Insomnia – the chuffin cat’s view


Sleeping close-upHumans like to spread a common myth: that they need sleep.  What a pile of twaddle.  Cats need sleep, humans merely need to attend to their cat’s every whim.  It is acceptable for a human to take an occasional power nap to refresh themselves, primarily to ensure that they have the energy to refill your food bowl at regular intervals.  Any extra human sleep should be regarded as pure laziness.  As their chief employer, it is your duty to provide your human with enough activity and stimulation to prevent them from falling into a boredom-induced doze at night.  Here are a few ideas which are proven to work:

Allow your human to fall asleep during the evening; this will recharge their energy levels for the rest of the night.  Some humans snooze in a bed, others begin their slumber in front of the moving picture screen.  This can be fun to observe: when their head lolls to one side, you can watch as a string of dribble slowly escapes from their open mouth.  If you’re particularly skilled, you can actually splatter this across their face with a swift swipe of your paw.  They will never know.  A drooling human is a perfect object of ridicule.  Alternatively you can generate some interesting noises if you place your paw in and out of their mouth as they breathe.  No matter how much amusement you can derive from this game however, it is important to be aware that your human needs to be woken the moment they start twitching or snoring.

There are many effective ways in which to wake a sleeping human:

Singing – this should be a cacophonous cry of high-pitched hysteria, performed suddenly, shrilly and preferably next to your human’s ear for maximum effect.  No human can resist a bit of harmonizing in the middle of the night, although sadly they won’t be as melodious as you – hey, they’re only human so your expectations should naturally be very low.

Dancing – humans love to dance.  Once they hear you rollicking about the room, they will be sure to want to join in, waving their arms and stamping their feet in a frenzied, albeit uncoordinated, fashion.

Asphyxiation – sit on your human’s face until they start to splutter.  It won’t take long.  Once they have shoved you aside and have taken an almighty gasp of air, they will be wide awake.  With a mouthful of fur.

Bladder crush – to be used for particularly stubborn humans.  Whether you jump from a tall height, or after running full pelt across the room, just make sure that you land as heavily as you can on the lower belly of your human.  This will elicit an immediate cry of jubilation from them, followed by a mad dash to the bathroom to celebrate.

002All of these methods can be repeated throughout the night if you are unfortunate enough to have an extremely dilatory human who likes to sleep.

Now you need to keep your human awake.  Why not do the Hokey Cokey through the cat flap?  Yes that’s right: in, out, in, out, then shake it all about.  It’s amazing how much noise you can make if you really try.  Of course, your human can easily join in with this as they can fit an arm or a leg through the cat flap.  If they lay on the floor that is.  Bonus.  Or what about finding a nice crackly plastic bag?  You already know that these are hidden in a kitchen cupboard from where they can easily be dragged out using your teeth.  They taste nice too.  The sound of a plastic bag being pummelled at night will really please your human.

By this time, your human will be exceedingly hungry.  Make sure that you sneak quietly outside using the cat flap on stealth mode, to fetch them a fresh protein snack.  So fresh in fact, that they can chase it round the house.  Let’s face it, they could probably do with the exercise.  Your human will show their appreciation by punching the air hysterically with their fist.  Ignore any rude words they might utter – humans say funny things when they’re excited.  Great protein snacks consist of mice, shrews or voles.  You could also bring in frogs or bats. Of course, there is nothing to stop you from bringing in a multitude of snacks, a veritable moving, breathing buffet packed with protein.  Imagine the scene as your human runs, jumps, bends and crawls to catch such a variety of comestibles, thus providing a full body workout.  You can’t do better for them than that.

No matter how much fun you and your human are having though, you must always allow them to go back to sleep about an hour before their noisy timekeeping device is due to sound.  For some strange reason, they like to hit this device particularly hard to start their day.

If you follow this simple guide, you can be sure to maximise your feline:human relationship.  Remember: a haggard human is a much more compliant member of staff.


How to Train a Chicken


1  Your chicken needs to know from day 1 that you are important.  Much better than Head Chicken, you are the Top Dog, the Cat’s Whiskers, the Bee’s Knees.  You are great!  Try to remember this when you’re shovelling poo from the chicken coop each day.

Cornflake Phyllis gardening2  Your chicken can easily be trained to help with the gardening.  She won’t need much encouragement.  Barely will you have retrieved your spade from the shed, when she will appear full of enthusiasm.  Once she has finished admiring her reflection in your shiny spade, you are free to start digging.  Point out all the slugs and snails, then watch as she devours all the earthworms instead.  Point out all the weeds that she can eat in the flowerbed, then watch as she devours your prize blooms instead.  Rake all the leaves into a large heap and your chicken will eagerly help.  As you walk away, make sure you turn back for a minute to watch her scattering the leaves with great gusto back across the garden.

