Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Variety is the Spice of Life....

Hello. I'm not feeling too good at all today. What a night I've had! I blame the housekeeping staff, and in particular the one I don't trust. If it wasn't for their slovenly habits I wouldn't be in this state. After supper last night I decided to go and do a bit of ratting - along with ornithology and horticulture, it is one of my favourite hobbies. I met up with Mad Harry and Slasher Sid, and we went to one of our chosen spots - the communal garbage bins round the back of a nearby apartment block. We didn't have much luck, but you should have seen the size of the one that got away!

After a couple of hours it started to rain so I decided to call it a night and wandered back home. I was feeling a bit peckish, and as everyone else had gone to bed I thought I would have a little look around to see if there was anything on offer. I was walking along the kitchen top by the sink and sure enough, there was a stack of dirty plates, pots, pans, etc. How bone idle I thought, they haven't bothered to do the washing up after supper. However, my contempt for their laziness was soon overcome by delight - I couldn't believe my eyes. Inside one of the pots were lots of really juicy prawns, although they were covered in a rather strange smelling sauce.Too good to be true I thought, and was about to sample one, when I heard Tabby come into the kitchen. "I wouldn't eat those if I were you" he said, "they won't do you any good." Surely he didn't think I would fall for that old trick. He's not having any I thought, he's just trying to curry favour. Quick as a flash, I scoffed the lot. "You haven't eaten them have you?" asked Tabby in amazement. He called to Ginger Tail, "he's only gone and eaten those prawns!" Ginger Tail came running over, and they both stood there and gawped at me. At this point I smelt a rat, which is more than I'd managed earlier. What do they know that I don't? "Guess what they had for supper last night" said Ginger Tail? "Big fat prawns," I replied. "Prawn curry!" said Ginger Tail. All of a sudden, this strange feeling came over me. My mouth was on fire, and I swear steam was coming out of my ears. Good job there was water in the sink - in my rush to swill the stuff down I very nearly fell in. Oh how they laughed. I've never drunk so much in my life. I spent the rest of the night drinking the garden puddles and digging in the flower beds if you get my drift.

Well that's my lot for today. I cannot understand how they can eat the stuff. Do you know, they pick up the phone and in about half an hour some bloke brings it round to the door. I heard him on the phone the other night. "Do you deliver?" he said. "No sir, we do chicken, lamb and prawn, but no liver" the bloke at the other end replied. Ho Ho Ho... What do you mean it's a rotten joke! In my delicate condition it is the best I can do. What a waste of perfectly good prawns. I reckon the one I don't trust left them by the sink on purpose to try and poison me. Still, wait until he sees what I've done to his flowerbed! What a life! AlbertThe(fire-breathing)Cat.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Seeing the Light....

Good news - you'll never guess what happened yesterday, and the day before! My breakfast prawns were served on time. Same again today. For the last six months or so, they have been exactly one hour late everyday. Hopefully, we can now put this outrage behind us and move on. I wonder why the housekeeping staff have been getting up an hour earlier?

I asked Tabby, my poncy brother if he knew anything about this strange phenomenon. He had no idea but suggested we see if Ginger Tail my stupid sister knew. What a daft idea I thought, there is no chance of her knowing, she is as thick as a plank. She took an IQ test once, and the results came back negative! "It's because the housekeeping staff went forward an hour in time" she said confidently. "What! They've invented time travel" I chuckled. See, I told you she was thick. Oh how me and Tabby laughed. This could be a rich source of amusement I thought. "Why did they do that then" I asked. "They think it gives them extra daylight" she replied. I told you this would be good! "How does that work then" I said. She thought for a minute - you can tell when she's thinking, a blank expression appears and her mouth drops open. After what seemed an eternity she said "well, 7am becomes 8am and 8am becomes 9am and 9am becomes.." "OK" I said, "I think we get your drift."It was all getting very confusing, when Tabby chipped in, "well what happens in the evening? Surely 7pm becomes 8pm and 8pm becomes 9pm and 9pm becomes.." "Enough" I cried "this is all getting too ridiculous for words, that would mean they get extra darkness in the morning, and part of today becomes tomorrow."At once I had spotted the flaw in her stupid idea. "That's right" said Ginger Tail, "they haven't worked that out yet - after all, they are not very bright are they." Have you ever heard such a cock and bull story. Ginger Tail went for a lie down in a dark room, to rest what she laughingly calls her brain. I don't think I will worry myself unduly, best just to be grateful that the prawns are back to normal. All this thinking has made my brain hurts as well. Think I will go for a nap. Perhaps my idea of time travel was nearer the mark after all. I'm surprised cats haven't invented it yet. Just think, I could have my breakfast, jump into my time machine, go back a bit and then have it all over again.

Well, that's my lot for today. Wise Old Black Tom, who knows everything, told me once that he could travel back in time. At first I didn't believe him, but he proved it to me. He said "today I will travel back in time - if I am successful, you will find that Wednesday will follow Tuesday and cats will rule the earth." You can't argue with facts like that can you. Finally, the reason the blog was missing yesterday is all this mucking about with time. "You do talk some rubbish" said Tabby, "I suppose you being asleep on the bed all afternoon had nothing to do with it!" I hate him, I really do. What a life! AlbertThe(confused)Cat.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Beware of the Dog, or Should that be Cat?

