Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Dis-order in the Court!

"Right Ginger Tail, just pass me my funny wig and help me into my nice red robes." I said.
Yes my lord, they make you look like Santa Claus" replied Ginger Tail. "We'll have less of your cheek!" I said sternly. I took a quick look in the mirror, and being most impressed with what I saw, I instructed my servant to lead on. Ginger Tail opened the door, and walked ahead of me. As I entered the room, wise Old Black Tom, the Clerk of the Court, stood up and announced in a very solemn voice,
All rise for Lord Albert The Cat.
Everyone in the court stood up and I strolled to my throne behind the big bench in the front. There was a nice fluffy cushion on it, ideal for a quick snooze. I was patting it down with my paws when I heard the words of Old Black Tom,
The court is now in session, pray silence for Lord Chief Justice Albert The Cat.
"I thought it was Santa Claus" said a voice from the back that sounded suspiciously like Tabby.I nodded, and everyone sat down.
Righto” I said and asked Old Black Tom what was the first case. After all, he is a very clever cat, and knows everything.
No idea" he replied. "Sorry m'lud" he said, "just my little joke!"
"Pray continue" I said.
With pleasure m’lud” he replied. "Today’s case is the people, well the cats actually, versus the one Bert does not trust. Will the Sergeant at Arms please bring up the prisoner.”
There was a scuffling noise at the foot of the stairs, followed by much hissing and growling. Eventually, Riley, the biggest ginger cat you ever did see, dragged the one Bert does not trust into the dock.I will now ask the Clerk of the Court to read out the charge sheet” I said.
“Thank you m’lud. The one Bert does not trust - you are charged that yesterday, with malice aforethought, you did grievously and wilfully, and with premeditated intent fail to provide Albert The Cat with a plentiful and tasty portion of prawns for his breakfast – How do you plead," said Old Tom, with all the dignity he could muster.
“Not guilty m’lud” replied the one I don't trust.
“What!!!” I exclaimed. “Not guilty, how ridiculous. Can we charge him with perjury and contempt of court as well?”
“Er, a splendid idea m’lud, but I am afraid there are no legal precedents for such action. Stupid as it may seem, the defendant does have the right to enter a plea of not guilty," said Old Tom sagely.
“Shame” I said, “let’s press on, I am very keen not to waste any more time, I’m looking forward to the sentencing!”
“Er, excuse me m’lud,” interjected the Clerk, “but don’t you mean the verdict?”
“Oh yes, of course, a tiresome formality we have to go along with” I replied, “very well can I please ask, who is appearing for the prosecution.”
“I am m’lud” said a scruffy looking brown cat with one eye and half an ear missing. It was none other than Mad Harry, “and I will be ably assisted by my deputy, Slasher Sid QC, and may I say m’lud how well you are looking, and how splendid you look in your nice red robes.”
“Most kind,” I replied, “and who is fighting the lost cause, oops sorry, slip of the tongue, who is appearing for the defence?”
“I am” said the one I don’t trust, “I am defending myself."
“Silence in Court” I cried.
"Er, excuse me m’lud", said the Clerk, "but outrageous as it may seem, he is allowed to do that.”
“Oh very well then, just get on with it” I said in frustration.
“I call upon the prosecution to open their case," said the Clerk.

Mad Harry QC rose to his feet – “I would like to call my first witness, Lord Albert The Cat.”
“Objection” shouted the one I don’t trust.
“Overruled” I said, and proceeded to take the witness stand.
“Please put your paw on the bible, and repeat after me” said the clerk, “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
“I’m the damn judge” I said, “of course I’m going to tell the truth, my word is law round here you know. What a lot of nonsense.”
“Er, yes m’lud, but I’m afraid it is another tiresome formality we have to go through” he replied.
“Very well” I said, “then can we get to the sentencing, er… verdict I mean?”
Mad Harry QC approached the witness box – “m’lud, on the morning in question, you rose from you slumbers quite naturally expecting your prawns to be served - can you please tell the court precisely what happened next.”
“I most certainly can,” I said, “the one I don’t trust, whose primary responsibility it is to care for me, went out and completely forgot the said prawns”
And can you identify that person in this courtroom?” said Mad Harry QC.
“It’s him, the one in the dock” I said pointing at the one I don't trust.
“No further questions m’lud, I rest my case” said Mad Harry.
“Would the defence like to cross examine the witness” asked the Clerk.
“I most certainly would” said the one I don’t trust.“Silence in Court” I shouted, “never heard of such a thing, the defendant asking the judge questions. We’re not having that in my court. As there are no further witnesses, I will do my summing up for the jury before we adjourn for a light lunch of tuna and fresh salmon, and then return for the sentencing. Firstly, may I congratulate the prosecution team, led by Mad Harry QC, for the comprehensive and compelling case they have laid before us today. Their painstaking research and attention to detail clearly justifies the enormous fees they will be charging. Now, members of the jury, when you retire to consider your verdict, there is one thing that should be uppermost in your mind – the unimpeachable integrity of the chief witness. This is an open and shut case! In the unlikely event, that there are still any doubts in your mind, I will ask Mad Harry and Slasher Sid to sit in with you to advise on points of law if you get my drift. Right, that’s my lot, I’m off for a spot of lunch.”

“I think it is all going rather well so far” I said to Ginger Tail as we prepared to go back into court.
“Yes m’lud” she replied, "have you got a nice present for me in your big sack?"
“Ladies, gentlemen and cats of the jury, have you reached a verdict.” Said the Clerk.
“Yes we have” said the foreman, who just happened to be my poncy brother Tabby.
“Will the defendant please rise” said the Clerk, upon which point, Riley dug his claws into the leg of the one I don’t trust and he stood up sharply.
“Do you find the defendant guilty or not guilty”
Tabby said “we find the defendant............................ covered in hair!" Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........
"That's a strange verdict"
I thought, as I was unceremoniously shoved off of my throne. "The chair, it's damn well covered in hair already, we only cleaned the place up yesterday. I bet that Bert is the main culprit" said the one I don't trust tersely. I woke up with a shock as I landed on the floor. Where am I? What's happening? Oh no, it was all a dream, just a dream. What a disappointment. Why did he wake me up just as we were getting to the good bit.Well, that's my lot for today. To finish on a lighter note, did I tell you about the cross eyed judge? He said to the first defendant, “how do you plead?” “Not guilty” replied the second defendant. “I wasn’t talking to you” the judge said. “I never said a word” replied the third defendant. Ho Ho Ho..... What do you mean you don't like it. Try this one then - the defendant said to the judge, “I don't recognize this court!” “Why not?” asked the Judge. “Because you’ve had it decorated since I was here last.” Ho Ho Ho..... oh well, please yourselves. What a Life! AlbertThe(hanging judge)Cat.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Curiosity and the Cat!

