Thirst

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Good morning, human staff member!Chuffin flower power

What?  Me?  Drinking out of your flower vase?  No, you must be quite mistaken.  I was just admiring the scent, whilst rearranging the flowers for you before you got up.

The flowers on the floor? No, that wasn’t anything to do with me.  You’re just not very adept at flower arranging, are you?

Yes, the water level in the vase does go down quickly.  Isn’t it amazing how much water these flowers need?  Very thirsty, these flowers.

Fur in the flower water?  Hmmm, yes there is.  Mind you, there’s fur in all manner of places in this house.  You should clean more often.

Why am I on the windowsill you ask?  Well somebody has to protect the house whilst you staff members are lazing in bed.  I mean, anyone could come and steal these flowers.  Where would we be then?

Thirsty?  Me?  Why would I be thirsty?

Anyway, now that you’re finally awake you can fill my food bowl.  You’ve neglected to feed me all night.  I might pass out soon through starvation.

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Oh, and I’d put some more water in the flower vase too.
For some reason it looks empty.

 

Top 10 Tips – How to be a Proper Chuffin Cat

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Close up!1 Compose your own haka, then perform it to all the garden birds on a daily basis through the kitchen window.

2 Flirt with the milkman. Not only does he loudly praise your singing talents, but he keeps similar hours to you too. Plus he has free milk.

3 Survey the clean, fresh water in your drinking bowl regularly, but never drink from it. Instead, venture outside to lap from the most stagnant puddle that ever existed. Failing that, why not take a nice, long slurp from your human’s favourite flower vase. Just pull the flowers out with your teeth and scatter them across the floor if they get in your way.

4 Why use your cat flap when there’s a perfectly good patio door just 3 feet away? Not to mention the army of human staff willing to let you in on an hourly basis, day or night, if you sing loudly enough.

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5 Watch as your human staff member brings you a new stuffed toy. Watch as they place it near you. Watch their excited face as they move the toy repeatedly from left to right and back again. Watch the toy very carefully. Then pounce viciously on the hand holding the toy.

 

6 It is important to announce your arrival in a very loud voice each time you enter the house, particularly during the middle of the night.

Sherbet fetish7 Whilst all conversations with your human should end at your food bowl, this in no way obligates you to eat out of that bowl. In fact, the tastiest food can be found on a human’s plate. Claws are ideal for hooking a tasty morsel. Just don’t get caught, as humans aren’t very good at sharing.  Sherbet fountains should never be shared; wrestle them from your human at every opportunity.

8 Fur balls are no laughing matter and all throwing up, even if you are outside, should be undertaken indoors – preferably on a clean, pale carpet, the tassels of a rug or on a doormat with long bristles. Throwing up is an art in itself, practised by performing a reverse caterpillar movement, loudly and repeatedly. Shake your head at the end for a maximum splatter effect. It is then imperative to vacate the house at breakneck speed and deny all knowledge of any involvement in the entire affair. Practice your look of disdain to use in such scenarios.

Perfect sleeping position9 There are many marvellous places to rest, but there really is only one position in which to sleep: on your back with all 4 feet in the air. Splendid sleep locations include on clean laundry and also on dirty laundry, particularly if it is in a laundry bin – this has the added bonus of providing you with a hideout from which to ambush your human on their midnight trip to the bathroom. Alternatively what about sleeping on the back of an armchair, resting your feet on a human’s head.

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10 The flat roof of a building will make an excellent litter tray, particularly if it is covered with gravel. The joy at squeezing out a turd whilst eyeing up the birds is completely unrivalled.

Of Mice and Mayhem

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IMG_1204The chuffin cat loves to invite guests in for a midnight feast. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a lottery as to whether the guest actually becomes the midnight feast; let’s just say the odds aren’t really in favour of the guest surviving the night intact. Not much of an invitation is it: “Come in for a bite.” Yet she seems to use that line successfully on a regular basis, much to everyone’s annoyance.

Last night was typical of many.  Everyone had gone to bed and I was just finishing off my night time chores.  The house was in a silent slumber, the calm before a storm.  Unknown to me.

A loud rat-a-tat-tat pierced the air: the sound of the chuffin cat having squeezed her portly body through the inadequate cat flap.  She approached me, her head hung low – a mark of respect for me perhaps?  Don’t be daft.  Her jaws were weighed down by a fat brown mouse which she gently deposited at my slippered feet.  For a moment there was silence.  She stared at me, I stared at the mouse and the mouse glanced furtively from each of us to the other and back.

Then all hell broke loose.

