Insomnia

When I woke at 3am there were no cattens in the bedroom, which made me feel deeply suspicious.

An hour later and one is sitting on my chest, holding me here.

I’m now suspicious of what the other three are up to while I’m being constrained by Dandy.

I want to write, but my laptop is in the car.

Besides, Dandy feels like he’s taken up residence for the duration.

How my life has changed, that cats now play such a large part.

Blogathon 21/17: Raining cats (not dogs)

No, not this:

Cats

Cats

I mean these:

Cat

Stop pooing and feeeeeed me

The house is occupied by two girl cats, two boy cattens, three human girls, and me.

You can feel my pain now, right?

Anyway.

Introducing two kittens was, in hindsight, a risky move.

But after the first handful of months, things seem to have settled down.

Settled down means it’s still like living in a Tom and Jerry cartoon, but overall there is less kitten wee to mop up.

Oddly, the two older cats have become more kittenish.

And at the same time the two kittens have shown remarkable maturity wait, no, strike that from the record.

The two kittens have shown no maturity at all.

They hoon around every room in the house, at all hours of the day and night, chasing/being chased by things both real and things not real.

They scamper up things (furniture, curtains) and people (me, anyone else who happens to be not in motion at that moment), then scamper down the other side.

Claws out.

It is sometimes a painful experience.

They crash in and out of the cat flap as if they are being pursued by…

Childcatcher

Then, after much hooning around, they fall asleep for hours on end.

Surprisingly there has been an affect on the human occupants.

Living with the four felines has changed the dynamics slightly.

The house just feels more ‘homely’.

I have no idea how it does, but it just does.

I’m convinced that all of the cats have collective names for the humans.

‘Food opener’, ‘bathrobe wearer’, ‘small noisy one’, ‘even smaller noisier one’, etc.

Ripley thinks her name is Hello Rippers.

Dandy thinks his name is Hello little boy.

I have no idea what Raven thinks her name is, but she just doesn’t care anyway, she just wants some food and wants it now.

And Beano thinks his name is Get Down!

Getting in to the house after a day in the office can sometimes be a challenge.

Small fury quadrupeds all over the hall floor as you come in through the front door.

All demanding food.

And all demanding it right now!

Even though one must negotiate the swirling forest of (four) felines in order to get to the kitchen.

But they are lovely to have around.

And yes, they have made the house in to more of a home.

But I still wish I had a…

Dog

Dog

Smell

My dog’s got no nose.
How does he smell?
Bloody awful!

The family has grown.

I’m still a little bemused at the speed, and at the method.

But one minute we were happy with two small humans, two large humans, and two girl cats.

And then, the next minute, there were two small humans, two large humans, two girl cats, and two boy kittens.

Beano and Dandy, two 14-week old kittens were seen at the RSPCA Rescue Centre.

The next day they had moved in with us.

Since then they have turned the house, and our lives, upside down.

The level of toilet training they have is probably best categorised as ‘regrettable’.

Their behaviour: ‘delinquent’.

And their teeth and claws: ‘lethal’.

Many wees and poos have been found, hither and yon.

But usually hither.

And when I say ‘hither’ I mean usually underneath one of the beds.

But finding these little ‘accidents’ (though, between me and you, I think there’s an air of calculated, malicious deliberatism in the production line) has been made very difficult because of the cold.

Colds.

Because the two adults in the house are now sharing ‘the cold’.

We’ve sniffed our way around the house every time we come in.

Sometimes the sniffing has been successful.

Sometimes the blocked-up noses have let us down.

The two one-year old #RescueKitties (now pending being relabelled as #RescueKatz) have not taken well to the interlopers.

And we grown-up humans have tried to walk the thin and wiggly line that separates showing too much preference to either the #RescueKatz or the #RescueKittens.

So there are behaviours to account for.

And ownerships.

And wee.

And, inevitably, poo.

Welcome to our world.

