Saturday 29 May 2010

Battle has commenced

This is Millie's third mouse of yesterday. Unfortunately, it's dead, but that doesn't stop it being a toy.

Millie had to leave it in the yard last night where Mrs Danvers couldn't see it. Then she had to bang on the window to get back indoors, as Mrs D had locked the cat flap. There will be guards on that cat flap next; I can hear them now: "Halt! Who goes there? Friend or mousehunter?" And maybe even strip searches. Nothing is beyond that woman.

But I was the first one to find it this morning when we were allowed out, and I rushed inside with it. Mrs Danvers heard me - "galloping hooves", she remarked, and followed me to see why I looked so excited.

But I wasn't excited for long. Was Mrs Danvers any kinder to me than to Millie? Not at all.

Another lovely treat confiscated.

Millie has gone out to find a replacement.

Friday 28 May 2010

Not a spoilsport at all...

...but a woman standing by her principles. I know I'm biased, and a bit besotted by Rachel, but I feel I should defend her against the slurs and aspersions cast by Millie.

I think Millie was out of order with that last post. Rachel has opposed blood sports all her life, and doesn't wish to host them in our home. Right after the mouse was taken out, Millie rushed off and caught another one! 

But Rachel saw her come in with it this time, and picked it up off the carpet and took it away. Two mice within an hour; it's just plain old defiance on Millie's part, I think, and I might have to clip her round the ear about it. When she gets home, that is: she's out again, and we think we know why.

Rachel said the second mouse was a bit wobbly when she let it out of the box, but it tottered away into the undergrowth. She says she doesn't know how to put an injured mouse out of its misery (I do despair of humans sometimes - they have teeth, don't they?) but that some experienced mouse rescuer out in blogland is bound to tell her.

Meantime, Rachel has locked the cat flap so that Millie will have to bang against it to get in, and Rachel can look through it first to see if she has another mouse with her.

It's a battle of wits and wills; I know whose side I'm on. 

Rachel says I'm her Second-in-Command.


That Rachel, what a bad sport she is. Hears a mouse pleading most entertainingly for mercy, and she comes haring downstairs. She doesn't know if it's the last, lost mouse, or a new one I've brought in for her, and I'm not telling. Humans can't tell one mouse from another, I reckon; they really are altogether pathetic when it comes to these delightful little toys creatures.

Anyway, she shoos me and the dog away, puts this nasty little black plastic box thing in front of the mouse, who is handily cornered into a very tight spot, just right for a good game of Cat and Mouse, and covers it all with a tea towel. "B**gger off, Millie!" she says.

Well, of course, given an opportunity like that the mouse is going to cheat, so it runs inside the black box and Rachel goes off with it - to let it go! How mad is that!

She wouldn't let me or the dog come with her.

But I know where I can find more.....

Tuesday 25 May 2010

House survey

This house is a disgrace.

Mrs Danvers is supposed to be a housekeeper. More a housewrecker, we say.

Look where our beds are!

She says she's 'sorting' the small attic. Some kind of sorting;  moving it all into her own bedroom, higgledy-piggledy.

We have mounted a protest at all the disruption. None of us would sleep in Mrs Danvers' room last night. She tossed and turned, and worried about where we were but we didn't weaken. Housewreckers don't deserve the delicious comfort of a sleeping cat beside them.

She says it was only for one night, because she was too tired to fit the carpet all in one day.

We won't be allowed anywhere near the new carpet either. "Especially not you, Scooter, with your wicked claws!" How can claws be wicked? They are things of beauty, to be kept clean and sharp by scratching and pulling, first on the scratching posts, then - to buff them up - on carpet.

Remember my claws when I first arrived? Dreadful. No carpets in the woods where I had been living.

But after a while, with nice claw-conditioning carpets everywhere, I had lovely snowy paws.

Aren't they just beautiful?

You don't get quality like this without effort, you know. I have to work at it.

That new carpet would be an excellent grooming aid.

Mrs Danvers just doesn't understand....

Friday 21 May 2010

Trust no one

This oppressive and authoritarian regime just gets worse and worse. Surveillance increases daily. The secret police are everywhere.

