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Toby's Diary

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You cannot outwit a cat

October 30th 2014 11:34 pm
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This time of year Josie and my mum have an ongoing battle. Who shall have their favourite seat on the sofa? (Answer - usually Josie. Of course!)

Mum did try arranging all the cushions temptingly at the other end but Josie spurned that and sat, looking a little sorry for herself, where they were not. Have you ever seen a person trying to slide a cushion under a cat? My mum is very funny when she is feeling guilty.

So last night my mum had the sought after spot but wanted to a get cup of tea. How to have both a tea and retain her space? She thought she had been clever, throwing a pile of hard-backed books on the cushion where she sat. Surely that would be too uncomfortable for Josie.

The books were, yes. But Josie simply wrapped herself around them and settled herself on what cusion was available to her. When my mum came back she could only sit down by moving the books - at which moment Josie was perfectly poised to slide across and claim her cushion.

Josie wins every time.

She's the cat so of course she does. (I actually prefer to be on the arm of the sofa, that little bit higher so I get to leave them to their arguing.)


No holiday for cats

October 30th 2014 12:17 am
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We were all worn out by my mum's decorating so yesterday was a quieter day. I did wonder if she plans to go back to work any time and she said she is having to take her two week holiday. She works in finance so they make her take two weeks in a block in case she's up to no good.

"And are you?" I asked, fascinated by this hitherto unrecognised aspect of her personality.

"No," she said, "I prefer a clean conscience." Then she sighed. "The theory is that if I go for two weeks someone else does my work and they'll see if I am up to anything but actually no-one does so I go back to piles and piles. I dread to think how many e-mails I'll have."

"This is why Josie and I don't take holidays," I said, sympathetically. "Imagine the backlog of fur distribution, sofa destruction, laundry basket shredding and so on we would come back to. Not to mention all the naps and snuggles we would need to catch up on."

So the main excitement of yesterday was my mum trying to work out her new smartphone. Not very successfully. She was trying to send a photo of Josie and me to her friend but I don't think we ever did find out if it arrived. Technology and mum are not the best of friends.


Sort of normal again

October 29th 2014 12:18 am
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Weirdly it turns out that when you paint you start with a roll of tape - to keep the walls attached?

Then mum put down a blanket on the floor.

"For sleepsies when you are tired of painting?" asked Josie, nestling in it.

"No," said my mum, "and move unless you want paint spatters when I start rolling."

And roll she did and now our walls are a creamy yellow which is called "Sunrise" on the tin. Painting isn't exactly where our mum excels and the walls don't bear close examination but we aren't in the habit of closely examining the walls so that's OK. And the room feels lighter which is nice.

Then mum put all the furniture back.

"Do you remember how the table and lamp went by the sofa?"she asked. "If I put the table behind the lamp then the lamp is in the wrong place but if I put the lamp behing the table then the table sticks out too far. How did it used to be?" But we can't remember.

Oh well - it sort of works! I am just happy that the sofa and our bed are back where they belong.


Everything is topsy turvy

October 28th 2014 12:55 am
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And I don't like it.

"Technically," I told my mum, "that's cheating. You can only use a claw to rip paper off the wall. You appear to have a special implement. I invented this game so I make the rules and even Josie wouldn't cheat like that."

"Josie never touched the wallpaper until you came along," mum commented.

"You're welcome," I said. "I can see that you don't like it."

"I was perfectly happy with it until you and Josie started tearing great chunks out of it," sid my mum. "I'm fed up of looking at it so off it comes."

She has moved all the furniture in the middle of the room. Josie found her favourite spot on the sofa and doesn't seem to have registered the difference but I don't like it.

"I'm going to paint," said my mum. "Nice smooth paint with nowhere for cats to get their claws in."

So we have a tin of paint and a funny tray and mum has her overalls out. Josie and I will, naturally, be on hand to help. Mum suggested we go out and play but it will be more entertaining watching her.


My mum is home again

October 26th 2014 11:47 pm
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Josie did her usual ping pong ball impression, bouncing all around the flat cheering. And the first night my mum was back Josie cuddled with her under the duvet and I swear that cat purred all night long.

"Did you miss us?" I asked my mum as she was giving me my morning snuggle.

"Very much," she replied. "Their cats just aren't the same." Josie suddenly skidded by. "That's probably for the best," commented my mum.

Then she stopped petting me and I had to give her an extremely firm reminder to carry on. She owes me several days-worth.

In other news we had that Jasper kitten from next door in our garden. He was sitting on a chair, bold as brass. My mum went out to him and I thought that she would tell him off.

"Hello Gorgeous," I heard her say. That wasn't exactly telling him off. She petted him and played with him. Now he thinks he's welcome. Not by me and Josie he isn't. Mum said to be nice to him while he's smaller than me as one day he'll be bigger.

Josie said the last time she was nice to a smaller cat look what happened!

"What?" I asked.

"You're still here," she said, pointedly.

"And I love you both," said my mum firmly, "and Jasper has a loving home all of his own so he won't be moving in."


We're perfect cats for mum

October 16th 2014 10:46 pm
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Josie and I have been being extra healthy so my mum knows that definitely no vet visit is required for either of us. That is indeed the one thing we forgot might happen when we set up the ghost cat paw prints.