Well here we are at the end of another week. I went out this morning to look for our new friend Riley who moved in yesterday. He shouldn't be hard to spot, he is the size of a bus! I wandered along the back wall until I came to his house, but there was no sign of him. Perhaps his owners have carried out their threat to keep him in the house for a while to acclimatise to his new surroundings - another stupid human misunderstanding. All they need to do is make sure the food bowl is regularly topped up, and we won't roam too far away.

I was wondering where he was when I looked up - he was staring forlornly out of the bedroom window. Perhaps I can spring him I thought. There is a large apple tree with branches close to the window, so I climbed up and hopped across on to the sill, whereupon Riley leaned on the window and pushed it open, knocking yours truly off the sill. Fortunately the ground broke my fall. No, I jest, I actually landed in the compost heap, so apart from my pride, no damage was done. I rose to my feet, with all the dignity I could muster. Riley was looking down, "do you want something old boy" he enquired. "I thought you were locked in" I said. "So did my owner" he chuckled. He scrambled down the tree, and we went and sat on the back wall. "Do you mind moving downwind a bit old boy" he said, "you do rather smell."It seems the compost heap was rather a mixed blessing. It reminded me of a story my Great Uncle Porky once told me. He was taken to see the bloke who sticks needles in us once a year because his feet were smelling and his nose was running - the vet said he was built upside down! Ho Ho Ho.. just one of Uncle Porky's little jokes. "Come on, I'll show you round the patch" I said and we strolled off. First stop was our place. I introduced him to Tabby and Ginger Tail. He towered over them and they greeted him somewhat nervously. "What's that rotten smell" said Tabby. "Bert fell in the compost heap" said Riley - Oh how they all laughed. I hate that poncy brother of mine, I really do!

I told Riley to beware of the nasty snappy little Jack Russell that lives next door. We all jumped up on to the wall and sure enough, he was out in the garden. The site of all four of us sent him into a frenzy - he was jumping up and down at the wall, yapping away. We just sat there and hissed at him. "He does go on doesn't he?" said Riley, who then proceeded to hop down off the wall into the garden. We looked on in horror as the nasty thing charged towards Riley. "Get out of there" I shouted. Riley cast me a contemptuous glance, and then walked slowly towards the thing.

The mutt was apoplectic by the time it got to Riley, who just stared at it. Riley lifted one of his massive paws and and cuffed the thing on the side of the head. It rolled over three times and came to rest in a rose bush - Riley hissed, the dog whimpered and scampered away with it's tail between it's legs. "Don't think he'll cause too many problems" said Riley, picking up one of the mutts old bones and gently crunching it in his huge jaws. "Would you like a piece" he asked as he rejoined us on the wall. We all very politely declined his kind offer. "Can't imagine why they've got a Beware of the Dog sign on the gate" he said, "probably worried about someone treading on it" he mused.Well that's my lot for today. Riley decided he'd had enough excitement and it was time for his pre-lunch nap. "Where abouts in the house do you sleep" I asked. "Anywhere I damn well like!" he replied. I hope you enjoy your lunch I thought - probably half a side of beef! The rest of the tour will wait for another day. I suppose I had better go indoors and clean up on the settee, I mean the housekeeping staff will not want to see me in this state will they? Have a good weekend. I will return next week. What a life! AlbertThe(fragrant)Cat.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

New Kid on the Block!

Hello again. I have had a very interesting day. I rose early, at the crack of lunchtime, although I had been up for a short while earlier, not wanting to miss out on breakfast you understand. Standards are slipping in this establishment - I mean, breakfast in bed is not asking a lot really is it? Anyway, we'll let that pass for the time being. I decided to go for a gentle stroll.

I found wise Old Black Tom in his usual place sitting on the back wall a few houses along. He is a very clever cat - he knows absolutely everything. There was an awful lot of noise coming from a nearby house. "What's happening here" I asked. "No idea" said Tom. We decided to go and investigate. Must be careful I thought, we all know what curiosity did to the cat! We crept along the wall and over a shed roof until we could see in the window. What a site greeted us - people rushing round with boxes, carrying furniture, laying carpets and drinking vast quantities of tea. "Looks like new people are moving in" said Tom. We watched for a while - a fellow in a brown coat was unpacking a glass vase when it fell on the floor and smashed. "Quick, sweep up the bits and hide it before the owner comes back" said his mate, "if she sees it, she will go mad." How kind I thought, going to all that trouble so as not to upset her.After most of the boxes had been unpacked, the two brown coated chaps carried in a large packing case - it looked very heavy. When they opened it we had the shock of our lives. Inside was the biggest cat carrier you ever did see. "Can't wait to see what's inside that" said Tom. "I can" I replied nervously, "it must be huge - probably a lion!" The woman, told the men to be careful not to let it out. Too late, the beast inside clawed one of the men through the grill and they dropped it. The container burst open, and the biggest ginger tom I've ever seen hoved into view. It looked at the men, growled, hissed and spat. With fear in their eyes they immediately fled the room, and were halfway up the stairs when they bumped into the owner. "The things escaped" said one of them. "Which way is it going" enquired the owner. "Well you don't think we're chasing it do you?" he wittily replied as he rushed past. They say that crossing on the stairs brings bad luck - it certainly did for him, she hit him with a frying pan she had just unpacked.

