Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shag Ahead

Have you ever seen a guinea pig on a river cruise? No? Well neither had Trevor, the skipper of the good ship "Everglades Discover". Our tickets showed a booking for three (supposedly) adults - My male staff, male staff's mad sister and her long suffering husband and one wrinkly - my male staff's dad. There was no mention of a large, hairy, muscular handsome cavy or a small fat-butted black and white cavy. He was at a loss to know whether or not he should charge extra for us. In the end my male staff pointed out that since we wouldn't be taken up any extra seats he would not be justified in making us purchase a ticket. Captain Trevor agreed to this but made my male staff promise not to allow us to eat any of the scones and cakes that were for the humans' afternoon tea.

So we set sail up the mighty Noosa River, accompanied by Captain Trevor's commentary of what could be seen outside the boat. "There are several pelicans on your left." "Look at the beautiful waterlilies on your right." etc. The bit of his commentary that seemed to arouse the most interest, amongst the human passengers at least was "If anyone likes shags, there's one ahead of us right now.." Even my male staff's dad woke up briefly before realising there were no shags to be had, just a silly black waterbird. And so the cruise went on, across three lakes, one of which was so shallow that a dog ran alongside the boat for a while, barely getting his paws wet. Captain Trevor said that sometimes the boat gets stuck and the passengers have to roll up their trousers, get out and push. Not this passenger! There's no way I'm getting my fur wet just because Captain Trevor can't steer his stupid boat properly. Anyway, as I was to find out later, there are some pretty big catfish out there with guinea pig sized mouths.

Finally we left the chain of lakes and cruised into the Everglades. This was frustrating because there was greenery on either side, but none in the boat. The only thing worth chewing inside the boat were some funny looking orange things that had very little flavour. Captain Trevor said they were called "life vests" and he didn't seem very happy when he caught Badger and I sinking our teeth into them. He threatened to make my male staff walk the plank "If he didn't stop those bloody rodents eating the life vests." I don't think Captain Trevor likes guinea pigs much. So while the humans enjoyed the scenery Badger and I waddled about on the deck between their feet. One lady had made the mistake of wearing open-toed sandals and had painted her toenails blue. It was a mistake because Badger is rather partial to blueberries and that is exactly what her toes looked like. Consequently Badger wouldn't leave her alone and kept sinking his fangs into her toes and then dashing away before she could see him, which not unreasonably caused her to yelp and complain to Captain Trevor that something was biting her. "Probably sand flies" said Captain Trevor, only to receive a withering death stare from Badger who vehemently objected to being called an insect.

At last Captain Trevor said he was going to "heave to." I thought this meant he was going to puke twice so I scampered out of range, but apparently it's just a nautical term for stopping. He steered the boat to the river bank and we all piled out and wandered around aimlessly while he prepared afternoon tea. There was grass on the bank so Badger and I were quite content to mooch about while the humans swilled tea, coffee and bucks fizz and gobbled scones and muffins. That is until we saw a bloody great lizard lumbering towards us through the grass, whereupon we repaired to the boat where I entertained myself by threatening to push Badger into the river with the giant catfish who by now were being fed the leftover scones and muffins.

                                         A bloody great lizard.           

The return journey was the best bit of the entire cruise. It was a warm afternoon and very soon my male staff's dad had fallen asleep, head cocked to one side and mouth wide open. He does this a lot. My male staff has started to do it occasionally too. Anyway my male staff and his mad sister each grabbed a handful of my bush chocolate and competed to see who could toss the most pellets into my male staff's dad's mouth from a distance of two metres. We were concerned that the pellets that bounced off his nose, forehead and cheeks might wake him up and therefore cause the premature abandonment of the game, but in the end mad sister won fourteen to ten. Male staff's dad eventually awoke, complaining that the afternoon tea muffins had something of a dungy aftertaste.

It was an entertaining and educational day out all in all, in which I learned the meaning of several nautical terms which I will share with you now.

What the captain is when you chew the life vests.
Petty Officer       
What the captain is when he complains about a few holes in the life vests.
What the bottle in the brown paper bag that the captain swigs from now and again contains.
A piece of wood that can be used to repair the boat.
What the captain asks you when he wants you to buy a souvenir hat.
Poop deck          
Any deck upon which Badger and I have been residing.

