Wednesday 28 January 2009

Vertigo and Polystyrene Balls!

After over a year of trying to pluck up courage, Austin has now managed to take a leap of faith on to the top of the high bookcase! This is how he does it:

It's become a bit of an evening ritual, and I must say that it really cuts down on the need to dust and hoover! What with him hiding in every available dark and dusty corner down below to try and avoid being medicated and then enthusiastically dismembering cobwebs up above, he is a real little mother's helper! And all this furry duster needs is the odd fish head and ritual chin tickling to keep him happy. Much cheaper and less fraught than any human alternative :-}

This morning I heard Ma absolutely shrieking with laughter upstairs - in fact I thought it was hysterics!! Somewhat trepidatiously I ascended the stairs into the living room, only to find myself treading in about 500 zillion polystyrene balls! It seems that my aged parent was trying to take the cover off a bean bag to wash it without finding out whether there was an inner cover. Hence the sea of little balls. Well Austin was ecstatic. He thought it was Christmas all over again. I'm sure he ate a few thousand before I whisked him off the floor to de-ball his paws.

Parenthesis - We've had an incident with these things before, only it was slightly more embarrassing. I was hoovering them off the walls of the garage when the man came from the "Lectric" to read the metre. Now as the garage has been totally taken over by the junior members who are building a train set on a ping pong table AND there were lots of rubbish and little polystyrene balls everywhere because of a burst poof, I had to lend the poor guy a pair of binoculars so he could see the numbers on the metre. It was also a very hot day, so he was in his shorts and was sporting a towel round his neck AND we had to close the door because of the cat! It was an impossible situation. The binoculars were too strong (well I use them for bird watching) the metres were too inaccessible, so in the end one of us (I forget which because I'm still really in denial about it) had to crawl under the ping pong table through the miscellaneous melange to wedge their head up the side of the metre and shout out the numbers to the other. By the time this was done we were getting quite intimate - by "initmate" I mean we were on first name terms and falling about laughing! Funny thing was, when he left he said "Thanks for the therapy"! I've no idea what he meant? Anyway, I digress.

Today our resident furry duster had reached saturation point with the little polystyrene balls, so after hoovering up the excess I tried to hoover him. It wasn't entirely successful. So if any of my neighbours weaving their way back from the pub come across a tuxedo cat that looks like it's got impetigo, it's mine! And keep clear because it IS catching.

Monday 26 January 2009

It's that time again!

Every so often the earth, moon and sun manage to get themselves all lined up in a row and scientists closely monitor the event to determine the likelihood of tsunami-like sea conditions ensuing. Apparently the gravitational pull of both the moon and the sun at the same time causes some cosmic aggravation here on terra not-so-firma, especially when there are storms brewing.

Well, in this household we had a similar cosmic occurrence when Austin's de-worming and de-fleaing administration coincided! The tooth and claw alignment brought about by the convergence of these two events caused some rather bloody gravitational pull on my skin - I suppose you could call it "terror derma"! Whatever! There was one heck of a storm! Usually the dirty deeds are done about a month apart, but for some reason (maybe because it's winter and parasite activity on furry hosts is virtually non-existent), we'd let it slide. Anyway I thought to get it over and done with in one go and thus only have to deal with the nuclear fallout once instead of running the gamut of his displeasure on two separate occasions. "Once" might possibly be understood as an error of judgement, but "twice" could be construed as habitual abuse.

We've got the pill popping down to a fine art - see "How to successfully give your cat a pill", although we have dispensed with the hammer, nails and head clamp, as being surplus to requirements. The two sticks and cat-apault are still necessary for a successful outcome though, and these were utilised to great effect, so much so that the usual coughing, wretching and sticking his paw down his throat was completely unnecessary as the pill was already doing the business down in his hindmost part. The flea thing though is another matter completely. You'd think WW3 had just been announced. It doesn't matter how I disguise it, HE KNOWS! The evil concoction is kept in the drawer of the table on the landing along with loads of other stuff like candles, batteries, candles, plastic rain hats, candles, dud biros, and all those other things you feel that one day might "come in".

