Friday, 14 February 2014

Misty's Diary: Claws are a cat's best friends

Another in the irregular series of extracts from the diary of Misty, my cat.

February 2014

Aren’t claws hell? I don’t know how others cope, but I just can’t deal with mine.

The Chief domestic used to like to cut them. But I found using the claws judiciously soon taught her that wasn’t a smart move. Doesn’t happen any more.

I mean, I need to keep them sensibly long. Perhaps I should say effectively long. 

Most interlopers in my garden get the message when I give them a bit of the voice, and they get the message in spades if the poor old dog Janka joins me – you should see them race for the fence without bothering to find out what I don’t intend to tell them: she’s not the sharpest tooth in the jaw, and a complete softie, frightened of her own shadow, for all that crazy yapping.

The ball of fluff: just an old softie really
I don't mind letting her share her blanket with me
But if the voice doesn’t work, and the the ball of barking wool’s not around, it’s nice to know I can count on twenty finely sharpened and deep-reaching weapons to back up my teeth.

On the other hand, and I know this is a weakness, I’m fond of a blanket. 

With the chief domestic
Lot of comfort in a blanket, to be honest
Trouble is, if the claws are the right length for a scrap, they’re the right length to get caught in cloth. Then, dammit, I can’t get them out any more. 

Does that make me feel dumb! 

All I can do is complain. Loudly. And hope one of the domestics comes over to help me out. Sometimes it’s the doggy-friend. Not that she’s actually all that useful, it’s just that a good caterwaul gets her going, and she’s over like a shot. Don’t know what it is, but if I see something smelling canine and barking at the top of her voice coming straight at me, somehow the claws sort themselves out and withdraw without any help. Must be some deep instinct in me, I suppose.

The number 2 domestic says it’s ‘atavistic’.

No idea what that means but, hey, I don’t expect he knows either. He likes to use complicated words. As far as I
m concerned, as long as he understands ‘dry food’, ‘wet food’, ‘water’ and ‘no, not in a bowl you moron, dripping from the bath tap’, that’s more than enough vocabulary. But he likes to use obscure terms because he thinks they make him clever. So that’s why we get ‘atavistic’.

In fact, he’s always trying to be clever. When I got my claws stuck in his duvet the other day, what did he do? Did he get up and help? Did he heck. He laughed. And made some sarcastic comment. Like ‘teach him to let his claws grow so long.’ 

He even said ‘Just let Janka loose on him. He’ll soon withdraw them. It’ll be stronger than him, the instinct to get away. Just leave him to his own devices.’

I didn’t say anything just then. I just bided my time. Because I know him. He likes what he calls ‘playing’. It means waving his hand vaguely in my direction, in the hope I’ll attack it. Gently, of course, with velveted paws.

Dream on.

I taught him. Velvet my paws? After he’s laughed at me? Not a chance. I got him good and proper. And showed him how claws the right length combine just perfectly with, if I say so myself, some neatly sharpened teeth.

Ha, you want to play do you?
You thought I'd forgotten about you laughing at me?
He who laughs last lasts longest, they say. And they’re right. And boy, is it sweet.

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