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  • Writer's pictureSheila Norton

Monty's Diary: January 2023

New Year Resolutions

Hello again, humans, it’s me, Monty, your favourite feline commentator on the bewildering business of living with humans.

I think you’ll probably agree that I’m pretty fluent in the Human language, (even if human habits and behaviour continue to be a complete mystery to me). One of the Human language phrases I’ve learned recently is New Year, which seems to be the time when The Outside becomes very cold and white, and always happens soon after the humans take the tree back outside (why the tree is brought inside in the first place has never become clear to me). And recently, Mum’s been mentioning Resolutions as something that seem to happen around this time. She says she doesn’t normally make resolutions as she always breaks them.

We don't like it when The Outside gets cold and white.

At first, I thought resolutions must be something fragile, like the coffee jar Dad dropped, that broke all over the kitchen floor. But now I’ve worked out that they’re a bit like promises. Promises to try to do something better. So I’ve had a think about this, meowed it over with my sister Maddie, and we’ve come up with some of our own.

1. Most importantly, I resolve to try to get more sleep. Sixteen hours (the amount we cats are supposed to need) never seem quite enough. I’m aiming for twenty in future.

2. I resolve to make sure I get to the newspaper before Dad starts reading it. A newspaper is so nice to sit on, but usually I just get settled and he shoos me off because he wants to pick it up and read it. It never feels quite so nice and smooth to sleep on after he’s finished with it.

Newspapers . . . so comfy to sit on.

3. Maddie resolves not to be fobbed off with the cheaper type of cat food that she currently doesn’t like. She’s not only going to refuse it, but she’s going to work on the disgusted look she gives Mum while it’s being dished up, so that Mum’s left in no doubt about it. She might even growl, but she’s worried that could be going too far.

4. We resolve to try not to whack our toys so hard that they go under the sideboard. When that happens, it seems to take forever for Mum or Dad to realise they need to get down on their knees with a long stick to get them out. Elderly humans seem to make such a fuss about such a simple procedure. You can’t get the staff these days!

Toy mice are the best toys (If I can't get hold of real mice)!)

5. I resolve to do something about the cat litter they’ve bought recently. Mum keeps saying it’s a cheap one and she doesn’t like it, but she’s not the one having to use it! It’s horrible. For half-pedigree cats such as us, brought up as indoor cats before we were adopted, the alternative of having to perform our toilet in the cold wet soil outside in winter is unthinkable, so we do expect a decent standard of hygiene in our indoor loo. Frankly, we’re going to have to kick more and more of this inferior product all over the kitchen floor until they get the message and throw the rest of the bag away.

6. Maddie resolves not to let them think she’s fooled by the new cat carrier they’ve bought for her (and I think they’re plotting to get me one too). Just because it looks comfier than the old one, just because they’ve left it in the middle of the living room as if it’s a toy, for us to sit inside or play with, just because they’re putting our toy mice inside it and they’re talking about spraying it with catnip, we’re not so stupid that we don’t realise there’s a trip to the V.E.T coming up. I’m worried about it myself, it even keeps me awake sometimes, but Maddie becomes absolutely hysterical at the mere thought of it. She says she won’t go, no matter what tricks they play, no matter how lovely the cat carrier, she’s going to escape. I can see trouble brewing!

7. I suppose I’d better resolve not to torment Maddie, but I know I’ll have trouble sticking to it. It’s so much fun to sit next to her on the sofa, snuggle up, start washing her head like a nice brother, and then suddenly jump on her, or bite her ear, while she’s not expecting it. I find it almost impossible to resist the urge. I don’t like it when she claws me for it, though. Perhaps now we’re coming up for ten years old we should consider packing it in.

She thinks I'm just giving her a wash . . . but I'm going to bite her ear in a minute!

8. We resolve to make a stand over the issue of D.O.Gs. Everybody knows we’re terrified of them, and I find it incomprehensible that apparently the previous cats who lived here, used to live with a D.O.G. and even slept in the same bed! They must have been very odd cats. We’d never even met a D.O.G until we were adopted by Mum and Dad and eventually allowed into The Outside during daylight. There’s one living next-door and we know that’s definitely a territory to avoid. Well, there have been a couple of occasions where D.O.Gs belonging to Mum and Dad's family were allowed into our house. Our house! Can you believe that? Nobody asked our permission. I actually came face to face with one of them in our hallway and I still haven’t got over the shock. Mum said she thought I’d been shut safely in another room. How would she like to be shut in a room because there was a monster loose in the house? If they try it again, Maddie and I have discussed leaving home. But that’d be a hard resolution to keep . . .

The other cats who used to live here . . . with a D.O.G!!!

9. Maddie says she resolves not to stay out too late in the summer this year, making the humans have to go out with a torch calling her and shaking the cat-treat tin. But I don’t trust her to keep that one. I think she does it deliberately to get extra treats.

10. And lastly, I suppose I should also resolve to try to understand Maddie. She’s just not like me at all, and I don’t just mean because she’s a girl, or because she’s smaller than me, or a different colour, or because she’s apparently got all the Siamese genes from our parents while I got all the Ragdoll genes. No, I mean because she’s so nervous and jumpy and what Mum calls highly strung. Surely if we’re both Ragamese, we should both be like me – sensible, placid, calm, and well, asleep most of the time? She can get by with only about twelve hours sleep! It's not normal! She spends half her time outside, even when it’s cold! She doesn’t like male humans, even Dad! Mum says everyone’s different and we should try to understand each other, so I do try. But in the end, I normally just prefer to jump on her for a laugh, or give up and go to sleep. (Sorry, Maddie, I do love you really!).

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