Mrs Danvers follows us around, and takes photos of us, wherever we are. We have to talk outside, because she eavesdrops.

We have to stay alert. She creeps up on us.

She also gets phone calls; her spies watch our every move. One rang last night to say that Lottie was on the landing in a neighbour's house a few doors down, being made a great fuss of by a visitor. So? Another rule that we didn't know about, evidently!

Another rang to say that Scooter was on the roof of next door's shed, and that she had taken a picture of him from her bathroom window. And someone else rang the doorbell yesterday to say that Millie was out in the street. So it's not just Mrs Danvers who follows us; we are photographed and tailed in the street too. Our freedom of association is being restricted; our Feline Rights are being abused!

Mrs Danvers smiles politely, and thanks her informants, but then she looks at us, and her eyes aren't smiling any more. She says we are too fond of consorting with undesirable elements for her liking. We are exposing ourselves to bad influences, and turning into dissidents.

She lures us all indoors and locks the cat flap early. She says it's for our own good. It is clear that she is rattled, and feels that her prison warden skills are under criticism.

We are going to hold a meeting, under cover of darkness. The Revolution needs to be planned. We have nothing to lose but our chains. And our cat flap lock.

Wednesday 19 May 2010

One small leap for Cat

I got up onto the yard wall today. Me, Scooter the Fearless! Rachel saw me jump back down, so she knows I did it, but she doesn't know how. She missed that bit, but I can tell you it was spectacular.

She's so nosy though, that she got her camera and waited for me to do it again. She thought I couldn't see her, standing at the sink, but I could. Humans are always watching; they need to know everything. It's a wonder we don't have CCTV in this house. A cat has very little privacy - that's why we prefer to go out at night when they are asleep.

It put me off, having her watching like that.

Somehow I just couldn't jump when I knew she was peeking.

I hopped up and down; I couldn't get it right.

Hamish said he was worried about getting squashed if I fell on him.

I waited a while and thought about my strategy.

This is me thinking. I have an intelligent look when I think but Rachel laughs at me.

Hamish said he was tired of waiting. Did I want him to nip my fat bottom and help me jump?

Fat bottom? What a nerve!

And then we gave up. I'll do it again sometime when human spies aren't around.

Rachel says she's going to get me a collar-cam if I continue to develop courage and initiative like this, and I can have my own YouTube account. So there, Hamish. Let's see you jump that high!

Sunday 16 May 2010

Fire watching and Feng Shui

We have had such an exciting morning! Rachel took the anti-Hamish cardboard out of the upstairs chimney, and burned a lot of papers in the grate. We've never seen a burning fire before.

Rachel says she found two boxes of old work papers in the small attic. She was horrified, and said something about bad Feng Shui, whoever he is. Apparently, having rubbish stored above your head is bad enough, but to have two boxes of old work papers could be deadly, she says. Especially if you retired early from work because of all those papers and what they meant.

She says they came home with her when she was moving offices, and somehow got lost in all the other bad rubbish. No wonder she didn't like sleeping in the room under the small attic. She spent a long time yesterday shredding, and said the noise was shredding her nerves as well as all the bad papers. Then her friend Annie suggested burning them.....

So we had a cleansing-fire ceremony. Rachel didn't wear her specs, so she couldn't see the small writing on what she was burning, but it was 10 years old and looked very boring.

I watched carefully. Rachel said I had saucer eyes, and that I wasn't to think about playing with the matches or stepping in the ash. Millie watched too; she went up this chimney a lot when she was the Naughtiest Kitten Ever. The back of the fire has her claw marks from when she was dragged out by Rachel.

There's still a lot of paper left, to shred or burn, but Rachel said that was enough for today - she had a tartan arm and leg from sitting over the fire, and the ashes needed to cool down before going in the wheelie bin. Our auntie Lesley down the road set fire to her bin once with hot ashes, and we wouldn't want to be made a mockery of by the neighbours like she was!

This is our fireplace now. Very messy, and still hot.

I promise I won't go near it!

Me too. I'm a reformed character.

