Chenna

Of cats old and new

Today it is a year since I lost my devilcat. A whole year. Really hard to believe.

About a month ago, realising how time was simply slipping on by without me noticing, I earmarked last weekend as the time to adopt a new furry feline friend.

This is Lucia. She’s a three year old black tortoiseshell. Very cute. Very similar, in fact, to our old family cat, Moggie.

Lucia_day1

Miss Lucia, aged 3

Lucia and I have enjoyed hanging out this week. I’m not sure of her full history yet, but I do know she’s been moved around a few times this year, so I think she may see my house as a way station. But she’s pretty chilled out about it.

She’s figured out that Chenna’s old cushion on the sofa by the window is a pretty cool place to sleep — I have covered it with a fleece blanket that’s nice and soft. And she thinks sleeping on my bed overnight is a bit of all right. She also seems to like hanging out with a few soft toys lurking in the bomb site that is my study…

She is most polite in the mornings and actually waits for me to wake up before racing to the kitchen for food (more fool her!). The dead hours of night are her favourite for using her litter tray, because she can dig for five minutes without being interrupted.

So we’re doing all right! So far she’s keeping to herself most of the time, although she does enjoy the occasional “mad minute”, when she forgets she’s not a kitten and bolts around the house with toys, real and imaginary. And she has deigned to curl up on top of me a few times. She doesn’t seem to like being picked up and cuddled too much at this stage, but she hasn’t growled or hissed once… (Although she has drawn blood – heh.)

I’m still learning her habits and she’s getting used to mine. Anyway, it’s nice to have an animal companion again.


Let’s not forget about Chenna, though, my devilcat companion of 14 years, who passed away a year ago. I do still think about her often, and now Lucia reminds me of her as well. I daresay it’s a cat thing.

chenna

Chenna, once a devilcat

Several weeks back, a friend sent me to the following link as the anniversary of Chenna’s death was approaching. It’s a short webcomic by Akimiya Jun about the nine lives of a cat, and it kind of explains why some cats are a bit devilish.

It made me cry.

In fact, it still makes me cry.

It’s so beautiful, and I hope Akimiya will not mind me reproducing it here. (I have tried to ask permission of the artist, but her website keeps throwing errors at me.) It really reminds me of my experience with Chenna, whose eighth life I shared.

I leave you with Nine Lives, as I contemplate which of Lucia’s lives I have been blessed with…

9lives

Farewell, my devilcat

I collected Chenna’s ashes today, exactly three weeks after she signed out. Three weeks. Gosh.

Chenna with Mr Tickle December 2015

Chenna with Mr Tickle December 2015

I still think about her every day, because there is not one aspect of my life in this house that she wasn’t a part of. She arrived as a cute and cantankerous kitten within weeks of me moving in, and proceeded to make her presence felt each and every day.

She was the first thing I thought about every morning, as she sat on my pillow (or sprawled on me) and jabbed me awake.

She was the first thing I encountered every time I arrived home, as she waited for me, meowing, at the front door.

She was often the last thing I was aware of at night, as she snuggled against me in or on the bed.

This was her house, just as much as it is mine. From the beginning (for nearly 14 years), a whole end of the sofa was set aside for her use. During the day, she slept on a colourful cushion propped up for her comfort, positioned so she could see out the window. Sometimes she would squeeze half her body through the venetian blind, much to the amusement and joy of my neighbours (and the ruin of said blind) — presumably to catch a bit of extra sun.

(I’ve just removed the cushion and set the sofa to ‘rights’, after two and a half weeks of staring at her empty bed. Now my sofa seems too big.)

For most of her life she enjoyed complete run of the house and garden. I keep thinking I hear the distinctive clunking sound of her cat flap. That and her automatic cat feeder, which allowed me to program feed times and dispense measured doses of feed from a hopper, revolutionised my life. And hers too, I daresay; because she was much happier at home with no interruptions whenever I was away.

It’s no secret she wasn’t a particularly likeable cat — although I loved her. Even with me, she could get vicious, often without apparent reason. She was quick with her claws, unrestrained with her teeth. Some nights, she developed a fondness for attacking my bare feet — really painful! — and even though I could usually read the signs, it was often too late, and I’d be subjected to ninja foot attacks. My only recourse was to run and jump on my bed, but she was much quicker than me.

