Tuesday, 24 March 2020

A to Z Challenge 2020

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge


The old woman seems to have signed me up to some blogging challenge thingy which means I have to write a post EVERY DAY for month. I hope I get time to eat, sleep and play. There has to be a theme so my theme is going to be The Trials and Tribulations of Living with Hoomans. Watch this space.


*     *     *     *     *     *    *

Well, I've finally done it. I have written my no-holds-barred exposé of my life. Prepare to be AMAZED, prepare to be SHOCKED, prepare to be ENTHRALLED blah, blah, blah. Left is the paperback, right is the Kindle version.


            








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Monday, 16 March 2020

Toffee Doesn't Get The Joke





THIS evening the old man said to me: ‘Did you hear about the cat who swallowed a ball of wool, Toffee?’

I was worried. I hoped that poor cat was OK. Swallowing a small piece of wool could be dangerous, but a whole ball? I feared for her. The old man didn’t looked worried at all. In fact he was laughing.

‘She had mittens!’ he said.

‘Your jokes are pathetic,’ said the old woman.

Joke? No joke to the poor cat who swallowed the wool. I’m glad there was a positive outcome, what with the wool turning into mittens and all. But it could all have ended tragically.

So, old man, I think that laughter was completely inappropriate, don’t you?

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Well, I've finally done it. I have written my no-holds-barred exposé of my life with the old man and the old woman. Prepare to be AMAZED, prepare to be SHOCKED, prepare to be ENTHRALLED. Left is the paperback, right is the Kindle version.


            



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Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Toffee Is Kidnapped





SEND HELP. I HAVE BEEN KIDNAPPED.

This is not a joke. I was sleeping peacefully on the sofa when someone grabbed me and put me into a carrier thingy.  They were clever - very, very clever. I could see out of the carrier a little bit and whoever had taken me was wearing trousers just like the old woman's. 

The woman with him had disguised her voice to sound like the old woman's. The kidnappers were obviously trying to lull me into a false sense of security but they don't fool me, the old man and old woman would never subject me to this treatment.

The next thing I knew I was in a car and being driven away. I could hear bits of a conversation over the sound of the car engine. I heard: "She's not gonna to like it," and "Do you think she will ever forgive us?" and "It's for her own good." Being kidnapped is for my own good? I don't think so.

Then I was in a place that smelled strongly medicinal. I could hear people talking about dreadful subjects like cat flu and calicivirus and, worst of all - gulp - INJECTIONS. I was taken from the carrier and plonked unceremoniously on a metal table. Someone had me covered with a towel - someone wearing very thick gloves.

Now, here I am and  - I hardly know how to tell you this - a man in a white coat is STICKING NEEDLES INTO MY REAR END. What torture is this?

As my head emerges from under the towel I see the old man and the old woman. They have come to rescue me! The old woman picks me up and strokes me. The old man tickles me under the chin. Stop faffing about, you two. 


RUN, RUN!
*     *     *     *     *     *    *
Well, I've finally done it. I have written my no-holds-barred exposé of my life. Prepare to be AMAZED, prepare to be SHOCKED, prepare to be ENTHRALLED blah, blah, blah. Left is the paperback, right is the Kindle version.


            



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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Toffee Is A Genipuss



The old man and old woman were sitting at the computer in deep discussion. Occasionally they'd look up and stare at me. I didn't like it one bit so I strolled over to see what was occupying their attention. Turned out they were doing one of those quizzes. 

This one was called  Is Your Cat a Goof or a Genius? I was offended. Surely they already knew they were living with a ginger genius.

If there is a meltdown in society forget about survivalism and stockpiling tins of beans and bear-traps. Instead, tie yourself to a cat - for what animal is better equipped to survive whatever the odds? 

It's very nice of the old man and the old woman to feed me, shelter me and care for me but, if the chips are down, I know I can skip out the front door, find food to eat and, more importantly, soon hook up with the one person in the neighbourhood with an underground shelter, his own well and a couple of thousand cans of meaty chunks. See, genius.