The boys don't need to promise; they were too scared to come upstairs, and anyway, they had a new catnip mouse to play with in the kitchen. They have no Sense of Occasion.

We all smell kippered, Rachel says. If we stay out of the fireplace, she might buy us a kipper some time. We don't know what a kipper is, but we're always willing to try something new!

Saturday 15 May 2010

War with Mrs Danvers

Remember how I had a collar? And how Scooter likes to kick my collar off? Well, it came off a while back, and it's staying off.

 Mrs Danvers still thinks she can put it on again. That's where she's wrong.

I can read her thoughts. "Come here, little kitty, have this nice name tag and collar on so that you'll know where you live!" Come here little kitty and be branded as Mrs Danvers' property, more like! Renounce all freedoms! Subject yourself to human control and soppy fussing and petting!

I just give her The Look.

I have stayed out of her way for days now.  When she speaks to me I won't look at her, and I won't speak to her either, although I will chirrup at the others. I run away when she comes into a room. Scooter sometimes runs away with me. We work as a team.

We are driving Mrs Danvers mad, she says; we are dimwits, she says; she's not a mad axe-woman, she says, with a grudge against cats. Scooter and I sneer at this.

This is the face I use for her. Dumb insolence, she calls it.

She says "You're first for the pot if there's a famine, Hamish."

You'll have to catch me first, Mrs Danvers.

Friday 14 May 2010

Help help! I'm being Followed!

I see there are 8 Followers now. That's like Stalkers, only worse.

It's very scary being Followed by 8 of you. I shall have to hide somewhere else in case you Find me.

Thursday 13 May 2010


On our bench - look! And we missed it!

Mrs Danvers locked the cat flap quickly. That woman has no sense whatsoever.

Beyond the prison yard

Although we are Mrs Danvers' prisoners, we are allowed to go out, you know. We have an exercise yard, just like in Wormwood Scrubs.

Mrs Danvers locks us in at night, but in the morning, she unbolts this door.

And behind it is the cat flap. Millie can unlock the cat flap, which is why there is another door with a bolt on it.

It took Scooter and I a long time to learn how the cat flap worked. We are country folk, and not used to the ways of city dwellers. Mrs Danvers rolls her eyes when we say this.

Mrs Danvers says something about a lick of paint every time she sees this bit of the house. And she says for clean creatures, we don't half make the cat flap grubby.

This is the yard door, that leads out into the back lane. It looked like this a couple of years ago...

...but now it looks like this. Mrs Danvers is going to paint it soon, she says. She calls this house the Forth Road Bridge.

And behind it is the back lane. Millie and Lottie can go out here, over the wall. They are the Trusties, prisoners who can go further than the exercise yard.

The back lane is where the bins live. Millie looks inside any bins if the lids have been left open; she says they hold all sorts of interesting things to eat. Last week she was a bit sick, and Mrs Danvers said it was because of her bad bin habit.

Once a week a terrifying giant wagon comes and empties the bins, and we all have to hide indoors because of the noise it makes.

Mrs Danvers hates the back lanes; she says they're squalid. She was terribly shocked when she first came to Newcastle and saw these instead of gardens. She says we are going to have a garden one day, but she hopes that that the giant wagon will still come, wherever we live. Mrs Danvers has some strange ideas.

She lets us peep into the back lane so long as she is with us. The dog is our Scout. She checks that there aren't any horrible things in the back lane that might chase us.

When she gives the all-clear, I sometimes look out of the door. I have to be very careful.

But I am not always very brave.

Then I try again.

And I'm a bit braver.

But not for long. Mrs Danvers is right: the back lane is horrid!

I have to sit under the bench and recover my composure. (Yes, Mrs Danvers is going to paint the bench too!)

And then I go and tell Scooter where I've been. Scooter had a Nasty Experience in the back lane recently, when the door banged shut and he had to hide behind the bins and howl very loudly till Mrs Danvers caught him and carried him home. He says he's never going out into the back lane again.


I wonder if he will be brave enough to go out into our garden when we have one? Mrs Danvers thinks he might, but that I have to go first. I'll take the dog.