We went into town for a couple of bits on Saturday morning, and while we were brunching in Leonardos (mot much to see at that site, move along), my phone rang. An unrecognised number, but a Hull one, so I answered it.
“Do you have a little cream cat with three legs?” – dear god, not again, I thought, please let nothing have happened to her. But not, she was hanging around outside a house towards the end of the road, and they were kind enough to phone. I’m sure people do this because she is a three-legged monster, but I’m very glad that they do take the trouble.
I explained that she is a roamer, and asked them please not to let her in, or feed her, and she would lurch home in her own good time, and of course, thanked them for taking the trouble. But, of course, she didn’t lurch home. We didn’t see her for the rest of Saturday, nor overnight, nor on Sunday morning. I went out calling for her in the morning, but no sign. So we went to do the shopping, and I thought I’d give this kind person a call when I got back.
And of course, there she was on the bed, curled up with Ron, looking as baleful as ever. She was very hungry, so Lord knows where she’d been this time. I do wish she wouldn’t do this.
Squib (yes, her again) attempted to scale the bookshelves beside my desk this afternoon (this is after me removing her from the desk literally a dozen times while I attempted to eat my lunch).
This mountaineering exploit didn’t go quite as well as yesterday’s, and in her failing, she brought down various Stuff from the shelves, which landed with some force all over my desk. She hurtled off like a kitten out of hell, and I put everything back. At which point I discovered that the keyboard for my Mac had a number of non-working keys; I fear that the metal tape measure landing on it has rendered it defunct. I disconnected it and sprayed it with switch cleaner, and we shall see.
In the meantime, I shall call into the Apple dealer in Hull tomorrow and get a new one, and dock their pocket money (what pocket money? they cry.
Squib likes to get on the kitchen worktops. She’s been doing this via the kitchen stool (positioned under the ovens, so dead handy for killing the teatowels too), and this morning I moved it, so she couldn’t make the leap from stool to counter.
It was quite entertaining to see her leap on the stool, realise she couldn’t make it, then get down on the floor, and realise she couldn’t make it from there either. Rinse and repeat about ten times.
Then she worked out that if she went via the wicker baskets and the cat bikkit bin, she could come through straight onto the worktop. So she did. Several times. We put her on the floor. We squirted her with water. She was not deterred.
She made a huge effort and managed to claw her way up a cupboard. Then she had another go from the stool. She made a leap for it, and clawed her way up the oven glove, and planted her flag on the top of Mount KitchenCounter, triumphantly.
We do not like her getting on the kitchen worktops. But I don’t see that there’s any way we can prevent it now.
Piranha theme tune: “Don’t Stop Me Now, I’m Having Such a Good Time”.
We got home quite late last night, after seeing Gravity (don’t ask, Pete and I appear to be the only two people in the multiverse who weren’t hugely impressed) and so we were late to bed.
As I snuggled down, I thought “what’s that smell?”. Pete couldn’t detect it at first, but then we discovered that SomeCat had wee’d on the bedspread, just up by where my chin normally goes. We got up, and checked. Through to the duvet cover. Through to the duvet.
I stripped it all off, Pete went and found the spare duvet. Which is horrid. Not king sized, not goose down, not got a pure cotton cover on it. We got back in. We were cold. So I spread my big towelling dressing gown over us.
Bedspread on the line, duvet cover in the washing machine, duvet going to the cleaners later.
Don’t know who it was. Unimpressed. Oh, and SomeCat also took a crap in the shower this morning. Deep joy.
The kits are growing fast, both in size and confidence, and are now bouncing up to the big cats and saying “hello!”. As yet, the big cats are unimpressed, and yet we see some signs of – if not actual mellowing – then tolerance. Already their individual characters are coming out.
Polly is already a catten rather than kitten. She’s remarkably fast to catch flying feathers onnastick, and grumbles in a charming way if anyone goes near her food. In fact, poor old Mussum got a thwack on the nose the other day when he dared to try to eat *his own breakfast*. She reminds us in many ways of our much lamented Moo, a stripy Bengal, who used charm in a sort of thermonuclear way, but had disturbing fishwife tendencies as well.
Sybil (or Squib(ble) as we generally call her) is smaller, and likes to carry things about. She has discovered three of the glittery sponge balls that Ron used to love – deity knows where – and kills them deader at regular opportunities, and then carries them about while chirping rather sweetly. But she’s deadly too.
