By Etude, Archivist (aka Mr Attitude, aka Pinky, aka FuzzyBritches)
As mentioned previously in Into the Archives, Rondo had been on the hunt for something dear to the M&M crew, something stored behind closed doors, stashed in the storage room – a room not accessible to the feline five. That is – to us. Since someone insisted on knowing the purpose of our hunt we divulged we were seeking out Grammy’s stash of kitty kibble – a dear commodity doled out in minuscule portions at M&M Central. Enticingly dear to three of us because there is a dearth of it meted out to a dumpling and a couple of portly pusses and dear to Grammy in her fight to maintain waistlines on those self-same three pudgies.
Whilst delving into the depths of the Cat’s Pantry Rondo found boxes, might I say, bins filled with stuff. Not the initial purpose of the hunt but, oh this looked oh, so interesting! Interesting enough to sidetrack us from a hunt for food! Yes, distracted, definitely, by those boxes. What a phenomenal feat to distract three pudgies away from food.
Well, there they were... bits of paper, old photographs and cat clothing – yes clothing for kitties. So silly- the cat clothing! Or was it? I ask you....Why would a cat wear clothes when he has a fur suit that’s made to fit? Back to that another day! Well, it looked like the investigation of said bins might take some time and definitely lots of energy. So the pudgerigars (Grammy’s word, not ours!), feeling a little peckish after taking stock of the situation decided it would be expedient to stock up before diving further into the stockpile. After a little feline sustenance (Of course, we found the stash, never any doubt!) the workload was divvied up and meted out.
Well, now we three know we are NOT the cause of Grammy’s greying hair! No, Whiskers, Rondo and I are very aware now that we’ve been into the boxes. We did not cause those grey wisps to sprout from Grammy’s pate. No we didn’t! We may have, and I say MAY have, added a few here and there over the years but those grey hairs started appearing eons ago. Yes, for sure. We’ve seen the dye bottles to prove it. Ooops! Scratch that last sentence.
Sooooo! The Mistress and Master of Mischief are cats of this by-gone era, eons ago. Cats who lived long before any of us were single-celled swimmers co-mingling and dividing and subdividing. Their names, just so’s you know are Pusspuss and Malcolm. Oh and there was a little angelic kitty named Monty but we’ll save his sad tale for another time. Yes, Pusspuss and Malcolm were magnificently inventive mischiefs with a plethora of escapades from which we can draw. Woohoo!
For today though let’s start with Pusspuss. We’ll call her Puss to save time and ink. This Puss came preprogrammed to hunt. She was the sweetest snuggler on bed or sofa – a veritable purr machine. The floor was another matter altogether. Puss was silent, ninja-stealthy and lethal to boot. Nothing inanimate or otherwise and no-one animated got past her without being pounced upon and tackled, yes brought to his, her or its proverbial knees. Grammy has the carpet burns to prove it.
By Rondo, the Chatty Boy
Goodness gracious! Finally! It’s my turn to post a blog.... Well, that’s as it should be, don’t you think? I always have lots to say. Besides being a chatty boy and never at a loss for miaus, I’m the intelligent industrious one, the intrepid explorer and by far, the most handsome. Most definitely the handsomest...just in case you were wondering. Well, no need to ever again! I’m the GQ centerfold of feline fabulousness at M&M Central! Now that I’ve set that straight.... let’s move on.
Last week I was on the hunt... yes, exploring (no matter what for, but the rest of M&M Central were behind me, not literally, but behind my exploring, nevertheless. I was on a mission.) ... and whoop-de-doo! What an incredible find! So incredible it altered my purpose for being on the hunt. It was a profound surprise! More than a surprise! It was a revelation. A revelation that surprised me... though why I would be surprised surprises me. A cat of my intelligence should have known. Well, here it is! Maybe you’d better sit down before you read this.... It’s pretty shocking, yes, and surprising....
