Monday, 16 March 2009

A "Clear The Air" Summit

Jasper ate my newspaper yesterday (there is a photo of him doing so here) and this is the latest in a number of incidents involving all three of my cats that have caused friction between us.

My cats are fabulous creatures but they are really trying my patience at the moment, not least because Mrs PM is wholly committed to their cause and, as a result, I get the blame for every disagreement I have with my feline masters.

Jasper munching through the “Money” section of the Sunday Times was the last straw. I waited until Mrs PM had popped out of the house and called a meeting. I considered long and hard about the best place for this summit and decided that the ideal location was my own imagination.

I handed over a list of my gripes – and here they are. Unfortunately, the cats can’t read so I had to stand over them and dictate as they stared at me:

Jasper eats my newspapers. This is not a one-off occurrence. He has also eaten my “Classic Rock” magazine, something that is unforgivable.

Spike wakes me up at the crack of dawn every single day, howling outside the bedroom for breakfast and scratching the door.

Poppy runs out of the house every single time I run downstairs. Mrs PM shouts at me as if I’m to blame for Poppy’s cowardice.

Jasper is too fat. Despite his diet (which is working) he still insists on lurking, seeking any opportunity to eat any scrap he can.

Spike is still violent. He will sit on my knee, purring and allowing me stroke him and then, totally unprovoked, will suddenly turn into a vicious blur of fur, teeth and claws and rip my hand to shreds.

Poppy pesters me for food, usually while a big game is on, and when I go out to feed her, she waits for me to put the food down on the floor before shrieking (because a drop of water has plopped out of the tap) and then disappearing through the cat flap like a black bolt of lightning.

Jasper and Spike are in the early stages of civil war, the prize being dominance of the house. Occasionally we will hear them wrestling in the middle of the night and, being a light sleeper, it is me who has to creep downstairs to see if we have a burglar.

Jasper is a big cat. Our burglar alarm is calibrated for small cats. Jasper has set off the burglar alarm several times simply by turning over on the settee. The neighbours are starting to complain.

One or all of the cats eats vegetation and ends up throwing up on our carpets. I have on one occasion stumbled out of the bedroom in the middle of the night and placed my bare foot in a pile of cat vomit – it is a most unpleasant experience I can tell you.

We have a wooden floor. Mrs PM and I have painstakingly sanded and varnished these floorboards and admired them with pride. Now there is a patch about four inches in diameter where a nameless cat has ripped the wood to shreds.

Talking about scratching, all three cats frequently sharpen their claws on the furniture and carpets.

Spike and Poppy both take their food out of the dish and eat it on the floor, leaving dirty marks all over the place. Jasper isn’t guilty of this crime; he vacuums every last scrap.

Spike eats my lunch and any other food we leave lying around at every opportunity. I left a ham sandwich unattended on the chair and Spike somehow managed to pull the ham out and eat it. We left the butter dish on a table and Spike ate a huge chunk of it. I have caught Spike inside the dishwasher licking plates. We almost locked him in there by mistake.

I was actually very surprised to discover that, in return, they all have grievances with me:

Trips to the vet are the major concern. I am seen as the bad guy because Mrs PM is traumatized beyond words. It is I who has to catch them and force them into their cages.

I don’t feed them often enough. I should be at their beck and call. Spike is particularly irritated by this.

I don’t give them enough food. Jasper has a particular problem with this.

Apparently I am too noisy. I “charge about like a demented elephant” according to Poppy.

When a cat sits on my knee I should stay there; I shouldn’t move, fidget or twitch. I should feel privileged that I am being used as a bed. And if Spike wants to sink his claws and fangs into my skin he has every right to do so.

The cats want access to the bedroom at all times. It is particularly warm and comfortable in there at night time. We are hot water bottles for the cats so banning them is a real kick in the teeth.

I do not appreciate their presents. Live mice, a half-eaten bird, even a pile of grassy puke are all gifts that should be appreciated. I am seen as ungrateful.

I don’t look where I’m going in the dark. Cats can see perfectly well, so why can’t I? The fact that they are black is totally irrelevant.

I do not pamper them enough. Mrs PM is seen as acceptable and adequate, whereas I am deemed to be pathetic and useless.

We go away on holiday far too often; our neighbours are seen as even worse slaves than Mrs PM and I.

They all think I am an arse.

Well we had a frank but fruitless discussion and the high level talks collapsed in chaos. Poppy howled at the door to be let out, Jasper munched the remaining sections of the Sunday Times as we chatted and Spike attacked my feet (and now I can barely walk). All three of them treated me with utter (and in their words “deserved”) contempt.

When Mrs PM returned, I told her about the meeting and suggested that we should work together to come to an agreement. After she had called for a psychiatrist, she basically told me that she agreed with the cats.

So I am outnumbered and my ego has been dealt yet another severe blow; I thought I was the King of my own Castle, yet here I am at the very bottom of food chain.

But fear not, fine readers; rest assured that the war will continue. This was just one battle lost. I will return.

I have to go now; Spike is hungry again, Jasper is eating the Sports section and Poppy has broken the land speed record to escape from another shadow.

Coming my Lords and Lady ...

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