Friday, 29 January 2010

It's a Dogs Life.....

Hello folks. Well, as we thought, I got the blame for the snowdrop incident. There’s no justice is there? Just you wait until the crocuses, crocuseses..., croci, whatever??? appear – I’ll get my own back then. I’ve had quite a traumatic morning, a very narrow escape in fact. Almost used up one of my nine lives. “Thank goodness you’re safe" I hear you cry? I said, “Thank goodness you’re safe" I hear you cry – must be going a bit deaf. You need to speak up a bit. Anyway, I had popped over next door to do a bit of digging. Now usually, I keep my eyes open for the nasty little Jack Russell. Well, I must have let my guard down, because the damn thing crept up on me.

The shock of it – I just got to the apple tree by the back fence, scrambled up, closely followed by said Jack Russell snapping away at my tail. We were about ten feet off the ground when the stupid mutt remembered it couldn’t climb trees, and fell backwards, landing on the ground with a satisfying thump. Unfortunately it was only stunned, and was soon back on its feet, yapping away, making one hell of a din. Eventually the owner came and dragged it away. When I got home, I was in dire need of a few prawns to aid my recovery.

I ask you, what is the point of dogs? I mean, they serve no useful purpose at all - nothing but a nuisance. What if dogs had not been invented, and nobody had ever seen one? “Marvellous” you cry – yes I know, but that’s not my point. Imagine if a boffin invented the dog today, and then someone mass produced them. How on earth would the poor salesmen be able to shift such a product? Can you imagine the sales pitch when he knocked on the door……….

Good day to you madam, can I interest you in an exciting new product called the dog

What does it do?

Good question madam – it comes to live in your house

What do I have to do with it then?

Well, when it is raining, you just tie a piece of rope round its neck and drag it up and down the road for half an hour and get soaking wet

Really? Is that all?

No, No, there is much more. You feed it at least three times a day. They prefer expensive cuts of finest meat

What does it do then?

Quite often, it is sick on the carpet, before going out into the garden and making a most dreadful mess

Has it got any other endearing features?

Oh yes, plenty. It carries around small black things that make it scratch incessantly. Occasionally these leap off, and land on you, and you start scratching as well – hours of endless fun

Mmmm. I’m not sure.

Oh come, come madam, there’s even more. It leaves hair all over the place, allowing you to vacuum at least once a day. It emits a most unpleasant smell, especially when wet. It chews lumps out of the furniture. The de-luxe version also chases cars. You can throw a stick for it to run after

What do I do when it brings the stick back?

You throw it away again

Is that it then?

Certainly not – it makes a charming yapping sound, and occasionally bites. It has to be surgically removed from visitors legs – a touching display of affection, and last but not least, you can regularly take it to see a failed medic who will stick needles in it before relieving you of large sums of cash – HOW MANY DO YOU WANT?

No, it would never sell. You’re far better off with a cat – clean, friendly, cheap, loyal - we’re no trouble at all are we.Well that’s my lot for today. Before I go, a little dog story – a man went in to a bar, and saw a dog. He said to the chap standing next to it, “does your dog bite?” “No" he replied. The man stroked the dog and it bit him. “Ow” he said – well he would wouldn’t he. “You said your dog doesn't bite.” “He’s not my dog” said the chap, “mine’s at home.” Oh how he laughed. What do you mean you've heard it before? What a life! AlbertThe(dog loving)Cat.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

How Many Builders Does it Take to Drink a Cup of Tea?

A very good day to you all. It has been quite pleasant here in London - a bit cold, but bright and sunny. After a hearty breakfast of prawns, I decided to go for a gentle stroll round my patch. I saw something very interesting, which I will tell you about in a minute. Before that though there have been some strange goings on with our cat biscuits. "The one I don't trust" has got it into his head that I am, well how shall I put this...... well rounded, if you get my drift. So, he only went and bought the "light low calorie" version of our favourite bickies. He never thinks these things through. Our bowl is always topped up - I insist on them never letting it get empty - so guess what happened. Yes, that's right, we ate twice as much as usual. He can't understand why we got through two bags so quickly. In fact, I've actually put a bit of weight on. Hopefully this nonsense will stop when he realises it is costing him double to feed us.

The things I have to put up with! Anyway, I thought I would tell you about something I saw this morning while doing my rounds. A lot of noise was coming from a garden just down the road, so I decided to investigate. By the time I arrived, Old Black Tom had beaten me to it - he was sitting on the back wall casting his eye over proceedings. There were half a dozen scruffy looking blokes slowly filling the garden up with bricks. "Whats going on here" I said. "They've got the builders in" replied Old Black Tom. "They are building a conservatory". "Why do they call it that?" I asked. "Well" said Old Black Tom, "it's really an extra room but by calling it that, they don't have to worry about tiresome details such as planning permission and building regulations." How does he know all this - he is a very clever cat, the fount of all knowledge.

