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Treacle's diary. Extracts from the blog of a feline secret agent.

Wendesday 7 October. 6.30-14.00 hours
The sitter
Look, we went through this yesterday. In the mornings I have fish. Noooo, idiot, not in sauce, in Jelly. Haven't they taught you anything? And while we are at it, wake-up time in this house is 6.30 sharp. You will get to understand the 'sharp' eventually, because I am prepared to keep clawing your toes until you do. I don't care how pathetically you hobble to the bathroom afterwards.

Honestly, I feel sooo put upon. Not only have junior staff pushed off for a few days, but they have left me to baby-sit this great useless sack who has not the faintest idea, really. Just this morning, he tried to sit in the rocking chair in the lounge. At ten o'clock! I ask you. If I had not abandoned chair at high speed thanks to the highly-honed instincts of a professional assassin, I would now be dead under those bulging buttocks, and he would be shifting about wondering why the cushions were so lumpy. He's not got the faintest idea, as I told you.

Door! Door. DOOR! Where's he got to? Open this Door! Are you deaf? About time. Now, listen carefully. I'll be doing my rounds, checking all the garages in the alley, so expect me back at 12.30 forlunch. Which WILL be kitty kibbles and rabbit. People who serve dry biscuits at lunchtime find cat-crap in their shoes. Have we worked that one out yet? Good, you may go.

Really, having to baby-sit with my age and seniority is bad enough, but don't staff members come with an instruction book these days? After almost a week I've got the basics sorted out, but it's been uphill all the way. I'm so stressed that I decide to pass on my patrol, and recharge my psychic batteries with a calming doze on the roof. I'm sure it was not so hard training the junior staff when I was a kitten.
Monday 27 September 03.00 -22.00 hrs
The feline Pimpernel
I spent the night outdoors. Well, it was a warm moonlit night and I didn't feel like sitting around indoors waiting for the others to wake up. Had an early breakfast on some chipolatis in the bin outside Luigis Greasy Spoon restaurant. A bit of a mistake, as I then spent most of the day in the rhodendrons whilst the chipolatis made their (fortunately rapid) way through my catabolism.

10.15 Was disturbed by junior female staff rampaging through the garden looking for something, so sneaked into the house and parked myself under the dresser in the hallway - convenient for a dash into the bushes should the chipolatis rise once more.

17.30 Sleep through the afternoon, though female staff is making a number of increasingly worried phone calls from the hall phone. Eventually male staff member comes home - slightly earlier than usual, it seems. The pair grab their coats, and exit, leaving me in peace.

20.30 I slumber under the sofa in the lounge until they come back three hours later. There's the stomach-churning smell of curry a la Luigi on their clothes, but also the distinctive whiff of Jimsons beer from the Old Lion. As the two are over a mile apart this means the junior staff have been wandering all over the neighbourhood.

21.20 Female staff is on the phone. Her frantic voice carries clearly to the lounge. I decide that, well, I'd better find out what's bothering her. I slide out from under the sofa and rub her legs as female staff returns. The hysterical relief ofthe pair astonishes me. What kind of problem was it that I could resolve simply by turning up?
Tuesday September 21. 16.00 hours
I'm in the garden supervising female staff member as she weeds the rockery. She's just popped indoors for gardening gloves or something, and I'm sunbathing on top of the wheelbarrow. It's a lovely late summer's day and I'm feeling lazy and relaxed, when suddenly ...

There's a flutter of wings, and not fifteen feet from me a large black bird has dropped down to enjoy a worm turned up by female staff's efforts. Now, I've been off birds ever since I got a feather stuck in my gullet that drove me near crazy for a week; but this gross impertinence cannot go unpunished.

Slick as molten molasses, I slide off the wheelbarrow onto the grass. While the feathered bandit is blithely scratching about the rockery, I'm oozing into position - just five feet to go, and I'll be ready to spring.

Just then, the bird stops, and cocks a beady yellow eye in my direction. I'm frozen as a statue, but we both know - my cover is blown. After a long, slow inspection, the bird ignores me and turns back to the rockery. I pause to examine the situation. Did I mention that this is a large black bird? With a huge and very solid beak? Did I neglect to point out those nasty curved talons?