Well, her toes looked like blueberries to me. I wondered why they tasted of cheese. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

An Horrific Accident

At long last I've managed to recruit some new staff, albeit only temporarily. So far these new staff have proved just as incompetent as the old ones, but for the moment I'm cutting them a little slack because they haven't yet learned the ropes. My three new staff consist of my male staff's dad, my males staff's mad sister and her long suffering husband, all of whom have recently arrived from England, and none of whom are familiar with the art of cavy servitude. For example they still have the temerity to laugh at my butt as it wiggles past them at floor level. If this continues I will have to administer corrective nips to their tender parts. They need to learn a little respect. Just yesterday I was sitting on mad sister's lap and she was stroking me adequately, but when I stuck my feet out the back she seemed to have no idea what to do. For goodness sake! It's taken me nearly two years to train my old staff that this gesture means that I require an immediate foot massage. Now I have to start all over again with these three clowns.

Actually their arrival was something of a disappointment too. One of my best pals in England - Dalton the Dog from Wagg Foods had sent Badger and I a whole load of treats with my new temporary staff, but for some reason known only to themselves they allowed Australian Quarantine to confiscate them as they went through the airport. "No pet food allowed." They were sternly told by a little man in a uniform, who then snatched them and stuffed them under his desk so that he could take them home for his own guinea pig. So all I got was a "Notice of Seizure of Goods." Very tasty it was too, but I would have preferred the Wagg Foods treats.

At this very moment my male staff's mad sister and her long suffering husband are out terrorising South East Queensland in their rental car. Mad sister has never driven an automatic car before, so my male staff and I had to give her a quick lesson. My male staff told her to sit in the driver's seat, which she managed to find on her own because apparently, just like on a manual car the steering wheel is situated on the driver's side. With not a little trepidation my male staff and I climbed into the passengers seat. Things didn't start too well when mad sister asked where the gear stick was. My male staff's job was to tell her where to go, (Something of a role reversal there.) and my job was to leap from my male staff's lap onto mad sister's left thigh and sink my fangs into it if it looked like it was about to move for the non-existent clutch pedal. I rather enjoyed this job, it gave me a bit of exercise, and her blood contained just enough alcohol from the previous night to make me feel a little squiffy. The shout of  "Yeeaargh! You furry little bastard!" every time I bit her was most satisfying and I began to enjoy myself so much that as I jumped back from her leg to my male staff's leg I would bite him too. That would produce an anguished cry of "Owwwwwwwww! You little shit of a rodent!" And so on and on we went in a similar vane until mad sister could drive at least a hundred metres without hitting a tree, a house or a policeman. It was dark by this time and the car's bodywork was reshaped in an interestingly avant-garde fashion. As my male staff put me back in my cage, Badger just stared in awe at the blood running down my male staff's legs and those of mad sister, not to mention the bloodstained fur around my mouth. He probably thought we'd been involved in some horrific accident, whereas the only horrific accident we'd had was the one my male staff had in his pants the first time we hit a tree.

On a happier note I see that King Juan Carlos of Spain has broken his hip while shooting elephants in Botswana. It couldn't have happened to a nicer man. I bet whoever had the idea of making him the Honourary President of Spain's branch of the WWF is now thinking that perhaps it wasn't such a good idea after all. I'm glad that the ellie got his revenge though. King JC has apologised now, though I suspect he's only sorry that he was found out because he broke his hip. His lavish lifestyle has recently been criticised in Spain who are in economic meltdown because nobody wants to buy their sangria or time share units on the Costa del Paella, thus he's about as popular as an animal rights activist at a bullfight. 