One of them started to build a wall with the bricks, while the other five stood around drinking tea and watched him. "I'm surprised they don't put the roof on first" I said, "it will keep them dry if it rains." Old Black Tom gave me one of his withering looks. He had seen the flaw in my plan straight away - I told you he was a very clever cat. After a while, the woman who owns the house appeared, said something to the workmen and then went out. As soon as she was out of sight, they all stopped, sat down and started consulting some important looking papers - plans I expect, while drinking even more tea. Do you know the plans had lists of the runners and riders for all the horse races taking place today - I can't imagine why. Then they all gave the one in charge some money, and he wandered off down the road. The others sat around drinking even more tea and eating biscuits, just like a picnic.

The one in charge arrived back just before the owner, and do you know, by amazing co-incidence they had just started building up the bricks again. Not for long though, as it was soon time for them to go to lunch. What a busy morning they had! The thought of lunch made me hungry, so I bade Old Black Tom farewell and wandered off home.When I got back to our garden I noticed the first snowdrop had appeared - a sign of Spring perhaps. One delicate little white flower in an otherwise bleak landscape. I stood and admired it's inherent beauty, whilst pondering upon the wonders of nature, and then with one swipe of my paw it was gone. Just time for a quick roll in the flowerbed where it used to live. Wonder what's for lunch?Well that's my lot for today. Do you know, "the housekeeping staff" had a go at me about bringing half the garden into the house. Damn cheek - how did they know it was me. Also, I think I might be in the frame for the unfortunate demise of the snowdrop. These allegations are completely without foundation - just like the conservatory, Ho Ho Ho.... What a life! AlbertThe(nature-loving)Cat.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Warning - Cats Can Seriously Improve Your Health!

Hello – I’m back again. Sorry about the last few days – I was going to tell you a little story yesterday, but by the time I woke up from my afternoon nap, I had a big decision to make. Should I turn over and go back to sleep, or should I write my blog. Anyway, I had a really good kip. Now, what was I going to write about??? Oh yes, I remember. Did you know that a family pet can improve the quality of life for the people they live with? Not only that, but medical science has shown that these folks also lead longer and healthier lives. I heard all this while I was dozing in front of the telly the other evening.

It was an interesting programme, only interrupted by cynical comments from “the one I don’t trust”. Hair on the furniture, fleas, furballs, eats us out of house and home, were just a few of the more repeatable remarks he made. Clearly he doesn’t appreciate the benefits of having me around the place. The gist of the story is that having animal companions - cats and dogs in particular results in both emotional and physical well-being. Now, I’m sure the mention of dogs, is political correctness gone mad. I mean to say we all know what a damn nuisance those things are, especially that nasty little Jack Russell that lives next door – always yapping away.So, we will ignore dogs, and assume they were really talking about cats. Here are just a few of the apparent benefits of having someone like me living with you.
  • Lower blood cholesterol levels – makes perfect sense. They came up with some clever medical explanation, but the real reason is obvious. Shellfish, and prawns in particular are a rich source of cholesterol. In this house I shift all the prawns that are put in front of me, so there are very few left for anyone else. I could do even more to help if only they would let me.
  • Lower blood pressure – the last time they tried to put me in a cat carrier to go to see “the bloke who sticks needles in me once a year,” I got rather annoyed, and managed to claw and bite “the one I don’t trust”. His arm was leaking all over the place, so it stands to reason that if he has less blood inside him, then the pressure will drop – pretty basic stuff really.
  • Quicker recovery from illness - clearly, if they have me to look after, they can't loaf around in bed all day feeling sorry for themselves can they? Imagine if they were unable to supply me with prawns - I would leave wouldn't I, and they wouldn't want that!
  • Higher survival rate after serious illness - a study has shown that heart attack patients are more likely to be alive a year after they discharge from hospital. It would be very poor form if they keeled over and left us unattended. We give them the will to live.
  • Fewer doctor visits - apart from the occasional tetanus shot after one of our little altercations, I don't see any need for "the one I don't trust" to go at all.
  • Reduced loneliness - I have my staff go out to the shops on a frequent basis to stock up on essential supplies - prawns, etc. The perfect opportunity to meet people. I am always thinking of them aren't I?
  • Pet therapy programmes - in nursing homes cats are credited with enabling elderly patients to reach out beyond their own pain and isolation and start caring about the world around them again. Stops them being selfish and moping around thinking of nobody but themselves.
  • Less depression - fancy that, us cats are anti-depressants - Prozac on legs!
  • Aids childhood development - not sure about this one. I hate kids. When our "nosy neighbours" last popped round with their evil brood, one of them was crawling all over the place, and started eating my cat biscuits. Everyone was most put out when I hissed and spat at him. Well, I had to put my paw down. Apparently he started bed-wetting again as a result of the shock. Most unusual in a sixteen year old - just my little joke, he's twelve actually!
Well that's your lot for today. I leave you to ponder upon the above - no home is complete without a cat. Now, if any of you out there are feeling a bit poorly and are deficient in the cat department, then I have a couple of spares that I can let you have - "my poncy brother" and "my stupid sister" are both available for immediate shipping at a very reasonable price. What am I bid for the pair? What a life! AlbertThe(health-giving)Cat.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