M&M Central was formed before we, the current frisky kitties, came along! Yes, long before! Eons before! In fact, it was formed in a completely different century. Shocking? I’ll say it was! ... It was absolutely astonishing. In fact, it was mind blowing? Totally! Who knew there was a century before ours? You did? Well, I had no idea! None! And who knew M&M Central was in existence before us, in another century, eons ago? If I wore socks it would have knocked my socks off. Yes, it would. It would literally knock the socks off my little pawsies! That is, if I wore them.
So how did all this come about, this phenomenal revelation? A little background here....
by Whiskers, Matriarch of Mischief
Let me introduce you to our family. We are a family of six – a bi-ped and five fuzzy, feline mischief-makers – thus the title of our blog. Yes, we are the M&M crew at Mischief and Mayhem Central. Oh, not the bi-ped. Please! Pul-eeease! Let’s be serious for a moment here! She’d have to grow another pair of legs or at least a tail to be a bona fida crew member.... and that’s not going to happen at this late date. No, it isn’t. Nary a chance of her doing that. Anyhow, her mission and duties are of the non-mischief sort. Non-mischiefy definitely, definitively speaking she’s non-mischievous! So, now you understand... bi-peds are not permitted into the inner sanctum of M&M Central – especially those of the non-mischievous, tail-less kind. No siree bob! Absolutely not!
Well, you might assume the bi-pedal member of this family is Grammy. Yes, you might and you would be correct. Does she ride a bicycle, you ask? No! She’s not a cyclist... a bicycle rider. No. No. She’s bi-pedal - she walks on two feet. Yes, she does. She’s a two footed walker, an upright, upstanding sort and one with a soft-pedaling heart. Grammy is a bi-ped with a mission ... and simply put, that mission is to keep fuzzy feline mischief-makers healthy, happy and well cared for... Yes... and an important mission that is. Let me emphasize that... Keeping us healthy, happy and well cared for is a mission of the utmost importance! How else will M&M Central run smoothly?
Now you might know that Grammy was in rescue for a short while... yes, she was a foster mom. But foster parenting is not for the tender-hearted and the soft-in-the-headed combined. That is a fatal combination for fostering. Let me be very clear about this... Grammy is a softy. In case you missed that let me state it once more for good measure... Grammy has a gentle heart, Yes, Grammy’s heart might be as big as the moon but it is made of mush, you might say slush because it melts when it sees a kitty in need. Oh, yes! And where that soft heart goes, the soft head soon follows. They are inseparable and a dangerous combination.
Well, Grammy's intent when fostering was to take in one or two cats, socialize them and find them loving homes, take on another pair, find them homes and on and on... Somewhere in there was the hope of having a litter to raise as well and to be sure, cats came and went through the revolving doors of Mischief & Mayhem Central. But then, there were also those special ones who came, went but left an indelible mark on the heart, and those who came, didn’t leave... Yes, that would be us. We are the ones who stayed and with each new kitty that entered through that door it was increasingly harder to let it go but, that may be a story for another time. Back to our story...
Now! Enough about Grammy, the bi-pedal, soft-hearted, soft-in-the-headed and let’s move on to the four-footed, fully-tailed crew... the larger portion of this family aka the Mischief and Mayhem crew. In order of arrival and, in my eyes, starting with the most important... let me name the team members and then I’ll give you a little background.... First on the scene were wee Mouse and me (Whiskers) – the trail blazers you might say, followed by those rambunctious rowdies, Etude & Rondo and finally our little Sweetie who brought up the rear. All of us arrived under diverse circumstances and situations. Yes, very different. As different as night and day, or milk and honey. As different as.... Oh, get on with it, Whiskers, my girl...
Grammy suddenly noticed us doing strange things, bouncing off walls, waving paws in the air and chasing the invisible. At first she said, Oh isn’t that cute! They’re playing. It’s so nice to see them entertain themselves. And her nose returned to her book, her knitting or her computer. And, this went on for days, weeks, maybe even a lifetime – well, definitely a lifetime of a moth when suddenly a friend said, Oh, I see a moth!! WHAT? WHERE? No, you’re hallucinating! Well, she wasn’t! Those moths had been having a grand ol’ time and so had we! But, let Grammy figure it out we were staying out of this one.
