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  • Writer's pictureSheila Norton

Monty's Diary, August 2019: Maddie's Scary Adventure

It’s difficult to find time to meow anything on Mum’s blog these days. I’ve been busy. We cats need our sleep, so we only have a few hours per day of wakefulness to fit in all our jobs. You know, like patrolling our territory, keeping the frog population in its place, making sure the local birds understand that we are now in charge around here. It’s quite exhausting, on a hot day, fitting all this in while also remembering to pop indoors from time to time to clean up any scraps left in our food bowls, and have a nice nap somewhere cool.

Maddie and I enjoying one of our daytime naps

But there has been an incident recently that you might like to hear about. It concerns Maddie, but I’d imagine she’s too embarrassed to tell you about it herself. I would be, anyway, if I’d got myself into such a ridiculous situation.

One nice afternoon, we were dozing in a shady spot on our patio when suddenly there was a movement on top of the fence just behind us. It was a big bird, sitting on top of our fence, watching us. How dare he! Well, I have to admit, Maddie wakes up a lot faster than me. While I was still opening my eyes and stretching, she was up on her paws and throwing herself up the fence. Obviously the bird scarpered. But this was a part of the fence we don’t normally climb. Too difficult. Too thin. Nothing much to balance on. I could see Maddie was scared she was going to fall off. There was a prickly tree right next to her – no way of getting through that.

‘Jump back down!’ I meowed at her. But instead, she leapt from the fence onto the roof of the house next door! The next-door house, and ours, are what Mum calls bungalows. They don’t have an upstairs, so they’re not very tall houses. But even so, this was quite a leap and I did feel quite surprised at her athleticism, not to mention her energy. I was still half asleep, myself.

Mum was now standing at the fence, watching Maddie, telling her to come down, but it was all too obvious to me now, that Maddie was in trouble. Jumping from a thin fence onto a flat roof is one thing. Jumping back onto the thin fence is something else altogether.

Much too hard to jump from flat roof to thin fence!

We cats might be nimble (well, some cats are – I’m not sure nimbleness is something I can be bothered to aspire to) – but this looked like a feat too far. Maddie started to pace up and down on the roof, crying. Then she jumped from next-door’s roof onto ours, which is sloping and slippery-looking, so presumably far more tricky to navigate. Bad move.

‘Come down, Maddie!’ Mum said, but Maddie just kept looking at us and crying.

Mum went and got a ladder-thing, put it up next to the fence and climbed up. She held out her arms to Maddie and called her again, but I could see Maddie was too scared to move.

On the slippery, sloping roof.

At this point, I realised the time had come for me to get involved. I was the only male around – Dad was out – and my little sister needed me. I was pretty scared myself, but I knew what I had to do. I threw myself at the fence, landing halfway up it. I clung on by my claws for a minute . . . and fell back down in a heap. How embarrassing. Maybe nobody had noticed, though, so I got back up and had another run at it, this time not even managing to get a hold on the fence at all before collapsing.

‘Monty,’ Mum said, looking down at me. ‘You’re just making things worse. You’re too big and floppy for this sort of thing. Go indoors.’

Well, as you can imagine, I now felt completely humiliated. I must admit, I stomped indoors and sulked. I was only trying to help! I just had to watch from the conservatory window as Mum now got down from the ladder and went off down the garden to the shed. Maddie was still crying her head off. Was Mum just giving up on her? Surely not? But no, a few minutes later she came back, carrying a plank of wood. She climbed up the ladder again, looking a bit wobbly with this plank in her hands. I closed my eyes – if she fell off, I didn’t think I could bear to see it.

‘Come on, you silly cat,’ I heard her saying to Maddie. ‘Look, you can walk down this plank now.’

I craned my neck to have a look. She’d propped the plank from the roof down to the fence. But Maddie was still yelling in cat language that she couldn’t do it, she was too scared, she was going to stay on the roof forever, it was safer than trying to come down. For Dog’s sake! She was getting hysterical. I was pretty sure I would have been far more calm and sensible if I were in the same situation.

Maddie was too scared to walk the plank!

‘Right, there’s only one thing for it,’ Mum said, getting back down the ladder again.

I wondered what on earth she was going to do. Call for help? Grow a pair of wings and fly up onto the roof herself? But no – she went into the kitchen, opened our food cupboard and came back shaking a packet of our cat treats. Needless to say, I was down from the windowsill like a shot and following at her heels as she walked outside calling: ‘Treats, Maddie! Come on – treats!’

By the time we were back at the fence, Maddie was running down the plank. She jumped straight down from the fence, meowing for the treats. Unbelievable.

‘What a lot of trouble you’ve caused!’ I meowed at her crossly. ‘Don’t do that again!’ I looked up at Mum and added in a louder meow: ‘What about some treats for me, then?’

Fair’s fair. I can’t help being big and floppy, but I did try to help, didn’t I?

Apparently I'm big and floppy. But I think she still loves me!

Bye for now, humans, and happy hunting. May all your frogs be juicy ones. Monty. x x

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