Mowgli's BlogMowgli is Clive and Jane's cat. He writes a monthly column for the local newsletter and is usually found to be moaning about the stupidity of humans and the silliness of the pet goats that share his home.
Hello everyone, Mowgli here! Ebony and I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year. We had a great time here, although as usual it was very busy for us cats.
With plenty of guests and visitors over Christmas (including Santa Paws of course- turns out that a cat can be really quite naughty and still get gifts….) we were both feeling quite exhausted by New Years Eve. Luckily for us some of our best friends came round so we were able to spend the evening purring on various laps while the humans played board games and waited for the New Year.
We were relieved when we heard Big Ben striking on the TV and we thought we could sneak off to bed. But it was not to be….. When our guests left they found a terrified lost collie dog sheltering on the drive. No bed for us! I took charge of operations and shouted instructions from the porch window.
Luckily the humans soon got the idea and before long the poor dog had been given a rudimentary collar and lead and transferred to a warm bed in the garage.
The dog had found the right house- not only did we have a superb feline team to organise things there were 3 vets and a zookeeper to help and one of them had a microchip scanner in the boot of their car! Very luckily for the dog he turned out to have a microchip.
Jane was probably Petlog’s first caller of 2018 and before long we found out that the poor dog’s name was Scrap and he came from Sellindge. His owners soon called and were on their way to get him. It seems that Scrap had been scared by the fireworks, panicked and got lost.
I was still watching from the window when Scrap’s Mum arrived. They were very pleased to see each other and Ebony and I were relieved to finally curl up on the bed feeling like we had got 2018 off to a good start. We think this is a good reminder to be microchipped- I can’t think of many worse things than being lost and having to sleep outside on someone’s drive- I might get frost on my very fine whiskers.
Anyway, best wishes to all our feline friends and their owners for 2018. Hope you are all still keeping your resolutions.
We have resolved to help Jane clean up around the house more- anything we find on the floor we will take to the kitchen and post under the boot room door. Out of sight, out of mind! So far we are doing well. Some things are quite hard to post but we like a challenge!
Hello everyone, Mowgli here. It has been strangely uneventful in our house this month (I am sure we will pay for that soon…) and I was wondering what to write to you all about when I suddenly thought about Montgomery.
I think I have mentioned in passing before that the Clinic was named after Jane and Clive’s first cat- Montgomery- but I don’t think I have ever told his full story.
Well, Monty was a beautiful grey short hair cat with green eyes. Jane first met him when he came to her to be vaccinated as a kitten (this is long long ago before Jane was a zoo vet…..)
It will come as no surprise to you that Clive and Jane are cat connoisseurs (they chose me- of course they are!) and occasionally meet a cat they adore on sight.
Monty was one of these cats. Jane met Monty a few times and then sadly one day he came back to her consult room with a broken leg after a bad fall (already he sounds like a cat after my own heart. A cat adventurous enough to do such extreme climbing he could break a leg….)
Monty was lucky that he could be fixed with strict rest. He didn’t make it easy for his poor owners though – refused to stay still, removed his splint at every opportunity, and yowled the place down.
One day his owners brought Monty to Jane and said they had had enough. They didn’t want Monty anymore as he was so naughty. Could she either find him a home or put him to sleep? Jane of course tried her hardest to convince them to keep him but it was not to be.
Although as a cat I find this hard to believe it is not an uncommon situation for vets to find themselves in and this happened relatively often to Clive and Jane where they were working at the time. A good home had always been found for such animals.
Up to this point Clive and Jane had not taken any animals home and only had Louis the tortoise. Monty of course was different. There was only one thing to be done.
Jane called Clive to say she was bringing a cat home. Clive spluttered a bit but agreed immediately and within a couple of hours Monty was ensconced in their sitting room purring his head off. That night Monty assumed prime bed position on the pillows and cemented himself as leader of the household.
Unlike Ebony and I, Monty went outside. Clive has told us he was an intrepid hunter and would bring something home as a gift every day. This led to various adventures like squirrels running up the curtains and Monty storing several live pigeons behind the kitchen cupboard kickboards.
Every time Monty came home through the cat flap he would yell his head off, announcing his arrival and come running to find someone.
Sadly after just 9 months he was run over and killed on the road. So when the vet clinic was opened there was only one thing it could possibly be called….
After several weeks of missing Monty terribly Clive and Jane decided they would get another cat. Of course they chose me! How could they not?! I think Monty would be proud of my antics.
Us cats have to stick together, don’t we?
Hello everyone, Mowgli here! It is another busy month here as it is Halloween. Ebony’s month.
She is making sure that her ablutions are particularly thorough and that she doesn’t have a hair out of place.
She says that Halloween is an important time of year for black cats and she is hoping to be a useful fancy dress accessory for Josh now he is older. Do you remember at Easter that I got Jane to help me look up on the computer about the new trend to dress your cat up like an Easter bunny?
Well, I just got her to help me look up about fancy dress for cats at Halloween and I have never seen anything like it! For once I am lost for words.
Cats dressed up as lions, hamburgers, sharks an even Puss in Boots! I am not sure this is a good idea and yet there is something attractively attention seeking about it all……
Anyway, I think Ebony is getting a bit above her station with the Halloween black cat business. Why should she be important just because of her glossy black fur?
I of course have beautiful spots and stripes (not forgetting my beautiful blue eyes…..) and these make me important every day of the year. On a serious note though Clive always tells us that even though everyone that we know adores black cats not everyone agrees.
Apparently black cats are often the last ones to be adopted from cat sanctuaries and lots of people don’t really want them as pets.
Craziness I say as even though Ebony clearly causes me a bit of trouble from time to time we would all be completely lost without her! I remember how I felt earlier in the year when she was away for her radiation treatment.
Clive still goes around muttering about how I kept him awake at night for 2 weeks and then passed out with relief as soon as she was home!
After Halloween of course comes bonfire night. we hope that all of you cats out there stay safely tucked up away from all the bangs and noise.
Ebony and I aren’t bothered about fireworks but let’s hope they are not too loud this year! We all deserve to sleep in peace!
Hello everyone, Mowgli here. I hope that all your humans enjoyed the summer holidays and that you cats got a bit of peace and quiet whilst they were away!
Ebony and I have been suffering this month. The silly humans have had a New Idea.
This New Idea stems from Ebony and I being on different cat biscuits. Ebony won’t mind me telling you that she is always on a diet food, and diet food doesn’t agree with me.
As you all know I am a blue eyed snow-spotted Serengeti and as such have a delicate metabolism. Too many diet biscuits and I am sick. Not that that is always a bad thing…I like vomiting in very ingenious places that are either hard to find or that cause maximum chaos (like Clive’s slippers!).
Anyway, enough about vomiting. Clive has always tried to get us only to eat from our own food bowl, but it has never worked. For some time he has been thinking of getting ‘intelligent cat bowls’, that read a cat’s microchip and only open for a specific cat.
He asked several nice clients who gave them good reports. Therefore it wasn’t long before 2 space-aged cat feeders arrived in the kitchen. They were duly programmed and Ebony and I started a training programme. This was fine at first – the food bowl stayed open and just made a shutting noise for us to get used to.
Now, after a few more stages the bowl stays shut unless the correct cat’s head is under the beam. Horrors! Ebony and I decided to show the so-called intelligent cat bowls who was boss. First we devised a plan where one of us would open own bowl and the other one would manage to get their head over the back of the machine and share food.
We are good cats you see and have always been brought up to share. Clive couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw this. He was straight on the phone to the manufacturers. They apparently sell a ‘baffle’ to stop this from happening.
Two baffles are now on the way so we had to make new plans. Both new plans are working well and the silly intelligent feeder hasn’t been able to out-smart us yet.
Plan one is to put lots of biscuits around the edge of the bowl part. This stops the lid closing properly and means either of us can get a paw in and fish out biscuits. Plan two is to dislodge the bowl part with a paw. This stop the machine from closing at all, leaving the bowl permanently open. Who’s intelligent now?!
