Inter-species Skyping

Glamour Puss Last weekend Kym decided enough was enough and she would have to procure her own Laptop seeing as she wasn’t having much luck getting keyboard time on our communal desktop. So off to town we went with credit-card in hand, in to Smiths Dicks to browse the dozens of laptops on offer, eventually striking up a conversation with an informative-but-too-not-pushy salesman who ended up flogging us an entry level ASUS (or ANUS as Kym calls it) machine.

Back home with the box, Kym unpacked it carefully, I kept a safe distance as I was on no uncertain terms banned from any contact with said device. The machine was fired up, and I watched with trepidation as Vista appeared on the screen and began to engrain itself on the silicon and liquid crystal. Some casual input from me over Kym’s shoulder eventually got HER laptop onto our home network and out onto the Internet.

The Lappy was mostly provisioned with the tools Kym is going to need out of the box, and the only thing I dared suggest I might install was a copy of Skype. This was agreed to with a look of suspicion, but I was not to install anything else, and not until the new owner had taken some time to play with the new toy.

So it was a couple of days later I thought I’d take advantage of her Ladyships absence to install Skype. Plugged in my USB stick, copied the installer over, setup a profile for her, and made a test call to the automated Skype service. I wanted to check out the built-in web camera and although I could make a call to the upstairs desktop but there’d be no one on the other end and only other living creature in the house was the Cat so how would that work……. unless…. I called the Cat…

Yes that was it, tilt the laptop screen down so the web cam was aimed at the cat on the sofa, place a call to my account logged in on the desktop upstairs, run upstairs and answer it and see if the cat appears. Which of course he did. So much for the visual image but how about some actual communication???

Our cat Kola is anti-social at the best of times but he does respond to a mouse-like squeak sound that I make by drawing air in between pursed lips, so I let rip with this squeeky sound over the Skype connection. He immediately sat bolt up-right on the sofa with a startled look on his face, glanced nervously around the room, looked suspiciously at the laptop, then settled back down on the sofa.

I figured its gotta be worth repeating the “squeak” just to make sure it wasn’t a one-off. Sure enough Kola responded instantly, but this time looked straight at the laptop, he knew it was coming from the machine, and he didn’t like it. By this stage I’m laughing to myself in the office upstairs, delighted that I had achieved a crude form of inter-species Skype communication. Now all I have to do is train him to place a call.

Humans 1 – Cats 0

kola.jpgThis morning I was getting ready to leave for work, pulling my jacket on, looked out the window to the back lawn and noticed the bloody frost on the grass. I peered around the lawn a little to see how thick it was and see a little sunny spot over by the passionfruit vine.

Then my heart skips a beat when I realise that under the vine in the only warm sun on the lawn is sitting the neighbors cheeky cat, the one that our Kola fights with on a regular basis.

I grin to myself, quietly creep to the back door, gently unlock it and open it up so I can peek round the door-jam to see if the cats still there. Yep, he hasn’t seen me, in fact the little bugger’s asleep.

WHAMMM!!! I fling the door open and sprint like a mad-man out the door, up the stairs and charge in the general direction of the cat. He leaps about 8-feet in the air, does some wheel-skidding on the grass before getting enough traction to launch off and out of the property.

I slow my great lumbering carcass to a halt and am left puffing away in the frosty grass, laughing to meself, thinkin how brave I am, then realizing how bloody pathetic the whole episode is.

Then I wonder where the hell Kola is, walk back inside, and spot him at the bottom of the stairs waiting in the kitchen beside his empty breakfast bowl. He’s missed all the action and doesn’t seem to understand my gesticulations. The things we do for our dependents aye?

The Hungry Hippy Saves the Worm… Almost

Blackbird and wormWalking back from the food-halls to my office just now I glanced down at the glorious steaming-hot container of chilli-Squid and pickled cabbage I’d purchased and began to entertain thoughts of sympathy for the glorious sea-creature that had died to fuel my bodily functions.

It wasn’t a long walk back so the Squid wasn’t gonna be receiving too many conciliatory thoughts, and the poor cabbage was never gonna get a look-in (Cabbage-empathy isn’t something I’ve experienced, yet). Thankfully I was distracted about half-way by a Black-bird hopping into the garden to avoid me leaving behind a big juicy Earthworm to squirm in a clearly panicky and disoriented manner across the footpath.

The evil hippy-ways of my father-in-law brushed aside thoughts of the Squid for a moment and attempted to direct me instead to save the poor worm from violent Avian digestion and certain demise.

I almost stopped in my tracks…. but ultimately came to my senses, consoling myself that I was witnessing the natural order of things and that intervening could actually disturb the space-time-continuum.

So it was my attention reverted to satisfying my grumbling tummy, realising now that Squid are horrible beastly creatures that deserve to be eaten.