Category Archives: Cat
Can Mr. Sushi rescue Mittens from the clutches of the evil experimenters? Part Two of my story for @katttykitty72, who’s had a bit of a rough time lately, as requested by her friend @kimnmilward. Read Part 1 HERE.
At the other side of the fence he crouched low, and began to clean the dirt from his fur. Fully ten minutes passed before he suddenly sat upright. What on earth was he playing at? There’d be plenty of time for cleanliness later. Right now, Mittens needed him.
The sky was getting dark, violet and rose streaking the western clouds. Mr. Sushi looked around. On this side of the fence were a number of square, concrete buildings. He could not see the van.
He listened. Silence.
He lifted his head and sniffed the air. To the north, the scent of trees, a powdery green smell, and old. To the west, behind him, the hard tang of electricity coursing through metal; the fence he had just crossed. South-east, down a shallow slope, he could smell filthy oil and hot smoke, as from a dirty exhaust. He slinked that way, keeping low, and crept through a narrow gap between two of the buildings.
At the far end was the dirty white van, its rear doors wide open, parked by a building across a wide street. The building’s doors were also open. Mr. Sushi dashed across the open space and through the doors.
A long corridor, lit by harsh fluorescent light, ran straight ahead of him. Doors were set in both sides every few yards. There was no-one in sight. Mittens had to be behind one of those doors.
The first two on each side were closed, and he was unable to push them open. The handles were the pull down sort, but would not shift when he leapt up and swung from them, as he did at home.
The third door was ajar, and he flowed silently through. It was dark inside, but a tiny green power light in one corner was enough to help him see cages. Lots of cages. Inside them were rats, lizards, monkeys, rabbits, dogs – but no cats. He felt for the poor trapped creasture, a little, but they were not Mittens. He left and moved to the next door. Voices came from inside.
“Hold the little sod down, will you?”
“Those claws are sharp!”
“That’s why you’ve got the gloves, you wimp. Just hold it still while I get the needle in.”
Mr. Sushi pushed into the room. A dazzling light made everything inside appear sharp and hard. More cages, glistening tubes and jars, and a heavy metal table in the centre of the room. Mr. Sushi sprang to a nearby stool, then up to a shelf on the wall, so that he could see what was happening.
Two men stood at the table. One, the shaven-headed man he had seen throw the sack into the dirty white van, wore a thick pair of gauntlets to hold a struggling Mittens to the hard metal surface. The other man, who wore a long brown coat, pushed a small disc of metal into the top of Mittens’ head. It had wires coming from it. The man in the brown coat flicked a switch on a box at the other end of the wires, and Mittens went limp. Her eyes remained open, though unfocussed and dull.
“You can let go now,” Brown Coat said, and picked up a glittering knife. The other man took off his gauntlets.
“What’s that thing in its head?” he said.
“My own device,” Brown Coat said proudly. “There are nine thin electrodes now in the cat’s brain, each of them destroying certain mental links and creating others. My hope is that they can even effect physical repair of wounded tissue; that’s what I’m about to test. If I peel this cat’s eyeball, my device should manage to mend the damage.”
“Ugh, really? That’s … twisted.”
“Feel free to leave if you’re squeamish, but believe me, it should be fascinating.” Brown Coat lowered the tip of the knife towards Mittens’ unblinking eye.
“I’ll give it to you next time.” The knifepoint touched the eyeball.
“My money.” The shaven-headed man gripped Brown Coat’s arm and pulled it away from Mittens. Brown Coat sighed, and put down the knife.
“It’s in the office,” he said, and left the room, followed by the shaven-headed man.
Mr. Sushi had to act fast. He flung himself to the floor and leapt onto the table. He licked Mittens’ head. “Are you OK? Come on, I don’t think we don’t have long.”
She did not even twitch. She did not seem to have even noticed he was there. He followed the wires from the device in her head, and pushed the same switch as Brown Coat had earlier.
“Argh!” exclaimed Mittens, shaking. “Get it out! Get it out of my head!” Mr. Sushi opened his mouth wide and gripped the small disc in his teeth. It tingled in his mouth, but he heaved it from Mittens’ skull and spat it out. Blood shone on the tiny needles underneath.
