Thursday, 9 October 2008

Everything in moderation

I'm back home.

Yes I know, I didn't even mention I was away. Well I wasn't far away, just house-sitting for some friends who were staying elsewhere for a week or so. Nice to have a change of scenery and routine and all the rest, and some feline company: said cat being resident at the aforementioned house. I presume he saw me as a temporary change of staff.

It was all very civilized and relaxed, unlike the times when I used to house-sit for some other friends who lived out in the countryside. It was relatively isolated so I wouldn't have much (if any) human contact - and the cat in this particular abode seemed to delight in developing, manipulating and refining a peculiar set of dynamics between he and me.

In short, by the end of my stay there it would feel like a cross between The Shining and one of those fight sequences between Inspector Clouseau and Cato. I could be walking from one room to the next and, to the sound of a bloodcurdling wail, suddenly be set upon by the cat which had launched itself from some devious vantage point. He would be constantly spoiling for a fight, and would also delight in walking up to me and then sitting down facing away from me, his neck scrunched up into his shoulders, as if to say, fuck you .

One day I had the upper hand in one of our skirmishes (started by him yet again) and, utterly disgruntled, he sloped off to sulk in some undisclosed location. I was getting a little worried when I realised the lateness of the hour and there was still no sign of him. Slightly woozy after a couple of drinks, I made sure there was cat food on his plate, did a tour of the house, and then decided he'd have turned up by the morning.

I switched all the lights off.

I went into the spare room and got into bed. I was starting to doze off when I heard the faintest of noises.

I opened an eye, with which I did a quick scan of the darkened room from where I was lying. I couldn't see anything. A faint noise again, from very close by.

I slowly started to move, craning my neck to look behind me: the window was behind the top end of the bed. As soon as I began to move, I caught sight of a cat-shaped silhouette sat in the window: simultaneously, a low and very eerie growl issued forth from that same silhouette.

There you are! I said, and lay back down to get some sleep...except that he wouldn't let me. Everytime I moved, he emitted the same sinister growl. It was hilarious and weird at the same time - but if I laughed, he would growl again. The end result though, was that I wasn't going to get to sleep anytime soon while this situation continued.

After some time, I realised what I had to do. I put my hand out towards the cat, who might more accurately be described as a Feline Attack Unit. He went in for the kill, and I made some token efforts to fight back. In other words, I let him win. Then, and only then, did he exit the room and leave me in peace.

Completely unrelated to the above, all comments for the next couple of days will be subject to moderation.


No reason whatsoever, I'm just genuinely curious to see how it works.


Fire Byrd said...

OOOH this means I can be offensive and then you can censor me and not put my words up..... now what shall I say....I could repeat the sentence about my car, but i think that's been done to death.
So instead I'll wish you well of your censorship and hope you'll be very happy together.

trousers said...

Hi fire byrd - NOW I see how it works! Fascinating!

I'd recommend everyone to try it at least once :)

Charlotte said...

You let him be the alpha male and then all was well.

Glad to see you're enjoying comments moderation ... haven't tried it myself yet.

trousers said...

Hi charlotte, yes I think he needed to show he was boss of his own house, bless him.

Moderating is a bit of a novelty - I'll be putting things back to their normal settings once it's worn off though, probably Sunday.

Reading the Signs said...

Trousers, I am very impressed, I would have just tried to chase the cat out and shut the door. But I think Charlotte is right, it's the alpha male thing. I suppose if you'd got on all fours and growled back you'd have been king cat.

I tried commend moderation for a week, also out of curiosity. Bit of a pain, I found, you get everything repeated.

nmj said...

trews, i dig the hostile cat - i think secretly you loved him or you wouldn't recall it so well.

enjoy your moderation, it's kind of a pain, but the good thing (apart from the obvious) is it makes it easier to reply to everyone - everything is staggered and paced - and not miss people, which i would certainly do if mine were unmoderated.

Katherine said...

I'm posting a comment purely to see what it feels like to be moderated by a pair of trousers :-)
Oh and to mention that there's an award for you over at my place.

Katherine said...

Something for you over at my place :-)

DJ Kirkby said...

Lol, how funny. You've just described our Werecat in her younger days! Hence the name...she has calmed down a bit in her old age but around the time of a full moon, watch out, she goes nutty! The most hilarious thing (to us) is that she can't meow. The only sound she can force out is a 'meep' (which kind of kills any street cred she may or may not have been trying to obtain) except , of course, during a full moon when she 'meowls' in the most peculiar fashion.

zola a social thing said...

Was it one of those fucking Fat Cats Trousers?

thin cat on the prowl said...

Was it one of those fucking Fat Cats or was it just a FLUFFBALL of the city?

Merkin said...

I believe in moderation in all things except sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.

Remember all the spybots that Swagman was getting last year?

Two of my blogs are moderated - purely because I don't go into them very often.
The other one is not and I have had no problem.
I have now set it to NOTIFY me if anyone posts on an article that is more than 2 weeks old, after getting a new, and contentious, comment from a new visitor some 3 months after the event!!

Can't be too careful.

PS enjoyed your story of the Glaswegian cat.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Trews

I've been enjoying the pleasures and perils of house-sitting, not to mention freeloading myself for the last nine months. My next stint will be a cat, two spoodles, one niece, a roof full of possums and a legendary python rumoured to inhabit the bottom of the garden. I don't expect to get much peace either.



trousers said...

Hi signs, yes I see what you mean about the repetition, I came back from a weekend away to find 12 comments which I had to sift through and here I am with them again (not that I'm complaining!). Curiously, I did get a spam comment on the Angry post, but I've left it up there because it made me laugh.

nmj - oh definitely, I loved him very much: and the hostility was hilarious because it was so measured. He could be a real charmer too - when it suited him of course - but I always looked forward to the opportunity of a few days with him.

Hi katherine, I hope that being moderated by a pair of trousers didn't result in any unpleasant surprises :)

And thank you very much, I'll be over to have a look forthwith.

dj, I do like the sound of your Werecat - and I'd love to hear her go "meep!"

zola, definitely not! (I can't think of a suitable witticism by way of reply so that will have to do. Same goes for the following comment, though I could give the cat a codename of Furball XL-5 I suppose?)

merk, interesting to see your thoughts on moderation. I think, meanwhile, that the description of Glaswegian cat suits him very well indeed. Mind you, I know he spent a few years in Edinburgh, for what it's worth :)

Oh, and moderation has now been lifted: if you really want to though, you can be moderated on posts over 14 days old, that's what I've now changed the setting to.

trousers said...

Oh bugger, I missed you there pants despite having already thoroughly moderated your comment :)
Yes I must catch up over at yours, most definitely.

Merkin said...

Trousers, I think getting a notification for any comments made well after is a smart move - you never know who is gonna put something in which will change the context completely, and we can't say that our government is trustworthy in these matters.

I am also looking forward to whole swathes of our scribblings being wiped off at some point - Frank is probably more up-to-date on these matters - so save everything off line or in the net somewhere.

PS as part of my thoughts on certain matters last week, I had an enjoyable hour or so going through your old comments on the Graun.
Some magnificent stuff showing that you can, indeed, lead from the front in political matters.
However, sad bastard that I am, the best comment of yours was the one that conflated CiF and John Motson. Pure magic.

trousers said...

merk, I had to look through myself because I really couldn't remember the post in question! Anyway, thanks for those words.

After a long break, I did return to CiF in a low-key kind of way (more low key than before anyway), and for my sins I do still post there from time to time, albeit under a different alias.