Meanwhile, the cat approached the back door and gave it a shove, but unfortunately it was closed. Not to be deterred, he took two paces back, lunged forward, put his shoulder to the door and emerged blinking into the sunlight. He started walking towards us. "I'm off" I said. "No, no" said Tom, "we should introduce ourselves, he could be a useful addition to the local gang." He joined us on the shed roof. "Hello, I'm Tom, and here behind me is Bert" said Tom. "Nice to meet you, my name is Riley. Who is your invisible friend?" "What" said Tom turning around, "Bert, come down out of that tree at once - he's not going to eat you!" Maybe not, but you can't be too careful can you? I jumped down and shook paws with Riley - he nearly crushed mine. I reckon he has got a bit of lion in him you know - probably ate one for breakfast."Just moved in?" I asked. "Yes" replied Riley. We were rudely interrupted by the owner rushing out into the garden calling Riley in a worried voice. "How dare they crate me up like that." said Riley. "My lot are really stupid, they have this daft idea that they should keep me confined to barracks for a few weeks until I forget where I used to live. They think I will try and return. Why would I do such a thing - nothing to go back for, I mean to say, I saw with my own eyes all the food being taken out of the refrigerator and loaded into the removal van." Riley hissed at the owner just to keep her on her toes. "I think I'll go back in a couple of hours after they have unpacked the cat food - it'll do her good to worry about me. Make her appreciate me even more." Mmmm.... a cat after my own heart I thought.

Well, that's my lot for today. I'll have to think about organising a little welcome party for our new friend. I think it is very important that I keep on the right side of him. I think we should roll out the red carpet, covered in cat hair of course, for him. After all, he told me that he is used to the finer things in life. His owner spoils him something rotten apparently. Must be what they mean by The Life of Riley! What a life! AlbertThe(smarmy)Cat.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A Short Guide to Bertspeak!

It has come to my attention, that some of you lot out there keep asking the same two questions - "What on earth is he going on about?" or "who on earth is he going on about?" I can only assume, that some of the more erudite terminology I use goes above your heads - quite understandable, after all not all cats are articulated like what I am. What I thought I would do is provide you with a glossary of terminology and a cast list to enhance your enjoyment of these little offerings. So, without further ado, let's make a start.

My stupid sister - a strange looking cat with a daft expression. Predominantly white, with a silly ginger tail. Goes by the name of Ginger Tail - how original is that? Gets on your nerves.

My poncy brother - a scruffy, common or garden tabby. Goes by the name of Tabby - you can see they put a lot of thought into this can't you!! A thoroughly deceitful and self serving cat whose sole objective in life is to ingratiate himself with the pretty one in the hope of acquiring extra prawns. I hate him, I really do.Housekeeping staff - the two people who I grace with my presence and allow to take care of my day to day needs. A temporary arrangement until I find something more suitable. Primary responsibility is to provide a plentiful supply of prawns.

The one I don't trust - the more devious of the two staff. Totally untrustworthy. I'm sure he doesn't like me, but then the feeling is mutual. Left unsupervised, he would probably leave us to starve. Takes orders from the pretty one.

The pretty one - chief of staff. The more photogenic of the two. See, I told you I was articulate - that's not a bad word for a cat is it? She adores us, particularly me, I expect. Very gullible, especially in the presence of Tabby who will stop at nothing to suck up to her to get extra prawns. Has he no shame? Oooh I hate him I really do.

Jack Russell
- a pathetic little dog that lives next door, and is always yapping away. Thick as a plank. Tormenting the thing can lead to hours of amusement.

Quasimodo - deranged cat with a collar and bell round it's neck. The constant tinkling of the bell has sent him quite mad and deaf as a post. Believes he is being chased by fire engines, police cars and ice cream salesmen.

Mad Harry and Slasher Sid - two disreputable characters who prowl the local neighbourhood. They live in a little place called No-fixed-abode - no idea where that is. Tend to dine out regularly in only the best dustbins. You are well advised to keep on their good side if you get my drift! They know how to return a favour!Old Black Tom - local sage. He is the fount of all knowledge, and knows everything - it's true, he told me so himself. Over 100 years old - he told me that as well.

Great Uncle Porky - a big influence on me when I was a kitten. I learnt a lot from him. He told me all sorts of things, many of which were true.

The bloke who sticks needles in us once a year - a wretched, sadistic, sweaty little man. Every year without fail we are crated up and taken to his seedy premises, where in exchange for inordinate sums of cash he sticks needles in us. Tells wicked lies to anyone that will listen - said that I was overweight! Sends the one I don't trust into near apoplexy when the bill arrives.

The big green thing outside the back door - the garden. Filled with all sorts of things purely for my amusement - bulbs for me to dig up, flowers for me to swat, seed beds to dig in, and birds to chase. An adventure playground. Maintained by the one I don't trust whose favourite game is hunt the bulb - a bit like hide and seek, he hides them, I dig them up.

The big white thing in the kitchen - this is where the prawns live. Stuffed full of the things. I can think of no other use for it. Haven't yet managed to open the door - one of the reasons why I retain the housekeeping staff.

Prawns - staple diet of cats. Called shrimps on the other side of the pond - no idea why. Only leads to confusion.

Camp Colditz - an austere establishment where we are sent infrequently when the housekeeping staff go away. The evil camp commandant oversees a strict regime of twice daily slopping out and starvation rations. There is no time off for good behaviour. The escape committee meets after lights out, so far to no good effect, but I have it on good authority that the tunnel is nearing completion.

Well, that's your lot for today. I'm sure you all feel truly enlightened. I think I missed my vocation - I should have been a teacher. Do you know, I've started writing an educational book - I've already got the page numbers done. What a life! AlbertThe(tutorial)Cat.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Back to Normal....

