Letting The Cats Out Of The Bag

Helen Bristol

25 January 2003 17:29

From Our Own Correspondent

Hi Gang, Catto Macho here,
You'd think she hadn't got anything better to do, like the ironing or washing the kitchen floor.  This is the first chance I've had this week of getting within spraying distance of her computer.  I've just caught the bit where VJ was whinging on about not hearing from SSIJOs (oh, OK -Spooky St. Ives Journal Officianados - surely you could have worked that out for yourselves!) So I thought I'd try my paw at a piece from Hereward the Wakeful's stamping ground.
Some of you SSIJOs may have been aware that 25/26 January was the RSPB's annual garden birdwatch?  Well, as you know Helling and Big Mac are forever snooping on the private lives of these feathery fast food snacks.  There they were sitting by the window, thermos of coffee, note pad and pen, bins (that's binoculars to the uninitiated) ready to start. To start with I feigned disinterest, that's usually a good way to get some attention.  Then I tried pacing up and down the window sill and just got shoved out of the way. Right! I thought, I'll sit on the note pad - picked up and dumped, yes that's the only word for it, DUMPED, on the floor.  Well I only wanted to join in.  Then I had this brilliant idea.  Now, as a cat I can't identify the little feathered parcels at a distance, and obviously I can't use the bins, so I slipped out through the catflap (sooo undignified, but needs must) and crept up on an LBJ with red legs to get a closer look. You should have her Helling's vocabulary......
As I say all I wanted to do was help.  Usually when I'm counting shrews or rats I take them upstairs, one at a time and lay them neatly next to, or better still, in, her slippers.  Its much easier that way. You don't have all this business of "was that the one that just flew off the feeder?" You just count the number lying there. Don't know what all the fuss was about. 
Anyway, if she thinks I'm going to help again......... And what's more I shan't be bringing her any more choice pressies.  I'll take them to Polly next door as a thank you for the tins of salmon that are always to hand when I pop in to see how she is. 
Better go now as I can hear herself coming up the stairs.  I'll just curl up on her office chair and pretend to be asleep.  These humans are just sooo gullible.

Reporting Team

26 January 2003 09:08

Greetings, Catto Macho! It is I, C. T. Cat.

custid.jpg (48354 bytes)
Pardon our ignorance (we were never any good at geography, although Sonic is nearly old enough to go to secondary skool next year so we have some small hope of our improving our skills) but isn't Catto Macho a mountain in Peru? Or am I getting confused with a type of coffee? Sorry, but my brain (and stuffing) is always a bit limp first thing on a Sunday.
But enough of such linguistic flummery (in France I'd be called Le Chat de Crème au Lait so I can hardly cast nasturtiums in that direction!).
I used to do the 'bird thing' but must admit I went off the idea after I arrived here and tasted my first seagull. Believe me, they taste just as foul as they look. Hardly surprising, I suppose, when you consider what they eat (all that stuff discarded by unthinking tourists; pasties, food wrappings, disposable nappies, small children, etc.).
Fortunately, the rest of the RT introduced me to Doom Bar and so now when I am in need of refreshment I just pad down to the Sloop, get VJ to do me an ostrich steak (rare) and chips while I slurp DB and daydream of pursuing Big Bird (from Sesame Street) across the plains of the Serengeti.
Well, a bloke's got to have ambitions. Imagine the look on VJ's face if he found that stretched out by his slippers!
Happy hunting and don't let Helling and Big Mac put you off. If God didn't want you to eat the birdies he wouldn't have made them so tasty and nutritious!

Catto Macho

26 January 2003 18:51

Thanks for the piccie. Hey you really look in the pink! ( Ok I've got that one out of the way)
Call 9a.m. early for any morning - I'm never compos mentis until well after midday. Then I have a quick stretch, nip outside for a quick pee and stagger back to bed, occasionally stopping on the way through the kitchen for a snack.
I think your thinking of my explosive Mexican cousin, Popocatapetl. Not heard from him recently. P'raps the RT should put an Atlas on the crimbo list for this year then Sonic will be able to tell you all about the world outside St. Ives.  On the other hand VJ could give you greater access to his 'puter and you can explore for yourselves. Better still, get out and about yourselves, travel broadens the mind
I'm surprised VJ didn't put you right. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the French for custard is sauce Anglais, n'est pas? However if you want to be called Le chat de crème au lait that's fine by me. 
Don't know if any of you saw the Observer last Sunday in the Foodie Mag. A full page piccie of Wozza (Anthony Worrall Thingumy) naked as the day he was born, except for some very fetching wellies and an eyewateringly large cabbage strategically placed to cover his embarrassment. Just wondered if VJ was planning to follow suit? He is after all younger and better looking!!!!!!!!!
Not much happening on the home front today.  Big Mac did the cooking-in-advance thing yesterday so there won't even be any "pussy pieces" (oh god, how embarrassing can they get?) tonight.  I think Helling is doing something Moroccan tomorrow so I guess its round to see Polly again  All I ask is straight forward non-mucked-about-with nosh, why the hell does she have to put all those spicy things in?


