Tuesday, 31 March 2009

MULTIPLY Creative Challenge #46: Hanging in the Balance

"Here I am again, the most beautiful, curvaceous long haired black cat around here, commonly known as Nera by Mr. and Mrs. Human. You want to know what is hanging in the balance, well I can tell you a story that makes a cat lose at least one of its nine lives, when not more."
"Nera what are you doing on my computer and what sort of horror story are you telling people. Yours lives are all intact, if anyone looses a life around here it will be me or Mr. Human living with three cats who seem to be organising our life." I was a bit annoyed with Nera sitting at my computer without asking, just as I wanted to write something.
"Mrs. Human, just take a look at this photo. Tabby and I took it when you was in bed last night."

Play centre - before the repair

"It's a photo of your play center" I said
"Mrs. Human that is no longer a play center but a complete wreck and dangerous. Our feline lives are hanging in the balance using it. Even Fluffy, the youngest and most stupid cat amongst us, refuses to sit on it any more."
"Nera Fluffy is not stupid, he is just a bit younger than you are, and I see nothing wrong with it. Admittedly we had to make a few repairs and through constant sharpening of 3 cat's claws the string got loosened. Luckily Mr. Human stuck it together again, but it looks like we will have to stick a bit more."
"Stick a bit more, you must be joking Mrs. Human. Neither I nor my other feline colleagues here would not even look at that play centre with our back ends as it stands at the moment. I met Roschti, the neighbour's cat a few days ago and he asked if the humans are taking over where I live. He saw the play center through the window. I had to tell him to stop laughing and with a swipe of my paw calmed him down, but I really don't want to start defending the honour of our cat colony here in our home against such lowly felines as Roschti and his cronies. Something must be done."
"What do you mean Nera. What should be done?"
"I don't care how you do it, but make sure that a new, perfect, complete cat center is available by the end of the week, according to our feline tastes. And by the way it is not a "play centre" as you humans say. We cats do not play on the centre. We have serious work to do there. Sharpening claws and sleeping on the top level belong to our survival training. This has nothing to do with "play". It has a very important purpose in our lives - which are hanging in the balance at the moment through the disregard of the human species who are allowed to live with us. Do something Mrs. Human, but at once."

So what could I do. Under such threats and glaring yellow eyes, Nera was being very serious and not wanting to live with 3 spitting, aggressive cats I had a word with Mr. Human. He said he had been thinking about the problem for some time and so he made a journey to the pet shop. A day later Tabby patted me on the foot with he claw.

"Mrs. Human, what about our exercise centre. Nera told me she had a serious talk with you. What is being done about it, we cats are patient, but even our patience comes to an end. I am sure you would not want us to start sharpening our claws on the human furniture, or sleeping in your beds."
"Ok, Tabby, well Mr. Human has now gone to town to see what can be done. You must admit that the complete play centre, sorry exercise centre. does not have to be replaced, but just certain parts. He is now at the pet shop talking to the manager."
"Pet shop, excuse me but we are not pets. You can use that word for birds, mice or hamsters, even a stupid dog, that only does what he is told. We cats are a bit more than that. When I think of my ancestors in the Egyptian corn chambers being worshipped as gods ....."
"OK Tabby, I know that one, so save it for another time."

In the meanwhile Mr. Human arrived home with a long parcel containing a scratching post of the smaller size. He explained this was to replace the smaller scratching post on the play centre and if the screws fitted, he could order the larger one.

"Did you hear that Tabby and Nera" I said
"Tabby and Nera have gone for a walk, Mrs. Human, but I am here" and up spoke Tabby the youngest of the three.
"I heard what Mr. Human said, so we will have to wait another few days for the complete overhaul to be made on our exercise centre. I don't think Nera and Tabby will be happy about that."
"No we are not happy, but I suppose we will just have to put up with it; typical humans. If you had ask us what we wanted for Catmas, we would have said new claw sharpening posts for the exercise centre, but we were not asked. All we got was an extra portion of tuna fish and a toy mouse stuffed with catnip." Tabby and Nera returned from their walk.
"Yes cats, ok, you are right again. Next Catmas will ask you what you have for a wish."

Two days later there was a telephone call from the pet shop. Mr. Human and I were out, but the cats were at home.
"Mrs. Human, the man called from the cat exercise centre supplier. He said that the extra long post had arrived and Mr. Human can pick it up. I told him that Mr. Human would call past this afternoon. I also mentioned that he should perhaps order another three or four in case such an emergency would occur again and he had some reserves in stock. He didn't seem very happy about that, but when I told him who I was, Nera the chief cat in the village, he agreed, so we shouldn't have this problem re-occurring in the future."
"Nera I am glad you have everything under control." If she was not so keen on car journeys, I am sure she would have gone with Mr. Human in the afternoon to pick up the post. Anyhow Mr. Human arrived home with another large parcel containing the new extra large cat post pieces. It was so long that two pieces had to be screwed together.

"Satisfied now Nera, Tabby and Fluffy. How do you find the new renovated exercise centre.?"
"Not too bad Mrs. Human" said Nera "The join between the two posts is not so aesthetic, but I suppose you can't have everything where humans are concerned. I now have to do the special Nera test and will let you know. Now please don't bother me, I have to concentrate on the test."

Play centre with Nera - after the repair

The test consisted of Nera climbing up to the top of the play centre, making circular movements and laying on the top level. A minute later she was sleeping. Tabby and Fluffy watched attentively and when she was asleep they both clapped their paws and went off to their own corners for their afternoon sleep.

It seems the new renovated cat play centre/exercise centre passed the Nera test. So what did we learn today. That the happiness and well being of a feline life is definitely hanging in the balance if the play sorry exercise centre is not in order. The man at the pet shop also learned that he has to keep a stock of spare parts in case it happens again. The peace and quiet in the human/cat household have now been restored.

Creative Challenge #46: Hanging in the Balance

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