The Entropy Gang’s November 2013 blog (formerly Conservatory Cats’ Chats)
We are one year old today
It is our first birthday and a good time to review our experiences. We were born in Hampshire last November in a litter of four and we three moved from there to our new home in February this year. Our other brother had already been chosen by different Servants – the last choice they would have before they were apprised of their correct status in life. For those who are unfamiliar with us let us acquaint you. We are Thickthorn boys.
Herschel: I am a cinnamon silver Ocicat. You may be wondering about my name. Sir John Herschel, Ist Baronet, was ahead of his time and was named after me. He was an astronomer so naturally he was interested in Time Warps. Time Travel is nothing new!!
Herschel investigates sweet chestnuts
Isambard: I am named after Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the great Victorian engineer. I am a Tawny Ocicat, quite an appropriate colour for an engineer. On arrival we were shocked to see four enormous beasts in the Palace grounds, staring through the glass and making extraordinary and very loud noises. The Servants placed us in what appeared to be a large cage which we found very strange at first but soon came to appreciate as a safe haven.
When the dreadful, slavering creatures burst into the room and came to sniff us we soon discovered they were interested more in our food than in us but we hissed and growled at them nonetheless. One of them had spots like Herschel and me but he was enormous. We learnt that these fearsome beings were DOGS and they appeared to be the Servants’ servants so of little account to us. We tolerate Servants but their minions are beneath contempt and we emphasise that at every opportunity now that we have allowed them to mix with us (though actually we are very fond of them!)
Isambard inspects the inner workings of the multi-fuel burner
Jellicoe: You may have noticed that Isambard said one of the DOGS had spots like him and Herschel. I have spots too, on my tummy, but I am a Black Silver Ocicat Classic – a superior type of tabby of impeccable breeding. In keeping with my very smart suit and military bearing I am named after Admiral Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe. I have a loud voice, a necessary requirement for issuing orders to other ranks on the poop deck, though in my case I have just my brothers to command. When the Servants are required to attend to us we all shout orders.
Ready, steady . . . leap
At first we spent much time in the Conservatory to which the DOGS were not allowed entry. Our Servants carried us into the Conservatory in the mornings and sat with us to admire our agility and beauty and to play with us. The DOGS stood at the glass door and stared at our food while the Servants talked to us and took photographs and moving images (video) of us. We may be able to include some video on one of our blog posts one day if the Servants can find time to upload it. They are simple souls and learn slowly.
Herschel: Our Servants have different duties and it is fair to say they perform them adequately. There is room for improvement in certain areas but in general we are pleased with them. We refer to The Servant commonly known as BARRY as The THINKER. He does a lot of thinking, planning, researching and speaking on the telephone. His head is full of ideas. He is the one who takes video and photographs of us though sometimes the Servant known as JANICE takes a turn with the camera.
Isambard: We call JANICE The HOUSEKEEPER or more usually The MAID. She is the one who makes sure our living quarters are clean and our food and water bowls are filled. We like spending time with The THINKER and The MAID because we know they are flattered by our attention. Servants are easily pleased by a show of affection. It doesn’t take much effort – a miaou, a purr, a rub of the head. They even like us using them as stepping stones.
Jellicoe: Our Servants have what they call FAMILY. Some of the FAMILY have very small Servants who have to be carried around and spend much time on the floor. Others of the FAMILY have DOGS who are friends and relatives of the Servants’ DOGS. We take to the heights until they have finished jumping all over each other. On balance, although the DOGS are silly creatures, we rather like them. They seem to like us cleaning their ears and noses and they’re very good about not disturbing us when we've taken their beds.
Jellicoe and Herschel study a very small Servant
Herschel: One phenomenon we have all noticed since February is that things appear to be getting smaller. The DOGS have shrunk, though of course they are still enormous, particularly the spotted one. Mostly it’s the furniture that has reduced in size. We can no longer fit under the table in the Conservatory and the STAIRS, which at first seemed mountainous, have contracted. Our cat tree is not as big, either. We can still all fit in one basket but it’s a bit of a squeeze. At the same time my brothers have grown larger and they tell me I have too. It’s odd because I don’t feel any different and they say they don’t either.
It's a bit squashed . . .
. . . not like it used to be!
Isambard: I just hope things don’t keep on getting smaller or we shall be crawling around on our knees. That wouldn’t be much fun. Maybe we’ll end up being larger than the DOGS – that would be so good! I wonder if the Servants will shrink. They mustn’t get so small they can’t carry our food and water bowls – and who would change the cat litter?