Here we are again – happy as can be, all good friends and jolly good company! Who said that? No one else here, it must have been me. Yes, everything is getting back to normal, and surprisingly we all appear to be getting along OK. The pretty one returned last Friday, to a warm welcome. I made sure that Tabby, Ginger Tail as well as my good self were all in attendance when she arrived. I thought it would stand us in good stead, and sure enough she insisted on giving us some prawns as a treat. The only downside, was the grovelling performance of my poncy brother – he was all over her like a rash. I’m sure he got an extra prawn – I hate him, I really do!

The inspection of the premises passed off without any major hitches. The bodged attempts at the housework by the one I don’t trust just before she returned appears to have passed muster. I decided against messing the place up while he fetched her - it would probably have had a negative effect on the welcome home prawns.After the trauma of the last fortnight with the one I don’t trust in sole charge things are now much more relaxed. So relaxed, I had the best nights sleep in a long while. I slept like a log – woke up in the fireplace! Ho Ho Ho.. just one of my little jokes. That reminds me of a story Great Uncle Porky once told me. Apparently he was dragged off to see the bloke who sticks needles in us once a year, and while he was there he told the chap that he hadn’t slept for days. “I’ll give you something to help you sleep at night” he said. Uncle Porky clawed him for not paying attention – he had no trouble with nights, they were fine – it was the days when he couldn’t sleep. Uncle Porky was an exceptionally lazy cat. He had many other admirable qualities as well.Well that’s my lot for today. I'm off back to bed. It's good to have the pretty one back. At least she will ensure that we are kept in the manner to which we have become accustomed. I'm sure she is happy to see us, but I'm not so sure about him though. She certainly hasn't missed his childish sense of humour. They were sitting watching telly last night, when he said, "I think Bert wants to go out." "How do you know" she asked. "He's put his hat and coat on, what do you think?" he replied, in fits of hysterical laughter. It's a good job he laughs at his own jokes - no one else round here does. What a Life! AlbertThe(soporific)Cat.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

An Idiot's Work is Never Done...

Hello again. You've probably missed me for the last couple of days, I've been keeping my head down. "Have you? we didn't notice." Who said that? How rude! Things are on a knife edge round here – the fragile truce is holding, but only just. We got off to a shaky start this morning. When the one I don’t trust surfaced, he was greeted by a rather impressive hairball that I had earlier left at the bottom of the stairs. He was less than impressed and started using all sorts of unpleasant language, mostly aimed in my direction. He had no proof at all it was me. It could quite easily have been my stupid sister or my poncy brother. It is outrageous that he should blame me. I was going to unilaterally call off our truce – this is how wars start, I thought. You can’t go around making false allegations without expecting the other side to retaliate. “Hang on a minute Bert, I thought it was you that dumped the hairball!!” Which clever reader said that? If you want to split hairs, so to speak, then I suppose you have a point, however it is the principle we are dealing with here.Anyway, he's in a foul mood. The pretty one comes home tomorrow after two weeks away. He has been cleaning the place up and my word it certainly needs it. The damn vacuum cleaner has been out - I hate that thing! He was getting stuck into it when she called him on the phone. I overheard the conversation - well his end of it. It mainly consisted of him repeating the words "yes dear" over and over again in a monosyllabic voice. That's a long word for a cat isn't it - I'll have to try and use it more often! I digress, he then said in an exasperated voice, "but I'm doing it now, I had to stop to answer the phone." I can only assume, she was issuing him with his instructions. He then called upon higher powers for assistance - well I think he did "God help us" he cried, although I did notice he had his hand over the mouthpiece as he said it! "I must go, there's someone at the door" he said as he quietly opened the front door and pushed the bell. What a nasty piece of work he is.

Well, as you can imagine, it is going to be a long job - there is furious activity, absolutely everything is being attacked with the vacuum cleaner - he even used it to clean the bath and the cooker. The noise is unbearable, banging and crashing about he is, and the language was truly awful - I must stop using it. This is no place for a sensitive cat like me, so I cleared off. When I came back for lunch a few hours later, it had quietened down. I must give him his due, you can't recognise the place. I noticed the difference immediately as I strolled through the kitchen - my paws didn't stick to the floor. He was finishing off in the lounge - he sprayed polish into the air, "smells like I have polished the furniture" he chuckled to himself, "she'll never know." See, what did I tell you - a nasty piece of work!

He was admiring his handiwork when I appeared "don't you or the other two reprobates dare mess this up before she gets back!!" he said in a threatening manner. To be honest with you I was not at all enamoured with his attitude. I immediately had a good scratch and pulled out a tuft of hair. He was apoplectic - that's another good word for a cat isn't it. I think he got my drift, because after he had cleaned up the hair, he calmed down a bit. "I suppose you want your lunch now" he said. What a stupid question, why else does he think I am here.Well, that's my lot for today. We now await the triumphant return of the pretty one tomorrow. He has to go and collect her from the airport. The big question is, do I mess the place up while he fetches her? The upside is that he will get his comeuppance, but the downside is that it might put her in a bad mood, and she could well decide not to shower me with treats to express her delight at seeing me again. I wandered off to ponder the dilemma, and saw Tabby sitting on the fence. "He's done his chores" I said. "What chores?" said Tabby. "How kind" I replied, "I'll have half a dozen prawns." Oh how I laughed. Tomorrow looks like being a little hectic, so I may not be here. Do not fear though, I will return as normal next week. What a life! AlbertThe(erudite)Cat.

Monday, 15 March 2010

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud etc.............

