Monty's diary, Part 6 : The Great Outdoors
A lot has happened since the last instalment of this journal. There’s been so much going on, in fact, that I haven’t even had time to settle down for as many naps as I’d really like. The exciting news is: Maddie and I have been given the freedom of the Great Outdoors.
It was very confusing to begin with – even somewhat alarming. First we were given collars to wear. I’m still not quite sure why. They have dangly things on, which jingle against our food dishes when we’re eating, and at first we both found them extremely irritating and spent a lot of time trying to chew them off. I still like to have a little chew of mine occasionally if I can get hold of it without cricking my neck.
Then, just as we were starting to get used to the collars, Mum had another unpleasant surprise for us. (Sheila and her male have started to refer to themselves as our mum and dad now. I presume it’s because, from what I’ve been able to understand, their grown-up female human kittens have all been adopted by males and live somewhere else, with their own little human kittens, and they probably miss having them around. So Maddie and I decided to humour them and let them pretend to be our parents, despite them being a different – and inferior – species). Anyway, this next surprise was a worry. An even bigger thing was put over our heads one day. They called it a harness and Maddie had to wear one too. I have to say, mine was a bit tight where it went round my tummy but not really uncomfortable.
‘There,’ Mum said when we'd spent a while wearing them. ‘Now we can get you used to outside.’
‘Used to it?’ I meowed. (Even though I know humans are linguistically challenged and can’t understand us, I still carry on talking to them. They seem to like it). ‘We’re already used to outside. We look at it out of the windows, don’t we?’
Next thing I knew, she was fastening a long strap to my harness thing, opening the door to the garden and carrying me outside! ‘We’re going to walk both of you around the garden on these leads for a few days, to get used to it,’ she said, putting me down on the ground. Well! This was something of a shock. We’d both assumed we were condemned to spend the rest of our lives in the house. I quite enjoyed my first walk, though. Maddie, of course, was a bit more nervous, but once we’d both had several turns of being taken out on the leads, we were looking forward to it and not even struggling when the harnesses were put on us.
After this had been going on for quite a while, the day came when, suddenly, I was allowed out of the back door with no lead attached to me. Amazing! Naturally, I trotted straight off down the garden, with Dad following me. It was great to be able to explore all the flowerbeds and nooks and crannies. There was a very enticing gap behind the shed at the end of the garden. I squeezed through this – ignoring Dad shouting my name – and found myself in a very interesting place indeed. I couldn’t see Dad anymore but I felt sure he’d follow me soon. When he did, I meowed happily at him, expecting him to be impressed by my ambitious explorations. Instead, he grabbed me and clambered through some bushes, holding me tight, back into our garden just as Mum appeared, asking where we’d been.
‘Over the allotments!’ Dad exclaimed. ‘He managed to find a gap to get through.’
Mum didn’t look impressed either. It was quite disappointing. ‘They’ll get lost if they go over there,’ she said.
‘We’ll have to build a fence to keep them away from this end of the garden, then,’ said Dad.
I don’t understand exactly what I did wrong, but we weren’t allowed out on our own again for a while after that. And when we finally were, this is what we found:
Now I’ve brought you almost up to date with our lives in our new home. One more story to go. I’ll meow to you again soon.