“Come on!” he urged, and sprinted to the door. Mittens was on his heels as he jinked through the gap, along the corridor, and out into open air.
“Where are we?” Mittens gasped. “How do we get home?”
“Just follow me,” Mr. Sushi said, wanting to put as big a distance between them and Brown Coat as they could before their escape was discovered. He crossed the street, ran along the gap between buildings, and up into the trees. The sky was dark now, and he worried that he might not be able to find the rabbit’s tunnel, but suddenly realised he was standing by it. He threw himself into the ground, and emerged on the other side of the fence, shaking dirt from his fur.
Behind the wire, Mittens looked doubtfully at the hole in the ground. “I think I’ll just climb over,” she said.
“Can’t,” Mr. Sushi said. “Electrickery.”
“Oh. How on earth did you dig this?”
“I didn’t. A friendly rabbit did.”
“Look, I’ll explain later. Stop faffing and get yourself through, and let’s go home.”
“Yes, you’re right.” Mittens squeezed her eyes shut, and joined him on the other side of the fence. “Yes,” she said. “Let’s get home.”
“Where have you two buggers been?” The Woman said as they entered the kitchen. “You hungry? Got some lovely fish for you. They were throwing it out at the market, but you’ll love it, I’m sure.”
Mr. Sushi rushed to the bowl. He was starving after his exertions, and he knew that Mittens would not object. She hated fish, after all. He glanced up at his friend. Mittens was frowning at him. She fixed her eyes on his. They glowed unnaturally, as if lit by an amber light inside her head. Mr. Sushi suddenly realised that he was moving away from the food bowl, despite having no desire to do so. He tried to resist, but his legs were not his to command. Mittens moved in front of him and thrust her face into the fishy mess, gobbling it up. Mr. Sushi stared at her, unable to move, aghast.
“My god, what have they done to you?”
“I’m inscrutable,” said Mr. Sushi. “You cannot scrute me.”
“Rubbish, I’m scruting you now,” Mittens said.
“Pfft,” the black and white cat countered, rather wittily he thought. “What am I thinking then, smart arse?”
“You’re thinking,” said the tabby, “that we should go and make pathetic noises at The Woman, and maybe she’ll give us treats.”
“Um. Well, yes. Then maybe you can scrute me, but no-one else can, ‘kay?” Mittens looked at him smugly. “Come on, then,” he harumphed, pouring himself from the mossy wall like liquid fur. Mittens followed, and the two cats sauntered single-file through the sunflecked midgeclouds towards home. The air was silent but for the unending chuckle of the slow river beyond the wall. Butterflies flitted, fat bees bumbled, and wood pigeons chanted their poodly-poo when they felt the urge. A skylark rose into the arch of the sky, trilling and warbling with the sheer joy of life.
“Good eating, skylark,” Mr. Sushi said. “Tasty. Ever had it?” Behind him, Mittens stayed silent. “I hope The Woman gives us some of that chicken-flavoured yoghurt stuff,” he continued, “it’s way better than that fishy rubbish. I don’t know why she persists. I mean, you never eat fish, do you? Still, more for me.” He spat out a midge. “I’ve never known a cat not like fish. Yes, it’s horrible, but it is food. Why don’t you like fish?” Silence. “Mittens?”
He turned, but Mittens was no longer to be seen. What was to be seen was a shaven-headed man gripping tightly the neck of a rough sack, a sack that writhed and shook as something inside struggled desperately. The man threw it with some force into the back of a small van, the side of which bore the legend ‘EXPERIMENTS 4U’.
The man slammed the rear van door and climbed into the driver’s seat. The engine gargled, started, coughed, and stopped again as a black cloud belched from the exhaust to foul the sweet air.
“Mittens!” cried Mr. Sushi. He launched himself towards the van. The engine roared once more as he closed the gap, and the van moved. He threw himself up and hit the side of the van running, as it began to gain speed. His upward momentum proved just enough to allow him to run up the side of the van and make it to the roof. As the vehicle accelerated, Mr. Sushi’s paws began to slip on the rusty metal. One sharp turn and he would be flung off.