Scooting her friend out the door with a See ya! Don’t believe ya, but just to appease ya, I’ll check the house! and the great Moth Hunt began...
Now, Grammy’s a neat freak! Vacuums regularly! Scoops litter twice a day! Makes her bed! Dishes in the dishwasher! Clothing goes where clothing belongs – in closets and drawers with said closets and drawers closed... None of this throw it on a chair stuff, because she knows five furry felines will gravitate to and vie for that one piece of clothing that isn’t hung or put away and layer it with a coating of fur and a dollop of scent gland before you can say, Jack Robinson. BUT, Grammy had neglected to attend to the unused chair. But, to be fair, why would she? ... it’s unused!
Well, Grammy vacuumed, washed the floors, dusted the already dusted bookshelves, did her usual clean and NOTHING! Nary a moth! Then, quite by accident, well maybe not accident (should I say, serendipity), she decided to vacuum the chair she used and thought, maybe whilst she’s at it, just for good measure she should do the same to the other. Out came the chair from under the table and bingo! There right under her nose those little beasties were active in their sheepskin nest... procreating, incubating, eating and pupating right before her eyes. NASTY!
Out came the green garbage bags! In went the thought-to- be unused sheepskin. Of course, it had been used but unbeknownst to us. In went the beknownst in-use sheepskin. AND in came the paranoia! Major paranoia! Everything not washable and/or suspected of hosting even a single moth, egg, larva or pupa followed the sheepskins into the bag. Out went the bag and a second bag. And just to be sure, out went the two old rickety chairs.
So now we’ve had the great Moth exodus, followed by the great furniture and fabric exodus. What next? Well, the paranoia continued. Each and every book was removed from the bookshelves – and we’re talking a bazillion books. Each and every book was vacuumed; covers and spines were washed and dried. Once the bookcases were emptied, they got scrubbed front and back, inside and out. Next the walls behind and floors beneath were scrubbed too until the whole livingroom was scrubbed top down!
This marathon of paranoia continued to bottoms of sofa, armchair, hassocks, dressers and closets. Yes, closets were emptied, every bit of fabric, towels, bedding, clothing washed, dried and all stored in vacuum packed plastic. Cupboards, kitchen and bath, not an item was overlooked. So, now those moths were licked! Or were they? Just to be sure all the bases were covered... Grammy set up clothing moth traps. Done! Paranoia on hold, have a cuppa joe and relax.
For two weeks all was quiet on the M&M front when one night while reading her book Grammy was suddenly distracted. Something had skittered past her nose! No, it wasn’t the nightly Sweetie doing her leap arm-to-arm-across-the-sofa training! Much smaller. MUCH smaller! What could it be? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! There in the moth trap – a single solitary moth! The paranoia resurfaced! Where there’s one... there’s a potential for a terrabillion.
Imagine Grammy’s plight! What to do, how to conquer this foe? ... so, the marathon began again. Another massive search was on for the source but unfortunately none was found. Over the next few weeks more moths congregated and met their demise in the moth traps. Despite everything she done there was no other option... it was down to... call THE MOTH EXTERMINATOR. And ... this is how we lost one of our nine lives. NASTY!
Yesterday, Grammy began surreptitiously preparing for THE MOTH EXTERMINATOR due to his imminent arrival. (Note that 'surreptitiously prepared' means while we’re stuffing our faces and too busy to notice.) A few extra kitty carriers were removed from the closet and assembled. Snuggly blankets were placed in each. A doggie cage was set up on the balcony. Bathmats readied to line the bottom and two litter boxes lined with fleecy blankets ( we use these as beds) were also set by the balcony door. Well, carriers are always around – Grammy keeps a couple open and lined in fleece or fluffy towels for our snoozing pleasure – so when we’d finished eating and noticed them we thought nothing of it. That is, until this morning.
Suddenly, a coffee under her belt, Grammy went into Ninja mode... not Ninja Turtle but Ninja Hare mode. She picked me up. I thought – oh boy, cuddle time, but noooo. I got whipped out into the surreptitiously prepared doggie cage on the balcony... like a sack of potatoes... dumped in the open air. I could have died from exposure! Next, Rondo, poor fellow.... the same thing! Whipped into her arms and whisked outside, squirming (gotta love the boy for trying!) while Grammy opened the cage door to toss him in. In the ensuing turmoil – Whoopee! I escaped back into the condo. But poor Ronny... stuck in an open air cage on a frosty (60°F.) Wednesday morning, with nothing to keep him warm – well almost nothing... only two snuggly litter boxes with nothing but fleece liners in them. How will he survive this? Will he be scarred for life?
Then the Grammy/Etude chase was on... behind the bed, under the end of the bed, into the livingroom... it was great fun though I don’t think Grammy was enjoying herself much. Let my guard down for a moment and suddenly I was scooped and tossed into a carrier, door closed and a big sigh of relief – no, not from me, from Grammy. I howled as loudly as I could... You must have heard it! The desk sergeant left his post to come out of the police station a block over to check on the sonic boom. Fortunately, he’s a little hard of hearing and couldn’t pinpoint the direction of the sound but he sure felt the vibrations. Not only into the carrier but unceremoniously dumped on the balcony! NASTY – About to die of exposure, again! Then suddenly – a blackout. Blankets thrown over our cage and carrier – supposedly to keep the draft off, but more likely to hide the horrors to follow.
Now where were the girls during all this? Sweetie was playing! Can you imagine it? Not one ounce of concern for our plight... and Mouse – snoozing on the chair. Such caring, sweet sisters! NOT! Little did they realize... yes, they too were being banished to the balcony but did they fuss? Nooooo! Grammy picked up Mouse, put her in the carrier and closed the door...not a peep, not a squirm, not a wiggle! Harrumph! At least Sweetie howled... gotta give her that, but again, picked up and set in the carrier and the two of them, Sweetie and Mouse plunked above Ronny in the great outdoors, carriers wrapped in blankets and left to freeze to death.
And that left Whiskers, old, plodding, stodgy Matriarch of Mischief. Shouldn’t be a problem! The old dear! Haha! Did she give Grammy a run for her money or what! You had to be there! It was priceless! I’ve never known either old stick to move so quickly in all my 3 years. Into the bedroom, under the bed, move the bed, under a chair, move the chair... caught... into the carrier. No! Feet splayed and one good wiggle and she was free again. Back into the bedroom Whiskers disappeared... livingroom, bedroom, repeat exercise three or four times until she eluded Grammy completely! Well, almost. Grammy found her hunkered down between the sofa and bookcase with no escape except past Grammy herself. This time Grammy outsmarted her, tucked the tail under and lifted her butt and set her in through the top hatch of the carrier, slammed the lid and DONE! The fifth furry dumped and covered on the balcony with moments to spare before the arrival of THE MOTH EXTERMINATOR.
So there we were howling to the neighbours for assistance, plotting our escapes if only we had had opposable digits and feeling betrayed. Grammy joined us, chair, folding table, phone, iPad, kitty treats and she had the gall to chat at us as though all was right with the world! Could we be bribed with treats? NO! Not a chance! Well, maybe! Oh, alright then, if I must I’ll eat them... but only because you insist, and I won't be happy about it!
The only one in all this kerfuffle unaffected by the mayhem – Mouse – our timid, afraid of her own shadow, doesn’t like change Mouse! She nibbled her treats, looked around in interest at all the activity and even ogled THE MOTH EXTERMINATOR.
I tell you after days, okay, a bazillion hours, well, maybe it was a couple of hours waiting for the stink to dissipate we were allowed back inside... but the windows are open to the winter chill, the stink persists and we’re living in it. But at least we are indoors.
No more outdoor adventures for me, thank you very much!
That whole exercise has taken one of each of our nine. NASTY! ... and we think maybe a couple of decades off Grammy as well. Now, let’s hope this is the end of the moths... because if it isn’t Rondo and I are searching for a new family to rule. Anyone out there with a moth free home? Harrumph!
Five Cats, Five Personalities, One Goal - Mischief & Mayhem.