Saturday, December 16, 2017

Nefertiti's Crime Spree

It has to be said.  Nefertiti is embarrassed by the facts, but she has brought this exposé on herself.  There's no getting around it - Nefertiti is a kleptomaniac.

For years now my little half Siamese, tortoiseshell cat has been light pawed.  She restricts her nefarious deeds to plush toys.  Until recently her kleptomania was limited to toys with big eyes, but lately she's branched out.  I often buy a small plush animal toy as a souvenir when we are out and about to display somewhere around the house.  Some of these toys sit on my chest of drawers in my bedroom and these poor innocent creatures have long been the victims of Nefertiti's marauding.

I've never actually caught her in the act which, when you consider this has been going on for years, is a testimony to her sneakiness.  But Nefertiti has never learned to be quiet about her capers.  I'm not sure of the timeline or the thieving techniques she employs because as I said, I've never caught her in the act, but I imagine it goes something like this -

Nefertiti waits until the coast is clear.  She has spent the afternoon lying down with me while I rest my back, but once I'm up and about again she feigns sleep so I'll take pity on her and leave her in the bedroom.  Now that she's alone with her prey her whiskers twitch -does she try to resist temptation?  I doubt it.  She looks to her right, she looks to her left and assuring herself that the room is human free she resumes her life of crime.

Moving as stealthily as only a Siamese descendant can, Nefertiti stalks whichever unfortunate toy is the object of her compulsion at the time.  She tends to concentrate on one particular toy for a while, anything from days to months, and limits her kidnapping to that toy until her fancy lights on some other ill-fated target.  Once she has scaled the heights of the chest of drawers, usually knocking over various toiletry items as she goes, our sure-footed scoundrel grabs her prey and heads for the hills.  The hills, in this case, is usually under our dining room table.  Occasionally Nefertiti's eyes are too big for her belly (or her jaw strength as the case may be)  and she targets a larger toy which never makes it to the dining table area.  These poor individuals usually end up on the bedroom floor near the door, where I imagine Nefertiti's strength and/or interest has given out.

Once the toy is acquired Nefertiti then begins her victory cry.  It's a pathetic little sound.  She inherited her Siamese dad's croaky voice and her victory cry sounds less like a celebration and more like a strangled complaint.  Never-the-less Nefertiti sits by the purloined plush figure and croaks out a triumphant song.  She then loses all interest in her latest haul and goes about her usual pussy cat business (sleeping in the most comfortable spot she can find) as if nothing wicked has happened.  I retrieve the snatched toy and return it to its rightful home after accusing the tortoiseshell yet again of dark crimes.  Nefertiti adjusts her whiskers, this time in indignation, rises above the whole sordid conversation and sleeps the sleep of the just.

Nefertiti with one of her favourite targets.  No, she wasn't caught red-pawed, I challenged her with the evidence but she sniffed it and said it had nothing to do with her.

This pattern has been going on for years.  I know I could haul her out of the bedroom when I leave and at times I've done so, but at some time during the day the bedroom door is usually accidentally left open and Nefertiti's pussycat sixth sense alerts to an opportunity not to be missed.  Also, it's a harmless vice and no-one gets hurt.  That is until two days ago.

With all my Christmas decorations out and my plush toys put away for the season, Nefertiti has turned her wicked attention to my plush decorations.  I have reindeer, Santas, teddy bears and more all sitting around the living room, bedroom and hall looking suitably vulnerable to a kidnapping attempt, and just waiting for Nefertiti to get around to thieving them.  For some reason Nefertiti has relaxed her strict rule about big eyes.  She is now targeting my Nisse (Scandinavian elves).  I bought a few during the after Christmas sales last year and love their big noses and long beards, but the fact remains - they have no visible eyes.  Their long pointy cap covers their face right down to their nose.  Maybe Nefertiti feels these large noses compensate her for their lack of eyes.  I'm not sure, all I know is that she ignores many delectable, large-eyed Santas, bears and reindeer as she snatches one of my Nisse.

Some of my Nisse.

When I first decorated the house the Nisse sat on my sewing table minding their own business and looking very cute.  After a couple of forays on Nefertiti's part, I moved them to the back of my decoration collection of ceramic Santas where they were basically hidden.  It saddened me to hide them but Nefertiti was wreaking havoc on their beards and felt bodies.  I thought, because they were hidden, with only their pointy hats showing, Nefertiti would turn her pilfering attentions to some other victim.  I was wrong.

It seems that Nefertiti, in the manner of all true fanatics, has fixated on the Nisse and will settle for nothing less now.  I found out the hard way.  The day before yesterday I discovered this ...

Nefertiti had scaled the heights of the television unit, passing many, many tempting (but not tempting enough) soft toys to get to my poor Nisse.  On the way she must have scattered porcelain and resin decorations to get to her objective.  This poor Santa paid the price.  I've only had him a year or two and he is one of my favourites with his jaunty nose and huge, overflowing present sack but with the broken bits being so much shrapnel there was little I could do to repair the damage.  Another bear had her black boots broken off but a bit of Araldite fixed that problem beautifully, with the repair invisible.   Santa and his broken present sack went into the bin and was duly mourned. 

My Nisse were all moved to the floor where Nefertiti has easy access to them without bypassing breakable objects.  Scarily, the broken decorations were right next to my Royal Doulton Santas.  Thankfully Nefertiti went for the closest Nisse and not the one nestled in behind these precious decorations.

Later, I was complaining to Graeme about my defunct Santa and showed him the gaping hole.  Graeme tried to show sympathy but I think he may have been secretly rejoicing that one of the decorations had bitten the dust, taking the population down by only one but maybe Nefertiti’s raids could add more to the defunct list.  While I was bemoaning my loss, with the damaged Santa in my hand, a brilliant idea occurred to me.  I could stuff the hole with something.  At first, I thought maybe a little present could be seen sticking out, but I lacked a tiny present to fit the hole.  Then, most likely because we have been suffering from an excess of mice here on Spring Rock, the answer sprang to mind. 

Can you see the little mouse peeking out of the hole in the photo above?   I know the scale is wrong and the mouse looks more like it might be a kangaroo joey, but I'm fine with that.  Also, I think a little bit of payback has occurred.  

That mouse is one of Nefertiti's catnip mice.  I think that's Karma, don't you?

From everyone at Spring Rock, we wish you a very happy Christmas and a wonderful 2018.  Heaven's knows what the menagerie will get up to next year.