Santa Claws – The Christmas Tree Mission

The bipeds decided to put up the Christmas decorations at the weekend. Pippin found himself a comfortable spot for a nap as soon as he saw the bipeds getting boxes out. I checked all the boxes to make sure that there was nothing dangerous lurking in them and then I also took a nap.

Mulberry decided that he needed to supervise everything the bipeds did. He often chats and gives a running commentary about what’s going on, but he was so sure that they couldn’t manage without him that he didn’t even take a nap. He helped them choose the purrfect spot for the Christmas tree.

Mulberry, Persian Cat, with Christmas tree stand

That’s the purrfect spot!

The bipeds went through their usual routine of plugging in the Christmas lights and replacing bulbs that weren’t working. They always do this, it takes them a while to remember that they should put the lights on the tree! This year they did this before they’d even put the tree in the stand, so Mulberry was reminding them to get the tree out of its box.

Pippin told Mulberry not to worry – the bipeds always figure it out in the end. The male biped complained that Mulberry was getting underfoot. But Mulberry didn’t care, he just kept on giving instructions.

When the male biped took the tree out of the box and went to put it in the stand, Mulberry was there making sure he got it right. He was telling the biped which way round it went and to be careful not to drop it.

Mulberry, Persian Cat, with Christmas tree stand

Be careful with the tree!

While the bipeds were walking back and forth putting the decorations on the tree, Mulberry was walking between their feet. He kept up a non-stop commentary, telling them where the next bauble should go.

Christmas bauble

There’s a gap to the left!

The male biped said that Mulberry was a menace and kept almost tripping him up. The female biped was draping a string of silver beads on the tree and said that at least Mulberry wasn’t trying to play with the decorations this year. What timing! Mulberry reached up and grabbed the end of the beads and pulled them from her.

The male biped raised one eyebrow and said, “You were saying?”

They both laughed and he scooped Mulberry up into his arms and gave him a cuddle. Everything was finished a few moments later and the bipeds sat down and gave us all a cuddle and some treats, before putting the empty boxes away.

Mulberry, Persian Cat, sleeping

Turn out the light! I’m sleepy

Mulberry is exhausted, but he says he’s very pleased with the Christmas tree that he decorated!

See you next Wednesday!

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Pippin, tabby cat, showing his tummy

When is a cat not a cat?

I told you last week how we discovered that there was a mouse inside the kitchen door and that the male biped had a cunning plan. Here is what happened next.

Pippin has a bit of a reputation as a fearless hunter and the male biped said he’d encourage the mouse to come out so that Pippin could catch it. He sent Mulberry and me out onto the terrace, as he said we’d get in the way! It was easy for me to look through the glass in the terrace door, but Mulberry had to stand up on his hind legs to watch.

The biped taped some cardboard over the grille on the kitchen side of the door and then closed the door. He unscrewed the grille on the other side – we still couldn’t see the mouse as the door was hollow.

The female biped said she didn’t want to watch and went to the other end of the room, while Mulberry and I pressed our noses against the glass hoping to see everything. The male biped encouraged Pippin to sit a few feet away from the door. He then put a peanut on the floor fairly close to Pippin. A moment later the mouse appeared in the hole in the door and Pippin moved forwards, which scared the mouse back into the door – not surprising really!

Peanuts

Mouse treats!

The male biped moved the peanut a little farther away from the door and told Pippin he’d have more time to catch the mouse. We didn’t have to wait long before the mouse appeared again. It ran right under Pippin’s nose, picked up the peanut and ran back towards the door. Pippin pounced, but he was too late and the mouse disappeared into the door. The male biped said that he thought it was a field mouse or a wood mouse, but not a house mouse.

Wood mouse

Wood Mouse
from Wikipedia

I decided that, as it was in the door, it was more likely to be a dormouse looking for somewhere to sleep away the winter.

Hibernating dormouse

A sleeping dormouse
Attribution: By Krzysztof Dreszer (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mulberry said he thought it was RebelMouse – he thinks he’s hilarious!

The female biped said, “Whatever type of mouse it is, it has no reason to come out for a while now!”

The male biped agreed that the mouse would probably take a while to eat the peanut, but he put another peanut on the floor and told Pippin to keep his eyes open. The mouse really liked those peanuts – it soon appeared and scurried right under Pippin’s nose, picked up the peanut and went back into the door. Pippin opened his eyes wide and watched it every step of the way but stayed as still as a statue.

