The humans ( whom that daft cat calls Longlegs) went out quite early this morning. It's possible they had something on their minds since it seems they forgot to feed Oscar before they left. We could hear him bemoaning the fact for a long time. It doesn't matter quite as much for us since the houses we have inside the cage are edible and we can go longer without liquid refreshment than a camel. Two minor points here I should mention, don't expect your rats to exist on anything but edible houses any more than you'd like to exist on a diet of nothing but potatoes, and, don't think because we can do without liquids that you shouldn't offer us a cup of tea when you have one. I enjoy one anyway.
Oscar's moaning was getting beyond a joke so when he wandered close enough I called him.
"What d'you want Rat" ? he asked.
"Now now pussycat" I replied, " just wanted to know if you need help."
"I'm hungry" he said, "what can you do about that"?
"Well, remind youn that the housekeeper Grizelda will be here in an hour" I said.
"But I'm hungry now Amy and I can't open the packets myself" he whinged.
"I think we can help then" I told him, "but you'll need to open the cage door since the catch is on the outside."
"I can do that" he responded "but can I trust you, and what would you want in return"?
"You can if you behave, and how about peace between us." was my answer.
Oscar undid the catch on the door at the bottom end of the cage. Since it was a simple hook it didn't tax his brain too much. The door being open it was but a short jump to the floor. I told Priya and Bernie to stay and guard the cage and took Penny with me. This concordat may have been reached with Oscar but I wasn't sure he could overcome his base instincts and Penny was my watchdog. As Penny hit the floor Oscar reached out a paw and clamped it on her back. "And you Rat had better behave or there'll be trouble.
I was ready to pounce and tell Oscar this wasn't a good idea when Oscar removed his paw and started walking away. "Follow me rats" he said.
I heard Penny mutter something about payment and the Pied Paper but didn't quite catch it. We followed the cat. It was a short distance to the room where his dishes were.
Once there Oscar pointed out a box full of foil sachets. "I need one of those" he told us
"and I prefer the ones that are the colour of apples."
I jumped up onto the small table where the box was and checked inside. Oscar wasn't much help since there was a red beef one and a green rabbit one inside. With a 50% chance of being right I pulled out a beef one. "Is this it" I asked.
"Yes, that's it, like an apple as I told you." he said.
I dropped the sachet to the floor in front of Penny and asked her to open it which she did with ease using her teeth to cut away the top. I picked it up and held it over Oscar's dish where it slid out easily. He moved towards the dish without a word and started eating. Penny moved forward and nipped Oscar's tail.
Oscar leapt a foot in the air and almost choked on his food. "Why?" he spluttered.
I looked at Penny for an explanation, "Yes why?" I asked," I thought this was a day of reason."
"It is " said Penny, " and the reasons were he put his paw on me and he didn't say thank you for opening the food."
As we walked back to the cage leaving a bemused cat behind us, I decided maybe I should re-evaluate my opinion of Penny.
We shall have to see if the agreement between Oscar and I stands.
Things happen. They can't always be helped and sometimes there's no avoiding them.
I may have been having a time where my attention was not as it should be but personally I don't think any of this was my fault.
I shall start from the beginning.
I yawned and stretched as I started to come awake and my tummy began to tell me it was time to be fed. I did consider speaking to my 'The Her' since I was lying on her sleeping place close beside her head. But past experience tells me waking her would be difficult and certainly not as much fun as I could have. Accordingly I jumped down from my warm place and went to check my dishes. Yes, there was food in there but it had been placed there last light time and I'd slept since then. So, time for fresh then.
My 'The Him' was uttering little burbling noises as I went to him and I could see a little trail of drool from his mouth running down the side of his face as he lay on his back. It was quite sweet. Of course it couldn't stay like that so with one of my more sensuous leaps I landed on his stomach. The burbling stopped and much of the breathing did too I think and a series of little whoops ensued as he tried to catch his breath, it was running too fast to be caught though. A little tear formed in his eye and it was quite interesting so I moved my head in for a closer look. It was pure accident that my paw happened to step on his nose at this point. With a loud gasp he drew air into his lungs and started to cough. It made standing on his stomach difficult so I showed my disapproval with a light swipe to his reddened nose. His eyes opened wide and now sure he was aware of me I smiled and said hello.
"Oscar" he croaked, "I'm sure you know exactly what you're doing. What on Earth do you want at this time of the morning. It's not five o'clock yet."