I hope you all had a nice weekend. An uneasy truce has broken out here. A mutual understanding has developed between me and the one I don't trust - he seems to be serving up a reasonable number of prawns, and in return, I've stopped messing the place up too much. Let's hope we can get through until the end of the week, when the pretty one returns without any further unpleasantness.

The weather has taken a turn for the better - Spring has definitely sprung. Now that my crocuses have all been used up, I had a look round the garden this morning to see what I will have to play with next. I reckon it is going to be the daffodils - a host of golden ones in fact! Just a little bit of culture there for my well versed readers, both of you. There are plenty of them as well, daffodils that is, not well versed readers - I should have lots of fun swatting them over the next week or two. Probably best that I don't start until next week or he could construe my actions as being in breach of our truce!I think the Spring weather has got to him as well. He spent most of yesterday planting seeds in little trays. When they grow a bit he is going to plant them outside for me to play with. Now being a very perceptive cat, I have sensed that we may have a teeny weeny problem when the pretty one gets back. You see, he has filled the kitchen with these little trays - everywhere they are, on the windowsill, the worktops, some are even in the dark in the food cupboards - I don't think she is going to be very impressed when she sees it all.

The other problem is I don't know how long I can keep up this good behaviour charade. I was wandering around on the kitchen worktops as part of my nightly inspection of the premises and these little seed trays full of soil were all over the place. How I didn't tread in one I don't know - natural grace and agility I thought as I turned round and knocked a dish into the sink. I had to summon up all of my amazing self control to stop myself having a good dig. I'm not sure how long I will be able to keep it up for though - I mean one little dig won't hurt will it?

- sorry about that, my stupid sister is trying to swat a spider on the keyboard.

Well, that's my lot for today. As we're on the subject of gardening, have I told you my carrot joke? "Oh no, not another of his rotten jokes" who said that? How rude. Two women were sitting in the garden when one pointed and said "my husband died on that very spot there just as he was about to pull up some carrots for our dinner." "How awful, what happened" replied her friend. "I opened a can of peas" she said. Oh well, please yourselves. What a life! AlbertThe(conciliatory)Cat.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Revenge is Mine..... Well Sort of!

What an outrage! What an absolute outrage! The one I don’t trust took my computer away yesterday in a childish display of petulance. Just because there were a few minor mishaps at my little soiree. I must thank all my pals for their messages of understanding and support. He really doesn’t know what he is up against – if he wants to play silly games he is well out of his depth . When it comes to acts of crass stupidity, then he is up against an acknowledged expert in the field. Mmmm... that doesn’t quite sound right but you get my drift.

I can't let this pass I thought, I'll get him back. After supper last night, I decided that the three of us should clear off until the morning. Tabby and Ginger Tail were reluctant at first, but when I advised that Mad Harry and Slasher Sid may pay a visit if they broke rank they quickly came round to my way of thinking. It was a foul night, bucketed down with rain for hours. I lost touch with the other two - I expect they were taking shelter under a tree or something. Anyway, I returned home late this morning after the one I don't trust had risen from his pit. I sat on the backdoor step, shivering and soaked to the skin - like a drowned rat I looked. "This'll show him" I thought.When I eventually went in, the other two were sitting on the settee, licking their lips. They looked strangely dry! "Oh hello, fancy seeing you" said Tabby in a surprised voice. "How long have you been in here?" I asked. "Just arrived this very minute" he said sheepishly. "Well how come you are both bone dry?" I replied as quick as a flash - not much gets past me! "We were hiding two gardens away, and it wasn't raining there" said Ginger Tail. I recalled last night's weather forecast - it said localised heavy downpours. Obviously very local indeed. How lucky they were.

"Where is he then - is he worried?" I asked. "Who?" said Tabby. "The one we don't trust of course." "Oh him, he went out about five minutes ago" said Tabby. "Just after he had given us our prawns" said Ginger Tail, "they were nice and fresh this morning, just how we like them." "That's good" I thought. "Where are mine then?" "Well, we weren't expecting you back so soon, so we ate them for you" chuckled Tabby. Oooh I was livid. I stood there in a puddle of rainwater with all the dignity I could muster. I hate those two I really do!"Still" I said, "I bet he was in a right state - how's he going to explain my absence to the pretty one in his daily bulletin." "To be honest" said Tabby, breaking the habit of a lifetime, "I don't think he noticed - he was in a bit of a rush you see." Things had started badly, and were going slowly down hill. There was only one thing for it, I went straight out into the garden and decimated the remaining crocuses. After a good roll in the mud I went up to the bedroom and fortunately he had left his freshly washed favourite jumper laying on a chair. Too good an opportunity I thought - the perfect place for a good clean up before a much needed nap.Well that's my lot for today. As I dozed off, I was thinking what else I could do to teach him a lesson. The curtain rail I thought - he put it back up again yesterday. What a pigs ear he made of it as well. It's all scew-whiff. I reckon he needs a new bubble in his spirit level. A gentle tug is all that's needed and the whole lot will come down again. When it comes to DIY, it may be that his sole purpose in life is to serve as an example to others. I feel guilty that we have him here at all - we are depriving some village of it's idiot. See you all next week. What a life! AlbertThe(vengeful)Cat.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Bert is Off-Line!!

I suppose you have turned up here to read Bert's blog. Well you're going to be sorely disappointed today. Bert has been a very naughty cat. I am the one he doesn't trust, and as you read yesterday, him and his pals trashed the place while I was out the other evening. So, to teach him a lesson, I have taken his computer away. Also, he didn't get any prawns today. You lot are partly to blame for encouraging him! At the moment he is out in the garden sulking on the back wall. If he behaves himself, he might be back tomorrow.

