Thursday, 22 January 2015

Misty's Diary: cat flap treachery and domestic incompetence

Another entry from Misty’s diary. In which he witnesses the curious process of handiwork undertaken by the less satisfactory element of his domestic staff.

January 2015

Well, well. It’s been amusing watching Domestic number 2 at work.

Or what he erroneously imagines to be work.

It all started when my cat flap – MY cat flap – turned treacherous and viciously assaulted me. Oh, yes. You can’t imagine what that feels like.

A cat flap’s a passageway, a means of getting into and out of a place. This one came off the door and ambushed me. There I was, innocently coming through MY entrance to the house, when suddenly it grabbed me around the waist and wouldn’t let go. A plastic frame, like nothing so much as a gaping mouth, with the flap bit still attached, like nothing so much as a ghastly tongue.

I’m not too proud to admit that I was a little anxious for a moment. Not, I repeat not, panic-stricken as some slanderous tongues have suggested. Just worried enough to take appropriate action. What ought to have been a door had turned, without warning, into jaws that had me in their clutches. 

I went straight down on my back and let it have it with all claws drawn. Never been caught in a predator’s maw like that before and, believe you me, it’s no fun. I saw it off fast and made a break for freedom.

Domestic number 1 was quite nice about it.

“Oh, poor Misty!’ she exclaimed. “The cat flap’s come right off the door and he’s stuck in it.”

Domestic number 2 just laughed. Rather distastefully, it seemed to me.

“If he weren’t so bloody fat he’d have got through without difficulty. No wonder he got caught at the waist.”

Honestly, the things he says. And then gets upset when I bite him.

Anyway, he got his comeuppance straight away.

“I’m going to go an buy a new cat flap. I’ll even buy you a jigsaw,” said Number One. “Then you can put it in this afternoon.”

He said something like “Yes, dear,” but the fear in his eyes and his drooping shoulders told a far less positive story.

She turned up with the new cat flap and hour or so later.

“This one will do. It’s for large cats or small dogs,” she announced. As though it were good news. For the record, just because all the other cats round here are feeble little creatures, doesn’t make me a big cat.

You should have seen Domestic number 2 setting to work.

I never tire of watching Domestic number 2
trying to prove he isn't completely inept
“This illustration’s no good. The screws can’t possibly go there.”

“Yes, they can,” she explained in that tone of voice she adopts when he needs something simple clarified for him. You know, each syllable carefully detached from the previous one, all enunciated terribly clearly, and a little slowly. “That’s not an illustration, it’s a template. Cut it out, pin it to the door, mark all the way round, then cut to your markings.”

Well, he didn’t. He cut a bit round the existing opening. And tried to force the cat flap in. Which didn’t work. So he cut some more off. And failed again. 

Every time he cut the saw made an appalling racket. The chap next door works nights and tries to sleep during the day. He must have cursed! The domestics used to say they had a neighbour from hell. Shes gone, but the nice family who took her place must be wondering what sort of neighbours they have. 

Domestic number 1 came to take a look.

“What you’ve cut is far too small,” she said, “just take a look at the template.”

“It’s not a template,” he said, but by then it was just a grumble, without conviction.

“Look,” she said, “let me show you.”

She took a pair of scissors and cut expertly for a few seconds. She then held a perfectly cat flap shaped piece of paper up against the door.

“See? You haven’t cut enough.”

“Oh,” he said, looking abashed. 

Ten minutes more cutting and he’d got it about right. 

He’d cut a bit too much to be honest, so the plastic bit’s a little loose in the hole, but hey, for Domestic Number 2 that’s a triumph of engineering precision.

It had only taken him an hour and a half to do a twenty-minute job. Bending the jigsaw blade beyond repair in the process.

Still, the flap works fine. Much quieter. Smoother.

And it doesn’t try to make me look fat by taking me unawares and grabbing me round the middle.


Faith A. Colburn said...

What a great picture of Misty.

I do a lot of little household repairs, but I have to say, David, they are really not my favorite thing. Forget the cat. He's just too darned critical.

David Beeson said...

Ah, a view after my own heart... I do what I can and it's not really appreciated... why should I bother so much?

Mog Blog said...

You just can't get the staff these days Misty! Xx

David Beeson said...

Alas, a much repeated complaint of his

Jill Greenfig said...

I feel that the way Domestic number 2 responds to number 1's orders is quite astounding really. I have never had such compliance from my staff. Must be well treated I feel.

David Beeson said...

Either well treated or well trained