Monday, 30 April 2012

30/4/12 A Crude Awakening

I was woken up this morning at 6.00 a.m by the sound of scrabbling and a sudden loud thud. Sitting bolt upright I jammed on my glasses and peered across the room. My inquisitive cat had been exploring on top of the TV again.... but this time had made the giant leap right onto the top of the wardrobe!

"Bubbles!" I said in surprise. I hadn't realised she could actually get onto the wardrobe! But then, knowing her determination, I should have guessed that once she has the idea to do something, she will find a way, as she is  a very determined little cat indeed!

So, of course, "what goes up must come down" (in the very wise words of Winnie the Pooh and friends in the Hundred Acre Wood) so I clambered out of bed to offer some assistance.

Bubbles was, of course, in no hurry to come down - having just got up there! She wagged her tail, blowing a pile of dust and fluff into my face, then proceeded to eat large pieces of dust fluff. Mortified at the dusty state of the wardrobe I rushed for a duster and dusted around the rather large furry ornament, who was watching me with great interest.

Now I am not tall and the wardrobe is very high so I was not quite sure how to approach the situation. Bubbles had a good sniff round and checked out her tub of treats (stupidly still left up there by me!) I whisked the treat tub off into a cupboard and grabbed the washing basket. Now this may seem a funny thing to do but I know Bubbles absolutely loves riding round in this! She often leaps into it, waiting for me to lift the box up high and carry her around the house! She must feel like she is flying and gets a good view through the slatted sides, also adding to the fun!

So, at 6.00 a.m I was standing, now wide awake with the washing basket held high above my head, for rather longer than was actually comfortable. Bubbles, of course, eyed this up with interest and popped a paw in. "Oh yessss!" I thought to myself. Bubbles then promptly removed her paw and touched my hand in an interested kind of way as if to say "What you doin?" I stood for probably about ten minutes. Realising my arms were then about to drop off I abandoned the washing basket, stood on tiptoes and quick as a flash grabbed the cat before she could realise what I was up to. I yanked her forwards and plopped her down onto the bed in a rather unceremonious fashion. I received a very disapproving glance as Bubbles haughtily left the room, to preen herself carefully on the landing.

Quickly I jumped back into bed but was by this time wide awake. Suddenly.... a gentle thud on the quilt, a friendly furry face and a warm "Miaow!" Bubbles jumped up on the bed, snuggled down, curled up tightly and fell fast asleep. Her early morning adventures must have been exhausting!

29/4/12 Wind & Rain

Today it has absolutely bucketed down, with the wind howling a terrible gale and whistling / shrieking through all the door and window seals. I had to make a mad dash out briefly; well wrapped up in my cagoule.

Bubbles was unimpressed at the weather; swishing her tail from her high vantage point on top of her activity centre. Here she could clearly see the rain beating on the windows and feel the wind whistling through the cracks. The odd wistful "Miaow" alerted me to the fact that she would love to go out to play but we both knew that she would not, in reality, actually want to set foot (or paw) outside the back door.

We both hope that the end of April also means the end of the supposed April showers. Hopefully May will bring some sunshine!

28/4/12 Helpful Cat

Today, Bubbles was in an extremely helpful mood.... or not as the case may be!

I was feeling particularly tired and not really "with it" this morning, tramping around the bedroom making the bed in a half asleep state. Bubbles, however, was in a very excitable, lively mood and decided to play a game with me. The only problem being that she forgot to inform ME of this! So there I was, tripping around the room with BARE LEGS, when a fiendish black bullet shot out from under the bed, gave me a quick slap and darted into a different room before I really knew what was happening! "Bubbles!" I remonstrated crossly, inspecting my leg for blood then continuing with the bed making.

Suddenly, just as I was lifting up the quilt cover, a little black cat raced out from underneath it! Obviously she has the gift of stealth as she had crept back into the room, unbeknown to me, ready to lie in wait to surprise me! She raced out from under the quilt cover, right in front of me, tripping me up. I fell forwards half grabbing at the bed, landing in a rather ungainly position. I couldn't help laughing!

Later.... with the bed finally made and the washing hung beautifully on the clothes horse I gasped in horror as I discovered the quilt half hanging off the bed with large mounds sticking up where SOMEONE had been tunneling and my perfectly hung washing all askew with socks dangling off, a t-shirt on the floor and a rather cheeky cat's face peering out from amongst the remaining clothes. "Cheeky!" I said, giving her fur a ruffle to match my ruffled laundry! "Oh well...." I said, realising my tidying was in vain. "Might as well have a cup of tea!"

27/4/12 Swallows & Amazons Forever!