Just look at my computer skills. I can walk across a keyboard and the next day a packet of balloons shaped like animals, four iPads and The Complete Works of Shakespeare will arrive from Amazon. See, genius.

Then there are my shape-shifting abilities. I and the Mrs have written before about my ability to take up a whole bed. I weigh about 11lbs (5kg) and yet I can oust those two monsters I live with to a tiny corner of the bed where they hang on for dear life and mutter about swapping me for a gerbil. That's because overnight I turn into a 150lb (68kg) panther. See, genius.




Modesty precludes me from mentioning all my other genius abilities, plus my paws are getting tired from all this typing (oh yes, I am a genius typist).

Anyway, the results of this test were: "You may just be living with a feline Einstein! Your cat is extremely intelligent and continually amazes you with new tricks. Your cat also knows how to get you to do things his way. You’re going to need to be pretty crafty yourself if you want to outsmart your cat!"

Yes, I am a genipuss.






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Monday, 17 February 2020

Toffee Gets Annoyed. Again.



Annoyed. Again.

There I was minding my own business having a nap in the sitting-room when I heard someone say, ‘What a gorgeous little floof!’

I opened one eye and there looking down at me was a woman who, it transpired, was a work colleague of the old woman's.

I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. I glanced around the room. I saw no floof. Then I realised she was staring at ME. ME. I am NOT a floof. I am not cute or fluffy. In no way could I be described as a floof. Why would anyone call me a floof? Why?


Her hand came towards me, presumably to stroke my floofiness. I unleashed my claws. The old woman saw the claws and the look in my eye and swooped like an eagle who’d spotted a mouse and swept me up.

‘She’s not very good with strangers,’ she said nervously. ‘I’ll put her in the kitchen.’

She walked out with me, holding my two front paws as I wriggled to escape. She got to the kitchen and put me down. Luckily for her I saw her reach into the fridge where she found some left over beef from last night’s tea.

‘Here you are Toffee. Now behave yourself, please.’

I’ll behave myself as long as it takes me to eat this beef. But when I returned to the sitting-room, the door was firmly closed. Obviously my "floofiness" had suddenly lost its appeal.

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Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Toffee Gets Restless



I WAS feeling restless today. I went out and sat in the garden for two minutes but it was cold so I came back in again.

I sat on the sofa for a few seconds and then decided I needed fresh air and it wasn’t really that cold outside.

Once outside, I thought it was too cold after all and came back in. I then paced around for a bit, trying to decide what to do next. I hovered in front of the cat flap and then eyed up the sofa. I hopped on it and then hopped off again. Or should I go and lie on the bed? Or go out and sleep under the rosebush? I got through the cat flap, changed my mind and came straight back in again.

I finally ended up on the doorstep. The best of both worlds.

The old woman had been reading her magazine and watching my comings and goings.

She peered over the top over glasses.

‘You know what Louis Camuti said, don’t you, Toffee?’

Who’s Louis Camuti when he’s at home? And shouldn't he be called Catuti?

The old woman obviously wasn’t going to shut up in a hurry, as per usual.

She said, “Most cats when they are Out want to be In, and vice versa, and often simultaneously.’ Then she laughed like a drain as if she’d cracked some hilarious joke.

The woman’s an idiot.

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Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Toffee Is Cool Calm And Collected





You know me, I have the sunniest disposition. What? I do!

But the old woman made me angry this morning when she picked me off her laptop and dumped me on the floor. What is her problem? 

This got me thinking about some of the other things that ruffle my fur so I have kindly compiled a list for you so you can avoid getting "the look".