27 January 2003 09:58

What's wrong with pink? At least I stand out in a crowd unlike all those other feline mugs who insist on wearing the same sort of fur everywhere they go. No wonder people have difficulty telling them apart. I have no such problems and many is the time that Tony (or whoever) has turned round when the bar is busy saying "who's next" only for someone to say "serve the pink cat, he was here first"!
I don't think the idea of a VJ expose would be a very good idea. The only thing he would look good in is a body bag!
Quite agree with your sentiments on the feline food faux pas committed by humans. The fools just haven't got a culinary cat's clue and as for such atrocities as 'pussy pieces', etc. well, let's just say death would be too good for the perpetrators. Fortunately, here VJ is out at the slave pits most of the time so Flat Eric usually does the cooking and things are alright.
Now, if you'll excuse me, Roobarb has just come up with some wildly optimistic scheme that I must go and pour disdain and derision upon.

Catto Macho

27 January 2003 19:15

Helling adds:
Absolutely nothing, one of my fave colours. You know what they say? Pink to make the boys wink!!!  Very suitable for Kustid me thinks.
I thought Soupie was in charge of the kitchen chez Spooky or is that just the starters?


28 January 2003 16:01

Look, you can get locked up for suggesting such scurrilous things these days (especially if they find out we met on the internet)!
Soupie is in charge of starters and is chief Soupervisor. Flat Eric does the main courses and the Sonics round up the desserts. The rest of the RT give their (literal) support as we have to form a sort of pyramid so that the person at the top can reach the cooker rings!

Helen Bristol

28 January 2003 18:13

What's scurrilous about it? I don't care if they find out how we met.  Its better than at an AS party  - well possibly  -  or clubbing.  Anyway have "they" nothing better to do with their sad lives than to live vicariously through ours?
Sounds like a perfect example of interdenominational co-operation.  The cooking arrangements I mean. We video'd Tony and Giorgio last Thursday and watched it last night.  Should be used as a training video for food handling and hygiene, and health and safety ( as in what 10 things did they do wrong).  If that was safe to show on TV I dread to even think what some kitchens are like.
Haven't seen much of Macho Catto today, well you don't when you're out all day and he's curled up on my pillow. No doubt he'll be getting his pocket watch out shortly ( its already 8 minutes past teatime) and start complaining loudly that its time he was fed. Tim, my treeman, came again today and as he brings his dog with him like as not young Catto was actually hiding upstairs. Not too brave when there are inter-species disputes.

Vile Jelly

28 January 2003 22:41

I understand perfectly how the poor puss feels about inter-species strife. Personally, I have never got on with humans at all although the RT keep trying to persuade me that they are not so bad.
PS. Just got back from a pleasant 14 hour breakfast split. Was doing it all on my own tonight so I am now officially cook/dishwasher/cleaner, etc. And it was busy! ..... In the depths of January for god's sake. Will these people never give me a break. The phrase pertaining to inserting a broom up a certain orifice and sweeping the floor at the same time certainly sprang to mind a few times.
Although not as many times as certain expletives sprang to the air! Time to find a more reasonable employer, I suspect.
PPS. Is Tim the Treeman like one of the Ents in Lord of the Rings? No wonder CM is nervous about his presence!

Helen Bristol

29 January 2003 18:18

Oh, stop whinging, man.  You're just about getting an inkling of what its like for us wimmin. On duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Mother, nurse, educator, playmate, wife, lover, homemaker, cook, dishwasher, laundress....... need I go on?  And all unpaid!  No "employer" to change either.  And, No, I wasn't part of the bra-burning brigade.  Always thought it would be too uncomfortable.  
 Anyway some humans are OK.
Its ages since I read Lord of the Rings, and Greg took his copies back up north with him at the weekend so I can't check.  I can't remember all that much about the Ents.  It's my age m'dear. Wasn't there someone who cared for the forest?  If so that would be Tim.

Vile Jelly

29 January 2003 19:39

Oh spare me your 'inconvenience of being a girly bloke' spiel. As an employed, white, single, thirty-something male I am the most unlooked-after species in this country. Even Catto Macho gets more state support than I do. Even the girly blokes in the kitching class at t' school of mines admit to numerous cases where one of their ilk waltzed into a council house on the basis of 15 minutes lying on her back and flaunting the consequences. I believe that I am due for consideration in 2089 ..... oh, sorry, we've just had a few more teenage pregnancies. Let's call it 2139.
PS. I strongly suggest that you buy or blag a copy of the LOTR before Tim the Treeman comes back. "Someone who cared for the forest"? The Ents were giant tree people who whupped Saruman's sorry ass into mincemeat. Even Gandalf said 'please' when he was talking to them! If the aforementioned Tim the Treeman is, in deed, an Ent then I can only suggest that you bin any axes and stop lighting wood fires.