I had to lick some of mad sister's blood from my feet. It made me dizzy.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Peeing, Larking, Torturing Idiots

As my male staff types this blog post, with the aid of frequent corrective nips from yours truly, his dad, his mad sister and her long suffering husband are in a tin can. They're at about thirty nine thousand feet and travelling at approximately five hundred and fifty miles per hour.  It's eight thirty AM Australian Eastern Standard Time so they should be somewhere over Bulgaria I'm guessing, enroute to a change of planes at Abu Dhabi. That is unless my male staff's mad sister is navigating, in which case they are probably about two hundred feet above the North Atlantic. Once when navigating with her GPS she made the mistake of doing what it told her to do and took the next left turning. It turned out to be a farm track and she sank axle deep into a nice mixture of sloppy mud and cattle slurry. The farmer was very understanding and kindly pulled her out with his tractor.

You may remember from a previous post that my male staff's mad sister once looked out of an aircraft window one night and was alarmed to see the light from another aircraft tracking dangerously close beside them. In a panic, she called a flight attendant to look and was told that she shouldn't worry because it was their own wingtip light. Below is a link to the post that deals with that sorry episode.

Mind you, she's not the only who really shouldn't be allowed anywhere near an aeroplane. Just yesterday while searching for a piece of cucuumber I rembered leaving buried in my bedding I came across an interesting item in the newspaper which lines the bottom of my cage. An Air Canada pilot recently mistook the planet Venus for another aircraft heading straight for him. The sudden evading maneouvre he took injured several passengers, but at least he didn't have a head on collision with Venus which would have been much worse. I only hope the aircraft cleaners were paid extra for all the poo they would have had to scrub from the passengers' seats.

Anyway, back to my male staff's family. His dad will be travelling at the pointy end of the plane so he'll get here first, followed shortly afterwards by his mad sister and her long suffering husband who will be travelling with the other pond life in comedy class. While his dad will be addressed by the cabin crew as "Sir", his mad sister and her long suffering husband will be addressed as "Oi you!" Or if they have the temerity to ring the service bell "What do you peasants want. Don't you know we're trying to sleep?" Ah yes, the joys of comedy class airline travel. It'll be good to see them all when they do eventually get here. It means I'll have three extra staff for a while.

Finally, another article I found in my newspaper while hunting for that slice of cucumber stated that United States soldiers were photographed doing odd things with the body parts of dead suspected Taliban members in Afghanistan. So far the US military has been caught out torturing people in Abu Ghraib, Iraq, burning Korans, peeing on the enemy's dead bodies, not to mention the homicidal maniac/post traumatic stress disorder victim who shot innocent children in their own homes. Now this. What the hell is going on?
Is it poor leadership or poor training or both? Whatever happened to dicipline? These dudes ought to be charged with treason. Even a peace loving guinea pig can see that these sort of atrocities just make it harder and more dangerous for the other poor sods in uniform whom the Taliban like to use for target practice.

The "West" has to keep the moral high ground when it chooses to invade any nation for whatever reason, or they have lost the battle and have become as bad as whatever regime their trying to displace. As a guinea pig with little knowledge of the American military I say to those peeing, larking, torturing idiots. GROW UP or I'll pee on you while you're alive. See how you like that! And by the way, stop betraying your great nation. Okay, rant over. Time to fling some poop at my staff.

He flings poop at me too you know. Sometimes it hits my feet, What does he know about the moral high ground?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Differently Abled Athletes

My male staff is stressed today. As you know, he's a reverse people smuggler and he has a client who wants to go skiing in Vermont. He knows where Vermont is, unlike many of the kids in the reverse people smuggling trade who struggle to place Sydney on a map of Australia even if they live there, but he knows as much about skiing as a guinea pig. Less actually. He thinks "going out on the piste" is taking part in a pub crawl. Now that's something he does know about. However, it's not going to help his clients who are expecting him to find them a lovely little ski lodge in the scenic, snowy hills of Vermont, from where they can shoot down slopes at two hundred miles and hour in temperatures of minus thirty degrees centigrade and have their faces frozen into permanent smiles which last a whole week and fool newcomers at the ski lodge into thinking that they are having a whale of a time.

My male staff says that as far as he can see, the only enjoyable thing about skiing is the mug of hot chocolate afterwards. Especially if it has a nice big pink marshmallow bobbing about in it. He reckons it's a very expensive way to get frostbite, catch pneumonia or break a limb - possibly all three. (That's all three - frostbite, pneumonia or break. Even a guinea pig knows that humans have fours limbs, unless they've been on a skiing holiday before and have already lost one to frostbite.) He says that when he goes on holiday it's to get away from bad weather and crowds of people doing stupid things. Still, each to their own I suppose.

