The Trouble with Tabby

Tabby thinking

“Has anyone seen Tabby, she is so quiet.”

“She is having a recovery sleep on the bathroom carpet” was the answer from the chief cat Nera.

“A recovery sleep?”

“Yes Mrs. Human. She had a territorial fight yesterday evening with Roschti, the red horror from next door and although she demonstrated our possessional rights, she had a little accident and is now recovering.”

“Just a minute Nera, that sounds serious. When the felines are quiet then there is something wrong somewhere. I heard her crash through the cat flap with a yowl, but when I checked she seemed O.K. I must admit she has been very quiet today.”

“I think Roschti gave her a scratch somewhere. Perhaps she has to go to the vet.” said Fluffy.

“No Fluffy, I don’t think so. Vets are to be avoided at all times. She will probably recover and if not, she has had bad luck. You cannot win every fight.” said Nera

“Nera, that does not sound very compassionate or sympathetic. Tabby is your sister and you should care for her. If she is ill, you are to tell me straight away, so that Mr. Human and I can help her.”

“Calm down Mrs. Human, she will probably survive. We cats just need peace and quite when we feel a bit under the weather. It is just fate. And I am sure she does not want to go the vet.”

“Nera, what feline wants to go to the vet voluntarily?”

“No self-respecting feline goes to the vet because it wants to, only because the humans decide they have to.”

“That is not logical Nera, typical I, me and myself. Were is Mr. Human. Have a look at Tabby, she seems to have a war wound somewhere. Are you going to tell me where Nera, or do we have to search all over Tabby’s fur.”

“I can tell you Mrs. Human” said Fluffy “have a look at her left eye, I think she got a scratch from Roschti.”

“Thank you Fluffy, at least one feline cares for its neighbour.”

“Of course I care Mrs. Human” answered Nera, “but I also care for Tabby’s feelings and she definitely does not want to go to the vet.”

“Neither do I Nera, but it is Sunday morning and there is no time to lose. Mr. Human just told me that her left eye is almost closed and does not look so good.”

So I collected the cat cage, we put a sleepy listless Tabby in the cage and made our way to the vets with the car. I noticed that as soon as Mr. Human drove off, Tabby suddenly sat up and started to look around.

“Where are we going Mrs. Human” Tabby asked.

“To the vets Tabby, you don’t look so well and I am sure you eye is hurting.”

“No problem Mrs. Human, just a war wound, it just happens.”

“I don’t think so Tabby, and you are very quiet, I don’t like that. Although it seems to me you are suddenlty active.”

“Someone mentioned the word “vet” and then we are always active, waiting for an escape chance.”

“Tabby that is not going to happen. Here we are at the vets and the nice lady doctor will now see what it wrong.”

We were at the vets for about ten minutes. She checked Tabby’s eye but found no big damage, just a stupid scratch below the eye and no danger to the sight. However, cats not being the cleanest of animals she had got an infection in the wound. She had her temperature measured, which was 38,5°  and 40° is fever. After an injection to lower the temperature, and a depot injection with antibiotics we packed Tabby in the cage again and was on the way home. We had eye drops for her, to apply once a day.

“Yes Mrs. Human, and if you think that is a pleasant feeling having a thermometer inserted in a tender place and two injections in the back, then I can assure you I would rather have been left on my nice warm carpet in the bathroom. No stress, just Nirvana.” remarked Tabby.

“Hi Tabby, back from the vets?”

“Yes Nera, for what that was good I don’t know. Everyone seems to think I am seriously ill, and now all I want is a good night’s sleep.”

“You see Mrs. Human, I told you, Tabby will survive as always.”

“Of course she will Nera, because we took her to the vets and she had a couple of life saving injections, or did you want to see her suffer from blood poisoning.”

“You see Nera, I told you it would be better for Tabby. After all she is a member of our tribe.”

“Fluffy, just keep quiet. The last thing we need is a Florence Nightingale feline look alike around here. Anyhow, one thing is sure, the humans will suffer as well when they get the bill from the vet.”

“Nera you are the most selfish, egoistic feline that I have ever met.”

“Of course Mrs. Human, that’s the way we are. Humans are only there to serve our purposes, and to keep the vets busy and pay the bills.”

“Nera, take an example from Fluffy.”

“That is a good point Mrs. Human. Looks like I will have to put in a few extra training lessons there.”

Would add that a day later Tabby was back to her normal self. Going out and having fun. The last visit to the vets showed that the temperature returned to normal and the eye was on the best way to healing. Only a couple of drops more and everything back to normal. Was it my imagination or did I see Nera give Tabby a sisterly sniff around the nose, before they went to sleep?

The Feline World of Computers

Nera planning a web site
“Mrs. Human you are a bit behind with your computers. It’s about time you got a new one.”

“I’m sorry, Nera, but i don’t quite get the meaning. Mr. Human and I both got new computers at the beginning of the year and we are completely satisfied.”