As for her relationships with other people… I cannot think of one person other than me that she liked (and I’m mostly sure she liked me). Some people she tolerated… barely. Most people she detested on sight.

But she was a tricky one. She was good at looking all cute and cuddly and luring people in, before flipping into a ninja attack. So many people refused to heed my warnings, only to suffer the pain of her disdain.

She definitely earned her nickname Devilcat, and my Diary of a Devilcat series of posts on this blog and earlier on her own blog Feline in Therapy (mostly 2007-2009) — were a lot of fun to write. I am so glad now that I’ll have them as memories.

I was probably the only one who ever experienced her affectionate side. And she was affectionate far more often than she wasn’t. She didn’t start off as a lap cat, but she made up for it in her latter years, when she would appear beside me as soon as I sat down… her little face peering up at me, then she’d leap up and nudge any obstacles away. (FYI it is a challenge to negotiate a lap cat and a laptop computer simultaneously.)

She also liked stretching out on my chest when I was reading in bed — not necessarily convenient, but it was hard to shove away a purring, warm, cuddly feline, gazing up at me.

Having her around was always companionable — whether smooching on me, sitting outside in the sunshine, sleeping the day away, greeting me at the door. Even when she was being annoying — waking me too early, nagging me for food, prowling all over my workspace, or leaving dead moths (or worse) all over the floor.

Chenna had her share of medical issues as well. From early on she was prone to urinary tract infections, although this was controlled with a specially formulated diet. Then there was her left eye, which changed colour from green to brown when she was still quite young. This saw us visiting animal eye specialists and contemplating the prospect of having her eye removed due to the risk of melanoma of the iris. Thankfully we risked keeping her eye and nothing came of it.

Extra random memories of Chenna (to be updated as they come to me): her black fluff smeared over my chairs (and its subsequent removal with lint cloth)… the sound of her jumping off furniture… the sound of her simply walking across the floor… her enjoyment of tuna juice… her love of escaping out the front door and scampering around the driveway… the fact I always walked around with scratches over my wrists (they have, alas, all healed now)…

The myriad tiny adjustments I would make to accommodate her: turning my toothbrush to the wall so she wouldn’t brush against it… putting my devices out of the way so she wouldn’t sit on them… never leaving food uncovered on the bench unless I actually wanted her to lick it up…


When I received the news about Chenna’s condition three weeks ago, after several weeks of knowing there was something wrong, I wept and wept. (I had no inkling it was something so serious.) Then I sat down and wrote her final devilcat post. Then I curled up beside her in my bed until it was time for her final appointment at the vet.

She purred and let me stroke her. That was our farewell.

I made the decision to end it straight away, as she was so sick there was a good chance she’d simply die in my bed at any time. That, I wasn’t prepared to deal with. And I didn’t think she should have to either.

I spent a lot of time crying (well, bawling) in the days that followed — when I rang the vet to arrange for her to be cremated, when I received a card from the vet with Chenna’s paw print on it, when I packed up her stuff strewn about the house.

When some amazing friends presented me with the following bespoke graphic illustration of Chenna in a frame. (Designed by Rachel Rule, The British Rule (etsy shop).)

Chenna

Graphic illustration of Chenna

And I wept today, when I collected her ashes from the vet and donated her leftover food. (And, of course, while writing this post.)

After three weeks, the intensity of the grief has ebbed. Most of the time I can think about Chenna without weeping, or only weeping a little. Most of the time her absence seems almost a quizzical thing, something just a bit wrong, a bit weird.

But I’m still sad. A bit flat. I miss my little devilcat animal companion terribly.

Farewell Chenna

Farewell Chenna

Diary of a DevilCat: This is Chenna, signing out

I got a bit of a shock today. Turns out I’m not so indestructible as I liked to believe.

Bone marrow cancer. That’s what I’ve got. The prognosis is “guarded” (which means “not good” is a helluva understatement).

No options for treatment. Barely any options for management.

I’m so anemic I could keel over at any second.

