I think hooman is convinced the life of a cat is all ham and tummy tickles. He has no idea what goes on behind the scenes. Cats are like having your own personal bodyguard, (although in reality we are just protecting the guardian of the ham. If we had the ham ourselves hooman would be left to fight for himself).
The day often starts with some scouting. This is best begun from the branch of a tree. from here you get a very nice view of the surrounding area, and can spot any encroaching enemies. I once spotted a flock of flightless crocodiles gathering at the rear fence. Hooman said they were just uncut logs, but I remained unconvinced.
Once the initial surveying of the area is done I try to go for a wander. I tell hooman this is to scout about a bit for his safety, but it is actually mostly so I can grab some of those tasty running edibles hooman calls mooses. They are fun little things, often playing chase with me, and squeaking their pleasure when I manage to catch them.
They are also crunchy.
As you probably know, there are several wet things around the house. The river, the angry weir, and the pond that is not a pond but is a pond. It is a well known fact that Frogs commit 94% of all household burglaries involving the theft of ham and other delicious edibles. Frogs can be heard here quite often, but like a bar of soap in the shower, they are tricky things to actually get hold of. Whenever The Wally comes with me on a frog hunt, he comes away disappointed. The frogs can be heard giggling at his rather pathetic attempts at dashing about trying to find the source of the croaking. My theory is that they take turns to croak at opposite ends of the pond to get The Wally running round like a loon. I of course choose not to catch frogs, because if I haven’t already caught one, then clearly I don’t want to catch one, such are my predatorily skills.
Being a bodyguard never stops. Whenever I sit atop the hooman, (for free rides. As a cat I am entitled to hooman taxis whenever requested), I always keep an eye out for crocodiles, moths, and especially for voles, who can be quite vicious, and devious, at this time of year. Once I saw one trying to construct a bear pit. We don’t even have bears as I scared them all off.
When a threat is spotted, the first thing you should do is ask hooman if he has any ham. If ham is forthcoming, eat at your leisure, and always ensure you meow for some more. Once this step is concluded, only then should you being your preparations for defensive ambush. This normally takes the form of climbing a tree, and then leaping down all contorted and weird, meowing, and RAWR’ing so the threat is either confused, and runs headfirst into my tummy, or so they think you are in fact an escaped lunatic, and they freeze instantly on the spot as they call the institute.
By that time it is too late, and my tummy beckons them to their crunchy doom. Except for slugs. There are not crunchy, although when they run away it takes far less effort to chase them down.
I do have an apprentice. Whilst I am obviously an excellent teacher, (because cat), The Wally is proving to be a challenge. Whilst I will stalk, and ambush twigs, dragon flies, and other enemies, The Wally has a style more akin to an ancient berserker warrior. His chosen tactic, against all advice, is to run around with his mouth open, and tongue lolling about, hoping that something accidentally falls in his mouth. This has a current success rate of zero.
A check of the perimeter often means long hours surveilling weak spots, and points of entry. Although it may look like I am simply sat there, sunning myself, you can clearly see that I have taken the time to camouflage myself with bits of sand so I blend into the background. Hooman did not even know I was here when he took this picture. He thought it was merely an attractive pile of sand.
On my long walks around the perimeter, it leaves me time to think about the important things that a cat has to worry about.
- How many times shall I walk in a circle before I lie down and go to sleep?
- When hooman gives me a treat he has bought from a shop, shall I eat it immediately, or just stare at it as though it fell out of a bum?
- At what time is it best to run in the bedroom and jump on him and meow constantly despite having food, water, and a catflap in order to go outside?
- How many times should hooman call me before I respond? Twice? Five time? Twenty?
- What is the optimal time between leaving home so hooman worries, and coming back for ham? 12 hours? 24? A week?
These are conundrums, to be sure…
It is not just ground based threats we face. Hooman has told me stories about how hooman babies, and cat kittens are delivered by a thing called a Pterodactyl. We have a Pterodactyl then nests outside our house atop a large pole. On more than one occasion I have had to warn it that if it thinks about making any deliveries here, there will be swift, and vicious retribution. I am sharing my ham with no-one.
Humans can be dangerous. There was a fire here, and these scorch marks are all that remain. Luckily, as a cat, I have a fearsome reputation, and this fire obviously knew I would be coming round this way so had already left. Fire can be dangerous, so clearly I have to put my foot down and make sure such things never happen. I always give the scorch marks a good staring at, and make sure my pawprints are in it so it knows not to come back.
Hooman said putting my paw prints could get me into trouble with CSI:Bulgaria, and put me in the frame for an arson I did not commit.
And so we stay protected. I keep a look out from up high, down low, and also keep the fire away. I am underpaid for my services, and I don’t think hooman realises the hours and thought that has to go into protecting the homestead from the various threats.
The battle goes on, day after day. The Wally’s training is still ongoing, whilst going nowhere, and the threat from crocodiles, sparrows, slugs, mooses, voles, and wildebeest continues unabated…
It is a thankless task, (ignoring the warm home, treats, tickles, nice bed, lap, free taxi service, and clean water), and I will continue the fight.