The Perfect Place to Sleep
Mischief was growing impatient. "Mummy, please wake up," and with that said she jumped on top of her mummy, who was still fast asleep in bed, and started to purr and knead the duvet. "Pleeeeeease Mummy, get up." Mischief knew it was useless, mummy was in a deep sleep and nothing short of a loud noise was going to stir her from her dreams.
Mischief was about to lick her mummy's nose, when, suddenly, a noise made her jump. Beep, beep, beep, beep. Mummy's alarm clock signalled it was time to get up. "Yippee!" said Mischief and she started to jump around on the bed.
"Mischief! Stop that" said mummy, rubbing her eyes and yawning as she stretched herself awake. Mummy sat up and Mischief went to her purring. Rubbing herself against mummy she demanded a chin tickle and mummy, being mummy, duly obliged, which made Mischief purr even louder.
Mummy wondered where Scoobey was and, as if on cue, Scoobey made his entrance and sauntered over to join Mischief on the bed. Saying hello to mummy he repeated the ritual and so mummy tickled Scoobey's chin too. "Now that's you two wide eyed and bushy tailed, but where is Jock?" she asked. And, once more, as if on cue, Jock bumbled into the bedroom wagging his tail. "That's the lot then - I had better get up and give you all breakfast, otherwise I will get no peace," said mummy, cheerfully grumbling.
And so the race to get to the kitchen first began. Mischief sped out of the room ahead of everyone else and, at breakneck speed, she ran down the stairs. She was going so fast she almost tumbled down them head over paws, but fortunately for her she turned right just in time to miss colliding with the wall. Mischief begged the others to hurry "come on you slow coaches - hurry up I'm hungry".
Mummy came into the kitchen with Jock and Scoobey lagging behind her. The first thing she did was to open the back door for all of them and they all ran out to go to attend to their business.
Again, Mischief was out first and back in first. "This is not a race Mischief," mummy said, gently scolding her, "you don't have to do everything at top speed - breakfast will still be here if you take an extra couple of minutes."
But, as we all know, Mischief does almost everything at top speed. She is built for speed, being slim and long legged - unlike Jock and Scoobey, who are built more solidly with shorter legs.
The others came back in from the garden and so the second ritual of the day, breakfast, began.
Mummy put all 3 bowls in a line. First she filled Jock's bowl with his biscuits to which she added a little bit of meat (mainly for taste). Mischief knew Jock had to have a special type of food, otherwise he got a bad tummy and the end result was a very poor Jock. Next, mummy put the cat meat into Scoobey and Mischief's bowls and sprinkled a few biscuits to top it off. Whilst mummy was doing all this, Scoobey stretched up mummy's leg in search of another chin tickle - well that and the fact that he was reminding mummy of his presence and that he must not be ignored. This time he remembered to keep his claws in, as yesterday he forgot and mummy yelled out in pain as Scoobeys' claws dug into mummy's thigh. Mummy was not best pleased at that and her yell of pain made them all scatter in different directions. Mischief was pleased that today did not bring a re-occurrence of that event.
Jock started to bark his funny bark and jump around all over the place. He narrowly missed jumping on top of Scoobey, so great was his excitement. Mischief just sat there, looking down her nose at Jock and silently wondering how on earth someone could get quite so excited about breakfast.
Mummy then put down the bowls. Scoobey first, Mischief second and then Jock, who was always made to sit nicely and say please and then a whole new race began - the race to finish breakfast first. The outcome was quite obvious; Jock finished first, then Scoobey and bringing up the rear, Mischief. This was one of the very few times Mischief did not go at top speed - when she was eating. Mummy often said that the food never touched the sides as Jock wolfed his down so fast. Mischief had to be careful when she ate, as sometimes, when Scoobey finished before her, he would barge Mischief out of the way and steal her breakfast. This act of theft often earned him the dubious nickname of "Fatso". Mummy always tried to act as referee at feeding times and if anyone did something wrong, she would try and put it right, in which case Scoobey would be given a telling off and be pushed away from the bowl so Mischief could finish her food in peace. Only when Mischief had eaten enough would Scoobey get to lick the bowl clean. However, Scoobey also had to keep his wits about him and stay on his toes at times like this, as Jock was rather partial to cat food and he would often be watching and waiting, anxious to grab that extra bit of food.
Breakfast over, Mischief began to pester mummy to let her out. Mischief questioned why she should use the cat flap when there was a perfectly capable human to open the door for her. But, as Mischief also knew, mummy would not open the door for her to go out and play with her friends before 9 am. This was done in order to keep Mischief safe from all the cars and people going to work. However, Mischief always asked her mummy just in case mummy changed her mind - after all, thought Mischief, there is a first time for everything. Normally mummy held her ground and this was one such occasion - so Mischief had no alternative but to wait. Patience, not being one of Mischief's strong points, made this task very difficult to accomplish.
With time on her paws and in an attempt to stop the boredom, Mischief thought it would be fun to play chase with Scoobey and so playtime began. A few circuits of the house, with both cats making an almighty noise, brought mummy to the conclusion that enough was enough and so she opened the door early in order to get some peace and quiet.
