Thursday, 28 June 2012

Brittney goes visiting

My friend Carol asked for a story about her cat visiting his ‘adopted cousins’ in England so this is a whimsy about what they might say and do. He is to be found on well worth a visit

Brittney had been waiting a long time to visit Biff, Jasper, Worrals and Rebel in England. He was sad that Merlin would no longer be there, but he was looking forward to meeting the others! He was sure it would be very different to Las Vegas!

The four English cats were also looking forward to it; the girls eagerly, because Cousin Brittney had written on the computer how much he admired them, Jasper with interest and only a little bit of trepidation such as he felt about all new things; and Biff with some wariness, for Brittney was older than he was, and might want to take charge!

When Brittney was let out of his carrier by his mommy – the English cats knew American cats had mommies not mummies and that he would mew with an accent – Worrals kindly showed him all the litter boxes so he could make himself comfortable.
“Of course sometimes we do a wee outside,” she said, “but if the ground is damp, we like to come in and use our tray. Except Biff; he ALWAYS does EVERYTHING outside, except at night. It’s not safe to be out at night so we stay in when it’s dark.”
“I’ve never been outside!” said Brittney. “Gee-miaow, I think I’m scared and excited! Don’t you have coyotes and packs of feral dogs and wicked SPCA people who steal cats for the pound, even when they have collars on?”
“Gosh, Brittney, we don’t have any of those things!” said Worrals, her eyes wide in horror. “We have to stay off the road because of bad wicked cars, but when you see them every day, you know they are BAD and the noise is scary. Merlin thought he could handle them” she added sadly.
“Well the one that chased him was a feral one and it was going too fast” said Rebel. “Come outside and climb trees, Brittney!”
“Meow! What fun!” said Brittney. “I don’t know anything about outside!”
“Permit us to show you around” said Biff, condescendingly, greatly relieved that he had a good start on Brittney. “And little Worrals, don’t do what you did the other day and go running so far up the tree in your game of tag with Rebel that you need mummy and daddy to rescue you.”
“I was very young, then,” said Worrals quickly, “At least a week younger than I am now!”
Biff gave a superior smirk,
“Come and see our purrgola” said Jasper. “It’s for purring in. It has three seats, and mummy says at a pinch you can squeeze nine humans in if they’re very friendly, so it’s a nice size for three cats.”

Brittney looked about the big garden, there was a yard in the L-shape of the house where washing lines were hung with washing, too high to jump and swing on, he thought wistfully, and up the hill behind the house was the garden, with old mossy steps to get up, and just convenient at the top of one, a greenhouse.
“I like to sleep in the greenhouse” said Jasper. “Mummy put me down a carpet specially to sleep on. It’s my square of carpet. But you may use it” he added hastily.
“Meow, I want to see all the garden!” said Brittney, bounding up the steps. There was a meadow of flowers and grasses at the top, much of it in dappled shade from the trees arranged just so.
“You can always find shade if you want it, or dappled shade, or a sun puddle” said Rebel. “Really our humans are moderately intelligent; you’d almost think they were cats!”
“And where is the purrgola?” asked Brittney.
“This way!” Worrals ran along a path of stones with grass and low growing plants between them. Three benches made three sides of a square, and four posts grew out of the ground. There was a pile of timber.
“Mummy and daddy are rebuilding it” said Biff. “The old roof came in with snow; too many plants made it too heavy. This one won’t be as fancy but it will be easier to climb on and bask in the last rays of sun in winter, as an alternative to the asphalt on the shed roof.”
“So many SMELLS out here!” gasped Brittney. “So many flowers, and green smells and oooooo NIP!” he ran to the patch of nepeta and rolled ecstatically, chewing on the leaves.
The others decided to join him. Then they decided that five cats could just about fit into the purrgola if Worrals and Rebel shared a seat, and Jasper politely invited Brittney to share a seat with him. Biff took his place in the middle of his seat and nobody expected him to share.
“Oh I AM going to like staying in England!” said Brittney.
“The only problem is the sudden showers,” said Jasper, “and there’s a big cloud…”
The first drops of plashing rain fell upon the cats.
“Oh! Oh! The roof of Outside is leaking!” cried Brittney.
Mummy and Mommy both came to the back door to call, and five damp cats ran in! There were fluffy towels to dry them on, which Biff moaned about as undignified but everyone else rather enjoyed.
By the time they had been dried and eaten some tuna, it was sunny again.
“Oh yes” said Brittney, “I DO like England; even though the roof leaks.”

Chipin please if you can

Friday, 15 June 2012

Last pics of Merlin

I finally had the courage to unload the camera.  I'm sorry there's nothing of Merlin in motion, the problem with Merlin in motion is that I'd grab the camera in time to say 'that's Merlin that was'  - our quicksilver little boy was to active to be readily caught unless he had hurled himself into a sleeping or washing position.  Everything Merlin did was with verve and elan; and  every motion was with every fibre of his being.  He would arrrive on my chest with a a loud PURRRRRumph as he cast himself at me, kissing me on the way to rolling around helping with whatever I was writing by seeing how many buttons he could press with his whole exuberant little body.  This is why I have chosen to dedicate 'William Price of the Thrush' to him as well as to my husband, because he helped, you know.  He did no end of interesting things to the text. Here he is reaching up to pat at me to tell me to take more notice of a grey plush tummy than of that silly keyboard.

Biff may not mourn Merlin as much as the others, but they were becoming reconciled to each other [Merlin isn't really so much bigger than Biff, it's an effect of wide angle.  The size difference was very little]

Finally one where I was trying to work around four cats helping me; Merlin had seconds before been sitting on my head and had decided that my feet were more comfortable. Prior to that he had been right below Jasper which is why Jasper perched rather high, and hasn't here got around to moving.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

RIP Merlin

There's no way of breaking this gently to Merlin's many fans - he has just been run over.  Death was instant. 
In the most quiet time on the quietest day of the week on the road. 
I would not, however, ever change my mind about letting our cats roam outside, Merlin loved his wide range to hunt in. 
I am devastated and so is Simon, who is in bits. I don't think we'll be very sociable for a while. We had hoped to grow old with him as with all the kitties.