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Toby's Diary

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Giving my mum feedback

October 24th 2013 10:35 pm
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We've been practising!

Firstly I like my mum to open our little door for me promptly when I want to come in BUT I do not like her to wear her stupid yellow gloves like when she is washing up as she does this. These are to be removed. So when she tried to let me in yesterday I just recoiled and stared at her hands until she got the hint.

Josie, who is still in naughty mode, didn't like mum's choice of office wear yesterday. My mum had her clothes laid out on her bed but as she pulled each item towards herself to put on Josie leapt up, grabbed it and tugged back. Apparently mum seemed to quite enjoy the tug of war until it was a brand new pair of tights; cats' claws and hosiery not mixing so well.

It is being darker and wetter outdoors which we do not like so we're staying in more. My mum says she likes that. She had forgotten what we looked like in the summer.



October 23rd 2013 10:38 pm
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We had mum a bit more than normal yesterday as she had been on a course that ended early. It was about 360 Feedback.

"I don't think we've had that one before,"I commented. "What is it?"

"It's when my boss and my colleagues and the people that sort of report to me all get to say what they think about me. The idea is that by getting it all together you get a rounded view. I had one recently and people said some really lovely things."

"Did Josie give feedback?" I couldn't remember her mentioning it.


"So neither of your cats got a say. I suppose they asked that stupid dog you see at the park."

"I don't think any animal took part," said my mum.

"So it was hardly rounded. Typical."

I have lots of feedback for my mum. Luckily for her I don't wait to be asked for it. She has a right to know how she is doing as she goes along allowing her to modify her behaviour as required. No point in having claws and teeth if you don't use them properly!!


Naughty Josie (again!)

October 22nd 2013 10:31 pm
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Yesterday evening mum and I were playing with Da Bird. I leapt and jumped and chased and it was brilliant. By bedtime I was very sleepy and was dreaming of kitty food containers that kitties can open for themselves when I was woken by a loud meow.

Josie had jumped on mum's sleeping body and announced, "It's Show Time."

What followed was much pouncing on any part of my mum that moved, much muttering by mum and eventually a mad dash for the door by Josie and some leaping around in the hall.

Most peculier!

Then later when we were all properly awake my mum went in the kitchen and exclaimed.



"You're on the sides"


"Where you aren't meant to be," continued my mum.


That wasn't the response my mum was expecting. Usually we jump down as soon as we see her. Josie was in full blown rebel mode.

Mum says Josie hasn't been quite the same since she killed the mouse and has been all demanding. Not with me she hasn't. She wouldn't dare. So she's taking it all out on my mum. It's funny to watch and I like being the good cat - for a while at least.


Cats are Super Sensers

October 21st 2013 10:33 pm
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Last night was a good one for cosy night in. I was on my favourite arm of the sofa curled up, leaning against my mum so I could feel her warm. Josie was asleep on mum's lap and mum was enjoying a quiet snooze along with us. A scene of perfect tranquility But then....

Josie heard it first. She leapt up from mum's lap and ran to the window, pushed aside the curtain and was staring out. Then I heard it too. I ran and stood behind her. Any threat to our home would have to get through the both of us - and the window of course.

My mum looked up a bit blearily. Not only can't she hear very well she doesn't wake up in a spark like a cat. And she doesn't see in the dark much. She came up behind us and peered out.

"What is it?" she wanted to know. Then she caught it - the tip of white on the end of Smudge's tail as he strolled along the path. Smudge who lives next door and should stick to his own garden had been intruding in ours.

"How did you hear him?" asked my mum. "I heard nothing."

"We did hear him trampling about clear as day. You have puny human ears that don't even swivel," I explained. She looked a bit crestfallen at that so I was quick to reassure her. "But you do open cat food sachets quite well so you do have some skills."

Actually come to think of that, why do they put our food in things we don't open so well?

Anyway Smudge had got a glimpse of the three of us lined up to repel him so he trotted off and all is well that ends well. Thank goodness for cats' amazing hearing. Left to mum we would never have known he was there.


Advanced People Training

October 20th 2013 10:38 pm
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My mum went shopping at the weekend. She came back on Saturday, rootled through her bags and found an exciting crinkly sounding one.

"How do you do it?" she asked.

"How do we do what?" I asked, wondering what that noise meant.

"I am used to the fact that no matter how much kitty food I know we have I drift into the pet food aisle when I'm food shopping - just in case. But today I was at the craft shop buying stamps for card making and I found myself looking for a gift for you two. How come?"

"What gift?" I had a good feeling about crinkly bag.

She dipped in the bag and pulled something out, a small white ball, which she rolled across the carpet. I was right on it, one small tap and it flew off. Brilliant.

"I'm glad you like it," said my mum. "But I still want to know how you control me when I'm not even with you."

Some People Training secrets can never be told.

Mum left crinkly bag on a table and by the time my mum woke up on Sunday morning there was an empty bag and small white balls all around the room. Mum swears they are not sold as cat toys but they should be. So despite lots of rain outside we had a happy weekend.


Josie bitten by the play bug

October 17th 2013 11:30 pm
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At 5am!!

You know how it is. Suddenly you just have to chase something, anything. We can't go out at night so the mices were safe and she knows better than to mess with me when I'm sleeping so that left our mum.

To be fair to Josie she did ask politely, jumping on mum's bed with a firm meow. I chat to mum a lot but Josie hardly ever meows so mum would have known it was important but she just snuggled herself deeper in her duvet so she has only herself to blame for what followed.

