Sunday, 30 March 2008

One person cat!

It has been brought to my attention that Austin is most definitely a one family cat. To be more precise a one person cat. He has to know where I am at any given moment and if by some awful act of forgetfulness on my part I wander into another part of the house, I hear him doing his herd of "stampeding wildebeest thundering across the plains of the serengeti" impression from wherever he is upstairs, all the way down the stairs, hurling himself at my closed door. Having weakened and let him in I get the full range of his vocal disapproval as he recites his complaint. 

This morning I also realised that he will do "outside" for a lot longer if I go out also and hold his paw. Trouble is this morning it was 5.30 in real time (as the hour went forward!) It was cold. After a certain amount of discussion on the doorstep we came to an agreement that he would nip off into the fucshia and do his business and then come back and let me change out of my winceyette at a more leisurely pace. It was still cold at 7.30, but the view over Snowdonia as I mooched about in the dew was breathtaking.

Friday, 28 March 2008


Previously I alluded to the fact that we've been introducing Austin slowly to “outside”. His first attempt ended abruptly when a big scary blackbird made specist threats. The second time he was obviously feeling rather more brave as I had to intervene to save a huge ginger tom (who still had all his bits!) from furry annihilation. Austin was impossible after that, strutting around the place like he owned it (well he does!), but then he decided that for the time being "outside" was not really his cup of tea!

Then, all of a sudden he decided he must perform his ablutions and have his private moments al fresco! Perhaps he's got fed up with listening to me huffing and puffing as I cleaned out the litter tray every day. I must say he is a bit overly fastidious regarding his personal habits - and that's fine by me. Anyway now he ventures outside in the morning (for about 5 minutes) and evening (after dark), but only after checking the area for huge ginger toms and other gangs of marauding hordes. He won't touch the litter tray now as he considers it's for kids and the incontinent. So even if it's been 10 hours and his legs are crossed and it's raining up a storm outside, he minces off into the fuchsia where relief ensues.

He might be a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to Big Ginge and his gang, but obviously this fear does not extend to heights. Wonky hip not withstanding, he can certainly get around. The other evening the security light came on outside. I casually glanced out of the window to see him prancing along the ridge of the neighbour’s roof! I made the mistake of calling him, and there followed a cartoon moment as he looked up, made as if to come to me and slipped. The ensuing claw on tile scrabbling sound gave me a moment of extreme emotion as his life flashed before my eyes. I made a tactical withdrawal and when he eventually returned I told him he would have his disability benefits stopped if the department of works and pensions ever found out.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

DVD remote changer!

I've managed to train Austin to change the DVD - makes life more difficult despite his best efforts to accommodate my viewing requirements. I'm sitting there enjoying my 99th viewing of Sleepless in Seattle, nip off to make a cuppa and return to find it's mysteriously changed to Born Free.

Now I could be a bit slow on the uptake, but could this be a message? You see we’ve tried doing “outside” and he wasn’t very keen to be honest, not since a run in with "Big Ginge". Ginge is the leader of the local gang of delinquent toms who are into all kinds of illegal activities, drugs (catnip is a class A drug), sex, and digging up the lawn. Anyway, more about “outside” later!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

How to successfully give your cat a pill

Materials needed for the above operation

one hammer and 4 nails
one head clamp
two medium size sticks
one industrial size cat-apault
one large pill

1) first nail cat to floor, one nail in each paw and gently place cat's head in clamp
2) set up cat-apault at other end of room
3) wedge mouth open with sticks - one each side
4) place pill in elastic bit of cat-apault
5) and aim carefully at gape
6) retreat and get your mother to fire the shot

Please, before anyone calls the RSPCA, police and swat team, it was a doddle. He spat it out the first time. The second time I’m sure I heard the klunk as it went down! Anyway I followed him around for a bit to see if he stuck his paw down his throat ....

Catnip junkie!!

My name is Austin and I'm a catnip junkie!!
I can't go on anymore. I have tried to beat this on my own for ... oh .... as long as 5 minutes! I realised I had a problem when I found myself ripping up the carpet in the corner by the tallboy!
Those around me are hurling all kinds of threats and I am in despair, and now know that I need help to overcome this terrible addiction.

I promise to participate in the 12 step program and to pray to my god for help every day. I have tried cold turkey, but it wasn't a success - my body slave and snivelling menial had just put it in her mouth with some piccalilli, ewwwwww. Still got the scars from that one!

My head is twice the size it was and I have bad breath and tooth decay and bloody paws, and what's more I have developed an irresistable yearning for Fiona Bruce - the shameless hussy - who seduces me every day from the corner of the room promising such tantalising allurements as government clampdowns and economic upsurges - then poof .... she's gone. It doesn't matter how many times I climb through the wires behind that rectangle moving picture thingy and sit on that slidey bit which pops in and out at the front (such a convenient place to park ones bum while disembowelling a chris ..... chrisanf ...... flower), she has obviously moved on to some other poor s*d who can offer more than just a decomposed hairball and a wonky hip.