He desperately clawed his way towards a long, thin piece of metal that projected from the top of the windscreen. Hooking his claws around it, he hung on frantically as the van roared up and down hills, and careered around sharp bends.
The terrifying ride continued for what felt like hours, but eventually the van turned down a narrow lane lined with thick hedgerows. He was thrown around, battered by wind, and his legs felt drained of all strength. He could hold on no longer, and his claws slipped, just as the van screeched to a halt before a high gate in a tall metal wire fence.
Mr. Sushi flew through the air and crashed into the bushes by the road. A man in a uniform stood by the gate. He stared at the hole Mr. Sushi had made in the foliage.
“What was that?” he asked the driver, who stuck his head out of the window.
“What was what?”
“I thought … oh never mind. Go on through.”
Mr. Sushi crouched in the bushes and watched the guard open the gate. The van rumbled to the other side of the fence and disappeared behind a brick building. The gate closed again. The cat inspected the high metal fence. He had to reach the other side. The barrier was high, but he was sure he could make it over, if he hit the fence with enough speed. He tensed and waggled his bottom, ready to throw himself forward and upward.
The small voice at his side made him jump. He tensed. A small rabbit, entirely unthreatening, emerged from the undergrowth. Mr. Sushi relaxed. “Go away,” he hissed.
“I’ve dug a short tunnel for you under the fence,” the rabbit continued, surprisingly unfazed by the cat’s fiercest hiss. Astonishingly, it spoke to him perfectly in cat language. “Kizzy said you’d need a way under.”
“You’re Kizzy, are you?”
“No, I’m Cuetip. Kizzy is … well, it’s complicated. She’s my friend. She knows things. She told me to wait here and help a cat to the other side of the fence. So …” the rabbit gestured to a hole in the ground, “… tunnel.”
“You’re bonkers in the nut, you are. I don’t need your pokey tunnel. Watch this and be impressed, furball. I’m going up and over.”
“Good luck with that, Kizzy says. The fence is full of—”
Mr. Sushi sped toward the fence, a blur, and leapt high. As soon as his feet touched the metal he was flung backwards to sprawl in the dirt. He felt as though he had been kicked.
The cat glared at the little rabbit. Slowly, he sat up and began to wash himself, to give himself time to think. “What’s your name again, rabbit?” he said.
“And who’s Kizzy?”
The rabbit took a deep breath. “A dead cat who lives on in my mind and gets messages from Bast, who’s a goddess or something, and she knows lots of things and we help people.”
“That makes no sense at all.”
“I know. Nevertheless,” the rabbit said, indicating the hole once more, “tunnel.”
Mr. Sushi sighed. This creature thoroughly confused him. He was loathe to accept help from a rabbit that spouted gibberish, but also he had no idea how else he might follow Mittens.
“Oh alright,” he said. “Lead the way.”
“You have to go alone. Something about you being the hero of this story, not us. Kizzy says we are simply …” The rabbit cocked its head, as if listening. “D … dayus ex m … oh, something I can’t pronounce. Good luck, though!” The creature turned and his furry bottom disappeared into the bushes.
“Wait, I … oh,” Mr. Sushi sighed. The rabbit was gone. He examined the unappealing hole in the dirt by the fence. Cats were not deigned to be underground. That was all kinds of wrong. On the other hand, Mittens was in trouble. Perhaps … perhaps if he thought of the hole as a cardboard box or, better yet, the opening of a nice, rustly paper bag. Yes, that might work. Before he could think too much about it, he threw himself head-first into the hole and snaked through.
Part 2 will appear next week sometime. To discover more about Cuetip, read my book “Warren Peace”. I had no plans for him to appear in this story – indeed, I hadn’t thought of him at all until he unexpectedly popped his head out of the bushes at the end of my pen.
You’ve heard the expression “raining cats and dogs”, right? Here’s a little thing I wrote for Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Flash Challenge – Week 51, inspired by the picture on the right there. The cat’s real name is Willow, and the dog is Lily, but I think Abigail and William work better for the story.
<the light tattoo of rain on glass>
“Go on, then.”