I’m a bit annoyed today. “You mean you are not your normal cheery self?” Far from it, in fact I’m downright fed up, but thank you for your concern. What has caused this distressing state of affairs I hear you ask. Well, we’ve had visitors. As regular readers will know, I hate visitors – without fail they cause problems, and this lot were no exception.

The tell tale signs were there from early this morning. The housekeeping staff were rushing around arguing with each other as they tidied the place up. My breakfast prawns were an afterthought. The one I don’t trust hardly bothered to thaw them out for me. What!!! I hear you cry, Bert has to make do with frozen prawns rather than freshly caught ones? Yes, I’m afraid standards are slipping. What is this world coming to? Apparently the pretty one is having a few friends round for coffee. Anyway, after I had crunched through the prawns, the vacuum cleaner came out. Dreadful thing, gets on my nerves. It really sucks! "You must be in a bad mood Bert, that’s a rotten joke even for you!" What, who said that, how rude!I took this as my cue to depart. I went for a nice snooze under the rhubarb tree, with the aim of keeping a low profile until after the visitors had cleared off. I bumped into Tabby and Ginger Tail, and told them what was going on. Ginger Tail was most put out. “I spent ages putting hair all over the settee last night” she said, “I just get the place just how I like it, and then they go and clean it up.

Some time later, I was awakened from my slumber by the sound of chatting and laughing coming from the house. “They’ve arrived” said Tabby who had been sleeping next to me. “Sounds like it, think I’ll stay out here,” I replied. “Very wise” said Tabby. After a while, curiosity got the better of me. You know what curiosity did to the cat don’t you! “I am very curious” I said to Tabby. He agreed, “you are without doubt a very curious cat” he replied. We decided to go and investigate. We silently crept in through the cat flap and took up station out of sight under the table in the lounge. Us cats are renowned for our stealth and agility. Not a sound was made, apart that is from the crashing of a vase full of flowers as it fell to the floor after I brushed against the table leg. “I bet it was that Bert” said the pretty one as she rushed to clear up the mess she had caused by precariously balancing said vase on the very edge of the table. Fancy blaming me.By this time Tabby and me had retreated back to the rhubarb tree. A little while later, after the fuss had died down, using all of our guile, we crept back in again. “They won’t notice us this time” I said confidently to Tabby as we squeezed behind the bookcase. “Oh look” said one of the visitors, “there is a big black and white cat behind the bookcase.” Tabby must have given the game away! I recognised one of the visitors – it was the woman from next door, who owns the nasty snappy little Jack Russell. Fortunately she had not brought the offending mutt with her. “That black and white one comes into our garden” she said “and my little dog goes mad, he gets quite stressed.” Good, I thought. The other visitor who had spotted me first said, “he is very big isn’t he?” “Do you think so” said the pretty one. “We did try to put him on a diet once, the lite version of his favourite biscuits, but he ate twice as many – I prefer to think of him as nice and cuddly.” Quite right too I thought, we can usually rely on her to stand up for us.

Then something dawned on me, the other visitor who keeps referring to me as “big”, is not exactly sylph like herself. I had a good look at her, and I can tell you, she has certainly shifted a few pies in her time. What a cheek, talk about the pot calling the kettle black, and people in glass houses not lobbing bricks! If Captain Ahab was here, I reckon he would be sharpening his harpoon. She’s got more chins than a Chinese phone book. We had heard enough, so me and Tabby wandered off, stopping only for a few biscuits on the way out.Well, that’s my lot for today. “Fancy knocking the vase over” said Tabby. “I’m just unlucky” I replied. “Black cats are supposed to bring good luck” he said, “but then again, you are only half black, perhaps the other half of you brings bad luck.” What a load of superstitious nonsense I thought. “I don’t believe in superstitions” I said, as I crossed my fingers and touched wood. What a Life! AlbertThe(lucky)Cat.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Writer's Block......

Hello again. I'm not really sure why you've all turned up here today. I've got nothing much to say. I think I must be suffering from writer's block, whatever that is. "Thank goodness for that!" What, how rude! We can do without that sort of comment thank you very much! Perhaps I'll just start rambling away, and see where it leads us. "Same as normal then!" I don't believe it, we can do without him as well - it's Tabby, my poncy brother. I thought he was asleep in the vegetable patch - amongst his intellectual equals! Ho Ho Ho... Bear with me while I get rid of him.............................. That's better, now where were we?

Did you all have a nice weekend? I had a very quiet one, nothing much happened. I spent some time thinking, must have been all of five minutes. It does us all good to reflect now and again I pondered as I sat in front of the mirror. What's that awful grating noise I hear you ask - I'm afraid it's the sound of a barrel being scraped. I've no sympathy for you, it's your own fault for still being here -I did warn you that this might be a rather thin offering. I'm surprised you've got this far.I suppose, there was one thing of note that happened. Ginger Tail, my stupid sister had been scratching a lot recently, and it hadn't gone unnoticed. "I think we need to flea her" said the pretty one. "We should probably do the lot of them" added the one I don't trust in a somewhat menacing manner. I was off like a robber's dog, if you'll pardon the expression, followed closely by Tabby. We sat outside the back door to watch the forthcoming entertainment. Ginger Tail was too daft to realise what was happening and continued to sleep soundly on the settee. The one I don't trust, crept up and grabbed her by the scruff of the neck, and despite much hissing and scratching - mainly from him, he soon had her in a headlock. The pretty one squeezed some evil smelling potion on to the back of her neck. Ginger Tail's neck that is, not her own neck you understand - I hope that's clear! When he released her, she spat at him, Ginger Tail that is, and then bolted out through the cat flap and hid in the Chrysanthemumumums, Chrysanthemumumums, damn and blast, I'll try again, Chrysanthemumumums....., stupid name! "Chrysanthemums, I think you mean" said Tabby in a condescending voice. "That's easy for you to say" I replied. I hate him, I really do! Anyway, she hid in the yellow flowers before taking up residence behind the watering can.Meanwhile back in the house, the one I don't trust couldn't understand why me and Tabby had shot off before he could do us as well. He really has got no idea, I mean I understand everything he says - does he think I'm thick? There's no need for you to answer that one! He was making idle threats about catching me and Tabby the next morning. Well, let me tell you this, you've got to be up pretty early in the morning to catch Bert!! "About eleven 'o' clock should do it" said Tabby. What a cheek!Well, that's my lot for today. I told you there wasn't much to talk about. Oh, one minor event I should mention in passing - it's the pretty one's birthday today, so I suppose I should wish her many happy returns. No idea how old she is, let's just say twenty nine, that should keep me in her good books, and ensure extra prawns. Mind you, don't they reckon that one cat year is the equivalent of seven of their years? Or is it the other way round? No, I think I'm right, so that would make her 29 x 7, which equals, err...... nine times seven, err...... three down carry six, err..... well, lets just say very old in cat years. Mind you though, it's not all bad - statistically speaking, those who have the most birthdays live longest! What a life! AlbertThe(thinking)Cat.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Albert The Great........