I'm just thinking of chucking in the hunt and grooming my whiskers instead when I see that female staff member has returned and is watching from the kitchen door. How do I back out now? Do I lose my pride, or my right eye?

Put like that, it's not even an issue. I abandon subtle stalking, give my best blood-curdling yowl, and charge as a bristling mass of fur and claws. Startled, the big black bird gives a hop, and takes to the air with a clap of wings. Rather surprised to be still alive, I trot down the path, glancing nonchalantly at female staff member as I pass. 'Just missed catching one of those big black birds, y'know. Real pity. There's good eating on those things.'
Wendesday September 11. 20.00 - 21.00 hours
Getting underfoot
I wander into the kitchen, and have a few bites. Junior female staff is cooking something major, and is constantly gettting in the way as I check the cupboards,and sniff some of the interesting aromas - and a slightly charcolally smell that tells me there's going to be some distress when she next looks at the bagels.

Then to the lawn outside, where I want to see if I can spot whatever rodent has been leaving scent trails around the hole in the wooden fence. Might as well stretch out enjoy some spring sunshine while I am at it ... but no, junior male staff wants to play with his buzzy toy and make grass clippings. Good-naturedly I climb onto the wall and continue sunning myself while he chases behind his buzzy toy until he is all red and sweaty.

Since there will be no rodent sightings after that, its to the lounge window sill to surveil the street outside. But in the lounge junior female staff is running about flapping a yellow duster. Apparently the game is to get it into as many strange corners as possible, and then sneeze at the dust.

I call off the surveillance (impossible with all that fuss) and head off to the laundry basket to psyche myself up for a possible confrontation tonight with the evil Sugarkin over peeing rights on the corner garage wall two doors down. I've barely considered half-a dozen strategies, when Madame is bothering again, wanting to take away the laundry to spread that soapy smell over them with the machine she uses in the kitchen.

Go outside, intending to keep an eye on the world from the the wheeled box that is currently outside the garage in a prime position. But, no, junior staff is busy with the front up, spreading its greasy smell all over his clothes. (Later, junior female will spread her soapy smell over these same clothes - such a childish disagreement as to how clothes should smell)

sulkily I abandon the day's work and go to sunbathe on the roof, leaving junior staff to their games. Sometimes its impossible to get anything done around here.
Friday August 30. 13.00-14.00 hours
Curiosity killed the ... spreadsheet.
Okay, what's all this? Male junior staff has some sort of flat box open. It's got a nice shiny screen, and he's whacking something ckackety in front. What's that? Move over junior - time for the senior staff to have a go. H'mm, interesting. Of course I do it so much better on account of being able to walk on the keys.

Oi! Don't move me aside. I'm the boss here, remember? I'll just hop onto the table here, and sneak up around the back. Something going whirrrrr inside the box, wonder what that is? I whack the bit where the whirrrrr is coming from, and the whole box moves. Cool! I do it again, and notice that junior staff is getting agitated about something. Must be on that screen thingy at the front. I poke my head around and look at the screen for a few seconds - there must be something there, because junior staff is getting even more agitated.

Curiouser and curiouser ... now he's slammed the box shut and gone off to the dining room. What was that about? Intrigued, I follow him, but the box is too high up to see. With a single magnificent bound I land on the table. Unfortunately there was a glass of water inconveniently positioned right on my landing spot. I don't know what junior staff is so worried about. Hardly a drop landed on me, and the table was protected by those documents and diagrams. I wonder what they were about? Oh well, with the ink gone all runny, I guess we will never know.

Junior staff is so busy collecting the documents that he does not see the puddle soak under the flat box with the pretty patterns on the screen. Wow!

I crawl out from under the sideboard. That's the trouble with finely honed reactions like mine - instinct just takes over when there is an unexpected bang. Junior staff member has been really affected by it all. He is banging his head on the table and crying with excitement. I rub my head against him to calm him down. It's okay. Just a bit of fun.

I don't know why we don't do it more often.

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