I haven’t been feeling great for the past six weeks or so, truth be told. It’s just been so hard to rouse myself to get out of bed. (Ellen’s bed, under the doona, where it’s nice and warm.) Even eating has been too much effort. (Yes, I know. Who’d’ve thought?)

The upside? I’ve lost a kilogram in weight. (I’ve been trying to lose weight for a while, now… Maybe that much in six weeks is not such a great idea.)

The downside? This will be my final post on this blog. I wish I could make it more devilish in nature, go out with a last hurrah; but I’m just not feeling it. It’s been a while since I’ve had the energy to attack anyone’s ankles — although I did get in a couple of awesome swipes at the vet last week.

Hey, at least I’ll go out with a manicure! The vets did a fine job on my claws yesterday, when I went in for the full workover.

I’m almost 14 years old, and I’ve had a great life. Even if I haven’t had all that many friends… I know Ellen loves me.

Thanks for reading my Diary of a Devilcat posts on this blog. And my Feline in Therapy blog was pretty good too, while it lasted.

This is Chenna, signing out. I’m off to hang out with the cat gods.

 

Diary of a Devilcat: Worst Christmas ever

Instead of dreamy days in the sunshine, my Christmas involved pain and blood and terror.

There is this Bullycat, you see, who is trying to take over my garden. He’s mostly white, with bits of grey and black, and shaggy ears. Every day he can be found in my garden, mostly just passing through, his horrid bell jingling; but he has been known to curl up in the weeds and sleep (in my garden).

That Bullycat has got to go.

Every time I see him, I growl and hiss and try to drive him off. But he’s bigger and younger and fearless and I’ve been coming out second best.

He bit me a couple of days before Christmas. BIT me! OOWW.

I’ve never been bitten by another cat before. It’s really not fun. Aside from the fact it cursed well HURT, it got infected and swelled into an abscess. There was this great pussy lump on my rump, near my tail. Not that I could see it; but I could feel it aching and swelling. Then it burst.

Ellen noticed it on the day after Christmas and packed me off to the vet. We couldn’t go to our usual vet, it being a public holiday, so we went to 24/7 emergency instead. Bad enough to be in pain. Bad enough to be dragged to the vet, without going somewhere unfamiliar.

I did not behave well and they had to sedate me.

When I came to myself, I was home again. I dragged myself out of my carrier, but my legs wouldn’t work. I felt like an idiot lolling all over the floor with a shaved spot near my tail. And, blessed catgods, that thing still HURT. It throbbed and ached and I felt entirely miserable.

Then, after all the drama, Ellen wouldn’t let me outside for almost TWO WEEKS unless she supervised me. Out came the litter tray — disgusting — and she locked my cat-door. Can you imagine how boring and suffocating it is to be locked inside for that amount of time? No fresh air? No sunshine? No moths to chase or skinks to play with?

Every five minutes she was looking at the horrid wound, kept telling me how red and raw and gross it looked. (Like I needed to know that!)

Four days after we went to emergency, she took me to our local vet to get the revolting thing checked, make sure it was healing properly. Fortunately Dr Caroline said it was looking ‘good’ and she gave me a painkiller injection.

I pride myself in thinking I behaved pretty well at the vet this time. I might have growled a little, but I didn’t swipe Dr Caroline once.

It took ages, but finally yesterday Ellen decided the thing was healed enough and I was ready to venture outside again. It’s such a relief to have my freedom back, although I can’t help but be very wary about the Bullycat, who still keeps trespassing in my garden.

I’m ashamed to say I keep running away when I see the Bullycat. It’s pathetic, but I really don’t want to get bitten again.

So that was my crap Christmas period. How was yours?

Diary of a devilcat: Eat. Sleep. Scratch. Growl.

chennaIt’s been ages since I got to write a blog post. By the cat gods, Ellen can be so mean. You’ve all missed me, right?

But I suppose life has been same old same old… Eat. Sleep. Scratch. Growl.

Actually, I’ve been doing a lot of growling. Ellen’s developed this incredibly annoying habit of inviting people over on Tuesday evenings to sing with her.

Late. Like, 10pm. At that time I AM ASLEEP. The LAST thing I want is a few women howling singing as though they actually thought they sounded good.

And they wonder why I growl and hiss at them.

Anyway, today I’m bringing you some highlights of my most excellent blog, Feline in Therapy, which is now (alas) lying dormant. Such a shame.

Let me take you back to January 2007, when I was youthful cat of five, all full of energy and devilry…


1 January – Morning sickness

Chucked up my breakfast again this morning. I wish Ellen would remember not to give me a whole scoop of food in one go! I forget to eat it slowly and I make myself sick.

It’s much better if she feeds me less food, but more often. After all, she eats at least five times a day. Why can’t I?

14 January – Butterfly effect

Last night I captured a butterfly and left it on the rug for Ellen to see. She thinks I meant it for a present, but that’s a common misconception. Cats don’t give presents. In truth, I left it there for a laugh to see what she’d do. It was quite disappointing really. She just picked it up by the wing and dropped it in the rubbish.

It certainly wasn’t as good as when I left a dead rodent there last year. I will never forget her reaction that time!

But perhaps she’s becoming immune to butterflies? The thing is, they’re so much fun to catch. And this time of year, they’re everywhere. Ah well, maybe I’d better see whether I can find another rodent . . .

15 January – Bloodquest

This evening I attacked Ellen and drew blood. Mainly on her hands, but some on her ankles as well.

She cried.

She’s such a sook.

18 January – Jeckle and Hyde

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Just gave Ellen a big cuddle, then sunk my teeth into her wrist. I couldn’t help it!

Maybe I really do need therapy.

21 January – An apology

I was very ungracious yesterday. Ellen’s little niece Hannah came to visit, bringing me toys she’d made herself out of coloured pipecleaners. They were beautiful, and I couldn’t help watching as she rolled them across the floor. But I was sleeping and sulking, fed up with the rain that was keeping me indoors and out of my garden. So I didn’t get up to play with them.

Hannah is really rather adorable, and she always comes to say hello to me. But I just don’t know how to act with other people! They always want to stroke me and touch me and talk to me. Usually, I just want them to leave me alone.

I lashed out at Hannah when she came to say goodbye. I wish I hadn’t done that. Now she’ll really be scared of me. I’m glad I didn’t actually get her. She looked very sombre. Do you think she’ll still be my friend?

24 January – Chenna before keyboard

I long ago worked out that if I sit on top of Ellen’s keyboard, she can’t do anything about it. It makes her do one of two things:

  • she either shoves the keyboard away under her computer (there’s a drawer) and allows me to smooch her;
  • or she sits back and allows me to sit on her lap while she tries to type.

Either way, I can chew on her wrist. This evening, I sit on her lap as she types this, chewing her wrist. It’s a sign of love and endearment, don’t you know?

28 January – Five star kitty

I’ve been very good recently. Only the occasional wrist-gnawing and breakfast-chucking (can cats be bullemic?) episode.

This morning, I was very kind to Ellen. She was reading in bed and I crawled in under the quilt and snuggled into her side. Like a little hot water bottle.

I have attacked her feet a few times though. I can’t be good all the time.

And I think I chased Oscar out of the garden as well.

But I have spent a lot of time on Ellen’s lap. Surely that makes up for everything?


Holy cat gods, just reading through this makes me realise how mellow I’ve become in my middle years.

Must. Put. In. More. Of. An. Effort.

If you’d like more Diary of a Devilcat, please lobby Ellen to let me have the floor more often!

Diary of a Devilcat: I’ll sleep where I damn well want

Says Chenna the devilcat:

Capricious. That’s what she called me! Recalcitrant too. Like there are rules I’m supposed to be following.

Where, may I ask, does it say I have to sleep in the same place all the time? Is there some lodging contract I signed? (No!) Is there a notice on the wall? (No!)

Devilcat-chair2

All right, so after more than a decade of sleeping on my stripy cushion by the window, I’ve decided to sleep somewhere else for a change. It’s comfortable. It’s still comfortable after nearly two weeks and I like it.

Get over it.

Do you think I care about leaving my fur all over the velvet upholstery? Do you think I care about the dirt and cobwebs I’m leaving? (Those were rhetorical questions, by the way…)

By all the cat gods, stop trying to clean it off with that stupid Enjo lint glove. Honestly — you’re deluded if you think that’s going to work. You can’t even wash the stupid glove. Do you know how pathetic you look rubbing my fur off the glove in your fingers? Gross.

More fool you if that’s why you bought such a frivolous item. Just GET OUT THE VACUUM for the cat gods’ sake!

And, just so you know, I am going to continue sleeping wherever I damn well want for as long as I want. And that includes this chair and your bed and even all the other chairs if I feel like it. So there.

Ho there, catfriends… Do you think I’m being unreasonable?

 

Diary of a Devilcat: Beware my Evil Eye

Says Chenna the devilcat:

Ellen is letting me write the WANAFriday post today, because the estimable Liv Rancourt has acknowledged that “cats run the internet” and challenged humans to post about their favourite pets, real or imaginary. She might just be my new favourite person…

Well, I can assure you I am very much real and I am going to do a post about ME! Specifically I am going to tell you about my evil eye.

Chenna evileye Devilcat

Chenna Evileye Devilcat

You may well stare… But the fact is one of my eyes changed colour 5-6 years ago, bestowing upon me a rakish air and providing feline eye specialists around the world with much food for thought. Read on to find out why!

(The following has been extracted from my dormant blog, Feline in Therapy — which should totally not be dormant, because it’s awesome, but Ellen will never give me any time at the computer… She’s a computer hog.)

***

16 July 2008

We visited the opthamologist this evening. Ellen has been going on and on about my left eye, which has changed colour over the past year or so. Maybe longer. I haven’t thought much of it, but we asked Dr Caroline to look at it when we visited last month and she recommended we visit a specialist.

So today we saw Dr Chloe. And now it seems as though it might be something serious after all. Or at least it might lead to something serious. Melanoma of the iris – skin cancer of the eye! Dr Chloe says if it changes colour, goes darker, I might even need to have my eye removed!

What can you say to something like that? How would I go with only one eye? I’ve heard that cats can’t judge distance when they only have eye. This makes leaping onto things hard. (It’s hard when you’re carrying a bit of extra weight as well!) And probably Ellen would make me stay inside all day, or maybe build me a cat run, instead of being able to go in and out as I choose. But maybe it would be OK . . .

There is a worse scenario of course, but let’s not think about that.

I will add, however, that despite these devastating tidings, I behaved beautifully at the eye doctor today. Only one half-hearted swipe and a faint growl. Other than that, I was placid and very very very good. Dr Chloe might actually even like me.

7 December 2008

The week before last, we went back to the eye specialist. You know, the one who wants to yank my eye out? Well, I did NOT want to go there, and I made sure Ellen knew it. She was so certain I would be good so long as she fed me before we went, but I wasn’t falling for that again. To make it even more worthwhile, the vet had students witness my examination, and I’m not sure they’d ever encountered such a devilcat as I. Ha Ha! I showed them! Hiss, spit, scratch. In the end they had to wrap me up in a towel. (I didn’t like that so much.)

I have to go back AGAIN in another four months. But at least I get to keep my eye for the time being. The specialist vets are fascinated by my eye, and have evidently been asking other opinions in on-line vet chatrooms. Cool huh?

But do you know how off-putting it is hearing people talk about ripping your eye out? As though it was a splinter or something! I mean REALLY! This is my EYE we’re talking about!

8 May 2009

The good news is that I get to keep my eye for another three months at least! Went to the specialist this evening (and I behaved extremely well, I might add), and once again suffered Dr Rachel and her accomplice to shine bright lights into my eye, and poke it and prod it, and take photos of it. Not pleasant! And I didn’t scratch once! (Although I did hiss quite a few times.)

Anyway, Dr Rachel thinks it might have changed a little bit, but not too much, and she didn’t think there were any raised lesions, so I don’t know what Ellen was on about. All in all, they dithered and muttered and postulated and prevaricated, until they finally decided that the odds were slightly in my favour and I should come back in another 3 months.

So that’s what we’ll do I guess.

19 August 2009

Got dragged off to the eye specialist today. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. I’m either suffering home alone in silence, while Ellen goes out socialising, or being shoved into the carrier and subjected to trauma.

And so today they turn all the lights down, luring me into a false sense of security, then they shine bright lights straight in my eye!! Sheesh. AND they take a gazillion photos of it, with the flash spearing me time and again. Hateful.

The only good to come out of it was the knowledge that it’ll probably be six months before I get subjected to that again.

I heard Dr Chloe say that if the eye had been cancerous when she first saw it over a year ago, I would now be dead. So in view of that, she reckons it’s not cancerous. Hmph. Cold comfort!

27 August 2009

Well, it looks like I’m not out of the woods yet. My specialist, Dr Chloe, is in discussions with her colleague about whether or not they should rip my eye out. I’m trying not to think about it.

16 December 2009

We heard from Dr Chloe today and the FANTASTIC news is that after much debate among the various eye specialists at Animal Eye Care in Malvern, they have decided I get to keep my eye for the time being. Woo hoo!

It’s not the end of the road yet, though. We will still be monitoring it carefully for any change, but they reckon it can’t be cancerous yet, because if it were I’d probably be dead already. (Sobering thought.)

So, we go back in February for another check up and see what happens after that . . .

***

So what happened after that? NOTHING! We visited the eye specialist every six months for a while and now I’m on annual checkups. There’s very little change — other than the colour getting “more diffuse”, which basically means the striations first exhibited are disappearing. Dr Chole checks no ducts are getting clogged and that the pigment isn’t getting dark and black, which could indicate melanoma.

Imagine if they had ripped out my eye on the pretext it might be cancerous after our first visit five years ago? I was contemplating being ‘Ol Chenna One Eye’ there for a while, but am most thankful it hasn’t happened.

And you wonder why I’m a DEVILCAT?

Heh ~ This is now a very long post. Bet Ellen is regretting letting me loose at the keyboard!

And now, as though you haven’t already heard enough about me, here are some pictures. Maybe if you look close you can see my evil eye…

***

To join the WANAfriday fun, tweet your post to #wanafriday and add your link in the comments. I’ll try to update the list of participants here too.

  • Janice Heck introduces us to Snaggletooth
  • Liv Rancourt introduces us to Burnsie
  • Cora Ramos draws parallels between dog packs and writers and introduces us to Buddy and Milton

Has your pet got any weird health issues?

Diary of a Devilcat: How to be helpful

Ha! Chenna here. I’m back! It’s taken a great deal of coaxing and smooching, but Ellen has finally let me back near the keyboard . . . er, that is, she’s letting me type something rather than merely batting me away (rather ineffectually, I might add).

Today it’s time for a little lesson in how to be helpful — specifically with whatever computer-based project your human might be engaged with. Those humans — especially mine — spend an inordinate amount of time sitting at computers. The least we felines can do is become engaged with their work.

This brings me to Devilcat Tip #2:

Always take a keen interest, get as close as possible, and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

What you’ve got to remember is that the humans think they don’t need our help. They’re deluded of course, stark raving. So it’s our duty to show unconditional support and make them see how helpful we can be.

The first step is a no-brainer — get thee up on top of the desk. You can’t do much from the floor. You’ve got to be up around eye-level. Get in your human’s line of sight. Block her view of the computer screen. Shove your wet nose in her face. That’s how you show you care.

What? You already do this? Okay, I told you it was a no-brainer. I suppose next you’ll be telling me you already force your way onto your human’s lap as well. That’s so obvious.

Now I’m going to reveal how a Devilcat does it.

Sure, there’s the time-old tradition of lapwarming. This is particularly helpful to humans during Winter — but make sure you knead well the lap first, and take up so much space your human ends up squinting at the screen. And, if you have the chance, rest your head on her wrist while she’s trying to type.

But that’s not the best advice I have to offer. This is it. Find the optimum position on the desk from which you can reach your human’s mouse hand. And whenever you get the opportunity, STRIKE! Teeth or claws, it doesn’t matter. STRIKE STRIKE STIRIKE. Time and again until the blood is running.