In scenes that could rival those in a Tom and Jerry cartoon, the mouse made a dash for it, hotly pursued by the chuffin cat, with me close behind. Why are you upside-down?  The difficulty with indoor rodent hunting at night is trying to keep the noise level to a minimum.  Whilst the chuffin cat is always prepared to hurtle around at breakneck speed, tossing household objects riotously aside, I would prefer to let the rest of the household sleep.  So whilst the chuffin cat’s mind was on playing rodent tag, mine was firmly on damage limitation and noise reduction.

After a while, we somehow managed to corner the mouse by the front door.  I placed a shoe over it and dashed off to the kitchen to fetch a glass tumbler, trusting the chuffin cat to guard her new friend and not swallow him whole in my brief absence.

Upon my return, I discovered the chuffin cat still diligently guarding the upturned shoe, with the mouse sitting behind her blowing raspberries at her back.  Clearly feeling somewhat brazen, the mouse then let out a high pitched <<squeak>>.  As nimble as a ninja, the chuffin cat rotated her chunky body an entire 180 degrees in one pounce, glared at the mouse, and slapped him on the head with her paw. The mouse gave a loud, indignant (albeit slightly muffled) <<squeak>>.  As he went to run, I bent down and slammed the glass to the floor in the hope of catching him.  I peered down through the increasing darkness, and then gasped in horror: the mouse was going nowhere, but only because I had pinned him to the floor – his rear end inside the tumbler, his head and shoulders outside, with the rim of the glass bisecting his round belly.  His little front feet were splayed either side of his head, and his face seemed to have an expression of, ‘well this is all rather awkward’.

Wahahaha

 

The chuffin cat clearly appreciated this new game, clapping her fluffy paws together with glee.

 

I raised one side of the tumbler and with my toe I tried to nudge the mouse under the rim of the glass … to no avail. By this time, the chuffin cat had switched to hunting mode, the end of her tail flicking violently from left to right.  I grabbed the shoe with one hand, whilst pinning the mouse under the glass with the other.  Balancing precariously on one leg, I stuck out a foot to restrain the chuffin cat.  I placed the shoe next to the mouse’s head and pushed gently to try and coax it into the glass.  It was only when the mouse’s beady eyes began to bulge that I realised I hadn’t raised the glass and I was in fact still pinning him to the carpet, whilst now squashing his head between the shoe and the tumbler.  His distended eyes met mine and in that moment we shared a common thought: ‘HELP!’

Meanwhile the chuffin cat began to miaow, enticing the mouse to come out and play as she wrestled my foot for access to her guest.  Yes, that’s right: he was her guest after all.

With one final effort, I managed to coordinate the lifting of the glass with the shove of the shoe, and miraculously the mouse ended up under the tumbler.  Not under the rim, but under the actual vessel. Had it not been the dead of night, I would have cheered loudly; but it was, so I didn’t.  Instead I tossed the shoe aside and grabbed the nearest flat item – which happened to be son no 2’s DT folder from school – shoving it under the tumbler, thereby sealing the mouse in his glass holding cell.  As he stood on his hind legs and placed his front feet on the side of the tumbler, I gave him a mini high five through the glass.

Opening the front door, I triumphantly carried him across the front garden in the tumbler, and threw him into the flower bed.  He emitted a squeak of thanks (or maybe a rodent expletive, who knows?) and scurried off into the neighbouring woodland.

I went back indoors and wiped the mouse poo off son no 2’s DT folder.  (“Sorry Sir, a mouse poo’d on my homework” … sounds better than last week’s excuse: “Sorry Sir, the cat threw up on my homework.”).

Chuffin snoringAs I went off to bed, I noticed the chuffin cat sitting by the front door, staring intently at the discarded shoe … and that is exactly where I found her again the next morning, curled up in a ball snoring loudly and no doubt dreaming of midnight mayhem and squashed mice.

Jazz Paws

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NOTE TO THE CHUFFIN CAT: the camera on the rear of my car is to enable me to reverse my vehicle safely, thus avoiding any hidden obstacles. 023 It is not your personal video camera, for you to film yourself cavorting about across the drive.  I do not need to see your disapproving face glaring at me as I concentrate on my reversing manoeuvres.

“Keep driving Mum, she’ll move out of the way,” advises son no 2.

Will you heck as like.

I have to stop when all I can see are 2 lynx-tipped ears defiantly twitching at the bottom of the camera screen.  Imagine if my last image of you was your face splattered on the screen.  Or even worse (and more likely) your fluffy arse squashed against the screen.   Seriously.

