Our Cats Shop

By David Johnson (Akdamar Turkish Vans)

KUGU the Turkish Van cat closed his eyes as he drew his paw over his face, the taste of the pilchards that he had eaten for his tea lingering on his lips as his tongue licked his paw.

‘That was good,’ he thought as he changed position in his bed in the cat house, shuffling about and drawing his tail round as he settled down for a nap in the late afternoon sun. Its warm rays were streaming through the window and he moved his head behind the shade of the curtain as it shone in his eyes.

He was on the point of dropping off to sleep when he thought he heard a voice in the distance, ‘Must be dreaming’ he thought when the voice came again.

‘It's me, are you there, Mr. Kugu? I'm back.’

‘I thought he'd gone for good,’ the cat muttered irritably under his breath as he recognised the squeaky tones. It was the Mole.

‘I've gone out for the day’ he called, not moving, in case the owner of the voice saw him.

‘But I can hear you,’ called the Mole, with impeccable logic. ‘You must be in’.

‘I'm talking in my sleep then,’ the cat replied, ‘I'm supposed to be resting, you know - eyes closed, head under the covers. Why don't you go and try it?’

‘I sleep at night’ called the Mole, ‘When I can.’ Then he added, ‘Are you coming out for a bit?’

‘I don't suppose he'll go until I do,’ thought the cat is a resigned way as he began to get out of bed, jumping down and pushing his head through the flap.

‘It's me!’ called the Mole in delight as he saw his friend the cat.

‘I know who it is,’ replied Kugu as he walked through the flap into the sunlight, ‘And so does everyone else. ‘Do you always shout?’ he asked the mole as he stretched his front paws onto the ground and dug his claws in.

‘What are you doing that for?’ asked the mole as he looked on in surprise.

‘I'm digging a hole,’ replied the cat as he straightened his back ‘then I can bury myself for a bit so you can't disturb me. Anyway - what are you doing back here? I thought you were long gone’.

‘I've been busy,’ replied the Mole ‘and I've only been away for a week.’

‘What have you been doing?’ asked the cat as he walked over to the wire and sat down facing the little head that poked up from a hole in the soil. ‘Been packing your bag?’

‘If you must know,’ replied the mole indignantly ‘I've been back home to collect a few things for my new place, and I've been decorating’.

‘Have you indeed,’ replied the cat with a laugh, ‘I wondered what that white blob was on the end of your nose.’ His remark caused the Mole to rub his nose with his paw and then have a quick look.

‘There isn't any paint on my nose!’ the Mole replied with a snort.

‘I know,’ replied the cat with a longer laugh, ‘but you've moved that blob of soil that was there, I thought for a minute you'd grown a mole on your nose’.

‘Funny, Funny!’ shouted the Mole as the cat rolled onto his back laughing, ‘I'm not stopping here if you're going to poke fun at me!’ He pulled his shovel-like paws back as he prepared to dive down into his freshly dug hole.

‘Calm down dopey,’ laughed he cat ‘it was a joke. You know what a joke is?’ he asked.

‘I'm looking at one,’ replied the mole as he smiled back, pulling his hands out of the hole and resting his elbows on the rim.

There were a few moments of silence, then the Mole spoke, just as Kugu knew he would.

‘Who are that lot in the house next door?’ asked the Mole as he looked at the jumble of tumbling, auburn and white furry bodies behind the cat.

‘Hooligans, that's what they are!’ replied the cat without turning his head.

‘What's a hooligan?’ asked the Mole as he looked passed the big cat into the pen behind him.

‘Kittens!’ replied the cat, irritably. ‘Out of control lunatics for want of a better word, they ought to
be in a circus, they sometimes drive me potty and they don't listen to a word I say’.

‘Do they do as they like then, eh?’ asked the Mole.

‘Most of the time’ replied Kugu. ‘Except when dad goes in there which is about ten times a day then it's even worse’.

‘What happens then?’ asked the Mole, his eyes widening.

‘He goes in there and sits on the ground and they all jump on him, it's bedlam I can tell you! Why don't you stick around and see for yourself?’ the cat suggested. ‘He'll be here soon then you can get to meet him’.

