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Archive for the ‘Gray Mousie’ Category

The caretaker will be the first to admit that it has been entirely too long since the cats have been featured on the Internet. Since our last post, they have been courageous in the face of storms and delivery men, sleepy after a hard day of guarding the palace, hungry from hours of full contact napping, disdainful of nutritious food, judgmental of the caretaker’s choice of clothing, and just plain bored with life, the universe, and everything. There is really no excuse why our gentle readers should not have been treated to every single moment of feline awesomeness that has occurred since our last post in May. So without further ado, here is a recap of the major events in the lives of the cats and a few of their friends:

June

A suspicious drowning took place in the Stratford Palace water bowl. Gray Mousie, who was last seen dangling by the tail from the lips of a white and black cat tentatively identified by Bear as “That Goober Head,” was discovered submerged and lifeless around 5 pm on 2 June 2014. Buddy was not available for comment.

Suspicious Drowing

Catnip Mouse Bites Dust in Water Bowl

July

The departure of the Second Can Opener during the first weekend of July plunged the palace into a period of gloom from which it has not quite yet recovered. For several days this indispensable member of the household carried clothing, boxes, and furniture out of the house, and then one night, he simply did not come home. The caretaker was uncharacteristically lax in her response, making no attempt to bar the door against his departure as she always does when Buddy tries to leave. The good news is that Unca Dan has returned for visits and has even provided meals when the caretaker ran away for a few days, but Buddy has not been quite himself without him. For several weeks, he kept watch at the door until it was closed for the night, hoping to catch a glimpse of his beloved sidekick, but no joy.

Searching the Horizon

Searching the Horizon from the Comfort of an Egg Crate Mattress Cover (long story)

August

Lest our gentle readers believe Buddy is the only interesting denizen of the palace, we invite you to observe Bear in her natural habitat, namely, the caretaker’s bed. The caretaker recently purchased a new pillow, and it required a proper breaking-in, the kind that only Bear can provide. Notice how the pink sheets accentuate the color of the inside of Bear’s ear. This is interior design at its finest, if we do say so ourselves.

Not Goldilocks

This Pillow is Just Right, Said Tabby-Locks

September

Speaking of interior design, Buddy quite approves of the new Downton Abbey look for the guest room, so he very often pretends he is a guest in his own palace. Here he can be seen snuggled up in his favorite chair with his new friend, another sort of bear. Gray Mousie II, another new friend, awaits at the foot of the chair for post-nap mayhem to ensue.

My Favorite Chair, My Favorite Bear

My Favorite Chair, My Favorite Bear

October

Finally, we reach our current destination, the month of October, whose cool mornings call for warm blankets. Sometimes lying on a warm blanket is not quite enough to chase away the chill, so Buddy burrows under the blanket and settles down for a warm nap. Lest our gentle readers complain that the photo looks fuzzy, we hasten to remind you that everything in the photo is fuzzy, including the colorful paws.

Cool Morning, Warm Blankie

Cool Morning, Warm Blankie

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A few months ago, an announcement was made regarding the addition of palace staff. This arrangement has worked out extremely well for all concerned. Buddy is especially glad to have another source of adoration, and Bear is pleased that an additional can opener is now available. This week, however, the new staff member has added skills to his resume. Upon emptying a rather large box that had contained a shipment of kitchen supplies, he turned the box on its side and set it on the floor so that Buddy could play Cat Fort whenever he wants. With his recovery complete and the return of warmer weather, Buddy has spent many happy hours holding down the fort. And as a side benefit, naps are even better in the safety of a cardboard haven.

Last night when thunderstorms started to rumble, the caretaker lined the box with a comfy blanket so that the fort would be a comfortable refuge for anyone who might be frightened. Buddy insisted that he was not afraid, but he also felt it would be a shame to waste such an inviting bed, so he spent several secluded hours while the storm raged. Then tonight, when storms threatened again, the caretaker decided it was time to produce the fabric mice she had been hiding and use them to distract the jittery king, who jumped a bit higher into the air each time the thunder roared.