Welcome back. I'm still glowing in the success of my award earlier in the week, when I was voted the greatest cat of all time in the entire universe, or something like that. Firstly today, I'd like to thank all those who have sent notes congratulating me on my success. However, words are cheap, and the lack of prawns has been duly noted! Anyway, in my current benevolent mood, I am prepared to forgive this oversight.

My new found celebrity status set me thinking. "I wouldn't do that if I were you, there's no telling where it will end!" Who said that, how rude. Perhaps I am the greatest cat that has ever lived! Only one thing for it, I will go and have a word with wise Old Black Tom. I found him in his usual place, asleep on the back wall. He is a very clever cat, the fount of all knowledge in fact - there is nothing he does not know. "Who are you?" he asked. That's a good start I thought. "It's me Bert" I said. "Correct!" he replied. See, I told you, not much gets past him. "I would like to know, if I am the most famous Albert of all time" I asked. "A very good question" he said as he dozed off. I gave him a nudge and repeated the question. He sat up and sucked on a thoughtful tooth for what seemed like ages. "No" he said and dozed off again.When he woke up, he looked around and said "are you still here?" He mumbled something to himself about there being no peas for the wicked. I can only assume he had been dreaming, because I know full well that us cats are not very partial to peas. "I will tell you about other famous Alberts" he said, somewhat reluctantly. What stories he had to tell. I listened intently. Eventually he finished and said that his invoice for half a dozen prawns for the consultancy would be with me shortly, via the good offices of Mad Marry and Slasher Sid. Apparently, they now list accountancy amongst the many other useful services they offer.

Now, if you lot out there pay attention, I will tell you a little of what Old Black Tom said. You will have to bear with me a bit, because it got a bit complicated, and I can't remember some of the details, but I will do my best to fill in the gaps. First of all, there was Albert Einstein. Not quite sure what he did, but he did have lots of relatives, I think Tom said relatives. Yes, it must have been relatives, because I know for a fact he had a very famous bother called Frank who was rather a mixed up character.

Next, there was an Albert in the 12th century who made a living from cleaning out medieval fireplaces, he was known as Albert The Great. What do you mean, you saw that one coming! He also went by the name of St Albertus Magnus, one of the most universal thinkers of the middle ages, often referred to as "teacher of everything there is to know." Most appropriate don't you think. A bit like Old Tom.A bit closer to home, there was a German chap called Albert Hall who married Queen Victoria. He was so famous, they even named a big round building in London after him. The name of the building escapes me for the moment. Herr Hall is not a very German sounding name is it? Reminds me of another German chap who opened a barbers shop - Herr Dryer was his name! "Boo, Boo, rotten joke." What, who said that? Oh no it's Tabby, my poncy brother, what does he want. "Clear off." He's just jealous I mean, you can't imagine there being any famous Tabbys can you! "What about Garfield and Puss in Boots then?" That's the final straw, "go on clear off, I won't tell you again." What a cheek, now where were we? Oh yes, the name Albert originates from Germany, and means noble bright and famous - I'm not making this up you know.

Well, that's my lot for today. All this thinking is making my brain hurt. I don't know if we're any the wiser after all that. I didn't realise there were so many famous Berts. One other I've just remembered, Albert the astronaut was the first monkey in space - 1948 apparently, just before ten to eight in the evening. No idea how he got there! Must have climbed a very tall tree I suppose. What a Life! AlbertThe(not so famous)Cat.

Monday, 19 July 2010

The Award Winning Bert.........

Good day to you all, and what a momentous day it is too. You are all very fortunate to be joining me on such an occasion. You'll never guess what has happened. I've won a gong. The highly respected Anipal Academy have seen fit to bestow upon my good self, the award for "Favourite Blog" and best looking cat (they forgot to mention this bit - presumably there was insufficient room for the inscription) 2010. One can only admire the sound judgement and good taste of such an august body. You can see further details on their website, along with a list of winners of the lesser prizes - CLICK HERE.

Now, before I continue, you have all probably noticed the error with the trophy. It purports to show a cats paw, but as we all know, pure bred feral cats like what I am, have six toes. Still, just this once, I think we can overlook the slight.

Unfortunately I could not attend the international award ceremony in person due to a minor visa problem. I need a rabies jab to get back into the country and I can assure you that's not happening for anybody! I was there in spirit if not body. I will tell you how all this came about. Well, I received a communication from the awards committee telling me of their decision, and that the trophy was en route. I instructed the one I don't trust to keep a look out for the postman.