Well, that's my lot. I can't hang around here all day. I have a curtain rail to put up. Now, where did I put the hammer. What a life! The one Bert doesn't trust.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A Night on the Tiles.....

What a night! As we were hoping, "the one I don't trust" cleared off yesterday evening. Not sure where he went, but I think he met up with some of his pals, or lowlife as I prefer to call them. Anyway, no sooner was he out the door, than my plan for a cultural evening at home with a select few of the local cats swung into action like a well oiled machine. Word was put out on the bush telegraph (I stuck my head out of the flap and mewed loudly), and the guests started to arrive. My poncy brother and my stupid sister were first. I didn't really want to ask them, but as I let them live here with me, I felt obliged to. They were closely followed by wise Old Black Tom. He is a very clever cat, and knows everything. "Where are Mad Harry and Slasher Sid" I asked. "No idea" he replied.

Not to worry, they soon turned up. A strange aroma preceded them - they had bought a tasty pair of half eaten kippers with them, carefully selected from a neighbours bin. How thoughtful. "You might need some of these" said Harry. "Most kind" I replied, "we are fresh out." They put them on the settee for safe keeping. Next, we heard a jingling bell sound, and Quasimodo shot through the flap looking nervously over his shoulder. Now, for new readers, you need to be aware that he has been driven insane by a little bell on his collar! "I'm being chased by an ice cream van" he cried as he dived for cover under the table, knocking over a pot plant in the process. At that very moment, there was a ring on the doorbell, and Quasimodo took the very wise precaution of climbing up the curtains, which duly fell down, along with the curtain rail. "Who was that at the door" I asked. "No idea" said Old Black Tom.What a terrible example of shoddy workmanship I thought. Not surprising though, I remember "the one I don't trust" putting the the curtain rail up just after we moved here. It was a real bodge job - he drilled the holes too big, and when he thought "the pretty one" wasn't looking, he bunged them up with bits of newspaper. He then employed a rarely used advanced technique to insert the screws - a two pound club-hammer! There's an awful lot more I can tell you about his DIY efforts, but that can wait until another day.

Anyway, we digress. Things were in full swing and we had started the party games. Our favourite is a slight variation of pin the tail on the donkey - we call it pin the collar on Quasimodo. It was great fun once we managed to catch him - Oh how we all laughed, well most of us. The game was brought to an abrupt halt by a loud crash from the kitchen. Harry had been taking a drink from the sink, when the large pile of dirty plates, dishes etc, that have accumulated over the last few days collapsed on to the floor. This came as quite a shock to Sid, who at the same time was turning out the contents of the garbage bin on to the very same floor. "Makes it easier to sort through" he advised later. Well, you can imagine the mess.Disaster! I heard a key turn in the front door. "The one I don't trust" had come home early - you really can't rely on him. He was not impressed with the sight that greeted him - smelly kippers on the settee, curtains and plaster all over the floor, the kitchen covered in garbage and broken crockery. You should have seen the scramble for the cat flap. I wouldn't have thought it possible that so many cats could get out of such a small hole in so little time. We reassembled on the back wall. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry - who was it who said that? "Robert Burns" said Old Black Tom. "No, it couldn't have been him" I replied, "he wasn't invited. It must have been me!" Perhaps Old Black Tom is not so clever after all.

Oh well, that's my lot for today. When I crept back indoors a little later, I think he had forgiven us, because I heard him mutter under his breath "wait till I get hold of those three." I expect he is missing us and just wants to give us a cuddle - so that's nice isn't it! What a life! AlbertThe(party animal)Cat.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness.......

Hello again. You'll no doubt be pleased to know that we are still surviving under the somewhat lax regime being presided over by "the one I don't trust." News from afar has reached us to confirm the safe arrival of "the pretty one" at her mothers place. He has told her in his regular bulletins that we are all missing her. "My poncy brother" certainly is. Well, he's missing the extra prawns he manages to scrounge from her with his grovelling and sucking up. His deceitful ways don't appear to carry much weight with "the one I don't trust."

Standards continue to drop. Not ours you understand, but his. He still hasn't bothered to clean up the kitchen - do you know, I'm sure he thinks the smoke alarm is the timer for the oven! I don't think he's bothered shaving for a couple of days now, and as I've been scratching a bit more than usual recently, I'm concerned that I may have caught something from him! Us cats are very clean creatures you know, well most of us are. After a good roll in the dirt, I always come in and clean up on the bed. Have you noticed, that we always lick and wash after we have eaten. I bet you don't know why - well pay attention then and I will tell you.Back in the mists of time when the first cat was created, said cat had to catch his own dinner. A very poor state of affairs, but it does clearly indicate that cats were around long before the "housekeeping staff" were created, otherwise the cat would not have had to concern himself with such menial tasks. When the cat caught a mouse, it decided to wash its paws and face before eating. "Why did the cat wash the mouse?" Who said that? You really are thick, I meant the cat washed it's own paws and face. I sometimes wonder why I bother.