“Nera is right Mrs. Human” said Tabby and Fluffy, Nera’s feline groupies “this windows 7 stuff is out of date.”

“I still don’t understand felines. Windows 7 is all that Mr. Human and I need.”

“You are missing the point Mrs. Human” said Nera. I had a telepathic conversation with Icat, Bill Gates cat, and he agreed to use his influence with the new developments in computers. That is why Windows 8 has a touch screen and icons to choose. No more paw unfriendly keyboards. It is all planned for a feline friendly handling.”

“Nera, felines do not need a computer. They go hunting for mice and birds, or for long walks in the countryside, sniffing out new places. Sitting at a computer is not healthy. And something else. I still have 150 tuna fish tins remaining in the kitchen cupboard from the 200 pieces you ordered on my computer a few months ago. Paw screens for felines are out, my credit card limit would be overworked if you felines have Windows 8. No chance.”

“But Mrs. Human you can order our vitamine pellets over the computer and Tabby, Fluffy and I could help out. You would not have to bother any more. No problem, we will do the ordering for you. I noticed they have a new cat playcenter, covered with warm mink fur, and a diamond studied cat flap. And there is a special offer for fresh salmon – two for one. There are untold possibilites for us felines to help you in deciding our diet and welfare. Just a paw or finger touch on a screen and the work is done. We even have your credit card number registered in our feline brains. With Windows 8 it would be so much easier for all of us.”

“No felines, “all of us” means Tabby, Nera and Fluffy, and Mr. Human and I can just pay the bills.”

“But Icat said …….”

“I don’t care what Icat said, Mr. Human and I pay the bills and we make the decisions, so just forget Windows 8 for the time being.”

The three cats walked off in a huff. Later that evening I overheard a conversation.

“That didn’t work Nera, so how are you going to explain it when the Windows 8 laptop arrives next week, the one you ordered with Mrs. Human’s credit card on the computer.”

“No problem Tabby, the first reaction will be anger, the second surprise and when they see what a wonderful advantage it is just to touch the screen and follow the photos, they will be satisfied. It is a computer for dummies, but they won’t realise that. We just convinvce them that they have the most advanced technical development in computers and they will soon accept.

Nera finished with the computer

A cat’s eye view of the bird world

Blue tit feeding at bird house

Nera the feline took her usual fresh air walk in the garden and had to stop and stare.

“Tabby, come here. At last Mrs. Human has an intelligent idea. We now have fresh food in the garden. Forget the tins of tuna, our food now comes on its own and it’s alive.”

“Nera sister, you mean Mrs. Human has started breeding mice?”

“No stupid, she has hung a bird house on a tree. Couldn’t be better. Those stupid birds don’t know what will hit them.”

This was when I decided to join in with this conversation, and steer it onto a sensible path.

“Nera, Tabby, that is not the idea. The birds have to search for their food in Winter when it is cold and starts snowing. They have to find the seeds they need to keep them alive through Winter and I am helping them.”

Nera looked at me as if I was from another planet and Tabby just shook her head. Fluffy arrived from his sleeping place and held his head up.

“What can I smell?” Fluffy said. “Fresh bird meat and I feel the quivering of wings in the air. Do we have a bird cantine?”

“No Fluffy, we do not.” I was becoming a little angry. “I have put a bird house up for the birds to feed.”

Tabby, Nera and Fluffy now put their feline heads together and started whispiering to each other.

“Let’s humour her” Nera said. “I have a brilliant idea to simplify access to the new food cupboard.”

“Fine Mrs. Human, but may I make a suggestion to improve life for the birds?”

I really did not know Nera from the considerate side, so decided to strike the iron while it was hot.

“Of course, Nera, I am sure the birds would appreciate any feline suggestion to their benefit.”

“I was thinking that the bird cantine is a bit high on the tree. Those poor birds will be exhausted flying up to reach it all the time. Why not place it on the ground. It would be much easier for the birds.”

“Yes Mrs. Human” joined in Tabby and Fluffy together, “that is a super idea, would make life much easier for our feathered lunch, sorry friends of course.”

“No, felines. I might be your slave, but I am not stupid. The idea is to maintain bird life in the surroundings and not destroy it.”

Blue Tit feeding

“I can feel bird movement in the apple tree and hear munching sounds” said Fluffy, who is blind.

“Your are right Fluffy. Mrs. Human as put up a supermarket in the tree branches. The birds are hanging on the food balls with their claws. Now that is an easy job. Just jump and snatch. Nera and I will let you have your share Fluffy, when we are full up.”

“Enough” I said. “That is not a supermarket for bird lunch, but a feeding parcel for the birds: a mixture of seeds and fat to keep them warm and safe through the Winter.” I was getting a little annoyed at the way this discussion was going. “If one of you felines touch so much as a feather on a birds wing, it will be house arrest for the Winter and the only tuna fish you will see will be in a tin with the lid firmly on it. One jump up a tree branch and I will throw the tin opener away. Have I made myself clear?”