Being absolutely useless, he wasn't at home when it arrived. You can see why I don't trust him. Those faceless sons of fun from the Royal Mail put a little card through the door. Apparently the trophy was so big it would not fit through the letterbox. Anyway, when the one I don't trust returned home, I immediately sent him to collect it. Three days later he decided to make the effort - he really is a hopeless case. Eventually, he returned with a rather modest box addressed to me. It had come all the way from a small place called Canada - no idea where that is. The one I don't trust reckons it is a frozen wasteland inhabited by polar bears and Eskimos. That reminds me, did I tell you about the Eskimo who came face to face with a polar bear? Scared stiff of being eaten, he went down on his knees and started to pray. To his amazement, the polar bear knelt down beside him and started praying too. "It's a miracle!" shouted the Eskimo. The polar bear opened one eye and said "Don't talk while I'm saying grace." Ho Ho Ho..... I digress, sorry about that.I carefully opened the box, and I reckon the one I don't trust was right, Canada must be a cold place - the box was full of bits of white stuff that I can only assume was snow! Perhaps they've included some frozen prawns I thought.When we finished unwrapping it I searched frantically for the prawns, but to no avail. Despite the anticlimax, I decided that I should have my picture taken for posterity. We adjourned to the garden for the photo shoot and that poncy brother of mine turned up. You should have seen the look on his face. His eyes were green with envy. "My eyes are always green" said Tabby. "That's beside the point." I replied. "Surely you've not won this for that awful drivel you write" he said jealously. "Indeed I have" I said proudly, "and let me tell you this, that drivel I write is highly articulate and witty I'll have you know." That shut him up and he wandered off shaking his head - he finds it hard to argue with a cat with the intellect of like what I've got.Anyway, we finally got round to the official photograph which you can see above. Limited edition signed copies are available for a very reasonable consideration of half a dozen prawns.I suppose it is beholden upon me on this auspicious occasion to say a few words. Regular readers will know that one of the greatest acceptance speeches of recent times was delivered at the Oscars at the end of last year - CLICK HERE for a full transcript. So, I won't bother with all the usual rubbish. No onions round the neck and floods of tears, etc....... So, here goes:-

"My Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen, Cats, and I suppose I have to include dogs, apart from that nasty little Jack Russell that lives next door, unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, let me say that the award is a well deserved recognition for the pearls of wisdom that I regularly bestow upon you lot.

"To keep in their good books, I must thank the Academy for recognizing great literary talent like what I've got. At this stage, I should also offer thanks to others who have helped make this moment possible, but I can't think of any. A passing mention is in order to the one I don't trust for the occasional prawn, and for the pretty one for keeping him in order. As for my poncy brother and stupid sister, I just hope they realise how lucky they are to have me looking after them.

"Finally, a big thank you to my readers for their loyal support - all three of you. To finish, I accept this belated and thoroughly merited award with all the modesty you would expect from a superstar like what I am. You make me feel very humble - whatever that means. Good night and God bless"

"Blimey, it's really gone to his head." Who said that - it's that Tabby again. Jealousy is a terrible thing - just ignore him. "Not surprised it's gone to his head, there's plenty of room in there for it!" I don't believe it, that stupid sister of mine has turned up now - ignore her as well! The things I have to put up with.Well, that's your lot for today. I'm off for a well earned rest - I need to recharge the batteries so I can return later in the week to offer more subtle insights from the feline world. Do you know, sometimes, I just don't know where I get them from - often I can't wait to wake up in the morning just to find out what I am going to say next. What a Life! AlbertThe(modest and humble)Cat.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The Answer is Blowing in the Wind.............

Hey man - what day is it? What's happened? Where am I? Where have I been? I've lost a couple of days. I feel terrible. My head feels like it's full of cotton wool. "No change there then." Who said that? Oh no, it's only Tabby, that poncy brother of mine. He's the last thing I need today. I'll ignore him.

Ah now, wait a minute, things are starting to become clearer. The last thing I remember is dozing in the evening sun. The one I don't trust was sitting talking to the pretty one. He had a little pot in his hand which he had brought back from the garden centre. "They'll like that" she said, "it says on the label that it attracts cats." He seemed less than enthused. "Attracts cats! We've already got three of the damn things" he said, "how many more do you want?" She gave him one of her looks! He is very ungrateful at times, after all he doesn't have to live in my house if he doesn't want to.He looked around the garden wondering where he should plant it. After a long and thoughtful deliberation, he came up with three or four well reasoned proposals and they discussed the merits of each in great detail. It was then decided by a show of hands, well her hand anyway, that it should be planted somewhere completely different. The pretty one went indoors, and muttering under his breath, he fetched the trowel, dug a little hole and planted it. He watered it, and then followed her indoors.

I decided to investigate. The label from the pot was lying on the path - "Catmint" it read. Catmint, Catmint - that's the same as Catnip! Surely not I thought, my very own supply of Catnip. I usually have to pay Mad Harry and Slasher Sid half a dozen prawns for just a few leaves. They control the local supply you see, and that's the going rate in these parts. I sniffed the plant, and gradually things started to get a bit hazy. I felt light headed. Way out man! I chewed on the leaves, and before I knew it I was humming old Grateful Dead songs. No idea who they are? Well, after that it's all a bit of a blur.I vaguely recall sitting on the back wall wearing a flower behind my ear, with two pink elephants and a unicorn, discussing the meaning of life - don't know where they came from, I've not seen them round here before. I also tried to fly - I was very good at the going down bit, but I think the going up needs more practice. I remember nothing else until I woke up a little while ago. I must have had a psychedelic experience - whatever one of those is. Let this sorry little tale be a warning to you other cats out there. Lay off the catnip - no good will come of it. Remember, just say no!
Well, that's my lot for today. Think I'll get rid of temptation, and dig that plant up. Dig it man. Ho Ho Ho... Must be careful not to trip. Ho Ho Ho... It looks like a weed anyway. Ho Ho Ho... "That's enough rotten puns." What? It's that Tabby again! Just ignore him. I still don't feel too good you know - probably cold turkey, cold turkey, mmmmmmmmm.... I'm really hungry. Do you know how many hippies it take to change a light bulb? Six, one to change the bulb, and five to share the experience man!!!! Peace and love to all, except Tabby. What a Life! AlbertThe(zonked out)Cat.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Once Upon a Time, There was this Frog.............

Well, where were we? oh yes - you will no doubt all be relieved to know that I managed to get down from that tree where I was marooned. The nasty, snappy little Jack Russell eventually tired itself out what with all that yapping. It was sitting at the bottom panting away, when my pal Riley wandered past. Now regular readers will know that Riley is a somewhat large ginger cat, with the physique of a baby elephant. His previous encounter with the Jack Russell ended with the miserable mutt belly-up in the middle of a rose bush. Fearing a repeat performance the nasty little thing scampered off rather sharpish with it's tail between it's legs.

