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For various boring reasons, life at Stratford Palace has felt a bit like a horror flick recently, so today we bring you the second installment in our “Buddy Hitchcat Presents” series.

The morning’s peace was rent asunder by the dreadful beeping of the alarm, whose sudden and, well, alarming tones were a sinister harbinger. The caretaker breakfasted on a bowl of microwave bread pudding. (Just the fact that she was eating her own cooking was frightening in itself.) After she finished her coffee, she started her ablutions, and Bear soon wandered into the bathroom as is her custom. As is also her custom, Bear defied gravity (and a lot of it, we might add) by jumping onto the porcelain chair that is conveniently located by the sink. Little did she know that the caretaker’s new toothbrush was about to ruin her entire morning.

Poor Bear had barely closed her eyes for her fifth nap of the morning when a positively dreadful noise, much like the engine of a small biplane, invaded her slumber and began to fill the room. The startled cat fled in terror. Her exit strategy was not as artful as Cary Grant’s escape from the crop-duster that chased him down that lonely road, but it got the job done. She had hit the ground and was halfway to Indiana before the caretaker even realized there was a problem. Though the Palace is not completely unfamiliar with the concept of crop-dusting, this particular form was new and buzzy and thus quite disturbing.

CUT!

At this point, Buddy Hitchcock sauntered in to take control.

Buddy Hitchcock examines the props

Buddy Hitchcock examines the props

As pleased as he was with the terror that had been inflicted upon Bear, Buddy didn’t think the plane was quite frightening enough, so he requested more volume. But alas, after extensive negotiations with the propmaster, he was unable to reach a compromise. In fact, she soon shut down the plane, and silence fell once again upon the Palace. Unfortunately, this silence was not peaceful but grim and foreboding, for Buddy had already returned to his director’s chair to rewrite the script. The plane had obviously done all the damage it could do at the moment, but there are myriad ways to create mayhem in the Palace.

Buddy knows them all.

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Rear Window

We have spoken in recent posts about the big-screen Cat TVs that are readily available throughout Stratford Palace, so it seemed only appropriate to give our gentle readers a virtual tour, hosted by Buddy and Bear.

Let us begin our tour with the front window, which is the largest. This morning the caretaker had to run out for a quick errand, and she made the mistake of not telling Buddy goodbye. When she returned, this was the sight that met her:

Where have you been?

Where have you been?

Although they dare not let her know how impressed they really are, the cats secretly admire the caretaker’s courage in leaving the Palace to forage for food. Bear could not imagine roaming that far from the couch, and poor Buddy remembers the sheer terror he experienced during his failed quest for a porch (Buddy’s Greatest Adventure).

Now that we have introduced you to the front window, let us turn, quite literally, to the side window. This may be the only residence in the world that tries to simulate a greenhouse. One can only conjecture that the architect had claustrophobia (which is, of course, the fear of enclosed spaces, not the fear of Claus von Bülow).

Bear does not spend a great deal of time in the side window because her favorite perch is near the front window, so we will show you the classic side-window scene:

Lookout

Lookout

Gentle reader, your eyes do not deceive you. Buddy is perched on top of the caretaker’s boring TV so that he can have a better view of Cat TV. This window looks out over the carport, and it provides a partial view of the neighbor’s house and yard. At least once every two weeks the caretaker will get out of her car at the end of the day, glance at the window, and be scared out of her wits at seeing a set of wild golden-green eyes fixed on her, as if to say, “Welcome home, prey.”

But today the most popular Cat TV was the dining room window. On her way to the kitchen, the caretaker noticed Bear staring violently out into the back yard. Although the caretaker never was able to see what had captured Bear’s attention, she could only imagine that a bird or bug had flown by and was now being stalked by Lady Bugbane.

Lady Bugbane

Lady Bugbane

But then the stalker became the stalkee:

Stalking the Stalker 1

Stalking the Stalker 1

No, gentle reader, those are not bright, happy rays of sunshine beaming down on Bear. Those are menacing whiskers, waiting for the right moment to pounce.

Stalking the Stalker 2

Stalking the Stalker 2

As Bear crouches down to hide from her enemy outside, she never suspects that a far greater enemy is right there in the house with her—a classic horror movie clip if ever there was one. In fact, it is reminscent of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller. At this moment, Bear is Grace Kelly, playing the part of Lisa, and Buddy is Raymond Burr, playing the part of the wicked Mr. Thorwald. That would make the caretaker Jimmy Stewart, playing the part of the injured photographer Jeff. And as the caretaker looks out through the rear window at her flower plot and draws this analogy, she only hopes there is not a Mrs. Thorwald buried somewhere in the back yard.

So in many ways this remake of Rear Window is quite disconcerting, but please judge it on its own merits. The cats would do the same for you. Probably.

But we shall not leave our gentle readers in suspense. Bear has decreed that there shall be a happy ending, and so the curtain falls on this irenic scene, which was made possible by the lovely accident of finding a shared foe:

Haply ever after

Haply ever after

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