Firm and Frank Conversations

Readers, I am heartily sick of ‘firm and frank conversations’ with New Buddy. Whenever I go to his house for Doggy Daycare, we have a major disagreement at around 2.30pm when I start demanding my 4pm dinner. Now, if I’m at home and start whining and barking (any time from 1pm actually), Pack Leader caves in within five minutes as She can’t stand me making a racket. Not New Buddy, Friends, oh no. He prides himself on his resilience and is much less flaky than Pack Leader – New Buddy Will Not Be Moved and it has become something of a challenge between the two of us. So far I have had to accept defeat, annoyingly, and wait till 4pm after New Buddy gives me a talking to, but I will not tolerate this much longer. Humph.

What on earth is Gingercat up to in the photo, I hear you ask. Well, as it happens New Buddy came to my house the other evening to teach Young Lad how to cook poached butterfly chicken with garlic butter, and fondant potatoes. Frankly this seemed over-complicated to me but the smells coming out of the kitchen were divine so I didn’t complain. New Buddy even came armed with a sharp kitchen knife as it turns out ours are inadequate, and a fresh roll of clingfilm as ours has done that annoying thing of not pulling off cleanly and being one tiny narrow strip. (The tin foil has done this too.) So Young Lad and New Buddy had a splendid time in the kitchen cooking delicious food, and I waited patiently in the lounge. When they all came in to eat, I sat very nicely looking at the plates of food, but Gingercat’s manners were dreadful, Readers, and he sat next to Young Lad, occasionally extending a paw to grab a piece of butterfly chicken. I was appalled by this greediness and lack of finesse. You wouldn’t catch me behaving like this. Honestly!

It’s been a while since my last blog – yes I know, it was just before Christmas – and I do apologise. It’s the same old lame excuse – She’s too busy. Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, Friends, and enjoyed being able to spend time with your loved ones this year. I had a splendid Christmas with Pack Leader, Lad, Young, Lad, New Buddy and the two new Buddy The Youngers – much food was cooked and much merriment had. It was smashing. Then came New Year’s Eve, Readers. Oh dear.

The plan was for Pack Leader and New Buddy to go out for dinner followed by fun and music in a pub. This was likely to go on Very Late which meant leaving me at New Buddy’s house for a Very Long Time on my own. Now, Regular Readers will know that leaving me on my own for, say, fifteen minutes, is not a good idea as I tend to find ways to entertain myself. Anyway, between them they came up with a cunning plan. I was given a bone, just as they left the house, and another bone was hidden in my bed on the landing for me to find later on. Then, in a final insult to my intelligence, they decided to leave RADIO 4 playing in the room with me, to provide me with a soothing voice and company.

Friends, I have never heard anything so dreary in my life. Oh my word. I was completely and utterly bored into submission by the offerings of BBC Radio 4 on New Year’s Eve and I slept soundly throughout the evening. I can heartily recommend switching Radio 4 on, if you ever have trouble sleeping.

I made my feelings on the matter very clear, when they finally staggered back in the small hours, and deliberately barked to be let out in the garden quite early the next day. Serves them right.

Readers, I couldn’t help laughing the other Sunday. It was decided to take New Buddy the Younger and Young Lad to the coast, for a spot of crabbing. Yes, I too think this is a stupid idea in January, but there you go. So wrapped up in coats and bobble hats, off they went… I would almost have preferred staying home with Radio 4, but wasn’t given the choice this time. Instead of a nice brisk walk along the beach or seafront, Friends, I had to spend HOURS standing still on a man-made metal jetty thing, while a pathetic attempt was made to coax crustaceans out of the water with a bit of bacon in a net. I mean, what self-respecting crab is going to want to play that game in January? Readers, I got so cold that I was shivering all over, and She – in a rare moment of sympathy – walked me around a bit to warm me up, finally sitting on a bench and allowing me to sit on the bench next to her, so She could cuddle me.