You read it here first....

I wasn't going to do a blog today - I felt I needed a rest. However, something quite amazing has happened. Would you believe it, the BBC is now following me to see what the hot topics are. Now, this is the amazing thing, they are then regurgitating the stories as if they were their own. I wonder if I can sue them for plagiarism - whatever that is. I never realised I was so influential. "What on earth is he on about now", I hear you ask. Oh ye of little faith - it's all true. You will recall a few days ago, we were discussing how us cats are descended from the gods of ancient Egypt, and I was educating you about our heritage.Guess what happened yesterday - the BBC news website published a story telling how a 2,000 year old temple, dedicated to the cat god Bastet had been dug up in Alexandria. Spooky isn't it how this discovery was made a day or two after my blog on the same subject appeared. Are there no limits to my amazing powers. You think I am making this up don't you - well click this link to see. Believe me now! There are strange forces at work here. I must thank @AbbyDaTabby and @piddleandpurr, two of my Twitter pals, for spotting the article. I'm thinking of putting them on the payroll as roving reporters.

Well that's my lot for today - must go, am expecting a call from the BBC any minute. Apparently the lead story on the main news programme tonight is all about the shortage of prawns in West London and they want to interview me. I think they have picked this up from my last couple of posts. Where we lead others follow. What a life! AlbertThe(ground breaking)Cat.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

What Did Astrology Ever Do For Us?

Good day to you all. I trust I find you well. I bet you've checked your stars this morning after yesterday's thought provoking piece. I'm just going to have a look at mine - here we are, Gemini, now what does it say:-

Time is a great healer and can bring about incredible transformations. Great healer? There is nothing wrong with me - who said "you could have fooled me." I think it was that "poncy brother" of mine. Transformations - well we all get older, I mean that's not exactly mind blowing stuff is it? Sometimes, though, you struggle with time, because you lead such a hectic life. Well I do don't I? Only this morning, I went for a little stroll after breakfast, and when I got back, there was hardly time to fit in a nap before my mid-morning snack. It's all go. You must make allowances for others, as they cannot all manage more than one thing at a time as well as you can. Very true - do you know while I am writing this, I am chewing on a prawn as well. Whoops, I've just dropped it. It's gone under the table. Ow, I've banged my head trying to pick it up. Very soon, your dreams will come true, but in months not weeks. I was hoping it would be sooner - so I've got to put up with my "poncy brother" and "stupid sister" for a while longer.This Zodiac stuff isn't all it's cracked up to be. Anyway, on to more important matters. I was looking over the fence this morning hoping to annoy the nasty little Jack Russell that lives over there. Sure enough, out he came yapping away, bouncing all over the place, closely followed by his owner who dragged him back in. Strange how dogs have owners isn't it? I mean I have staff to look after me, but an owner - no I don't think anyone has ever owned a cat. I mean my stay at this place is only temporary. If a better offer comes along, I'm off. I told Ginger Tail of my plans, and she said I was a very ungrateful cat.

"Ungrateful!" I said. "What have the housekeeping staff ever done for us?"

"They took us in when we were born under a bush up at the dump" she said.

"Apart from that?" I replied.

"They let us live in their house" she said.

"I thought it was our house, but anyway, apart from that" I replied.

"They feed us when we are hungry" she said.

"Not enough prawns though are there, but anyway, apart from that" I replied.

"They give us somewhere nice and warm to sleep" she said.

"Of course they do, but apart from that?" I replied.

"They look after us if we are not well" she said.

"Yes, yes, yes, I know, but apart from that?" I replied.

"They make sure no harm comes to us" she said.

"Yes, but apart from that what have they ever done or us?" I said triumphantly.