I throw myself on the mercy of the court!

The Twelve days of "Cat-mas"

On the twelfth day of cat-mas Austin gave to me:
12 fleas a jumping
11 scratches bleeding
10 books a tumbling
9 lives a losing
8 poos a stinking
7 bites a throbbing
6 furry cuddles
5 plaintive miaows
4 dirty paws
3 raspy licks
2 furtive looks
and a smashed up vase in the conservatory

Life with Austin week 2

Am a bit fed up with black fur everywhere, especially in my white bed, so have decided to stop hoovering the bed and start hoovering the cat. It will definitely save time in the long run! I've told him and he seems quite cool about it. I said he was to look at it as a form of extreme grooming.

Anyone who thinks that expensive toys are necessary to entertain animals, think again. A brown paper bag and a piece of string! Sorted.

Oh and "NEWS ALERT" it seems that he is of a literary bent, as he disappeared for a good while this morning. Eventually, following the sounds of kittenish huffing and puffing, I found him in a box of discarded paperbacks under the stairs. Although have to say it wasn't Shakespeare or Chaucer he had his nose in, it was Murder in the Museum by Simon Brett. I told him he would go blind trying to read in the dark and gave him a torch.

Laser toys and miscellaneous ramblings

Have got one of those laser toys, it's brill. Only problem is the cat seems to have acquired a nervous twitch - pavlov's cat syndrome! It's great though because you don't have to move from your chair. My favourite is to see how far up Mother's frock he can get without her noticing.

That reminds me! I locked my poor mother in the car while nipping into the post office to queue
for stamps (everyone moves in slow motion in Welsh in this village - like a time warp). A car alarm went off and I ignored it thinking "what the turkinall??!!" Anyway everyone was looking out every available window/door, so I joined them only to see some old lady jumping up and down inside a car with the alarms going and the lights flashing!! Mutter, mutter who could be soooo dashed inconsiderate???? Flippineck! It was my car and my old lady! I tried to do a good impression of an unconcerned innocent bystander, but unfortunately a neighbour was in the shop and gave me a sharp prod, saying "ain't that your car?" Oooops. Exit with burning ears and no stamps .......

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Life with Austin - first week

He settled in pretty well. We were told to introduce him slowly to the environment and people. Well, that went by the board. Apart from upchucking noisily in the corner of the bedroom, he made himself right at home from the outset.

So what have we learnt from this first week with Austin? Here is some important and timely advice for any aspiring cat owners:

1) don't leave anything dangling, not anything!
2) either send him on a computer course or don't let him anywhere near the laptop when online on ebay or amazon! If you do you will end up with deliveries every hour of the day of large unwieldy objects and an empty bank account!
3) don't answer him back in funny voice
4) Let him read the sports pages only of the Daily Telegraph - I think he has strong political leanings as he chewed David Cameron and licked Gordon Brown.
5) Teach him that a fight to the death with elderly mother's pinny (with elderly mother in it) is acceptable but a fight to the death with a geranium is not.
6) always check washing machine before closing the door and turning it on
7) the lump in the duvet should not be jumped on and beaten down
8) not good idea to tap fingers, wiggle toes or, indeed, to move any sticky-out body part whatsoever!

9) explain that pelmets, however attractive, do not need to be inspected for dust from above!

and finally the lesson learnt this week:
10) jumping onto shade of the standard lamp from the top of the piano leads to a severe talking to and permanent revoking of all playtime privileges.

Notes for future reference:
Teach him how to rehang curtains.
Implement health and safety regulations with regards to sleeping inside pillow case complete with pillow in it and my head on it!

Sunday, 23 March 2008

In the beginning!

Well what can I say? It was a damp, dark October day in 2007 that I accidentally picked up this young fellow from the RSPCA rescue centre in Colwyn. I say “accidentally” because I went there to get a dog! However, all they had there at the time were 7 dalmatians and a suspect pit bull terrier cross. Crossed with what? I have no idea - and that is a cul de sac I will not venture down.

On the way out I popped into the cat section and that was my first mistake. One couldn’t fail to notice this little tuxie. He was making a big fuss trying to climb up the glass cage thingy that was his jail. “Ahhhhh he senses my feline empathy” I thought and that was my second mistake! All he wanted, it transpired, was to head straight out the door and up the A55 to 
Rhyl, Chester and all points east!

It seems that Austin was a stray found a few weeks before, injured a
nd keeping warm inside a car engine - hence the name! Yep, he’s named after a car, not the place in Texas.

We don't know what traumas he suffered, except that one of his back legs was badly broken. Whether someone tried to start the car I don't know! Good news is he’s mended very well, except for a "bumpy" hip. We were told he would make a good indoor cat because he would probably be lacking in the necessary agility needed to make it in the big outdoors. Yeah right!

It took a few days to close the deal, but soon I was able to bring him home and that was how it all began.