Tag Archives: Amy

Honest Oscar. Would you buy a used chariot……?

2/7/2012 

I’m not quite sure what Ginger means when he says of me “Would you buy a used chariot from this cat”. Everyone knows I’m the very definition of probity. I confess there are times it pays to bend the hard angles of truth a little or exaggerate slightly but that’s about it. I do after all have a reputation to uphold. To prove it I’m going to share a little secret but if it should get back to Ginger or one of the others I’ll know where it came from. I’ve been a bit down in the dumps . Only three of the rodents came out to be fed yesterday morning. My ‘The Him’ does it religiously every morning AFTER he’s fed me of course. He issues them cornflakes and then toast. It’s actually quite funny to see them trying to pinch the cornflakes off each other or drag his fingers into the cage as their next course. I noticed just three of them on the cornflakes and thought it odd but expected number four out when the toast arrived as they love the butter.It just didn’t seem right that he’s cut four pieces of crust and yet only three of them were there to eat.

What’s most odd about this situation is that the missing one is Penny, the one who causes me most trouble. I even went to the trouble of trying to wake My ‘The Her’ though if an oaf like HIM can’t do it how could I? Anyway, eventually he got her up and she came through. Always following their food My’The Her’ has them out to play two at a time which is usually the time for me to show discretion and retire to doze or perhaps eat. Penny is always first out and out longest. It wasn’t looking good. But, she put her hand in the cage and picked up Penny’s house and brought it out then went back for Amy who is their chief negotiator of the current truce. Penny came out of her house when Amy was placed on the long seat they run about on. She was definitely sluggish and seemed to be coughing as though she wanted to be sick. ( Rats can’t be sick. Just thought I’d impart a little knowledge). That lasted a few minutes until finally she jumped up and ran up the back of the seat and buried herself in the throw that’s kept there. Since she didn’t seem to want to move she was put back in her house and the house placed back in the cage.

I was out all day with the gang. We were in the woods since it was water from the sky time again. This is the time the Longlegs laughingly call Summer so perhaps the water was expected as it’s done little else for ages. When I came back home to eat, the rodents were back in their cage ( where they belong to my mind) so I thought no more of Penny until dark time. That’s the time they rouse a little again and sometimes come out to play again. There was no Penny coming out and I remembered she seemed ill. Again My ‘The Her’ put her hand in and brought Penny out. She just lay there being stroked and things just don’t seem right. She had to go back in early and everyone seemed subdued taking the whole sparkle out of the day.

Today it’s too early for their breakfast and playtime so I’m worried about what will happen when the cornflakes arrive. Two days without trading insults is just too much.

So now you know a secret and that I’ve shared a truth. But, don’t misunderstand me, if you tell anyone I’ll say you’re lying and my record of probity will stand me in good stead. After all, you’ve never heard me tell fibs on my blog yet……….Have you ?

the mahouts

 The Mahouts

why you watch me eat

                                                     Why you watch me eat?

Wishing you all a wonderful week full of hugs. Don’t worry about Penny.

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Penny’s day of Reason

26/6/2012   I had a dream. I dwelt in a land of peace. It went like this…………..

    The humans ( whom that daft cat calls Longlegs) went out quite early this morning.  It’s possible they had something on their minds since it seems they forgot to feed Oscar before they left. We could hear him bemoaning the fact for a long time. It doesn’t matter quite as much for us since the houses we have inside the cage are edible and we can go longer without liquid refreshment than a camel. Two minor points here I should mention, don’t expect your rats to exist on anything but edible houses any more than you’d like to exist on a diet of nothing but potatoes, and, don’t think because we can do without liquids that you shouldn’t offer us a cup of tea when you have one. I enjoy one anyway.

Oscar’s moaning was getting beyond a joke so when he wandered close enough I called him.
“What d’you want Rat” ?  he asked.
“Now now pussycat” I replied, ” just wanted to know if you need help.”
“I’m hungry” he said, “what can you do about that”?
“Well, remind you that the housekeeper Grizelda will be here in an hour” I said.
“But I’m hungry now Amy and I can’t open the packets myself” he whinged.
“I think we can help then” I told him, “but you’ll need to open the cage door since the catch is on the outside.”
“I can do that” he responded “but can I trust you, and what would you want in return”?
“You can if you behave, and how about peace between us.” was my answer.