We had a party in the house at the weekend, and both of the kittens were out and about being admired; we could just pick one up and hand her to someone. Kittens kept purring and handees went “Aw …”. And when my grandson met them for the first time (he had no idea they were here) his face was priceless. We really should have set up a video camera.
They went to see Sarah the vet yesterday for their checkup and first jab. They were as good as gold, but Polly had a bit of a reaction; she’s off her food a bit, and was very quiet indeed last night. Seems to be recovering now, but it gave us a bit of a fright; we’ve never had any of the Tribe react to a vaccination before. So we shall put off applying the flea treatment till tomorrow I think.
Vet: £98 for flea treatment, microchip, vaccinations and checkup
Weight: 1.2kg each
Sybil the Sybarite
Overnight, the kits appear to have reached some sort of milestone. We had a few musician friends round last night, but at the first sound of an accordion Sybil and Polly fled upstairs; unsurprising, as Henry in particular took ages to get used to the sound of Morris tunes played on boxes. Syb did venture down later, though, and charmed her audience.
This morning, I could hear them galumphing around from downstairs. “Ah hah!”, I thought. “The hob nailed boots have arrived”. (These are issued to all kittens at some point, for additional noise making when rushing about). They are now into running at full pelt, climbing anything in sight, removing the laundry from the drying rack, etc.
And to add insult to injury for the Incumbents, this morning the kits followed me downstairs, and helped themselves to the Big Cats’ breakfast. Two bowls of Whiskas, one kitten eating from each, and three somewhat baffled Huge Boys at the other end of the kitchen, wondering just what had happened. I did the kits a bowl of kitten fud, and bore them away upstairs.
In other, slightly worrying, news, No sign of Lilith this morning, and the weather is foul here. No doubt she’s safe and warm somewhere, but it doesn’t stop me panicking slightly …
Or, as we tend to refer to them, the Piranha Sisters (and my word, their teeth are sharp). They arrived last Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013, and have charmed everyone who has come into contact with them since. Apart from the Incumbent Cats who still remain really quite unmoved (understatement). Although, to be fair, only we have seen them, together with one friend and her six year old son, but we are all charmed, trust me.
The names are not, as many have assumed, from Fawlty Towers; they are, like all the Tribe, from Discworld characters. Lady Sybil Ramkin (m Vimes), and Polly Perks from Monstrous Regiment. Sybil is most definitely the leader, although Polly is a tiny bit bigger, and they are progressing by the day, although they look very small to have been eight weeks old last week. But they eat, and they sproing, and have enslaved us.
They’ve been living in our bedroom since they arrived, and the Incumbents have been downstairs, so last night we took the kittens down for the evening. They thought it was all rather fine – Sybil decided that plants were good to eat and Polly, although much more cautious, had a good explore.
This morning, Sybil followed me downstairs for the first time, and attempted to partake of the Big Cats’ breakfast; this didn’t go well, so I bore her back upstairs with a dish of kitten mush.
We’re thrilled at the prospect of the new arrivals, but let us not forget Mustrum, our ancient and venerable Bengal. Born in October 1998, he’s now 15. As the vet said to us, “that’s a good age for a Bengal”, thus implying he wouldn’t be with us for too much longer.
He’s losing weight, has hardly any teeth (and those he has could do with attention, but the vet doesn’t want to do a general anaesthetic on him), and his elite jumping skills are not what they were. He spent pretty much all summer out on the shed roof, basking in the sun, and now that the box of warmz is being lit of an evening, he’s quite happy in front of it.
We’ll miss him, and his extraordinary vocal range, so much – but he’s led a full and interesting life, involving blue coloured alcoholic drinks, and ASBOs, and sideways baseball caps :), We just hope we’ll have him a lot longer than everyone expects. Perhaps the Piranha Sisters will give him a new lease of life …
Just got an e-mail from SureFlap about this – I’ve been waiting with baited breath for this to come out.
We had a microchip flap fitted in the front door when it was replaced a year ago, but it does in-only. This new one is both ways, which I would hope might keep the Piranha Sisters in the house (ho ho).
Have just mailed them to ensure that the fittings are the same, so that (in theory) the current one could be easily* removed, and the new one fitted.
*Probably for quite small values of easily.
Meanwhile, we are preparing for the little darlings’ arrival. This weekend, I shall be attempting to make the house if not kittenproof (because what is?) but at least with fewer places for them to hide, or hurt themselves. Or us.