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We introduced our gentle readers to Buddy’s nemesis, Ginger Peach, a few months back, but the orange menace has not made himself known for several weeks. Therefore, please mark down today, 16 May, in the year of our Lord 2013, as the day of Buddy’s waking nightmare, an episode of Cat TV he will not soon forget: Ginger Peach standing on the other side of the storm door. In this case, the storm was all Buddy.

Knock, Knock

Knock, Knock

What cannot be fully captured in a photo is the raw, frantic violence with which Buddy scratched at the glass. What CAN be captured reasonably well is the utter nonchalance of Ginger Peach. Confident in the safety provided by the door, he approached Hurricane Buddy for a closer look:

Cat hatred

“Well, hello there, little fella.”

This cheeky move raised the hair on the back of Buddy’s neck and increased the speed of his glass scratching. Ginger, in the meantime, seemed genuinely interested in making civil contact with the poor little kitty trapped behind bars and glass. Neither contact nor civility were on today’s agenda, however, so he soon became bored and began to turn away. This snub only increased Buddy’s ire.

Ginger Peach

“I think I hear my mom calling.”

As Ginger Peach began to look for a graceful exit, Buddy continued to look for a weakness in the glass, but alas, none was to be found. Despite Buddy’s desperate attempts to make contact in his own way, Ginger Peach wandered off in search of adventures. And perhaps in search of a Welcome mat that does not actually mean “You are welcome to die.”

cat

“Don’t go, GP! I have not killed you yet!”

At the moment of this writing, Buddy is lying across the threshold, breathing hard and straining for another look at GP. We will spare him the humility of posting THAT photo.

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Though the cats have lived at Stratford Palace for almost nine months, they are still discovering just how many rivals they have in this strange new land that has many boxy houses and very few trees. An early encounter with Tortie Muldoon was chronicled in verse a few months ago, but since that time, the tortoiseshell scoundrel has made herself scarce. She was, however, spotted (pun intended) glaring into the dining room window during one of the Christmas feasts. Fortunately, Buddy and Bear were so occupied trying to avoid being seen by the hoomans that they didn’t notice the uppity minx walking the deck rail like a circus acrobat. The caretaker and Other Momma watched Tortie for a while, but soon she tired of ogling food she couldn’t reach and so moved on.

During the past few months, two other cats have been seen exactly once each in the outlying areas: a black cat looked on from the porch next door as the caretaker brought in groceries one Caturday, and one Sunday night a white cat wandered amid the garbage bins across the street. Not much to write home about, all in all.

That is until recently, when all fury broke loose in the form of an orange-and-white demon referred to in the palace as Ginger Peach, or sometimes GP for short. Like Tortie, GP has no regard for property rights or for royalty and will saunter onto the palace grounds and taunt Buddy whenever the mood strikes him. The most recent encounter with GP was the source of much upheaval in the palace, and it nearly caused Buddy to go completely mad. The caretaker was getting ready to run errands one Caturday during the holidays when she noticed that Buddy was bounding from room to room in an apparent attempt to get a better look at something outside. Curious, she followed him, but she finally gave up on trying to figure out what had Buddy’s heart racing and his feet along with it.

But as the caretaker backed down the driveway, she saw the offender emerging from the bushes in the flower bed, which was well in view of the largest Cat TV in the house. His game of hide-and-seek with Buddy was very much like the shenanigans that Tabby Lee and Mr. Shorty used to perpetrate at the Seafoam Cottage. Given that this desolate land where the palace is located provides no squirrels, few birds, and almost no cats to hate, all of Buddy’s energies were poured into that one encounter with Ginger Peach. And he was not amused.

Whatever transpired while the caretaker was away, GP was gone by the time she returned. As she brought in sacks filled with groceries, Buddy emerged from his throne room to conduct the obligatory inspection of the larder goods. Thank goodness for the small favor that he can be so easily distracted by food. Otherwise, his head may have exploded.

But no doubt his hatred for GP has not been quenched, so be it known that His Majesty Merlin “Buddy” Blacktail is preparing for the Great GP War, and this time he will show his mettle. He is Gandalf the White and Black, and you, Ginger Peach are a Balrog who shall not pass into his fair and happy palace. Mainly because there’s a window between you and him, but nevertheless, YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

So watch yourself, Flame of Udûn. King Buddy knows how to put you out.

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