The male biped said he’d try again. The same thing happened!

The female biped said that we had the best fed mouse in the neighbourhood and that she thought she had remembered where the mousetraps were packed. The male biped asked if he could get them and she said it would be easier for her as she knew what the box looked like. She soon came back with four mousetraps.

They were the type that is a little box with a door that drops down when the mouse enters. The mouse is unharmed and can be released outside. She put a peanut in each one and arranged them in an arc on the floor below the hole in the door.

The male biped said, “That’ll scare the mouse and make it stay in the door!”

She replied, “Maybe. That’s what I thought about the cat sitting by the door, but that was before I knew that the cat was the mouse’s pet!”

Pippin, tabby cat, showing his tummy

Pippin – the mouse’s pet, allegedly!

The male biped said, “Ouch! Cover your ears Pippin!” But then he asked, “Are you a cat or a mouse? Squeak up!”

While they were busy teasing each other, the mouse came out of the door. It went across and into a trap and the little door on the trap flipped closed.

The bipeds heard that and they both smiled. Pippin just sat there. The female biped said that she’d take the mouse outside and release it, while the male biped put the door back together.

I asked Pippin if the pressure of having an audience was too much for him. He said he could have caught the mouse easily, but there was a slight communication problem. He says he thought the biped wanted to catch it! He says he gave a demonstration of the required moves and sat there giving quiet encouragement.

Pippin is still not very pleased with me about telling this tale, especially the part that answers the question in the title. When is a cat not a cat? When he is the mouse’s pet!

See you next Wednesday!

When is a door not a door?

I’m going to answer that question and tell you about a rather strange door.

This incident happened soon after we’d moved into an old, stone house. There was an open fire in the kitchen which smoked badly if the kitchen door was closed. After they’d had to open all the windows to let the smoke out a couple of times, my bipeds decided to leave the door ajar when the fire was lit.

That’s the first answer to the question in the title – when it’s ajar (sounds like a jar)! There’s a better answer later!

It looked as though someone had tried to solve the problem of the smoking fire by making a hole in the door to allow air to flow through. They had covered the hole in the door with a metal grille on each side. It didn’t stop the fire smoking when the door was closed, but it did make the door very ugly!

Pippin the tabby cat sitting on the terrace

Pippin

One morning the cats were showing a lot of interest in this hole in the door. Pippin was sitting on one side of the door with his nose pressed against the grille and Mulberry was on the other side of the door in the same position. Even when the female biped mentioned breakfast, they didn’t move a muscle. She got down on her knees and peered at the door, but she couldn’t see anything. The cats stayed where they were.

Mulberry, Persian cat

Mulberry

The male biped appeared and asked what the cats were doing. The female biped told him they wouldn’t move but that she couldn’t see anything. He got down on his knees and peered into the grille, but he couldn’t see anything either. The cats still didn’t budge. The bipeds decided to have their breakfast.

They had almost finished when the male biped exclaimed, “There’s a mouse!”

A mouse

A mouse!

He then explained that he’d seen a mouse briefly appear and poke its nose through the grille to see if it was safe to come out. The mouse had decided it was safer to stay inside the door.

If only the bipeds had used their noses, they would have known there was a mouse there much sooner!

Here’s the second answer to the question: When is a door not a door? When it’s a mouse’s house!

The female biped was not enthusiastic about the idea of a mouse on the loose in the kitchen, but the bipeds hadn’t finished unpacking and couldn’t remember where they’d packed the mousetraps. It was a Sunday so the local shops wouldn’t be open to buy new ones. The male biped said he had an idea.

Pippin doesn’t think I should tell you the rest of the tale, he says he may never speak to me again if I do. That was a worrying reaction so I had a chat with Mulberry and asked him what he thought. He said that he (Mulberry) was concerned when I told the tale of his scary encounter with a chair, but everyone was sympathetic to his plight and he needn’t have worried at all. He said he was sure that Pippin would enjoy being the focus of attention.

So I’ll tell you about the male biped’s cunning plan and the part that Pippin played in it another time!

See you next Wednesday!