"Hello old boy" said Riley, "I think it's safe for you to come down now." With some difficulty, me and my poncy brother climbed down the tree. "I'm most deeply obliged" I said to Riley as I arrived at the bottom in a crumpled heap. "Think nothing off it old boy" he replied, "how did you get yourself into such a predicament in the first place?" I recounted the whole sorry tale to Riley, who despite his best efforts found it hard not to laugh. Do you know, us cats find it a lot easier to climb up trees rather than down - that's why sometimes we get stuck up them. It's our claws you see - we dig them in and pull ourselves up. A bit like mountaineers with crampons on their boots. Try the same trick on the way down and see what happens - let's just say you get down a lot quicker than you get up!

Riley seemed impressed with my knowledge of mountaineering. "I wonder why the housekeeping staff have the urge to climb mountains" he said, "no self respecting cat would do such a daft thing." I told him of a telly programme I saw recently about Mount Everest. Years go it was almost impossible to get up the thing, but nowadays all and sundry stroll up. There are concerns about litter strewn all over the place. I reckon they must have installed escalators, and built a Starbucks at base camp. Apparently you can get a Big Mac at the summit. "He does ramble on doesn't he" said Tabby. "All very interesting" said Riley, "but I must be off, I think I hear the can opener. Good day to the pair of you," and with that he was gone.When we got back to my garden, a delightful little story was unfolding. Ginger Tail, my stupid sister, was excitedly ferreting about in a bush. She'd only managed to catch a frog - I didn't know she had it in her. "Where did you get it from?" I asked in amazement. "I caught it in the long grass by that new pond just along the road" she said proudly. We had all gathered round to admire her catch when the back door opened and the one I don't trust came marching down the path. He seemed less than impressed when he saw what we had got. "I don't want any of you lot eating it" he said, "it'll only be coughed up in the lounge." Eating it!! Eating it!! He must think we're French? He obviously thought the thing had croaked, ho ho ho...... just one of my little froggy jokes, as he went and got a trowel to bury it.

He was just about to commit the body to the ground - quite moving really, ashes to ashes, dust to dust and all that stuff, when the corpse did actually croak, not once but twice. All four of us jumped back in amazement, and the frog jumped up in the air, clearly annoyed at the prospect of imminent interment. "Blimey, it's alive!" he perceptively observed. The pretty one appeared on the scene, and was soon issuing instructions. The frog was put into a little plastic pot with some wet grass, and left to convalesce. After about an hour, recovery was deemed to be sufficient, and it was decided to take said frog along the road and rehouse him near a little stream called The Thames, that runs nearby. Off they went, clearly savouring one of their few victories over us cats. Oh well, I thought as I dozed off on the settee, you can't win them all - although I usually do.A little while later my peaceful slumber was rudely interrupted as the door burst open, and the creature from the black lagoon stormed in. I dived under the stairs, well, you can't be too careful can you. Upon closer inspection, it was the one I don't trust. Something wonderful had happened - he had fallen down the river bank into the mud. If only the tide had been up, he might have been washed away for good. It turns out, the pretty one had made him clamber along the bank to a spot she deemed appropriate for the relaunch of Mr Frog, and he lost his footing. Oh how I laughed. The aroma was foul, as was his mood. The pretty one arrived, and blamed him for the fiasco, he in turn blamed us cats for catching the frog in the first place, and the frog croaked away quite happily in it's new home.

Well, that's my lot for today. I think you will all agree, a charming little tale. I love a happy ending. Did you here about the chap who went into a French restaurant, looked at the menu and said "waiter, have you got frog's legs?" "Oh yes sir" the waiter replied. "Well hop over here and take the order!" the chap said. What do you mean you've heard it before! There's no pleasing some people. What a Life! AlbertThe(corny)Cat.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Trivial Pursuits.......

I don't know where the time goes. "You spend most of it sleeping!" Who said that? It's Tabby, that poncy brother of mine again. As I was saying before being so rudely interrupted, time seems to fly past. Do you know it is seven days since I was last here - that is very nearly a week I think.

You'll be pleased to know, that I have not wasted the time, despite what Tabby thinks. I have discovered a new hobby. As regular readers will know, I have many varied intellectual interests, such as ornithology, horticulture, gastronomy, and of course late night ratting amongst the garbage bins in the back alley. Well over the last few days, I have taken up lepidoptery - "is there no end to your talents Bert" I hear you cry. "There most certainly are!" Heaven forbid, it's that pesky Tabby again. Bear with me a minute while I chase him off....................................................... That's better, we can continue without his unnecessary contribution.

Now, I realise that most of you are not as well educated as like what I am - "they must all be thick as planks to keep turning up here to read this rubbish." What! He's crept back in again already. Don't go away............................................................... Right, that will be the last we hear from him, I've chased him into next doors garden and the nasty little Jack Russell that lives there has him trapped up a tree. He could be there for hours if we are lucky.
Where was I - Oh yes, lepidoptery for the uninitiated is the study and collection of flutterbies, well I think that's what they are called. I was laying in the vegetable patch, alert as always, on top of my carrot plants that the one I don't trust kindly planted for me - they are most comfortable, when I spotted a flutterby land on one of the cauliflower plants. See, I told you I was a horticulturist, I know the names of all the plants. Anyway, I crept up behind it and admired it's beauty, the delicate lace-like wings, fragile thin legs and tiny body - one of natures triumphs. A cabbage white if I am not mistaken I thought. As it flew off, I leapt at least six feet into the air, and grabbed it with both paws. They don't taste of much, but they don't half tickle when you swallow them. Unfortunately, in the process, I plunged head first into the middle of the cauliflowers, flattening about half a dozen of them.

The one I don't trust saw all this, and came towards me shaking his fist. Thinking he must have a handful of prawns as a mark of his gratitude for me protecting his crops from the ravages of the cabbage white, I approached him expectantly. How wrong can you be! Anyway, as he seemed to have taken umbrage at some apparent slight, I decided to make a rapid exit, and hopped over the wall into next door. I completely forgot about the nasty little Jack Russell, and had to take swift evasive action. "Fancy seeing you here" said Tabby as I scrambled up the apple tree and sat next to him on the top branch. Oh how he laughed! I hate him I really do.Well that's your lot for today. I may be back later in the week, if I ever get out of this tree. How did it come to this - the indignity of it. Stuck up here with my poncy brother. Even the birds are laughing at me. "Don't worry" said Tabby, "someone is bound to call the fire brigade to rescue us if the dog doesn't clear off." Just what we need I thought, someone aiming a hosepipe at us! I never have liked trees - it's the bark you see! What do you mean it's a rotten joke. Under these somewhat trying circumstances it's the best I can do. What a Life! AlbertThe(arboreal)Cat.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Pond Life.........