When my staff go on holiday Badger and I get dumped at "The Pet Resort". The first time we went there we were quite looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet. In our naivety we imagined that we might be left alone without being stroked, crooned over and slobbered on. It wasn't to be however. Because the owner of the resort kept our cages in her house, (Along with a large African grey parrot who said rude things, and a tiny snake who didn't speak at all.) thus we were at the mercy of her teenage kids who, every night after they'd done their homework would haul us from our cages and spend hours brushing and stoking us. I can't help thinking we were missing something while we were there, because it sounded at though the dogs were having a party in another part of the resort - all day, every day.

Anyway, my male staff says if you really want to go on holiday to somewhere with bad weather and crowds of people doing stupid things you could do a lot worse than visit London during the Olympic Games this summer. I understand that they are trialling some new events this year in both the Olympics and the Special Olympics for disabled athletes. Some of the new events have a distinctly local flavour. For example there is to be a Complaining About The Weather competition and Synchronised Tea Drinking with bonus points for pinky cocking and degree of difficulty. Maximum bonus points can be gained by drinking airline tea. Athletes are expected to supply their own stomach pumps.

The Special Olympics for disabled (Sorry, I think the PC term is differently abled.) athletes is including Synchronised paddling for non-swimmers and the one hundred metres sprint for athletes with no sense of direction. The world record for this event is seventeen minutes and nineteen point three seconds. (Map assisted.) They were going to have a javelin event for athletes with no sense of direction too, but nine members of the crowd were killed during qualifying, so that idea was abandoned.

Returning to the subject of snow and cold and abject misery, in 2014 the Winter Olympics are being held in Sochi, Russia and there too a couple of new events are planned thanks to an idea that the organisers got from listening to their favourite Jerry Seinfeld tape one day over a bottle or ten of vodka. There's the Involuntary Ski Jump, in which journalists, hand picked by Vladimir Putin will be strapped to a toboggan and shoved down the slope. Scores will be determined by how many workers it takes to clean up the bloody mess at the bottom and by the decibels produced by the journalist as he screams for forgiveness for daring to criticise Putin. Journalists who fail to be killed will be disqualified permanently. This rule has spawned a whole new event called Putin the Shot.

I can't afford to get my feet frost bitten. I've only got 14 digits as it is.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Politics Through A Toilet Roll

I am currently two years and two months old. This means that I am experiencing my first ever United States of America election year. It seems like a lot of fun, but viewing it from the remoteness of Australia is like watching something through one of my toilet roll middles. (My staff give me them to chew and throw about. They're very entertaining, and I can thoroughly recommend them. The toilet roll middles I mean. Not my staff - I certainly can't recommend them and they're not the least bit entertaining.) Sorry, I got diverted, where was I? Ah yes. I was viewing the American presidential election year through a toilet roll middle. You can see the central characters, but nothing that is going on peripherally. So it's quite likely that I'm getting a somewhat skewed impression of the whole thing.

From my cage I have a very good view of our brand new television and each news and current affairs programme these days seems to have a short feature on the Republican primary elections, which have now been reduced to a two man contest between a pair who are also competing for the silliest name. We have Mitt (Named after a baseball glove, with a personality to match.) and Newt (Named after a slimy amphibian. He also has a personality to match.) There was a third candidate called Rick (I think there may be a silent P at the front of his name.), but his name wasn't silly enough to continue, so he gave up to concentrate on thinking up a sillier name for next time.

Mitt, Newt and Rick have been insulting each other for months now, each of them saying to the American public what total idiots the other two are. The funny thing is that they all belong to the Republican party and when they do finally decide who has the silliest name and will therefore challenge for the presidency, the two losers will be expected to fall in behind the one with the silliest name and to say what a splendid chap he his.
The American public will be expected to forget that the other two have been calling the winner a tosser for months and vote for him in order to evict that evil Irishman Mr O'Barmer from the Oval Office.

