Tag Archives: patience

An Exercise In Patience (poem)


Piece by piece
Attention to detail
Testing times or timing the test?
Impatience not an option
Endeavour rewarded
Nearing completion
Congratulations abound
End goal achieved with endless patience

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A Mathematical Feline Conundrum

At six am on Friday morning the alarm went off. Still more asleep than awake I lay back, listening to that bloody cuckoo outside (it starts cuckooing about 4.30am) then heard a “MIAOW”. Not an unusual sound for a house that boasts four cats. I guessed that it belong to our ginger feline, Pythagoras.

He is somewhat of a climber and prefers to enter the house via the first floor windows. Nimbly he goes from the fence to the shed roof to the conservatory roof, tip toes across then jumps up onto the lower section of the house roof, wanders over the ridge of the garage and saunters round to the first floor windows, varying his point of entry between the bathroom and Boy Child’s room.

Another “MIAOW” dragged me out of bed and I wandered through to the bathroom, expecting to find Pythagoras patiently waiting to be let in.

No cat.

“Boy Child’s window,” I thought and crept into his room to check.

No cat.

“Hmmm. Perhaps he has gone back to the rear of the house.” I checked Girl Child’s window.

No cat.

Now slightly more awake, I listened carefully and, in between cuckoo calls (that bird is driving me insane, by the way!) I could hear claws moving about and the occasional soft “miaow”.

“He must have gone onto the higher part of the roof and got stuck,” I deduced, rubbing the last remnants of sleep from my eyes.

Barefoot and still in my pyjamas I rushed downstairs and outside to check. So, by ten past six, I’m standing in the middle of the street in my Alter Bridge t-shirt and animal print pyjama bottoms staring up at the roof.

Not a cat in sight. (Humble apologies to any of my neighbours who may have been mentally scarred by my early morning appearance)

Once back indoors, I listened again. I could still hear miaowing and puddy paws moving about.

Was he in the loft? Nah! He couldn’t possibly have got into the loft. No one had been up there for nearly a week and I distinctly remembered putting Pythagoras outside the night before.

Ridiculous as it sounded though, it was the only place he could be.

Trying and failing to be quiet, I got the ladders out of the cupboard, clambered up and very warily slid up the loft hatch, dreading to think what may come flying down on the top of me. Fortunately nothing leapt out at me. I reached up and pulled the light cord then turned to scan round the overly cluttered loft space.

Sitting trembling on a piece of wood was Pythagoras.


Out of all the humans in the house I am that cat’s least favourite. This rescue mission now required Boy Child, his human of choice. I went back down the ladder to waken the sleeping teenager – no mean feat in itself!

A rather sleepy Boy Child, wearing only his boxers, staggered out of the bedroom and up the ladder. The cat did respond to his calls but stubbornly refused to come within reach.

What followed was a five hour battle of wills. Having resorted to any form of cat bribery available, Boy Child (now better dressed) finally coaxed the terrified moggy over to the hatch and grabbed him.

Pythagoras’ claws flew out as he held on firmly to a length of pine shelving.

Boy Child prised him off.

Next he clung to the edge of the hatch.

Boy Child prised him off.

Finally he clung to Boy Child, claws still out, and was liberated from the loft.

Rescue complete.

A closer inspection of our roof has revealed a row of slipped tiles that have left a cat sized hole up in one corner beside one of the windows.

The next rescue mission here may well be “The Big Green Gummi Bear” as he goes out onto the roof via the bathroom window to attempt a repair.

Somehow if he gets stuck I don’t think catnip will work to coax him back in!