Well, here we are again at the start of a new week. I've had a very interesting few days, since I was with you last. As you know, I have been taking an interest in the World Cup. I was most disappointed when my team, the indomitable lions of Cameroon were eliminated on a mere technicality - they scored less goals than the opposition. I wasn't sure who I should follow after that, so I went off to ask for advice from wise Old Black Tom - he is a very clever cat and knows everything. "Who's going to win the world Cup" I asked. "No idea" he said. I explained my predicament about who to support. Old Black Tom thoughtfully sucked on a tooth and told me that in Korea, they are very partial to cats. That's nice I thought I will follow them, they are bound to win. Would you believe it, they only went and lost as well.The blow was softened by yesterday's shenanigans. That's a good word for a cat isn't it. No idea what it means but I must make a note to use it more often. England were playing, and I snuggled up on the sofa to watch it alongside the one I don't trust. He was very bullish, "England are bound to win - we're only playing Germany" he said with blind optimism. Mind you, I think he had partaken of a small light ale beforehand. Anyway, the inevitable happened - they lost. I must say though, he took it like the true sportsman he is - cursing, swearing, shouting at the television and making crass references to the last war. I haven't laughed so much since Tabby got himself locked in the broom cupboard. The pretty one stuck her oar in - "I think England should have kicked it between the two white sticks like the Germans kept doing" she helpfully advised. It's hard to argue with such logic, but that didn't stop him. I took this as my cue to go for a stroll.

I found Old Black Tom and Riley, snoozing on the back wall in the sun. "Splendid day old boy" said Riley. "Certainly is" I replied and told them about the goings on at our place. We all had a little chuckle. I mentioned Korea to Old Black Tom, and he gave me one of his looks, so I changed the subject. "What's that noise coming from a few gardens along" I asked. "No idea" said Tom, "you and Riley go take a look and report back." When we returned, we told Tom that there were two scruffy chaps with shovels. "What are they doing" asked Tom. "Digging a big hole"I replied. "A big hole eh? Perhaps I should look into it" said Tom, as he and Riley fell about laughing. No idea why! Anyway we took Tom and showed him what was going on. Tom looked long and hard, and then said. "They're building a pond." See, I told you he was clever, how did he know that. "I think the hose pipe filling it with water is a bit of a giveaway" said Riley. "I expect they're going to put little fishes in it" said Tom. "Fishes!" I said excitedly, and was just about to rush off and get my knife and fork, but Tom reckoned it would be a few days yet before the fish arrived. All this talk of fish made me hungry, so I bade Tom and Riley farewell and wandered home to see if I could scrounge a few prawns.Well, that's your lot for today. It's baking here, and I need a nice lie down in the shade. You can't be too careful in the sun. As I dozed off, I started to ponder the wonders of the universe - men have been to the moon, why not the sun?. I remembered asking Old Black Tom about this once - he reckoned it was far too hot. They should go at night then I thought. Tom also told me that you can tell the time by looking at the sun - I've tried it, but it was too bright, I couldn't see the numbers or the hands! What a life! AlbertThe(piscatorial)Cat.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

A Bird in the Hand...........

What a day this is! I've eventually managed to catch one. "What? An unpleasant dose of fleas!" Who said that? How rude! How very rude! No not fleas, after years of trying I caught a bird this morning. How about that then, I actually caught a bird? I knew you would be impressed. It was huge, with vicious sharp talons and a massive hooked beak. It put up fierce resistance, but in the end it was no match for a cat with my highly honed hunting skills. I reckon it was an eagle! "An eagle! It was a geriatric sparrow, you should be ashamed of yourself. I would have thrown it back." What, who said that? It's my poncy brother - he is always sticking his nose where it's not wanted. I wish he would clear off.Now' let me tell you how this stirring event occurred. I was prowling amongst undergrowth at the bottom of the garden, when the mighty bird alighted on the grass. Without making a sound, I crept round behind the shed and took up position in amongst the cauliflower plants. Using all my feline grace and cunning, I edged closer. The bird saw me, and for what seemed like an eternity we looked at each other - it was transfixed by my unrelenting stare. I pounced, and a ferocious battle ensued - there could only be one winner. No, not the damn bird, me of course! You lot have no faith in me at all! Anyway, we digress, the end came mercifully quickly for the bird, and I stood triumphant over the great carcass! How about that then!"Ha ha ha ha ha....... ha ha ha ha........ha ha ha...... I've never heard such a cock and bull story." Oh no, it's that Tabby again, I thought he had gone. "I watched the whole sorry episode through the back door - it was pitiful" said Tabby, "you were asleep on the wall, when this poor little sparrow fell off a twig and landed next to you. I've never seen a cat jump so high. You were hiding behind that bush for ages before you came out. I reckon the thing died of old age." What an outrageous slander! Don't go away, I am just going to chase that poncy brother of mine off ................................ He was a bit too quick for me, but I don't think he will bother us any more today. The things I have to put up with. I'm exhausted, it's asking too much for me too catch him and a bird in the same day.

I need a well earned rest. Think I'll go and stretch out in front of the telly with the one I don't trust and watch the World Cup. Did you see that our cat team, The Indomitable Lions, otherwise known as Cameroon got knocked out. Fix, I hear you all cry. A despicable conspiracy perpetrated by dogs I reckon. I'm still considering who will now benefit from my support. Here's a funny thing though, after two abject performances, the one I don't trust still thinks England will win. Well, I haven't laughed so much since Ginger Tail got her head stuck in the banisters. The pretty one thought it was funny too, and said he must have been drinking.Well, that's my lot for today. Talking of drinking, a word of warning, it can be very bad for you. My Great Uncle Porky told me a story about his distant cousin, Fast Eddie, who is to this day, still the only known cat to have died of drink. He was run over by a brewery truck! Just one of Uncle Porky's little jokes. He use to tell me lots of things when I was a kitten, some of which were true! What a Life! AlbertThe(hunting)Cat.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Happy Birthday - You Must be Joking!!!

