Archive for the ‘The Whiskas Chronicles’ Category

It’s been a long time since there’s been a chapter in The Whiskas Chronicles. In my naïve human way, I believed it was because we’d all matured a little. Whiskas was no longer getting medieval on my legs and subsequently I was no longer fighting him off with the hose. We believed we’d reached an unspoken pact, where peace reigned and we lived together in perfect harmony…like ebony and ivory.

Wrong. The cat had just raised his game. He had another range of tricks up his fluffy sleeve that he’d kept hidden from us.

I should have known better (this is turning into a blog full of dodgy song lyrics). This is the master criminal who actually played possum during a storm to avoid being thrown out into the dark night; got into a bathroom cupboard and somehow managed to close the cupboard door behind him and hid from us by standing still underneath the duvet hanging over the side of the bed (given away only by the curve of his belly causing a ‘bump’ in the cover).

During these hot nights his MO is that once he’s eaten his dinner he trots out of the back door to cool down somewhere outside – or so I was led to believe. I’ve watched him do this on loads of occasions and seen him leave the premises by way of the gently wafting curtain between the bedroom and the back terrace. What I only discovered last week was that he was implementing one of his cunning plans.

As usual I’d watched him leave but this time I had to go outside a few minutes after he’d gone. But there was no sign of the cat. As I came back through the bedroom and into the living room something caught my eye. The damn cat was sitting motionless, as though playing statues, on Andy’s pillow watching me intently to see if I’d spotted him. He was abruptly despatched from his throne with a shout and a helping hand on his furry backside.. God knows how long this has been going on, Andy has been suffering with an allergic bout of sneezing for weeks. We thought summer, but cat hair on the pillow was clearly the culprit.

I’ve tracked him since and discovered that as soon as he exits the house he does a U turn and comes straight back in again via the other side of the curtain which is out of my line of sight. Obviously with us thinking he was safely outside, he’s been free to jump up on the bed and curl up on Andy’s pillow for most of the rest of the night…or until one of us made a move. Since being found out he still makes attempt after attempt to get back to what has become a favourite spot so now we have to shut the doors from the bedroom to the garden, closing off our source of air conditioning in the summer.

You cannot trust this cat for a moment, he has schemes galore in his arsenal and I had simply forgotten this or, more likely, been lulled into a false sense of security. Who knows what else goes on in that Machiavellian head.

Maybe whilst the chimps have been taking over the planet in the cinemas, the cats have been plotting and hatching plans like Billy-o. By the end of the decade we’ll all be their slaves, feeding them mice as they recline on the sofas we once lounged about on…mark my words.

Another cat has taken to hanging around finishing off Whiskas’ meals; not a state of affairs that he’s comfortable with. He’s such a precious creature that he’d reached the point where he wouldn’t eat at all if there was another cat in the vicinity (obviously not that hungry then). The result of this was that his bowl was moved back into the kitchen so that he could eat undisturbed (thank goodness we’ve never had children; they would be right spoiled brats).

Recently he’s been treating us as little more than a fast food joint. Whiskas turns up at food times, Whiskas eats and then Whiskas disappears to who knows where until it’s feeding time again. Cats – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – are such mercenary little bastards.

However, we’ve been out all day quite a bit of late so haven’t always been ‘en casa’ when Whiskas turns up for his chow. This is good for Whiskas as it makes him reassess his ‘taking things for granted’ attitude, so when we got home on Saturday night Whiskas obviously felt the need to rebuild some bridges.

At around 23.00, as we sat with a glass of wine on the candlelit back porch the still night was broken by a rustling in the bushes before Whiskas emerged triumphantly with some poor creature fixed firmly in his gob – a present.

“Aw, he’s brought us a gecko,” Andy announced.

But as he trotted closer, we saw that it was too big for a gecko, it was a mouse and this is where things went pear shaped.

Whiskas completely ignored us and, before I could stop him, trotted straight past me and into the house heading for the kitchen with the intention to drop the mouse there in exchange for some brekkies (why he thinks this is a good deal for us, god only knows). This would have been disaster. Had the mouse managed to get under the washing machine, fridge, or tumble dryer we would probably never have seen it again… not until a little mouse family emerged anyway.

I managed to cut him off at the front door, still with mouse in gob, and opened the door to shoo him out. But this didn’t go down well. In Whiskas’ eyes he was being punished for bringing us a present and that was simply unfair. Unfortunately he felt the need to protest this point by opening his mouth at which the mouse fell to the ground and immediately shot into the bedroom and under the bed with Whiskas in hot pursuit followed by me cursing the cat for being such an eejit.

The space under our bed is used for storage for all sorts of rubbish and is the perfect place for a mouse to go to ground. Whiskas must have spent all of 30 seconds trying to track it down before he got bored and sauntered off with an ‘I’ve delivered the present, it’s up to you what you do with it now’ expression on his face, leaving us to sort out the problem he had created.