You might be surprised to know that it takes a lot to get your human to move. I tell you, they are glued to those computers! You’d think they’d take the hint and abandon their task when suffering a Devilcat to torture their hand. But no. Sometimes Ellen swears at me. Occasionally she wrestles me to the floor. (This is of course pointless. It only results in me drawing more blood, and leaping back onto the table channelling the demon madness.) But all the while she keeps going with whatever it is she’s doing that has her tap tap tapping. Until suddenly she can’t bear it any more.

And this is how I’m being helpful. Humans have back problems, neck problems, eye problems, obesity problems, fitness problems — all from spending too much time on computers! It is my mandate as a Devilcat to make her get up from that computer and do something other than tap tap tap.

So what do you all reckon? Do you have similar experiences to mine? Any Devilcats at your house?

PS – (Simon’s Cat has the right idea in the video ‘Cat and Mouse’ but he’s still a bit of a pussy.)

Diary of a Devilcat: What to do with rodents

Hi, I’m Chenna, and I’m SO EXCITED that Ellen has once more unleashed my blogging prowess after two years of keyboard banishment, that I’m of half a mind to be good.

Nah. No way!

She damn well deserves the full devilcat treatment after halting my therapy in such an unceremonious manner. No wonder I’m so feral! I mean, here I was, going along fine with my very own blog, thank you very much, when suddenly I’m not allowed to use the computer any more. No explanation. Just a big fat no-you-have-to-stay-on-the-floor-now.

Well, rat-poo to that. As if she could keep me on the floor, anyway! But no matter how many times I sat on the keyboard chewing her wrist, or stuck my nose in her face as she tried to type, she hasn’t relented in two years.

But now I’m back, and I’ve saved up so many amazing devilcat stories to share with you all, that Ellen had better watch those wrists as I fight my way to the keyboard. If I have my way, I’ll get to post every Monday and shock you all with tales (and tails) of mayhem and murder. [Ed. The devilcat is wishful thinking.]

Speaking of murder… Let’s get the ball rolling with my most recent deeds of devilcat daring do.

There are these rats that live outside somewhere and seem to think it’s OK to run along the fence in my garden. If you ask me, they’re just asking for trouble when there’s a, you know, DEVILCAT watching them. I watch them for a bit, gauge their speed, their favourite routes, the tiny hidey-holes where I can’t reach them. And I time my attack purrfectly.

No-one’s gonna miss a few stupid rats, now, are they? (Well, OK, I admit I’m picking them off one at a time.)

You might be thinking this is purrfectly normal feline behaviour. And it is. But right here I’m going to reveal my new Devilcat Tip #1:

“A devilcat always leaves dead rodents (preferably disembowelled) where they might be stepped on by unsuspecting humans.”

You got that? Good.

My favourite trick is to leave them on the bedroom floor sometime during the early hours of the morning. Only after I’ve played with them for an hour or so, of course, their guts spilling over the floor, droplets of blood decorating the floorboards…

The best place so far has been right in the bedroom doorway, and blessed-catgods did Ellen shriek! The one last week, right next to the bed, got a pretty good reaction too.

Makes me want to go catch another one, right now… [Ed. Oh no, please no!]

While I’m out doing that, why don’t you share with me your favourite places to leave dead rodents? We could have a competition to see who can get their humans to shriek the loudest, or something. And don’t forget to come back next week, when I’ll have another cool story and devilcat tip!

How cats help

I’m a writer. Of course I have a cat. Don’t we all?

And my cat, Chenna (aka Devilcat), likes to help me write. Who ever said dogs were the pets who liked to be near you? Cats can be just as needy. And the thing with cats is that they have the wherewithal to get really close!

My devilcat can often be found on top of my desk while I’m working. If I’m lucky, she’ll be sleeping on top of my modem (mmm, warmmm). Slightly less convenient is her occasional insistence on sitting on my knee, leaving me squinting at the computer screen.

But sometimes she can be REALLY ANNOYING… patrolling the desktop as though she owns it, attacking my hands with her claws and teeth, pressing her cold wet nose all over my face, stepping on the keyboard…

And then Simon’s Cat launched the following new video, and I realised I am not alone. All cats must do this! And I simply had to share. Welcome to my life.