Greetings one and all. Firstly, I must offer my thanks to the vast numbers of you who sent birthday wishes on the auspicious occasion of my fifth birthday earlier in the week. I know what you're thinking, "fifth birthday? we thought he told us he was four!" Well, here's a strange thing, I thought I was four! After much argument between Tabby, Ginger Tail and my good self, and after several recounts, we came to the conclusion that we were all five - doesn't time fly. This unfortunate confusion only lends credence to the malicious and totally unfounded rumours spread around by housekeeping staff that us cats can't count. You will undoubtedly remember my earlier missive on the subject - click here if you don't. Anyway, I agreed with Tabby and Ginger Tail that all four of us will close rank on this and not mention it again.

Back to my birthday - it was a bit of a damp squib really. The one I don't trust grudgingly offered up a few extra prawns which were gratefully received. Unfortunately my poncy brother and stupid sister both think it is their birthday as well, so I had to share with them - most unsatisfactory. After breakfast, I went for a stroll, thinking the local cats would have lots of presents for me. I bumped into Riley, when I say bumped, I don't mean literally. If you did have the misfortune to actually collide with Riley, you would do yourself serious damage - he's about the size of a London bus. "Morning old boy" said Riley, "what a splendid day." "It most certainly is" I replied, "and a very special one at that." "I know" said Riley, "it's Tabby and Ginger Tail's birthday isn't it, I expect you've got them a nice present."I was flabbergasted - my flabber has never been so gasted! "But it is my birthday" I said. "Ho Ho Ho," said Riley, "Tabby told me that you'd say that." "But it is" I said desperately. "Nice try Bert, but I'm not going to fall for it - it's a bit of a poor show to pull a trick like that, just to get your paws on your brother and sister's presents." I knew it, it's that duplicitous poncy brother of mine. I hate him - wait until I get my paws on him.

As I wandered off to look for Tabby, a voice called out "happy birthday Bert, many happy returns." I looked round, and there was wise Old Black Tom sitting on the back wall. That's a bit more like it I thought, and hopped up next to him. "I've got you some big fat prawns Bert, I hope you like them" he said. "Most acceptable, I'm deeply obliged. I expect they will be delicious" I replied, and sat there expectantly. After an uncomfortable silence, I said, "shall I take them then?" "What do you mean?" he replied, "I thought you would have eaten them by now." "I haven't even seen them" I quickly replied. "Of course you have" said Old Black Tom, "Ginger Tail was here a little while ago, and to save me a journey, she very kindly offered to take them for you. She is a very thoughtful little cat, she knows I can't get around as well as I use to, and said it would save me a journey. How kind."I couldn't believe it. I rushed home, to be greeted by Ginger Tail and Tabby sitting on the back step licking their lips. "We've just eaten a big pot of prawns that Old Black Tom gave us" said Ginger Tail. "But they weren't yours, they were meant for me" I said. "Well we knew you would want to share them with us" said Tabby, "so we made a start. We were going to leave a few for you, but they were so nice, before we knew it they had all gone." Can you believe it, stitched up by my own kith and kin!

Well, that's my lot for today. I'm off to annoy the nasty little Jack Russell that lives next door. It always makes me feel better when I am in a bad mood. Do you know, I heard his owner talking the other day. Apparently she had to take him to the vet because he kept scratching. The vet told her that the mutt had a touch of mange. She was outraged and demanded a second opinion. "OK" replied the vet, "he's got fleas as well!" Ho Ho Ho.... What a Life! AlbertThe(five year old)Cat.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Greetings from Bert, or Preferably for Bert!

Hello folks. I've been very busy recently hence the lack of blogs. "Don't listen to him, he's been loafing about doing nothing useful at all." Who said that? It's that poncy brother of mine, I thought he was asleep in the garden. Judging from the huge number of enquiries I've had, you must all have missed me. Your concern is most touching - many thanks to both of you! I don't know why I bother, really I don't.

Anyway, as a couple of weeks have elapsed since my last missive, I'm sure you are all desperate for my pearls of wisdom. Things are about the same round here. Nothing much has changed - prawns still in short supply. I was up bright and early this morning. "How can you say that and keep a straight face?" It's Tabby again. Bear with me a moment while I chase him off................. that's better, I don't think he will trouble us any more. Now, where was I? Oh yes, I like the mornings, especially when the weather is good, it's the best time of day. The rich cacophony of bird song interspersed with the gently rasping cough of the woman next door as she enjoys her first cigarette of the day - the dawn chorus in all it's splendour. The dew on the grass, the sweet fragrance of the flowers and the heady aroma of burnt toast as the one I don't trust gets breakfast ready. A new day has truly dawned.

Right, there are a couple of things I need to tell you about. Since last Friday, the one I don't trust, has taken up permanent residence on the settee, in my favourite spot actually. I was getting fed up with it, so I decided to investigate. Do you know what, he is watching football morning, day and night. It's the World Cup apparently! Now as you know, I am a rather accomplished player myself, I could have been a star - I expect you have already seen the video of me in my prime - if not, click here. Well, if you can't beat them, join them, that is what I say, so I've decided to join him on the settee to watch it as well. I particularly like watching the little ball on the screen, but for some reason he gets a bit agitated when I sit in front of it and try and pat it with my paw. You can look forward to my occasional observations and expert analysis of the proceedings.

On Saturday we watched England play - he got rather excited and was very happy until the goalkeeper did an impression of a blind man fending off an angry bee. You should have heard his language - most appalling. I should be in goal, I am very good at chasing balls. Did you know us cats have a team in it - Cameroon, otherwise known as the Indomitable Lions - I shall support them. We are bound to win.And now for the really important news - roll of drums, fanfare on trumpets..... it's my birthday tomorrow! Yes, I am four years old. "It's my birthday as well." What, who else has a birthday tomorrow? "I do," said Ginger Tail, "so does Tabby." "How does that work then" I said. "Well, we are all from the same litter - we were all born under the bush on the same day," replied Ginger Tail. How unfair I thought - I expect there will be extra prawns to celebrate this auspicious occasion - I don't want to have to share them with those other two. "How old are you then" I asked. "I'm four of course" said Ginger Tail, "and Tabby?" "Well, he's four as well" she said in a rather condesending way. What a remarkable coincidence I thought.

