Birthday Bonanza!


I am officially the worst human staff member.  Ever.  According to the chuffin cat.

I can’t really argue.  She has a point.

Today is her 6th birthday.  Yes, 6th!  And I committed the worst faux pas possible.  You see, it’s that time of year that Gloria dreads.  Me too.  Plus the vet. Probably the entire vet’s practice too.

*whispers* vaccination time

So I rang up to make the appointment, wrote it on the calendar, and never thought any more about it.  In the current pandemic, I figured the vet would be well enough equipped with PPE and riot gear to successfully tackle this annual fiasco.  Turns out I’d written the appointment on the wrong week, so for some reason I thought it was on the 17th. Had I noticed this earlier, I could have salvaged the situation and rebooked for a different day.  But no, I didn’t realise until the night before.  To be fair, we are now on day 9,743 of lockdown… or something like that.  I really have no idea of even what day it is. Not sure anybody else knows either.  Apart from the chuffin cat.  She has counted each and every day meticulously on her tufty paws, doing a daily roll call to check all human staff members are in place to fulfil her every need. Her lowly staff members on the other hand have stumbled and eaten their way through lockdown, like a perpetual Christmas break without presents. Or visitors. Or turkey.  Anyway, I digress.

I only realised yesterday that I had committed the mortal sin of booking the appointment for Gloria’s annual vaccinations on her actual birthday  *gulp*  I felt truly awful (but not bad enough to cancel it, clearly!).  To make matters worse, I couldn’t go into the surgery with her due to the Covid guidelines.  So in Gloria’s eyes, there she was merrily dreaming about all the fun she was going to have on her birthday, when she was scooped up and unceremoniously stuffed into her far-too-small carrier.  To top it all, after being thrown around in the car whilst her Chief Human Staff Member tunelessly serenaded her, she was then kidnapped – yes, kidnapped! – by a lady in a white coat… who proceeded to maul her, shoved a thermometer up her rear end (the cat’s rear end, not the vet’s in case you were wondering), and stuck a needle in her neck (cat’s not vet’s again, just to clarify)… all while her Chief Human Staff Member sat motionless back in the car without a care in the world.  How very rude!!  Unforgivable, in Gloria’s eyes.

So in an effort to repair our ruler:slave relationship, Gloria felt it only right that I compose an ode to her, to commemorate her 6th birthday.  Here goes *ahem* *cough* (non-Covid cough that is)

*clears throat in a healthy way*

Happy Birthday to my cat.
Your poofy fur makes you look fat.
Your temper’s short, your legs look stumpy,
when woken up you can be grumpy.
Your teeth are sharp, you’re seldom calm,
your breath smells like a sewage farm.
I really love your tufty paws –
a shame they’re hiding sharpened claws.
Your fluffy trousers are quite lush.
Your tail is like a big bog brush.
Your attitude is a disgrace
but we all love you, fluffy face.

What??  Oh apparently that’s not at all what she meant.


Happy Birthday, Gloria Chufflepuff Braveheart, with heartfelt apologies from your Chief Human Staff Member and the kidnapper in the white coat

A Rather Sickly Affair


Who me?

Gloria has taught us many things in the few months since we adopted her, one of the biggest being ‘how to poison your cat’.

Take the first episode – drinking from a flower vase containing cut daffodils. Harmless enough for a cat, or so you would think. Wrong!

“Mum! The cat’s frothing at the mouth!” came the cry from son no 2.

Just a little slurp

Just a little slurp

And indeed she was. There followed a bout of heaving and groaning underneath the dining room table. Having spent most of the morning removing her face from the daffodil vase, I deduced that the flower water was the cause. A quick call to the vet, who checked with toxicology, confirmed my suspicions. Oh good. Luckily the effects weren’t expected to last for more than 24 hours. So we passed a quiet evening, with Gloria Chufflepuff feeling really quite sorry for herself. Shame.