Mischief, ever alert and with ears that could hear a pin drop on carpet, heard the lock as mummy turned the key and no sooner had the door opened, than she was out at full speed. Hacking across the garden with Scoobey right behind her, Mischief launched herself at the fence and in one easy jump was soon sat on the top where she paused not only to catch her breath, but also to allow Scoobey to catch up with her.
Scoobey, being less svelte and shorter legged than Mischief found jumping up fences a bit more difficult. Thankfully there was some trellis nailed to the fence, which Scoobey used as a climbing frame. Clambering his way up he was soon atop the fence and sat next to Mischief where he also paused to catch his breath.
Having no particular plan as to what they were going to do that day, the two of them set off along the top of the fence in order to seek out some of their friends.
However, the onset of rain was about to scupper their plans. First came the odd splat which caught Scoobey's whiskers making him sneeze. He almost lost his footing and for a couple of seconds he found himself wobbling about. But being a cat had its advantages, one of which was the amazing ability of being able to balance on very narrow objects. As soon as he regained his balance he called out to Mischief telling her that he was going back inside as he did not want to get wet.
Mischief, unperturbed by a few drops of rain carried on by herself. However, it was not to be, those few drops soon turned into a torrential downpour. Mischief had to admit defeat (again not one of her strong points) and with a heavy sigh she too turned back for home.
As Mischief came over the fence into her own garden, she looked towards the back door and noted it was shut. "Blast!" thought Mischief, "I am going to have to use the flap door whether I like it or not". So, with her eyes virtually closed, she hurtled towards the flap. Smash! Bang! Wallop! Mischief made a somewhat ungainly entrance through the flap, into the kitchen. Unable to stop herself due to her paws being wet, she went skidding across the floor sideways and bashed into Jock who was having a snooze. Jock, startled by the noise and thump, jumped up barking and Mischief, even more startled by Jock's barking went running for cover into the lounge.
After composing herself, Mischief decided to go in search of a suitable place to lie down and take a nap. Such was the excitement of the morning she was tired out and she wanted somewhere nice and warm to curl up and go to sleep and with that in mind she started to scour the house in search of "the perfect place".
The first room she came to was called "The Office". Mischief had been in there many times before, normally when mummy was in there typing away on the computer. Mischief loved to chase the pointer across the screen. The pointer, for some strange reason, was called a "mouse". Mischief did not understand that as it looked nothing like the mice she had seen in the fields, or like the ones Scoobey bought back home for mummy. Mischief came to the conclusion that it was one of those strange human quirks. Not only did Mischief think chasing the pointer across the screen was great fun - she also loved to sit on the keyboard right in front of the screen. However, mummy did not share the same enthusiasm for this past time as much as Mischief did and more often than not, Mischief was moved onto her mummy's lap or onto the spare chair behind mummy.
It was this chair that Mischief jumped up to, but try as she might she could not get comfortable. The chair was too hard and the room was too cold, and as her mummy was downstairs in the kitchen, there was no warm lap to curl up on either.
Mischief jumped back down and wandered into the next room, "The Bedroom". Mischief spied the bed where her mummy and daddy slept. Remembering that it was always warm and snug when they were in there, plus the fact that Mischief usually slept curled up to next to her mummy most nights, she jumped up. However, mummy and daddy were not there and without them it was cold. Desperately, Mischief tried to get under the duvet cover. Trying with all her might she tugged this way and that way, but she could not manage to move it even an inch. She was just too small and too light, whereas the duvet was far too big and heavy for her, especially as mummy had "made" the bed and it was all flat and neat and tidy. There was not even a peephole she could nose her way into.
Somewhat annoyed by now at her failure to find somewhere warm to sleep, Mischief jumped down off the bed and ran back down the stairs, thumping away noisily.
Once downstairs, she made her way to the big windows that looked out onto the garden. Mischief too, looked out wistfully. She really wanted to go outside and play, but it was raining hard and she didn't really like the rain that much. Not only was it too wet and too cold, it reminded her of those days when she was less fortunate. A shiver went down her spine just thinking about it - so she turned away from the window.
Mischief had still not accomplished her mission. Jock and Scoobey both had good sleeping places. Scoobey was curled up in his favourite cushion, made all the more snug by the fleece jacket that hung on the back of the chair and Jock was sprawled out on the sofa - taking up far too much space as usual. Mischief could never quite work out how such a small dog managed to occupy such a large space and she shook her head in wonder.
Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she saw the perfect place for a nap. Excited now, she ran down the length of the room, jumped up on the chair and very carefully stretched out her right paw. As soon as she was sure she wouldn't fall, her left paw joined the right one and slowly Mischief jumped across the small gap behind the chair. She looked around her to check that all was well and gracefully did a big, long, slow, stretch.
And it was there, on the window ledge, above the heater, that Mischief allowed herself to finally relax and with one paw dangling down she slowly drifted off to sleep. Soon she started to dream about some of the adventures she had been on and of those yet to come………
ã 2001 - copyright Samantha Hartridge
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