Friends

12 January 2019

MOVE YOUR BUTT!


This bit of nonsense was written in response to a friend who thought I'd gone too long without writing something. I was feeling lethargic, it was too much trouble to put the brain in gear. 

Deep discussions would take place. I was told if I didn't get cracking I would lose it altogether. I took no notice, until one day my pal lost her cool and shouted 'Come on, Val.... MOVE YOUR BUTT!' That did it. I think I wrote it inside half an hour. Anything to shut her up!


MOVE YOUR BUTT 
‘Val… move your butt!’

I stopped dead, wondering if the remark had been directed at me. Twisting round I saw three men in green overalls leaning against the bus shelter, paint brushes in their hands, several paint pots in a row beside them. They were grinning as if I was an object of amusement. I bristled at their nerve. Why didn’t they get on with their work and stop harassing women?

Annoyed, I tossed a lock of hair out of my face and strutted off. If I hurried I could still make the eleven o’clock train. Reaching the corner I waited at the pedestrian crossing for the lights to change.

‘Val… move your butt!’

The audacity of those men! 

Momentarily forgetting the time, I spun round, glared ferociously at the laughing trio. One man held his sides as he laughed. I guessed he was the one doing the shouting. I stormed up to him and cuffed his arm. ‘Would you mind telling me why you’re being so damn rude?’ I asked, hoping there was enough sarcasm to penetrate his infantile brain.

He looked me square in the eyes but didn’t reply. Merely grinned and shook his head. Even in my anger I couldn’t help noticing his deep blue eyes and slightly lopsided sensual mouth. 

‘Hey up, Missus, don’t look too long at Tom or you’ll be under his spell. E’s got a way with women. Sends ‘em silly with them cheeky eyes.’

I adopted a haughty posture and glowered at the speaker, a short red haired man with freckles and a jagged scar on his cheek. ‘Do you have to do his talking for him as well?’ I enquired acidly.

‘Nah. Missus, but Tom’s lost ‘is voice, see. I’m actin’ as spokesman.’

I glanced at Tom, foolishly pleased that he hadn’t been the culprit. He really was quite delectable, I thought, as he winked almost secretly. I flushed with something akin to delight.

Behind him the spokesman sniggered and nudged the third man who was so thin he looked as though a good dinner wouldn’t go amiss. ‘You wouldn’t believe me, ‘Arry, well you can see ‘Tom’s method for yourself. You might learn a thing or two.

The third man, obviously unsuccessful with women, beamed with pleasure as he gazed at Tom. 

At that moment Tom dropped his paintbrush and stepped towards me. His smile was cultivated, designed to trap a member of the opposite sex. Me! Curiously I smiled back, the time and the train completely forgotten. Taking my arm, he guided me to the railings opposite the bus shelter. I felt bewitched as his face drew close to mine and in a faint voice asked me my name.

‘Valerie,’ I whispered. 

And then it dawned on me … not one of the men could have told me to move my butt since they didn’t know my name. Suddenly mystified, I was about to question Tom when he pointed up to a window of the house behind the railings. It must be his house, I thought, becoming uneasy. It was obviously a bedroom window. 

Sanity returned and I decided to get the hell out of there. Cursing my stupidity I pushed him away and took my first steps towards the traffic lights. What in heaven’s name had I been thinking of, hanging around stupid painters just because one of them had a captivating smile.

‘Val… move your butt!’

Sweeping round, I raised my hand to hit him. He was where I’d left him, arm raised, still pointing to the window, I looked up then and saw what he was pointing at. Strutting on a perch inside the open window was an African Grey. A parrot! While I stared at the bird it began chanting in a very realistic voice:

‘Val… move your butt!’
‘Val… move your butt!’
‘Val… move your butt!’

That was a year ago, nine months before Tom and I got married. We never did discover who the other Val was, but we’re still laughing.

09 January 2019

Faculties intact... thank goodness.



A beautifully designed leaflet through the door stated:

My care at home services provide help with the basic functions of life to promote health and well being (companionship, preparing meals, cleaning, personal care). There are a variety of care plans available that I will tailor to suit the type of care you need and the number of visits required.

Name and email address were given so I knew the sender was female.
Notice the word companionship? It was that word that caught my attention and prompted me to explore further.

I rang her number and she said she would call round. Which she did. The lady is French but spoke beautiful English – that was good since I don’t speak French. We got on very well and after about an hour I had agreed on further occasional visits. When she prepared to leave, she asked me for £14 and upon seeing my surprise explained that she had to earn a living. She has a job but I gathered that she wanted to develop this ‘caring’ idea.

£14 – for a chat!?

It’s not that I can’t afford £14 but, crikey, I can go outside and talk to neighbours at no cost. I have since emailed her to cancel the Monday appointment and anything else she might offer. 


02 January 2019

FELINE CAPERS 8 - THE END


TIME TO GO HOME

Woof goes home tomorrow. I heard mom making arrangements for her sister to collect him after lunch. As far as I was concerned it was bad news. I’d got so used to him being there all the time and didn’t want to think about him leaving. It was up to me now to make the remaining hours memorable, for both of us.

I tried to think up some special things to do on the last day. Maybe a walk to the local park would make a nice change; it’s only a few minutes away from the house.  Then it dawned on me that we’d never been out at night. Well I had, but not Woof. I was sure he’d like the experience.

Mom and dad were watching the television when we stole out through the cat flap. The pair of us raced out into the garden as if we’d been liberated from a cattery. Woof was already showing a spirit for adventure. He didn’t topple over once. For a change, instead of following the path alongside the lawn I steered him towards the road, squeezing through the five barred gate onto the footpath. I warned him to stick close to me in case one of those big cars came hurtling by. I’ve seen dead cats in the road before and it’s not a pretty sight. We’re supposed to have nine lives but I have yet to meet a cat who’s on his second or third or even more.

By the time we reached the corner of the road, having stopped a couple of times while Woof explored some front gardens, it had started to drizzle. Well, you know I don’t like getting wet so I hustled my little friend into a red-tiled porch. There were no lights on in the house so I assumed we would be safe.

Safe? Not on your life. From our vantage point we saw Foxy, already streaked by the rain, ambling down the road on the opposite side. Before I could say don’t go out in the rain Woof shot out of the porch and straight into the road. My heart was in my mouth as I ran after him; I just knew the big blue truck wasn’t going to slow down. Imagine my relief when it passed and I saw that Woof had made it up the kerb. I had visions of being belted from hell to breakfast if mom and dad found out what I’d done. Not to mention mom’s sister, who was noted for her temper. But what happened was the lesser of two evils, just imagine the state Woof would have been in if Foxy had tried to eat him.

Well I gave that little varmint what for; I told him that if he valued his life and mine he’d got to do as he was told. I was beginning to feel my age after this experience. Older and wiser? What rubbish! Older and brainless, more like.

Thankfully, Foxy had disappeared and the rest of the jaunt was somewhat subdued.

Since it had stopped raining we continued our mission for adventure. The grass verge smelled good after its watering and was lovely to walk on. Wet grass is great for cooling paws, makes them feel fresh. We did a lot of sniffing and prodding on the sidewalk before reaching the tennis courts on the corner and it was while I was trying to find a way in that Woof stopped me. His meow was only faint but I knew he was trying to tell me something.

I jumped down from the stump from which I’d hoped to leap over the netting surrounding the courts. Woof did a strange thing. He lay down. At first I thought he was hurt but he seemed okay, he wasn’t fretful at all, he simply lay on a bed of moss, looked at me ... and yawned. That’s when I realised the poor little mite was tired. I’d worn him out with my grand idea of exploring the night away.

Laying beside him, I put a paw on his neck. He turned to give it a lick, his eyes blinking with tiredness. My heart lifted. I knew then that I would look after him every chance I had, starting now. You might think it was motherly instinct, but me not being a mother I can’t really say. Anyway, I let him sleep for a short while then, when I noticed his eyelid flicker, I urged him to try and walk home. Fortunately we hadn’t actually come too far from the house. We did it in sections, walk and rest, walk and rest, until we arrived at the front gate.

 I pushed him through the cat flap first and, after a quick shake of fur, jumped through myself. We could hear the television so presumed mom and dad were still watching. That pleased me. It meant they wouldn’t know that Woof had been out of the house. So I nudged him, indicating that he should go to bed and have a nice long sleep.

I was just about to go to my own bed when I had the idea that sharing with Woof would be pleasant, especially as it was his last night. So I crept in beside him. He opened one sleepy eye, looked at me, purred a couple of times, then twisted round to get comfortable. Somewhat drowsily I snuggled against him, feeling his warmth, and knew that before long I would fall into a nice dreamy sleep. 

Even though my idea of adventure had almost gone wrong, I was satisfied that I’d achieved my aim in making Woofs visit one to remember. I mean, how could he forget nearly being run over? I hope it was a lesson he’d remember for evermore. I certainly wouldn’t forget.

Well goodnight all. Pleasant dreams.

Meow. 

27 December 2018

FELINE CAPERS 7


BLAME THE MOUSE

Woof’s been here a week and it’s been great having him around. Every day we’ve had a different adventure, one was hunt-the-kitten when Woof decided to go walkabout through the gardens. Mom was wild with worry and dad wasn’t much better.