Oscar undid the catch on the door at the bottom end of the cage. Since it was a simple hook it didn’t tax his brain too much. The door being open it was but a short jump to the floor. I told Priya and Bernie to stay and guard the cage and took Penny with me. This concordat may have been reached with Oscar but I wasn’t sure he could overcome his base instincts and Penny was my watchdog. As Penny hit the floor Oscar reached out a paw and clamped it on her back. “And you Rat had better behave or there’ll be trouble.
I was ready to pounce and tell Oscar this wasn’t a good idea when Oscar removed his paw and started walking away. “Follow me rats” he said.

I heard Penny mutter something about payment and the Pied Paper but didn’t quite catch it. We followed the cat. It was a short distance to the room where his dishes were.
Once there Oscar pointed out a box full of foil sachets. “I need one of those” he told us
“and I prefer the ones that are the colour of apples.”
I jumped up onto the small table where the box was and checked inside. Oscar wasn’t much help since there was a red beef one and a green rabbit one inside. With a 50% chance of being right I pulled out a beef one. “Is this it” I asked.
“Yes, that’s it, like an apple as I told you.” he said.
I dropped the sachet to the floor in front of Penny and asked her to open it which she did with ease using her teeth to cut away the top. I picked it up and held it over Oscar’s dish where it slid out easily. He moved towards the dish without a word and started eating. Penny moved forward and nipped Oscar’s tail.

Oscar leapt a foot in the air and almost choked on his food. “Why?” he spluttered.
I looked at Penny for an explanation, “Yes why?” I asked,” I thought this was a day of reason.”
“It is ” said Penny, ” and the reasons were he put his paw on me and he didn’t say thank you for opening the food.”
As we walked back to the cage leaving a bemused cat behind us, I decided maybe I should re-evaluate my opinion of Penny.
We shall have to see if the agreement between Oscar and I stands.

roobs varsity
                                                                           The Varsity Boy
Ami smiling
                                                                    The Smiling Sister
This one is for my friend Judith Baxter  https://growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/grief-the-black-dog/
Bonus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pvf_OBuJVE

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Compromises and Adjustments

5/6/2012

    No-one could accuse me of being obstinate or refusing to accept a truth. With that in mind I have been able to come to terms with the fact that the rodents are here to stay, and while they will not, indeed cannot replace me in my ‘The Her’s’ affections, they are to be a fixture and she obviously for some reason unfathomable to me, likes them.

While I accept the realities of this situation I’m not sure the rodents were able to so I felt it my duty to place the facts before them and reach a compromise suitable for both parties. I waited until after they’d had their breakfast from my ‘The Him’ and been out for a bit of exercise with my ‘The Her’. Only one thing might have marred the discussions and that’s when I approached the seating place and the large one called Penny looked down at me as I walked past. I couldn’t help but look back and go closer. Instead of backing away she put her nose to mine and sniffed. I brought my paw up and smacked her. My ‘The Her’ was most displeased but with me? and not with Penny. I didn’t understand this and was going to argue but being a most placid fellow I walked away.

Back in their cage and the Longlegs having left the room I sauntered slowly up to the cage. There were hisses of derision but I didn’t let it bother me as I settled two feet away.
“What do you want cat” ? said Amy, the biggest of them and their obvious leader.
” I’ve decided to let you stay” I replied, “But, there are some things we’d better get straight.”
” Oh yes, and what would those be Pussykins” chipped in the one they call Bernie.
Reminding myself I had a debt to pay sometime I looked at Amy and told her, ” Firstly, I don’t want to see you move if you’re outside the cage and I come into the room.
Secondly, there’s to be no more name calling if we both live in the same place and lastly I’ll make sure the Longlegs tolerate you if you remember my word is law here.”
“Well Mr. Cat” she replied, “I think we can probably manage to do without the name calling if it works both ways but I’m not sure we can adjust to not moving once we’re out of the cage since it’s what the humans expect of us. As far as your word being law, I’m afraid we can’t agree to that since you might just expect us to do things that will go against our nature. Tell you what. let’s agree to no more name calling and see how it goes. If you don’t annoy us I won’t ask Penny to tweak your tail, how’s that?”