Helen Bristol

30 January 2003 14:48

Who are you calling a girly bloke? Sorry, seem to hit a bit of a raw nerve there? No, by 2089 you'd be entitled to a place in a residential home for the bitter and helpless.  That's if we're not all still slaving away to earn a crust as our pensions will be worthless, and a thing consigned to the history books.
I said I hadn't read LOTR for ages -- like 20 years, so much has happened in my young life since then, I cannot recall everything.  If Tim the Treeman is an Ent he wouldn't go round felling trees would he? You've obviously read it more recently or have a vastly superior memory??
Don't know what your weather is like.  It took me two and a half hours to drive 23 miles to work this a.m.  6 inches of snow and East Anglia crawls to a halt.  At one stage I managed 1 mile in 30 minutes.  Such is the dedication to one's calling that one carried on carrying on instead of saying "oh, sod it" and going home. Let myself  (and the rest of the staff) off early though.  Its melting a bit now and there are huge puddles where the road drains are blocked with snow so if it freezes tonight EA will be one enormous skating rink.
In this neck of the woods early single motherhood is a huge problem too.  Its pathetic watching the young'uns trying to work up enough courage to go into the contraception clinic next door to my department.  S'pose we should be glad that at least some of them are trying to act responsibly.
I'm supposed to be "working at home" this afternoon, so I guess I'd better get on with something work-like instead of chatting to you.

Vile Jelly

30 January 2003 16:38

Oh, I don't worry about pensions any more. Not since I cashed mine in for three magic beans.
So, when you say 'Tim the Treeman' you mean 'Tim the man who cuts down trees' as opposed to 'Tim the man who is a tree'. Assuming that he is the former then he had better take care to conceal his chopper as Ents get quite narked by that sort of thing!
Snow, eh? It never snows in St. Ives (well, once every three blue moons). Here it is just winding like mad (with occasional flurries of rain and hail). The sea is a tad lumpy at the minute!
So, the summarise, it looks like you might have rain, dear ..... while we've got gales, honey.

Helen Bristol

30 January 2003 17:42

Thought I'd brought home enough "work" to keep me going this afternoon  AND all tomorrow (just in case I get snowed in) but I've finished most of it except reading the articles on dementia - thought I ought to find out about it before I get to a stage when I can't understand what I'm reading about.
Yes, Tim-the-man-who-cuts-down-trees, although he's reluctant to do that unless you're talking Leylandii (a dying language these days) in which case he redoubles his efforts to remove and dispose of them asap. He was reluctant to top one of my yews( avert Shaun's eyes) which he reckons is over 80 almost as old as me!  I just hope I'm right and it will regrow, there's a rather unpleasant view of a neighbour's house now.
Eureka! I've found my ancient, battered copy of LOTR.
One of the wimmin at work says it last snowed in Lowestoft in 1973, I think here it was a few weeks ago.
Dispatched Big Mac to the wine shop, hope he doesn't slip over on the way back.

Vile Jelly

30 January 2003 18:45

Ah, dementia. I could write a book on the subject ..... but I haven't got the time so I just write a website instead.
Hope BM makes it back with the wine in one piece. Next time why don't you attach a label to him saying, "If you find this person, please return the wine to ....."?
Otherwise you might never get your wine because, knowing BM's obsession, if he is in any way incapacitated he will just go into autopilot mode and wander off in the direction of the Sharp's brewery!

Helen Bristol

30 January 2003 20:36

Sharps is a long way from here. He might make it to Mrs. Alewife, just a couple of miles up the road. Good local brew.
Anyway, despite the usual skating rink at the bottom of Station Road, last year he went arse over tits, he made it back with the bottles intact.
Still snowing!  Good! Keep it up guys - I could get tomorrow off AND avoid the weekend journey into brassica-land 

Vile Jelly

31 January 2003 15:56

Alas, it is obstinately refusing to snow here (in fact it's been quite a nice day). Unfortunately, I am full of a cold and will be spending the entire weekend incarcerated in the slave pits.

Helen Bristol

31 January 2003 16:40

What you need is a good blast of Siberian air. That'd kill off all those bugs you're harbouring. Its been nice here today just as long as you don't have to go out in it. Been snowing on and off all day. Big Mac has been dispatched again for essential supplies  which have all arrived back intact. At least you'll keep nice and warm!
Weekend filial/sisterly visit postponed!! 

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