Crompton Goes on Holiday
The phone rang and disturbed Crompton the cat as he dozed in front of a nice warm fire. Life was pretty good at the moment, his belly was full and his owner Pippa was ignoring the advice that she got from that subversive vet, to put him on a diet to lose weight
“Oh Dear Aunty Edith” he heard “I will come down and look after you”. Just a minute he thought, what’s going to happen to me?
Later on in the day he found himself put in a wire cage and loaded into the back of the car. Oh NO! Not to that Cattery with all those common cats, was Crompton’s immediate reaction, but as he was to find out, it was in his opinion even worse than that. The car sped through the town and then into the countryside. Half an hour later it slowed and turned into a narrow lane with a cottage at the end of it. He then saw the black car parked outside and his worst fears were confirmed, he was at his owner’s sister, Nicola’s house and it was where in Crompton’s eyes the monsters lived. Nicola’s two young children rushed up and looked though the car windows whooping with delight.
“Oh look Crompton’s come to stay with us” they shouted in unison. All Crompton could do was look at his owner Pippa. Why have you done this to me? Oh Why? You know that I will get no peace at all, the cage came out of the car and he was transported along with the two chattering children into the house.
“Let me stroke him “the two children chorused in unison, Crompton felt trapped .Oh how long was this to go on ? He thought, I’ll have to run away.
Pippa said to him “Good bye Crompton, be a good cat for Nicola” and she was off out of the room, he heard the car engine start and she was away on her errand of mercy.
Thankfully Nicola told her children to stop playing with him, and he at last had some peace to explore his new temporary home. It smelt so strange and all the furniture was different. His bed however had been placed next to the radiator which was something he did approve of, as he liked to be nice and warm.
His peace did not last long as the children, who he heard were call Holly and Shula descended on him. Out came the pram and to his disgust they Started to dress him in a dolls frock, and bonnet. Oh! The disgrace of it, a fine handsome Tom cat dressed in a frock! Thank goodness none of the cats at home could see him, he would never live it down. Next he was placed in a pram and covered with a blanket, he hated it, but it was quite nice and warm which he did not mind. The children started a big argument as to who was going to push him in the pram. The pram bounced up and down and was eventually pushed into the large garden that surrounded the house.
Crompton was overcome by the variety of new smells that were all around him, he was not used to the countryside and next to the house was a large farmyard with all sorts of sounds and smells. Holly and Shula were arguing so much and making such a noise that their mum Nicola came out grabbed hold of Crompton took the dress and bonnet off him and let him run and hide behind the big couch in the sitting room. He heard Nicola say to the children “let Crompton have some peace, don’t forget that he is in a new home and needs to get used to it, without you two messing about with him” A friend at last thought Crompton. He hid behind the couch and drifted off into a short cat nap. When he woke the room was quiet and he could not even hear the children’s voices.
Crompton then started to explore his surroundings; the kitchen has some interesting smells, especially from the oven when the evening meal was cooking, he liked that, I hope that I will be able to have some of that was his thought. Seeing the kitchen window open he jumped onto the kitchen top and looked out onto the garden which was an expanse of grass with large flower beds surrounding it. His attention was drawn to a rather strange creature which appeared to be moving about in a large pile of leaves. What on earth is that? he thought it’s too big to be a mouse and I have never ever seen such a strange creature before,
He jumped out of the window and then began to stork his prey, the nearer he got to this strange creature the more confused he became. The face and ears seem like a large mouse but what on earth are those weird things which are all over its back? Just as he was going to jump on it, the creature sensed his presence and as quick as lightening rolled itself into a tight ball. Where has its head gone? What has happened to it? Crompton put his paw out to touch it,he immediately felt a sharp pain. His paw was speared by the many spines that covered the creature. Ouch! That hurt, and he was off back to the house determined never ever again to have anything to do with that most unusual creature, it’s the strangest large mouse he had ever seen. Poor Crompton he had never seen a hedgehog before.
After a couple of days he had got used to the house and to a certain extent the children. The initial excitement of his arrival had passed and most of the time they left him to his own devices.
His confrontation with the hedgehog had shown him that his new home had a lot of new experiences that he had never before encountered. He had heard lots of new sounds, and also every time he had ventured into the garden, his nose smelt all sorts of new smells, most of which came from the farmyard. He decided that he must fully explore his own garden before venturing into that part of his new territory.
One thing which also puzzled him was a strange hooting which he heard after it went dark. He was determined to find out what it was, but so far Crompton had not ventured out during the hours of darkness. He had found out that if he sat at the door during the daytime when the window was closed Nicola would open it and let him out. I’ll have a look outside tonight he thought, mice come out at night. Maybe I could show my new companions how good I am at stalking and catching mice.
Night time came, Crompton stationed himself at the kitchen door. Nicola said. “Do you want to go out Crompton? Don’t go and get lost” and the door was opened and Crompton with his tail erect sauntered out into the night. He headed straight for a large Camellia bush and lay down. The moonlight bathed the garden in its soft light and with his eyes open wide he surveyed the garden for any movements. He heard the weird hoot sound but it seemed far away, I wish I knew what that was, thought Crompton.
His attention was then focused on a slight movement on the far side of the lawn. Was it a mouse? , keep your head down, body flat and don’t move a muscle. The field mouse was moving slowly across the lawn towards him. I’ll have him soon, he thought. Just as he was getting ready to spring, his heart beating fast in anticipation of a tasty meal.
To his great surprise he heard a swoosh, and a large shape appeared before his eyes, in a second his mouse had vanished.
Looking up towards the moon he saw a large bird with HIS mouse hanging from its claws flying towards the top of an old Elm tree. As it landed he then heard a loud hoot. So that is the noise made by a flying mouse thief.
Poor Crompton he had no idea that his flying mouse thief was called an Owl!
After the theft of his tasty meal he decided that he would stand a better chance of filling his belly with a meal from his temporary owners. He then walked across the lawn and went into the house through the open door. Looking expectantly towards Nicola who was just starting to put the evening meal out. Right he thought go on brush against her legs start purring loudly and look your handsome best, this is the way to guarantee a good meal tonight after the flying mouse thief had taken his tasty meal. It worked well and he settled down to a nice portion of chicken and gravy. With his belly full and feeling sleepy he settled down in his bed. A last thought before he fell asleep was, I must go and explore the farmyard tomorrow.
© Ted Morgan