My feline friends

Mulberry and Pippin, my cats, said that it’s too long since they’ve appeared in one of my tales. I asked them what they would like me to write about them and they asked me to come up with some ideas and then they would help me to write the post.

Mulberry, Persian cat, with towels

I’m helping the biped!

Each time I went to talk to them about my ideas, they were busy. Mulberry appeared to be resting on a pile of clean towels, but he assured me he was helping the biped sort out my towels. He also said that the biped had a bath planned for me soon – he’s probably right!

Each time I checked on them after that they said that they were doing their yoga. Then they needed to groom themselves and then they groomed each other.

Pippin, tabby cat, showing his tummy

Pippin doing yoga

Mulberry, Persian cat, showing his tummy

Mulberry doing yoga

Finally they said they were ready to help. They settled themselves comfortably and I began to read my ideas to them. They made a few comments and then they went very quiet. I looked up and they were fast asleep!

Two cats sleeping - Pippin, tabby, and Mulberry, Persian

This is their idea of helping!

I’ll tell you about some of the strange things they do. Mulberry likes to jump out from a hiding place – he’s always hoping to scare Pippin or me! Sometimes we pretend that he almost scared us because he tries so hard.

If either of them vomit, they panic and move backwards to get away from it. The bipeds ask them to keep still and be sick in one place, but they don’t listen they keep moving! Mulberry pukes a little and then jumps backwards a couple of feet and keeps repeating that until he’s finished, but Pippin can run really fast backwards and puke at the same time – it’s quite impressive!

Oh, they’ve woken up, apparently this isn’t funny and not at all the sort of thing they had in mind!

Mulberry says that his favourite stories are “Purrfect obedience cat” and “The chair scare“. Pippin says that you should all make sure to read my very first interview called “A fridge too far“.

They’ve gone back to sleep, they’ve obviously had a very tiring day. I won’t get any more sense out of them now, so I’ll tell you there’s a list of cat tales.

See you next Wednesday!

Indecision

The female biped went shopping and left me at home with the cats. When she got back I heard her stop the car in the lane as near to the front door as she could. The only building beyond us is a farmer’s barn and he hardly ever uses it. A moment later she came in the door with bags of shopping. She told me to wait to greet her as she had some more bags to fetch before moving the car. Then we heard a lorry outside. She groaned and just put the bags down on the floor and hurried out to move the car.

The biped reappeared a couple of minutes later with more bags of shopping. During her absence Pippin had woken up and found the bag of meat. The handles were tied together, but he had made a neat slit in it with his claws and was trying to pull out a package of meat. I was standing there, unsure what to do. I knew he shouldn’t be doing that, but the meat did smell very tempting!

Pippin, the cat, looking innocent

Pippin, trying to look innocent!

The biped said, “Pippin, no!”

But Pippin didn’t stop, he started tugging harder on the package. The biped put the bags down and went across to Pippin. He was very naughty, he still didn’t stop. She took the meat from Pippin and went into the kitchen and put it on the work top, but Pippin followed her and jumped up. She told him to get down, but he wasn’t listening – she had to pick him up and carry him away and put him in another room and close the door.

She came back and said, “You are so good, Clowie! I didn’t mean to leave something so tempting right in front of you. I think you deserve a treat or two, before I check what damage Pippin has done.”

She gave me some treats and made a big fuss of me, then she put the shopping away. After that, she let Pippin out of the room she’d closed him in. He looked around to see if there was any meat left out – he has no shame! The biped gave me some more treats and we had a game together.

I never steal food, but they don’t make a habit of leaving tempting things where I can get them. I hesitated and the opportunity was gone. I’m still not sure what I should do if I get a chance like that again, so I thought I’d ask my friends for advice. I’ve set up a poll with some options and I’d be pleased to hear your ideas in the comments.

Other news

Oscar from My Three Moggies  has been injured in a fight. The good news is that he has been patched up and is at home again, recovering from his ordeal. He’s receiving lots of love and tuna, but I’m sure he’d like some visitors.

I received a parcel yesterday from Easy. I was one of the winners of a contest on his blog. There was a toy for me and treats. He even put in some treats for my cats! Wasn’t that thoughtful of him? Thank you, Easy! I don’t have any pictures yet. If you don’t know Easy, be sure to pay him a visit. There’s always something entertaining and amusing going on at his place.

See you next Wednesday!