It was dad who set off a search, roping in some of the near neighbours while I was locked in the house with mom. She had me on her lap most of the time. I tried to convey to her that Woof would be fine, that he was an intelligent youngster who already knew his way around. If only she could speak my language! I felt for her though, after all she was in charge of Woof and if something awful happened she would take the blame.

Woof was found, of course, and I had to smile when I heard where. He’d not gone very far at all; he was discovered taking a nap in next door’s shed. From what I gathered it was Smokey who gave the game away. Seeing him pawing at the door roused the neighbour’s curiosity. If it was my shed I’d have looked in there first, which confirmed my suspicions that humans aren’t always as bright as they seem. How can you conduct a search without investigating the obvious places? I heard the neighbour say that Woof must have climbed in through the open window and considering the height of it I can only feel proud that he managed to get up to it at all. That’s my boy, I thought, as I listened to the story. I think dad also felt that way.

Yesterday’s torrential rain put an end to outside play. It was okay for me to go out but mom was worried in case Woof caught a chill. Silly mom! It was warm rain, not that icy stuff we get in winter. Still, we have to trust the judgement of humans sometimes!

It hit me as I stepped over the cracks in the crazy paving, that sniffing around without Woof wasn’t much fun. I’d been teaching him all sorts of interesting stuff, like how to aim his pee at dad’s prize roses without getting caught on the thorns. On the serious side I did show him how to cover his pee with soil. Swatting flies was another way of passing time. Woof was quite good at that. I had to stop him chasing butterflies, though, when I had to prod him out of some thistles. He’d been looking up instead of checking where he was going. Not something a cat should ever do. One of the best games we had was lying in the long grass pretending to be big tigers stalking squirrels. Not that they seemed to care, they were too busy rushing round even to notice we were there.

That’s the trouble when grass is allowed to grow, the squirrels think it’s a playing field. Even as Woof and I walked out after today’s siesta a couple of them were still running round in circles. It’s anybody’s guess what game they were playing. Knowing how excited Woof gets I held him back until the racing nutters had zipped off. I didn’t want anything to go awry on such a magnificent day. Summer had taken ages to arrive and I wanted nothing else but to enjoy it. Mom and dad, too. Mom said she wanted to sunbathe in her new bikini when she came back from shopping. Dad said he couldn’t wait to see her in it. I was certain he’d seen her in it before but I could be mistaken. A lot of dressing and undressing goes on in our house and I can’t keep up with everything.

Of course things went wrong when Woof and I saw the field mouse at the bird feeder. From our hiding place behind the rockery we watched one run up the branch the feeder was hanging from, saw him scurry up the feeder to the top level hole where he sat on the tiny perch and helped himself to a gourmet meal. We couldn’t catch him while he was in the feeder but we left the rockery and waited for him to come out. Sadly, he saw us and went up the tree instead of down. Fed up with waiting Woof decided to take matters into his own paws. He jumped onto the same branch and waited for mouse to come by. The idea was to catch him before he got to the feeder. I knew it was a mistake but Woof wouldn’t listen. That’s the trouble with youngsters, they think they know everything.

While he waited in front of the feeder, I remained on the ground looking up. I saw the mouse coming and waved a paw to Woof, who then got thoroughly excited. He saw the mouse and lunged forward. The mouse scarpered and Woof tried to follow, completely forgetting they were on a narrow bough. He fell, well slithered to start with, but then he went down straight ...  into ... the pond. Plop! Oh dear, I sensed trouble looming.

You’d think, by dad’s prompt appearance, that he’d been waiting for catastrophe to strike. He ran down the garden so fast you’d think he had ants in his khaki shorts. His language was what mom calls ripe. Unfortunately for Woof he’d fallen into the middle of the pond which meant dad had to wade in to get him. It was that or let the little chap drown. Woof, of course, was struggling in the water, once again bogged down by that green weed. You should have seen him. I thought it was bad the first time but now he looked like a slimy green monster. Bits of wood stuck to his head looked like antlers. It was really hard not to laugh.

Needless to say I was punished. You’d have thought I’d personally pushed Woof into the pond the way dad went on, and on, and on. In the end I bolted up the stairs out of the way, leaving poor Woof to undergo yet another cleansing operation. I only ventured down when it was all over. 

I dreaded to think how mom would react when she came home. When she did, although I expected an explosion, she hardly said a word. Even as she looked at the green mess on the floor she was grinning at dad, saying that something was positive. Well I knew what that word meant. She told me when I first got taken in that I was a positively lovely pussy cat. It must mean that she’d grown to like green weed. 

Well, I’m leaving them to it. One way and another it’s been a hectic day. Meow.


~~O~~

Wishing you all a very happy New Year