The following morning, I came out of the shower to discover that our crazy feline had snaffled a cotton reel. Not only that, but she had thrown it around so much that the end of the reel had come free. I was greeted with a lounge covered in streams of cotton: think Spiderman’s den, but with a home-made flair. Two things came to mind: either our chuff of a cat had made a full recovery or she had instead ingested a mutant spider (rather than daffodil juice) thus creating a psycho-spider-cat. Despite son no 3 desperately hoping for the latter, it became apparent as she scampered about the house that the Chufflepuff had recovered. Phew.

Just a spot of flower arranging. Honest. Slurp.

Just a spot of flower arranging. Honest. Slurp.

Fast forward a few weeks…yes it did actually take a few weeks of Gloria attempting to eat anything and everything in the house, before she yet again managed to poison herself – this time by chewing on a beautiful Gerbera plant that I had gratefully received as a gift. What made it worse is that I’d already reluctantly given away a gorgeous bunch of flowers that very day, assuming that she’d make a direct bee-line for them the moment I placed them in a vase. Grrr.

Yet again we had 24 hours of sickness and lethargy coupled with a bit of a runny tummy. Just as I was on the verge of calling the vet for advice, Gloria seemed to make a fortunate recovery…in good time for us to host our smallest boy’s birthday party the following day. Yes her timing was impeccable, as always.

So to set the scene some 24 hours later…it was 1.55pm: balloons and banners – tick; food prepared – tick; bouncy slide in the garden – tick. Our neighbours were already here; all we needed was a heap of rambunctious invitees to turn up. Then the inevitable happened – yes, that’s right: the chuffin cat’s rear end suddenly exploded in spectacular fashion. As I said earlier, impeccable timing. Cue lots of frantic shovelling in the litter tray as I cleared away the rancid evidence, whilst madly spraying a can of air freshener around the room to try and eradicate the overwhelming stench. It wouldn’t have been so bad had the chuffin cat not then decided to run off, deposit herself on the floor of the dining room and rub her arse across the carpet in front of our rather bemused neighbour, who was left wondering if this was all part of the entertainment.

Can I hear my food bowl calling?

Can I hear my food bowl calling?

As handsome hubby grabbed the cat under her armpits and bolted outside, I grabbed some antibacterial wipes and threw them at son no 2, whilst shouting, “Just scrub!!!” and pointing at the putrid tramlines burning a hole in the carpet. I then found some wet wipes and shot outside to join handsome hubby with the somewhat perplexed fetid cat. One look at the state of the cat’s feculent fluffy trousers told me that the wipes were rather an inadequate choice.

Then the doorbell rang: the first guests had arrived. Oh good. Perfect in fact.

Directing handsome hubby to go round the side of the house, I ran through the lounge (skirting round the rapidly disappearing tram lines in the dining room) to the front door to greet an army of excited young boys.

“Straight through to the garden!” I ushered, trying not to sound too panicky whilst wafting the air around me.

Thank goodness the only things on the boys’ minds were “where’s the bouncy slide?” and “which Nerf gun can I use?” How I love having boys!

“Bit of an incident with the cat,” I whispered to the confused parents who followed on behind.

Meanwhile down the side of the house, handsome hubby and son no 1 were having to shower Gloria’s fluffy trousers using a hosepipe. Yes, really.

The only option was then to shut our soddened cat in a cloakroom for the duration of the party, complete with water, litter tray, towels and copious sheets of newspaper. All that was missing was a good book. To be fair, she seemed to quite enjoy herself in there…until she realised that her food bowl was missing. Clearly, by completely and violently evacuating her bowels, Gloria had made more room for grub – talk about a silver lining. Marvellous. Needless to say, the rest of the party passed without incident, as did the cat in the cloakroom (apart from the frequent shouts of “HAM!” each time I opened the door to check on her).

A Magnificent Pair of Fluffy Trousers

A Magnificent Pair of Fluffy Trousers

The following day I gave Gloria a really good groom, complete with a quick bum fur trim – her fluffy trousers were most unruly after the trauma of the previous day – but thankfully the poisoning debacle had completely passed.

All of this led me to an important conclusion: a poisoning episode should only affect your cat for 24 hours, unless you have an important function the following day; in that case, and only that case, it will last for a full 48 hours.

Grrrrrr Gloooorrrrriiiiiaaaaaaa!!!!