Tuesday, 1 June 2010

How do you make a cat bark?

Pour some petrol on it and set it on fire. It’ll go ‘woof!

Okay, it’s a terrible joke, but it did come to mind in the early hours of Sunday morning when Ronaldo, TOT and I were sitting at the dining-room table, testing the neighbours’ patience by endlessly playing ’70s and ’80s music, and laying waste to the better portion of a case of wine.

Suddenly, TOT made a strange screamy sound.

Ronaldo and I, completely missing the point, stared around the room, trying to find the source of TOT’s distress. ‘The cat! The cat!’ she blurted.

Maui, the oldest resident cat, often wanders about on the table, flicking his tail flirtatiously in people’s faces and generally being charming (if you’re me) or annoying (if you’re practically anyone else). But this time he flicked his tail into a candle, which instantly set him on fire.

Fortunately, I was able to grab him and quickly snuff out the flames before he’d realised what was happening. (I shudder to think what might have transpired if he’d run off with his tail on fire… Eeek!)


Ronaldo and I are very bad at judging time when we’re together. Even when we swear we’re not going to pull an all-nighter, it often just happens. Once, in what we fondly imagined to be the small hours of a weekday morning, my son, then in grade 7, came through to the kitchen, knotting his school tie.

‘What are you doing up?’ I asked. ‘It’s the middle of the night.’

‘It’s not. It’s 6 am and my bus is coming in half an hour,’ he said with admirable calm (and complete accuracy).

Last weekend was the same, and when it got to around 6 am (TOT had left 'sensibly' about half an hour before), I suggested that Ronaldo and I may as well meet the day head-on – the less attractive alternative being to sneak into it, knowing what kind of horrendous hangover was waiting just a few hours down the line. 'Why don't we take the dogs for a walk and watch the sun rise?' I said.

‘Okaaaay,’ Ronaldo replied, with notable lack of enthusiasm, ‘but I’m not going on one of your route marches.’

The ‘route march’ he was referring to was actually a very pleasant seaside walk in Yzerfontein. He found it somewhat challenging because while his woman M and I went to bed at the relatively sensible hour of 3 am, he and my boyfriend of the time stayed up until the break of dawn, and therefore weren’t at all happy when M and I shook them awake about an hour later and told them to get their shoes on. Ronaldo was an absolute brat on that walk, trailing behind me, whining, ‘Are we theeeeere yet?’ and eventually sitting down on a rock and refusing to go any further. ‘Go and get the car,’ he said. ‘I’m dying.’

Last weekend we did have to climb a steepish slope to get the views Ronaldo snapped in these pics, but we made it to the top just as the sun came over the distant mountains – and it was worth it (hey, Ronaldo??!).

Pics from the top: Moonset over the Kasteelberg; morning sun just touching the top of the mountain; sunrise over the valley; Ronaldo has a word with his godchild Hullabaloo while Sara the Wobbly Dog looks on.

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ali g said...

Glad Maui is OK.
Our cats also grace the table when we sit down for morning coffee. Tigger spills the coffee as he slides to a stop after jumping up and Chrissie licks the butter off the crumpets.
Wookie has his weetbix in bed with Lady Chatterley every morning, Claude eats his chicken off the breakfast table while I'm making Lady C her cup of tea to take to her in bed.
Cushla is by then having her morning crap in the bathroom litter tray.


Anonymous said...

This is scandalous: it couldn't possibly have been me. I never stay up all night. And I especially don't go walking up mountains at 6am in the morning. Everyone knows that. Your brain must have been befuddled by the the fruit juice.

- Ronaldo

MzHartz said...

My cat has done something similar before, and she did take off running.

I had just got in a nice hot bath for a good relaxing soak, wine, candles, and all. My cat Sami is infatuated with baths, especially if they include bubbles. As she was attempting to sniff a pile of suds, she stuck her tail in a candle, got wax on it, which of course caught fire. She panicked and took off running.

So, naked, wet, and covered with suds, I had to chase the cat through the house. Other than being startled, she was perfectly fine, the fire extinguished itself quickly. No "woof" thank goodness.

Muriel said...

Mellors and MzHartz, thank you for making my life seem so much nearer to normal. And as for you, Ronaldo...! (In hysterics now, imagining MzHartz barrelling naked and covered in suds through the house - lovely!)

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