Well, that's my lot for today. I'm off to make sure all the other local cats know it is my birthday - I know they will want to mark the occasion with a small gift - king prawns are always acceptable. I will be celebrating tomorrow, but will be back later in the week. Did you know that birthdays are good for you. Wise Old Black Tom told me the other day, that the more birthdays you have, the longer you live. What a clever cat he is! What a Life! AlbertThe(expectant)Cat.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Summertime and the Going is Easy....

Who wrote that rubbish, I've never heard of anything so stupid. Summertime is not easy at all. We have just endured a hot, sunny weekend here in London. Thank goodness it's Monday, that's all I can say. As you may have noticed, I've been taking it rather easy recently - what do you mean you hadn't noticed! I don't know why I bother. Anyway, I felt compelled to put pen to paper (or should that be paw to keyboard?) today.

A little bit of sunshine, and the locals go stark raving mad. I don't know what gets into them - they all seem to take to their gardens and get up to the most ludicrous things. All my little haunts where I creep off to for a quiet nap, all taken over by people in funny clothes laying about on the grass, and getting up to all sorts of ridiculous things. The only place to get a decent kip is indoors, all the houses are empty. I'm just pleased most of them have cleared off back to work this morning and left me in peace. What a weekend I've had.I don't know where to start - barbecues seems as good a place as any. Now I thought a barbecue was a long line of people waiting to have their hair cut. It's not compulsory to laugh at this point, but please do try!! Anyway, what a strange ritual this is. The men, who often don't even know where the kitchen is, all of a sudden think they can cook. The sweet scent of the summer flowers is completely overwhelmed by the fragrant aroma of burnt sausage, and the bright sunshine all but obliterated by wafts of smoke that resemble a November fog rolling in off the North Sea.

Why do they do it? I mean who wants to eat meat that is burnt to a cinder on the outside and raw in the middle - must be an acquired taste. So as not to be left out, we had a barbecue in our back garden. The one I don't trust put a skewer of prawns on. "Bert will like one of these" he said. Well, I would have done before he got his hands on them. He threw one in my direction. Good job I ducked - if it'd hit me, it would have knocked me out! He seemed genuinely put out when I turned my nose up at it. Now I've got a pretty good set of choppers, but even I couldn't bite through it. And another thing it smelt like it had been gently tossed in a petrol and crushed coal marinade before cooking - not to my taste at all, but they ate them.I wandered off in search of peace, but in every garden I came to, similar things were going on. People of all shapes and sizes eating burnt food, their eyes running from the smoke, their faces slowly going bright red, and all dressed in funny clothes. Most of them were wearing shorts. Now some people..... how can I put this delicately...... let us just say people of a certain size and leave it at that, shouldn't be allowed to wear shorts. What a sight! I think a licence should be necessary to wear shorts. In another garden, I heard a woman tell her daughter in a very loud voice that all the neighbours could hear, to go and play in the swimming pool. Swimming pool I thought, they've put that in quick, they didn't have one yesterday. When I looked, it was nothing more than a plastic blow up thing with a couple of inches of water in it. If I had a bit of a thirst on, I could drink it in one go. I even had a look out into the front street, and all I could see was an Englishmen taking his mad dog for a walk in the mid-day sun. A little joke for my more cultured readers - all three of you.

Well, that's my lot for today. I hate the hot weather, roll on winter that's what I say. I heard the pretty one say "that sun is very hot today." The one I don't trust replied "well don't touch it then" before collapsing into fits of laughter. She gave him an icy stare - there could be a cold front moving in any time now! What a life! AlbertThe(scorched)Cat.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Staff Problems...

I'm not very happy today - problems with the housekeeping staff you see. They've been getting a bit too familiar lately, taking liberties if you know what I mean. Only yesterday the pretty one referred to me as "Bertie Boy." Yes, "Bertie Boy." Outrageous I hear you say. I don't mind my friends calling me Bert, but "Bertie Boy!!!!" I think the staff should stick to Albert. When you are in a position of authority like my good self you must maintain standards. It's the thin end of the wedge. Before you know it, one thing leads to another and heaven forbid, she'll be picking me up. "I'd like to see her try, you must weigh half a ton" Who said that? It's my poncy brother, how rude, I wish he'd clear off.

Anyway, you get my point. I indulge her occasionally and let her stroke me, especially if there is a prawn in it, but I do draw the line at being picked up! The one I don't trust tries it occasionally. Last time it happened, I was crated up and taken to see the bloke who sticks needles in us once a year. I managed to inflict quite a bit of damage to his arm. He made a dreadful fuss, but it was only a flesh wound.I am getting a bit worried about their attitude. Take this morning for example. For some reason they had to be up early - miserable as sin they were, arguing with each other, banging about - it really disturbed my beauty sleep. "You need plenty of that!" It's that damn brother of mine again, I thought he'd gone. They should think themselves lucky that I give them a few hours off to get some sleep. They were in such a rush to get out, that they neglected to give me my prawns for breakfast. I heard her tell him to make sure we were OK. "They're fine" he said, "they won't starve." Then they rushed out the door leaving only a dish full of biscuits and water. You'd expect better service in a doss house wouldn't you.

I need to teach them a lesson, let them know who's boss. "Perhaps you should disappear for a few hours, or days even, that would be better" said Tabby. "They'll be really worried." Not a bad idea I thought so off I went. After a couple of hours, I got a bit peckish, and I thought they would have seen the error of their ways, so I decided to go back. When I arrived, the staff were already there. I crept in through the flap and Tabby was waiting. "Have they missed me, are they worried?" I asked. "Oh yes" said Tabby, "they are mortified, so much so that they had to have a sit down and watch telly." I took a peep and I must say they appear to have recovered very well from the shock! "They put a big heap of prawns down when they got back. We thought you were staying away for ages. It seemed a shame for yours to go to waste, so me and Ginger Tail scoffed the lot - they were lovely" said Tabby who appeared to be semi-convulsed with laughter - I hate him, I really do.

Well, that's my lot for today. I can't believe the bad luck I have. I thought black cats were supposed to be lucky, and I'm sort of half black. That brother of mine is no help. He's the type of cat, that just when you think you've hit rock bottom, he throws you a shovel. One day I'll sort him out. I'm going to go and sit next to the one I don't trust and lull him into a false sense of security. I'll show him. Think I'll go outside and sharpen up the old claws on his cherry tree first. What a life! AlbertThe(disgruntled)Cat.