So instead you just sit there, completely immersed in your own self-importance,Disgruntled Eth round pic knowing that all the car occupants’ eyes are glued to the camera screen, staring at you.  Yes, you.  Finally, the attention you deserve.  A modern day stand-off: a tonne of mechanised metal versus a fat-arsed fluffy cat.

I send son no 2 to forcibly remove you from view – such a brave boy, approaching you minus gauntlets and riot gear.  You eye him up and down stubbornly, always making sure that your best side is captured by the camera.  Then you skedaddle.  Hurrah!

Son no 2 gets back in the car just in time to watch you hurtle back across the camera screen again.

I sound the horn … and you start to tap dance in time to the noise, still in front of the camera.  Next it’s IMG_6516the goose step, then a hop, skip and jump complete with jazz paws and sparkly teeth, to and fro, to and fro.  All with your face turned towards the camera.  I am tempted to turn off the engine and abandon the car in the middle of the street, but you know perfectly well that I won’t do that.  You know because we have this entire rigmarole every single time I reverse into our driveway.  Much to your absolute delight.

Finally you exhaust your repertoire.  You reluctantly turn away from the camera and deposit your rear013 end on the ground.  I can almost see you gritting your teeth as you flatten your ears and raise your nose in the air.  But I am still unable to reverse … why?  Because you may have removed your fat furry body from causing an obstruction, but in doing so you have now stretched your tail across the corner of the driveway.  Much as I find you the most exasperating sod of a cat, I really don’t want to steamroller your tail.

I groan and lean forward to rest my head on the steering wheel.  Never have I known such an infuriating feline.  Son no 2 hops out of the car again in what appears to be another attempt to remedy the situation.  “Mum, she’s gone!” he shouts.

Then I hear another commotion: as I lift my head and rest my gaze upon the screen once again, I’m not greeted by either end of the chuffin cat.  Instead, I’m greeted by not one but two goofy faces – sons no 2 and 3, blowing raspberries and gurning for the camera.  Give me strength.  I’m not sure which is worse: gurning boys or the cat’s arse.  Either way I’m not going to reach my much-needed cup of tea any time soon.  Next time I should bring a flask with me, perhaps even a picnic or a sleeping bag.  Then again, the chuffin cat would probably only monopolise that too.

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Insomnia – the chuffin cat’s view

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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.

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The Mystery of an Unfortunate House Guest

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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.

Party Planning, Chuffin Cat Style

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Games Best Avoided048

Musical Chairs – By all means play some music.  Pick a Chair.  Just don’t pick the chuffin cat’s chair.  She won’t move.  Unless there’s food involved of course.

Hide and Seek – Initially you may think this is a good game to play with the chuffin cat.  Think again.  The fun of the search is completely ruined when you walk into the bedroom to be greeted by a purring wardrobe.

Dead Lions – No.  You will never win at this game.  The chuffin cat can lay on any surface and sleep.  For hours.  However if you lay down on any surface, she will eagerly take the opportunity to use your bladder as a springboard.  It’s been proven.  Repeatedly.

Rock, Paper, Scissors – Or as the chuffin cat calls it: slap, bash, wallop.  With added claws.  In other words *ouch*

Musical Statues – So you sit or stand in one position, motionless.  That’s what the chuffin cat practices for several hours a day.  Every day.  How on earth could you win?  Oh, and never enter into a staring contest with the chuffin cat either, unless you want to end up with an inferiority complex that is.  Plus if you find yourself inexplicably near the chuffin cat’s food bowl, you’ve most certainly been hypnotised.

Simon Says – Game or not, nobody tells the chuffin cat what to do.  Even if your name is Simon.

Pass the Parcel – Another bad idea.  If you hand something to the chuffin cat, you won’t get it back in a hurry.  Particularly if it’s wrapped in crackly paper.  Only once she has chewed it and boxed at it with her back legs will she relinquish her ownership of it … by which time you won’t want it back as it’ll be completely mangled and covered in cat dribble.

Recommended Games

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Balloons – Oh yes.  Balloons are a fantastic idea.  Particularly if there are small children around.  The resounding <pop> of a balloon when it meets a sharp claw is immensely satisfying.  Plus there’s nothing better than giving a human a heart attack at a party.

 

 

 

Karaoke – The chuffin cat rocks at this.  Feel free to join in with some harmonies, if you can sing soprano that is.

Salsa Dancing – The chuffin cat’s forte.  Particularly with an army of small rodents.  Just make sure you don’t tread on any though, as that could really ruin the party atmosphere.

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Oh, and just remember: if you lose sight of the chuffin cat at a party, she can usually be found in the corner of the room sucking on a bun case.  How uncouth.