As you can see I’m a very reasonable cat but even I couldn’t agree to that and lose face so I had to leave the room and here we are with a dilemma. How can I learn to live with these rodents if they won’t accept the most reasonable of terms?

ice-cream-wait
                                                            Waiting forever for ice-cream.
id-rather-eat-cake
                                                                   Let Them Eat Cake.
Something totally new….
Wishing you all a wonderful new week full of hugs.

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Introducing Amy’s Family

31/05/2012

    Hello again every one. In case you’ve forgotten my name is Amy and I’m leader of the Rat Pack. After having been a little unhappy over the name the humans refer to groups of my kind, I’ve decided that Rat Pack sounds quite cool  and compared to some sounds quite reasonable. After all I wouldn’t want to be part of a ‘Murder of Crows'( and believe me that’s quite fair because their sound can be murder on the ears). A ‘Dissimulation of Birds’ doesn’t sound all there does it?  How about a ‘Chatter of Budgerigars’ that one’s true enough, a ‘Clowder of Cats’ that one means nothing unless Clowder means nasty, a ‘School of Dolphins’ makes them sound intelligent, a ‘Skulk of Foxes’ Hmmm, reasonable that one, a ‘Mischief of Mice’ and sometimes people refer to us that way as well. But in the end I think Rat Pack will suit me very well thank you.

Sometimes settling into a new home is difficult but there have been no major problems here after teaching the humans ( a Pack?) that my teeth are quite sharp if they try to handle me without permission and sometimes just when they stick their fingers through the bars. After all, if you stick fingers in to offer treats we have to bite, you mustn’t be surprised to be bitten if you stick them in treatless and expect us to notice.
Anyway, I want to introduce the family. Obviously there’s me and like most of my kind I’m very intelligent and very underestimated. But there are exceptions to every rule I suppose so here’s Penny. She’s my sister and I love her dearly but she’s not the brightest jewel in the box. Fortunately she’s playful and very affectionate so the humans don’t notice.

Next we have Bernadettte, or Bernie who is a lot younger than Penny and I but who is a quick learner and copies Penny’s every move. She makes me laugh when the humans get her out as she pees on them a lot and hasn’t quite learned to keep her soiling to one particular area yet. They have a lot of cleaning up to do once she’s been out to play. Finally we have Priya, the youngest and smallest of our pack. She’s most like our original ancestor Rattus Rattus except it looks like she wears white socks.She’s starting to get used to the humans but hasn’t properly learned about getting treats yet.

As I say the humans aren’t too bad here and they’re learning quite well. But for some strange reason they also have a cat. Hmm, just one of a Clowder but that’s enough. It’s taken a little longer to train him since all he seemed interested in was catching us before. Penny taught him a bit of a lesson by climbing up his back leg when he happened  to be on the seat when she and I had been got out to entertain the humans. He was so surprised he ran away. Though he’s ventured close a few times he keeps a wary eye out.
It was funny a few days ago when I managed to reach the floor and ran towards an open door. As I reached it he was on the other side. We both saw each other at the same time and were startled. I was surprised long enough to be caught and my escape foiled, he was just stunned into inaction though he claimed afterwards to have helped catch me and basked in the credit even though he’d done nothing. He’s a sly one and bears watching. Don’t get the wrong idea about the escape either. It’s not that I don’t like the humans or the house they’ve given us but I like the idea of the open spaces outside. So, you may just hear of more attempts. If I ever make it of course you won’t hear anything except from the cat who is the only other one who can use the computer which I’ve ‘borrowed’ while he’s asleep.

So there we are. You’ve met me and my family now. Oscar the cat claims to be a Superior but I think you can work out for yourselves whoever you are that he’s fooling himself and that we by dint of our brains ( well maybe not Penny) are the superiors round here. We just don’t need to brag about it. I hope you get to enjoy more of our activities and adventures when we venture forth from our house within a house. As for me, I’m delighted to meet you.
Amy

DSCF3071

Me fighting for food with Penny.

hammy

One of the Human pack ?

the-race-is-on

The Race is on !