I've lost my thread now, where was I - oh I remember - the cat put the mouse to one side and performed his ablutions - see, I told you we were very clean. When he was ready to eat, he turned round and to his horror, the mouse had run off. A very dastardly trick for the mouse to pull, I've always said that you can't trust the little critters. Anyway, being quick on the uptake, after a few million years of evolution, the penny finally dropped, and the cat decided he wouldn't be so hungry if he cleaned up after he had eaten rather than before. That's why to this very day us cats still do the same thing. This is all true I'll have you know, or did I make it up - I can't remember! Here's another interesting thing - what is the only creature that tells it's offspring to wash it's hands before it eats? Yes, you've guessed - humans. Just another example of why cats are much smarter.Well, that's my lot for today. I can't hang around here enlightening you lot. I've got better things to do. Plans continue apace for my "Albert at Home" bash. I have spread the word, and I am expecting a decent turn out. I've even invited old Quasimodo, the cat with the bell, I've told you about before - he should be good for a laugh. What do you mean it's cruel to make fun of him. I'll have you know we laugh at him not with him - or is it the other way round? Anyway, I've a hunch he won't turn up - Ho Ho Ho.... All I need now is for "the one I don't trust" to clear off for the evening. Perhaps it will be tonight. What a Life! AlbertThe(hygienic)Cat.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Turning Native......

Good morning one and all. “The pretty one” departed on Friday to visit her mother for two weeks, leaving “the one I don’t trust” in sole charge. We were all on parade to see her off. A guard of honour was duly formed by the front door. "Is that possible with only three of us" you ask? My thoughts entirely, and I wanted to invite a few pals in – Mad Harry, Slasher Sid et al to beef up the numbers. Tabby strongly advised against the idea, thinking it would be more trouble than it was worth. He’s probably right, after all, Harry and Sid do have some rather questionable personal habits. Anyway we stood to attention as she walked out, closely followed by a small team of Sherpas carrying her luggage.

I thought it best that we lull “the one I don’t trust” into a false sense of security during these early days, so I have issued instructions, that all three of us are to be reasonably well behaved. We’ve survived the weekend without any major calamities. You won’t be surprised to learn though, that things have started going downhill rather quicker than you might expect. He is turning native. Yesterday, he was eating cold beans straight out of the tin would you believe – a cunning ploy to save on the washing up no doubt, as the sink is already full of dishes and plates. In fact the kitchen is a complete mess already – I don’t know how he has managed it in such a short time. Even the mice have started wearing overalls, and I’m sure I saw one wipe it’s feet on the way out!Give him his due though, he has kept us reasonably well fed so far. Prawns have been served for breakfast, and the biscuit bowl has been kept topped up. He is under strict instructions, on pain of death, to send daily bulletins on our wellbeing to “the pretty one,” so he has to be a bit careful. I think she might have a couple of her spies keeping an eye on him!

Well that's my lot for today. I've heard him make arrangements to go out one evening later in the week. I think I will invite some friends round for a bit of a bash. Albert at home I will call it. It has a nice classy ring don't you think. I wonder if Mad Harry and Slasher Sid are available to do the door, or cat-flap, to be more precise. After all, I don't want anyone leaving early once I get them here. Admission will be a mere six prawns each, payable at the door. Mind you, I'm not sure I can trust Harry and Sid with the admission fees - counting is not their strong point if you get my drift. There are three types of cat in this world - those who can count and those who can't, Ho Ho Ho.... What a life! AlbertThe(well behaved)Cat.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Many Happy Returns......Almost!

A funny thing happened this morning. I was happily dozing on the settee, when there was a loud clattering noise at the front door. I immediately dived under the table - well you can't be too careful can you? After a while, I ventured forth to investigate and what do you think I saw - the postman - Pat I expect his name is, had delivered a whole load of letters. My first thought was, damn, I've missed him again - every morning I keep a look out for the postman, because as we all know, he is accompanied by a little black and white cat called Jess, who I expect is his supervisor. In all the time I've been looking out, I've never seen the cat. Perhaps he stays in the nice warm van. I would like to meet him, because I'm sure there's an excellent career opportunity for me, after all I have the necessary qualifications - I'm black and white!

Anyway, I digress - back to the letters. They were not the usual stuff - bills, junk mail etc. Upon closer inspection, they were clearly birthday cards. Naturally, I assumed they were all for me. I must have forgotten that it's my birthday - very remiss of me. I hope I've got lots of nice presents I thought. Prawns, a side of salmon, tuna steaks or something similar would be most acceptable. I bet "the housekeeping staff" are going to surprise me."It's not your birthday you stupid cat" said Tabby. "It must be" I said, "look at all my cards." "The cards are for 'the one we don't trust' - it's his birthday" said Tabby. I was amazed, I had no idea the staff were allowed birthdays as well, I thought they were only for us cats. What a disappointment. I wonder how old he is. "We can work it out, if we know his birthday" said Tabby. "Well obviously, it's the 4th of March" I said. "We know that" replied Tabby, "but which year?" "Every year" I said. Tabby wandered off with a look of despair on his smug face.

That didn't get us far I thought. I reckon he must be at least a hundred, although he looks older. How long does he last before we have to replace him - very worrying. I'll have to keep an eye on him, because I'm sure he's going to age a lot faster over the next two weeks when he has to look after us on his own.

"The pretty one" has been packing her bag this afternoon. She's off to the airport first thing in the morning. I need to make sure we are all on parade to see her off - must practice saluting! She has spent the afternoon in the bedroom packing. I know she's only going for a fortnight, but judging by the amount of stuff she is cramming into her case, it might be a lot longer. "The one I don't trust," very helpfully asked if he should fetch the kitchen sink for her to pack as well - how thoughtful! Her mother lives in a strange land called France, and I can only assume that they are a little backward and do not yet have running water and advanced plumbing. After a somewhat heated discussion it was decided that it was not necessary to take the sink. There must have been a draught in the bedroom, because as he came out, the door slammed very loudly behind him!