The first fabric mouse was received in the hallway and promptly found its way under a closed bedroom door. Buddy immediately flopped onto his side and repeatedly shoved his paws into the crack under the door, but was never able to retrieve the mouse. The second mouse did not get away so quickly. Rather than play with it in the hallway and risk a repeat of his previous tragedy, Buddy brought the mouse out into the living room and set it behind one of the box top flaps. He then proceeded to stalk it with all the gusto of an NRA member hunting a deer. Biding his time and pouncing quickly enabled him to sneak up on it, subdue it, and gather it gently into his mouth. He then approached the box and dropped the mouse on the lid that was serving as the fort’s front door.

Now if anyone in the world has his priorities straight, it is a cat. Naps are all well and good, but when a dainty blanket gets in the way of stalking wild game, something has to give. The blanket was unceremoniously shoved out of the very same box where it had served as a mattress only fifteen minutes earlier.

Fort Cat

Fort raided, mouse held for questioning

The temporary calm captured in the illustration above was shattered soon after the photo was snapped. The box began to shake, rattle, and roll while Buddy and the fabric mouse fought a duel to the imaginary death. To borrow an overused and virtually meaningless media phrase, “details are sketchy” regarding the exact nature of the battle, but thankfully Buddy won the day. He emerged from the box bearing his prize between his teeth, sauntered to the food bowl, and plopped the vanquished foe into the bowl.

Buddy’s motto is “Eat or be eaten.” Bear’s motto is quite similar, but more succinct: “Eat.”

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We continue our saga of Buddy’s best friend with a photo that may seem unrelated, but trust us, gentle reader, this odd contraption is the sole reason for Gray Mousie’s most recent adventure:

Not our favorite toy

Not our favorite cat toy

Now, you might well ask, what is the significance of this rather ugly carpeted cylinder with its one odd antenna? Ah, gentle reader, just sit back and enjoy the story, and your patience will be rewarded.

On Saturday morning, the caretaker visited the grocery store to refill the refrigerator, which had been strategically emptied before her recent trip so as not to leave food to spoil during her absence. Having secured all the nutritional necessities, she thought it might be a good idea to buy Buddy a new toy, as penance for her three-days-long absence. The marketing material for the amazing antennaed-and-carpeted cylinder promised “hours of fun for your cat.” Besides, this wonder of modern toy making was “treated with catnip” and could serve as a scratching post. So the caretaker purchased the toy, promises and all.

But in actual experience, the cylinder failed miserably in fulfilling its claims. At best the toy provided a couple of minutes of that emotion which lives somewhere between ennui and apathie. The caretaker set it down in the living room floor, pulled back the pompom-on-a-spring, and then let it go and waited for the hours of fun to commence. There was a glimmer of hope when Bear wandered over and sniffed the carpeted outsides, but her aversion for catnip caused her to turn up her nose and walk away (“Just say ‘no’ to drugs” is her motto).

The toy held Buddy’s interest only slightly longer. He stuck his nose into the swing radius of the spring, and the pompom crashed against his whiskers. Looking surprised, he batted the pompom with his paw and suddenly decided that this was not the toy of his dreams. So he, too, walked away, leaving the spring to swing and sway all alone until entropy took over. Thus snubbed by the two most interesting creatures in the house, the cylinder stood in silence and waited for Godot, mumbling, “Nothing to be done.”

A few minutes later, the caretaker noticed that Buddy had retrieved Gray Mousie, as if to say, “I don’t care how many other toys that hooman brings into this palace. You will always be my favorite, Gray.”

The previous paragraphs are a (mostly) accurate account of the events leading up to the video linked below. As you watch it, please note that in the distance looms the new, abandoned toy. Please also notice that Buddy’s imagination allows him to stuff Monsieur Mousie under the edge of the bed, pretend he has no idea it’s there, and then sneak up on it less than a minute later. Cats are skilled at self-deception.