There was as feline silence for a while. They were talking in telepathy to each other, something I had not yet been able to learn. Nera being the spokesfeline looked at me with her big yellow eyes.

“Mrs. Human, we think that your line of logic and reasoning needs something to be desired, but you being a human, we will excuse your mistaken thoughts. Comparing a winter inside without tuna fish with a bird meal, we have decided to let the birds roam and take advantage of your new garden concept. Bearing in mind that we felines do not like snow or cold weather and weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of the situation, we have decided to defer from any mouth watering attempts to have a blue tit for breakfast, a sparrow for lunch and a yellow tit for tea.”

“That is very considerate of you Nera, Tabby and Fluffy – TABBY COME DOWN FROM THAT TREE”

“Sorry Mrs. Human just following my instinct. We cats love to climb trees especially if there is a house on it for …..”

“Shhhhh, Tabby, she doesn’t have to know everything. My eyes are now strained with so much good food flying around, I now need a rest. What do you think felines?” Nera intervened.

“You are right Nera, there are better things to do than bird watching after all” said Fluffy and Tabby and all three cats crawled through the cat flap and went to their favourite sleeping places. I was sure I could hear them meowing in their sleep – “a laid table for meals, and it is not even flying around.”

Blue tit on a tree

My Cats Missed me?

Of course I missed my three furry animals when I was away in London, all the more looking forward to seeing them again.

“Hi felines, I’m back from my trip to London.” They gave me a quick glance, raised their heads from their individual sleeping positions and promptly went back to sleep. I repeated my greeting. Tabby opened her eyes and decided to answer.

“You were away Mrs. Human?”

“I was away for a week Tabby.” Then I got curious. “You didn’t notice my absence?”

“To be quite honest, our food dishes will permanently filled as always, we got a tuna fish ration twice, water was replaced regularly and our litter tray was cleaned every day. Everything seemed to be normal.”

“Is that all I am to you, a feeding and toilet cleaning machine?”

Nera now raised her head.

“It seems that you had trained Mr. Human quite well, so where’s the problem? Everything as usual. But now you are back, what did you bring us?”

And now all three cats were present, Fluffy also decided to join in.

“Hello Mrs. Human, where is our present. Fresh english mice, some english treats?”

“No felines, I did not see any English mice. Just some crows and pigeons, not even a sparrow.”

“Oh, well in that case felines back to sleep nothing new here” was Nera’s answer speaking for all.

I was a bit perplexed and did not want to be the reason for a large feline disappointment.

“I brought you nice photos of some english cats. They were always sitting in the widow of a house when I walked down the street where my father lived, so I though you might appreciate the photo.

Cats in a window in Oxlow Lane

“But Mrs. Human, you cannot eat photos” was Tabby’s answer, although all three cats were now interested.

“That’s the Dagenham gang” said Nera “I recognise them. They are also on pawbook. I told them to keep an eye on you while you were away” said Nera.

“So you did miss me after all.”

“Sort of. We had to be sure that our second slave returned, in case slave No. 1 – Mr. Human – might go on a journey. Piano, the big black and white one in the middle is the boss and he said him and his gang would be watching your every move.”

So it seems that the cat network is still functioning, all the communication being by telepathy of course. Silly me, thinking that the cats had fogotton me.

“Now that’s an interesting photo Mrs. Human, that is much more important, it shows how concerned the English humans are for our welfare” and Tabby pointed her paw at this photo.

It was just a plain tree I found interesting with a propped up sign in front of it.

Tree in Rush Green Road
“What is so interesting on that photo Tabby?”

“It shows how concerned the London people are for our welfare.”

“I don’t quite understand.”

“It’s quite obvious Mrs. Human” chipped in Fluffy. “Even a blind feline like me can follow the instructions on that sign. They are even embossed in the metal. It is a cat friendly tree.”

Nera took over. “Mrs. Human concentrate with your inferior human brain. It is so clear. If you are a feline you are glad to realise the dangers of climbing a tree. The humans put the sign there to show the way to climb the tree with no danger. It shows that on the ascent you must keep to the right side of the tree, avoiding any damaged branches on the left of the tree which could collapse under our delicate weight. Tabby, stop laughing, it is fluff not what you think.”

“Sorry Nera, but I noticed you walk rather slowly lately. Thought it might be the weight you have to carry.”

“As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted by my feline sister, the tree is definitely feline friendly. Those London people have been well trained. Must send a message to the Dagenham gang.”

To say the least I was a little confused, as I was sure the maintenance men had left the sign at the base of the tree and would continue their work the next day, but not wanting to disallusion my felines, I decided to keep that to myself.

So it seemed that everything continued in its usual way while I was in London. Mr. Human had followed his instructions and had been completely integrated into the feline slave world. And silly me, thinking they might have missed me.