Well that's my lot for today. The fun and games start tomorrow. Fancy it not being my birthday, but his instead. The good news is that I am no older than I was yesterday. To be as old as him, he must have been born at a very early age! I wonder if she has baked him a cake. I hope there aren't any candles on it - I doubt it, I mean we all have to be aware of our responsibilities for global warming. What a life! AlbertThe(immortal)Cat.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

While the Cat's Away........

Apologies for not reporting back yesterday, but I was still in a state of shock after the recent news. I'm afraid it has been confirmed – I heard the staff talking about the “pretty one’s” visit to see her mother with my own ears. Not that I don’t trust “my poncy brother” you understand, I mean he is as honest as the day is long, I don’t think! After his recent jape regarding our trip to see “the bloke who sticks needles in us once a year,” you can’t be too careful. So she is off at the end of the week, and we are being left in the less than capable hands of “the one I don’t trust.

This could work in our favour” said Ginger Tail. “What do you mean by that” I said. “Blackmail” she whispered furtively. Now as you know, we do not usually expect anything sensible to spout forth from the mouth of “my stupid sister.” This should be good I thought, coming from a cat that has spent most of the last two days crashing into things whilst chasing an airborne pigeon! “If 'the pretty one' comes back from her visit and something bad has happened to one of us, his life won’t be worth living will it?” she said. “He will have to make sure that we are well fed, contented, and in tip top condition when she returns, and the house will have to be spic and span.The penny dropped, as did my jaw. I'm staggered. She is absolutely right. As soon as “the pretty one” gets back, there will be a roll call and a full inspection of the premises. This is the first time in living memory that Ginger Tail has ever said anything worth listening to. We can make his life an absolute misery – I’m going to enjoy this. I can see it now – we will take it in turns to go missing for hours at a time. I'll have to organise a rota – best that I do my stint outside of normal feeding times. As for the house, we are all highly skilled at messing the place up. In all likelihood we can turn him into a gibbering wreck – well more so than he is now.

Things are definitely looking up. "They certainly are - I've been looking up for two days now and my neck hurts" said Ginger Tail haring off as the pigeon flew overhead. I think we can safely regard her moment of inspiration as a one-off!Well that's my lot for today. I'm getting quite excited already at the thought of all the mischief I can get up to. By the end of two weeks, I will have him eating out of my paw. Mmmm... better if I was eating out of his I reckon! As they say, while the cat's away, the mice will play or more accurately, while "the pretty one's" away, Bert will play. Ho Ho Ho.... What a life! AlbertThe(sneaky)Cat.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Home Alone - Apart From Him!!!

When I awoke bright and early this morning I wandered over to the window, and what an inspirational sight greeted me. The early morning sun was just peeping over the hedgerows, and spears of light were glistening on the lightly frosted grass, like twinkling diamonds. The wondrous hues of newly bloomed crocuses, bluebells and snowdrops - blues, yellows, purples and brilliant white against a backdrop of vivid green - a picture to behold. The dawn chorus was in full song, as blue tits, sparrows and robins joyously greeted the new day with a rich melodious cacophony of sound. Mother nature in all her glory. I sat and admired such handiwork and I knew at once what I should take full advantage of the wonderful gifts she has bestowed upon us. Yes, that's right, I went straight back to bed, stopping only for a light breakfast on the way.Well, what did you think I was going to do? I mean, mornings come round every day nearly, so there's no need to get carried away is there! After all, I need my rest. Anyway, I eventually surfaced just before lunch, and the sun was still out, so clearly I made the right decision. Time for a good scratch, and roll in the dirt before eating. I was starting to doze off in the warm sunshine, when the tranquility was broken by the sound of "my stupid sister" crashing over the back wall in hot pursuit of a large pigeon that was flying at least thirty feet above the ground. I do wonder about her at times. "You'll never catch that" I said. "I'm gaining on it" she replied as she shot past.

Next, "my poncy brother" Tabby appears out of the cat flap with a concerned look on his smug face, and comes over and sits down for a chat. He was the bearer of some very worrying news. Apparently he had overheard a telephone call between "the pretty one" and her mother. "She's visiting" said Tabby, "for a fortnight." "What!!!" I exclaimed, but we've only just got rid of her after Christmas. "No, no" said Tabby, "you don't understand, it is far worse, her mother is not coming here, 'the pretty' one is going to visit her!" The thought of two weeks in the Colditz Cattery under the supervision of the evil camp commandant filled me with dread. "It's bad, but not quite that bad" said Tabby, "she is going on her own, 'the one we don't trust' is being left behind to look after us."My initial relief quickly turned to horror. I mean, "the one I don't trust" is hardly capable of looking after himself, he's barely house trained. Surely he can't be left in charge for two whole weeks. I reckon he has been biding his time waiting for an opportunity like this to get his own back on me - I'll probably starve. Apparently she is not going until the end of the week, so there is time to hatch a plan. I think I'll let the Cats Protection people know what is going on - they keep in touch through the good offices of Twitter you know.

Well, that's my lot for today. I'm in shock. What started off as a rather pleasant day, has gone downhill very quickly. What on earth possessed her to desert us and leave him totally unsupervised. Who is going to tie his shoelaces for him? Without her around things are bound to go to pot. His view of housework is why bother, in six months time it will need doing again. What a life! AlbertThe(deserted)Cat.