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  • Writer's pictureSheila Norton

Monty's Diary: April 2024: It's always my fault!


Hello, humans

I’ve been told off again for not having anything to say in this diary for a long time. Apparently people (Mum calls them my fans, which I find very confusing as I thought fans were the things she turns on in the summer when it gets hot indoors) – have been asking why I’m so quiet. I thought people knew I’m always quiet. I only usually meow loudly if I’ve ‘caught’ a toy snake in my mouth and want to show off about it, not that I quite understand why I do that, to be honest. It seems to be a throwback instinct from my ancestral tiger genes.

I think I have something of the tiger in me.

Anyway, there's not much to tell you, apart from the fact that I now seem to get the blame for Maddie causing trouble. She has, for instance, completely ruined the carpet in our favourite room. We like to snooze in this room during the evenings, because our fluffy blankets and our cat beds are on the little sofa in here. I’ll be honest: the reason the sofa’s covered with our blankets is that between us, Maddie and I seem to have ruined the sofa too. I swear I don’t do it deliberately; it’s just that it’s made of the kind of fabric that it’s easy to catch our claws in. And once there’s a little catch in fabric like this, well, our claws can’t help pulling the threads and making it worse. I’m sure your own cats will understand what I mean. And putting blankets on the sofa obviously just means we will burrow under the blankets so our claws will still do the same damage!

I know you can''t see me in this picture, but believe me, I'm the lump under the blanket!

But back to the carpet: this is Maddie’s fault, not mine. I’m a very well-trained cat, I use the cardboard scratching mats that are all around the house, to sharpen my claws. How Maddie missed out on that stage in our training (at our previous home), I don’t know, but she claims she just prefers using carpets and that’s the end of it. And, very unfairly, Mum has started blaming ME, recently, for the fact that Maddie won’t use the scratching mats. This all started when I was trying to sleep on ‘our’ sofa one afternoon, while Mum was working at what she calls her 'writing', when Maddie suddenly decided to try using a new scratching mat Mum had bought us. It’s the type that comes with its own cardboard box – very nice. As you know, all us cats love a cardboard box, so what could be nicer than attending to your claw manicure while in a cosy box?

Maddie in a box

But this was a first for Maddie, and when Mum heard her using it, she turned around and lavished her with a ridiculous amount of praise.

‘Well done, Maddie, what a good girl you are!’ she gushed, reaching out to give her a stroke. ‘That’s so much better than using the carpet, isn’t it.’

I was furious. Not only had Maddie woken me up with her noisy scratching, but now Mum was making a big fuss of her for something I do every day without a word of praise or even so much as a thank-you! I immediately jumped off the sofa and charged across the room, diving on Maddie and making her jump out of the box so that I could use it myself and get my share of the praise. To my disgust, not only did Mum tell me off quite angrily, but she picked Maddie up and made even more of a fuss of her!

Now Maddie’s saying she’s too scared to go anywhere near the cardboard-box-scratcher ever again because I frightened her too much, which is a ridiculous overreaction to being jumped on! Anyone would think I was a huge fierce d.o.g. (sorry for swearing) – she should be used to me jumping on her by now, I’m her brother, it’s not malicious or anything, it’s just what we do. So Mum blames me for Maddie not using the scratching boards and destroying the carpet. Honestly, I can’t win!

Maddie hides from me in our tunnel but I can still get her!

We have got some new toys recently, though. Mum’s been making them. She does something with two sticks which she calls knitting: through some kind of human magic she winds coloured furry string around them and ends up with toy mice and toy snakes and other creatures.

With one of Mum's knitted toys.

She made a whole bag full of these and took them to the Cats Protection place. I always get a shiver of anxiety when she mentions the Cats Protection place because it’s where Maddie and I, and our other brothers and sisters, were taken when we had to leave our first home. We were very scared there, but all the carers were kind, and luckily we didn’t have to wait long there until Mum and Dad decided to adopt us. So anyway, Mum said it would be nice to give the other poor cats who are living there now, waiting for people to adopt them, some new toys to play with to help with their anxiety, so she and Dad took the bag of toys there yesterday. We got to keep a couple of the toys, so whenever I play with them I think about the cats at Cats Protection and hope they don’t have to wait too long for a new family.

Our birthday is in a few days’ time – we’ll be twelve years old, thanks in advance for the birthday meows! – and we’ve been with Mum and Dad for (apparently) five years now. And remembering those sad days at the Cats Protection place, I have to admit now that, despite the fact that I get blamed for Maddie ruining the carpet – and everything else around here – we have got a pretty nice life here now, really. It could be a lot worse.

I’ll meow to you again soon, humans. I need another sleep now as I've only had fourteen hours so far today. Meanwhile look after your claws and keep your whiskers clean. Bye! Monty. xxx

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