Wow! What a fantastic night. My Mum and I have been to the theatre to see the stage production of Swallows and Amazons. The show was a wonderfully accurate portrayal of the Arthur Ransome book; which has been a firm favourite of mine since childhood.

Many a day of my youth did I spend in the back garden pretending to be camping out on Wildcat Island - in my parents' ancient white canvas tent, imagining that my skateboard was the good ship Swallow (but don't tell anyone 'cos now I'm a grown up!)


The characters were portrayed with stunning accuracy in the show and their personalities really shone through. Let's just say that the whole performance really took me back to my childhood; as I arrived home wanting to "be" an Amazon pirate!

Bubbles has decided she would make an outstanding ship's cat. She could keep lookout in the bow of the ship; earning her keep by catching fish with her paws for our supper.  The only foreseeable problem with my pirate plan, however, is that camping could be a bit of an issue because Bubbles is scared of our tent!

Now I realise this is a rather unusual fear but Bubbles, however, believes the tent is truly terrifying! On a test run of our modern tent in the garden one summer, Bubbles was most disturbed by the mountainous imposter looming in the garden. She did NOT like the flapping sound it made or the new plasticy smell it gave off and decided this was some sort of hideous creature to be avoided at all costs (resulting in a VERY big tail; all puffed up in fierce defiance of the garden monster!) Needless to say she was not allowed to peruse inside the tent unsupervised, in case a pair of sharp claws decided to shred the fabric. Not that she wanted to go anywhere near it; legging it back into the house where she could stare out of the window at it from a very safe distance.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

26/4/12 Inspection

Today was our annual gas boiler check which involved a workman visiting the house to carry out the inspections. This, in itself caused great excitement for Bubbles! Bubbles loves workmen because workmen mean a whole array of exciting smells, noises and.... A toolbox!

Now, being a rather nosy cat, Bubbles loves to delve into toolboxes which hold all manner of strange, shiny, funny smelling objects that rattle and clank whenever they are picked up. Being also a very helpful cat on these matters, Bubbles likes to ensure she is able to inspect and supervise the selection and use of tools from the toolbox!
On the arrival of the workman, as quick as a flash, chief inspector Bubbles was on the case; checking out, sniffing and generally lurking around the tool box! Soon, the tools were in use, performing the task of removing the boiler cover, which was then placed on the kitchen floor! Bubbles raced out of the kitchen at the sight of the giant metal fiend being taken from the wall! She peered nervously through the bannister. Realising the enemy was unmoving, she felt braver, thrusting her head right through the bannister posts so she could continue to supervise from the distant safety of the stairs!

25/4/12 The Vets

This morning, Bubbles lip did seem more swollen so, although she seems fine in herself, I decided to take her to the vets to get her lip examined. Now, we all know that animals are often not very "keen" on visits to the vets but Bubbles seems to take this unkeenness to a whole, wild, new level.  She transforms from a calm, placid, relaxed, gentle creature to a wild animal kicking, scratching, hissing and trying to bite. It is most unpleasant for all concerned, especially I am sure, her.

It is a two person operation to capture and insert her into the travel cat carrier as she manages to splay arms and legs out as wide as possible to make sure we have a near impossible task to fit her through the opening. Yesterday's procedures involved me receiving a slashed hand and banging my head on the wall in my effort to get her in the carrier!

At the vets she was most unhappy to receive an injection and glared at the vet ominously when he dared to look at her, hissing just to make sure we could all see her very sharp, pointed teeth! Injection complete, she was bundled back into the box, lid securely fastened and off we went!

On our journey home we could feel the tension lift as Bubbles reverted back to her laid back, happy self, enjoying a mad game of charging round the house "Miaowing" as loud as she could, as soon as we got home!

24/4/12 Sore Lip

Today's blogpost title refers to the fact Bubbles has a slightly swollen lip; not that someone has given me a "sore lip!" Every now and then she gets a swelling on her lip which needs a steroid injection to calm it down again.

She seems fine in herself, bouncing around demanding to play (at bedtime!) I, however, am feeling slightly less energetic with sore feet after my exam trek yesterday, oh, and a sore brain also, resulting in a VERY embarrassing moment when someone asked me a question today, which I couldn't answer because I had been day dreaming, thinking about my exam instead. A Very red faced moment!

Let's hope I am a bit more awake tomorrow!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

23/4/12 Late!

To my readers... I am sorry for the lateness of yesterday's blog update! Yesterday, was exam day, involving me taking a two hour journey, sitting a three hour exam, then making the two hour journey home again. On my return home I was fit for nothing but bed!