Just as I thought, she had no answer. Having lost the argument, she walked away shaking her head. I think she realises how futile it is to get involved in philosophical debate with a cat of my intellect. Now where's that prawn I dropped earlier. Ow, I've banged my head again.Well, that's my lot for today. I think I'll hang around a little longer and see if things improve. I told you that the woman over the back wall had taken a shine to me. She got a bit uppity when I had a little dig under her roses mind you, but we can probably patch things up. Always good to have a contingency plan. What a life! AlbertThe(sore-headed)Cat.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Look into my eyes.....

I’m back again. You’ll be pleased to know that cats and dogs did not start falling out of the sky, so Old Black Tom must have been right. Hope you all enjoyed the history lesson. Fancy us being descended from the gods. I’ve always thought as much, I mean it does explain a lot doesn’t it. No wonder we are superior to these people that look after our worldly needs. My lot are pretty ignorant when it comes to understanding cats. I have tried to educate them, but I do really think they are beyond help.

Take today for example - late with my prawns again – that’s the second time in as many weeks would you believe! I was really annoyed, so I walked up to "the one I don’t trust" and swished my tail in his general direction. "Oh look, he’s wagging his tail, he must be happy" he said. Happy? I was livid – what does he think I am - a dog? He went to stroke me and seemed genuinely surprised when I bit his finger. "My god, the blessed thing has attacked me" he cried. Good of him to acknowledge my divine status, but he was less than reverential when he chucked me out into the garden. Although they don't seem to get the thing about us being gods, they look at their stars in the paper every day - especially "the pretty one." Fancy believing that stuff.
Anyway, purely for the purposes of research you understand, I thought I would investigate my star sign - apparently I am a Gemini - one of the heavenly twins. Seems apt, but I wonder who the other one is, certainly not Tabby or Ginger Tail, that's for sure. The characteristics of a typical Gemini are:-
  • Versatile, adaptable - how true, well I can turn my paw to most things.
  • Quick of mind with a rapier wit - true again, I mean all these pearls of wisdom I bestow upon you are usually laced with witty asides - what do you mean "corny old jokes you've heard before!!" How rude.
  • Loves to chat and share knowledge - well I do don't I? Sometimes I ramble on for ages.
  • Easily bored - I'm fed up with this already. Think I'll go for a nap - no only joking, my rapier wit again.
  • A communicator - well you lot turn up every day to read what I have been up to.
  • Sociable - I can be very sociable, especially at feeding time.
  • Enjoys variety - sometimes, I like to nap on the bed and sometimes on the chair.
  • Relies on mental analysis more than gut feelings - oh yes. I have a very analytical mind. The only gut feelings I get are when I'm hungry, which come to think of it is most of the time.
  • A hunger for knowledge - and prawns!
Mmmm... well, perhaps there is something in it after all. Let's not get carried away though. I see they haven't got a star sign for the cat, a very careless omission, the nearest is Leo the lion. Makes you wonder, especially when you see the other riff-raff that gets on the list - bulls, scorpions, goats, rams, crabs, I ask you, crabs! The good news is that there is nothing that remotely resembles a dog. I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies.Well that's my lot for today. Before I go, I will show you a picture and I want you to look deep into my eyes. Pretty spooky eh? You are beginning to feel drowsy, very drowsy - go to sleep, go to sleep........... When I count to ten you will be under my spell, and you will obey my every command - send prawns, send prawns, send prawns by the bucket load........ When I click my paws, you will wake up and all you will remember is that you must send me prawns. Zzzzzzzz................... what happened, I seem to have nodded off! What a life! AlbertThe(supernatural)Cat.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Tales of Ancient Egypt.......

Good news - it looks like the snow has all gone, no idea where to. Need to be careful though, it happened before, then came back when no one was looking. Another thing, along the road where some awful children live, a strange little white chap appeared in the garden, with a nose that looked like a carrot and eyes as black as coal. His arms were so thin they looked like twigs. I was quite fond of him and we had some very interesting conversations, although he didn't say much. I went to see him earlier, and would you believe it, he had disappeared without even a word of goodbye. I had a nice drink though from the puddle near where he used to stand.

What's in store for us next I wonder. Apparently it is going to bucket down according to wise Old Black Tom. He is a very clever cat. He told me it will be "raining cats and dogs by tomorrow." "What - cats and dogs! - we've got plenty of both round here, we certainly don't need anymore." I said. "Don't worry" said Old Black Tom in a condescending voice, "it's just a figure of speech." I pretended to know what he meant.

