Crocodiles, ham-fish, and bear-hugs

It was late January, and the winter I was expecting did not arrive. It was mild, which meant that we could go on more walks than normal in a winter, (I had to take hooman’s word at this, as this was my first ever winter). I ventured out of the back gate, and took in the vista. There was none of that horrible white cold water stuff, and it was not raining. There was no frost, and the undergrowth was still dead and flat.

I approve of these conditions. Come hither, hooman, we shall motor on…

I approve of this weather, hooman… We can now tally forth on our jaunt

My fluffiness was still with me, and it made me nice and warm, although it did make my bum look fat. Hooman said he would shave me if I was too hot, but I just gave him one of my ‘Paddington Bear long hard stares’, and he soon walked on, scared witless.

No frost, no snow, and it hadn’t rained… This was good for my beans

Hooman said that he had spotted crocodiles in the pond again, so I took my time walking around it. I had never caught a crocodile, but hooman said they taste a lot like chicken, and I should do my best to nab one to take home and munch on. The frogs will be making their cacophony soon enough, and The Wally and I will be snuffling along the banks of the pond and river, like hungry truffle pigs.

I always stay alert past the pond, because of crocodiles and other edibles

Hooman told me that there are bears in Bulgaria, and they method of dispatching their edibles is by giving big, loving, claw filled hugs. I wasn’t sure about this, so in case I ever met one hooman suggested I should practice this method. A nearby tree made a very nice practice lump, and I gave it my very bestest bear-hug. This resulting in much sniggering from the hooman, and the tree obviously felt nothing as it did not scream at all for mercy. I need to practice more, possibly on hooman’s leg when he is not expecting it.

My bear-hugs required more practice

Bear-hugs are exhausting ways to pass the time. This was clearly the ideal time for one of my world-famous sit down protests for about 10 minutes. Hooman did his usual trick of pretending to walk off and desert me, but I know as well as he does that his only protection out here in the wilds of Bulgaria is the apex-predator at his side. He soon returns.

I can see the pub from here! (Actually I have no idea what a pub is, because cat)

So we ended up down by the river again, and it was looking quite nice. Pebble Island was covered with a few inches of water, so I couldn’t head over and lounge about on the stones.

The weir was it’s usual noisy, angry self. I think it needs therapy. It isn’t nice and quiet like the rest of the river

The river wasn’t as high as it had been previously, and the reeds on the riverbank had all been flattened after the waters had receded. I could go up to the river and have a nice little drink. Hooman suggested that if I went in the water I could catch some of the fabled Ham-fish that are unique to this particular stretch of water. I have yet to see these bacon flavoured river dwellers, so as usual I was skeptical. Still, I had a good look around to see I I could see any snouts with gills poking out of the water…

“You going in the water?”, asked hooman

There was none, as usual. Hooman said that maybe they will come out in the spring.

“Nope”, said I

Sometimes I ask hooman questions about where I come from. Hooman said that the only way to find out where you are from is to examine your roots. Well, I had a good look and was none the wiser.

These roots told me nothing about my ancestry

The riverbank is full to the brim with these carpeted roots, and it’s like an obstacle course to a little cat at times. Hooman said that the SAS special forces often come down to the river to time how quick they can make it across, and can do so in 1 minute and 33 seconds. I took 10 minutes.

I clearly need more practice.

Moss is like natures carpet

In amongst the trees I got to do what I like to do best and climb, scratch, and run up and down shouting RAWR! It is good to keep up these predatory skills in case I come across an edible fluttering in the tree, or hiding on a branch. Today was particularly lacking in things to eat, however. As usual hooman never bothered bringing any edibles with him. He is a neglectful fellow.

I spot an edible! Nope, just a fluttering old leaf

In between trees I have to use the path. Hooman tells me that during the Vietnam war, this trail was used by the Viet-kitty to transport weapons, and catnip to their frontline gorilla troops. I do not understand why apex-predators like kitties would need the help of Gorillas?

No Gorillas were spotted. Mind you it wasn’t misty

Hooman is always impressed by my off-road ability. I have to explain to him that cats have inbuilt 4xPaw. This gives us traction humans can only dream about when traversing rough terrain.

4xPaw in action in hill descent mode

4xPaw is not only usable on steep hilly ascents, and descents, but we can also use it up vertical surfaces. I had to demonstrate that kitty-claw-paws is a feature cats have, but humans do not. Hooman said that he too has ‘nails’ on his club-feet, but mine are clearly superior.

Look at them. Just look at them. Not only can I use them to climb, but I can use them to scratch and disembowel.

Cats have inbuilt crampons

Out in the fields, crampons are of no use at all, (unless a worm, or wildebeest crosses my path, in which case out they come, and they go in my tummy). It is a tree-free environment out here, with fields all muddy from ploughs.

Follow the leader

Back in the trees I led hooman on a topsy-turvy route going from tree to tree, sniffing everything I found, and charging up them at regular intervals screaming a battle charge as I went, (to hooman’s ears it sounds a lot like a meow).

I am being alert. The world needs lerts

Hooman utters the dreaded words… “Home time”… Granted, as a cat I can do whatever the hell I want as I have claws, but this always makes me a little bit grumpy.

Hooman said it was time to go home… *Sadface*

Although the hooman is a hooman, and therefore inherently quite useless in most situations, he does have the occasional use, especially when I am feeling lazy. I will quite happily climb up his legs, and torso, normally making him wince as my crampons are quite sharp, and will find a way to get head first into his normally warm top, where I can get myself comfortable enough with a nice view of my surroundings in case an edible come within striking range.

Hooman is not entirely useless on these jaunts. He can sometimes be used as some sort of bus

The only problem with this is when I do spot something, and then it is action stations! This often results in muttering such as “Ow, you little bastard, less of the claws, dammit!” or something similar as I scramble out of my comfortable spot and charge off into the undergrowth hunting whatever furocious beast I have spotted for my tummy.

I spotted a moth, or a wildebeest, or a crocodile, or something!

We often go past the sandpit. There are beasts of mystery in here. Hooman said that you have to be wary of the Sandpeople. They are apparently easily scared, but they’ll be back, and in greater numbers. On top of the Sandpeople the Sand-worms, hunting down the spice, will hear me plodding about on the sand if I am not very, very cat-like, and soft of paw…

Hooman told me to stay on the rocks, as the sand-worms can feel my footsteps

And so, we trundled off home. I sat on hooman’s shoulder for the last part, like a really awesome Pirate’s parrot, on a really crap pirate.

Hooman makes a suitable tree-like viewing platform when there are few trees about

If you were wondering where The Wally was in all of this. He was at home, sat in his bush, after he decided to take humans socks and toilet paper out in the middle of the night, and scatter it about in lieu of some snow. No walks for him this day!

Until next time…

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