Friday, 8 December 2017

the devil finds work for idle paws

The cats are finding the onset of winter a shock to their routine.  They went outside after breakfast, except for Our Ginger who settled down for a snooze, but came in rather quickly because outside was so cold and windy.  Then they lounged around looking bored and sulky because they would rather have been out.  Then they fiddled with stuff because they were bored until they managed to knock it over, or badgered Our Ginger until they got a reaction.  Go out, come in, repeat.

Mr Cool hung around the food cupboard and dishes with a meaningful air.  He has grown into an immensely long cat, who must need a lot of food, and the weather has turned colder, but I didn't like to feed him again when he had just had his breakfast, simply because he was bored.  Our Ginger is already shaped like a rugby ball with legs, and I don't want the next generation of cats following suit.  Mr Cool walked all around the kitchen worktops and along the side of the sink, searching for any unattended scraps of food, only there weren't any, and then lay on the worktop scowling and fiddling with the knobs on the cupboard doors.  The climate of boredom even infected Our Ginger, who began to play a variant on how to get round the room without treading on the floor, taking a good half dozen attempts to climb directly from the shelf with the Sky box in it to the SA's desk chair.

There was a loud crash from the sitting room, which was Mr Fluffy upsetting the bowl of wooden fruit on the dining table.  He'd knocked a hand turned, locally made, yew pepper grinder on to the floor as well.  I picked everything up, and a couple of hours later there was another crash, and I found Mr Fluffy at the bottom of the stairs, along with a wooden lemon.  It might have been an accident when he upset the bowl of fruit the first time, but not the second.  I put it away out of reach in the spare bedroom.  Mr Fluffy went back outside to inspect the bird table.

The bird table stands by the steps down to the back garden.  It is a simple, plain design, easy to keep clean, which the Systems Administrator built several years ago, with a roof to keep the worst of the rain off the food.  Earlier in the week the SA fixed wire netting to close off two sides of it that were accessible from the path outside the study, because Mr Fluffy, who has always shown a regrettable interest in birds, had taken to lying directly below it where any birds actually on the table couldn't see him, before leaping four feet vertically straight into the table.  Mr Cool, meanwhile, liked to sit on the table crammed in under the little roof.  I don't think he necessarily expected the birds to come down while he was there, it was just that he liked the view from the table.  Mr Fluffy checked again that the netting was still there, and then climbed on to the roof and managed to knock the fat ball that the SA had left on the table down to the ground.  Cats are not supposed to eat fat balls, and the SA had to go outside and confiscate it.

At various points through the day Mr Fluffy thought he could share my lap with Our Ginger, and there would be some loud purring and mutual washing for all of five minutes, until the washing degenerated into chewing.  Things would end with Our Ginger howling, Mr Fluffy upside down and kicking, and both flouncing off in a huff, only for Our Ginger to return and the sequence to repeat, until Mr Fluffy gained sole possession of the lap by dint of lying on Our Ginger and purring until Our Ginger got tired of being lain on.

If the young cats are this bored after one wintry day then goodness knows that they are going to be like by April, if we get a cold winter.  Today's good conduct prize goes rather unexpectedly to Mr Fidget, who spent all morning lying on a blanket on top of a cupboard and looking cute, and whose only mishap was to get accidentally locked in the laundry for five minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment