Tag Archives: Bernie

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

53 Comments

Filed under Humour

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.

75 Comments

Filed under Humour

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.

23 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

 

17 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

And the Winner is…….

I suspect that  many people thought like me that the Olympics was over for 2012 with the closing ceremony of the Paralympics. Well it seems we were wrong from my observations today.
As many of you know I have a routine in the morning when I get up.
I collect Oscar’s dishes and take them through to the kitchen.
I give the girls a chocolate drop each, except the degu’s who because of diabetes risks get yoghurt drops
I feed the fish, fill the kettle, grab a handful of cornflakes to feed the girls before going back to scald Oscar’s dishes and refill them with fresh food and water. Then I go on to take my meds and make drinks for myself and Ju.
This morning I didn’t get as far as the girls treats before panic set in. Amy came for hers, Penny was there and so was Priya but why wasn’t Bernie coming for hers? I could see she wasn’t in their favourite tube at the top of the cage. They’ve eaten so much of it there’s no place to hide. I couldn’t see her on the mid-level anywhere which only left the ground floor. There are two long flexi- tubes there which they occasionally nap in. Calling her name constantly I prodded the tubes through the bars to try and wake her. I confess that Bernie is my favourite ( though Priya is a very close second) and I was scared by now that something was wrong with her. That is until I turned round. There on the settee, looking up at me as though saying “I’m here daddy, you called me”? I was overjoyed though a little puzzled and worried when she didn’t seem to want her chocolate drop, I can see why now however.

Bernie had found a flaw in the catch at the top of the cage and after applying a little pressure had forced her way out. None of the others had managed this. The 1st Rat Olympiad was to have just one competitor. so…
Manipulation through a small space goes to…..Bernie
Rappelling down two stories to a convenient surface goes to…..Bernie.
The Long Jump to the coffee Table goes to……Bernie
The Marathon from coffee table via floor to settee goes to…..Bernie.
Then came the event I didn’t ever expect to see become an Olympic event because of health issues. Number One because it could make you fat and Number 2 because My wife could chop off your tail when she finds out.
Bernie had found Julia’s stash. She’d obviously enjoyed the mint chocolate aero since she’d made quite a dent in it. The coffee biscuit wrapper didn’t stand in her way for long and that was left a pile of crumbs but the most dangerous of all…… the lollipops….ah what an error, 4 of those she bit into and one of the sticks was chewed through, not even I could cover that one up. So, I did the only thing I could, made Julia a cup of tea and got her up telling her all about Bernie as I did so. When she came through she was almost forgiving.
The girls are got out two at a time in the mornings to play for half an hour so as Bernie was already out Priya was allowed out to join her. I noticed a strange reluctance on Julia’s part to allow Bernie into her robe or to kiss her, and she didn’t seem to regret putting the Olympic Star back in the cage after half an hour. Personally I don’t bear grudges ( well, they weren’t my sweets) so I’ll quietly celebrate her achievements. Penny and Amy have had their break now and it’s the turn of the degus, mother and daughters rolling around in three separate balls. I wonder if that will be part of the competition in four years time.

Bernie and the crumbs in evidence


19 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized