Friday, 28 February 2014

The Kitty Letter Chronicles: Slip-sliding away

There's a proud feline tradition of skating
- even when forced to wear wheels!
Over the past couple of weeks, the humans seem to have become captivated by the sight of tiny people in the box with the moving pictures cavorting about on lots of white stuff whilst wearing a series of increasingly odd-looking outfits that hug every lump and bump of their physique.

In particular, DanglyMan’s mother (she of the soft voice, but hard hand when I deliver an affectionate nip) seemed especially fond of watching couples with knives trapped to their feet and wiggling about together in a huge room paved with ice.

Sometimes I despair at how unobservant you humans are. There she is, sitting on the guest spot on the sofa (the one I’m turfed out of the minute anyone comes to visit), waxing lyrical about some pair from unknown places like Russia, or China, as they slip and slide about the screen.

And yet, when I put on my own display of elegant sliding choreography - live in their living, up-close and in person - without the benefit of technical embellishment in the form of skates, all they do is yowl “Scram, cat!” and poke me with the wet thing on a stick they’re wiping the floor with.

Honestly, I’m surrounded by Philistines! (Whatever a Philistine is, when it’s at home).

This morning, however, was different. DanglyMan had just finished with the wet thing on a stick and had settled down next to Big Red as she tapped away incessantly at the black box on the table. Seeing as he looked loathe to get up again, I decided to take advantage of the freshly wet floor to treat them to a display of virtuoso cat-skating with nothing but the claws nature gave me for traction and control.

Now, I’m sure you know that I am no Show Off by nature, but I do take a pride in my performance. So, when I saw that – for once! – I had the undivided attention of my humans, it behooved me to give them a show to remember.

Taking a long run-up from the corridor, I flew onto the kitchen rink to slide gracefully to the far corner, where I expertly executed a ‘pas de chat’ and mid-air twist. On landing, I elegantly transitioned to a four-legged standing split, before introducing a whimsical ‘running to stand still’ skit (remembering one of the Golden Rules of Showbiz – Make ‘em laugh!) and launching myself into a mid-floor display of standing jumps.

It’s bloody hard work, I can tell you. But I’m a true pro and always remember that I have to maintain the illusion that my performance is as natural and effortless as licking my backside, so the entire performance was delivered with pricked ears, wide eyes and a manic grin like the ones I’ve seen on the faces of the human skaters charging round the box with the moving pictures.

My routine came to a rousing end with my ‘piéce de resistance’ – a dizzying, high speed spin mid-floor, a triple somersault vault and my finishing leap…. face-first into the wall (which I course was my intention).

It had been the performance of my lifetime, given as a special gala display for the humans. And yet, as I sat there panting lightly waiting for their applause and the judges’ result…   they just went back to whatever nonsense they’d been up to before.

I looked in disbelief from Big Red to DanglyMan, half expecting them to laugh and say “Fooled you!” before holding up an array of perfect ten scorecards.

But no. Nothing. Red went back to her infernal tap-tappity-tapping and Dangly got up to light yet another of his smokey, stinky rolls of paper.

They say that it is the fate of every great artist to go unrecognised in his lifetime. So, I swallowed my pride and skulked off to do something unthinkable to Red’s dressing gown where she’s foolishly left it on the bedroom floor (serves her right, the slattern!).

But not before giving one last, slipping slide and wiggle as I turned my back on my ungrateful audience.

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