Anyway, he then went on to explain how this came about. Now, pay attention here, because you lot might just learn something. The story goes like this. Apparently, the ancient Egyptians, who were very wise, looked upon us cats as gods. A cat called Bast, or was it Tiddles? - no I think it was definitely Bast, was daughter of the sun god Ra, which in my book makes Ra a cat as well. So how about that then, the chief god was a cat. Now here is something all you cats should put in the diary - October 31st is the feast day of Bast. "Prawns all round" I hear you cry. This ancient custom should still be celebrated. Bast means "devouring lady" how appropriate, I expect she could shift the prawns! Salmon, tuna - and everything under the Ra(sun) Ho.. Ho.. She possessed an all seeing eye - just like me, always alert, never miss a thing. I seem to have lost my thread, nearly dozed off - what on earth am I on about? Oh yes, cats and dogs.

"How did something as stupid as a dog get in on the act" you ask. Well, the Egyptians thought weather was associated with various animals. Ra, the boss, already had the sun sown up, so they gave Bast rain, the next best thing - it makes everything grow. After others types of weather had been allocated, only the wind remained, and none of the gods wanted the wind! Well, they wouldn't would they? Down on earth they saw a lowly beast chasing a stick and decided in their infinite wisdom, to give dogs the wind, if you will pardon the expression. So when one day there was a really heavy storm - torrential rain, strong winds, Tutankhamun looked out the window of his pyramid, turned to his wife and said "look Cleo, its raining cats and dogs!" Not a lot of people know that!!

Well that's quite enough for today. When you popped in to see me, you never expected a history lesson did you. One last thing, in ancient Egypt, anyone caught harming a cat was for the chop - quite right too. "The housekeeping staff" should bear this in mind next time my prawns are late. My fellow cats, never forget you are descended from the gods. Right, I'm off to sit by the back door to keep an eye out for cats and dogs falling from the sky, just in case Old Black Tom has spun me a yarn - you can't be too careful. What a Life. AlbertThe(omnipotent)Cat.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Watch Out - There's a Hacker About...

Hello - you are in for a pleasant surprise today. You were expecting another load of drivel from Bert, that awful brother of mine weren't you. Well you are wrong, guess who this is - it's me, Tabby, his good looking brother. I've managed to hack into his account on the computer. It wasn't difficult, his password "prawns4me" was on a post-it note stuck to the screen. Now I have to be quick, before Bert gets back - he's out in the garden at the moment chasing snow flakes. He really is a very stupid cat. I hope you haven't been taken in by a lot of the rubbish he writes - he lives in a world of his own, he's off with the fairies most of the time.

Bearing in mind how thick he is, it is amazing that he has learnt to use a computer. Do you know the other day, he was grumbling to himself about the screen going black. Took him ages to work out the thing was not switched on. When he overcame this mighty technical challenge he thought there was something wrong with his screensaver - it disappeared every time he moved the mouse! Another time, I was walking past, and he had an error message up - it said "press any key to continue". Half an hour later, I walked past again and he was still sitting there with that gormless look on his face, "What's up" I said. "I've looked everywhere, but I still cant find the ANY key" he replied. When he first started doing his blog, it was not unusual to find typists correction fluid on the screen would you believe!

There's an awful lot I can tell you about him. Hardly know where to start. Oh no, I can hear him coming. It will have to wait for another day. He will be livid when he finds out what I have been up to - time to make myself scarce - I'm off to see "the pretty one", she'll look after me - I might even get a prawn if I suck up to her, afterall she is a little gullible, not that I would take advantage you understand. Bye for now. TabbyThe(good looking)Cat.
What's been going on here then. That "poncy brother" of mine has just run off. He's been up to no good I bet. What a damn cheek, he has been writing on my blog. How did he get into my account, what with all the security measures I have installed? I mean to say, after the previous unfortunate incident when "my stupid sister" managed to log in, I changed the password and put it in a safe place - on a post-it note stuck to the screen. Who would think of looking there - not me, that's for sure, I keep wondering where it is.Well that'll have to be my lot for today - I can't hang around here like I usually do waffling to you lot. I've got important things to do. I have to beef up my security. "Are you going to install new software?" I hear you ask. Not exactly, I have something far more effective in mind - I'm off to see Mad Harry and Slasher Sid. For a small consideration, I'm sure they will be more than happy to show Tabby what re-booting is all about, if you get my drift! What a life! AlbertThe(seriously compromised)Cat.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Conciousness - the short time between naps....

