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.
Well, many of these animated or otherwise were dispatched post haste – not Grammy. Of course not Grammy! She wouldn’t be here if she’d been dearly departed! Silly! ... but others were. Oh, I know! HORRORS!
Grammy lost a lot of friends that way. It seems there was no guarantee that once someone came through the front door they’d go out the same way, if they left at all. AND if they did rest assured it was in a trash bag having been devoured, digested and deposited número tres into the litter box. Oh, sorry! That was indelicate. BUT just reiterating what’s on those bits of paper. I’m only passing on what I’ve read with my own two eyes. No wonder soon after Grammy packed up post haste and left the city of her birth.
Now listen to this one ... Grammy had a fishtank neatly set up in the kitchen – tank, filter, a variety of grasses, an even greater variety of compatible fishes and a top fitted with a light and flip-lid for feeding the fish. Fish secured in their habitat. Yes, those little neon tetras, loaches, barbs, the ghost shrimp, red tailed sharks, a sucker fish or two, and the crowning glory – two beautiful angel fish to name but a few - all were happy in their little world. Puss was happy too.
This was a great source of entertainment for Grammy’s dear Puss. Yes, she loved that fish tank. She spent days, yes, weeks and months on the chair beside the tank mesmerized by her own personal Fish TV. Grammy was so pleased. Puss was happy, Puss wasn’t bored. Yes, Puss was one happy, engaged kitty. All was right with the world.
Now it seems Grammy was a 60 watter in a home with a 100 watt cat. Not the brightest, definitely a little slow in the thinking process. Don’t get me wrong. We love the old dear... but until the other shoe dropped... well, you’ll see.
For weeks things went along tickety-boo. The tank of fish thrived. Puss was content and occupied. Grammy didn’t feel so badly about being away for long hours. There’s nothing worse than a bored cat. That problem had been solved. But then...
One day Grammy noticed the fish weren’t thriving any more. Neon tetras seemed less numerous, the shrimp fewer (but then they were ghosts and difficult to see), there was only one red-tailed shark remaining. The Angelfish were thriving, getting bigger. Were those Angels supplementing their diets? But no, Angelfish don’t eat their companions.
Out came FishTanks for Dummies and Grammy went into overdrive. Yes, overdrive! Sound familiar? Clean the tank and replace the charcoal filter, check water temperature is within correct range, fish are compatible. What could it be? Further research ensued into lifespans of neon tetras and ghost shrimp, red-tailed sharks and suckers. All seemed within reason. All should be thriving in this ideal fish tank. FishTanks for Dummies and Grammy were in sync. Carry on but that 60 watt bulb flickered - puzzled nonetheless.
Over the next 6 months Grammy dropped into the Aquarium Emporium and regularly restocked the tank a few platies this week, a variety of neons the following. Let’s try guppies, add in an extra bottom feeder to keep the tank clean and every week a few fish disappeared.
Then came a time when Grammy was home for more than two days in a row. Luxury. Grammy and Puss played. Puss and Grammy had dinner together. Grammy listened to music and read a book while Puss purred in her lap. Puss and Grammy snuggled. Grammy slept and Puss, bored, got up and left Grammy.
Grammy awoke the next morning and found the bed empty (no Puss). Where could she be? Oh, she must be watching Fish TV. Of course. So to the kitchen to greet her beloved kitty and give her breakfast and what did she find? Shocking and unable to speak, gawping, open mouthed, not even a gasp Grammy stood there and watched the debacle!
Puss, on her chair, risen on her haunches, paws extended. Left paw deftly opened the lid of the fish tank, right paw beneath and quicker than you can say Jack Robinson – swipe! Out flew the beautiful Angelfish, onto the floor. Did she jump down and devour said flopping and flailing fish? No, not immediately! The clever little lady quietly and gently closed the lid, the flip-lid meant to feed fish, not meant to feed kitty. Mustn’t leave any tell-tale signs of the dastardly deed.
As she leapt down and devoured the Angel the other shoe dropped, for both of them! The 60 watter got her voice back! “Pusspuss!” was all she could say, but it was enough. Caught in the act, Puss, the 100 watter, knew that was the last of the endless supply of Kitty TV Dinners.
Five Cats, Five Personalities, One Goal - Mischief & Mayhem.