Friday, 30 April 2010

The Return of Bert.....

Greetings one and all. I'm back. "About time too!" Who said that? How rude. Have you missed me? I said, have you missed me? Don't all shout at once will you. Well, the one I don't trust finally returned from his travels yesterday, and gave me my computer back. I've no idea where he has been. Everything seems to be getting back to normal. In a funny sort of way, I have quite missed him. Life has been pleasant without him, I mean the pretty one has spoilt us rotten, but without the little triumphs I enjoy in my ongoing battle with him, life somehow lacks a challenge.

He seemed quite pleased to see me - I think. Well, he gave me Tabby and Ginger Tail a decent handful of prawns each this morning. The first thing he did when he got back, was to take a look round the garden. Before he went away, he had spent a lot of time planting all manner of things. He even went to great lengths to protect seeds and plants from unwelcome visitors and pests. Now, I'm sure he didn't mean to include me in this, because I had no trouble in getting under the netting and through his amateurish fences to dig in my usual places. They present no challenge at all to a cat of my outstanding intellect. "Tell them how you got your head stuck in the hole in the fence" - it's that poncy brother of mine. I wish he would clear off.Anyway, moving swiftly on, the one I don't trust didn't seem all that impressed with my efforts. His main wrath however was reserved for the birds. He has planted some seed on the bare patches of scruffy grass that he laughingly calls a lawn. While he was standing at one end of the garden, a blackbird landed at the other and duly commenced to tuck in. In a state of near apoplexy he ran after it. The blackbird scooped up a final beakful of seed before flitting up on to the fence and chirping cheerfully in his general direction. This made things worse - he came towards me shaking his fist - "three cats on the payroll" he said, "and I've got birds eating the damn grass seed." He then threatened all three of us with reduced prawn rations if we didn't buck our ideas up. What an outrage I thought. I'm not standing for that.

What can I do to show him who is in charge round here. He has some cumbercu plants - I think that's what they are called. Small marrows I believe. Being a keen horticulturist, I am aware that they are classified as squashes - why are they called that I hear you ask. Obvious really, when I roll around it squashes them, Ho Ho Ho.....Well that's my lot for today. Just time to tell you about the little red things he has planted - most peculiar they are. Do you know I can hear them talk, very quietly though, in a whisper in fact. Unusual for a vegetable don't you think? They must be hoarse radishes! Ho Ho Ho.... I don't know where I get them from. Please yourselves, I thought it was funny. In case he is serious about his malicious threat to deprive me of prawns, I have decided to take up guard duty to keep the pesky blackbirds away. See you all next week. What a life! AlbertThe(ever alert)Cat.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Off with a Bang, or Going with the Flow!

What a pleasant surprise for you lot. You didn't expect to hear from me again until next week, did you? This is a little bonus. You will recall, the last time I wrote, the one I don't trust was going away until next week - excellent news, but the drawback being that he took my computer with him. Well, would you believe it, he only went and turned up on the doorstep this morning. You could have knocked me down with a feather. We have been enjoying a rare old time - the pretty one has spoilt us rotten. Extra prawns, sleeping all night (and most of the day) on the bed, no abuse when digging holes in the garden - it's been truly wonderful, how life should be.

Why has he come back early I hear you cry. Apparently he was supposed to get on an aeroplane this morning but a volcano erupted! I immediately dived under the bed, you can't be too careful can you! I'm sure I would have noticed a volcano going off, I mean, not much gets past me! It would have woken me up. He insists it's true though.Apparently the volcano is a little way north of here - in the next road I expect. It has chucked out so much ash and dust, that nothing is allowed to fly. What an opportunity I thought - I rushed straight out into the garden to see what the birds were up to. I mean if they can't fly, it should be easy for me to catch the little critters. Much to my disappointment, no one seems to have told them, because they were still flitting about as usual. They ought to be careful though, I mean if they fly over the top of the volcano they will roast - Mmmmmm.... roast pigeon, very tasty!

As regular readers know, we live in London, near the airport, so aeroplanes fly over our back garden all day, and most of the night! Damn nuisance they are - every time I doze off, another one goes over the top. Now come to think of it, we haven't seen one for days now, so there must be some truth in this. I wonder how long this will go on for - until the dust settles I expect, Ho Ho Ho..... There is some good news - the return home by the one I don't trust is only temporary. He is off again tomorrow, having made alternative arrangements to travel by train. Not sure where he is off to, don't really care actually, as long as he goes! He is going to take my computer again, so I won't be back until next week when he returns.Well, that's my lot for today. It's all I've got time for. I was going to tell you all about my recent exploits in the garden but that will have to wait. To cut a long story short, he planted lots of seeds before he went away, and then devised a cunning plan to stop me rolling on top of them. When he finds out his plan failed there could well be a volcano closer to home - he will blow his top! I've always said he was full of hot air! I'm off to look for the volcano, I can smell roast pigeon. See you next week. What a Life! AlbertThe(quaking)Cat.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Good News and Bad News!