Josie started with a few pounces on where she could see lumps of mum under the duvet and when that didn't work inspiration struck. A sneaky paw under the duvet to where mum was, claws extended, until she felt soft pyjama and she swiped, smack on mum's leg.

My mum jumped and said, "OOohh!" and Josie trotted off convinced that would get the chase started. Mum sat up and looked at me. "Go on Toby. Entertain her. That is why I have the two of you." But the play bug had not bitten me so I stayed where I was.

Josie darted back in.

"Do you know what time it is?" my mum asked her.

"Play time?" suggested Josie with an athletic leap on to the drawers where she started knocking things about in the hope that something would roll.

"Why oh why do I have cats?" asked my mum as she lay back and tried to get back to sleep.

This worried me so I immediately went over there to give her some headrubs and purrs so she would know we love her and that's why she has us.

"That's very sweet Toby but not helping me sleep," she said. That wasn't particularly grateful. It's nearly the weekend. She can catch up on sleep then.


My bad mum

October 16th 2013 11:28 pm
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Us cats have very accurate tummy clocks and know exactly when our dinner should be put in our bowls. Yesterday evening we reached that time and then suddenly the phone sang its song and mum got up and spoke to it.

"Yes," she said. "That's right. When will that be?" and on and on - all boring stuff.

How to get her attention? I normally only scramble up the curtains mid-game but desperate times call for desperate measures. I gave a hearty meow and up I went.

"OK - Do you have their number?" my mum droned on.

So that didn't work. What next? Ah hah! There are several places where I attacked the wallpaper when I was a kitten so they are already torn but how about a new place? Higher than I could reach back then. I stretched up with my claws and started work on the nubbly bits.


Excellent. My plan was genius.

"That's great. Thank you" said my mum to the phone and then she put it down and filled our bowls. Just in time before we starved.

She said it had been an important call. While she was away her car was hit by another driver and she was trying to sort out all the insurance stuff. She says it wasn't her fault - she wasn't even in her car when it happened but it was her fault. It would never have happened if she had stayed home and looked after us instead. When will she learn?


Do NOT tell a soul

October 15th 2013 10:05 pm
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Especially not Josie!

I came in last night and my mum was on the sofa watching her programme.

"Are you laxing?" I asked.

"Am I what?" she replied.

"Laxing. Before they replay anything on TV they have to play it so I thought before you could re-lax you might have to lax and it looks like you're doing that."

She considered this one. "I suppose I am then."

She looked all comfy and content and it is getting quite nippy around here. I checked that Josie was nowhere in sight and I jumped up on her legs. Then I had a quick wash and settled down for 40 winks, on my mum's legs. (I don't think they count as a lap when they are stretched out on the sofa.)

Anyway it was rather lovely, all warm and soft and getting occasional headrubs from my mum. I can see why Josie likes it so much. But it's not exactly macho behaviour so I won't do it too often and I wouldn't want Josie to know that I might be turning into a softie lap cat so don't tell anyone.


Stressed cats?

October 14th 2013 11:37 pm
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My mum had a question for me when she came back from her adventures.

"Toby - do you get stressed when I stroke you?"

That was so unexpected I had to ask her to repeat it and then I considered the matter.

"Sometimes a bit," I replied, for I am an honest cat.

She was all contrition.


"When I am not ready for you to stop and I feel your hand go away. Then I know I have to ask for more."

"So being stroked itself doesn't stress you?"

"No. If it did I would walk away. Or whacky-paw. Or sleep put of reach like when Josie goes in her bed under your bed and you leave her be."

Turns out mum read some research that says cats give off stress hormones sometimes when they are being stroked. Who are these cats that silently tolerate what they do not like? I love being stroked and often ask my mum for some petting and attention and Josie and I most often like to settle near by my mum so we can get her caresses.

I asked my mum if she gets stressed when I stroke her. I like to stroke her face sometimes. She said she does a bit because she likes it but never knows when the claws will join in. Ah.

Maybe the researchers said the wrong way around - it's people that get stressed when their cats stroke them.


Mum's home

October 13th 2013 11:39 pm
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I know all cats have their own strategy when their people have been away. I just pretend I didn't notice - I be completely normal. Josie is hopeless. She has been either dashing about like a loon or sitting close by my mum purring and reaching out a pathetic paw every now and then to make sure mum is really there.

Mum said we must be very thankful to our neighbours who kindly fed us while she was away. I am not. Paul did complain about me.

As I don't use the cat door normally when mum goes away we are imprisoned but he did let us out and then come back to let us back in again and I love being out in the garden. Indeed so much so that one evening I wanted to stay out when he called us in.

Josie trotted off like the goodie-two-shoes she is but I stayed out adventuring. Paul waited awhile and called again but I pretended I didn't hear him. Then he came in the garden with a torch - he was looking in all my best hunting places and calling me.

I was pretty tired by then as it was very late and I didn't really want to stay out all night. Then a funny idea struck me. Being black and small I am all but invisible at night. I slipped behind him and back home, into the bedroom and I settled myself on my chair. As I started on my evening wash I could hear him still in the garden calling for me and I chuckled.

It was a while after that I heard the back door close. He must have given up on me. Then he came and called "Goodnight Josie" and he looked down and saw me and realised I had been there all along and this is why he complained. He had spent literally hours waiting and searching and I had simply been enjoying a quiet sleep on my own chair, snuggled up with my bears.

People think they are so clever but they are no match for us cats!!

(Mum says I won't feel so clever when I don't get let out again but I am pretty hard to resist!)

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