So now if you are ready to feast your eyes on Mousie in action, please open The Further Adventures of Gray Mousie and click the play button. It is not necessary for you to hold your applause (or your laughter) until the end. There is no point in turning up your sound because Buddy is a silent hunter. The only sounds you will hear are the hums and thumps of the washer and dryer hard at work preparing pelts for sorting.

Some things never change.

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Although our gentle readers may believe they have been treated to every excruciating detail of life with the cats, there is still much territory to be covered. Today we shall reveal a portion of previously unchronicled events which concern a small gray felt mouse, who has become Buddy’s boon companion. If the reader finds that the making (and reading) of many words is tiresome, then he or she may wish to wait until the next episode of Gray Mousie’s adventures, which will include a video of the king and his favorite toy.

Gray Mousie’s tenure in Stratford Palace began about a year ago, shortly after King Buddy ascended to the furry beige throne. Life for Gray, as we shall call him, was sadly uneventful before the caretaker obtained him. For many months he had dangled from a metal peg in the grocery store, enclosed in a plastic bag with his brothers Orange and Green. Unless their package was picked up and dropped, there was no excitement in their lives.

But one day an elderly woman shuffled down the aisle shoving bucket-loads of cat food and litter into her cart, and as she stopped in front of the toy counter, Gray Mousie held his breath. He had been hoping for his opportunity to belong to someone, somewhere. She had been hoping to find something that would keep King Buddy amused during the night so that he would not wake her. (It was quite obvious she had already lost enough beauty sleep.)

When their eyes met, both of them were quite sure their dreams had come true. Although the caretaker’s dreams would be dashed, Gray’s would not. He had found his place in the world, and he vowed not to waste a moment of the opportunity. When the caretaker opened his package and set him down on the floor, he smiled. When the pie-bald cat picked him up gently in his teeth and began carrying him through the house, he giggled, partly because it tickled, but mostly because he had found a friend and a purpose. When the pie-bald cat batted him under the sofa, he laughed out loud. Gray Mousie had found a home, and he loved every moment of his life at the Palace. His enthusiasm was contagious, and he soon became the king’s favorite. Even though he sometimes spent several days lost in a closet or under a table, he always knew that he would eventually be found again and the exciting adventures would pick up right where they had left off. He was living his dream and fulfilling his purpose, so his life was filled with gray felt joy.

We shall not bore the reader with every single incident in Gray’s life, but there are two events that must be narrated. The first was a day in which the caretaker was looking through boxes from the attic and discovered that some of Gray’s living, breathing counterparts had been rifling through the boxes. She left the box lid upside-down on the floor and went to look for an appropriate way to dispose of the gifts that Gray’s distant relatives had deposited in the box. In the meantime, Buddy appeared for his usual inspection of all-things-that-might-be-interesting, and he got a whiff of the odor of mouse. He thought for a moment about what this might mean, and he concluded that he must make a sacrifice for the sake of his friend.

With his noble head hung down in sorrow, he went to find Gray, and he marched slowly back to the box, dangling Gray by his black thread tail. As much as Buddy did not want to lose Gray’s companionship, he believed that he had found where Gray really belonged, so he walked up to the box top and dropped Gray into it.

“Goodbye, Gray Mousie. I shall miss you, but I suppose you ought to be with your own people.”

No matter how vehemently Gray objected, Buddy would not hear him. He stood staring sadly into the box as Gray lay helpless, believing his real purpose was being denied because his friend loved him enough to say goodbye.

But Buddy’s noble act did not go unrewarded. The caretaker carefully scooped Gray out of the box lid and returned him to the tragic king.

“Here, Buddy. You and Gray can still be friends. His family has already moved away. He only has you.”

Buddy celebrated by batting Gray down the hallway, and Gray breathed a sigh of relief just before breaking out into a rousing rendition of the Te Deum (Gray was, you see, a good Anglican). Truth be told, Gray was not fond of the seedier side of his family, and he greatly preferred the company of the king. But most of all, he rejoiced that his purpose in life could continue to be fulfilled.

Tune in for the next post to read of their further adventures and to see the pie-bald cat with his trusted sidekick in action . . .

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