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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Monday, October 31, 2005

Lady Bracknell's familiar behaves oddly

That it is Hallowe'en once more was made obvious to Lady Bracknell today as she hobbled towards her bus stop. The first clue was a very small witch, complete with pointy hat, who was being taken by the hand to nursery by her mother. Lady Bracknell can find nothing to complain about there.

However, she also walked past the shattered remains of what must have been dozens of egg shells. And this she finds wholly reprehensible. Lady Bracknell doubts that the poor hens who have been packed into batteries, and who have never been permitted so much as a glimpse of the sky or the feel of a blade of grass under their feet, would be overjoyed to discover that their eggs have been thrown at cars, or walls, or front doors. Show Lady Bracknell a ruffian who says that he bought free range eggs for his midnight revels, and she will show you a liar. Of course, such loutish and ill-bred behaviour also demonstrates a deplorable want of respect for other people's property, and is thus in every conceivable way unnacceptable.

Owing to its unusual situation, Bracknell Towers remains blessedly free from gangs of marauding urchins seeking their next tartrazine fix. Nevertheless, it is Hallowe'en, and Lady Bracknell feels duty bound to pay some lip service to the fact.

Where there are witches, there are also witches' familiars. Many of which take the form of black cats. Lady Bracknell claims neither to be a witch nor to have a familiar, but her feline companion (who, happily for this most tenuous of links, happens to be black) is behaving rather oddly.

Regular readers will recall that Bracknell Towers, and its contents, have a tendency to crumble. The current list of items which need some attention include


  • the knob which fell off the washing machine last week;
  • the hob on which only two of the rings are willing to heat up; and
  • the dishwasher, which will only deign to work if the 'on' switch is held down with blu-tack.

Rather more serious than any of the above is the fact that rain is coming through the withdrawing room ceiling. As a temporary measure, Lady Bracknell has seen to it that a basin be stationed under the drip.

She thought little of this until she witnessed her feline companion exiting the withdrawing room in a manner which could only be described as furtive. At which point, it occurred to Lady Bracknell - whose mind is, let us not forget, like a steel trap - to wonder whether Fishbone was drinking from the basin.

A theory which subsequent observation has proved to be correct. Lady Bracknell is well aware that cats prefer rainwater to tap water. But, to paraphrase the current Marks and Spencer food adverts, this is not just rainwater. This is rainwater which has been subjected to filtration through roof tiles, ceiling joists, plaster and possibly several other less-than-delicious substances. When more than a little has been collected, a gritty black tide mark soon appears. But that Fishbone loves it cannot be denied. This very morning, she insisted on being allowed into the withdrawing room, and complained in a most peremptory manner when she discovered that the basin had not been magically re-filled overnight. She is entirely unmoved by Lady Bracknell's explanations as to why more cannot be provided merely to suit her feline whim.

Rain is forecast overnight. Lady Bracknell cannot be entirely sure, but she suspects that Fishbone has been doing a little rain dance when no-one was looking....

5 Comments:

Blogger pete said...

Oscars the same he will drink 'dirty' water. But his favourite (for the moment) is to drink it out of the bath tap.

9:34 pm  
Blogger melbamae said...

Ah yes, felines and unusual sources of H20.

Pudding insists on the tap in the bathrom sink be turned on upon demand. "No" is not an option.

Booboo thoroughly enjoys licking the left over water from the various jets in the jacuzzi/bathtub.

Fungus likes her water flavored with whatever we've had in our dishes for dinner...and occasionally even lowers her standards to drink out of the communal dog/cat waterbowl. Not a highbrow our Fungus, she's a rescued farm cat.

10:58 pm  
Anonymous Chris Mac said...

How very peculiar m'lady. I wonder why cats prefer rain water? One might understand the more wild of the species indulging in such behaviour, but one would have though that the domesticated feline especially Fishbone would be accustomed to more civilised tastes.I will have to investigate this further by use of the google.

11:38 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Mr Mac,

The reason which is generally given for cats disliking tap water is that their sensitive noses can detect that it contains chlorine.

Chlorine sinks to the bottom when tapwater has been standing for a while, which explains why a cat who has rejected a bowl of water fresh from the tap may return to it with renewed enthusiasm later.

Lady Bracknell used to have a cat whose favourite source of drinking water was her wet footprints on the bathroom floor. Complete with bubble bath.

7:43 am  
Blogger JustinR said...

Oh, what a wonderful heart warming story. I love such stories that involve the felines of this world. I do so miss having a cat. Being a dog owner is fair enough. Jasper can be a confort to his master, Jasper can cuddle close to his master while he switches on the Victor reader classic, to commence yet another great book from RNIB's talking books service. Yet, it still doesn't beat having a cat.

It seems many a person is having problems with their domains. Just last night, my friend from my old school told me of the numerous problems in her house. Her stair lift for her mum will not complete its run when it used to decend the stairs. The company in question doesn't know what to do as "they can't figure out what the problem is". Cor, it must take the great brains electronics to find the answr *roll eyes*. There is the case of my sister, at the last stges of being with child, whose washing machine has given up on its calling in life. i can't remember some of the other snags they are having. I think... oh, dare I say I am, with family, OK and home, with no misshaps? Now, I think I lie, if I remember that my father thinks the shower cubical is leaking and, there is some water coming through to the kitchen. Just a little mind you bt, enough to be noticed by them. I'm afraid a lot does get past Justin with such limited sight. So, I find out many a thing that others cast their eyes on.

2:53 pm  

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