It wasn't worth answering him since I knew he'd work it out eventually and get up. He did, for some reason grumbling all the while. My food dish was washed, dried and refilled. I didn't feel as hungry then as I heard a sound that was most annoying. The damn cock started to crow outside. I moved away from my food dish leaving it untouched and listening to my 'The Him' grumble about cats that get people up for no reason. I went and sat by the clearway patiently. As he started to go back towards his room he opened the clearway and let me out.
The cock was out of sight but not out of sound since I could still hear him bragging about whatever it was they brag about. Quietly and with guile I crept around the house until I could see him. Keeping low to the ground I crept towards him. I was almost there and ready to pounce when he saw me and with a flutter of his wings he ran. So did I. This was fun. The hedge came in sight and I was sure I had him then but with an almighty leap he was up and over. Just at that moment the big chariot that carries hay from the fields came round the corner and the cock landed straight on the back. The last I saw of him, he was sailing away in the distance to stunned to brag. It was a laughable sight.
Feeling cheered and now hungry again I decided to eat. There was a small clearway left open for me so up I jumped onto the sill. Unfortunately I must still have been thinking of the cock as I didn't notice the vase placed in my path as I entered the house.Down it went with a huge crash and shattered into quite a few pieces. There was water everywhere and flowers strewn across the floor. I removed myself from the scene rapidly and went to my dish.
From where I was I could hear the commotion. Voices from both My 'The Her' and 'The Him'.
"How on Earth did you manage to break such a valuable vase David?" she asked.
"It wasn't me" he said,"I just came through when I heard it. It was probably that damned cat of yours coming in again."
" Don't try and blame Oscar" she said "I can't see him, can you? Oh well, accidents will happen I suppose."
I decided at this point it would be a good idea to lay low for a while and under my 'The Him's' duvet seemed a good idea.
It was some time later that I came out after a good snooze. Everything had been cleared up and there were no raised voices.
I wandered through to the seating room just as the ringing started. My 'The Her' picked up the small box and put it to her ear. "Hello" she said, and I could hear a faint sound from inside the box in return. "Really !" I heard her say a few times before saying thank you and putting the box down.
"David we have to go out. That was Major Summersby at Langholme Farm in the next County to say he's just found our cockerell strutting about his yard."
"How the heck" he started to reply but looking at me "did it get there when I heard it here earlier this morning."
I just jumped up beside My 'The Her' and lay my head on my paws to allow her to scratch my neck and said nothing. After all, it wasn't my fault the chariot had come when it did any more than it was my fault someone put that vase in my path.
There was a robbery. My 'The Her ' and 'The Him' were out doing whatever it is they do when they're not here, which is far too often if you ask me. No matter how many patrols I mount ( or at least intend to mount) there is only ever one of me , and though it's true I have the Postwoman on the run, it seems not all Longlegs have learned to be afraid of me. Of course it's possible that's because not all Longlegs live with me and not all Longlegs have Superiors to teach them the error of their ways.
I always thought my own Longlegs had been well taught though I confess that at times I scratch my head and wonder what my 'The Him' was doing during some of the lessons because he certainly wasn't paying attention. For instance, the number of times I've tried to tell him about not leaving some of the small clearways open in the dark time. We all know there have been times someone has crept in and eaten my food. It's different if it's in the village itself as Longlegs there value my acceptance of their kind invitations, especially at the Fursty Ferret where they have left a nice salmon before now. But surely no-one could possibly think my meals are an open invitation to help oneself to.
Anyway, there's been a robbery. I hope no-one is suggesting I was asleep on the job here but it had been a fraught couple of longtimes looking after those beastly rodents who had made quite a noise when they thought the house was empty. I may have inadvertently dozed for a few shorttimes but was rudely awoken by muffled voices and clanking sounds. I stood up to protest and seeing what I saw , thought discretion the better art of valour and realised I could probably see things better from behind the chair in the corner of the room. Lots of things were being put into sacks by two Longlegs and carried out to a large white chariot. I watched for a while until they seemed happy with their haul and one said " Roit, that's it, let's get outta here sharpish ." They left and the chariot drove off quickly.
My 'The Her and The Him' returned. He walked in first and stopped, he looked around and gasped, "Oh no" he said "burgled." The Her walked in and getting her priorities right came to check on me. Seeing me there on her bed, on guard of course, she dashed off to check on the rodents.( As if someone would steal them when they could kidnap me for ransom.) Anyway, next thing they were on the phone thing and men in blue fur came. I could hear the questions.
"Was anything valuable taken?"
"Of course officer. Lots, but the most valuable was my clock."
" Do you know anyone with a grudge against you Sir ?"
