Dear Country Cousins

>> Thursday, 18 December 2008

At a playdate yesterday I had a conversation with a girlfriend about the yearly catch-up letters that some families send out with their Christmas cards. We touched particularly on those ostensibly from family pets. And no, I'm not going to tell you what was said or what my point of view is on them (like you can't work it out...).

Now, I live in basement flat, in the middle of London. Not being the type of person who likes to take a dog for a walk accompanied by it's poo in a bag (no, I save that for when Boy #2 needs a nappy change at an inconvenient moment), or indeed the sort of person who wants to arrive home after a trip out to the olfactory knowledge that my cat has poohed in the litter tray (again, that smell is a privilege reserved for my son), we don't have pets.

(Having just read that paragraph through it seems that poo looms large in my psyche. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that the name of this blog may also be a reflection of this. Should I be talking to someone, do you think?)

Anyway, I digress - as usual. We have no pets, so there is no letter.

But wait! Perhaps we do. What about The Mouse(s)? We give it/them a home. We provide a clean and relatively secure environment(discounting the poison, obviously). We even provide - goddammit - snacks, in the form of tree biscuits.

Here, then, is a circular letter from our mouse(s)...

Dear Country Cousins,

Hope all is well with you, and that the Kestrel family down the road still have conjunctivitis.

We are all fine here. Well, I say 'all fine'; Grandma asked me to find out if you have had sight of Uncle Petey recently? He was last seen popping out into the Sitting Room for a snack a couple of days ago, and hasn't come back yet. There are reports that he made the long journey across Main Road trapped by a newspaper and a bucket after failing to get out of the way of the People - he has slowed down a lot, he's been eating so much that he's not as quick as he used to be - and that they abandoned him there in the Garden to a cold and lonely end rather than kill him in sight of the Mini's, but I can't believe they would be that cruel. No, I'm simply hoping that he got tired of Grannie's moaning and squeaking about the congestion charge in the drain outside (those rats at the council really are the limit!), and headed off to you for a spot of R&R. If you see him, can you let us know?

Other than that, life is pretty good. The Mini's continue to leave us liberal food supplies under the Dining Room Table, and She Person is so busy chasing them around trying pointlessly to get them to tidy-up / put their shoes on / take a bath that it's pretty easy to sneak out for a quick meal when her back is turned. She has taken to leaving the Kitchen Door shut when she goes out, which is inconvenient, but since He Person takes no notice of directives like that, leaving doors open (and lights on - which is nice) every time he enters or leaves a room, we're not usually confined under The Kitchen Units for long...

He Person has been here a little more than usual recently, which can be inconvenient. We wouldn't mind - he's got such a heavy tread we can hear him coming for miles - but he's so often in the Kitchen restacking the dishwasher, fixing himself coffee, or raiding the Biscuit Tin (oh, for the chance to reach that Elysium!), that it interferes with our trips out to the Mini's Rooms searching for dropped crumbs and chocolates.

The Mini's are both growing (who knew People could get so big?), and showing an admirable disregard for keeping their food on the Dining Room Table, so we're all getting a little more portly than we should be. Luckily The People have installed a gym in the shape of a Christmas Tree for us to work out on, but I think any benefit for poor Uncle Petey was negated when She Person made those tree biscuits; he simply can't resist the smell of ginger. The number of times Grannie had to stand at the bottom of the Tree and threaten to make him sit and listen to that dreadful music from the mouse deterrent signals if he didn't 'come back down right now...!' Mind you, I think he quite likes that dreadful noise; he's been a bit odd ever since he volunteered to taste the funny-smelling stuff in the trays that appeared all over the kitchen floor one night. He wasn't half sick for the next couple of days - so the rest of us steered clear. It's still there, under the Kitchen Units. One of these days I'm going to go up to She Person and ask her when she's going to get round to moving it; it's downright dangerous, if you ask me. Someone could really get sick.

Anyway, must go. There's an interesting looking sealed box with a hole just the right size for me under the Dining Room table. It smells deliciously of tuna, so I want to take a look inside. Auntie Flo was going to investigate it earlier on, but I've not seen her in a while so she probably hasn't got round to it yet. Must have gone out...

Love to Nancy and the kids,

Your cousin,

Ro Dent.


sharon 19 December 2008 at 01:54  

He-he very funny! However I hope you didn't pay the postage for their Christmas messages as well as feeding the little blighters ;-)

Here's to a rodent-free 2009!

Samurai Beetle 19 December 2008 at 08:53  

That was awesome, it reminds me of the books I liked in middle school by Beverly Cleary called "Ralph S Mouse" only yours is mixed with an edge of Tim Burton. You got a gift.

nappy valley girl 19 December 2008 at 13:52  

That was great. I think you should start a mouse blog now!

Expat mum 19 December 2008 at 17:37  

Fab - and a lot better than most of the letters we get. A few years ago one of my friends was actually telling us about the "cognitive ability" of one of her kids! Like anyone else cares!

Anonymous,  19 December 2008 at 22:35  

We don't do circular letters but last year I sent my blog link to those I thought might be interested. It was much easier than trying to explain 2008 all over again.

And a mouse blog. Good idea!

Anonymous,  19 December 2008 at 22:36  

You can tell I've had a glass of wine or two - last year was, of course, 2007.

A Modern 20 December 2008 at 07:49  

OMG, just picked myself up from the ground. First, the poo stuff, we will never get over it. And the MOUSE. HA. Absolutely brilliant!

Frog in the Field 20 December 2008 at 07:49  

Hello Potty,
a bloody excellent post!
But, you have annoyed the entire house because I've woken them all up laughing.
Isn't it funny how men moan so much that women leave doors open and lights on? Darling Husband (perfect though he obviously is), insinuates the female population of the house do this, but methinks he who works in a barn should monitor his actions a little more closely when in domestic surroundings.
Mouse theme blog? hmm...had any parcels lately?

Working mum 20 December 2008 at 11:02  

I'm sorry. Letters from family pets?!

Potty Mummy 20 December 2008 at 12:16  

Sharon - what, you mean I don't need to buy their stamps?

RM, thankyou!

SB, thankyou too. The black humour thing? I think it's a hangover from my Catholic education...

NVG - in my spare time, perhaps!

EPM, I think everyone who sends those letters should give a copy to a disinterested party before they send them out for all those ridiculous statements to be edited out.

GPM, that is a really efficient use of a blog. Unfortunately Husband's family are still unaware of my blog's existence - and I think it will stay that way for a while...

Modern , should I take it you are one of those brave souls who DO carry the poo in a bag then? My commiserations.

Frog, thanks, and as for the parcel - e-mail to follow!

WM - don't tell me you've never come across one? You know, from Snoopy the dog, telling you all about it's owners? Oh, you have missed a treat (though not usually in the way the writer intended, sadly...)

Jo Beaufoix 20 December 2008 at 18:18  

Heh heh, that was brilliant. And is Aunt Flo where I'm thinking she is?? The great big cheese in the sky?

And an obsession with poo is healthy. That's what I keep telling myself. ;D

Liz@Violet Posy 23 December 2008 at 17:24  

That's brilliant!! Made me giggle :)

Who on earth sends letters from family pets??

I'm so pleased I'm not the only person who has at somepoint been obsessed with poo - kids do that to you!

Potty Mummy 23 December 2008 at 20:35  

Jo, I don't know, I thought mice went straight to the firey pit...

Liz, thanks for visiting and as for who sends letters from family pets - more outwardly sane people than you might imagine...

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