Clive of course is wandering around muttering under his breath about us. If any of your humans see him, don’t mention the feeders!
Hello everyone, Mowgli here. Hope you have all had a good summer.
This month I am going to write about plants. They have been a hot topic in our house!
I love eating plants. Plants of any type.
Sometimes we have some cat grass and I think it is one of the best things ever. However, my love of eating plants has got me into trouble a few years ago.
As soon as I arrived on the scene any obviously toxic plants or flowers were banned from the house. Clive made sure any flowers he bought didn’t have lilies in them and for a while everything was OK. Then my little obsession got the better of me and it all started.
Clive had bought some flowers that were thought to be non-poisonous and I then tucked in when they were out- the iris leaves were my favourite. But they gave me a tummy ache and when Jane got home from work I was rolling about in the hall yowling that I was Very Poorly.
The humans tracked down the half eaten iris and weren’t too worried but phoned the veterinary poisons information line just in case who told them that iris usually just caused gastroenteritis but in some cases it caused racing of the heart and death!
Well, I haven’t had such a fun night since- they took it in turns to stay up with me and take my heart rate. I was given lots of hugs and even Ebony was attentive. The next morning I was still fine and apparently Out Of Danger so I was then in trouble for eating the flowers.
Flowers and plants have been banned from our house ever since – years now- and Jane has to take any flowers she gets into her zoo office. Anyway, we now have a few basil plants in the house. I keep breaking into the utility room to get to these and have nibbled a few leaves. They are quite tasty……
There have been a few animals brought into the clinic that have over-indulged on plants that have got their own back. When the clinic first opened a very brave puppy survived yew berry poisoning. They have also had a couple of cats poisoned by lilies.
We have also lost count of the number of dogs who have ignored the plants but eaten the slug bait and then had a lengthy stay in the clinic. I think it is not the fault of us animals if plants are out to get us!
Well, I am off to try and get to the basil plants. If anyone remembers the mice in the larder from last month I am disappointed to report that they seem to have gone. Clive is pleased of course as he can use the oats for porridge again!
Hello Everyone, Mowgli here. Can you believe that I have been writing this column for 9 years!
It doesn’t seem a minute ago that Ebony and I were helping set up the Clinic, meeting all the drug reps in our dining room, helping design the layout of the clinic (by walking all over the plans) and providing inspiration for the colour scheme for the logo and website (that’s based on me- cream, brown and grey with bright blue for my amazing eyes.
Not that I am conceited about my eyes at all!) and advertising. I remember Ebony anxiously licking all her fur into place so she would look especially beautiful for a photoshoot- she is the poster girl and is on the website and the Tesco roundabout.
Since then I can’t even remember all the lovely animal stories Clive has come home with from the Clinic so thank you all for your support and here’s to the next 9 years! We will have to have a big party next year when it is 10 years and maybe (just maybe…) those silly humans will let me come for once….
We are getting to the time of year when everyone seems to take a holiday, although I don’t think our humans are going anywhere.
Ebony and I think that it is madness ourselves- why go away just at the time that we have the best weather at home? Ebony and I of course never get a holiday. We hear that some cats do- they get to pack a little bag with their favourite blanket and a few toys and go and stay at what sounds to us like a luxury cat spa- food brought to your room every day, heated beds, outside rooms with a view of the garden and birds.
Also an opportunity to spy on the cats in neighbouring rooms and exchange a few stories through the walls! It all sounds rather pleasant to us, although we both actually admit that we prefer our own arrangements when Clive and Jane go away.
Our best friends from down the road come and look after us. They come and feed us at least twice a day and we are really lucky that they come and spend time with us too- play with us, watch TV so we can curl up on their laps and stroke us all the time. We purr for them non-stop.
There are other advantages to the folks being away- we get the whole bed to ourselves and have none of this being squashed in the night business. We also don ‘t have anyone moaning at us that we have taken too much duvet! We actually find it a bit like a holiday for us too, although there is of course the responsibility of looking after the whole house and those stupid goats.
Ebony and I do checks in the morning and the evening and I have to say it is quite tiring. We make sure that Clive knows this when they come back- it might have been a holiday for him, but we have had to look after everything whilst he has been away.
I forget all this quickly though as long as I get a ride around the house on the wheeled suitcases. I cannot resist a wheeled suitcase and love nothing more than a white knuckle ride on one.
In other news it is possible there is a mouse in the pantry. Something nibbled a bag of oats (no porridge for Clive’s breakfast. Quite a commotion!) and so Ebony and I are taking it in turns to stake out the larder and find out what is going on. I’m off there now.
Paws crossed something exciting happens!
Hello everyone, Mowgli here. How are all of you? Ebony and I are fine and have been enjoying quite a few capers recently.
In the last few weeks Clive has had a big birthday. The type of birthday that begins with a 4 and ends with a 0. Quite exciting.
Now, as all of you felines will know, trying to work out the best way to help a human celebrate a birthday is quite difficult. It takes hours and hours of planning. Whatever you do needs firstly to be memorable.
Preferably it is also quite spectacular. Also, as we are cats we need to make sure that we are very much central to whatever the plan is so that in years to come everyone will remember that we organised it.
Now for such a big birthday Ebony and I had a lot of planning to do. We thought very hard. Some of our normal birthday duties were obviously appropriate- lots of purrs, helping unwrap presents by gently chewing them, undoing ribbons with our teeth, proudly greeting any guests with our tails held high.
In the end I thought of a great idea. I decided to make sure that Clive’s birthday started with a bang. And I wanted to make sure that I was the very first one to start his birthday off.
I made sure that I only slept lightly the night before his birthday, and when it was about 3am I carefully crept onto his bedside table and smacked his water glass very hard. I hit it in just the right place and it made a huge bang as it hit wood on the side of a shelf, shattering into hundreds of tiny shiny pieces. Clive, as I had planned, woke up with a bang and was greeted by tiny glittering shards everywhere.
How many of you cats often find that humans are a bit dim and unappreciative? My birthday surprise was not greeted with delight but with a load groan and muttering about me being the clumsiest cat Clive had ever met.
Ebony and I were then scooped up to have our paws inspected and shut out of the bedroom while things were cleaned up. Humans are so silly. As if Ebony and I would get glass shards in our paws- it was all planned so we knew to avoid them!
The silly humans then covered the bedroom floor in newspaper to protect us all from the shards until they could hoover and not wake up Joshua. We didn’t see this coming and this wasn’t good for poor Ebony. Ebony has quite high standards and refuses to walk on newspaper so she ended up having to do a huge leap onto the bed and then stay there.
Anyway, one thing is for sure- I managed to create a memorable birthday event that will be remembered for years!
I am still worn out from all this planning so I am going to go and curl up in a patch of sun by the French windows. We need to make the most of the sun while it is here!
Hello everyone, Mowgli here. Hope you are all well. I received a letter this month from a family who have lost their beloved tabby cat William.
His humans and his brother Harvey are missing him very much. Clive has of course put up a poster at the clinic and Ebony and I are firmly crossing our paws that William comes home soon.
It made me think how lucky Ebony and I are to be in our nice comfy house and not to be either lost or looking for a home. Although I often moan about how daft my humans are they don’t look after us too badly!
I think it is quite unjust how I am always blamed for disasters and breakages (not sure if I have ever mentioned that before…?).
The humans just don’t understand. Do any of you cats out there have habits your owners just don’t understand?
I mainly get into trouble for misbehaving in front of guests. I think my most unpopular phase was quite a while ago when I was a baby and used to help with the washing.
I don’t know about other cats out there but our humans are always faffing about with clothes- in the washing machine then on the clothes horse, then seeing if they are dry and then ironing them. I went through a phase of checking when clothes were dry and dragging them downstairs to let the humans know.
It isn’t my fault that I could only drag the small clothes and that I only seemed to do this when we had guests. It was when the humans were most distracted and didn’t notice what was dry on the clothes horse or not.
It seemed to cause a bit of a rumpus each time I proudly came down the stairs dragging pants or knickers or a bra, miaowing through my mouthful of fabric to let everyone know the offending item was dry. Some humans just don’t appreciate the help!
I stopped this after a few months as it seemed so universally unpopular and started to pretend to fall of the dresser and yell instead so that Clive had to leap up to catch me in mid air. This was a good trick that I performed until we moved house a few years ago.
Now I have an even better one- there is a very high plate shelf around most of the rooms in the house and also a lot of exposed beams to climb on.
One room that Clive and Jane sit in in the evenings and also take guests to is now the room I do my best tricks in. I climb up our very high scratching tree to get to the plate shelf, and I then parade around the shelf, yowling.
The shelf is full of books right the way round the room so I have to balance on the books as I go. When I have everyone’s attention I walk along the very thin beams that go across the middle of the room.
I always nearly fall off these and there are usually a few gasps and people rushing towards me with a blanket. I am always fine though and I am happy to parade around on top of the books for just as long as people will watch.
When I get fed up I jump to the top of the dresser (the same dresser I had such fun with in the old house……) and yell for Clive to get me down. If he tries to lift me I run away and purr at him- the only way I will get down is if he lifts a stool for me to jump onto.
Then I do a beautiful leap onto the stool and let him lower it to the ground. The humans don’t know how lucky they are- most cats would charge a large fee for such a wonderful circus act.
I’d love to hear about all the habits your owners don’t like!
Hello everyone, Mowgli here. Unbelievably it is nearly Easter already!
Ebony and I quite enjoy Easter. What do you other cats think of it?
Traditionally of course Easter is a time for rabbits and chicks. Ridiculous of course for cats to be left out so I make sure that I am at the forefront of many Easter activities to underline the point that cats are part of Easter too!
In our house the humans bring in some twigs and get Josh to hang tiny wooden decorations on the twigs. I probably don’t need to tell you how much I enjoy both the twigs and the decorations.
I rearrange them at least daily. I also modify the decorations if possible. Josh has a whole herd of little wooden rabbits whose ears regularly get glued back on.
At least once a day someone can be heard to shout ‘Moo’s done it again!’ (I think you all know my nickname by now…..) and Josh goes rushing off to sort out his display. You see- not only being part of Easter but keeping the humans busy. It is hard work being a cat.
I also like a good Easter egg hunt. My favourite is when the humans are foolish enough to use the really small eggs. These are easy to carry in my mouth and amazing to bat around a wooden floor.
Josh wanders around the house with a basket slowly putting them into a basket. Meanwhile I have usually managed to appropriate over half of them for myself.
I carry or bat them to the kitchen and have a wonderful time posting them under the boot room door. In the old house I posted things under the dresser. In this house over time I have graduated to posting things under the boot room door.
For some reason (known only to the door itself) it has a bit of brushing on the bottom. I can poke my paws through it and post things in a very satisfying way. Whenever one of the humans opens the boot room door there on the top step is a lovely hoard of my things….
I was talking to Jane about Easter and she told me that in America there is a movement to make cats part of Easter. People dress their cats up in rabbit ears and post photos of them. Go on- google it…..
Ridiculous I think. As if cats’ ears could be improved. Who would want to look like a rabbit anyway? Having said that I think Josh made some rabbit ears at nursery. I might just go and find them……
Footnote: the whole cat in ears thing didn’t go too well. They were just too tempting.
Jane has sent you all a photo….
Hello everyone, Mowgli here! We hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather and the beginning of spring.
Our humans have had quite a few people to the house recently to mend or make things. I make visitors my personal business so I always wait at the door for Jane to pick me up, open the door and find out who it is.
These days after this I usually get shut in the attic bedroom as apparently I am a liability…. I think this is grossly unfair- I am just very interested in what goes on in my house and always make sure that the work is up to standard.