For the best part of an hour we pushed and prodded boxes with a plastic Carnaval sword before we eventually manoeuvred the mouse behind a corner cupboard. Then we built an elaborate tunnel out of games and shoe boxes which connected the cupboard with the back door (Andy’s inspirational idea) and, with some gentle prodding with the sword, we finally persuaded the mouse to try out its new mouse-sized walkway and it  scurried happily along it back to the garden and freedom.

We were relieved the mouse was out of the house and the mouse was presumably overjoyed that his Saturday night hadn’t been ruined by being eaten by a cat. The only dissatisfied party was Whiskas who had not only not received a reward for his present, didn’t even get to eat the animal as compensation.

No doubt we will pay the price for this outcome at some point.

There was a moment on Saturday night when I re-evaluated my belief that having children is more of a burden than having a cat… or, more accurately, a cat having you.

We were at a barbeque at our neighbour’s house. It was a sort of united nations affair where we were the only Brits amidst a small gathering of French, Spanish and someone who could have been Canadian French, or Canarian French – I didn’t quite catch that part. Shortly after we arrived, a noise on the roof of the alcove above the barbeque attracted everyone’s attention and we looked up to see a leering cat perched above the sizzling beef and lamb steaks.

Nicole, our neighbour, tried to shoo the cat away, but it simply jumped to the ground and legged it behind a hedge before emerging a few seconds later on the opposite side of the barbeque, ready for another attempt on its glistening prizes.

“I don’t know whose cat this is?” Nicole said, “But it is always coming around trying to steal food.”

“He’s ours,” I mumbled. “That’s Whiskas.”

I took a sip of wine and buried my head in my hands in embarrassment.

To be fair to Whiskas his eating pattern had been noisily disturbed. Our other neighbour had hired out her house for a christening and a huge bouncy castle had been erected in the garden. This freaked Whiskas who must have viewed it as some multi coloured monster which ate children.
From the position of his bowl on the front terrace he had a partial view of the monster so when it came to time for me to give him his ‘dinner’ before we went to Nicole’s, he was distracted by the orange and yellow beast to such an extent that he couldn’t eat. His untouched food was taken back inside the house for safe keeping – away from other cats in the area that weren’t quite as precious about needing a tranquil environment when dining.

By ten o’clock, the bouncy castle must have been taken down and Whiskas clearly had discovered his appetite again which meant tracking down the source of the nearest foodie smells and embarrassing us in the process.

After a few ninja attempts on the barbeque, it was obvious that Whiskas wasn’t leaving the area of his own accord. I apologized to everyone and with a deft manoeuvre, grabbed the cat and without further ado escorted him from the premises. Surprisingly, despite an initial bit of bitching, he didn’t make too much of a fuss.
I carried him back to the house, noticing that his purring was getting louder with each step. By the time we reached the house and I plonked his bowl of cat food in front of him his purr-o-meter was in overdrive and he lapped it up. I realised that this was what the disruption at the BBQ had all been about. As usual Whiskas had got the result he wanted.

I left him with his dinner and went back to the BBQ where Andy and I were finally able to relax and enjoy ourselves for an hour or so until Jerome, a Parisian student, tapped me on the arm.

“Jack, Jack, look.”

Sneaking across the roof again was an unmistakeable white shape with half a tail.

At least kids don’t scramble across the rooftops to follow you when you go out for the evening.

Whiskas has been well behaved for some time now. Well apart from some disgraceful behaviour during dinner last night. When Whiskas stands on his back legs he can just about see on to the dining table. Every so often he tries to reach out a paw to swipe at something he takes a fancy to (a sort of casting out a fishing hook principle). Usually it’s more in hope than anything else, but last night he got lucky, sort of. He connected with the lid to the chilli sauce bottle and it hit the deck. Now I should have let the little bugger have a lick of the chilli sauce – that would have been a lesson for him, but instead I grabbed the bottle top before he got anywhere near it.

The trouble was that he’d been successful once and that was motivation enough for Whiskas. Within seconds he was back at full stretch, the white paw lashing out to try to grab at anything. For some reason he took a particular liking to my lime green glass cover with little bobbly bits on it and tried to hook it a couple of times – at one point both his legs left the ground and he hung suspended Lara Croft-like from the edge of the table by his front paws. It was quite the funniest sight I’d seen in a long time (I must try and get a picture), but he was in danger of getting overly excited and had to be reminded that a place actually hadn’t been set for him at the dinner table i.e. he was removed by the scruff of his neck.

Anyway that’s another story. As I was saying he’s been well behaved ever since his ‘bed’ on the bench outside our bedroom was rolled up as punishment for NIN (noise in the night). Ironically it wasn’t the punishment which caused him to rethink his bad behaviour, it was the fact that when I rolled up his cushion inside the bench cover, I unwittingly created a bed which was far more comfortable than his previous. A bit of readjustment and fluffing here and there by Whiskas and he’d created the luxury pad. Now when he crawls on to it he crashes out big time – dead to the world – and we don’t hear a squeak from him till morning.

Awww, butter wouldnt melt...thats cos it would be straight down his throat!

Awww, butter wouldn't melt...that's cos it would be straight down his throat!