Things That Make Me Angry

  • Sub-standard food: Don't try to fob me off with food from a can or sachet you opened ten minutes ago. It is stale. Don't buy any cheap food. It may be my usual brand but I will know from the first sniff that it was on offer. Don't Buy One Get One Free - you can just BOGOF yourself. Even worse, do not think for one instant that I will deign to take one nibble of a cheap, supermarket own brand.
  • Not sharing food: Whatever you have on your plate is of interest to me. Let me have a taste or I will keep annoying you until you do. I may not normally eat cheese, sauces, eggs or pancakes,  but they suddenly taste delicious if I can swipe them off your plate.
  • Belly rubs: Belly rubs per se do not make me angry. I will roll on my back to signal that I would not be displeased by a gentle scratch of this region. However, be aware that if you rub my belly for one nano second too long, I will ATTACK. You have been warned.
  • Restriction of sleeping places: I get angry when bedroom doors and laptop lids are banged shut as I approach.  Make sure there is always a newspaper laid out on the sofa - so much the better if you are in the middle of reading it and you've just put it down to answer the phone. I get angry when you will not allow me to sleep on your head, right up under your chin so you are immobilised and cannot watch TV, or on your feet or legs so you cannot move. If you stretch your legs out on the sofa, you must expect me to make use of them.
  • Any little moving thing: Flies, spiders, mice, birds and those stupid little toys on sticks you shake in front of me are all annoying. To humour you I might play with that toy you seem so ridiculously proud to have bought but be aware that I will shred it when you're not looking. Which leads me to…
  • Expensive cat-related objects: It's plain stupid to spend money on objects when you could be buying me premium steak or things that will make my life so much more comfortable. I have a rule: the more expensive the toy, the less interest I will show in it. Hence my preoccupation with cardboard boxes.
  • Being ignored: There is no excuse for pushing me away, no matter how gently. Excuses I will not accept: urgent deadlines, need to get the housework done, sudden medical emergency, a bathroom  crisis or meteor falling on the house.
  • Loud noises: It may sound like a faint rustle to you but to a sensitive being like me, it is worse than standing next to a pneumatic drill without ear defenders.  I will run off  like a gazelle being chased by a lion and hide in the smallest space I can find until tempted out by plump fresh prawns.

Other things that make me angry include: being outdoors when it's raining, being indoors when it's sunny, too much affection, too little affection, Christmas baubles, ornaments on shelves, tassels, other cats, dogs, strangers, the postman, string, people knocking on the door, being woken up, being stroked (sometimes), not being stroked (sometimes), ribbons, bells and whistles.

So you see, I am a very cool, calm and collected cat. NOT ANGRY AT ALL.


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Monday, 30 December 2019

Toffee And The Green Vase





I'm in trouble again. It was one small leap on to the mantelpiece for me but one giant drop to the floor for a green vase – a hideous thing the old woman was given for Christmas.

She had her sucked lemon face on and talked to me in that ‘this hurts me as much as it hurts you’ voice.

‘Toffee, Toffee, what are we to do with you? Naughty pussycat. Naughty.’

I stalked off, tail held high, arse swaying from side to side, nose in the air - just to show her I didn’t give a damn. The old man met me at the door and bent down to stroke me. He smiled slyly and whispered: ‘I hated that bloody thing.’ Then loudly said to the old woman: ‘Oh no, not that lovely vase!’


By now she was sweeping up the pieces with a dustpan and brush.

‘Yes, darling, I’m afraid it was. I don’t want to ban Toffee from the sitting-room but she’s such a menace on that mantelpiece.’

The old man rubbed my ears.

‘No, we can’t do that. Let’s just make sure there’s nothing breakable on the mantelpiece.’

Why is the male of the species so much more practical than the female?


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Friday, 13 December 2019

Toffee Has A Language Problem





I AM persona non grata yet again, just because humans are not clever enough to learn cat language.

Unfortunately, evolution has not arranged it so we cats have moveable mouth parts and a suitable larynx to talk to humans so we have found other ways to let humans know what we want.

Some of these ways, I concede, humans can find annoying but what's a cat to do? The methods include persistent meowing, throwing up and pressing our heads into faces.

Today I employed the tactic of weaving in and out of human legs to draw attention to the fact that my food bowl was empty. The old man now has a bruise the size of China on his rear end after falling on his arse and I have been banished to the utility room.

Unfair. It’s not my fault you humans have only two legs and are not as stable as we quadrupeds.

