Saturday, 8 January 2011

Sloth/human hybrid

It's 2.10pm and I have just parted ways with my pyjamas, after a morning of eXtreme sloth, executed with military zeal from the middle of my bed. The sloth was in honour of last night's kitten vigil, as we waited for Harriet and Beatrice to come inside from their romp-athlon about town.

If H & B don't get a couple of hours of daily al fresco exercise, they spend the night bouncing on human pancreases and attacking human toes in the manner of hyperactive carnivorous lemurs. The trouble with their taking their constitutionals, however, is that Beatrice is a pinky, and though her preference is to lounge about in the sun in the manner of Brigitte Bardot, the result would be great hideous tragic skin cancers, possibly (google seems not be working, so I can't check) also in the manner of Brigitte Bardot's. To butter her in sun-screen would comprise a violation of civil liberties tantamount to bathing her, and so we wait til the sun is two-thirds dropped, make sure her bird-alarm-system is at full tintinnabulation, and tell her to go play in the shade. This she and Harriet have generally done, and with a few notable and anxiogenic exceptions, they've generally brought themselves back inside two or three hours later, romped out enough to make pleasant bedfellows.

But we're not in Kansas anymore. Here, up in not-Kansas, where there are exciting things like hedges!, unmown lawns (ours)!, ways of getting onto the shed roof!, Harriet and Beatrice have turned into feline delinquents, staying out til all hours and not even texting. In further evidence of their delinquency, when Harriet does come home, she is bearing an unripe apple from nextdoor's apple tree.

Harriet Cat's stolen apples

This is one hundred per cent true and not a lie. You can see them in the picture above. She brings them home and drops them next to the dining table. Also an apricot from next door's apricot tree, but as it was ripe on one side I ate half of it before I thought to take the photo. I'm not sure if the reason she's bringing home apples rather than mice or locusts or caterpillars is because she knows this is Vegan January, or because the apples are easier to catch. Either way, I'm impressed by her criminal audacity, and hoping that it continues when the apples get bigger and tastier.

What I'm also impressed by (this is how to contrive an elegant segue, kids), is the neighbours' commitment to food gardening. No. 10 has not only this cat-pleasing apple and fantastically fructiferous apricot, but also a lemon and a giant beautiful fig tree. No. 6 is all mulberries and stone fruit, with a neat line of shallots marching along in front of their zinnias. In the midst of this edible paradise, all that was growing in our brand new garden was a concrete gum tree stump and a vigorous colony of dandelions (no, I lie: also a golden diosma, an ornamental bookleaf conifer, and a variegated pittosporum), but we're gradually stirring up the clay and finding places for nectarines and peaches and feijoas and beans (and tomatoes, which are flowering but refusing to fruit - which is their choice of course, and I respect it) and a fancy little lemon tree my sister bequeathed us for Christmas. There will be produce, dognammit, and I will be documenting it with unseemly pride.

For now, though, Beatrice and Harriet are leading the way by sleeping their socks off, and I think getting dressed constitutes sufficient hard labour for today.


livebird said...

I like what I can only assume are puncture marks in the apples.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

That's our Haz, fiercest apple slayer in the north.

Sue said...

Over the years our cats have brought home childrens toys (chewed so I didn't try and find the owners) a full size paintbrush, and much to our embarrassment lamb loin chops and fish fillets which had obviously be set out to thaw. Fruit, no, though one of our cats did have a passion for avocado - but insisted they be ripe and unblemished. So I was thrilled to learn that others own hunter/gathering cats

Ampersand Duck said...

My last, late pussy once discovered a punnet of cherry tomatoes on the kitchen table, and with slow consideration, sunk a fang into one of them. So pleased was she by the satisfying sensation of the fang puncturing the skin of the fruit that she punctured each tomato lovingly, then jumped off the table, leaving a punnet of oozing red things.

Purrhaps the apples provide similar satisfaction?

(WV= sperph, too good to ignore. Would be a fab Scrabble word.)

Mitzi G Burger said...

It is not hard to see why H and B are the apples (and future feijoas) of your eye(s). Happy planting!

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Sue, that's rooly excellent. I'm sure it's there way of contributing to the pack's (pride's?) food supplies. I hope you smothered your cat with gratitude for the delicious paintbrush.

Duck, that's a v. special story. My sister was once cat sitting for my other sister and left two thirds of a packet of TimTams open on the coffee table. When she woke up, she discovered that the chocolate had been carefully licked away from round the biscuit.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Thanks, MGB. Feijoas should be doubling their height every week in this rain.

brokenbiro said...

I love the word tintinnabulation. One so rarely has the opportunity to use it.

I had a lemon tree once - twenty five years and three thousand miles away. *sigh*