Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Purrfect Pal

My little girl has been saving up for a Nintendo DS for some time. The latest model, new, is £100 and, although she had saved a lot, she was still some considerable way short. I was telling this to a friend. 'Oh', she said, 'you should try Game, they sell them second-hand.' So, yesterday afternoon, I took myself off to our local town and located this shop and indeed they were selling the latest model, 'pre-owned' for only £70. Even better, the original model was only £40. Assured that it did exactly the same thing, (apparently the screen is not so bright,) I was able to buy her the console and a game and still bring her change home from her hard-saved money.
She was delighted with the aquisition and we immediately began to play with her "Purrfect Pal" kitten. It was hungry and meowed piteously (and, after a very short while, irritatingly.) Speed-reading the instructions I figured out how to feed it, but we had no food and no money to buy food. Nowhere in the instructions could I find any information on how to obtain cash. The cat continued to cry and occasionally lie down and I began to worry that it was collapsing with hunger and would, before too long, die of starvation.
Fortunately at this point the game switched off as it was out of power and we called a halt while we re-charged, not just the console but our own emotional tanks. Once energy was restored, my middle-son had a play and discovered the games. Having a quick try of one he was awarded $0.00 but realised immediately and triumphantly that, had he played better, he might have earned some hard cash. With adult help, enough money for the cat food was won and the cat was fed. Oh, the relief! By this stage he was pining for grooming, play and affection. We also discovered that his litter tray had 73 'kitten-clumps' in it, which took some time to clear up.
After the children were in bed I decided I would play a few games to stock up the cupboard with food and fill up the piggy bank. If she saves enough, she can choose a new kitten and I wanted her to be able to design her own pet when she gets up this morning. An hour later I was still sitting there, tapping out electronic tunes (do it correctly enough and the prize is a wopping $3:00, nearly a box of cat-food!), periodically pausing to groom, play with or pet the cat. It's a pretty demanding beast.
Each of its four basic needs are charted with 'thermometers' and I finally felt able to turn in when all of them were registering green and low. I had met the needs of my electronic cat and I could go to bed satisfied with a job well done. Although I know they will rise again, at least I can easily check on what is required and take appropriate action. If only my children were so easy!

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