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.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Owl and The Pussycat!

I've been very busy today. We had a visitor this morning, a friend of the pretty one. I hate visitors. Came round for coffee. When she arrived, I gave a disgruntled look and was about to clear off when she looked at Ginger Tail, who was shamelessly preening herself and said what an adorable pussycat she was. Honestly, there is no accounting for taste. Putting that aside, it started me thinking. "Surely not!" Who said that? How rude. Pussycat is a very strange expression. Now I've always thought that it stems from the funny scientific names that humans give to all animals - Pussus catti, but I was wrong. Amazing I know, but true. I've been doing some research and I've uncovered all sorts of things.Now pay attention you lot, because this is going to be very educational today. There are two schools of thought. The earliest reference to "puss" goes back to 1530 - half past three in the afternoon in your language, it didn't say which day though. It is a German word for cat. Alternatively, the Romanian word for cat is "pisika." So, you pays your money and takes your pick. I soon got bored with this, but I found something a lot more interesting - I came across a poem called "The Owl and The Pussycat." What's this all about I thought. Well, you've never read such twaddle in your life. Take a look for yourselves.

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,

A cat and an owl? How absurd. I saw an owl once when I was out for a bit of late night ratting, sitting on a fencepost it was. Gave me a very nasty turn I'll have you know. As for getting in a boat with the thing, well I don't care if it's yellow with pink stripes, you won't get me in it!

They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.

Honey - what no prawns! The poor cat would starve. Us cats have no need for money. I thought everything was free, it is round here.

The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,

I've heard it all now, an owl playing a guitar. How does it do that? It would have to use it's claws and beak presumably. All very far fetched if you asked me.

"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are, you are,

What a beautiful Pussy you are."

The cat may have been very good looking, but all an owl can do is hoot. "Hoot Hoot" it goes all the time. It would have driven the cat round the bend.

Pussy said to the Owl "You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing.

O let us be married, too long we have tarried;

But what shall we do for a ring?"

Elegant fowl? Have you seen an owl? Ugly as sin, great big flat head, looks like someone has hit it in the face with a shovel. No self respecting cat would say such a thing.

They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,

What on earth is a Bong-tree? I don't know what the bloke who wrote this was on, but I'll have a large one - Ho Ho Ho...

And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose, his nose, his nose,

With a ring at the end of his nose.

Piggy-wig! Well this is getting sillier all the time.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?"
Said the Piggy, "I will"

So they took it away, and were married next day

By the Turkey who lives on the hill.

As they bought the ring for a shilling, one can only assume that the pig had change for their five pound note. I thought turkey's lived in the freezer not on a hill. I recall hearing the one I don't trust ask the pretty one how long you can keep a turkey in the freezer. "About a couple of months" she said. "That's strange" he replied, "I put one in last night, and it was dead this morning!"

They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.

Pretty poor fare I would suggest. Where's the prawns and fresh tuna. You'd think a side of salmon would be appropriate, I mean it's not every day that you get married - not to an owl anyway. A runcible spoon? Whatever one of those is - I prefer my dish.

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand.
They danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon,

They danced by the light of the moon.

Surely paw in claw, not hand in hand. Wonder what sort of dance? I tried tap dancing once. It wasn't a great success, I kept falling in the sink. Ho Ho Ho...Well, that's my lot for today. Who writes this stuff? I may be a bit if a sceptic, but do you know, I don't believe a word of it. Still it's not often you turn up here for a spot of literature is it. What a life! Perhaps I should review Shakespeare next, although personally I've never seen what all the fuss is about - much ado about nothing if you ask me. AlbertThe(pussy)Cat.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Dining Out!

Hello again. I don't know where the time goes, it's Monday again. They seem to come round every week. I don't like Mondays. Although they are much the same as every other day for a cat of leisure like myself, the housekeeping staff are always more crabby than usual. They were getting on my nerves this morning, so much so, that I was up and out as soon as possible, stopping only for a light breakfast of prawns and biscuits.