Greetings folks. What a day I've had! There is some really hot news - very good news for me, but not so good for you lot. I don't know where to begin.

Probably best to start with the good news. The housekeeping staff were talking this morning, and as I like to keep abreast of what is going on around here, I was earholing their conversation from behind a chair. The one I don't trust is going away for a couple of weeks. At first I was horrified, as I assumed the pretty one would go with him, and we would be shipped off to Camp Colditz to endure the harsh regime presided over by the evil camp commandant. But no, she is staying here to look after me and the other two.

Wonderful news isn't it? I mean he is a damn nuisance and we will be well shot of him for a while. Good riddance is what I say. I can't wait for him to clear off. The pretty one is extremely gullible - I can wrap her round my little finger. I can see it now, prawns for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper, not forgetting snacks between meals and my little treats for being good. I'm sure the menu will be far superior to the somewhat sparse rations he provides. I'll be able to sleep on the bed as well if I play my cards right - he gets a little touchy about this, especially if I come in after a bit of late night digging in the rain.What is the bad news then I hear you ask. Well, it's not that bad for me, but it could be traumatic for you lot. Now brace yourselves - you see, when he goes away he is going to take my computer with him, so I won't be able to share these rather eloquent missives with you. What, no Bert's Blog for a couple of weeks, I hear you cry. I know how distressed you must be. How will you get by? "I bet they're delighted not to have to read that rubbish for a fortnight." Who said that? It's my poncy brother, Tabby - I hate him I do really. Just wait until I get my paws on him. Yes, it's true, I will be off-line for the duration. Still, every cloud has a silver lining as they say. In recognition of my generosity in letting him take my computer, he gave me an extra handful of prawns. It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. "That's enough corny old cliches." I wish Tabby would shut up - he is a pain in the neck. Cliches indeed, I'm fed up to the back teeth with them.Well that's your lot for today, and the next couple of weeks in fact. Must be off, that poncy brother of mine is already ingratiating himself with the pretty one. I must make sure he doesn't get more prawns than me. I will be back around the end of the month. I just hope you can get by without me. "I expect we'll manage." Who said that? How rude! What a Life! AlbertThe(Off-line)Cat.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Bert's Nature Notes.

Well here we are again. After yesterday's extravaganza, something a little more mundane but very educational. I went for a gentle stroll round the estate this morning, and thought I would share with you some of my observations. As you know, I am a keen ornithologist and horticulturist - whatever they are! It is a very interesting time of year in the garden you know. All the little things that disappeared during the winter have started to come back. The first thing of interest I noticed was a small brown and red thing flitting amongst the flowers, first one of the year. A sight to behold - a thing of rare beauty. It nearly bought a tear to my eye. I think they are called flutterbies, or something like that. Great fun to chase, but not good eating, very little flavour I find. The one I don't trust gets very agitated when I charge through the flowerbed to get at them.The trees and bushes are turning green, in fact many are bejewelled with yellow, pink, blue and white blossom that cascades gently to the ground in the breeze, like delicate flakes of snow, forming a pristine carpet of wondrous colours. I soon changed that - it was all over my favourite digging spot would you believe! Looks like a mud heap now.

I was disturbed by the sound of buzzing, and upon investigation, I saw a bumble bee that had just roused itself from it's winter slumber. It was busy darting from flower to flower. What an industrious little creature I thought, a lesson to us all. Apparently they make honey - no idea how they do it, but you have to admire them. I've seen a pot of the stuff in the kitchen. How the little fellows can lift it I do not know, and as for screwing on the lid, well that's anybodies guess. Now a word of warning to you other cats. Do not chase bees! They can seriously damage your health. They get very angry and pack a real punch. In my experience, anything in nature with black and yellow stripes is bad news - leave well alone. Take the tiger for example, we haven't got too many round here, but you wouldn't want to bump into one down the back alley when out for a bit of late night ratting would you?The dawn chorus filled the still early morning air with a breathtaking cacophony of melodious sound. Dreadful din, gave me a headache! What do you mean I wasn't up at dawn - who said that? Anyway, I'm sure it would have sounded just like that if I was up. The birds were flying around carrying twigs and bits of grass to construct their nests. A couple of pigeons have started to build in a tree in my garden. Damn cheek - I'll have to get that shifted, I mean no self respecting cat has a birds nest in his back garden do they?

