CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Friday, 13 April 2007

Friday the thirteenth, part deux

Photo Hosted at BuzznetFriday the 13ths aren't supposed to be a problem in Spain. Here it's when the 13th falls on a Tuesday that you need to worry. (The same as look out for jokes on the Day of the Innocent Saints, December 28th, not April the 1st.) And all of my cats (and the dog) were born and bred on Spanish territory, sooo why do I get the impression that they were having a late April Fool / Friday the 13th joke on me yesterday with their constant mischief?

Photo Hosted at BuzznetMost of all Balu, the little bugger (above), who as usual, looks like he's contemplating his next naughty deed, probably because he was.

By the way, "... the superstitions about this day stem from 13 Friday 1307, when the King of France, Philip the Fair, had all Knights Templar arrested in France. They were tortured, made to confess and, almost to the man, killed. That's what giving all for your King and country will do for you." [Source]

The day had started with Balu and Kitty being decidedly reluctant to being photographed for their 6th birthday and, degenerated rapidly from there.

Normally they just get on with the serious business of sleeping and let me work. Most of the time you wouldn't even notice that there are multiple cats in the house.

Photo Hosted at BuzznetToday, one after another, or in pairs, my cats wanted to spend time on my lap (Betty insisted on this and when Betty insists, you obey, because she bites and scratches and anyway, if you put her down, she just bounces back up again), on the desk, on the printer (that I've given up on being able to use and turned into a cat bed anyway), on my mouse arm, playing "musical chairs" with the basket on the dining table - first the two boys, Mico and Balu, then Kitty and Balu huddled in it, then ...

Balu in a circleFinally, the fluffy feline on his own curled up tightly in a ball, paw over nose and it looked like we'd get some peace. It didn't last long.

I'd also done a little spring cleaning and had stuff drying in the spare room that I wanted that fur person kept away from. You're right, what I wanted and what I got were two entirely different things. Whatever you want kept away from cats is the very thing they become absolutely determined to get into. And they hate closed doors.

The Old Ruins of El PalmarIt's convenient here to understand how traditional Canarian cottages are built. They were mostly built of just two rooms, one of those previously being the kitchen / dining / living room and the other being the entire family's bedroom.

(Plumbing and bathroom facilities, such as they were, were added outside.)

Thick WallsLots of these typical thick walled cottages still exist, though the uses of the rooms have changed, they've had a coat of plaster and had iggldy-piggledy extensions added over the years, but one feature that remains - mostly out of the interests of economy - is that the doorway between the original two rooms does not have a door fitted in it. Despite the cosmetic changes, this type of dwelling is terminally damp, virtually unfit for human habitation, but "purrfect" for fools on a budget who want to rent an ideal location to keep a family of cats.

In the interests of warmth and privacy and, because there are other doors in and out of these rooms now, I have the gap closed with a wardrobe across it.

dc03Ha, but, of course, the flying feline makes light work of jumping up onto the top of the wardrobe, squeezing his fat ass through the small gap at the top where the wardrobe is not quite as high as the doorway, shimmying right down the back of the wardrobe and into the spare room - right where you don't want him and that he now cant get out of because the other door is closed.

So then I put some cardboard fruit boxes on top of the wardrobe to close the remaining gap. He sat on the bedside table for a few moments, looking up and thinking. Then he just jumped (flew) up onto the wardrobe, placed a paw behind the "offending" box, hooked it out of the way, shimmied through the gap and back down again.

I added more obstacles. He surmounted them.

He'd go round, I'd fetch him out.

Rinse and repeat. Incessantly.

Balu is bright, he's incredibly determined and he's an absolute menace. (Of course, he's also handsome and I love him to bits and he knows this!)

Meanwhile, I'd put a chair in front of the wardrobe so I could get up there to put these obstacles in Balu's way. Kitty, trying to see if she could use this chair as the quick way to the top, stands up on her hind legs and pushes the bedroom door closed. Just as the door starts swinging, she hops down and dashes through the gap in the nick of time. Thinks it's a game, does she?

The bed in the spare room is on legs, so Balu ran to hide under there. So I go in with the broom to sweep him out. He runs out and in the time it takes me to cross the hall (scant seconds), he's gotten into the basket, laid down and is lounging in there looking the picture of perfect innocence (almost).

What can you do? I was absolutely beside myself with laughter.

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