I hope you are all well. I'm taking things very easy. I've decided I need a bit of a rest. Life has been hectic recently, what with the Christmas festivities, our esteemed visitors, the prestigious award, nearly getting a knighthood, and then to cap it all the damn snow. It's cold and slushy outside, so I have taken to my bed. No point in pushing yourself to the limits is there. I mean, hard work never killed anyone, but why chance it? If a thing is worth doing, then someone else will have done it already, so best leave it to them."My stupid sister" reckons I am just being lazy, but how little she knows. Being a well educated cat, I have of course studied Physics - whatever that is. Anyway, did you know that one of the laws of dynamics, or something similar, is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Makes sense therefore to use as little of it as possible. I'm all in favour of conservation. While we are addressing such matters, another important law of Physics that I wholeheartedly agree with is that a body will remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force, such as the opening of a refrigerator door.So you can see, there is a lot more to all this loafing around than meets the eye. It can be quite tiring. I wonder if "the housekeeping staff" would bring my meals to my bed - not much to ask is it. Perhaps if I let them stroke me, I mean,they do say there is no such thing as a free lunch. Personally I have never bought in to that daft idea - there is around here, as well as free breakfast, free dinner, free supper and free snacks. Quite right too. The staff should realise by now how lucky they are to have me.Well that's my lot for today. I'm going back to sleep. Hope I wake up in time for my tea. I expect I will - after all, us cats still know what is going on even when we appear to be out like a light. Oh yes, we are always alert, nothing gets past me. "Tea was served up over an hour ago." "Who said that" I asked. "Me" said Tabby, "you were asleep, we didn't like to wake you." Oh how he laughed. I hate him I really do. What a life! AlbertThe(sleepy but alert)Cat.

Monday, 11 January 2010

The Big Grey Thing Outside the Back Door......

I hope you are all surviving the snow and cold weather – not really sure what I make of it. Spent a considerable amount of time yesterday chasing snow flakes, but every time I caught one it disappeared – where do they go? We had a good few inches of the stuff in the garden – it changed from “the big green thing outside the back door” into “the big white thing outside the back door.” But then this morning, it has changed again to the "big grey thing outside the back door." It is all wet and slushy, most unpleasant. The good news is that we didn't run out of essential supplies like prawns and cat biscuits.I think I've just about had enough of the snow – it is interesting to start with, but the novelty soon wears off. A bit like relatives I suppose – nice when they arrive, but after a couple of days you can’t wait to get shot of them.

I trust you all enjoyed the "agony column" from last week. I have had a mixed response. Some of you thought I was a little harsh. Well, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, and as you know I am never afraid to give advice that no one wants to hear. I bet when you saw the title of today's little offering, you thought that George from Manchester had paid me a visit - Ho Ho Ho. A little joke just for my regular readers!This is a miserable time of year - not just the weather, but "the housekeeping staff" appear to have gone down with some terrible disease - swine flu I expect. "The one I don't trust" is in a bad way. Sniffing and groaning all the time, and as for coughing, he is making more noise that the nasty yappy little Jack Russell that lives next door. It really is most distressing - it kept me awake all last night. If he had any consideration, he would have gone outside and slept in the shed - he can be very selfish at times.

I have noticed though that he is working on a remedy - liberal doses of brandy. It doesn't appear to be working, but he isn't giving up just yet. "The pretty one" doesn't share his enthusiasm for alternative medicine, in fact she seems quite opposed to his methods. That's the trouble with some people, they are very stuck in their ways and not prepared to be open minded and try new approaches - homeopathy, acupuncture, alcohol, etc. Anyway, let's hope they get better soon, I'm fed up with them moping around the house. If they're too sick to go to the shops we might run out of prawns. Now that really would be serious.Oh well, that's my lot for today. I leave you to ponder on this - why do they call it swine flu? Do pigs get it? I expect they do - hence the expression "sick as a pig." Perhaps they come out in rashers! Probably not a problem, I mean most of them will be cured anyway! What do you mean, "you've heard them before." Surely not! What a Life! AlbertThe(alternative)Cat.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

"Ask Bert" Again! More Agony..............

Well, as promised, we are going to do another of the ever popular “Ask Bert” agony columns today – what do you mean “oh no not that again!” This is where I offer advice to unfortunate friends who have written to me in desperation. My vast experience in counselling and my caring nature are ideally suited to helping these poor saps. Right, where shall we start – I’ve had a large postbag.

Dear Bert - I have a problem. How can I get my staff to give me more tuna. They think I should eat kibble, with tuna being a special treat. So, how do I convince them that it's healthy for me to eat just tuna? Mario da cat.

Dear Mario – Kibble? Kibble? What on earth is that? I suggest you stop eating it with immediate effect. I make a point of not eating anything that I’ve never heard of. The only exception is if I’m hungry. Now as for the tuna – once they see you wasting away, I’m sure they will try to tempt you with all sorts of nice treats. Eat the tuna, but refuse the rest. When you are suffering from malnutrition and at death’s door they will see sense. If they try to tempt you with prawns or fresh salmon, then to get rid of the stuff, you should send it to me. I’m always willing to help out in such circumstances. AlbertTheCat.

