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Treacle's diary. Extracts from the blog of a feline secret agent.

Munday 29 June. 10.00-20.00 hours
Famine conditions
It's a good basic rule to eat all you can whenever you can. In this uncertain world, you can never be certain that the next meal will be coming along as scheduled. I, with my training in these matters am well ahead of the game in contrast to my human staff. So, now that the going has got tough, I'm better prepared to cope than they. I noticed that they were looking concerned a week or two back when I waddled into the room for nineses. (That's the snack that comes between the after-breakfast snack and elevenses.) Sure enough, there's a food shortage. I've noticed that my portions are both smaller and less nutritious than before. But whereas I have taken the precaution of adding a substantial layer of fat to my ribs, the staff are totally unprepared.

The other day I was sitting by the table whilst they were eating supper. Just as it happens. Well, perhaps being helpful, in that I might clean up any food that inadvertently might fall, but certainly not, under any circumstances, begging. I wasn't even interested in food just then, to be honest. Hadn't crossed my mind that female staff might take a forkful of what she was eating and put it on the floor beside me with the comment 'It's tofu, you won't like it.' Like it? I gave it one disgusted sniff, and turned and mimed kicking dirt over it. I thought I had it tough right now. The humans are really suffering.
Tuesday June 1. 4.00 hours
Bonding with the staff
Dawn is just beginning to break as I slide from the sofa in the lounge and pad down the morning-grey corridor to the bedroom. Junior staff, in their bone-idle way, are still both deeply asleep. I hop on to the bed, and snuggle up next to female junior staff. Without waking up, she obligingly moves back a bit to make room for me. I snuggle closer, and begin to purr.

For a while nothing happens, except that male staff begins to snore in harmony. I move until junior female staff and I are almost nose to nose, and up the purr a few more decibels. In response female staff moves back some more, and there's a crash as male staff gets pushed off his side of the bed.

Muttering under his breath, he makes his way around to my side of the bed and climbs in. He gives a look at the alarm clock, decides to sleep a bit more and closes his eyes. I settle back on the bed. Male staff breathes in and gets a mouthful of fur and my second intercostal rib, as I have inadvertently lain down over his breathing apparatus. All he does is roll over and resignedly pull the pillow over his head, so he can't even hear my purring. Contentedly I walk down his backbone, and start kneading the sheets with my paws. Male staff gives a howl of pain and leaps from the bed. I regard him with bland apology. Oh, yes. I had my claws out, and your buttocks were under the sheet, weren't they? My bad. But since you are up, how about getting my breakfast?
Sunday 25 May. 15.00-17.00 hours
Bone idle
Cats are clean. My job demands that I look suave and superior at all times. In fact I would go so far as to claim that looking suave and superior is, to a large extent, my job. So imagine my anguish and indignation when I got up from an afternoon snoozing on the window sill and discovered that one entire flank was covered with a thick layer of dust. Junior female staff was cleaning this room just the other day. I know because at the time I was lying under the coffee table with all four legs in the air in what we feline professionals call the 'vulture bait' position. At the time I thought she did not disturb me there out of consideration, but taking the undusted window sill into account, I realize that it was just idleness.

And he's just as bad. I've sat on the sofa for hours on a Saturday afternoon watching him staring at that flickering box, and only stirring now and again to get himself a beer and the occasional snack for me. The other day I saw him give up weeding the herbaceous border after half an hour, claiming the sun was too hot. Now I'm sorry, but I was sunbathing on the wall right next to him, and I know for a fact that the sun was just moderately warm.

Just yesterday afternoon I found that I had fallen asleep whilst doing a stake-out on the garage roof. As this evidently meant that I was seriously undernourished, I went indoors to refuel. Do you know, it took a solid minute of nagging before that idle woman stopped cooking her own supper and fed me? This despite my exhaustion being so extreme that I went on to the end of the bed upstairs and slept for the rest of the evening. I'm going to have to be stricter with the staff. I can't stand laziness.
Wendesday 22 May. 6.00-8.00 hours

What's this? Why have I, a creature well known for my fondness for the finer things of life, demanded to be let out into the chilly pre-dawn air - and on a Sunday morning at that? It's because I'm being bugged. The little swine almost certainly climbed into my fur as I was hunting in the long grass by the bridge last week, and no amount of scratching has managed to dislodge them. Well there's more than one way to purify a cat's skin.

I relax and enjoy the sunrise, and the sensation of goosebumps elevating my fur. That's about cold enough I estimate. Time to get one of the junior staff out of bed to let me in. Few minutes later, as I suspected, now he's up male staff is making the tea. I trot past him and up the stairs to the bedroom.

'Isn't it sweet?' female staff says a few minutes later. 'Treacle rushed in here and plopped right in the part of the bed where you were lying.'

Sweet indeed. I can feel the slight tickle as the fleas abandon my icy hide for the cuddly human warmth of the bed. These are cat fleas, and can't really thrive on human blood. But everyone will have a lot of fun whilst they discover this. I'm fortunate that they are not really very intelligent.

The fleas, I mean.
Sunday 12 May. 4.00-4.30 hours
Falling for you
Part of my job is to supervise and protect the junior staff. This is not without its hazards, as will be seen.

It's 4 a.m. and all through the house, several creatures are stirring, though not, in fact, a mouse. (I disembowelled the last of these sneaky little infiltrators a month ago, and Darwinism has taught the survivors that HQ is not a safe place to be.) No, female staff is stirring because she is quietly seething that male staff got back at 1 am smelling very strongly of beer (Old Woolsack peculiar, my nose informs me, with an underlying tequila bouquet.)

Probably the latter has given male staff the pounding head and queasy stomach that has him seeking medicaments from the downstairs kitchen drawer. Naturally, as is my duty, I precede him downstairs to ensure that all is well. Aha! Movement? Some dirty rat trying to sneak in through the window? Has another bat got in? Frozen into invisibility on the staircase, I shiver with anticipation (the last bat was such fun...) and stare intently at the moving shadow.

False alarm. Just the wind moving shadows from the streetlight. Instinct and superb reflexes shoot me upstairs just as a heavy clod-hopping foot descends on my neck. I pause two steps up and watch with interest as male staff takes the final flight of steps on shoulder, backside, ribs, and ..shoulder? Ah, no, chin.

Thanks to my lightning reactions, no harm was done. Hair mussed mildly, and dignity slightly wounded, but trivial stuff really. Basically I'm fine. Still, junior staff might have checked me over before they took him to casualty. I wonder if they'll treat his hangover whilst he's there?

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