Watching all the activity made me feel quite tired, so I decided to go inside for a snack and a lie down. On the way I paused to look at some beautiful little flowers that had just appeared. I took a sniff of their fragrant perfume and immediately sneezed! Anemonem.., anemononem.., anemononons.., anemonononies.., grrrrrr..... little pink things, they are called. I was so annoyed at their silly name, that I swatted one and sat on three more. That'll teach them I thought.

Well that's your lot for today. I hope you have enjoyed the little nature lesson. I expect you have learnt a lot. As you can see, it is a very special time of year or us nature lovers. We all have a role to play in caring for our environment. It was only the other day as I was walking through the kitchen that I was reminded of my own carbon paw print. "What on earth has that cat been walking in" shouted the one I don't trust. What a life! AlbertThe(eco-friendly)Cat.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

"Ask Bert" Yet Again - Even More Agony!

Hello once again, and welcome back after the Easter break. I trust you all had a nice time. I did - I had a really good kip, and feel fully refreshed and raring to go. I didn't know what to write about today so I have delved into my busy postbag. You'll all be delighted to know, that I am going to do another of my ever popular agony columns - "Ask Bert". This is where I offer advice to all you poor saps out there with personal problems who have written in seeking my wise and caring counsel. "Blimey, he's really scraping the barrel today!" Who said that, how rude! You will no doubt be aware that we have done this a couple of times before with excellent results. I don't beat about the bush. I am not afraid to give advice that no one wants to hear! So, without further ado, lets get stuck in.

Dear Bert
- I am a well rounded cat, who enjoys the finer things in life. My staff look after me reasonably well, even if they are a little sparing with the fresh salmon. I really do not have a care in the world, but recently I have started to worry about my sleeping habits. I only sleep for 23 hours a day and think I may be suffering from insomnia. Please help. Your etc... Basil.

Dear Basil - Let me put your mind at rest. I have checked back through the records, and there are no known cases of a cat suffering from insomnia. Have you tried counting sheep? I tried counting prawns once, but it just made me hungry. Imagine sheep jumping over a fence.... one sheep, two sheep, three sheep, four sheep, five sheep, six shee.... Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...... Where am I? What happened? I must have dropped off. I think you get my drift. Yours etc... Bert.

Dear Bert
- I am suffering from amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I may have forgotten this before. Please help. Yours etc..., name and address forgotten.

Dear whoever you are - How long have you had amnesia - probably for as long as you can remember. If I was you, I would try and forget all about it, in fact you may have done so already. There is little point in me giving you much more advice, as you will only forget it. Yours etc... Bert.

Dear Bert - I am a snappy little Jack Russell, and I don’t usually talk to cats. However, I am being plagued by a big fat black and white one who lives next door to me. He sits on the wall, just out of my reach and hisses at me. The other day I got so angry that I went out into the road and chased someone on a bike. What should I do? Yours etc... Jack.

Dear Jack - Firstly, I am amazed that your owner lets you have a bike! Secondly, you should not insinuate that the black and white cat is fat. I suspect he is just well built. Treat the cat with respect. Perhaps if you left some of your delicious chicken pieces in the garden - next to the shed by the back wall would be good, then he may stop hissing at you. Yours etc... Bert.

Dear Bert – I am a desperate cat who has written to you in strictest confidence twice previously. I followed your advice to the letter. Despite now being able to stand on my hind legs and pick up buns with my nose, I have failed to make the grade as an elephant. The circus owner has allowed me to stay on, but only if I keep the circus free from rodents. This brings me back to my original problem, which you diagnosed as musophobia - fear of mice. Yours etc... Name and address supplied.

Dear Anonymous - I think I recall our previous correspondence. It's you isn't it - George from Manchester. I can assure you that your identity is safe with me, as is your shameful secret. I believe you are incurable, but looking on the bright side, your predicament does at least give me the opportunity to tell my elephant joke. "What do you get if you cross an elephant with a cat? - Very nervous mice!" Ho Ho Ho. I expect you are laughing along with us and feeling better already. Yours etc... Bert.