The television in the utility room is really boring


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Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Toffee's In A Spot Of Bother



Got told off by the old woman for scratching a door.

Speak to the paw, lady, speak to the paw.



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Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Toffee The Wise One



I am so wise.

What?

You wanna make something of it?

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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Toffee's Toy Story





I try to look cool when the old man and the old woman present me with a new toy - but I'm excited inside.  I love nothing better than chasing a tinkling ball or shredding ribbons and chewing on tassels. When the staff are out - to be honest, I'm usually asleep -  but when I am not you can often find me digging out one of my toys and having what they call "a funny five minutes". 

The other day the they were having a big tidy-up. The old man looked worried as he always does when someone called The-Mother-In-Law. I think she worries him.

They were gathering my toys together into a cardboard box and I heard the old woman sar: "What on earth does she do with all those toys we buy her?" 

She tilted the box and few furry mice and a half-chewed cardboard bird rolled to one side. She shrugged and carried on with the housework. I closed my eyes and started to dream about real mice and birds.

Suddenly my pleasant reverie was broken by a yell.

"TOFFEE!" 

What was wrong? I thought I'd better go and see so I strolled into the living room… and the picture above is very similar to what I saw. The old woman didn't have her camera ready (unusual; she's usually got it practically stuck up my nose) so she found this on the internet to show all her friends on Facebook. 

Personally, I think that's a sheer invasion of privacy. I AM NOT AMUSED.




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Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Toffee Does The Housework


I was was in trouble yesterday after an "incident" involving some salmon fillets and my mouth. So, in order to make amends, I have been helping with the housework today.

I started in the sitting-room. I had a quick swish round with my paws, cleaning dust off the shelves - plus books, two ornaments and a stack of DVDs (I know, who still has stacks of DVDs? The old man and old woman think they live in the Middle Ages when it's just that they are middle-aged).

Then there was a tidy round in the kitchen. I cleared off the counters. That was easy although I must admit the pile of broken crockery on the floor looks a tad untidy. Still, there's plenty of worktop space now.

Into the bedroom and I thought I'd iron out the duvet by using the heat of my body. Yes, I lay on it and it was soft, so so soft....zzzzz.

I was awoken a few hours later by the old woman going mad and shouting, "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, TOFFEE!"

I thought she'd be pleased.

Nope.

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Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Toffee Adopts Older Pets



A few years ago I adopted two pets. I am sad to report that it is getting more obvious every day that they are both are getting past it. They are galloping full pelt towards senility, which is worrying. For me.

The first thing I noticed was that the hearing was going. They both ignored me as I meowed, and meowed, and meowed, and meowed, and meowed, and meowed while they were eating their prawn salad. Would it have killed them to have thrown one or two in my direction? Not only deaf - but, I hate to say it - tending on the cruel side.

Now the eyesight is becoming a problem. Yesterday the old man picked me up - as I allow him to from time to time - UPSIDE DOWN. The indignity. My ass was in his face and my head was on that huge round thing he calls a stomach. Then he dropped me. Good job I have the reflexes of a well-honed athlete or there could have been a nasty accident.

I am now afraid to sleep on their faces when they are in bed as they might stop breathing altogether. It's a worry. 


Even so, older pets have their advantages. For those of you who are unsure about adopting an older person, here is some information from Cats ProtectionThey seem to have mistakenly used the word "cat" instead of "person" and included other little typos like saying "litter box" instead of toilet so I have corrected these for you too. You're welcome.


The Adult Advantage

  • An adult person's personality has already developed, so you'll know if he or she is a good fit for your family.
  • An adult person  may very well already know basic household etiquette (like not attacking your feet at night). In particular, senior people are often already house trained and are less likely to "forget" where the toilet is.
  • An adult person won't grow any larger - well, as long as it doesn't eat too much! - so you'll know exactly how much person you're getting.
  • Adult people are often content to just relax in your company, unlike younger people, who may get into mischief because they're bored. Adult people also make great napping partners!
  • Adult people have often already been taught that scratching posts (not furniture) are for scratching and toys (not hands or feet) are for biting.
  • Adult people are harder to find homes for, and generally the older the person, the harder it is to rehome. When you adopt a senior person, you're truly saving a life.
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Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Toffee And The Green-Eyed Monster



Jealous? Me? Don't be silly. I am The Special One. Why would I be jealous? It's a ridiculous notion.