“In that storm? No. You go on, then.”
“Nuh-uh. I’m a cat. Cats don’t do rain.”
“Cats don’t do anything.”
“We do! We do sunshine and warm laps and high places.”
“Don’t forget selfishness, you’re the best at that. Cats don’t do anything useful.”
“Tell me, of the two creatures here, which one can work the window latch?”
“Which one, William?”
“I can’t hear you.”
“You can, Abigail. It’s you, OK?”
“Then we are agreed. My job is to open the window. Your job is to go out in the rain.”
“And get soaked.”
“One job each, William. That’s fair, isn’t it?”
“Hmph. I suppose.”
“Oh don’t sulk. Let’s get this over with. There, the window’s open. Off you pop.”
“I don’t think I can carry both bags of treats. I only have a little mouth.”
“Then fetch mine and go back for yours. Then we can work on opening them.”
“That’s two trips, Abigail! I’ll get even wetter!”
“Once you’re wet, you’re wet. And you can shake yourself dry. Dogs are good at that.”
“We are, aren’t we? Dogs are good at stuff just as much as cats.”
“They’re certainly good at being gullible. Off you pop, William.”
<the hiss of rain on the path between greenhouse and kitchen>
“I’m back! Here’s yours, Abigail. I’ll just pop back and get mine.”
“Take your time, William, take your time.”
“Gosh, this rain’s cold.”
<the cadence of rainfall and a soft click>
“Abigail! Abigail! Abigail!”
“You’ve shut the window again. Let me in, I’m soaked!”
“Not a chance. It is cold. And who wants to eat with the stink of wet dog in the air?”
“That’s not fair!”
“You said it yourself, William. Cats are the best at selfishness.”
On #InternationalCatDay, here are three of the feline heroes from Warren Peace.
The continuing adventures of Sebaster the cat and Johannah the raven. You can read Part 1 here and then Part 2 here. The whole story, as far as I’ve written it by then, will appear in the soon-to-be-published “The Museum of White Walls : forty monkeybonkers tales and three poems”
The hellbeast sat on the windowsill outside and laughed.
“Sebaster!” Johanna scolded the laughing cat, “you terrified me!”
“God, that was hilarious!” he snorted, muffled by the glass but still audible. “You even did a little crap as you somersaulted gracefully into the ceiling.”
“A polite creature would not mention such things of a lady,” she huffed, returning to the inside sill.
“Cats don’t do polite,” he said. “Come on, shift your arse. Let’s get going.”
“But how? How did you suddenly appear outside? Was it a relocation spell? Perhaps you transmogrified yourself into a mist to slip through the keyhole?”
“Nah,” he said. “Catflap. Come on, buggerlugs, get out here and we’ll set off. We can pick up some food on the way.”
Johanna cocked her head and regarded the cat. He seemed serious about going out into the fog-shrouded world to search for Natty G, despite all the dangers that would entail. For one thing, there was the weather. At the moment it was so foggy that they could not even make out the trees at the far end of the stony lane that led up to the cottage. It was cold, too – and what if it rained? Where would they shelter? Would they be able to find food? Come to that, how on earth would they be able to find Bee Ewe Rye? Above all else, though, one particular thing was stopping her joining Sebaster outside. What on earth was a catflap? She would have to ask, and hope beyond hope that it was not some distasteful habit of his.
“What is a cat flap, Sebaster?”
“Oh! Little door in the big door. Just push it, you’ll see. Get a wiggle on – adventure awaits, JoJo!”
“Once and for all,” she said, exasperated, “My name is …” but the cat had jumped down, and she was speaking only to the fog. She flapped down to the door, and pecked once or twice at the square of plastic that she had always taken for a ridiculously low-set window. It moved in response to her taps, swinging a little on a top hinge. Johanna gathered her courage and bustled through, which proved surprisingly easy. Sebaster sat on the paved path nearby. The air was chill, and smelled of damp ashes.
Johanna hopped to Sebaster’s side, and the two set off, the onyx-feathered raven side-by-side with the powerful ginger cat, his marmalade-and-fire fur glistening with tiny droplets of fog-water. As they rounded Natty G’s herb garden, Sebaster said “I’ve had a thought.”
