Toby's Diary

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Qualified Cats?

April 10th 2013 10:43 pm
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Mum had some good news at work she was keen to celebrate with us. We like to celebrate and we got ham so it was a good day for us too.

Mum's work run programmes where people can get qualifications which is a special kind of certificate to say you are good at something. Mum's marked their work and said what she thinks but the people who own the qualifying body have always checked as well but as of this week she is trusted to award on her own. If she says that someone is qualified then they are.

Naturally we were keen to get our certificates but mum says it is in Coaching which is all about asking good questions and our questions tend to be of a very direct nature - is it dinner time yet? can we play? - that kind of thing, and apparently they don't count.

This got me thinking what qualification I would get. I thought maybe "Bird Hunting" but mum pointed out I've never actually caught one. In my head I have. "Da Bird Hunting" - I would get that one with just a little more practice - hint, hint, mum!

Josie wants one too so we all tried to think what she is good at. Mum said maybe "Balancing on the bathroom sink in various positions to drink straight from the tap" which Josie is indeed uniquely skilled in. I think she's very good at playing tag, we both are.

And mum could have one in head scritching as she does that well.

I wonder what my Catster friends would get their qualifications in?


Cheeky Josie

April 9th 2013 10:37 pm
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Tuesday is often movie night in our home. After supper and play time we all settle down and choose a film. Only last night mum chose a stupid one about a dog. She was laughing at the carzy things the dog did but we didn't get it - there are plenty of films about cats out there so she shouldn't have been watching dogs.

Anyway I was snoozing on my bed and Josie was beside mum on the sofa when mum noticed Josie chewing on something.

"What have you got there poppet?" she asked - and she moved Josie to see as she doesn't always trust us when she catches us eating anywhere that isn't our bowls.

Then "How did you get that? I didn't see you." Mum had made herself a bowl of popcorn and Josie likes popcorn, especially with a little drizzle of butter, so Josie had taken a piece from the bowl on mum's lap without being noticed.

Mum reminded Josie of the rule that we don't take food off her plate but Josie thought that only applied to visibly taking food in the same way the rule about not walking on the kitchen sides only applies when mum is in range of sight.

Then mum got up to draw the curtains as it was getting dark. When she turned round there was Josie, cheeky once more, curled up on the cushion mum had been sitting on. Us cats can make ourselves look like we've been comfy settled for hours really fast and it worked for Josie. Mum sat back down at the other end of the sofa.

So you see sometimes I am the good boy, all quietly sleeping, and Josie is the naughty cat!


Being misunderstood

April 8th 2013 10:33 pm
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Nothing scary happened yesterday but I am still making sure I stay close to my mum when she's home in case she needs me to protect her from anything. So there we all were yesterday. Mum on the sofa and me on the arm near to her and Josie was on the bed by the radiator toasting herself.

She was all happy and warmedly and this did not please me so I went and told Josie to move. Which she did. I am top cat here and no mistake. Then I went back to sit by mum who was grumpy with me.

"What did you do that for?" she asked. "You didn't want to sit there yourself so why move poor Josie? Sometimes you are a mean cat."

Josie heard the sympathetic tone and jumped up on mum's lap where mum made a proper fuss of her as she settled into a curled up purring ball of fur.

"You like Josie on your lap, don't you?" I pointed out. "I was just rearranging her to make you happy. How is that a mean thing? She's happy now, you're happy."

Mum went "Hmmm" and I suspected I was not quite forgiven. It took quite a lot of purrs and kisses before she mellowed with me. Mum hopes I will become a kinder cat as I grow up but I like being the boy in charge!!


I didn't like my weekend

April 7th 2013 10:40 pm
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When mum came home from work on Friday Josie ran to greet her but I held back.

"Are you OK sweetie?" mum asked.

"I have seen terrible things," I replied.

"Maybe supper will make you better," she suggested and that's usually a good idea but I couldn't relax. I kept jumping.

"What has got into you?" asked mum. Josie just shrugged her shoulders and went out leaving mum to try and comfort me as best she could.

