Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Gala Morning Ballet

In response to every one's questions, sadly the answer is: 'No.' No, I have not sold off any of the Tiny Babies yet. I need to create an actual 'selling page' I expect, where they are shown in all of their beauty, with their pedigrees displayed. My own photographs are less than satisfactory and I await another photographer who has made a number of dates she yet has to keep.

In any case, the first visit of the morning to the Cats' bathroom always is somewhat of an ordeal for me as I never know how much havoc will have resulted from my very few 'off-duty' hours in the wee hours of the morning when I finally catch a little sleep.

I suppose I should not have been surprised when the heady odours of the litter boxes attracted a fly this morning. He must have entered the chamber when I did, but I had not seen nor heard any evidence of his existence until then.

As I began my seemingly endless (and often thankless) task of clearing out the litter boxes, I suddenly realised that the attention of every single Cat, young, younger and older, was fixed upon a single object. At the same time, I became conscious of a loud buzzing. In the small room, the sound of the buzzing was amplified a hundredfold. Every head was turned towards the same small object, a Fly that careened from wall to wall, obviously aware of the terrible error of judgement it had made when it followed me into the feline chambre de toilette.

What followed then was one of the most entertaining examples of performance theatre I have ever experienced. While the Fly performed increasingly desperate and wild manoeuvres to escape its fate, 11 heads continued to follow its movements. Cats are not like humans in this respect. When their eyes follow a moving object, their heads follow it as well. I would have to research the reason for this. It seems that they COULD watch an object simply by moving their eyes from side to side. After all, their eyes are similar to ours in that they both face the front, unlike the eyes of a cow, horse or bird. In any case, the eleven heads turned, the Fly's movements became increasingly drunken as it crashed from wall to wall while its buzzing became more hypnotic, rather like the vuvuzela horns that are so much a constant counterpoint to the 2010 World Cup games.

By the time I realised that I ought to capture the performance on video, it had ended abruptly and rather mysteriously. Did one particularly dexterous and intrepid Putti catch the Fly? Was it devoured in an instant? Did it die of sheer fatigue and, having perished, no longer interest the Cats? Or, horrible thought, did it somehow find an escape route through a crack in the door or dilapidated wainscoting?
I missed the last act of this particular drama...

When the buzzing ceased and the Dance of the Fly ended, the audience broke up and, like any audience at a performance, its members went their separate ways. The Tiny Babies with their insatiable taste for entertainment, attempted to find a substitute, but the little gaily-coloured plastic balls containing small bells that usually delighted and excited them, failed to move them now. They batted a couple of them about in a desultory manner before abandoning them in the middle of the floor...

I suspect that their toys never again will have the allure they once possessed. Having witnessed a live performance, nothing ever will be quite equal to THAT.

A final thought: The fact that the flight of the Fly continued for about ten minutes does not reflect positively upon the hunting abilities of the De Conde Cats. My Cats never, never have been heroes where the world of Nature is concerned. When Leo first was confronted by the sight of Kiffle, a little trembling Chinchilla, he exhibited a degree of terror suited more to the sight of a Monster in a horror film than a small, caged rodent. (In fact, he soiled himself! I hesitate to publish the humiliating fact, but it is so unbelievable...)

In another stunning example of the cowardice of the De Conde Cats, the patriarch of the family, Ashleigh Attila lived in abject terror of his own offspring for two and a half months! So deep was his fear that he actually lost weight because he was too terrified to move past them to his food. I had to hand-feed him...

Like all Cats who cohabit with human beings, mine trust me to exhibit the powers of a god or goddess and no doubt they believe that I could organise a repeat performance by the Acrobatic Fly. In all honesty, I actually am rather surprised that this was the first example of the species they ever encountered. It has to be a tribute to my unrelenting menial service in clearing the litter boxes. No wonder I am exhausted all the time.


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  2. You have created a little literary masterpiece here. Your way of telling the story made me smile and laugh throughout the performance of the Acrobatic Fly. I could see the cats as a tennis audience. I'm glad you discussed their general cowardice and lack of hunting prowess because I wondered how the fly evaded all of those kitties for so long. Never mind, their forte is beauty.

    Wonderful scenes, wonderful writing.

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Fleming. You are too kind!