I wandered along the back wall, and peered over into the garden next door. The snappy little Jack Russell came scampering up and said "meow!" I think he must be learning a foreign language - Ho Ho Ho, just one of my little jokes. Seriously though, he hasn't been quite the same since his highly amusing encounter with Riley. Talking of Riley, I wonder where he has got to. I haven't seen hide nor hair of him since he moved in. I went to investigate. As we know, it is hard to miss Riley, he is the size of a small lion. His house was still there, but no sign of Riley. After a while, I heard a terrible kerfuffle, whatever one of those is, coming from inside the house. Much hissing and spitting was interspersed with the most appalling language. The back door was flung open, and much to my amazement, Riley came out with his head held high, but unfortunately, his feet were held even higher. He landed in an untidy heap on the garden path. You can only admire the strength of his owner, how such a small woman managed to pick him up, let alone chuck him out is a considerable feat. Riley looked back, gave a defiant growl and strolled down the path."Where have you been recently" I asked. "She trapped me" he replied, "I've been confined to barracks. She's got this daft idea that she had to keep me indoors after they moved house so that I acclimatised to my new surroundings." "Yes, but what about all that noise?" I said. "Oh that, just a minor skirmish, old boy, I bit her" he said casually. "What did you do that for?" I asked. "Got fed up being indoors, so I thought if I made a big enough nuisance of myself she would eventually crack and throw me out" he said. What a clever cat I thought. "Anyway now that I am out, you can accompany me for a stroll round the patch old boy. I need to stretch the legs" he said. They don't need that much stretching I thought - he's big enough already.

"I'm feeling a bit peckish" said Riley, "missed breakfast this morning. Probably should have waited until after she fed me before biting her. Anything on offer round your place old boy?" Well, I would have been delighted to invite him in for a snack, but there is no way he would fit through the cat flap - I mean it is a bit of a squeeze even for a sleek and lithe cat like my good self. "Who is he trying to kid?" Who said that? How rude. I'll have you know I am in peak condition, if I grew a bit longer I would be the perfect size for a cat of my weight. Riley has got a head the size of a water melon, so there is no way he would get in.

I suggested we try a dustbin in a garden just along the road. Mad Harry and Slasher Sid often dine there, and it comes highly recommended. We walked up to the bin, and it did smell rather good, but unfortunately the lid was on. "Not a problem old boy" said Riley who by this time had got the scent of roast chicken in his nostrils. "Can't let a little thing like that stop us can we." He stood on his hind legs, put his great big front paws on the bin and gently lent on it. The whole thing went crashing to the ground spilling the contents all over the place. I was off and over the wall like a shot. The woman must have been out, because when I returned, Riley was sifting through contents. "Not bad" he said, "I think I'll have the mackerel heads for starter, followed by the chicken carcass, with the lickings from the cream container for dessert. How about you old boy." I had the same. After we had eaten our fill, we went for a nap on the shed roof before going our separate ways. Riley reckoned his owner would have calmed down and seen the error of her ways. I wasn't so sure, but I bade him farewell and wandered off home.Well that's my lot for today. Quite an exciting day really. Perhaps I should write a good dustbin guide, a sort of Egon Ronay thing for cats. I could grade all the local bins based on the quality of their contents. Riley would be my inspector and pop round unannounced to sample the offerings. Instead of stars, we could award "fish-heads". Imagine the prestige of having a three "fish-head" bin. Cats who after all, are lovers of fine dining would come from miles away. This reminds me of my favourite restaurant joke - "Waiter, there's a fly in my soup" "Don't worry sir, the spider on the bread roll will get it" Ho Ho Ho - Oh well, please yourselves. What a life! AlbertThe(gastronomic)Cat.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Democracy Rears it's Ugly Head!

Hello everyone. I trust you are all well. Today is a very important day apparently. I'm led to believe there is a General Election. Why on earth we need more generals is a complete mystery to me. The army is stuffed with them. "It's got nothing to do with generals" said Tabby in a somewhat condescending manner. "They're electing a new government" he said. "Why? what have they done with the old one" I asked. "Nothing, every five years they elect a new one" said Tabby. "It's a waste of time talking to him" said Ginger Tail, "he's a complete idiot." "That's a bit unfair" said Tabby, "he's not a complete idiot - there are bits missing!" Oh how they laughed! I'm really fed up with those two, I wish they'd clear off.Anyway, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, there is a general election today. I wonder where I have to go to vote? I think I'll ask wise Old Black Tom. I found him in his usual place on the back wall contemplating the meaning of life, all nine of them. He is the fount of all knowledge, and knows absolutely everything. "Where do I have to go and vote" I asked. "No idea" he replied, "I don't take much interest in such things, it's only for the staff after all." I was outraged - "what, us cats don't get a vote - but we run the place!" I replied. "I know" said Old Tom, "but they think they do. It's best to let them carry on under the illusion that they are in charge. Don't want to rock the boat do we." Rocking boats, what have they got to do with it, perhaps the navy is involved as well.