Then when mum went to draw the curtains she saw what had happened. There was a big ivy plant growing up the side of the building and a man came to pull it down. I thought he was trying to break into the flat and steal our food, maybe even Da Bird as my most precious thing.

Mum said she knew he was coming but hadn't warned us as she didn't know exactly which day. The reason Josie was Ok is that she's scared of something every day so that's normal for her. I'm usually pretty brave but he sounded like he was attacking the very fabric of our home.

Then on Saturday upstairs had drilling and banging going on. Mum said they were fixing the bathroom so we won't get any more leaks but it was noisy and scary.

Then on Sunday two mystery cats came in our garden and sat and stared in the window. They didn't do anything aggressive, just seeemed to think they would like to come in. Mum said not to worry - she's not letting any more cats in. She reckons two is enough.

It took me quite a lot of cuddles before I could get to sleep last night I can tell you.

Hopefully now it's Monday things will go back to normal again.


Mum's question for us

April 4th 2013 10:46 pm
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"Did you come into my life normal cats and go crazy or did I just get the mad ones?" - she was looking at Josie as she asked this but I was in the room so she meant me too.

It's fairly well known that mum and I have our different views of the world and Josie is normally the quiet one but she has her little excursions into the peculier and she was having one last night.

You'll see in my photo Josie in the background perched by the TV and the TV is sitting on a unit. The unit has shelves inside for the box and DVD player only they aren't in there. The engineer gave mum a talk about over-heating appliances last time he came and the DVD player doesn't work.

Mum asked Josie if she can remember why the DVD player doesn't work but Josie doesn't think she can actually. Mum says it's because every time the disc drawer slid in and out Josie tried to catch it and apparently it's not good for disc drives to be tugged back as they try and slide in. Mum did try and stop her but Josie can move fast and from unexpected angles when she needs to.

So anyway the unit has a round hole in the back for all the wires only there aren't any. What had surprised mum last night was Josie's face peering through that hole and a paw sweeping round to see what she could grab from inside the unit. It's all DVDs pretty much so the answer was nothing but that didn't stop Josie continuing to peep in and then reach as far as she could.

And that's what made my mum wonder why her cats aren't the peaceful companions that her friends imagine. Did she get the wrong cats or is it her?

Don't worry - she loves us exactly as we are!!I know that because I keep reminding her.


The correct etiquette

April 3rd 2013 10:36 pm
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Mum and I have a disagreement on what the correct etiquette is in a particular situation.

It is still really cold so Josie and I didn't go out for long last night and mum entertained us with a selection of our top toys until we got sleepy. Then Josie settled on mum's lap and I settled on the arm of the sofa next to her and we were the cosiest household in Cosy Town.

I slept for some time and woke up all refreshed and ready but mum was just staring at the TV. She hadn't even noticed me wake up so I grabbed her hand and bit it. Not hard, just to let her know I was awake.

Mum was more surprised than hurt which just shows you how badly she was ignoring me. She said, "ow" and shook her hand and then the disagreement happened.

She said the polite thing to do is to warn of the bite with some tail flicks so she has a chance to move her hand out of the way and give me a toy to attack instead. I say the polite thing to do is to gaze admiringly at me at all times so she will know when I need attention and not need biting.

Josie says cats shouldn't bite the hand that feeds and if we want mum we should give her a gentle head rub or maybe a little lick but she's such a goodie two shoes that I don't listen to her.

So we haven't agreed which is the correct etiquette but I'm pretty sure I'm right.


The Grape Escape

April 2nd 2013 10:39 pm
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Mum was boooorrrrriiinnngg last night. She was marking assignments so all she was doing was riffling paper and muttering, "Good. Very good.","You haven't really answered the question," and "Where is Part B? Please tell me you haven't missed Part B." (They had.)

A cat who is honoured with being a Diary Pick should really get all the attention in the home but all I got was the odd head rub and a promise she wouldn't be long.

But I am a resourceful boy and can find my own amusement at such times. I looked around at what else was on the table. Fruit bowl. Hm. What might be in there? Ah, grapes! My favourite fruit. I had fun picking one that wasn't attached to the rest and hoicking it out of the bowl. Then I chased it all around the table and mum laughed so I had her attention. Then it escaped off the table and I jumped down in hot pursuit.

