Friday 24 April 2009

A YouTube moment - if only I'd been there!

We'd been thinking for a while now that Austin's bedroom needed a bit of a makeover. Doubling as a conservatory during the day, it was ok for sitting in if it wasn't too hot, or too cold, or raining. Nighttime it was the perfect place for catnappers and others who come pre-lagged. However, if we didn't want to wake up one morning after one of our rather frequent force 10 gales to a pile of debris and a squashed or missing Austin, then the time had come for an upgrade.

To be fair, Austin had submitted his request for planning permission quite a while back. Our response at the time had been that as it was a grade 2 listed building it couldn't be modified, demolished or rebuilt because it was protected under the Listed Buildings Consent Act which states:

"No person shall execute or cause to be executed any works for the demolition of a listed building or for its alteration or extension in any manner which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest, unless the works are authorised." Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 7 Sub-section 2 Para 9.

Austin was having none of this and countered by arguing that a) the building might well be listed, but if it listed much more he wouldn't be able to hold his head up straight and would get a crick in the neck and b) he is a cat so he could sign the contract and those planning nazis wouldn't want to go to a lot of trouble and needless expense just to try and prove he was a person - which of course they can't, as he is a cat!

There was really no arguing with him and we saw his point to be honest, especially as he'd brought in Tigger as back up nagger.

So we conceded and called in Steve'nSteve the double glazing (geddit?) supremos to replace the plastic leaky grade two listing conservatory for a top of the range upright steel and glass one. The blokies were very proud to tell us that the roof glass was self-cleaning!!? I spent a fantastic five minutes trying to envisage how that would work in practice with pictures of little glass hands popping out with soapy shammy leather all over the roof, until they saw my own double-glazed expression and gently took me to one side to explain how it really worked! Still prefer my way though.

So they came last Thursday week and with a couple of taps of the hammer the pitiful structure crumbled. Austin, who'd appointed himself foreman and general hamperer, for some reason became very agitated, and Tigger, who'd popped by for a chinwag and a mouthful of Go Cat all-in-one, had his eyes out on stalks. You could see the tiny cogs turning in their collective brain cell.

What have we done? It might be dilapidated and ramshackle but it was home! Where're we gonna sleep tonight?

There was obviously a sudden volte-face as Austin rethought the short term sleeping arrangements. All the conservatory furniture was stock piled in the diner bit of the kitchen-diner. This was enhanced at the end of days one and two of the three day make-over with the tools of double-glazed Steve. Actually the three day makeover was really five days as it included a weekend after day two. Hope you're keeping up? As Austin was getting all sweaty and claustrophobic at the thought of where he was going to be confined, I took him to one side and explained that it was only for a night or two, honest! And just think of the palatial bed-sit he was going to get at the end of it and anyway he was the one who instigated it all! He said ok, but looked a bit sceptical and we left it at that.

Night One! He resided in the kitchen. My bedroom is underneath and I was kept awake by Austin's impression of Red Rum winning the Grand National for the third time as he thundered over The Chair, did a wheelie around Canal Turn and plowed through Becher's Brook. Finally at 3:30 his yowling woke the aged parent who let him out into the garden.

Night Two! He was upgraded to the living room. He took his en suite with him and also full English cat breakfast and mini bar. However, this obviously was not quite the luxury to which he wanted to be accustomed, even though he had choice of bed and views to die for. At 2:30 he broke out and started stripping the paintwork off the AP's bedroom door. We are still trying to work out how he managed to open the living room door as the handle's stiff and it opens inwards!! He must have jumped up and swung on it until it gave way! Why am I never around when he does something amazing. All these YouTube clips of cats and other small animals doing funny, cute, intelligent things! What are these owners doing all day that they can be in the right place at the right time with their camcorder on record?? I reckon some people have nothing better to do than sit around videoing their animals, whereas some of us have lives - well not me, but some do I understand.

Night Three! Back in kitchen, let out at 4:00.

Night Four! Kitchen, 4:35.

Night Five! Kitchen, 3:05.

Meanwhile I have a permanent headache brought on by having to endure the constant sound of stampeding buffalo thundering across the prairie. I did dally with the thought of allowing him once again to have the run of the house, but remembered in time that his favourite nocturnal pastime is to negotiate his way to the top of the wardrobe in my bedroom and then leap off with a blood curdling screetch on to the top of my snoring supine self who's doing a very passable impression of a beached whale under the duvet. It's not nice, especially when I get a mouthful of furry tail and the odd claw embedded in my person! So Austin did spend quite a good deal of the night outside, which he doesn't really like as he says the night air plays havoc with his complexion!

Night Six! Well he is now a very happy bunny indeed. Brand new pad with central heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer that is regulated quite easily by closing the window. I gave him the introductory tour, pointing out all the little luxurious extras now included, like the four poster blanket with built in nose warmer, and the top of the range self cleaning en suite commode placed discreetly behind the washing drier! He took his time, that's for sure. He sniffed every nook and cranny and even went outside to inspect the architrave and decorative finials. I think he ticked all the boxes on his mental checklist and is now at the point where he will be able to overlook the privations he suffered the preceeding several (hundred) nights!

Now, apparently, all we've got to do is fork out for some blinds for a bit of privacy!!!


