Day 1: a day fraught with anxiety and wonder. Who were these people ? Who were these small people ? Where was I going? I said goodbye to my parents and siblings and packed a small bag. We then all climbed into a large metal black box which made a lot of noise and moved. Although slightly anxious at developments, I then spent 2 hours being cuddled by small people (nice) as the black box moved about and made a humming noise (not so nice). When it stopped, I thought I would be put into another cage like at home, but instead I was set free on the ground and discovered in short order that there was a huge area of grass with trees and bushes, more people (one medium size and one large), another dog like me but bigger with a strange twangy sort of accent, and LOTS of things to chase. I got told off a lot, peed on a carpet and got told off some more. The sky is blue here and there is a faint smell of salt in the air. Goodness, it’s nice to be free. I spent a fair amount of time being cuddled more, and having my backside sniffed by the big dog. I can’t understand a word he says, you see I’m French and he’s not, nor can I understand the small people. The big people just speak very loudly to me. Food good and these people have some wonderful carpets to poo on!
Day 8: spent last three nights in a plastic cage in the kitchen after being terrified at night. Actually quite comforting, and alone in the dark I felt happier than I have been since I got here. No one shouted at me in the mornings about the awful mess I’d made as I’ve stopped doing that and I’m getting used to using the big outdoors as a bathroom. Just about, anyway. Learnt a few words of English too, such as NO and EVIE. I think the EVIE thing means ‘come for a tickle’ or similar. The No thing I’m not sure about, but if I stop doing whatever it is I’m busy at, everyone seems to be pleased with me. I must admit when I’m busy I don’t bother listening too much. There’s a couple of other words they say a lot that I still don’t understand. The fluffy chickens are great fun to chase though, despite the noise. It’s a great game – I chase the chickens, the people start making noises, and I chase the chickens more until the noise is so loud I have to stop and cover my ears. The big dog is from a country very far away where it is very hot and there are lots of snakes; I’m starting to understand quite a bit of what he has to say. He spends most of his time either asleep, sitting under the kitchen table looking upwards for something, or he’s muttering about rip-lines and waxing surf-boards. He still likes to sniff my behind though – bizarre behaviour, to be honest. There are two other creatures that live here with us – they’re very quick and I haven’t been able to catch up to one yet to ask it what the hell it is. They can’t half climb trees though.
Day 16: finally made friends with one of the fast things that climb trees. He tells me he’s a CAT, and therefore more intelligent than me. I think this is a bit much, but won’t make much ado of it for now. He likes play-fighting and we have great fun rolling around in the garden or under cupboards. He does have this annoying habit of running away and climbing something just when things are getting fun. He’s a lot more friendly than the other CAT, or whatever you call it. That one’s a she, and to call her quick is an understatement. I’ve spent a week trying to catch her and all I have had for my troubles is a scratched ear and a continuous view of her backside as she climbs trees. I’ve finally learnt the name of the DOG, and he is called Bentley. He’s from a country called Australia and he keeps calling me Sheila. He has no idea what I am saying to him though. He might be a bit thick, though to be fair he is very good at catching scraps of food when they fall off the table. He says that it’s part of the Australian heritage, being able to catch things. But then he becomes all maudlin and wanders away muttering something about cricket and ashes, or something. I don’t understand. The chickens are still great fun to chase, especially the little white one who looks like a poodle. I do worry about the noise all the people make when I do this now though – I’m sure they’ll damage their arms or something the way they wave them about really fast when I chase the poodle-chicken. There’s another big chicken with grey and tan markings, and I’m not so sure about him – he was great fun to chase when I first got here but he’s not so quick to run away now. Actually, to be fair, there are a few of the chickens I don’t like chasing – there’s one little dark coloured fellow who has become quite ferocious, to be honest. However, to make up for that I have made some big new discoveries. For example, there are these delicious little snacks in the garden. Like small green smoothie delights. Quite delicious, though the people wave their arms a lot when I eat them. More bizarre behaviour – but then I’m getting used to that.
Day 30: life is fun. I love the sun and the warmth. Bentley keeps telling me I need to grow some more hair but I don’t think so, thank you very much. Why would I need to do that? He’s very hairy himself though – so much so that the the two big people cut it all off the other day with a funny little thing that buzzed a lot. He was not very happy about it at the time, but cheered up considerably afterwards. I told him he was so stupid, but he kept telling me I still needed to grow some more hair. He said it would be getting cold soon. Hah! Stupid dog, anyone can look at the sky and see it won’t ever get cold! It’s so hot the small people keep jumping into something that has a lot of water in it they have in the garden for goodness sakes! I was also introduced to something called the BEACH last week. BOY WAS IT FUN! I wasn’t too sure about the slippery sort of stuff they are made of to start with, but then there’s this great big pond and the slippery stuff gets much firmer there. The big pond is so big I can’t even see the other side, and when you get close there are bits of it that chase me up the beach with a hissing sound. I admit, okay, it was slightly terrifying at first but the people all laughed and I knew it obviously wasn’t really dangerous. However, it is salty! Bleah! The small people call the two big people Mama and Dada, so I’ve taken to calling them that too – and the reason I say that is to simply report that the Dada person has a strange habit of following me around on the beach with small plastic bags – another bizarre human thing. Incidentally, the big pond is nothing like the small pond in the garden where the ducks live. That’s quite smelly and not nice. And the reason I know that is because I fell in it a few days ago. Unfortunately, what was really a small incident was then blown out of all proportion, more arm waving by everyone and then the Dada person put me in a wheelbarrow and pointed a hose at me. I’m still not sure where all the bubbles came from either. I smelt all sort of horrible afterwards – all floral and sweet. Yuck.