My tiredness was possibly not helped by the fact that, at 5.30 a.m Bubbles decided to play a very noisy new game involving entering the wardrobe! Goodness knows why the fascination with the wardrobe at that hour? But I'm afraid I resorted to pure, unashamed blackmail to retrieve my cheeky pussy cat, who came bounding out greedily at the sound of her"chicken and cheese" treats being shaken! I, on the other hand, stood grumbling, whilst refolding clothes at a VERY unsociable hour!

Later.... on my return from the exam I was greeted by a Basil Brush style tail, twitchy ears and a daft look as Bubbles weaved in and out of the bannister posts and performed forward rolls on the carpet! How could I ever have been cross with her at 5.30 a.m, when my homecoming was celebrated with such a lovely greeting!   

Just a quick note to my fellow exam takers (you know who you are) I hope it went well!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

22/4/12 On TV

Today, Bubbles has mostly been.... On TV! Yes, quite literally standing on top of it! I had no idea why, other than the suspicion that she was practicing walking the trapeze ready for an audition for Cirque du Soleil, her little toes gripping the top of the TV so tightly as she balanced precariously walking back and forth!

However, it suddenly occurred to me, given the shifty, excited glances up to the top of the wardrobe, that Bubbles had a sneaky motive for her new balancing act. She had spotted the treat tub on top of the wardrobe and was planning her mission to dislodge them with a Zebedee style upward leap and a swift swipe of her paw.

Knowing her previous success at sneaky treat manoeuvres (an incident involving me multitasking unsuccessfully) when I was holding too many things at once and ended up dropping a full tub of Whiskas Chicken and Cheese treats on the floor; lid off!

Bubbles' eyes were like dinner plates as she dived forward to devour as many as possible before I spoilt all her fun by picking them up!

I wonder if any readers have any funny or amusing stories about their cats' sneaky attempts to steal treats? If so, please post in the comments section for us to share. I bet there are many entertaining tails to tell....

Saturday, 21 April 2012

21/4/12 The Dandelion

I am smelling a dandelion.
I smell it because I like it.
People say dandelions don't smell good.
I say they do.
Come, smell a dandelion with me.

Gallico, P. (1973) Honourable Cat, London, William Heinemann Ltd., p. 68

Bubbles has really enjoyed going outside today to eat grass and sniff dandelions in the garden. She was soooooooo excited to be going out after days of rain had confined her indoors.

The April showers were kinder today and afforded us a glimpse of blue sky (for all of five minutes!) However, later.... the heavens reopened and the rain came down. TORRENTIAL!

Bubbles was paying no attention to this for she had spied me at the washing machine. She miaowed excitedly at the sight of me armed with the wet washing basket (to be hung on the clothes horse not the washing line) and rushed to the back door miaowing "Pleeeeze let me out! Miaowwww!" I hadn't the heart to refuse her so opened the door in order for her to decide for herself that the garden was out of bounds!

"Hmmmm" she pondered sniffing the wet air and sticking her head out slightly. She turned round, looked at me then came back into the room. I closed the door and she immediately rushed back to it, nose pressed against the crack. "Ok you can look again!" I crooned, opening it wide. She stuck her head out once more, looked around, then withdrew her head, gave me a courteous look which plainly said "No thanks, not today!" then disappeared upstairs for a well earned rest!

Friday, 20 April 2012

20/4/12 Scratching Post: Part 1

Today, we have been on a mission.... to buy Bubbles a new scratching post. Her old one has completely frayed around the top and the rope is all unravelling. The trouble is, we can't seem to find a suitable new one.

I mean, seriously, how hard can buying a scratching post actually be?

But there are considerations to take into account. Considerations I hadn't considered but which Bubbles informs me are VERY important....

For instance:

Does it have a platform on the top to sit on? This, apparently, is very important as it allows optimum surveillance of a room.

Is the post tall enough for a very long upward stretch to be carried out with front legs, paws and claws fully extended? It appears that size does indeed matter, as too short and no stretching can successfully be performed.

Is there a ball, or other suitable amusement device attached for entertainment of the swiping variety?

Is the rope or twine of a suitable thickness to ensure no fraying, flaking or ripping will occur?

Does it have a dangerously sharp cornered base? (A human concern for the issue of stubbed toes)

Does it smell nice? (Does it smell nice???? I mean, really! I draw the line at actually sniffing scratching posts in the pet store!)

So we returned, empty handed. Mission unaccomplished. The posts were either too short, too unplatformy, too toe stubby, to unswipey or too, too, too, too EXPENSIVE! So.... mission definitely unaccomplished for now!