Wishing you all a Great New Week filled with Hugs when needed.

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Oscar Gets Needled.

16/04/2012

What a day I’ve had. You wouldn’t believe the trouble I’ve been to today to bring the house to order.
Let’s start with this morning. In all innocence I went to my ‘The Him’ and suggested he wake up. OK, I admit it wasn’t easy to rouse him and I had to resort to nibbling his nose a bit but it’s not really my fault. In all fairness he was making such a racket it was no wonder he couldn’t hear me. So, I stopped the noise so he could understand what I was telling him and he had the nerve to object. I jumped off his sleeping place pretty rapidly as I don’t think the hand coming towards me was going to stroke me as I deserve. He turned his light on and seemed to glare at me. I walked away with my head held high as he followed me muttering all the time as he does sometimes. Anyway, after I had established that I has woken him for an emergency- my dish was empty- he filled it and returned to his sleeping place. I ignored the food for now since I wasn’t hungry ( but you can’t be too careful) and followed him back, settling on his stomach and doing a few turns just to get comfy. I’d just about reached that comfy stage when he sat up again moaning about his bladder or something and left, inconsiderate eh. Since there was now a nice warm spot I didn’t follow him but settled down.

No doubt there was no intent to distress me, but it wasn’t working. There I was woken from my sleep by my ‘The Him’ and he was picking me up and stroking my head. Now I became suspicious at this point as he wasn’t chunnering, mumbling or threatening me. It became obvious there was something wrong when my ‘The Her’ came in with a bag in her hands and he tried to put me in it. Naturally I tried to resist and in the process must have ‘accidentally’ caught my ‘The Him’s’ arm. There he was, screaming again about Bar Codes or something while forcing me down until my ‘The Her’ managed to shut the zip over me. It was very undignified but I suppose that’s what non-Superiors are like. I was quiet for a minute but unhappy so I started letting them know it. My ‘The Her’ was shushing me while he was carrying the bag outside to their chariot.

It was a short journey and the smell of our destination quietened me. I knew where I was and I didn’t like it one bit. Someone called my name and I was carried through to a white room and the bag was placed down. Suddenly the zip opened and a large paw came in and grabbed me by my neck. I didn’t wriggle or fight as this one in white is very strong. Moments later a sharp jab in my rear followed by a quick rub and I was thrust in the bag again. Another short journey and we were home. He placed my bag on the seating place and called to my ‘The Her’, “All done for another year Dear, shots are up to date. Would you like to come and let him out because I’m not putting my arms anywhere near the little wretch.” My ‘The Her’ opened the zip and lifted me out into a hug. I was feeling a bit sorry for myself- with good reason- and enjoyed it.
“There, there ” she said “all over now Oscar. David you’re such a wimp, he’s as good as gold aren’t you boy?”

I limped off to have a little food from my dish and then came back to the seating place for a catnap. I was just settling down to rest when Rat 1 spoke up, ” Hey cat, I hear you’ve been out today , well I can see the bags under your eyes or rather the bag that was around them but don’t get needled with me.” I could hear her laughing as I tried to sleep. Just as I thought the day couldn’t get any worse I heard my ‘The Her’ talking to the box in her hand. “Yes, you can collect him on Thursday evening and we’ll be back on Sunday night. We’re going away for a few days.” I knew that meant I was going away too but not with them. Another little holiday for me at the Superior’s Hotel where I never get enough to eat, don’t get the strokes I deserve and don’t get to share a comfy sleeping place with my Longlegs.
Like I said, I’ve had quite a day.

new-christmas

Santa was able to wish Reuben and Amelie a Merry Christmas when they paid him a visit, complete with parents, this weekend.

Whatever your personal beliefs, I  wish you joy of the season and happiness if you’re off for the holidays.

For the  New Year many people will make wishes. My own personal wish is for more peace in the world. More love, more respect, more tolerance and less killing.

To anything that can advance my cause I wish more strength and Hugs without end.