“Wonders never cease.”
“Go fuck yourself,” Sebaster said jovially. “No, I was thinking – can’t you just do a spell to transport us to Bee Yew Rye?”
“Well, no. You should know that. We are but familiars. We cannot actually perform magic; we simply assist Natty G as servants, spies, protectors and companions, aiding her on occasion by strengthening her magic when she bewitches enemies, or divines information, or turns one thing into a different thing. That is why she created us, after all. Ah, the day she created me was a mighty day indeed! I was mindlessly pecking away at the rotting eyes of a dead sheep when Natty G happened along. She willed me to open my mouth and she blew into me a fairy which gave me self-awareness and a command of language, along with a ridiculously long life-span.”
Sebaster was staring at her. “You’re pulling my plonker,” he said.
“I beg your pardon, I am most certainly not. Why, how came you into Our Lady’s service?”
“She bought me from that pet shop in the village; ‘One Man Andy’s Dogs’.”
“You did not have a fairy blown into you?”
“Like fuck, I did.”
“You do not suckle from the witch’s teat as a reward for helping with magic?”
“The who the what now? Natty G’s tits? Ew!”
“You don’t have a spirit name? The name of the fairy that was blown into you?”
“No, just the usual three names here; my regular name – Sebaster, my fancy name – Zingiber Officinale, and my secret name that only I know.”
“So you are not Natty G’s familiar? You are …”
“Just a moggy, yes. Sorry.”
Just found this photo of the time in 1989 that we had seven cats. Meet Malley, Kizzy, Liverpool, Clint, Sherpa, Everton (complete with shaved bum & tail after a leg operation) and Cleo. Readers of my books will know this magnificent seven well, as they all appear in my book Warren Peace. (sorry about the title)
Since I got my hurty leg, I’ve been unable to walk the Bleakholt dogs. As well as losing the exercise, I’ve really missed the place itself. The staff, the other walkers, and most of all the dogs. So today I popped in for a quick visit. Had a few chats with the dog staff and found that BETTY SPAGHETTI had been brought back from her new home. Boo! Then I had a wander round the pens and said hello to some old favourites and some new arrivals.
Over on the right there, little PUDDING came and had a bit of a love despite being really hot and follollopy.
Here’s TARA – always friendly and ready to lick you to death. She still needs to learn not to pull, yet. If I’d taken her out with my bad leg I’d have been horizontal immediately, being dragged around like Bill Oddie was by that kitten in Ther Goodies (oh God I’m old).
TODD (one of my favouritest of all the dogs) and kennel-mate SAFFRON were just coming back from a walk, and I managed a big hello with them too. There they are back in their pen, Toddy-todd-todd having a huge drink at the back.
There have been quite a few new arrivals while I’ve been away. I was quite interested in a 5-year-old black Lab called MARLEY. That’s the best pic I could manage, sadly. Perhaps I can take him out when I get back to walking. I’m hoping that can be next Monday, the way my leg’s going.
And finally, because I love the cats too (we have two of our own, Buffy and Midge, that we got as kittens from Bleakholt eleven years ago), I nipped up to see them. Mostly they were basking in the warm sunshine. No fools, cats.
I’ve never understood the urge some people have to kill spiders. They are innocent little creatures, doing their tiny best to get along with their arachnid lives, and helping us out by catching the far more annoying flies. They don’t want to hurt anyone; they’re just trying to get places. If they could speak they’d be saying stuff like
“Hey bro, how’re you doing? Nice morning, huh? Yeah, lots of flies, I’m trying to take care of that for you, I’ll just stay out of your way on the curtain rail, but I might have to make a run down there at some point. I’ll be quiet though, yeah? Cool, man, ‘ppreciate it.”
Kit has two HUGE ones who chill out with her near her desk in the corner, and occasionally one will go for a stroll and get scared by one of the cats. One is big and greyish and prettily patterned, named Adonis, and the other one is smaller and sort of blackish brown. Much shyer, name of Makar. Apparently. Kit imagines that the spider neighbours have little meetings where they discuss spider-drama and they hang out and they’re best friends and they’re like “hey man wanna come over, share a moth?” “sure that’d be awesome I’ll see you in ten? Gotta freshen up, y’know.”