President O'Barmer himself has a problem in that fifty percent of Americans hate his guts, ten percent of those probably hate him because he isn't white, which he will find difficult to change. His other problem is that he is more popular in other countries than he is in America itself. If he were running for the presidency of Indonesia or Kenya he'd probably win in a landslide. He'd certainly win here in Australia, but he'd have to learn how to drink rum and coke, wear thongs, refer to women as "sheilas" and build up an immunity to the foul taste of Vegemite. One certain way of ensuring that he wins the coming elections against whoever gets the Republican nomination would be to enact a law decreeing that the entire world is eligible to vote in the American election. I can't see that happening though.

I've also only ever experienced one Australian general election so far, and it seems far more predictable. Here the political parties generally only insult members of the other parties,but just like in America we only have two main parties. The Labor Party is sort of like the American Democrats and the Liberal National Party is sort of like the Republican Party. We used to have a third party called the Australian Democrats, positioned between the other two, who's slogan was "Keeping the Bastards Honest". The trouble is that they joined forces with John Howard's Liberal National Party to push through the Goods and Services Tax in 2000 and so became one of the bastards themselves. At the next general election only three people voted for them, and one of those did so in error. The Australian Democrats no longer exist.

No doubt politics in both the USA and Australia is a much more complex thing than it seems when viewed through a toilet roll, but Badger say's "Nah! Politicians are all just a bunch of self-serving twats."

I said no such thing. I merely observed that they are more concerned with the trimming of their toenails than they are with improving the lives of the people they serve.


Monday, April 9, 2012

The Mohair Footstool

In less than two weeks my male staff's dad, his mad sister and her long suffering husband will be arriving from England and I will have three different laps to pee on and Badger will have three different laps to leap from and three different people to take him to the vet when he does. With this visit in mind , my staff have undertaken a programme of modernisation, as far as the house goes anyway. For example, they have filled in the moat, turned the drawbridge into nice retaining wall and made a lovely trellis of the portcullis, upon which my green beans are now growing. They've made a start on shovelling out some of the accumulated dust, but are at a bit of a loss as to where to put it. They've decided that they can't just throw it all outside because that amount of dust may form a cloud in the upper atmosphere and disrupt air traffic for weeks. So for the time being it's been piled under their bed along with the dessicated lizards, almost dead, but still wriggling cockroaches and the occasional pellet of bush chocolate.

A few days ago we all went shopping for furniture and a new telly . Well, not all. Just Badger, myself and my staff. Paolo the budgie had to stay at home because unlike the late Biggles the budgie he can only fly in a straight line. This means that if he got loose in a shop he'd eventually fly into something and he's not a well budgie as it is. The last thing he needs is a fractured skull. So off we went. The first stop was the furniture shop and my staff had decided that they needed a new bed for my male staff's dad to sleep on. It was a bit like a scene from "The Three Bears". Each bed was either too hard or too soft. My staff devised a very effective way of testing the beds. My female staff stood on the bed and held Badger out at arms length at shoulder height, then she dropped him onto the bed. If he bounced back higher than waist level then the bed was too soft. If he didn't bounce at all, but simply went splat, then the bed was obviously too hard. But, if he bounced back somewhere between her knees and her waist then we knew the bed was just right.

Throughout the whole operation Badger had an expression on his face that could have been bemusement or alarm. It can be hard to tell with Badger. The shop sales staff had a similar look on their faces, as did the other customers. It was as if they'd never seen a fully grown woman standing on a bed bouncing a small, fat black and white guinea pig before.  After each bounce she called out the result to my male staff. "Too hard." or "Too soft." He dutifully noted it down on a piece of paper, and thus they went from bed to bed until finally Badger bounced perfectly. "Just right." called my female staff and my male staff whipped out his wallet, blew the dust from it and withdrew a thin piece of plastic, which he handed with a flourish to the salesman, who looked more than a little relieved. While all this had been happening I'd been running around the floor, chewing some of the furniture. The Italian leather sofas tasted best. Tell you what though, you have to keep moving in those furniture shops. I had just sat still for two minutes to deposit a pile of bush chocolate on a nice white fluffy rug, when an elderly lady pointed at me, turned to a salesman and said. "Excuse me young man. How much is that little mohair footstool?" Well, naturally I scampered off, so that by the time the salesman had looked around all he could see was a small mound of stools of a different kind. He glared at the old lady as if she was mad. 

