Sunday, 30th March

British Summertime began today and it is Mother’s Day. We lose an hour’s sleep which is not good when you like sleeping as much as kittens do. That’s how we grow – sleeping all the time.

When I first came to live here I used to like to sit on Mum’s feet while she stood at the sink to wash the dishes, or while she was at the stove preparing her dinner. I liked it because it made me feel safe. Mum liked it, I’m sure, because she had to do a wobbly sort of walk to make sure I didn’t fall off which is not easy to do when you’re cooking or washing up. But then she can do most things.

She used to look down and smile at me and say: ‘if I hadn’t already called you Ollie, I should have called you ‘Pingü’ because you’re just like a little baby penguin. They sit on the feet of their parents so that their little bottoms don’t freeze on the ice.’ 

You can see where Garfield gets his knowledge from, can’t you? Mum also knows SHEDLOADS of stuff too but the difference between Mum and Garfield explaining anything is Mum takes hours to get to the point and Garfield doesn’t. I get fed up after a few minutes and make my excuses and leave. I’ve got more important things to do – kitten stuff – and I want to get on with my life and not lose hours hearing – (particularly as we’ve just lost an hour with having to put the clocks forward!) - about baby penguin bottoms being frozen.

Wednesday, 2nd April 2003

Can’t seem to put a paw right today for some reason. Take knitting, for example. I can’t see the point of it, myself, if you’ll pardon the pun. Mum likes knitting. She is always knitting for someone or other. I usually sit on her lap while she knits and play with the knitting needles – they are the pokey pointy things that go in and out and by magic make the knitting grow.

Then I like to chew the wool. I get told off for doing both these things although it’s not my fault really. Kittens like to taste and touch things as we find out by experience just like Humans do.

Mum got something called ‘the hump’ with me and went off to the kitchen to make herself a drink so I carried on doing the knitting for her. I knew what to do as I had watched her since December (when I first arrived) and it looked dead easy to me.

One of the pokey pointy things got stuck and Timmy helped me to unstick it. He’s EXCELLENT at knitting – particularly at casting off – that seems to be his forte.* So a little bit of the wool came off the needles but it was easily fixed although we had to pull a bit more off to make it look right. The trouble was, the more we pulled off, the more it didn’t look right. In the end I decided to take the knitting – what was left of it – out to Mum to see if she liked what we had done.

I only took one of the pokey pointy things and there was only a little bit of knitting left on it. As I ran with it in my mouth the wool trailed behind me and Sam, Charlie AND Ricky all jumped on it. Garfield said we would get into trouble and Timmy was hiding behind the cushion laughing nervously – like you do when you’re nervous – and Billy said it would end in tears.

We should have listened to Garfield because Mum’s face went a funny reddish purple colour – a new colour to her ongoing collection of face colours - <is there no end to this woman’s talents?> and not only did she say ‘plums and custard’ a few times, but a few other words as well which I’ve never heard before. Charlie covered my ears and said I’d best lie low for a few hours until she calms down so I went and hid under the sofa bed in the back bedroom. 

Thursday, 3rd April 2003

Mum was making a strange noise today and when I went to investigate she had a wet face. I licked her face for her and she continued to make the strange noise.  Garfield, who has medical knowledge* came to see what was wrong with her, and Billy and Timmy sat on the table to see if they could make her laugh.

Garfield stroked her face and asked her why she was crying. So that’s what the noise was called: crying. And the wet stuff was called tears. He asked us all to leave them alone while he had a chat to her and later on he quietly informed us that it was the menopause.

‘I know she hasn’t had a boyfriend for ages,’ Ricky said, nodding wisely, ‘ah, so that’s why. It’s a pause in her men.’

Garfield said we had to be extra good and kind and not make her unhappy because we could be in for a wet time of things if we weren’t careful. 

Saturday, 5th April 2003

Mum searched high and low for me this morning but she only searched high – she didn’t look low enough because I was hiding under the rug. Actually I hid under it intending to jump out on whoever walked by, but I got bored waiting and fell asleep. Mum laughed and took my photo and the flash woke me up.