(sorry about the smell)

Heart Attack Diary: #6

*settles down for a quiet evening*

 

  • A large pyrex baking dish is dropped on the stone tile kitchen floor. The noise of impact was heard in three counties
  • 7yo projectile vomits an impressive amount of liquid around the lounge
  • The (hellishly loud) garage burglar alarm goes off. I run through the house and open the garage door to find one of the #RescueKitties sitting between the ZX10 and the 250N, looking very puzzled

All of these things in the space of 20 minutes.

Look.

I’ll say this just the once.

I’VE HAD A FUCKING HEART ATTACK, YEAH?

I’M SUPPOSED TO BE HAVING A SHEDLOAD OF PIECE AND QUIET.

CAN WE PLEASE RETURN TO PEACE, QUIET, AND A STRESS-FREE EXISTENCE?

Thank you.

Getting collared

We have two rescue kitties.

This is what happens when you let two immature adults loose in the RSPCA rescue centre, looking for a dog.

They come home with two rescue kitties.

Obv.

Anyway.

We got them both collars.

With bells on.

To help protect the local wildlife.

I used to have a cat, when I lived in Radstock, many moons ago, who was a prolific slayer of vampires wildlife.

Suki (for that was her name) brought half a seagull in to the kitchen one day.

She had to gnaw it in to two halves, because that was the only way it would fit through the cat flap.

Another day she also brought home a very large, very beautiful Koi carp.

A neighbour valued it at between £8,000 – £10,000.

When it was alive.

Obv.

Fast forward a big bunch of years and we come to the collared, belled rescue kitties.

One of them is showing all the talents of having been a career assassin equal to Jason Bourne.

Despite the bell.

The other is content to eat the more humanely-prepared stuff.

But the more pacifist of the two lost her collar a few weeks ago.

I eventually found it, and reattached it.

A couple of weeks later she lost it again.

We replaced it with a brand new one, with a bell.

Today she lost it again.

I have a theory.

She’s taking off her collars and selling them, to other cats in the neighbourhood.

So if you see a cat, wandering around the locality, with a bunch of collars around it’s neck, it’s the feline equivalent of Flash Harry.

And it’s ours.

Buy a collar, please.

I’m itching to know what she’s going to use the money for.

The little patter of tiny feet

Last Sunday (oh my God, was it only a week ago today?), the local RSPCA animal rescue shelter had an unplanned visit.

The idea was to look for a dog.

Not just any dog.

The kind of stay-at-home dog that would fit in to a busy working day.

You know the sort.

Whippy The Greyhound.

A dog I could take out in the mornings and wear it out.

Then it would sleep all day.

Then I’d take it out in the evenings and wear it out.

Then it would sleep all day.

And so on.

Anyway, although the RSPCA shelter had quite a few dogs deserving a second home, none of them matched the behavioural criteria.

So we sort of wandered across to the cat house.

Not that kind of cat house, obv.

Felines.

It was traumatic to see so many cats of various size, age, and description who had fallen on unfortunate times.

Eye-wateringly traumatic.

Anyway, not that there was any feline manipulation going on or anything, but Raven and Ripley came home with us yesterday.

Raven spent her first 12 hours in her new home hiding underneath a bed and steadfastly refusing to come out.

Ripley was a little bolder.

I hope these two 12-month old kitties have a happier time here than they have had in their previous existence.

Equality for dogs! And snakes! (on a plane?)

Long-term readers will know that I’m not a cat person.

Oh, I know they have their uses, and that these include such worthwhile behaviours as:

  • Patrolling in your garden, yowling loudly at 2am
  • Crapping in your garden even if they belong to somebody else
  • Patrolling in your garden, yowling loudly at 3am
  • Slaughtering wildlife and leaving things like bird spleens exactly where you’re going to tread on them
  • Patrolling in your garden, yowling loudly at 4am

Valuable though these things surely are, it is an inescapable fact that, for unfathomable reasons, we allow cats to roam freely across our homes and gardens – and also allow them to roam freely across our neighbours’ homes and gardens, without even giving our neighbours a choice in the matter – in a way that we do not allow dogs (or other pets) to roam.