Anyway on this occasion I approached the drawer with a duster, a can of furniture polish and a certain nonchalance, on the pretext of doing some light dusting. He was not remotely deceived because I never do any housework to speak of unless we've got people coming, and as he knew my diary was devoid of any social engagements - well only the double glazing man, and as our social intimacy only extends to a couple of polite telephone calls, he didn't count - there was obviously chicanery afoot! I opened the drawer as if on a whim, rummaged around in the detritus waving the duster like a magician's handkerchief and undercover of all the flapping and waving slipped the ampule in my pocket. None of this duped Austin, of course, who glared at my pocket and shot off into a dark corner. I retired temporarily. Eventually he would have to come out to eat.

Much later just as I was considering going to bed, he emerged from the darkness and made a run for the kitchen. Gotcha! With military precision Ma and I got him cornered, whipped him up onto the table, divided the fur around his nape, broke the ampule and rammed the contents roughly in the right area. Sorted? Well almost. He turned his head to take a chomp of my hand, didn't he!! I guess at least he will be free of fleas and mites in his left ear - and I definitely won't be receiving any unwelcome attention from fleas, mites or any other microscopic insects for the foreseeable future, as most of the rest of it went on me anyway!

Austin grumbled alot for the next day or so and slunk around trying hard to look victimised (but only when he thought I was looking), and every time I approached him he flinched! Now that really hurt. I hope he never learns how to use the phone, because I'm not sure how I'd explain any of this to the RSPCA or Social Services, or whoever it is he decides to call!! It is an advantage that his short term memory is suspect, though, because as soon as the requisite number of hours had passed, he was back in his most favourite place in all the world - my lap :>)

Thursday 8 January 2009

The Thought Process

I've just finished reading The Diary of a Provincial Lady by E. M. Delafield. Never read it before. Find myself adopting similar style vocally as well as literarily. Minimal use of the first and third person pronoun, liberal spattering of french phrases en fait and words like "recrudesce" that send me rushing to the Oxford Concise. Set me off thinking. But it didn't last long as thinking is far too overrated, don't you think? But then it says in my profile that I'm an "avid collector of thoughts", so maybe I should start categorising them and keeping a record of thoughts already thunk, so I don't make a mistake and accidentally end up with the same thought twice! I suppose if I did I could do "swopsies" like we used to at school with beads and sweet cigarette cards.
But then, what if a thought that's already out there becomes secondary, you know not a main thought, but subsidiary, due to a cultural change or a seismic shift in the postmodern thought nexus? I suppose thats why second thoughts have come into their own in recent millennia! However, there are some who say that second thoughts are better than primary thoughts. To those people I would say "think on". If that is the case then third, fourth and fifth thoughts should be eminently superior and so on and so forth. But hold hard! I am here to make a stand for first thoughts.

There is nothing on this earth quite like a thought in it's most primitive and crude form. The embryonic concept, the incipient abstraction, the inchoate notion. Will it be brought to birth without defect? Will the flame of originality allow it to develop and come to fruition unblemished within the cranial academic matrix? Of course if one is in two minds, one can multitask and accommodate both the first and second thought concurrently. This will save time and allow the thinker to go about his or her daily business more or less unhindered by the unwanted and unnecessary third, fourth and fifth suppositions encroaching on the occupied territory. However, the schizophrenic nature of this exercise could lead to conceptual burn out. So on the whole, and with much singular reflection, I have decided to adhere to the perfectly formed and untarnished original thought, in all it's unrefined, prototypical state. This is because, when all is said and done, it is the thought that counts.

PS There is no doubt that my cat Austin indulges in some extreme thinking on occasion. But regarding which cat (Austin or Tigger) comes in at night, I have decided, after several rather fraught encounters on the door step at midnight, that as long as one cat comes in, I don't really care which it is. It is first come, first served from now on in this house!

Friday 2 January 2009

Merry Christmas Austin!!

Ok, well this is an edited version of what about 2½ of you saw before! This is the young hero opening his Christmas present. We can see that it is causing him much enjoyment and drooling and general ecstasy. It is obviously something that can't be bought over the counter!

I wish to thank my nephew, Tarvi B deMille for his invaluable help in the production of this epic :>)