Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The point of mice

Having seen the look on Jess's face when she opened the kitchen door this morning, I'm reduced to philosophical speculation upon the POINT of mice.

What do they actually do? What are they there for?

Mice don't work for their living: unlike us cats who destress humans with our soft fur and our supposed antics, and keep the house clear of vermin; and unlike beastly dogs, who make a lot of noise if anyone tries to come in who shouldn't. Mice don't eat insects, unlike birds. They don't look particularly cute, at least not to me. All they do is knaw through things, leave a mess of droppings and occasionally make a home owner scream. So what is the point of them?

Mice are good for two things: a) food for owls, hawks and cats who are not fortunate enough to be fed Science Plan Reduced Calorie Formula; b) fun for cats, and a way of proving our usefulness to our owners.

Oh yes, Jess, you may have taken one look at the kitchen floor today, then turned round and yelled "TOM! HELP!" - as you often do. But I'd have liked to see your expression if that mouse had been alive. Oh yes.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Bad news. Bill the fictional ginger mog cannot be based on me at all - because, I am reliably informed, he does laps. As I have explained, I will not stoop to such things. But in that book, Adam is discovered one night, unable to sleep, sitting in his armchair sipping a drink, with Bill the Ginger Cat on his knee, being cuddled. The pity of it, Iago. The pity of it.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Literary fame is mine

The owners of Artie-at-No-17 went to Jess's author evening the other day, apparently. At the end of the readings came question time. Mrs-Artie's-Owner put up her hand and asked whether there were any cats in the book. I couldn't believe that Jess had actually selected passages to read that did NOT contain the feline stars of the story, but...

The good news, however, is that there are cats and they are crucial. Sasha, Adam and their children - the family on which the book centres - have two, named Bill and Ben (a certain generation of British adults collapse in fits of laughter when hearing those names together. I can't work it out.) Bill is ginger, Ben is black. Lisa, Sasha's lonely sister, has a black and white cat named Igor, after Stravinsky. Igor plays a particularly vital role, but my favourite, of course, is Bill. He comforts Sasha when she is upset, so he's a hero. But as he is a ginger cat living on a cul-de-sac in East Sheen, there can be no doubt that he is based on ME. Were he unduly fluffy, I'd worry that he might have been based on Artie, but no: Bill is a good, plain ginger mog of the very best kind.

My owner has preserved me on paper for all time. I shall be immortal, in the form of Bill. How many cats can say the same? Prrrrr prrrrrrrrrrr prrrrrrrrr prrrrrrrrrrrr...