I myself have Travelling Spider as a companion. She lives on the wing mirror of my car, and has been all over the country with me. On journeys she’ll sometimes just nip out from behind the mirror into the wind-stream for a thrill, and to see how much damage is being done to her web. I’ll miss her when she goes.
See? They’re wonderful. And yet some people just thoughtlessly snuff out their poor little spider lives, when they are just trying to do harmless spider things. It’s very sad.
Three years ago (jeebus, was it that long?) me and Cat went to the London MCMExpo. Now that Expo was happening up North, and on our very doorstep, we could suffer no other action than to go again. Loved the fact that this year, cos we bought early entry tickets, we got in with just ten minutes of queueing, rather than two hours. There’s a SHYTELOAD of pics (and a couple of videos) here that I hope capture the feel of a joyous day full of happy, friendly, vibrant people. Enjoy. If you recognise yourself in a pic having stumbled across this humble blog, do yell “Ayup Wombat!” in the comments and give us a cheery wave of whichever body part you find most pleasing. Oh, and you can click on each pic to see a larger version.
I definitely recommend you click on this pic to see the large version. There’s lots of goodies to pick out from the crowd.
Lolly chainsaw, cheerleader, weird scarecrow thing – what’s not to like?
Decide on your own amusing caption for this one, cos I can’t even.
Dance, girls, dance!
I love the pop-quaffing furry on the left there. Working the pink hair there, kids.
The steps were remarkably popular for resting, although they did give you a nasty case of Numbum.
That awkward moment when your cloven hoof goes wonky
“And you are Green Lantern?”
“ARROW, WOMAN! FFS!”
Assembled folk of all kinds, but every single one having a champion time. Yes I’m from Yorkshire, why do you ask?
Skitty & Bulbasaur
Tim, Cat & Katharine
Inside G-MEX – sorry, “Manchester Central”, its crap new name.
Resting bananas. Be careful not to tread on them.
No Luke, *I* am your helmet.
Some weird Super-Ghost-Doctor mash-up that I can’t even.
Posing with dead Heath Ledger
Spot the tiny Han! (Harrison Ford was 70 the other day, by the way. I KNOW!)
Small child, HUGE ROBOT
Dalek japes. EXTERMI oh wait…..
Them nice Merlin knights sign stuff and smile a lot.
Raquel, phwoar. Yes yes, I’m old.
The footballers seemed out of place. Which dickhead spelled Mike Summerbee’s name wrong?
A weird fight between disparate genres.
It was a family day – lots of kids, which was great.
Those Merlin guys on stage (yeah, I can’t be bothered to look up their names).
Mario entertains the kids.
How much money did YOU spend?
I hope he has a green crayon.
Mobile massage. Really relaxing, akshly.
A range of costumes that tickled me. Life’s too short for me to comment on every one, but oh, those Iron Men Girls Women. Iron Ladies? Oh no, that’s something else entirely …. ah, you know what I mean.
Vic Mignogna Meets cat
Just a couple – first up, some bopping to YMCA after Vic Mignogna had finished singing.
And the second is a brief walkabout through the crowd….
So, Dragon Age is SO full of delights. Here’s one of them:My mage, Flax, has been captured and is being held prisoner in the Naked Dungeon of Nakedness in Fort Drakon. Oh no, poor Flax! Note louche fellow prisoner at the back trying to impress her with his coolth.
“What’s your business in Fort Drakon” – Let Stinky… bluff?
“What’s wrong with him?” – Leave this to Stinky.
“He whimpers pitifully”
“All right. All right. Take him into the side room there. I’ll go get the captain to let you through. Just…. hang in there, OK?”
“This is pointless. We should simply go in fighting”
– Stinky whines.
“And now I’m talking to an animal. I’ve been in this country too long”
“All right, what’s this about?” – Leave this to Stinky.
“Is that a pure bred mabari?”
“Very well, take him through. And tell Neville I want a word with him when you get there”