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn  Newydd Dda.

peace-on-earth

image compliments of 123greetings.com

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Confrontation and Lies

9/4/2012

I decided to take a walk round my village this morning just to make sure all’s well. It’s been a few days since I did so. As I was getting to The Fursty Ferret I saw Ginger and young Frisk, a newcomer, talking. Or rather Ginger was doing the talking and Frisk the listening. I wandered over in time to hear Ginger saying “And I  suggest you don’t say a word about it from now on”.
“About what Ginger?” I asked.
“Oh hello Oscar, nothing important” he said.
“I was just asking if it’s true that two rats rule the roost in your house” said Frisk with what looked like a smirk.

“I don’t know who you’ve been listening to kitten” I said, “but make no mistake, I’m still as much in charge there as ever.”
“Just what I’ve been saying” added Ginger.
It was easier to feign indifference to what Frisk said than to actually work out in my mind whether what I’d said was true since the unfortunate incident with my tail, but I wasn’t about to voice my doubts.

I continued with my stroll as though nothing was wrong but it worried me that a newcomer could so easily voice thoughts that made me look silly in front of my friends. I have to fix this and quickly I thought. With a new determination I turned and headed for home. Just inside the gateway there was a rustle and quick as a flash I pounced showing Frisk and Ginger who seemed to have followed me that I’d lost none of my speed. It was a small field mouse and as my jaws caught it, the mouse played dead. I realised to my relief it was a mouse I’d caught before and had asked to play dead in exchange for it’s life. From the corner of my mouth I spoke to Frisk “Do you really fink anyone oo cud catch a mouse vis fasht is not boss at home?” I didn’t wait for his reply but went indoors. Inside I made sure I avoided the screaming Longlegs and went straight to an open clearway and dropped the mouse outside again. “You’re lucky I didn’t bite” I said “now why not find somewhere else to live?”

I went to the room for sitting and stood before the cage where the rats live. Hmm, daylight, they’re asleep I thought. I called out.”Hey rats, come on out and talk for a minute”.
Two heads duly appeared followed by two bodies that stretched out from sleep and lastly came two tails, huge long hairless things.
“What do you want?” said Rat 1
“Is it food time?” said Rat 2.
” Stop thinking about your stomach Penny ” said Rat 1 “it’s almost dragging on the floor.”
“Listen” I told them, “I want a truce and a little favour!
“Have you got anything to eat?” said the one called Penny”even a little tail would do.” and I swear there was a little snigger there.
I picked up one of their chocolate drops between my teeth and leaned towards the cage. Penny came to take it and as she did I caught one of her whiskers. “Ouch”she said.
“Perhaps it’s time I made meal of something “I said and let go.
“I repeat, what do you want” said Rat 1.
“As we both have to live here, I suggest we make the best of it” I replied, “but, as you have your own little kingdom here and I have mine everywhere outside your home, if you help me regain my good name I’ll agree to leave you in peace.”
“Sounds reasonable” said Rat1 “so what’s the favour you want?”
“I need to carry one of you outside in my mouth to show I’m still the Superior here. After I’ve been seen I’ll bring you back unharmed.”

Rat 1 whispered to Rat 2 before turning back to me and saying. ” We agree. You can carry Penny out and I’ll watch to make sure you keep your word.”
Clever, I thought, making sure that one made sure she was safe. Easy to see who was the brains. When I opened the cage and Penny came towards me it was easy to see who was the stomach too.
I took her in my teeth and carried her outside. We were approaching the gate where Ginger and Frisky were still sitting when Penny said quietly ” Is there anything to eat out here?”
I shushed her and lay her inert body on the ground near Frisky. ” So the rats rule the roost do they? Here’s one that doesn’t and the other one is next.”
“Sorry Oscar” said Frisky ” you’re obviously still in charge.”
“Right”I said “I’ll leave this as a gift for my Longlegs” and carried Penny back inside. My jaw was relieved when I was able to set her down. It’s obvious rats don’t do diets. As a thank you I got two grapes from the room for food and brought them to the cage. I saw Rat 1 say thanks and start to eat while Penny ran with hers to the base to hide it and then come back to the top.”Come on Amy” she said, “share with me, after all, I was the one who went out.”
“Yes” said Amy “you did” and handed over her grape. Penny started eating and Amy ran down to get the one Penny had hidden to eat herself. “Oh , you’ve got another one ” said Penny, “that’s good.”
“Truce over Ladies ” I said, “from now on I’m the Superior round here and if you behave there’ll be more food. I left them eating their grapes.