Next it was off to a posh department store to buy a new television. My staff had decided to get one of those new fangled colour ones. They've only been out for about forty five years but my staff figured that enough time had probably elapsed for the price to have come down a bit. Since it was a posh department store Badger and I were not allowed to roam. Badger was placed in my female staff's handbag. He quite likes it in there. He says it's a bit like the Tardis - a lot roomier than it looks from the outside, and there are always lots of interesting thing to chew.. On this occassion however, he mistook my female staff's lipstick for a carrot, so by the time he was able to poke his head out of the handbag he looked like a guinea pig version of Dame Edna Everage and was complaining that he had a stomache ache. He'd also been stomping around in her powder compact. To this day it's easy to keep track of him. You just have to follow his little powdery footprints.

Before we entered the shop I was stuffed down the front of my male staff's trousers, just as I used to be when we visited his mum in hospital. Only this time I wasn't allowed to stick my head out of his fly and eat grapes. I was under strict instructions to keep still and to mind where I was putting my claws. My staff don't usually frequent such posh establishments, but they had obtained a forty dollar discount voucher from somewhere. Using this would mean that their purchase would only cost forty five percent more than buying from K-Mart rather than the usual fifty percent. My staff are astute shoppers.

Anyway, due to my position down the front of my male staff's trousers I couldn't see what was going on, but I could tell my staff were talking to a saleswoman from the questions they were asking. "Does it stay on colour the whole time?"  "Is the sport in colour?"  "Can you change the colour someone is wearing if you don't like it?" That kind of thing. It seemed to go on forever. Finally we all stopped for a while and the saleswoman explained the features of a certain TV set. By this time I'd been stuck in my male staff's trousers for about half an hour and was starting to get cramp in my back legs. It was no good. I had to change position. This I did, with a fair bit of squirming, much to my male staff's discomfort. I was hoping nobody had noticed my movements, but after a moment or two's silence I heard the saleswoman say. "Well Sir, I can see you REALLY like this particular model."

Does anyone know how to remove face powder from one's feet?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Ghost of Charlton Heston

My first task today is to thank all my friends who sent their condolences for the death of my poor little feathered brother Biggles the Budgie. Thanks also for the best wishes and get well soon messages I've received for Paolo the Budgie - my other feathered brother. He's still doing very well and looks like making a full recovery from the same disease that killed Biggles.

Now then. With apologies to my readers in the USA whom I have warned before about their silly gun laws. Click on the link below to see the post in which I explained their confusion on matters such as gun control.

In the USA it seems that the more dangerously nutty you are the more likely you are to be granted a gun licence. Of course it also helps if you work for the Post Office, and if you happen to be both nutty and a post office employee - or even better, a recently sacked one then you can have as many guns as you like. Just pop into "Rocket Propelled Grenade Launchers R Us" and take your pick. Folks outside of the USA read the headlines of yet another mass shooting and shake their heads in disbelief that nothing ever seems to be done. This time a Korean born loony by the name of One Goh is the latest to flip out, shooting seven innocent people dead at Oikos University in Oakland, California.

Why are normal, everyday Americans not demanding change to gun laws? I know that there are some normal everyday Americans. Many of them are my friends, and I know that most of them haven't shot anyone for ages. I think I know why they don't say anything too. I expect they're worried they might get a friendly visit from their local NRA branch. The ghost of Charlton Heston looms large. Well, as I said, I've warned you for the last time. Now I'm going to write to Margaret Thatcher and ask her to go to America and confiscate all your guns. No arguments! You're obviously not grown up enough to be trusted with them, or anything more dangerous than a butter knife. She'll be bringing her handbag too, the blue leather one with the steel studs. Yep, the very same one she bashed Argentina's General Galtieri with in 1982. The same one that she threatened to poke up John Major's bottom passage in 1990. It's a bit battered these days but, still deadly when wielded by a grocer's daughter with big hair and a strident, condescending voice.

