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  • Sheila Norton

Monty's Diary: April 2021

Strange goings-on in the Great Outdoors; and an exciting birthday present.


Hello, friendly humans. I hope you, and especially the cats who employ you, are keeping well. How are things in your Outdoor Territory lately? Maddie and I have been very confused. We’re not sure whether it’s the hunting season yet, or not. Just as it starts to be nice and warm, with lots of prey coming out, ready for us to chase, and warm sunny places to lie down and snooze in – suddenly it’s freezing cold again, with the wind blowing up our tails and making our fur stand on end. We even got another lot of the white stuff that falls out of the sky, recently. I don’t like that stuff at all but I don’t know how to turn it off.


I really don't like this stuff!

Our humans have given us a new form of entertainment recently. Apparently, this is a present for our birthday. My sister Maddie and I are soon going to be eight years old, and it’s now been two years since our humans brought us from the Home for Homeless Cats, to live here in our Furever Home. We’re very grateful, of course – for being adopted, and also for the birthday present. We both love it, it’s more fun than all our other toys put together. We chase each other through it and sometimes I just like to lie inside it, or doze on the carpet with just my head in it, which Mum thinks is hilarious.



There’s only one problem. I can’t deny that, when both Maddie and I are playing with it at the same time, I do get a bit overexcited. I like play-fighting, so when Maddie’s sitting right inside the tunnel, in the middle, I can’t resist jumping on top of it and rolling it around a bit, giving her the odd thump with my paws if she pokes her head out of one of the holes.


I know it scares her, because she starts growling and hissing at me and Mum tells me off. She thinks I’m being a bully, because I’m much bigger and heavier than Maddie and she’s highly-strung (which is a good excuse, to my mind, for getting away with all sorts of silly behaviour). But the truth is, I’d really like to play with my sister, but I get too rough for her and she doesn’t like it. How is that my fault? It feels most unfair.


Well, things might be going to change around here soon. Mum and Dad say they’re planning to go ‘away’ again one day, because someone called Boris, whoever he is, has said they can. They haven’t been ‘away’ for a long time now. I don’t know where this ‘away’ place is, but they used to go there quite often, taking big bags with them and driving off in Dad’s car, leaving us with a substitute servant who feeds us and cleans out our toilet trays.

I takes too much effort to go hunting . . .

We’re not allowed out into the Great Outdoors when our humans are ‘away’, in case we bring in prey and upset our temporary servants. I haven’t actually brought any prey home yet this year. It takes more effort than I can often summon up, to catch them and keep hold of them.


But Maddie disgraced herself a little while back by dragging an enormous Flying Prey down the garden, having already killed it and, I’m sorry to say, made a horrible mess of it. When Mum saw her with it, from the window, she screamed for Dad to come and take it away. Maddie was very disappointed, but to be honest she would never have got it through the cat flap: it was nearly as big as her.



So we know that, at some point, we’re going to be left at home with no Outdoor Privileges again, for a while. As we used to be Indoor Cats when we lived with our previous humans, we can adapt to this, up to a point. But it is frustrating to see Flying Prey tormenting us by hopping around outside while we’re locked in like prisoners, and other cats walking bold as brass through our territory, pulling sneery faces at us through the windows.


And this time, we’ve heard we’re going to have a new Temporary Servant looking after us, as our previous one moved away. Got himself a new Furever Home, I suppose – maybe he’s been adopted. Mum says the new Temp is a very nice female who will love us and look after us. I’m hoping she’ll stroke me a lot if I’m good, but I’m sure Maddie’s bound to go shy, and hide on top of the kitchen cupboards, refusing to go near her until she’s got used to her. It’s a terrible responsibility having to live with such a scaredy-cat of a sister, much as I love her.


Maddie's a little scaredy-cat, but I still love her.

Well, I’ve meowed more than enough for now, so I’m due for another little nap. Take care, humans, look after your cats, feed them lots of lovely cat food and tell them Monty says hello. Bye for now, and may all your play-fights in your tunnels be lively ones.


Monty


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