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Fair Play for Rats

30/3/2012

“Penny stop eating or you’ll explode, come over here and hold up this hook. That’s it, now I’ll just get through the gap and hold it from the other side so you can get through. Why would you want to get though? Well I thought you were going to help me put our side of the story here? Oh, you’d forgotten again. Right, just put down that peanut and hold this before someone comes.”

“Can’t I just take it with me wherever we”re going Amy”?

“Better not Penny since we don’t want to leave clues that we left home without Longlegs help.”

“Right Penny, we made it. This is the box I’ve seen the Longlegs use and also that smug cat who thinks he’s better than us. Him pretending to ignore us but I see those whiskers on the go twitching at our every move. OK now Penny. you have to listen. I need to press these buttons and will ask you to press some too. Yes, it’s important, and yes you can write the pretty words.”
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx “Penny, don’t lean on the letters please!”

HELP, we are two Lady Rats being held against our will inside a cat infested house. I know he will tell lies about us so that he doesn’t have to tell his friends we have taken his place in the affection of the Longlegs.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx “Penny, get your tummy off the keyboard please!”
To resume….. You will no doubt hear that we took a piece from his tail which is not true. He was leaning on our home and licking his lips when my sister decided to see if she could get him through the bars-as she does with everything- and had to get a good grip with her teeth to allow her to brace herself with her hands. No malice intended. I want the world to be aware that we are not here by choice and that I was caught on the last dash for freedom I made.
“Penny Dear, don’t try and eat that please, you’ll cut off the electrickers we need to send this message.”
To resume…… Please disregard anything the cat says about us until you’ve heard our side of the story but be prepared for squeals if he attempts to make a meal of us. His squeals I mean. But, if you want to rescue us from this environment, we’ll be most grateful.
“Yes Penny, I know you’re hungry, we can go back now. You just write the pretty words at the end and sign it.!
HALP US PLAESE
LOVE FORM
PENI NAD AMI.

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Usurpers

12/3/2012

I have returned from my holiday to find I have been usurped. In a large cage in pride of place are two animals that should never be seen in the home of a self respecting cat like myself. RATS of all things. Worse still the longlegs have tried to humanize them by giving them names, Penny and Amy. I ask you, who gives names like that to rodents?

I am trying to rise above the situation by pretending I don’t see them or better still that I am ignoring them. After all I don’t want anyone to think senility is setting in…..which it obviously is with my longlegs. How dare they bring these creatures into my home after all the years I spent hunting them as pests and now they drop an ‘S’ and call them pets. Absolutely ridiculous.

It is a little funny though that I can walk into the room and watch them eyeing me up to see if I’m about to pounce. They stop whatever they’re doing to watch me as I studiously pretend to ignore them. hey’re quite funny really and from the corner of my eye I can see their antics. Penny is a thief of any food that isn’t nailed down and in that I include anything that happens to be in her sisters hands at the time. This morning I saw her fly down the ramp from the penthouse carrying a peanut in it’s shell. She deposited it on the ground floor in her cache then shot back up her ladder to the first floor to see if there was anything for her from the longlegs, No? So she shot straight up the ramp to the penthouse and pinched the nut that Amy was trying to open. That also went down the ramps to the store leaving neither of them with anything to eat until those silly longlegs gave them another one each. And how undignified the longlegs are with their constant
” Hello beautiful Penny, who’s a pretty girl” etc. when in fact I’m the beautiful one around here and they should be giving me treats and hugs now I’m back.

I believe a few sessions of missing my litter tray are in order to regain me some attention or the gang will be laughing at me soon. I think I may also train the rats to co-operate with me in a finger nibbling session when the longlegs place their hands near. I will leave them in peace in exchange for that and the longlegs will see I’m the one they need to take care of from now on.

Teatime for rats.

Teatime for rats.

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Quietness.