On a lighter note, my male staff tried to remove his thumb with a pair of secateurs yesterday. He did quite a good job too until it started hurting and the blood began to run down his arm and drip onto the floor. In fact he was trying to cut a perch to size for Paolo the budgie's cage. I got a look at the wound before my male staff bound it up and drove into town to see the doctor. It was not very long, less than an inch, but it was satisfyingly deep, with what appeared to be a blob of fat hanging from it. My first thought was to say to my male staff that he should save the bit of fat for Thomas the kookaburra, but I thought better of it. He seemed a little tetchy. An hour later he was back with a huge bandage wrapped around his thumb. He appeared to be upset that the doctor hadn't thought it was worth a stitch. I just though to myself "If he can do that much damage with a pair of secateurs, thank heaven we don't live in the USA where he'd surely be insane enough to qualify for a gun licence.

I'm not going to let Billy's male staff anywhere near my feet.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Four Basil Leaves And A Funeral

Sunday was a sad day. My friend Biggles the budgie died. Both he and my other budgie pal Paolo had come down with a severe bacterial infection. The trouble with birds is that they are too tough and macho for their own good. If they are sick they hide it because sick birds in the wild are likely to be attacked by other birds. The trouble with that is that humans only realise that their birds are sick when they are on their last legs. So on Saturday morning when my male staff uncovered Paolo and Biggles' cage and found them looking very sorry for themselves he feared the worst and took them both down to the vet - Auntie Cara, who had only the day before given Badger his enema. I think Auntie Cara now suspects that my male staff is stalking her, because just lately he seems to be spending more time with her in her surgery than he does at home.

Then, early on Sunday morning the phone rang, waking Badger and I. I thought I was having a nightmare because my male staff padded stark naked into the living room and picked up the phone. It wasn't pretty. Badger was dry heaving so much I thought he might have to go back to see Auntie Cara again. My eyes are still sore from the sight, but I'm sure my vision will return to normal soon. I've made a mental note to sleep with my fur over my eyes in future in case it happens again. Anyway, Auntie Cara was on the phone and she had bad news. Poor Biggles had died in the night despite Auntie Cara's best efforts. He was just too sick.

So, later on Sunday afternoon my staff went together to the vet surgery to collect Biggles' little body. They brought him home wrapped in an old tea towel and encased in a shoe box. Then we were ushered outside into the garden for the funeral. My female staff held Badger and I while my male staff dug a small hole beneath the evodia tree where two other budgies are buried.  All seemed well until my male staff unwrapped Biggles' body, but then the sight of him, his usually bright green feathers slightly dulled and his tiny eyes closed now forever made my staff's eyes leak. Funny, death seems to do that to humans. My male staff's eyes leaked when his mum died too. My staff gently stroked Biggle's tummy and then my male staff lowered him into the little hole that he had prepared. Then he filled in the hole, which made his eyes leak even more. He mumbled something that sounded like "Fly free little one." I thought that Biggles might have difficulty doing that, buried as he was under a foot of clay.

Later, back in our cages Badger and I were discussing how we'd miss Biggles' circuits around the living room. He always flew in a clockwise direction for some reason. Then often at the end of the circuit he'd land on my male staff's shoulder before hopping back into his cage to either scoff his dinner or attack his mirror, both of which he did with enormous enthusiasm. I think Badger was a bit confused about the day's proceedings. "Why," he asked me, "did my male staff put Biggles in a hole in the ground? Had he been transformed into a mole while he was at the vet? Does this mean we won't be seeing him as often from now on?"
 "Yes Badger, that's right." I said. "He's a mole now." Badger shrugged and went back to inhaling his basil.

Now Paolo is back at home and it's the responsibility of Badger and I to keep an eye on him. If he starts to look a bit poorly we're under instructions to wheek at the top of our voices. Trouble is we do that whenever we want food and my staff have yet to learn the difference between a "Paolo looks poorly" wheek, and a "Give me some basil" wheek. Consequently every time either one of us makes the slightest noise my staff come running in to see how Paolo is. Naturally we take advantage of this and put on our best starving cavy look. Humans have a small, primitive brain and are notoriously difficult to train.

I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the thought of Biggles burrowing away under my feet.