Dear Bert - Allow me to introduce myselves. I have a split personality. This makes life very complicated, especially at meal times. I eat all of my food, and there is none left for me. What should I do? Yours etc... Chip (and Dale).

Dear Chip (and Dale) - I think you need to shape up. The problem is all in the mind. If you came to see me, the first thing I would do is to bang your head together! You remind me of a pair of curtains - pull yourself together. Yours etc... Bert.

Dear Bert
- I have an unpleasant medical condition. My claws grow very quickly, and dig into my paws. This is bad enough, but to make matters worse, my staff take me to the vet on a regular basis to have them clipped. Is there a cure! Yours etc... Claude.

Dear Claude - I believe humans suffer from something similar called ingrown toenails - what ever that is. Let us hope it is nothing minor! I fear your condition may be hereditary. I had a friend once who had the same problem - he was told feet run in the family. Look on the bright side, I had another friend, and noses ran in his family. Yours etc... Bert.

Well, that's my lot for today. You can only take so much of this stuff can't you. What a depressing postbag that was. Do you know, there was even a letter from a cat claiming to suffer from low self esteem - I had to tell him it was very common among losers! I'm going for a lie down. What a life! AlbertThe(compassionate)Cat.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

One Born Every Minute!

I think I've just about recovered from yesterdays unfortunate incident with the curry. I didn't get up too early this morning, and by the time I went down for breakfast, Tabby and Ginger Tail were already out and about. I put on my best pitiful look and stared longingly at the pretty one. She immediately rushed to the fridge, and served up some prawns. I've still got the old magic I thought to myself. I carefully checked to make sure they were not poisoned with curry and then devoured them. They hardly touched the sides. Very nice I thought, wonder what's for main course.

Just as I was licking my lips, Tabby and Ginger Tail came charging in through the flap. "You'll never guess" said Tabby, "we've found a magic tree." "Yes" said Ginger Tail, "it's grown overnight in the garden over the back wall." What a load of rubbish I thought. "What's magic about it then?" I asked. "Prawns are growing on it" said Tabby, "there are big fat juicy prawns growing on it." Now, as you can imagine, I was a little sceptical, because we all know where prawns come from don't we - yes, that's right, the big white thing in the kitchen. "Little pink things have grown on the tree overnight" said Ginger Tail, "if you know the magic secret, they turn into prawns." "Little pink things? You stupid cat" I said, "they're buds, anyway how do you know the magic secret." "Wise Old Black Tom told us" she said confidently.

That changed everything, because Old Black Tom is a very clever cat - he knows absolutely everything. If he told them, it must be true. "What's the magic secret then." I asked. "Not telling," Ginger Tail replied. After much pleading, Tabby let me in on it. "What you have to do is walk round the tree three times, scratch the tree trunk as hard as you can for five minutes, jump into the flowerbed, roll in the tulips, and then sit outside the back door and mew as loud as you can with your eyes shut. When you open your eyes, the tree is covered in big juicy prawns."

So off I went. If I hadn't know better, I could have sworn I heard giggling as I left. I climbed over the wall, and sure enough, the tree was just as they said, covered in little pink things. Now, I've had a few run-ins with the woman over the back wall, I think she may be a witch - there is a broomstick propped up against the wall which is a bit of a giveaway. She has no sense of humour, in fact she took great umbrage when I started ferreting about in her roses. She was nowhere to be seen, so I started off by walking round the tree three times. I scratched the trunk for all I was worth, and dived headlong into the tulips - I flattened them! Now for the "piece de resistance" - I sat outside the back door and mewed at the top of my voice with my eyes firmly closed. When I opened them, what a sight greeted me - the witch was standing over me with a bucket of cold water which she then promptly chucked all over yours truly.I was off like a shot. As I went in through the flap, Tabby and Ginger Tail were rolling on the floor convulsed with laughter. "Is it raining?" enquired Tabby, "I thought the sun was out - how did you get on with her prize magnolia?" "Do you know what day it is?" asked Ginger Tail. "32nd March" I replied. "No" she said, "it's 1st April - your special day" "April fool" they cried in unison. Grrrrr... I hate them, I really do.

Well that's my lot for today. Do you know, in the rush to evacuate the woman's garden, I forgot to check out the magic tree to see how many prawns had appeared. Once the witch has calmed down, I will go and have a look - I don't want my stupid brother or my poncy sister stealing them. All that remains is for me to wish you all a pleasant Easter. I'm going to have a well earned rest. I will see you all next week. What a life! AlbertThe(gullible)Cat.