I’ve just been reading through my last buzz and realized what a long time ago that was. Have you missed me a little? I’ve been so very, very busy you see, exploring the GO (Great Outdoors – remember?).

Bilbo posing When I last buzzed, I was a little worried about the increasingly light evenings. Silly me! I had no idea what I was missing! What fun to spend long, warm, dry evenings outside while the sun slowly ambles towards the trees on the other side of the village and a heady mix of sounds and smells drifts into our garden: children playing, sweaty bodies, mowers rattling, fresh grass, people chatting, smoke and burnt sausages. All at a safe distance and truly intoxicating (a new Big Word I learnt from Mum the other day). And when darkness finally falls, what a wonderland! Especially under a full moon, when it never really gets dark at all.

Of course, Mum wanted me to come in at bedtime; she worried about me. I tried to tell her there was nothing to worry about: I’m a big boy now and the nights are so still I can hear any danger from miles away. And the high grass in the field next door is so much more comfortable than any bed she can provide. Sorry, but it’s the truth! After some wrangling and haggling, and after I climbed out of the open bedroom window one night and stole away across the roof, she finally saw sense and left the cat door permanently open. Freedom!!! I’ve expressed my approval by leaving regular offerings under the kitchen table for Mum and Dad’s breakfast.

One morning early on in the summer, I climbed the wood stack by the back fence (tricky, because the wood is easily dislodged, but I’m a pro now) and swung myself up on to the neighbour’s garden shed to investigate strange noises. What I found was a wooden box fastened to the side of the shed, with a small hole in it. Funny little sounds were coming from it. I stood on the box, leant right over and peered into the hole. There was some kind of soft bedding in there, and several minute bird beaks that seemed to have no bodies attached to them. The beaks were all wide open and produced loud chirps. Odd. Abnormal actually; but not without promise.

Bilbo climbingWhile I was still precariously perched on the roof of the box, two stupid birds started swooping around my head, almost causing me to overbalance. At the same time, Mum appeared on the other side of the fence with a long stick and started poking me. What the... I glared bright amber at Mum and took a sharp swipe at the birds, but managed to discourage neither. It was going to be a matter of endurance. I dug my claws into the wooden box, held on with grim determination and growled. The birds didn’t stand a chance against me. No way. Even Mum’s poking, uncomfortable though it was, did not weaken my resolve. We battled on for a while, until the neighbour, alerted by our combined noise, came to see what was going on. Three against one was grossly unfair. I decided to cut my losses, backtracked on to the shed roof and sauntering off along the fence at a casual pace. Better to pretend retreat had been my plan all along.

When I returned to the shed roof later on to resume my investigations in peace, a mat covered in sharp spikes had been fastened on to the shed roof above the mysterious wooden box, and the two annoying adult birds were twittering excitedly in the tree above my head. They sounded very happy. I wasn’t, and when Mum wanted to have a cuddle with me that evening, I gave her a wide berth and a withering look. She can’t have it both ways: if she wants to be in cahoots with the birds, she can’t expect love from me. Nope. She’ll have to learn.  Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

Now: where are those Dreamies she said she’d put out for me?


One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)