Clive always cites the chimney sweep incident (I had to be manually removed from the chimney), the boiler service incident (I got in the toolbox, asked to be carried around in it and refused to get out) and the day a man came to plaster our ceiling (I tunnelled under all the dust sheets, pounced on the man’s feet and then sat between his feet on the top of his ladder yelling my encouragements to him.
Apparently I put him off…..) Anyway, we have recently had a couple of men come and look at the drive (this wasn’t very interesting for me as I stayed inside and just yelled comments from the porch) and two come and look at making a new loft hatch.
The loft hatch was something I could get fully involved in- ladders, hatches, tape measures- bliss! I am really looking forward to a couple of weeks’ time when the new hatch gets made. Then we will have a built in ladder I will be able to run straight up- a whole new place to play! Clive is already rolling his eyes as I type this…..
It is getting towards the time of year now when everyone thinks of taking their holidays. Ebony and I always hope that Clive and Jane will take us with them one year.
Clive says no chance of that as I am so naughty I am bound to cause major breakages and disgrace (I don’t know what he is thinking about although I have to admit that right now whilst helping type this up I have tipped a large mug of hot tea all over Jane’s antique bureau- she had to run my paws under the tap to prevent scalds or burns and then was ranting about water marks on the wood or something.
Humans are so odd!). Ebony and I always look out for the tell-tale signs of bags and packing. Ebony gets very depressed as soon as the bags come out and hides herself away.
I always just jump into the bags and hide myself amongst the contents. They haven’t fallen for this yet but I am hoping that if I hide well enough and lie still enough one year I might get to be a stowaway.
Do any of you cats out there get taken away on holiday?
Hello everyone, Mowgli here! Hope you are all well and looking forward to spring.
Ebony and I are still enjoying snuggling up on our radiator beds. I haven’t been sure what to write about this month so I had a quiet think (Clive laughed when I told him this. He says I don’t do anything quietly. Humans are so unfair!), and I thought I would share some of my rituals with you.
These rituals are all part of my job as a cat to keep an eye on the humans and keep them amused. They can be hard work, which I am sure all you other felines out there will appreciate. I know you will all have your own rituals and jobs- us cats never rest!!
My first job of the day is to wake the humans. I like to start preparing them for this about 5am by posting anything on Clive’s bedside table onto the floor and uttering a few mid-level yowls. This usually begins to elicit a few responses from Clive.
He usually starts muttering about how he doesn’t know anyone else who has to keep all his things in a basket next to the bed rather than on a bedside table. He may have a point that a bedside lamp looks odd in a basket but then he should just not be so hard to wake up!
After this I walk all over the humans and then as my piece de resistance I go and do miaow practice in Josh’s bedroom. This guarantees that Clive gets out of bed very quickly as he seems to not want Josh to wake up. As a reward for all this work I obviously demand breakfast. It’s the least any human can do for such a personalised waking service.
One of my other jobs is to ensure that the humans get enough exercise. I make sure that at least Clive and Josh play tag with me at least once a day.
I think I have written before about our house being a funny shape. It is quite long and thin so it is great to race around and play tag from one end to the other. To start tag off Clive has to issue the signal.
I am sure I will decide to accept this from Josh when he is older but for now I only take direction from Clive. Clive has to make two sharp breath noises, I utter a full force yowl to accept the challenge and then one of the humans has to tag me and off I go.
I usually let them catch me on one of the sofas and then I am after them. I leap high and usually tag them on the legs. A few rounds of that wears us all out!
At bedtime I am so tired from all these jobs that I think it is finally my time to be spoiled. I like to sit on a blanket on Jane’s lap and I simply won’t be moved until I have had a handful of Dreamies.
Even this luxury can be hard work- I have to keep an eye on the humans and make sure I am on Jane’s lap when they decide to go to bed. I usually spend the whole evening there but if I have been distracted and have slept too long on the radiator bed, or if Ebony and I have been delayed with our evening mouse patrol I sometimes have to race along and leap onto Jane’s lap before she gets up- you other cats will know how serious it is to miss out on one’s Dreamies!