Dear Bert – I feel insignificant. Everyone ignores me. Please help. Cyril.

Dear.... mmm.... whatever your name is. I can’t be bothered. What’s next. AlbertTheCat.

Dear Bert
- "My Mom's" vacations are almost over, so I'll be left at home looking out for my stepbrother and stepsisters. I'll miss Mom, but I have to find something to do between naps. Do you have any suggestions? Pirulo Furry.

Dear Pirulo Furry – what a strange name you have! I have diagnosed your problem immediately. Referring to your staff as “Mom” is the giveaway – it implies you look up to her, rather than down. Never forget, that we are in charge. They need to know their place. So, you must make “your Mom” feel guilty. Ignore her, apart from at feeding time of course. Just before she leaves for work, give her something to think about - try dumping a hairball on the carpet - never fails. If she tries to pick you up, bite her. I find a quick nip to be very effective. Keeps them on their toes. What to do while she is out? Shredding the furniture should ward off boredom. She’ll soon get the message. As for your stepbrothers and sisters, then I speak from grim personal experience – they are a complete and utter nuisance. If you do come up with any bright ideas for getting rid of them, then please let me know. AlbertTheCat.

Dear Bert – I am a “rescue cat”, and as such I don’t know how old I am and my staff seem confused as to when my birthday is. How can I find my age, and when is my birthday? Regards, Harold.

Dear Harry – it really doesn’t matter how old you are. I expect, like me you were born at a very early age. I suggest you think back to your earliest memory, probably your first prawn, think how long ago that was and add one to it – that should be near enough. The main issue is your birthday, after all we need to make sure you don’t miss out on presents. Now if you play your cards right, you should end up with two “birthdays” a year – your real one and the anniversary of being sprung from the rescue centre. The Queen has two birthdays a year, and what's good enough for her, is certainly good enough for you. Two lots of presents – can’t be bad can it? AlbertTheCat.

Dear Bert – I wrote to you recently regarding my embarrassing personal problem, which you so cleverly diagnosed as musophobia. Since taking your advice, I have taken refuge under the bed, and I think I am an elephant. In the strictest of confidence, please help. Name and address supplied.

Dear Anonymous - It’s you again isn’t it? - George from Manchester. I really do think you are a helpless case, in fact you are becoming a bit of a nuisance. Your pathological fear of mice may be incurable. I suggest you embrace your new life as an elephant. Practice standing on your hind legs and picking up buns with your nose. Once you have cracked this, run away and join a circus. AlbertTheCat.

Dear Bert – I am at my wits end. After forgetting my breakfast prawns this morning, the staff left home, and before they got to the end of the road they had a car crash. Both were taken to hospital. They were discharged after treatment and returned home to find the house had been burgled. Then he had a phone call to say that he had lost his job. As you can imagine they are distraught – what should I do? Tiddles.

Dear Tiddles – you should bite them! How dare they forget your prawns. AlbertTheCat.

Well, that’s my lot. This counselling lark is not all it is cracked up to be. One could get very depressed. Some of you cats are very mixed up. Take my brother, he's convinced he’s got everything under the sun. The only thing he doesn’t think he’s got is hypochondria. All this talk of prawns is making me hungry – I’m off. What a life! AlbertThe(caring)Cat.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Don't Count Your Cats.....

Hello again. Weather is looking a bit grim. It is very cold today. "My poncy brother" tried to take a drink out of the old watering can in the garden, and his tongue stuck to it - most unfortunate. Oh how I laughed. I was not slow to take advantage, popped round behind him and nipped his tail - I hate him!
Well, today I thought I would tell you about something I heard recently. "The one I don't trust" was talking to "the pretty one" and he said, "do you know cats can't count." What on earth is he on about I thought, where does he get such rubbish? Me, Tabby and Ginger Tail, looked at him in astonishment - yes, all four of us, Ho.. Ho.. Ho... just my little joke. Apparently he had read it in a book. I can count a lot better than he can, after all he has only got five digits on each hand, whereas I have six on each paw, a mark of my good breeding you understand. My father, elder brother and cousin also had six toes - what do you mean they were probably one and the same cat! How rude - my mother, my auntie and my grandma would be most deeply offended - both of them! Who says we can't count.