Jellicoe: They haven’t shrunk so far so I think we’ll be all right.
Herschel: We used to call ourselves the Conservatory Cats before we were integrated with the DOGS and given the run of the house. The THINKER has renamed us The ENTROPY GANG. We thought that sounded rather complimentary and quite superior until The MAID told us the definition of ENTROPY.
Isambard: We were surprised to learn that it means ‘a state of disorder; a lack of pattern or organisation.’ Then we didn’t know whether we should be flattered or insulted but we decided it was a tribute to our presence. After all, it is better to be noticed than ignored.
Jellicoe: It is certainly true that we have made an impact. When we are engaged in what The MAID calls our ‘‘Wall of Death’ moments we have noticed that objects are displaced and fall to the floor. At such times, usually once or twice a day, we are invited to spend time in the HALL and on the STAIRS. We can hurtle around to our hearts’ content without fear of harm or injury to ourselves or others.
Herschel: Most of the time we’re quite quiet, watching the birds and chittering at them. The Servants like watching the birds, too. The MAID puts food out for them. Perhaps she is fattening them up for us.
Isambard: What else has happened? Oh yes, we all go up to bed together now. We three Ocicats stretch out on the bed – we take up quite a lot of room – and one or two, sometimes three, of the DOGS join us, oh, and The THINKER and The MAID are there, too. It’s very comfortable.
Jellicoe: We all went to the Vet Servants. We can’t remember much but we went to sleep and when we woke up we felt that something was missing but really we think we had to go there so that big transparent collars could be put on us. We were pleased when The Thinker and The Maid came to take us home. They thought we were going to be quiet. I don’t know why.
The little boys model their buster collars
Herschel: We were so pleased to be out of the little pens we had been kept in at the Vets that we charged all over the house.
Isambard: The collars made screeching noises when they scraped along the floor – our Servants are poor and can’t afford carpets. It was difficult to groom ourselves and the collars scooped up rather a lot of food, too. We tried very hard to take them off but we were unsuccessful.
Jellicoe: We had to go back to the Vets to be checked and then at last The Thinker and The Maid took the collars off and we were free again.
Herschel: We can climb very high now. We’ve all been on top of the kitchen cupboards . . . and the grandfather clock . . . and we like climbing the wire mesh door that allows fresh air into the sitting room but doesn’t let us out.
Jellicoe and Herschel demonstrate their mountaineering prowess
Herschel on the grandfather clock - note the curtain is still in place!
Isambard: We’ve discovered a new game. One of us hides, one of us stays with The THINKER and The MAID and one of us goes upstairs. I usually stay downstairs with the Servants and Jellicoe goes upstairs while Herschel hides.
Jellicoe: After a while I start to cry and that alarms the Servants. They’re always relieved when I return to them so then I go upstairs again and miaou.
Herschel: That’s when the Servants freak out. They know where Jellicoe and Isambard are but realise they haven’t seen me. They hunt everywhere for me. Then one of them sees me in the cat tree. I’m usually asleep by the time they find me.
Isambard: We are still creating entropy. The other day we knocked a casserole dish off the top of the cupboard and broke it. The bits went everywhere.
Jellicoe: We’ve pulled the curtain down in the sitting room. We were using it to climb up to the grandfather clock. Now we have to take a flying leap onto it from our cat tree.
Herschel: We opened the fridge door today – well, we were hungry.
Isambard: Everything that comes into the house must be inspected by us and passed fit for purpose.
Jellicoe: We particularly like boxes . . .
Herschel: We like wool, too. We try to help The MAID with her knitting - you know, breaking off the thread and batting the needles.
Isambard: We love helping with her writing. Keyboards are such fun. They make a lovely tippy-tappy noise but sometimes the computer stops working properly. I don’t think we’re responsible but we keep a low profile until The THINKER has solved the problem.
Jellicoe: All in all, we are content with our lot. The accommodation is good – warm and comfortable with plenty of room for us to play and the food is excellent and plentiful.
Herschel: The Servants have learnt our likes and dislikes – we WILL NOT eat tripe - but tomato soup and cheese and butter are favourite treats, particularly when stolen.
Isambard: We love the big warm dogs and we adore being reminded how stunning and elegant we are.
Bertie is probably our favourite - he's the youngest.