Other pets such as:

  • Hamsters
  • Gerbils
  • Rats
  • Snakes
  • Ponies

I think this behaviour is breedism* and, being a society of equals, believe that we should be working to stamp out this in-built favouritism towards members of the feline race.

We should encourage our hamsters to roam across the countryside.

What’s wrong with allowing our dogs – or our ponies – to wander hither, thither, and indeed yon, across the land, gardens and indeed properties of our neighbours?

How could establishing these equalities be anything other than a good – and fair – goal for the higher forms of life?

It couldn’t.

Obv.

Therefore we need to establish an Equal Rights for Animals movement.

The ERfA could encourage all pet owners to give their gerbils, hamsters, rats, dogs, ponies – and indeed pet crocodiles – the same freedom of movement that cat-owners grant their fluffy little felines.

This objective would be a fair and wonderful thing for society to achieve.

It’s time that all pet owners (and their pets) were granted the same liberté, égalité, and fraternité that Tiddles has solely enjoyed for far too long.

Let’s stamp out this breedism*.

And allowing our pets to have the same amount of freedom on the ground, obviously extends to allowing our pets to have the same amount of freedom in the air.

Yes indeed.

I look forward to similar amusing videos of dogs, ponies, pet crocodiles and even tame snakes having the same amount of freedom as this little feline:

*breedism, noun
: unfair treatment of an/other creature(s) because of their species; especially : unfair treatment of all animals who are not cats

Fucking cats

There are four or five cats that climb in to my (protected) garden. They piss all over the plants and shit all over the place.

I can kill them, yes?

This isn’t a rhetorical question, I’m earnestly serious.

Why the fuck should I be penalised because someone around here can’t control their fucking animals?

These cats obviously aren’t domesticated. If they were domesticated they would piss and shit in the garden of their owner.

These cats need fucking training.

Or they need fucking.

I’ll do it my way then, shall I?

Let the birds have it

As one of Witney’s leading vegetarianists, I’m often stopped in the street and asked for my views on animal cruelty.

‘Oh, I’m all for it’, is never my usual response.

Until now.

I was woken at 5.15am.

Look, I’m going to say that again.

I WAS WOKEN AT 5.15AM.

By the bloody birds.

The weird scratching/tapping/knocking sounds that dragged me, kicking and screaming, from the arms of Morpheus, spooked the hell out of me.

The noise seemed to be coming from *inside* the house.

And that alone was enough to spook me.

My bride slept on, unperturbed by the weird noises, drooling gently on her pillow.

I eased myself out of bed and tottered downstairs, like a refugee ‘extra’ from the film ‘I was bitten by a Sleep Zombie’ (nb: this film doesn’t actually exist, but if any Hollywood producers would like to get in touch, I could let them have a draft script by the end of the month).

Nothing.

No sign, inside the house, either of damage, or of anything that might be the source of the racket – still quite clearly audible, in the lounge.

I opened the double doors in to the garden and a flock, yes, a bloody flock of birds, flew away from the side of the house and disappeared in to the countryside.

They’d been sitting on the bedroom window-sill, tapping, rattling and generally having an Avian Mother’s Meeting.

At the expense of my sleep, obv.

Regular readers will know that for some years I have been trying to *cough* discourage cats from the garden.

And those in my circle of Tweeters (pun!) will know how much I’ve enjoyed the sight of birds, as they have hopped over the garden furniture, this year.

Well all that’s about to change.

The lack of sleep has turned me in to an irrational Meldrewesque character who doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘moderation’.

I’m getting the Webley out of the loft, and woe betide any life-form that dares to interrupt my sleep.

And I’m including cats who happen to stray in to the garden when I’m not asleep, they’re on the List of Doom too.

Blame the birds.