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Toby's Diary

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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!)


Josie's marble

October 3rd 2013 10:41 pm
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Yesterday mum said she couldn't face more mouse slaughter - real or pretend - so Josie found something new to entertain herself with. she found a large green glass marble. She batted it here; she batted it there; she was having a marvellous time.

So naturally I wanted a go. I batted it and off it rolled; batted again - more rolling and "Listen how it makes a strange noise on the kitchen floor!"

"Not in the kitchen Toby!" called my mum dashing in. "You'll.....too late," as the marble rolled under the units. Oh well - it was fun while it lasted.

My mum is all happy today as one more day of work then holiday. Yey!

"Not big bag going away type holiday?" I asked hopefully.

A sheepish look. "Not all of it."

So if you don't hear from me for a while it will be because my mum is off gallivanting when she should be looking after us.


Thoughts on toy mice and people are odd

October 2nd 2013 10:44 pm
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We were having a cosy evening in. I had been in the garden so was dozing and mum was lobbing balls out of the toy box for Josie to chase. Then mum picked out a toy mouse and shuddered.

"Funny how these aren't cute any more," she commented and dropped it back in the box. But too late - for Josie had seen the fur. Quick as a mouse herself she was by mum's side, paw in box, claw extended and the fluffy green mouse was neatly flipped onto the carpet.

Josie then treated us to a re-enactment of what happened in those early hours of Sunday morning. I saw the original of course but I quite enjoyed the performance. My mum looked on bewildered as Josie neatly demonstrated the correct techniques for despatching a mouse.

Mum's face made me laugh.

"Why do you give us toy ones if you aren't hoping we'll practice for real ones?" I asked.

"It's what the pet shop sell," she replied. "Maybe I thought if you had enough toys you wouldn't go out for real ones."

You would think she never had cats before but she assures me she has been trained by a fine succession of cats. I don't think I will ever quite understand her. Luckily I don't need to.


Mum time

October 1st 2013 10:43 pm
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My mum was late home but she came back laden with boxes of our kitty food so we forgave her.

"and kitty treats?" I asked hopefully.

"And kitty treats" she assured me.

So we had our supper and then I sat by my mum and had my head and tummy rubbed and then we played with the lasar pointer and Da Bird so it was a pretty perfect evening all in all.

"Time for bed,"she announced.

"OK," I said running to the cat door. "Sleep well. I'll see you later."

But in unexpectedly cruel twist the door was locked.

"Why now Toby?" she asked me. "You could have been out all evening so why do you want to go out now?"

"You've been fun to be with,"I replied. "No offence but you're pretty dull when you sleep."

Despite the validity of my argument I wasn't allowed out. She is mean.

I had planned a good run this morning to make up for it but Josie was out first and shot straight back in.

"Was it the scary thing that cannot be named?" I asked, slightly nervously.

"No,"said Josie giving herself a slight shake. "It's raining like mum's shower is the whole sky."

That is a lot of wet so I'm staying snugglied with my mum in the dry.


Escaping food

September 30th 2013 10:35 pm
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Like most cats I do get pretty excited at dinner-time. I hear the rustle of the sachet and wonder - What will it be? Last night's was really good.

I ate all the big chunks and then started on the little ones and the gravy. Lick, lick, licketty, lick. But as I reached the edges a terrible thing happened.

My bowl started edging away from me.

Naturally I followed it, licking more of my tasty dinner - and it happened again. My bowl wandered half-way across the kitchen floor and started sneaking under a sideboard.

Now I expect mice and birds to run but kitty chunks are normally a more sedentary meal.

So I switched to Josie's bowl which was better behaved.

When my mum came in and saw what had happened she picked the bowl up and looked at it.

"Tell it off!" I demanded.

She held it up and looked under it.

"Its feet have come off," she announced. Normally feet make things move but some of our bowls have rubber feet that stop them sliding as we eat.

The million dollar question is - did mum not know my dinner would be slipping away from me or is this ongoing revenge for the traumatic mouse incident?


I caught a mouse

September 29th 2013 10:46 pm
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Oh yes! I am a mighty and fearsome hunter.

My mum said she had a tiring week and on Saturday she said she would take the day easy and relax. Being a thoughtful cat I decided I knew just what would help perk her up. I went out in the garden and found a mouse for her and ran back in with it.

She was so excited; she jumped up and squealed and I thought to myself if she was that excited by just seeing the mouse how much even better it would be when she saw the next part. I put him down and off the mouse ran. Oh the excitement as mum and I tried to catch him again.

Then my mum said, "I can't do this" and to be fair her screams were hurtung my ears a bit. We were in the bedroom at this point so she shut me and the mouse in the bedroom and told me she wasn't letting me out until it was dead.

After a few minutes it squeezed under the door so that wasn't mum's best plan. Luckily for me she had left the window open so I jumped out and round and wandered back in the sitting room.

"Have you seen my mouse?"


"Don't worry - it will turn up."

And turn up it did. As soon as I was able to grabbed it again and ran to give it back to my mum so she could have another go at mouse-chasing for herself. I dropped it in front of her and off it went. More squealing and not so much in the way of hunting.

"What shall I do?" she asked.

"You need a little more willingness to go down to the mouse- level. You'll get this in no time," I assured her.

Apparently that wasn't the answer she was looking for. She went out and when she came back she had bought a mouse-trap. A humane one.

"I didn't know you cared about the mousie," I commented.

"I don't. I just don't trust you two not to poke your inquisitive paws where you shouldn't. This one can't hurt you," she replied.

Despite many efforts the mouse was not caught before bed-time, not by us and not by the mouse trap. When my mum went to bed she made me promise not to bring the mouse to her if I caught it while she slept. I was settling down on my chair for some well-earned rest myself so was happy to make that promise.

It was actually Josie who caught the mouse in the night but she played too roughly and killed it. I watched it all from my chair; mum could only hear and I think that was enough for her from the look of horror on her face.

In the morning she found the little body.

"Josie," she called. "Where is the other half?"

But Joise couldn't remember. It had all been rather over-exciting. She never killed anything before.

So all in all a very exciting weekend for us. And I was a Diary Pick which was the cherry on the top of one of my favourite weekends ever. Mum said it was one of her least favourites but I think that's because she was shown up as the worst hunter in the family. Humane mouse trap indeed!!

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