‘Already have,’ replied the Mole, somewhat ruefully.

‘Aha’ said the cat, with interest. ‘Sounds like you've had a close encounter - like to tell me about it?’ he asked.

‘Nothing to tell really,’ said the Mole. ‘And it wasn't my fault that he stuck his finger in my mouth’ he quickly added.

‘I get it,’ said the cat with a smile. ‘You've been in trouble haven't you? You'd better spill the beans then I might be able to smooth things over for you.’

‘It was about three nights ago,’ began the Mole, ‘I was messing about down the

Wilderness, - tidying up if you must know, when ‘Dad’ as you call him came wandering in. I saw him coming, so I took a header down below’.

‘Wise move’ said the cat, ‘Then what happened?’

‘I kept my head down for a bit,’ continued the Mole ‘and then when I thought the coast was clear

I clambered out, right between his feet’.

‘I'll bet that made him jump!’ laughed the cat. ‘And you, I daresay’.

‘I didn't know he was sitting on the log did I?’ countered the Mole, huffily. ‘Right on top of me, sitting there feeding the rabbits. And you know what?’

‘Not yet’ replied the cat with a smile, ‘but I'm listening’.

‘That Robin, you know the one I told you about, he was sitting on the log right at the side of him actually taking a worm from his fingers’.

‘I told you he did that,’ laughed the cat. ‘You want to listen in a bit more’.

‘It wasn't funny!’ replied the Mole indignantly. ‘Do you want to hear the rest or are you waiting for another joke?’ he asked.

‘Mmmm!’ replied Kugu, as he put his paw over his mouth and nodded his head at the Mole.

‘Well he was giving the Robin this worm like I said,’ continued the Mole ‘and he was feeding the rabbits at the same time with his other hand and one of those cornflake things dropped on my head and it made me jump’.

‘I'll bet it did,’ butted in the cat, quickly putting his paw back to his mouth again and smiling as he remembered not to interrupt.

‘Next thing,’ continued the Mole ‘this hand comes down and grabs me and I'm on his knee, just like that.’

‘And his finger slipped into your mouth, is that what you're saying?’ suggested the cat with a slow side-to-side move of his head.

‘I didn't mean to,’ countered the Mole ‘and it was only a little nip really,’ he added in self defence.

‘Well you still have your fur coat on so you didn't come to any harm,’ replied the cat. ‘And if you remember, I told you that the last time you were here. So what happened then?’

‘Next thing,’ replied the Mole ‘he grabs me by the scruff of the neck and holds me up, right there’ the Mole demonstrated as he tried to put his paw behind his head ‘and he says ‘calm down little one and behave’ so I did, then he puts me back on his knee and gives me the once over… with that brush!’

He frowned at the cat as he began to roar with laughter.

‘It wasn't funny!’ the Mole shouted, ‘I've never been brushed before.’

‘Think yourself lucky pal,’ replied the cat, ‘I get it every day and I'll tell you this’ he added, ‘I like it, think yourself lucky he didn't get the comb out then you would have something to shout about.’

‘Do you want to hear the rest of it or not?’ asked the Mole, ‘providing you can keep quiet for a minute.’ His request getting a nod from the cat, he continued.

‘As I was saying,’ continued the Mole, ‘when he was brushing me he said, and just listen to this,’ he suggested to the smiling cat, ‘when he was giving me the works he said ‘Listen in little chap,

I’m going to teach you a song’!’

‘What was it?’ asked the cat instinctively then quickly putting both his paws to his mouth.

‘All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small’ replied the Mole, ‘and he was singing at the same time.’

‘Sounds like you've had quite an experience’ interrupted the cat. ‘Then what happened?’

‘He put me down and I took a dive down my hole’ the Mole replied.

‘You'd better do it again Moley,’ the cat said looking to his left, ‘the sun lounge door has just opened and he's coming’.

‘I'm off!’ shouted the Mole in alarm as he pulled his paws down into his hole. He paused and looked at Kugu. ‘Can I come and see you again?’ he asked as he began to submerge.

‘I suppose so,’ said the cat as the head disappeared.

Kugu looked into the now vacant hole and added to himself: ‘Just not when I’m trying to sleep though, okay?’