When we went out this morning, our mouse had gone away.
We were disappointed. What did it do that for? We were having fun.
In the afternoon, Millie brought us another one, and this time she let it go in the sitting room.
Rachel wasn’t very happy. All her visitors knew about the mouse, because we kept coming in to look for it. That’s what gave it away, Rachel says – “You have a wild fanatical glare in your eyes, all of you!” How she exaggerates; we were simply being alert and attentive.
The mouse sat in a tiny space behind a cupboard. We could smell it, but we couldn’t reach it. Eventually Rachel caught it in a box and let it go amongst the trees. She said it seemed unharmed. Brisk and mechanically-efficient, her technique; no artistic merit at all.
The visitors were happy, but we were disappointed again. Poor Millie. All that work for nothing.
Humans shouldn’t go mousing; they don’t understand the art form.
We were on a stake-out. Millie had brought us a mouse.
“What are you two up to?” Rachel asked.
At first she could only see me, and then she spotted Scooter hiding behind the bench.
“Sshh!” said Scooter. “We’re mousing. Go away!”
Scooter couldn’t find the mouse, so I had a look.
After a while, Millie came round to see how we were getting on.
She went in behind the bench too. That’s where we thought the mouse was hidden.
“No, you sillies!” she said. “It’s over here!”
It had crept away. Mice are sneaky like that.
We waited for a long time.
“This is stupid.” said Scooter. “I’m going in for my dinner.”
But he couldn’t tear himself away.
This could take some time.
PS Two and a half hours later, Rachel writes:
Never was truer word spoken….. They’ll be out there all night if I don’t go and fetch them indoors. See:
Sigh. Nice, but dim……
Some greedy cats present themselves at top speed whenever the fridge door opens. Usually a waste of effort. The fridge contains some awful things, like tomatoes and pesto; treats aren’t always guaranteed. Treats like milk….
I’m more subtle than that.
I present myself as soon as I hear the kettle being switched on. Rachel says I can hear a kettle boiling from two streets away. I know exactly where to position myself – near the kettle.
Oh come on, think. Kettle = tea.
Tea = milk (not pesto, or parsley, or nasty chutney)
And there’s usually some for me. Readiness and timing, that’s all it takes.
Rachel says she is worn out by our behaviour. We are driving her crazy.
All because we run and hide whenever anyone comes near. Rachel says we should know by now that she has to come through the kitchen many times a day, and that she isn’t going to touch us, let alone do anything awful to us.
She doesn’t understand why we scoot under the kitchen table every time, and look at her with big scared eyes.
We don’t know either. We just do it. Every time.
She thinks it’s all Hamish’s fault. She says he transmits his fearfulness to me, and that if I was on my own I’d be a lap cat by now. She notices that I will rub against her legs when she’s cooking, and says that the way to my heart is through my stomach.
I’m not sure what she means, though. The way to my stomach is through my mouth, that’s what I know.
She worries most about Hamish; she hates the thought that he lives his life feeling scared. I’ve lived with Rachel for almost a year, and Hamish came before Christmas, and he’s worse than me – he’s still frightened of everything, except the dog and us cats.
Rachel says she’s at her wits’ end. She needs a psychologist, we think.
There’s a small, dense jungle beside the front path.
Wild animals can be found there.
If you look closely enough.
They watch out for prey.
And their friends keep lookout from the safety of the house.
Not everyone is cut out for jungle life.
Mrs Danvers (“Call me Rachel” she says, “I’m not really that frightening, am I?”) has been changing things around. It’s very mysterious.
Rachel says she knows I like to sleep in hidden corners.
She bought us a new bed. There are never enough cat beds in this house, she says, usually when she sees our fur on the furniture. She should keep the dratted dog out of them, then, is what we say.
First of all, the new bed was placed near the Cave. After a few days, I felt brave enough to sleep in it. Nothing bad happened.
Then the bed moved to the Cave’s entrance. That was ok too.
And then one day it was inside the Cave. I tried it out, but carefully. I ran away if Rachel came too close to my Cave. She checked up on me a lot.
But now it’s my favourite place; I love it in here!
Recently I heard her tell someone that she was getting me used to being in the Cave, and she mentioned a long car journey. Scooter would be in there too. Scooter? He doesn’t come in the Cave!
She said we had to be Ready.
Somewhere in the distance, I can hear alarm birds calling.
…everywhere. And such a lot to drink.
Rachel knows that we prefer water that has been standing.
We don’t mind if it has bits floating in it. The bits add flavour.
Lottie thinks Rachel’s been rather ambitious here!
But she’s doing her best.