  1. First Comment! WoooooooooooooHoooooo!

    I've been checking at least twice a day for a new post! I'm obviously your biggest fan, or if not the biggest, I'm certainly the tallest!

    Loved the "double glazed" puns/jokes and what not. Thought it was all very spiffing.

    I can't work out how your glass is self-cleaning. They don't even make humans like that at the moment, so how can a sub-lifeform perform (too many forms) such a miricle of cleanlyness?
    Quite extraordinary I must say.
    I imagine you'll be up on the roof dipping Austin in a bucket of water and swilling him around the slippy roof top to gain that extra shine ;)

    Great post as I said before, and I shall say it again, Great post as I said before and I shall say it again, Gre.... hang on a minute! What's going on here then? Oh whateverest, gettit? WOOOP, I can do jokes too!

    Alrighty, I'd better be going... I need to blob out... it's Friday night, what do you expect!

    See you tomorrow,

    Loves, -Davy

  2. LOL @ tallest fan :D Usual remuneration ok??

    Was thinking perhaps we could aspire to being a sub-lifeform, so we'd be self cleaning! Good idea about using Aussy as a shammy tho. Will put it too him!

    CYA later xxx

  3. so enjoyed reading of the latest fun & games at Crink Towers (unless you know better) and what a star that Austin cat is for sure!

    Am intrigued by picture 3 - is that 'thing' in the chair a bubble wrap toy for said cat to get his claws into or a draught excluder? well could be either!

    it's been ages since I've read any of the blog (it's a time thing) but must make sure I make it a regular habit.

    love the pretty garden and there's you pretending to not know a daffy from dilly - so who makes it all look so nice then?

    Maggie x
    oooooer - coming unstuck here - gives me the option to 'select profile' no idea what that means & clicking onto it doesn't help either!

  4. Lol Maggie! Full marks for fighting your way through. It does seem to be rather complicated!

    That "thing" in pic 3 is the pole for opening the window in the roof. It had still to be unwrapped! lol

    The garden was in a state of disarray at the time of the photos. However we have Robin and the two Keiths come to do the heavy stuff like digging up and mowing, oh and painting all the wooden bits. We just potter around trying to dodge the cat poo! x

  5. lol Caro re the pole! how wrong can you be eh? (very obviously)

    what a sensible approach to the garden(ing) think you've made the right decision!

    am still not sure about this 'select profile' bit under this comment box - I seemed to get away with it yesterday by putting my name in the body of the message (so you knew it was me) well I'd done that before I found out it wouldn't go unless I chose to be annony-what-not so working on the view that 'if it aint broke, don't mend it' theory - am doing the same again (tis me Maggie)

    it's a fab morning here again weatherwise, really chilly start, almost a frost I think - hope it's good where you are. Enjoy the day - take it easy!

  6. just used the drop down box name/url
    didnt fill the url in

  7. I want to say
    About time you were published!

  8. Thanks Rosie. I tried that but it wouldn't let me for some reason. Maybe because it already knew me as something else!! Anyway Maggie, give it a go lol. Perhaps if Anonymous Bro pops by, he could try it!!

    Re: publishing I see you can do-it-yourself now at Blackwells in London!

  9. am going to give the drop-down box a try (suggested by Rosie)

    re publishing yourself - a neighbour here has had (now 2) books of her poems published - her son organised it for her and......someone from my Father's side of family, also have published a book (themselves) about that side of our family - my Dad was asked if he'd like to contribute - he refused!! (I didn't know about this till well after he was approached about it)

    right here goes with the drop-down box (will just say it's annony Maggie again btw ;-)

  10. well it's worked - yipppeeeeee!

    thanks Rosie;-)

  11. Well done Maggie!

    I don't think I have the confidence to try and publish myself. Seems too much like hard work! lol Will just continue blogging for now ....

  12. I guess you'll know when the time is right Caro and if you need a bit of persuading - reckon Very Tall Neff & Anonymous Bro might just take you 'gently' by scruff and frog march you towards doing it!

    love your blogging anyway!

  13. Take her by the scruff? Gently or no, she would still scream with laughter and defy the very phrase 'slightly ticklish' with all of her mighty being.

    Scruffer's discression is advised.


  14. Glad we can bring merriment and cheer where-ever we wend our joyous ways :)


  15. isn't that what good friends (and rellies) are for - to help you wend your way thru difficult decisions?

    have this picture in my mind of Caro screaming with laughter (or some other emotion) whilst being led gently (or otherwise) by the scruff with Austin looking on in bewilderment!

  16. I've got a question - do any of you others find you have to submit your 'comment' twice before it will eventually post - or is it just me?

  17. well blow me down (you'd have a job) this last time, it went first time!

  18. LOL Austin looks on with boredom when I'm doing my screaming, mostly!

    Can't answer that Maggie, but it seems to have sorted itself out lol x

  19. I had to send mine twice before now. I expect they've ironed the problem out now though.


    *Actually no, it's said "Your request could not be processed. Please try again"*... flipping Communists

  20. well to be more accurate - that's what it said to me Dave but it boils down to the same thing - you have to have two goes at it!

    Caro, I find it hard to believe the gorgeous Austin would find anything boring, let alone some sort of riotous display from you - he's so Regal - I just love him!

    must get back to the football, might just miss a much looked forward to goal (from Chelsea of course)


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