Friends, Young Lad etc didn’t manage to catch ONE crab. Not one. And the thing that was so amusing was that families of sweet little girls on the jetty were all gleefully hauling crabs out of the sea and popping them into the bucket – they had no problem whatsoever catching the crabs. Alas, not so my family. We even moved to the exact spot where pre-school children in welly boots had just pulled out loads of the damned things – but no. Not one crab. You have to laugh. Of course, She was largely to blame as She had provided the bacon, and we all decided the lack of crabs was due to her ineptitude as She hadn’t bought smoky bacon. Everyone knows that crabs only like smoky bacon.

I have to say it was really lovely having Lad at home for a few weeks over Christmas, and I did enjoy his company of a day. Lad came home complaining about his sxxxhole of a student house, and what a pigsty it is, and how his housemates never clean up and leave food everywhere. Within a day or two of being back, Lad’s nicely cleaned and tidied bedroom was covered in rubbish, plates, bowls and food so there was the occasional Heated Debate between Lad and She about the situation. I have missed those Heated Debates that Lad and She used to have quite frequently, while he was still at school. It was just like old times, Readers. Lad and Young Lad spent lots of time together over Christmas and New Year, mainly on the Xbox and not really speaking to each other, but this is Quality Time. Then Lad’s girlfriend came to stay for a few days, and that was lovely as she makes a massive fuss of me. As you know, it’s rare for me to get any attention round here.

Again like old times, Lad had a lot of work to do on his laptop while he was here – essays and exams and the like. How I’ve missed those random slightly Touretty things Lad used to shout out during A level Philosophy essays: “Descartes arguments” or “Is God the designer?” etc. It was lovely having Lad home, hearing him mutter and call out during his essay writing again.

But last Sunday it was time to take Lad back to university for the next term. The order was barked that we would be leaving at 10am on Sunday morning. At 9am on Sunday morning, Friends, Lad hadn’t even started packing…..She stomped out and went to Costalotta; the very place that has saved She’s sanity on many an occasion. Finally Lad was ready, the car was packed and off we went. I was in the boot, as I go everywhere with them plus we were popping in to see Nana Aged 90, and I know how much she likes seeing me. When we got to Nana Aged 90’s house, I ran in, totally ignoring her as usual and looked for some cat food. I had forgotten that Nana Aged 90’s cat died a few months ago. This is very disappointing.

On the way back home that evening, we dropped in to say hello to other family members who happen to have two spaniels. As I ran into their house, I headed straight for the kitchen where one of the spaniels’ bowls of food had just been put down on the floor. Quick as a flash, I grabbed mouthfuls of his food before She screeched at me and picked the bowl up. Readers, I know I let myself down a little here in terms of propriety as I hadn’t even stopped to say hello to any dogs, humans or anything on entering their property, but one has to take one’s chances wherever possible. She said I was a disgrace and an embarrassment which was a little harsh.

I am limping at the moment, Friends. Well, some of the time. Apparently I don’t limp when I’m running across the fields with my dear friends Ebony or Pippa, and spend the rest of the day happily sleeping in armchairs, but when they take me home, I start limping. The other evening the pain was so dreadful that I had to hobble around on three legs. Then the next morning I was right as rain. Dear, dear Ebony’s Pack Leader says I’m getting old, and I fear she might be right. I prefer that diagnosis to “attention-seeking,” which is what She snapped at me. Anyway, I definieley need a mani-pedi as my toenails are long again and we all know that I suffer from sore toenails. This might not be very manly but I can’t help it. She was meant to ring the Evil Vet at the beginning of the week to book me in for a pedicure, but has She got round to it? Of course not. Such is the level of care here.

No wonder I prefer being at Ebony’s house, Pippa’s house or New Buddy’s house. Except when he starts the silly full and frank conversations about dinner time. Give me strength.

Golly I’m tired, Readers – it’s all the limping.

See you soon,

Russell

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