Monday, 7th April 2003

I accidentally frightened Mum earlier this morning when she was having her ‘thinking’ time. Every morning after she has given us our breakfast, she goes into the front room to have some ‘thinking’ time. I don’t know what she thinks about, but this morning I wanted to come in the room too but she had closed the door. It’s a glass-panelled door and I climbed up the framework and waved to her. ‘Yoo-hoo!’ I called, waving.  Trouble was, in order to wave, I had to take one paw off and I fell down, making a lot of noise. Mum looked up in time to see me wave and slide. She had a funny look on her face – I can’t quite put my paw on it – her mouth was kind of scrunched up like Timmy’s bum and I think she was trying not to laugh.

I climbed up again to tell her I was OK and as I waved to tell her that I was OK, I slid down again.

In the end, she opened the door and said she couldn’t think any more!

Thursday, 10th April 2003

Timmy and I got caught smoking today. Oh, it’s all right, we didn’t inhale. Mum came in to the front room and found Timmy and I with a twig in our mouths pretending to smoke. As Mum doesn’t smoke she wondered how we knew what to do!

She has this tall vase thingy with a whole bunch of dead twigs in and while Timmy and I were playing our latest game ‘Climb the Vase Thingy’ some of the dead stuff fell off. We had just taken a twig each and were sitting down on the sofa when she came in the room. We tried to hide them but it was too late – she saw the twigs. She looked over to the vase thingy with the whole bunch of dead twigs in and we both got told off because we’d made a mess.

Personally, I couldn’t tell the difference – as it looked a mess before. But it certainly ruined our game.

Saturday, 12th April 2003

Was feeling a bit fraught today so I decided to go and see my cushion friend but was horrified to see that it had gone. And Mum was acting strangely too. She was sniffing all the cushions in the house. I had only peed on that one but maybe she thought they had all been peed on. The cushion cover got washed but the actual cushion had feathers in it and couldn’t be washed. It had to be thrown away.

‘Ollie?’ she asked, ‘do you know anything about this?’ ‘Erm, when you say ‘this’, what do you mean?’ I played for time praying for inspiration to overcome me and perhaps an act of God to transport me somewhere else, less likely to end in tears – my tears.

I miss my cushion and wondered whether to transfer my peeing habits to another cushion but decided against it. If that gets discovered too I’ll end up with no cushions.  I suppose the old adage ‘a cushion on the sofa is worth two in the bin’ is quite apt in this case. Have decided not to pee on the cushions anymore.

Tuesday, 15th April

I was looking in the toy box this morning for something to play to with and Mum suddenly let out a huge noise. I looked up to see what had made her make that strange noise and she dived into the toy box and pulled out her watch. ‘I’ve been looking for you!’ she said to the watch. ‘How did you get in here?’

Needless to say, the watch remained schtum and didn’t give away any secrets. ‘Ollie,’ Mum turned to me, ‘do you know anything about this?’

‘Gotta go!’ I called over my shoulder as I ran through the cat flap as quickly as I could. She’s worse than Columbo at times, for keeping on at something till she gets to the bottom of a mystery. She lines us all up and asks a barrage of questions until one of us caves in under the pressure and owns up.

I can tell you – but don’t tell her – but I took her watch and was playing with it. I put it in the toy box and forgot all about it until she found it. I like unusual things to play with and have a collection of feathers, cotton buds (Q-tips) and wire tags which Mum uses to fasten plastic bags for the freezer.

So as you can see, the past week or so has been rather eventful and traumatic in some cases – losing the cushion my silent peeing partner, and having my knitting expertise being unappreciated. You just can’t win, sometimes.

*You can read about Timmy’s EXCELLENT casting off techniques here:
http://www.thedailymews.com/articles/ritesofpassage1.htm

and Garfield’s medical expertise here: Flu and Feline Frolics
http://www.thedailymews.com/articles/fluandfelinefrolics1.htm

and the way Garfield, Biggles and Charlie despatched an unsuitable boyfriend here:
http://www.thedailymews.com/articles/lovemelovemycats.htm

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