Old Tom told me a bit about how it all worked - very interesting stuff. Apparently they wander off to a little place down the road, where they put a "X" on a piece of paper next to someones name. When it's all over they add all the "X's" up, and whoever has the most wins and then pretends to run the country. When we wake up tomorrow, everything is back to normal with us cats in charge. Simple really. Did you know, it is only in recent times, the last few years probably, that women have been able to vote. Now if I've remembered this right, it was all brought about by a lady called Emily Pancake and some courgettes. All sounds a bit far fetched to me, but I didn't like to show my ignorance. "That'll make a change" - who said that? How rude! I presume she threw the said vegetables at the men until they got fed up with her and let her vote.

We've got some courgettes growing in the garden, I wonder if I could do the same and get cats the vote. I mean, who better - do you remember my landslide victory in the local elections last year. I could lead a popular campaign to get votes for cats. It would be a massive uprising, and I would ride a tidal wave of feline support all the way to Downing Street. Alternatively, I could go back home for a spot of lunch and a nice nap. What a big decision - I'm feeling a bit tired, so I think I'll go for the nap after all.Well, that's my lot for today. I hope you have all learnt something. When I got back, my poncy brother and my stupid sister were still loafing about. I told them all about the pancake lady. "See, I told you he's stupid" said Ginger Tail, "everyone thinks so." Tabby stuck up for me though - he said that everyone can't think I'm stupid, because I haven't met everyone yet. So, that was nice of him - I think. What a Life! AlbertThe(campaigning)Cat.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

It's a Frogs Life!

Good day to you all. What a tough weekend I've had. You will recall, the one I don't trust threatened to reduce my already meagre prawn ration if I didn't keep the blackbirds off of his newly planted grass seed. I've been out on guard duty in all weathers - thunderstorms, hail, gales, lightning, tornadoes, you name it, we've had it. "What are you talking about - nothing more than a spot of drizzle and a gentle breeze." Don't tell them that! It's my stupid sister, I wish she would shut up. Anyway, moving on , I can safely say that no blackbird has eaten even one seed. "What about those two pigeons who were so stuffed - they could hardly take off?" Look, I won't tell you again, shut up! Ooh, she is a nuisance.Yesterday was a public holiday. It poured down most of the day. Apparently it always rains on such occasions. Personally I don't agree with the things, I mean why on earth do they need another holiday - it is a real pain. The housekeeping staff just loaf about, not knowing what to do with themselves. All the time they were hanging about the place I had to pretend to be on guard duty. At least they have cleared off today leaving me in peace to go and have a nice kip on the bed. He will never know if anything has eaten the seeds - I doubt if they will grow anyway, not after I've had a good roll on them, well, the ones that are left that is. Hoe Hoe Hoe.... pay attention, that was just one of my little gardening jokes!

While I was taking a break from the arduous guard duty, I had a little stroll around the local patch. A few gardens along, there is a pond. I was looking into it, hoping one of the little fishes would come up to the top when I heard this strange croaking noise behind me. Would you believe it, a frog jumped out of the grass, straight into the pond, and splashed water all over me. It gave me quite a turn! Anyway, after I came down from the tree, I had another look, and do you know, the pond was full of little black things swimming about. Now, for the uninitiated these are called tadpoles and apparently they turn into frogs - a neat little trick, no idea how they do it.

I expect you are impressed, you didn't know that along with my many other talents - ornithology, horticulture, etc. I am also a keen naturist. Are there no ends to your talents Bert, I hear you cry. "There most certainly are." Who said that? "You mean naturalist not naturist" laughed Tabby. It's my poncy brother, what's he doing here? "A naturist is someone who likes running around without any clothes on" he said, "remember, just like you after the bloke who sticks needles in us once a year had to shave you after the unfortunate incident with the pot of green paint when you were a kitten, oh how we laughed." We won't go into that! I hate him, I really do. What does he know anyway. "Why do people who know about frogs have to take their clothes off?" I shrewdly asked. He had no answer. He really shouldn't get involved in arguments with a cat of my intellect. Anyway, how was I to know that old can was full of paint.
Well, that's my lot for today. Suppose I'd better get back on sentry duty before the one I don't trust returns. The damn pigeons will be back for their lunch I expect. I reckon they are redundant carrier pigeons. What with e-mail and text messaging they have too much time on their hands. Nothing to do all day but eat our grass seed. The things I have to put up with. What a life! AlbertThe(fully clothed)Cat.