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Guy Fawkes 1999

by Helen S, Norfolk, UK

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Last Friday was November 5th and here in the UK, that means Guy Fawkes' Night. Basically, it's a historical "festival" to remember the Gunpowder Plot, where Guy Fawkes and his buddies planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Guy & his pals placed a large stash of gunpowder in cellars below the H of P. The plot was foiled as Guy was discovered prior to the main event. Ever since, each November 5th, the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot is celebrated with an evening of bonfires and fireworks' displays. Great fun can be had, but it is an evening to keep the animals securely indoors, so they are not frightened or even injured by fireworks. In modern times, the festivities can extend over a weekend, for example, as with this year, not only were there firework parties on Friday but also on Saturday and Sunday, throughout many parts of the UK.

My cats are normally indoor/outdoor cats, but on a weekend such as the one we've just had, I make sure they are indoors at all times, due to the increased risk of injury with all the festivities going on. The cats don't like being indoor only. Well, actually the cats loathe being indoor only and boy, did they let me know!

Whilst sat at my PC, Marble decided to vent spleen. He jumped up on my desk, sat right in front of my PC screen and HOWLED. He kept on howling. In the midst of his singing he jumped up on to the windowsill and patrolled up and down it, howling and yowling all the while. He even put his paws up on the window catches and tried to open the windows. Thankfully, he is pretty small of brain and couldn't work out how to open them. I kept telling him that he couldn't go out during the next few days, for his own safety. He didn't give a rat's a**. Indeed, his views were best expressed when he wandered over to me, howling all the while, raising his tail by my face and dropping the worst stink bomb ever. So much for Gunpowder Plot, this one was "Dead Monkey Up The Rear Festering For The Last Six Weeks Plot" I think he was working on the theory of germ warfare. A sort of, " I have a cunning planů If I stink the place out enough, the fat one will have to open a window and then I'll make my escape!" I think the UN is bringing in a special mandate outlawing Marble's bottom smells on account of their adverse effect on the environment. Marble is awaiting various financial offers from certain suspect regimes in various parts of the globe. I may just get my revenge by eating an extra large can of curried baked beans and then locking Marble in a room with me - see how he likes it.

Francis decided to show me how upset he was in a much more subtle way. He waited until I was having a snooze in an armchair when he carefully and with very light feet, walked up my chest, put his face in my face and went, "MEOW!" very loudly. This had the effect of me doing an impression of a Jumping Jack firework by immediately waking up and leaping six feet in the air in surprise. Obviously Francis's theory was, "If I can't get to a firework display, I might as well improvise one of my own." Francis then did his best to drag me to the back door, by wandering in and out of my ankles, gently aiming me towards the door, meowing as he did so, "ME-OWT! ME-OWT NOW-OWW!" I refused to cave in to his demands, so he promptly went and did his own attempt at terrorist bombing, by leaving a very large smelly bomb in a corner of the dining room. So much for subtlety, perhaps.

Waffles was her usual self, altogether above the feeble efforts of her male counterparts. Waffles waited until 3am Saturday and 3am Sunday. She waited until I was in the Land of Nod, dreaming of my best beloved and I winning the National Lottery on a triple rollover week and going off on a round the world cruise, on a super luxury liner, over every whim and pleasure taken care of by an army of servants. I digress. Waffles decided to indulge in a spot of tap dancing, Busby Berkeley style along the bedhead. She could've done a soft-shoe shuffle on the carpet, but that's no fun. Much more fun to do a Gene Kelly type number on the pine bedstead and the top of the wardrobe. You know where, in "Singing in the Rain" Donald O'Connor does a great number where he walks up the wall and then backflips to the floor? Well, Waffles did that using the side of the wardrobe as the wall, and the pine bedstead as the floor. Ingenious really, but at 3am I was not in the best mood to appreciate it.

Still this morning, the cats were allowed outside after being kept indoors all weekend. As soon as they got outside, you could see them breathing in the fresh autumn morning air deeply. I swear Francis burst into song, "Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day!". All three cats set off round the garden at ninety miles an hour, running up the willow trees, hugging the trunks in a sort of, "I've missed you!" way.Marble immediately ran down to the edge of the stream to see if any trout were lurking near the surface to be swiped out for a fresh fish breakfast. Waffles immediately stopped zooming about when she realised she was being watched and took up a regal patrol of her empire.

Well, hopefully tonight I should get a decent night's sleep.

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Editor's note:

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