I’ve found myself being rather quiet recently. Conversation isn’t coming easily as I don’t much feel like being flippant. But in life, things have a way of catching you out don’t they? After the shock of last week I’d placed an advert on a degu site asking for a home for the three degu girls. I realised that it would be impossible for Julia to cope when I brought her home. As I’m quite allergic to them ( and the rats) there’s not much I could do either when it came to cleaning. But lets face it, I’m a man and never realise when things need cleaning anyway. I’d also added to the advert that I had the rats too and if anyone was interested………. All I’d specified was that I wanted someone fairly local so that we could keep an eye if needed and they didn’t have far to travel.

Unexpectedly I got an immediate answer and had messaged the young man who replied. Julia had been home a few hours when I mentioned the degus would have to go, I was pleased when she agreed (reluctantly) which was just as well because he arrived. Within half an hour the degus had gone and  I was sure it was to a good home. While he was here he saw the girls and said ” About your mention of the rats in the advert. I’d like them too.” I saw Ju’s face change and begin to crumple. As I went through to my room to get something she followed and tearfully asked that the girls not go just yet. What could I do? But, as luck would have it, he’d come in a car and the girl’s cage is quite a good size and would not slide into the car upright. I couldn’t let him take the cage on it’s back as the girls would be standing on wire rather than their solid base. After explaining that Ju was reluctant to say goodbye to them just yet I pointed out that they’d be safe and still here for him later. He left with that promise.

Since then, Ju has risen every morning without fuss to play with them before they go to bed. As she’s usually the one to open the cage while I make her a cuppa, the routine goes like this.

Priya will run straight for Ju’s dressing gown sleeve.

Bernie will go straight for the opening at the neck and wander down to her waist. Sometimes Ju sits down on the settee then until they emerge again. Then it’s up to the cage.

Penny will climb out onto the top of the cage and then onto Ju’s shoulder while Amy will tuck herself into one of the tubes they sleep in and wait to be lifted out. I will deliver Ju’s cuppa and then go back to take my meds. That done I have to pour myself a bowl of cereal because of the diabetes ( at least that’s the excuse) and go sit on the settee. Bernie will have been sitting on the arm in anticipation of my arrival. I have to give them each a shreddie on my spoon and they run off to hide and eat them. I daren’t take a mouthful yet as it’s not long before they return. Bernie first for her second one which suffices followed by Amy, Priya and Penny in quick succession and only after they’ve taken their third one can I carry on.

Ju uses this interval to take her tablets and a drop of her tea. My part in the performance is usually over in five minutes and it’s play time for a while with them raiding pockets for tissues to play tug of war with or running in and out of dressing gowns. There’s a blanket over the back of the settee and they love crawling under it. Eventually I’m off duty and Ju takes over again as the drinks lady.

Here’s Priya with a cup of tea.

photo (1) Priya enjoying tea

For the not too squeamish, here’s Penny getting her breakfast the cheeky way.

Me fighting for food with Penny.

Me fighting for food with Penny.

  There are some very distinctive styles of drinking. Penny will always cup the liquid in her hand and bring it to her mouth like a gentile lady. Bernie’s quite happy just to stick her nose straight in. Priya on the other hand tries both as if she’s unsure what she should do. Amy is always on guard so she’ll pass it from hand to mouth too. Then usually she’s straight up on her back legs to check for danger in the air. maybe she expects the Red Baron to appear.

Half an hour is about as much as Ju can take of playtime now but I’m so pleased she still shows the same interest. The biggest surprise for me is her determination to maintain the riding. So, on Wednesday afternoon we’re off to see if she can actually cope. We can only attend the RDA stables as they’ve got a mechanical hoist to get riders to horse level. Great news on the charity front though as our friends at a local cafe have a giant teddy bear they’re going to raffle off for Pennant Park Wishes and we’ve just heard that planning permission has been granted and building is about to start. All those that have donated to the Riding for the Disabled Charity at Pennant Park have my     undying thanks. I’ll let you all know how Wednesday goes.

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Interlude

It’s been a funny old day. First thing this morning a friend took me shopping and it went well. I got what I wanted, she spoke to the staff for me and I paid. We came home and she left after which I expected a very relaxing day. If I ever find out who jinxed me heaven help them.