More fun chasing it then on to other toys.

It wasn't until later I saw mum doing something interesting. She was poking around under the chairs and behind the curtain.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Looking for your grape," she replied.

"He's long gone," I told her.

"Grapes don't just go. Where is he?" she wanted to know.

"You have lots of other grapes. Eat one of them. That one's mine." I told her.

But mum said she really wanted to find my grape. She said otherwise time will do its thing and she'll be able to find it from a smell of rotting fruit and a buzz of fruit flies. That sounded like the more interesting option so I left her to it.

The story ends happily. She never did find the grape but she did find one of Josie's toy mice that she had lost. She is going to look again today in the light but he is very well hidden so this could be more fun for us to watch.

Thank you to everyone for your kind messages on me being a Diary Pick. I feel very special.


More fun with the jigsaw

April 1st 2013 10:37 pm
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Mum was doing more of her jigsaw yesterday. She was muttering about why on earth had she chosen one with so very many pieces.

Now I am a kindly cat and I could help so I started taking some away so she would have fewer. I even found, now she has more linked together, that by pulling on one I could get a whole string which was brilliant.

Mum wasn't as grateful as you would expect and we got into a game of whacky paw every time she saw me reach for one. Then Josie heard us arguing and came to see what was going on.

She decided to stop the argument completely by plonking herself down in the middle of the jigsaw so mum couldn't do it any more anyway.

Mum laughed at us and said we aren't the restful companions people fondly imagine.

I don't know what she meant. We had been peacefully sleeping some time and were awake and ready for action. Mum persuaded Josie to get up, folded the puzzle away and out came da Bird. Excellent.

Talking of birds I haven't exactly caught an outdoors one yet but I had a good few attempts yesterday. They do keep flying away which many would call cheating but mum calls a very good thing. She is a bit odd sometimes.


Spring is springing

March 31st 2013 11:34 pm
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It is still rather cold but Josie and I can both feel Spring in our veins - and we like it!!

We have been remembering some things we liked last Spring. Josie has started asking to have the bath room tap turned on for her to drink from. I've started tearing little bits of wallpaper off the wall. We're both talking more. (I always chat a fair amount to my mum but normally Josie can go weeks without a single meow.)

We're pretty sure we're going to catch a bird this year. There seem to be plenty out there and we have a plan which we have explained to the birds. It hasn't actually worked as yet but we're sure it will. It would help if Josie would come outside to do her part but she reckons it's too cold at the moment so she is more cheerleader from the window for now.

Mum's been doing spring cleaning which we like. She clears stuff off shelves and out of drawers and we jump in. We also like chasing the dusters, especially the feather one.

Best of all mum has yet another bank holiday so is home all day again today. Hoorah!!



March 29th 2013 12:28 am
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Mum had stuff with her when she came home from work last night. One was an odd looking tube with a plastic bunny on top.

"What's that?" I asked, giving it a good sniff. I could smell all sorts of things but nothing conclusive.

"It's my Easter tombola prize. There were chocolate eggs and Easter cookies but I won the prize that Josie will like the most. Bubbles."

She is right there. I don't trust bubbles at all. Mum blows on a stick and they just appear out of nothing and then they float about a bit and disappear. What sorcery is this?! Josie gets very excited when she sees bubbles. She chats to them as if they were birds and then sets about to despatch each and every one with a timely paw swipe.

So Josie and mum played bubble chasing and I watched from a safe distance.

Then I sniffed mum's other thing. "Is this one for me if that one's for Josie?"

"Sadly no," mum said, "that's my chocolate egg prize for coming second in the egg decorating competition".

"Did you do any work at work today at all?" - what with tombolas and decorating eggs it doesn't sound like there was much time. She looked a bit embarrassed. "Some".

Mum has promised to go out today and get some of my favourite treats as she and Josie both got a nice thing yesterday. Today is a happy day for all of us. The sun is shining, it's a little bit warmer - the snow is gone - and no office for mum today as it's a bank holiday so she'll be here to pander to our every whims all day. Hoorah!!

and Happy Easter to all my friends.

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