawking and dive bombing me. I twist violently in another attempt to get my back legs on to the branch when there is another unexpected blow on my haunches. What the ...? The branch suddenly gets a lot smaller and a feeling of weightlessness briefly takes over. Just before I instinctively twist to hit the roses feet first, I see that father bird has arrived.
|Munday 29 December. 2.00-23.30 hours|
|Bad weather blues|
|The weather has been rotten all week, wet, cold and generally miserable. I've been forced to use the time indoors for training and research. Here are my conclusions.|
Abseiling - The bedroom curtains are not strong enough for this activity.
High-speed chases - My cornering on the landing needs to improve if I intend to take the stairs at more than 20 mph. The wet patch on the carpet where the vase of flowers came down does, however, help with traction.
Navigation - It is possible to get all the way around the lounge without touching the floor, though you have to wait for someone coming through the door with a tray to help you bridge the gap there.
Communications - the telephone on the hall table makes an intruguing 'ting' when knocked to the floor, but after five or so tries it becomes silent.
Camoflage and deception - the padding in an underwired bra tastes terrible, but you can have hours of fun digging it all out.
Night ambushes - Dropping unexpectedly off the top of the bathroom door onto the neck of someone going to the loo at 3.30 am can cause them to go sooner than expected, especially if they have not turned the lights on.
Overall, it has been a useful week brushing up my skills. However, I hope the weather improves soon. Lacking my ingenuity and resources, the junior staff are looking a bit frazzled.
|Sunday 21 December. 11.00-11.30 hours|
|How's this pose? I'm aiming for sort of heraldic, sitting upright front paws together grave expression, ears pointed. Good, isn't it?|
Or this one, lying on back, head tilted at a kittenish angle, front paws tucked into chest. Arodable, no?
Maybe we'll do traditional, curled up, nose to tail, a picture of peace andcontentment?
Okay that worked. Good, now stroke here, no here, nearer the tail a bit. Good, and now some on the flanks. Yes, work out that burr here. I'm going out, and need to look my suave, sleek best, so slightly more vigorous strokes please. We have some loose hairs to work out as well.
All smooth? Yes, but I don't want that greasy palm smell on my carefully arranged scent, so I'll lick it off here, and here, thank you very much. Oh, and tickle the base of my tail while you are at it.
That's me back on my elegant best. I'm off to pose on the garage roof and impress the opposition for a while. Are you still here? Why? You can go now. Find some way to amuse yourself, but don't go far. I might need you again soon.
|Thursday 11 December. 13.00 hours|
|A spoonful of tuna ...|
|For me? Really? Why thank you. Most kind.|
I accept the bit of tuna steak with appropriate graciousness, but really I'm rather touched. Normally when I am feeling a bit off-colour junior staff take the opportunity to attack me, and rub evil-smelling creams on me and so on.
But just a few minutes ago female junior staff gave me a little parcel of smoked salmon for my delectation, and now male staff is offering this fine morsel of tuna. What's next? Chicken? Venison?
In the hope of further delights to come I take my time with the tuna. This is just as well, since if I had gulped it down I would have inadvertently swallowed the small round object that was embedded in the fish.
There's a lot of these around at the moment. Hard white things, with a faintly chemical smell. I found another in my food this morning. Since that food was standard kitty kibbles, I simply ignored the entire bowl. There was another one in the smoked salmon as well. But smoked salmon is smoked salmon, so I carefully ate around the white thingy, as I'm doing with the one in the tuna.
Better finish as I note that the junior staff have their heads together and are muttering and giving me sidelong glances. Time to make myself scarce.