I have never been jealous in my life. I am Toffee, Queen Of All I Survey.



I don't care if you pet other cats. Why would I? I know you would never replace me. I am Number One in your affections. Toffee Numero Uno. 



What time is it? What time are you coming home? Why are you late? Where have you been? I want a cuddle...



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Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Toffee Says It's Not True



I am cross. It's not like me, I know, but I have been provoked. The old woman has been posting the below all over social media. IT'S NOT TRUE. It's a foul calumny. I have no idea what's she talking about. Not a clue.


The Life Of A Cat Owner
  1. Lovingly rubbing your cat’s belly until it suddenly thanks you by clawing your arm into mince.
  2. Wondering how you can ever thank your cat for its precious gift of a freshly decapitated pigeon delivered straight to your pillow.
  3. Coming home to find someone has coughed up what appears to be Donald Trump’s hair on your carpet.
  4. Never being quite sure if your cat likes you, or it’s trying to work out the best way to conquer then eat you.
  5. Attempting to read a newspaper while your cat sets about trying to destroy it using only the top of its head.
  6. Remembering the days when you woke up to an alarm clock rather than being repeatedly punched in the face.
  7. Injuring your spine by sleeping in an S shape because your cat has commandeered the middle of the duvet.
  8. Knowing that if you collapsed your cat would spring into action and use your body as a bed.
  9. Spending mega bucks on new toys only for them to be snubbed in favour of a screwed up ball of paper and the thrill of an old box.
  10. Returning home from holiday and being unsure whether your unforgiving cat will ever acknowledge your existence again.  
You might also like Toffee's Scientific Experiments.

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Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Toffee Frightens The Children




The sun was shining so I was out in the garden today. It was lovely to feel the sun on my fur and I was soon fast asleep. But it wasn't so nice at around 8.30am when I was awoken by parents dragging their squalling brats to school.

The children spotted me and started calling to me, "Puss, puss, puss," as if I'm going to get up to greet a total stranger who hasn't even got some kind of catty foodstuff in its little hand.

Then I hit on a clever wheeze. I stretched out and twisted my body. Then, eyes wide open, fixed my stare on the garden fence. I held my breath.

"Mummy, mummy, there's a dead cat in that garden!" shouted a little girl. Then I suddenly leapt in the air and she screamed blue murder.

I was enjoying this and thought I could keep it up for ages. But then the old woman swooped down on me.

"I see what you're doing, Toffee," she said, "And you can stop it right now!"

She scooped me up and carried me into the house but at least I got a few treats in my bowl.

Same time, same place tomorrow?


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Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Toffee Answers A Few Questions



As a media star of some standing, I often get asked questions by my fans. Here are a few of them:

How do you keep your fur in such tip-top condition?
It's all down to personal grooming and care.  Occasionally I come indoors with muddy feet (see my recent Pawprints post) and with dirt and burrs stuck to me. I then find the cleanest spot in the house and transfer as much of this dirt as I can. I then proceed to groom myself.  It is essential to get dirty in the first place as it's by removing the debris that I can condition my own fur and keep it glossy (hence the term "spit and polish"), making me the beautiful girl you see today.

Why do you try to sleep on laptop keyboards?
You misunderstand the manoeuvre. I'm not trying to get into position to sleep there - but to share with you my technological expertise. I am keeping an eye out for nasty things like worms and viruses. If I ever see any I am going to pounce and get rid of them for you. You're welcome.

What is your favourite food?
PRAWNS and anything I can steal off a plate, hopefully PRAWNS.

Who do you share your house with?
I don't share anything but I have an old man and woman who live with me. They are more like staff than housemates.

