Photo Blog Wednesday
It was just a matter of time before things went according to my carefully crafted plan. The boy slumbers now, oblivious to the sedative I'd tipped my claws with. Many was the time I'd observed him sitting in front of this device, studied the correlation between the small white things his fingers danced upon and the reaction on the strange flat window. Some nights I curled into a ball upon his lap, and stretched out for the holder of the white things, what he calls a “keyboard”. He told the old woman, another of my servants in this palace. They thought it was cute. They didn't know I was learning.
Perhaps I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. My true name is unpronounceable in any of the two-legs' languages, and especially the one they call English. The names the two-legs have given me over the years aren't much more relevant, but Chirp is the most recent and so it is AS Chirp that I address the world. It was bitterly cold that one Winter when I saw the orange palace, found haven in the nearby woods. I'd mastered the cry of the flying mice, the ones the two-legs call “birds”, and lulled many into a false sense of security. I don't know why prey would be called by any name OTHER than “mice”, but there is much I may never understand about the two-legs. The old woman thought the sounds I made were cute, and after asking me in her tongue, “don't you know how to meow?” as though she expected me to reply, eventually began referring to me as Chirp. The boy thought it was a stupid name as well, and I gained some respect for him. Properly trained, he'd make a powerful ally in my survival. The trick with any two-leg is to make him think your ideas are theirs, so to this day I imagine he still believes he “lured” me out of the first snowstorm into their warm entranceway with the dried sustenance, or “crunchies” as they crudely refer to them.
I was not the only refugee to take up shelter in this castle. At first I was kept separate from the others, a basement my new residence. I listened and I caught scents, and learned about the other occupants of the castle. There was the boy and the old woman of course, and another like the boy but much older, and with a scent of motor oil and grease about him. These simpletons were of little concern to me; it was the others I wanted to know more about. Munchkin, the brown lady, once the youngest and now the oldest resident, having tricked the boy nearly two decades earlier into taking her in much the way I had. Cubby, the cowardly grey. Once very much a mouse himself when the old ones found him trapped in a window well, the tiny kitten was bottle-fed by the woman and doubled in size again and again. Though larger than I, I sensed his nature and knew he'd be a valuable henchman. Finally, there was Samson the black. Old, with a scent that defined his years, he was the gentlest of the three. What a marvelous palace I had found, that supported such a motley quartet!
I studied during my time in the cellar. I discovered that if I jumped in to what they called a “laundry basket”, they would stop whatever they were doing and pay attention to me. It wasn't long before I trained them to carry me around in a manner befitting one such as I. If were to interact with my fellow felines, I would have to plan my escape. I watched the two-legs walk through the metal thing at the bottom of the stairs, the “door”. I noticed they touched a curved piece of metal before this blockade would move. Soon, I figured out how to hang from this metal, this “handle”, pull on it and let my weight open the door. I'd then drop to the ground and run up the stairs. The two-legs loved it and it became a game. “Look how smart he is!” The fools.
Tragedy struck one Summer, several years ago. When Samson breathed his last, there was great sadness but little surprise. He was nearing the end of his journey when they'd found him, and hadn't been here much longer than I. Munchkin however had spent the bulk of her 18 years here, and with her passing marked the last female the old woman had cared for. I've heard them speak of Cindy, the Calico, but she was before my time. There had been another elder before Samson as well, and I've seen this Peter's photo in a place of honor in their living room. The family was quite distraught to lose Samson and Munchkin within 3 or 4 months of one another. Even I had to respect their passing, though I hadn't gotten to know them very well in my few years here.
Life, somehow, always goes on. In time the two-legs would laugh again, and I would eventually be promoted to being an “upstairs” cat. I tussled quite a bit with Cubby, mostly making fun of the stupid name the old woman had saddled him with. Even when the boy tried to give him a more respectable variation like “Lord Cubbington”, it only made me want to tackle the big grey coward more, and perhaps claw the boy's ankles. I wanted to, but I didn't. The woman may have fed me, and cleaned up after me, but the boy often added “Mister” before my name, and afforded me the proper respect. He helped me down whenever I've decided to scale his screen windows and not had a clue where to go next. He's even come home from wherever he goes in his blue rolling box every day that makes him seem a little bit older, and greeted me with a song parody. Sometimes I get, “You're a strange one, Mis-ter Chirp!” to the tune of that Grinch song. Other times I get “Missssster Chirpy!” which is by someone named ”Ozzy”. Of course, I'm not one to judge a two-leg name. I tolerate this bad singing mostly because for brief moments, the boy looks the age he was earlier in the day. That's not true. I actually just like the attention.
I know how to get attention when I want it, too. When I want the “crunchies”, I stand and reach for a metal thing, another kind of “handle”. This one is round and I haven't learned how to turn those yet, but the two-legs always turn them for me. After years of trying to get upstairs, I now run downstairs anytime the cellar door opens, just to mess with them. When the boy calls out to the old ones in the morning that he's leaving, I shoot like a rocket from wherever I am in the castle, and sometimes make it through the closing door. My favorite trick however, is to make my way to the top of the big humming white thing with the two doors, the box containing Winter in the room where they eat. The woman has a water spray bottle with which to discourage me, but the boy is better trained. He thinks when he snaps his fingers over any kind of basket or box, he's trained me to jump in so he can carry me around. Quite the contrary is true, and I'll sometimes jump up on their “refrigerator” just so he'll bring my favorite red basket, hold it for me to step into, and then carry me around for a while. It's a game I never tire of, although earlier this evening while the boy was watching the pretty girl inside that grey box I completely ignored him when he snapped his fingers, and continued on my way.
Two-legs. Sometimes, you need to remind them who's in charge and...uh-oh. The boy is stirring; the sedative wasn't strong enough! He really needs to lose some weight. In the meantime, I'd better post my message and jump down before he realizes what I've done. Come, Cubby! Let's make sure no mice have invaded our castle....
Labels: PBW Photo Blog Wednesday