"No, I'm afraid not officer."
"Well, write me out a complete list sir. Beggar off cat, you're getting under my feet."
"I'll do that officer. Oscar, come here boy."
I went and had my ears scratched. I was desperately trying to tell them something but couldn't get them to understand. Scratching my ears seemed to be distracting me, but I knew I could solve this case for them since I know who did it.
One of them was called Sharpish as his friend had let slip when calling him. But the other one, the rogue, Oh I know who that was. It was Procrastination. Many's the time I've heard 'The Him' witter that procrastination is the thief of time and since the valuable clock was stolen it must be him. If only these Longlegs could think like a Superior there's be much less crime.
The great hunter placed his body low to the ground. With the quiet instilled by years of training and centuries of animal instinct he pulled himself through the undergrowth barely displacing a leaf of grass in his progress. Books should be written about this skill and future generations will seek to emulate the perfect machine. At last the progress came to an end and the prey was not just in sight but was in perfect ignorance of wht was to happen. One perfect pounce and it would all be over.
Damn, it flew away. I was poised to get it, resting annoyingly as it was on top of a rose.
These butterflies are unpredictable.
We had some warmth and light from the sky today and the Longlegs were out and about in the garden with smiles on their faces. My 'The Her' was wearing those funny short skins on her legs . She was going round pulling up weeds. Being an obliging sort of chap I tried to help but she didn't seem to welcome that and was constantly screaming at me to stay away and leave her flowers alone.
My 'The Him' looked silly walking round with a large piece of white issue up his nose to stop him going Atishoooooo, as he seems to whenever we have a day like this and he spends it in the garden. She always tells him to go inside but he says "No" he wants to help. He doesn't actually do anything though except follow the heat round by turning his chair and drinks the cold tea the other Longlegs brings out.
Days like this don't seem to happen as often as they used to when I was a kitten. And the Longlegs seem to say the same though of course they are idle and live a lot longer than Superiors. That's probably because they let us do all the work. I mean, I caught two butterflies already today and how many have they caught? None!! I suppose I should say I caught one really as the other one more or less caught me by landing on my nose. But hey, it's a nice day and who's counting.
In a moment I shall have a spot of milk and then take a stroll to the village to see what the gang are up to. Maybe we can tease a bull in a field or something. Perhaps I'll just lie here for a minute and replay that last hunt in my head while I doze.
No-one could accuse me of being obstinate or refusing to accept a truth. With that in mind I have been able to come to terms with the fact that the rodents are here to stay, and while they will not, indeed cannot replace me in my 'The Her's' affections, they are to be a fixture and she obviously for some reason unfathomable to me, likes them.
While I accept the realities of this situation I'm not sure the rodents were able to so I felt it my duty to place the facts before them and reach a compromise suitable for both parties. I waited until after they'd had their breakfast from my 'The Him' and been out for a bit of exercise with my 'The Her'. Only one thing might have marred the discussions and that's when I approached the seating place and the large one called Penny looked down at me as I walked past. I couldn't help but look back and go closer. Instead of backing away she put her nose to mine and sniffed. I brought my paw up and smacked her. My 'The Her' was most displeased but with me? and not with Penny. I didn't understand this and was going to argue but being a most placid fellow I walked away.
Back in their cage and the Longlegs having left the room I sauntered slowly up to the cage. There were hisses of derision but I didn't let it bother me as I settled two feet away.
"What do you want cat" ? said Amy, the biggest of them and their obvious leader.
" I've decided to let you stay" I replied, "But, there are some things we'd better get straight."
" Oh yes, and what would those be Pussykins" chipped in the one they call Bernie.
Reminding myself I had a debt to pay sometime I looked at Amy and told her, " Firstly, I don't want to see you move if you're outside the cage and I come into the room.
Secondly, there's to be no more name calling if we both live in the same place and lastly I'll make sure the Longlegs tolerate you if you remember my word is law here."
"Well Mr. Cat" she replied, "I think we can probably manage to do without the name calling if it works both ways but I'm not sure we can manage without moving once we're out of the cage since it's what the humans expect of us. As far as your word being law, I'm afraid we can't agree to that since you might just expect us to do things that will go against our nature. Tell you what. let's agree to no more name calling and see how it goes. If you don't annoy us I won't ask Penny to tweak your tail, how's that?"
As you can see I'm a very reasonable cat but even I couldn't agree to that and lose face so I had to leave the room and here we are with a dilemma. How can I learn to live with these rodents if they won't accept the most reasonable of terms?