A knock at the door this afternoon. Normally I’d be on the computer and able to hide away and ignore the sound. Today I was just passing the door which has a half glazed panel. I had to open the door to a 6’4″ skinny giant. Thankfully I didn’t have to speak as he introduced himself as the council electrician come to repair a pull light and an electrical socket. He was a nice man and after being pointed towards the bathroom went to get his tools and proceeded to fix a new string to the light. I spoke long enough to enquire if he needed a ladder only for him to laugh and just reach up. It was only moments before the job was done. On to the next job.

Passing through he saw the cages and asked how many rats I have. “Four” I answered “and three degus”. “Three what?” he asked but was such a helpful man I didn’t have to speak as he answered his own question “Oh, these delightful little chaps” he said. Please bear that in mind.

The second job was a socket in the kitchen. The story starts about two months ago when Ju asked me if our fridge had a light. I told her of course it did and she said in that case the fridge is defrosting. Such sarcasm and it beat me saying that we were due anyway. So, I checked out the plug and put in a new fuse and tried again. No joy.

With food defrosting and panic setting in I decided the fridge must be defunct. Off we went and spent a pleasant £83 on a new one. We get it home and know it has to stand in place for five hours so I manhandle the old one outside and Ju rings for it to be collected as rubbish. My old friend complete with midge fragnets looks quite forlorn outside the front door.

Five hours later Ju plugs in the new fridge and asks me if there’s meant to be a light. Aargh. I try it in a different socket and lo’ it comes on. Getting an extension cable I push the fridge into it’s new home. Now I have two working fridges one which is due to be scrapped and it’s cost me a fortune to find out I have a faulty socket. So, the nice man comes to mend it. ” You do know about the defrost switch we put in for fridges don’t you?” he asked. I shook my head dimly. Moving aside some trays he points to what I always thought was an immersion heater switch. He presses it and the socket becomes operational again. Just putting a tray back must have knocked it off. All the time he was here I heard about his two dogs, 5 cats, wife, children and their appetites which he’d swap for a cage of rats. I thanked him with some sweets for his children.

That’s it. I’m officially out to the world now while I finish my mail. That done I return to the kitchen and realise the fish tank is dark because I forgot to turn it on this morning,. A rush of apologies there and a little food and I’m forgiven.Going back through I realise I need to give the girls clean water and some food. Bernie and Priya are first for a treat but Amy and Peny aren’t far behind. With Amy I have to be quick as she snatches and doesn’t mind a bit of finger. Odd, as when she’s out she’s nervy but a perfect lady. There, everything OK in their world. Degu’s next.                                                           All three Saffy, Poppy and the one I can never remember, came flying towards the door as I brought food. They’re gregarious animals, very bright and like humans but very quick. I opened the door and inserted my hand to drop the food. As I did Saffy squeezed past and made a break for it. I dropped the food and shut the door again sharpish to keep the others in.

I sat down with a ball and a peanut and called Saffy. She’s so scared of me she strolled over and sat on my knee. Like a flash she had the peanut from my hands before I could drop it in the ball and make her go after it. I got some yoghurt drops and popped them inside the open ball while she watched me. Then, as calmly as you like she climbed down the side of the settee and disappeared into the kitchen. I spent almost an hour polishing the kitchen floor with my trouser knees but although she was happy to come to me when I called her name she was not going in the ball. Eventually I gave up and went back through to sit on the settee with another peanut in hand. I called her and like an angel she answered me. In the ball went the peanut and in the ball went Saffy. I picked the ball up and carried it to the cage. Dalmation ! I couldn’t open the door one handed. She thought I had it open and jumped ready to be a good girl and go in. Instead she hit the closed door and hopped it again.

I had to loosen the door enough to be able to open it one handed but not enough for her daughters to escape. Fifteen minutes later Saffy followed a yoghurt drop into the ball and I was able to get the cage open and her in. As I did, the one I can’t remember jumped straight into the ball expecting to be allowed to go for a roll round. I’m sure she was disappointed when she was manhandled straight back into the cage. I’d had enough degu chasing for one day and I’d missed my Big Bang Theory. So much for a peaceful day.

 

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