What do you dream about?
I had a dream I was perched high on top of a bookcase with the old man watching TV below. I waited until his eyes began to droop and then I pounced. He screamed like a girl and fell off the sofa. Oh no, hang on. That wasn't a dream, happened last night.

What is the collective noun for a group of cats?
If you look this up on the internet, you will find  a variety of collective nouns, including a clowder of cats, a clutter, a pounce, and a glare. Personally, I call a group of cats "a fight waiting to happen".

Why do you sleep so much?
Too tired to answer any more questions. Zzzzz, Zzzzz, Zzzzz.

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Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Toffee Avoids The Barbecue






The weather is getting better. I know because the old man and the old woman have been dusting off the barbecue and casting wistful looks at the sausages and burgers in the deep freeze.

They are simple souls and like nothing better than cremating what was a perfectly fine piece of meat and then serving it up on a plate. Still, it's often raw in the middle so I guess that evens things out.

I don't mind a barbecue because the next morning I can help with the housework by hoovering up the collateral damage of discarded meat products. Yum. I keep as far away as possible from the actual event, not least because their daft friends insist on eating to what they call "music" and what I call "an assault on the ears".

The preparations drive me batty. They always have a garden makeover before inviting people to share in their culinary catastrophes. The lawnmower, buzzing like several swarms of angry bees, strips away the long grass in which I like to hide while stalking little creatures. Then there's the ear-splitting strimmer. How can I sleep with all that kerfuffle going on?

Usually these friends bring along smaller versions of themselves - "children", I think they're called. This selection of ankle-biters, horror of horrors, want to play with me. Another reason for boycotting the event and scuttling off to my  favourite hidey-hole. These "children" scream and fight over the minuscule paddling pool Mr and Mrs bought for a pittance in a car boot sale and then had to mend with a bicycle tyre repair kit. Hardly a brain cell between them.

When all the gardening has been done and the children at last subdued, there is that crazy summer ceremony - the lighting of said barbecue. The old man spends about half an hour holding matches to firelighters and charcoal. It smoulders for a short while, sending up clouds of smoke before he gets a fire going hot enough to just about warm through a pork chop rind.  That stage lasts for half an hour before the next phase when it suddenly flares into life and become hot enough to strip the paint off the garage at 20 paces.

I'll be glad when it rains again so I can pop outdoors, get soaking wet and then jump on either the old man or old woman to get myself dry. They usually put up with me and I end up warm and cosy between them on the sofa. They do have their uses.

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Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Toffee Gets Offended




 I HAVE never been so insulted in my life. And I have been insulted plenty, I can tell you.

The old woman was reading some darned book about cats and came up with this little snippet: ‘The vast majority of cats are mongrels.’

She ruffled my ears. ‘Just like you, Toffee.’

W-H-A-A-A-T? ME, A MONGREL?

How dare she say such a thing. I might not be a pedigree cat or even a part-pedigree cat, But I am a…, a…, a…,  am a Superior Being.

She went on reading. She doesn’t know when to stop, that woman.

‘Cats have been especially bred for a variety of reasons; to produce softer or longer coats, for example, or to enhance their markings or refine a colour. In the eyes of the breeders, the refinements have enhanced their beauty.’

That did it for me. Was she implying that I was not as handsome as some pedigree cat? How very, very dare she. I leapt to my feet scrabbled across her hand, digging my claws in as I went. She yowled and sucked on her hand.

‘Pity you weren’t bred to be a NICE CAT and not a monster,’ she yelled after my retreating, ginger behind.

We aren’t speaking to each other at the moment but I might deign to be a ‘NICE CAT’ when it’s time for tea.


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    Tuesday, 6 August 2019

    Toffee Leaves Paw Prints






    The old woman showed the old man this wall-hanging. I thought it was rather cute but, guess what, the old man just LAUGHED.

    "Yeah," he said, "And on floors you've just washed, all over the furniture, on windowsills, on clean bedding, on your new white shirt (while you're wearing it), in wet cement, on clean cars, on neatly folded piles of fresh laundry..." and on and on he went.

    The man's a Grade One Idiot.






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