Thursday, 19 April 2012

19/4/12 Cat Napping

Sleep! It's what I crave but just don't seem to get enough of. Someone else, however, seems to be relishing the terrible weather we are having and is making the most of cosying up indoors (with the heating still on I might add) having a lovely sleep wherever and whenever the mood takes her!

Today, for example, I nearly tripped as I came up onto the landing, as a sprawling feline was relaxing right in the middle of the floor. The windowsill, the spare room chair and under the bed all seem to be popular places for a cat nap but.... The favourite is still in my side of the bed!

A little poem comes to mind:

Sleeping on the windowsill,
Sleeping on the floor.
Sleeping in your basket,
Sleeping by the door.
Sleeping by the radiator all snug and warm,
Warming up my bed with your furry form!
But of course at midnight, it's a different matter altogether!...

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

18/4/12 Rain Rain Go Away

"Rain rain go away, come again another day" I found myself singing as I looked out of the window again this morning to find buckets of the stuff tipping down from the sky. I know it is the season for April showers but I hadn't realised it was flood season also!

Digging my waterproof jacket out to brave the downpour I ventured outside. "No cats playing out in any gardens today" I thought. My own had been enjoying watching the rain from the dry safety of the windowsill.

Bubbles' only liquid encounter today was in the form of a bowl of fresh water, which, incidentally did nearly end up on her head! (Well it's what happens when I foolishly try to balance a rather full bowl of water all the way across the room, then carefully set it onto the floor whilst a furry head nudges my arm in appreciation!)

While out and about on my travels I was, however, surprised and delighted to see an urban blackbird bathing in a puddle; pecking and splashing its head into the water for all it was worth and generally having a wonderful time. The rest of the population; both animal and human seemed to be either hiding indoors or wrapped up in waterproofs, brollies rammed down over their heads doing the kind of mad, head-down shuffling powerwalk charge that only a torrential downpour can create!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

17/4/12 Lazy Cat

Well the weather hasn't exactly been inspirational today. Howling wind and rain all last night then this morning dawned as dark as an eclipse. I really struggled to get out of bed at 7 a.m but not as much as Bubbles, who slept through all my alarms (and I do need the equivalent of a brass band playing down my ear to rouse MY sleepy head!) I was watched by a half open eye from the bottom of the bed while I opened the curtains to let in the daylight that was lurking secretively behind the rain clouds. Bubbles seemed to think it was still the middle of the night so promptly went back to sleep! I went off to get ready for my day and returned a while later to find a slumbering cat, who was in absolutely no hurry to begin hers! I'm afraid a crude awakening was delivered in the form of the quilt being thrown over the top of her. A sleepy head emerged from the folds of quilt and bounded off the bed! Later.... Revenge! I discovered a furry feline napping, right on MY bit of the bed!

Monday, 16 April 2012

16/4/12 Visitors

Glancing out of the window this evening, a bushy tail cascading down the garden fence caught my attention. On closer inspection (involving Bubbles and I at the window, being nosy neighbours) we realised there was not one, but two visitors! A brown, bushy tailed Norwegian Forest Cat climbing down the fence and a rather large ginger cat which was standing in OUR garden, spraying liberally into the fir trees.

Bubbles stiffened, glaring out of the window in disgust! I banged on the glass. The ginger cat stopped in its tracks, looked at me, sat down and started miaowing. It took a few paces forward, sat again and miaowed again.

Bubbles looked very unimpressed at this show and paraded angrily along the windowsill. The ginger cat miaowed again, then turned on its tail and nimbly disappeared into the fir trees.

Meanwhile.... the Norwegian could be seen disappearing over the garden fence with a flick of its tail. Up and over, up and over it went, scaling the rows of garden fences like an Olympic hurdler!
Bubbles looked carefully out of the window. The garden was restored to normal. A bird flew down to land on the fence then fluttered prettily onto the grass. Bubbles swished her tail in excitement!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

15/4/12 Wobbling Heights

Never mind Wuthering Heights, today it's certainly been a case of "Wobbling Heights!" I foolishly decided to attempt the mammoth task of sorting out the airing cupboard (after, I'm ashamed to say, weeks of just shoving piles of clothes in).

Well, the thing is, they are all quite carefully, if not precariously, folded and stacked in neat but really rather rickety piles on the first shelf, leading up like a sort of higgledy - piggledy haystack to the shelf right at the top of the cupboard!

The other reason I consider attempting to sort this mass of clothes out as "foolish" is because I know full well that a certain someone (with whiskers and a furry tail) LOVES to leap into the airing cupboard and enjoy a bit of a cat nap, luxuriating on my clean washing.