Being naturally inquisitive, I felt it beholden upon me to find out for you just how they came up with this daft idea, so I did a bit of research. Now, pay attention, you might learn something. When mummy cat has kittens, she hides them under a bush or somewhere similar, to keep them safe from dogs and other such undesirables. After a few days, she moves them to keep the dogs guessing, I expect. One at a time, she grabs hold of them by the scruff of the neck and carries them to their new abode. In our litter, there was me, Tabby, Ginger Tail, Spotty and Little Torty - yes that's right, seven of us. Naturally I was moved first, being the most important, although Tabby reckons it was because being the heaviest, mum wanted to get the hard work out of the way first! Damn cheek! Anyway after she has been back for the last one, she returns once more. Based on this fleeting observation, they have concluded that mum can't count and just keeps going back until there are no kittens left. What they don't realise is that the only reason mum goes back is to see if anyone has left any food out for her.The quality of the research is pitiful. It brings into question all the other clever things they claim to have discovered. Personally, I have always had doubts about the world being round, I mean we'd all roll off wouldn't we, and how on earth they got to the moon is any one's guess, perhaps they didn't! What about this global warming lark - could have done with a bit of that earlier when Tabby's tongue got stuck to the watering can. They should leave the clever stuff to the cats, and just concentrate on what they do best - looking after us.

Well that's your lot for today. An appropriate note upon which to finish is a little story my Great Uncle Porky used to tell me when I was a kitten. Not many people know this, but when they first started sending rockets into space, they put dogs inside to see what would happen to them - I ask you, a dog! Anyway, eventually they sent a man into space, and he was accompanied by a cat. When they got into orbit, there were two envelopes labelled "instructions". The first one was for the cat and it read - "plot course, check systems, monitor fuel load, undertake experiments, carry out space walk, fire engines to return to earth, adjust boosters for re-entry, deploy parachutes, etc....." The second one was for the human, and it read "feed the cat!". What a Life! AlbertThe(numerate)Cat.

Monday, 4 January 2010

2010 - What's it all about?

Well, here we are then. The New Year has arrived. Doesn't seem much different to the last one does it? Can't understand what all the fuss was about. Still, it's good to get back in the old routine. "The one I don't trust" took all the Christmas decorations down this morning. There is a definite case of double standards around here - during the last fortnight when I have pulled a few things off the Christmas Tree, I have been shouted at and chased out. This morning, he takes the whole lot down and nothing is said. I had got quite use to the tree - the little silver balls especially. I never did manage to get the strange fellow dressed in red with the white beard off of the top - not for want of trying though. The poor old tree is back out in the garden - a very sorry site, it is virtually bald - all the pointy bits fell off on to the lounge floor. Very painful when they stick in your paws. I think he has swept most of them up, but no doubt "the pretty one" will find a few he has missed!

Our esteemed visitors, the pretty one's mother and father, departed yesterday. I thought they were here to stay. I kept them on their toes by being quite friendly towards them - I could see how surprised and unsettled this made them feel - reverse psychology I think they call it - no idea what it means. Anyway, the most important thing is that the settee by the window upon which they appeared to take root, is now vacated and available again to my good self for my occasional naps. The only real downside, was that "the one I don't trust" spent so much time running around and looking after them, he neglected his primary duties, which as we all know involve caring for me and keeping me well supplied with prawns. Anyway, things were back to normal this morning - prawns on time, mind you I could have managed a few more.
I haven't got a clue what to write about today. All bound to be an anti-climax, a bit after the Lord Mayor's show really after recent triumphs - the richly deserved award for the blog and very nearly getting a mention in the New years Honours List. I think I will have to wait for the Queen's Birthday Honours for the inevitable knighthood - do you know we share the same birthdays - well near enough. One thing is for sure, I won't be letting any of you lot in on it after one of you blew the gaff last week.

Now, as we all need something to cheer us up, I thought we would do another agony column later in the week - always good for a laugh. The last one went down a storm, apart from in Manchester where poor George is still under the bed hiding from the mice. Apparently he now thinks he is an elephant! Well, you can't win them all. So, what I want you to do, is to send me in your personal problems and I will do my best to answer them for you. Remember, the more embarrassing, the better. I may even reply to dog questions, although having said that, I will probably be overwhelmed - what a mixed up bunch they are. Send your questions via the "comment" link at the bottom of this dry old posting, or via the good offices of Twitter - @AlbertTheCat or via Facebook - Albert Cat.

Well that's my lot for today. Before I go, I thought I would tell you a little story to show just how perceptive my counselling work can be. "The one I don't trust" was complaining of feeling unwell the other day - a ringing in the ears apparently. They don't have a clue do they - no one thought to ask the obvious question - "does it stop when you answer the phone?" What a Life! AlbertThe(very perceptive)Cat.