The other was that my mum would get in trouble for swearing. She was telling people about bloody pawprints and someone didn't realise she meant actual blood.

My mum does not swear at us. She says "Arrgghh Cats!" sometimes and "I'm trading you in." I warn you she looks through the Catster Pages like they are a catalogue.

"He looks like a lovely cat. I bet he never pokes his mum in the face when she's sleeping. I wonder if they would like to swap." Or "She's very pretty. I expect she waits patiently for her mum to finish her breakfast before demanding tummy rubs."

It is a hard thing to wait when your tummy needs rubbing. Mum says no cat ever came to harm for lack of tummy rubs but I'm not sure that's a chance worth taking.

"Well - we'll know next week while I'm away," said my mum cheerfully.

Away? I don't remember agreeing to that.

Anyway mum needs Josie and me exactly how we are. We keep her laughing and that's good for her!


We had another mystery

October 15th 2014 10:44 pm
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Yesterday morning my mum got up really early. She even caught me and Josie out but we never mind having an early breakfast.

She took a bag and was gone until well past supper time. We had emptied all our bowls and were beginning to wonder if we were doomed to starve when she returned.

"I've been training at one of our other companies," she explained.

"Were you telling them how to say stuff?" She usually is.

"Pretty much." Told you so.

She filled our bowls and was sorting her training stuff out and moaning about how tired she was when...

"Toby! What is that?"

"What? Oh that. Just some pawprints."

"Is that blood?" She touched them. Dry. "It was this morning," I added.

"It is blood," she said. "You poor cat. What happened? Do you need the vet?"

"No." (Never!)

She watched Josie and me very carefully and checked our paws and we are absolutely fine. No-one needs the vet. So she cleaned up the pawprints but she checked us all over again this morning. We are still fine. Actually I am so fine I remembered that she got up at 4.30 yesterday morning and helpfully woke her at 4.30 this morning in case that is our new time. It isn't.

So the paw prints are another mystery. Mum could see the trail came in the kitchen, stopped for biscuits and then sat in the sitting room awhile, probably washing and that's it. We're purring , eating, playing - in our usual excellent health and spirits. So no vet for now. Mum says she'll keep an eye on us.


My new game

October 14th 2014 9:02 pm
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A water bowl can be a toy, right?

It was a rainy, play indoors night last night so I was. I was running and leaping and generally having a marvellous time. I was actually very impressive. I don't know why my mum kept laughing.

Every good athelete keeps hydrated so I stopped for a drink only I didn't stop fast enough. Bam! Water flew out of the bowl in shiny pools all over the rug.

I never saw water like that before so I pounced on some of them, then knocked some more out of the bowl because they were drying up.

"You'll be sorry when you've nothing left to drink," said my mum.

"You'll refill it," I said smugly and she couldn't answer that because we both know it's true.

I never saw the possibilities for entertainment in my water bowl before but I'm delighted to have that new game in my repetoire.

And yes, she did top it up. Something about not wanting Josie to suffer.


Cats' secrets

October 13th 2014 10:42 pm
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I really enjoyed yesterday. I don't mind rain as much as my mum and Josie do so I managed to get some hunting in - and when I come in wet I get lots of fuss and attention and get to leave paw prints and bits of damp leaves all over. I like leaving a visible trail - 'Toby Was Here!"

My mum was busy untangling all our fishing rod toys. We have need of them now winter is here. She always says we have too many and a couple of our least favoured end up being thrown out. Mum wants to know how we never seem to have any less though.

Then my mum was watching an alarming programme on TV. It was all about cats and promised to reveal all our secrets. Imagine our horror! Josie and I took up our positions at either end of the sofa ready to intervene should they start telling our best ones.

Like how we know exactly where to sit that is most inconvenient; how we are able to get our own way pretty much most of the time; what we really think of our humans. We have so many important secrets. They cannot know these things.

Luckily they just talked about our amazing senses. Yes - it is true, we can rotate our ears separately and hear very high squeaking; we have a sense of smell 100 times better than our humans; dusky light is clear us as day is to mum and we're just generally magnificent.

These are hardly secrets. I don't mind my mum knowing them. There are further episodes though. We shall remain alert.


We're being cosy indoors

October 12th 2014 11:08 pm
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One of the many important duties us cats carry out is that of alarm clock. We must make sure our humans don't over-sleep. Like my mum nearly did this morning.

A helpful tap on the nose and a polite good morning and she was awake.

"Morning Tobes," she said. "And morning Josie."

Josie was chasing car headlamps across the wall which would probably have woken my mum anyway.

"Up you get," I said helpfully, thinking of two empty bowls in the kitchen. I mean, thinking that my mum mustn't be late for work.

She grinned.

"No work for me today! I have some holiday to use up and the last two weeks have been so grim I decided to take today off. And what a good day I chose."

For it is raining. Not just a little bit, a whole lottle bit, and the forecast is that it will carry on all day. If ever a day said 'stay on your sofa with your cats' it's today.

We're going to have an awesome day. We'll play; we'll sleep; we'll snuggle. We love being all cosy together.

"I'm glad that you're not having Big Bag holiday this year. Like I'm glad that you were only joking about the sofa going," I said.

There was an awkward silence. Well, let's just enjoy today shall we?" she said, eventually.

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