So more fool me when I carelessly left the cupboard door open. My back was only turned for one second when there was a hurried scrabbling sound as Bubbles saw her chance and scrambled onto the bannister, a hasty "Miaow!" then a small, black furball vaulted through the air to land purrfectly on top of my clean, white towels....

I hadn't the heart (or the height) to reach in and retrieve her, so she spent a lovely half hour napping on my washing!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

14/4/12 Swimming? I Think Not!

Bubbles was absolutely horrified to find me watching this short video. I have been warned (in cat language of course) that if I get any such RIDICULOUS ideas there will be severe and serious consequences. I didn’t dare ask what these consequences would be but could easily envisage a great deal of hissing and a good slap from a set of nicely sharpened claws.

Of course I would not be so stupid as to send my cat swimming and was quite shocked to watch this video myself. Apart from the obvious danger of drowning, the cat could easily have been swept out to sea.

I have reassured Bubbles that she must not worry as her only contact with water will most definitely be of the drinking bowl variety and on her terms such as when she is in the mood to sit flicking water from the tap… or lounge around in the empty bath!

Friday, 13 April 2012

13/4/12 The Spider

I emerged from the bathroom last night to find Bubbles sitting bolt upright on the bannister post miaowing and staring up at the ceiling. “Oh, you can see the sunlight making funny shadows on the wall” I said stopping to stroke her. “Miaow” Bubbles said, looking at the ceiling. “MIAOW!” She wagged her tail furiously.

“Silly!” I said and went off… A few moments later I was back with my glasses on to get something out of the airing cupboard. But what did I see dangling above it? An enormous evil arachnid; loitering with intent!

I made a kind of choking sound and froze. “You are a CLEVER girl!” I said apologetically to Bubbles who had obviously noticed and had been spending the last ten minutes trying to tell me! Hmmmm what to do about the spider? I wondered. Well I couldn’t just leave it incase it somehow got into my bed or deliberately landed on me as I walked past. So I launched a missile attack – of Bubbles’ toy mice to try to dislodge it. Bubbles loved this new game of pouncing round collecting all her toys up, as I missed the spider every time!

Luckily my other half (who is a bit braver about spiders than me) arrived home to rescue me. Bubbles was soon having a lovely dance trying to capture the spider which legged it across the carpet and out of sight!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

12/4/12 My Cat Bubbles

Bubbles is my gorgeous cat who we have had since she was a nine week old kitten! She is now five years old but still as kittenish as ever!

Having lost my dog the previous year, in September 2006 I finally felt ready to give my heart to a new animal. After discussions with my partner I contacted the local Cat Rescue. They had two eight week old kittens and our home would be inspected to check we were fit to be cat owners.

We raced round making all the safety provisions one might expect for the arrival of a human baby; securing loose wires, fitting child locks to cupboards! Our cat would be an indoor cat, as we lived near a railway and mainroad.

We passed the inspection with flying colours and were told about the kittens. “There’s a mad one, always charging about everywhere or there’s a quiet one. I expect you want the quiet one as you haven’t had a cat before!” My partner and I took one look at each other and both announced “We’ll have the mad one please!” We were told her name is Bubbles. She was so neglected by her first owners that she had been terribly ill at the vets  when  only a few weeks old. She made a full recovery but will always be slightly prone to the odd bout of fluey symptoms. Her tail is also shorter than most, cats as she was born in breach position and her cat mother had bitten the end in order to pull her out safely during birth.

We filled our home with cat toys, prepared the litter tray and collected our kitten. At the rescue home Bubbles looked cautiously out from behind the settee then bravely began to approach us, staring nervously with enormous saucer eyes! She was jet black with a white bit on her chest. Her fur was so long and spiky, as if she needed to grow into it! She was so tiny she fitted across the palm of one hand.

At home we showed Bubbles her litter tray. She then promptly hid behind the settee. Leaving Bubbles alone to settle in and calm down, my partner unwrapped fish and chips for our tea. Suddenly a tiny black missile shot out from the settee, climbed straight up his trousers onto the table and shoved her face straight into the plate of fish and chips!

Later that I stayed up late to help make Bubbles feel secure. in her new surroundings. By now she was curled up on my knee. The house was silent, when suddenly I heard a rumbling sound like a lawnmower! For a moment I couldn’t understand, then suddenly I realised my baby cat was purring at me for the first time!

Now, aged five she has grown into a beautiful, slender, elegant, confident cat. She loves sitting on the basin flicking tap water with her paw; showing off her climbing skills on her climbing posts or leaping into the airing cupboard to sit proudly on the clean washing!