Day 46: it’s official, I like barbecues, a strange situation where humans throw food onto some flames and then drop the really burnt bits onto the floor; AT LAST I am getting better at reaching them before Bentley does. Hurrah! However, this little bonus of mine is countered by a slightly disappointing discovery – I can no longer fit under the cupboards when Rory – my male CAT friend, hides from me. He slinks under there and I just can’t reach him anymore. I don’t understand it. But, as my grandmother said, when one door closes, another always opens, and in this case it’s a case of suddenly finding myself able to cross the wall into the other people’s garden next door, where the door to the chicken-shed it always open and I find countless delightful bargains to be had for free. The other night, for example, I brought home across the lawn half a pizza! Man it was good. Well, some of it was. I left it on the doorstep while I had a drink and when I came back it was gone. I suspect Dada threw it in the bin, which is such a waste. Either that or Bentley ate it, but he was asleep on a chair, so it probably wasn’t him. Did I tell you that there’s a barrier across the stairs to stop me going aloft in the house? Well, imagine my delight yesterday when I found it wasn’t in place and I ventured upwards into a whole new world of rooms and lovely things. So many things to chew, so many fluffy toys and lovely little plastic humans and animals and when you chew, they get all hot in your mouth! Great fun! All that came to end though when I couldn’t find the bathroom when needed and there was a lot of shouting a little later and Dada marched me firmly downstairs and sat me outside a very closed door. I can’t see what the fuss is about.
Day 50: although I am fond of the black box that moves, and know that it’s a good thing, last week it took me to a strange place where Dada carried me into a room where a very strange smell lingered; a curious blend of countryside, dog baskets, cleaning stuff and fear. A nice woman in a white coat prodded and poked me, and then stuck something quite sharp into my neck; it didn’t half sting a little. When we got home, Dada then gave me a piece of ham with a crunchy bone in the middle and then looked very pleased with himself when I’d swallowed it; really pleased he was. Proud as punch as though he’d tricked me into doing something. Stupid man, though I’m quite fond of him. But of course, that’s only because he gives me food every morning.
Day 65: getting bigger by the day. It’s great! Bentley and I started having play-fights last week and he seems intent on mastering me. He keeps saying, “You just wait” for some reason, and then I nip his ear, giggle and run away. Who needs later when you can have fun now, I ask? Oh, and it’s official, I LOVE WALKS! We have this little jaunt just out the front gate where we cross the road and go down a little track into the country and there’s a small house on the corner where a really big shaggy dog thing lives. He and I just love to exchange polite conversation, but when Bentley sees him all hell breaks loose and it’s hysterical to see my shaggy Australian friend making such a racket – anyone would think he didn’t like other dogs! There are also a few unfenced fields on this walk, and while the people talk and stroll along I always try and see if I can find something especially pleasant and sweet-smelling to roll in. Oh, the noise this generates always makes me smile, but then for some reason I get the hosepipe treatment when I get home again and that horrid floral smelling stuff.
Day 75: I like the little people best, we have great fun playing tag, stick-a-chase, they never seem to get bored of playing with me. They also throw a ball for me which I run after, pick up and then wait till they reach me before I pick it up and run away again with it. I have no idea why they don’t just throw it again for me – that’s far more fun. They use this word DROP a lot during this game, and I have no idea whatsoever what it means. I thought it meant RUN AWAY WITH THE BALL as that seemed to generate the most amount of noise, but now I’m not so sure…..
Day 90: wonderful discovery last night. The evening is my favourite time of day. Bentley and I lick the kitchen floor clean, Mama gives us a piece of green stuff each called BROKLI or similar, and then the two of us snuggle down on the sofas and chairs in the room where the moving picture is. However, last night Dada did something in the small doorway in the middle of the wall and this delicious flickering sort of orange stuff suddenly appeared and it was all toasty and warm. I wasn’t sure about the smell at first – something told me it could be something bad – but as that warmth flooded through what was a cold room I just HAD to lie down in front of it and let it warm my little hairless tummy. Boy was it good! In fact I got a little too warm and had to move away a bit after a while. Actually by the evening’s end I was as far away as I could be, really; the room was seriously hot. So hot I still have no idea why Bentley keeps telling me I need to grow more hair. This despite the fact he likes to snuggle up to me now and exchange doggy breaths; what on earth is all that about?
Day 103: I am now beginning to understand why I need more hair. The trees have all suddenly lost their leaves, but gosh they are fun to try and catch as they tumble down, and the sky is not blue every day anymore. Indeed, the days seem shorter and Dada has to use a torch when we go and read the chickens their good-night story. Mama spends most of her life riding the small red noisy thing around the garden with a great trailer on the back and the leaves all disappear into it – which Dada then humps into a pile which gets the orange hot thingy treatment later. He is also wearing long trousers all the time (I never knew he had any) and suddenly the hall where Rory and I love to roll around is full of wet boots and other shoes that are great fun to chew. It’s official – I love laces! But sadly, the humans have cottoned on to the fact that Rory and I often dine together in the cat room and his bowl has been elevated onto a small platform with legs. I can’t reach it, how mean is that, I just don’t understand these humans, they are always talking to the small people about sharing.
Day 105: a mix of good and bad news for me. Last night we had a double whammy of new discoveries – I met a small animal in the garden that smelt so nice that I really wanted to taste it but it curled into a ball of prickles and went to sleep while I yapped at it. Dada made a lot of noise too, mostly that strange word STOP which is something I still have to get my head around. AND, we have a small black box of orange heat thingy in the kitchen too which Dada and Mama are very happy about. It makes the kitchen so warm Bentley and I had to retreat to the study to recover. All the humans went red and took half their clothes off. A final demonstration of bizarre behaviour if needed – and there’s Bentley saying I STILL need to grow some more hair. And what is this Christmas word I keep hearing? Bentley just looks smug and says repetitively, “You just wait!”