3  You can easily train your chicken to eat out of your hand.  Offer some food on your palm and your chicken will eat it.  Hold some food in your hand and your chicken will peck you to reach it.  Place your lunch on a plate and your chicken will jump up to swipe it.  Take a bite of your lunch and your chicken will power jump to snatch it out of your mouth.  Don’t bother trying to reclaim your lunch. Cobweb Gladys running A chicken can run like a first class sprinter when there’s food involved.  Oh, and your chicken will need no encouragement to sup from your cup of tea.  Just make sure that you pick the bits of dead leaves and grubs out of the cup afterwards.


4  Train your chicken to recognise the correct hierarchy in the family.  A swift peck between the eyes Cat and chickenwill tell the chuffin cat that she is far less important than anybody else, despite what she thinks.  Shoelaces on big boots can be pulled like worms from the ground, then left loose to trip up the wearer whilst your chicken nonchalantly retreats to a safe distance.  As the chief food provider, you will automatically be afforded respect and adoration from your chicken.  Until the food has gone.  Then you’re fair game just like everyone else.  Arm flappingBend over and your chicken will hop onto your back.  Lean forward and your chicken will jump on your head.  Sit in the sun however, and your chicken will settle down on your lap to sunbathe.  Hierarchy: an important lesson for you to discuss with your chicken at regular intervals.

5  Train your chicken to recognise that the coop is her domain, whilst your house is your domain.  Even if you do leave your patio door open as your chicken roams about the garden: that is not an invitation to house share. Doris DooDah stare There is nothing worse than finding your chicken standing motionless in your kitchen, her eyes fixed on the plucked bird roasting in the oven.  Awkward, very awkward.

6  If your chicken is particularly unruly, you could try hypnotism.  For the chicken, not for you.  Place the chicken on the floor, grab a piece of chalk and draw a straight line on the floor.  Your chicken should be completely mesmerised, staring inanely at the white line.  Unless they eat the piece of chalk first.  Then they’ll just belch loudly and carry on causing havoc.

7  If all else fails, reach for the grapes.  Doris DooDah dancingYour chicken will do absolutely anything for a grape: jump through a hoop, twirl on one leg, somersault on the trampoline.  The moment you hold a grape in your hand, you are the centre of your chicken’s world.  Just for a split second, until the grape is plucked rudely from your grasp.  Then you revert back to your original status of chief poo picker.

The Mystery of an Unfortunate House Guest


Chuffin cat not amused“There’s not been much to write about on the blog lately,” I remarked to the chuffin cat last night.  Big mistake.

She looked at me and then flounced off, nose in the air, tail bristling with fluffy indignation.  After surveying her empty food bowl she squeezed her rotund belly through the confines of her rather inadequate cat flap, leaving a loud rat-a-tat-tat sound echoing round the kitchen.

I thought nothing more of it.  Second big mistake.

She eventually reappeared sometime later with a new house guest – a small, brown mouse who she proceeded to entertain in a variety of ways: salsa dancing, pole dancing (a new use for the standard lamp), morris dancing (always knew the little bells on cat toys were there for a reason), tag, hopscotch, postman’s knock … you name it, they played it.  Loudly.  Repeatedly.  Around the lounge.

chuffin snoringAt 5am the house fell silent, so I got up to survey the damage and put the lounge back together.  The chuffin cat was fast asleep, curled in a fluffy heap, snoring loudly.  The house guest was nowhere to be seen.  I crawled back to bed, hoping to get a little sleep before the dawn chorus sprang to life with a tirade of twittering.

Later that day I searched high and low for the house guest, but he was nowhere to be found.  I glanced at the cat flap, wondering if a small mouse could punch his way through it: judging by the sheer amount of repeated head butting it takes the chuffin cat to push it open, I thought that unlikely.

The mystery was finally solved by son no 2 as he was getting ready to go to his athletics club that evening.  “Why is there a dead mouse in my trainer??” he exclaimed, looking pointedly at his brothers.

Only one question remained: did the mouse die from exhaustion, lack of food, internal injuries as a result of the over-exuberant, playful nature of the chuffin cat … or was it actually due to the almighty stench of a teenage boy’s running shoe – clearly not the best place to take cover when playing hide and seek with an easily distracted cat.