One afternoon while at my part-time job at The Boring Board Games Shop, a young man approached me with a query. 'Have you ever witnessed a cat exploring the undergrowth?' he whispered.
Prior to responding, I considered the manager's request of consistent volume throughout the store of approximately 60 decibels. Referring to my physics text book, I discovered a whisper was 20 decibels, therefore I needed to reach at least 100 decibels to maintain Average Store Volume policy. I really wanted a promotion. Due to my lack of knowledge about the logarithmic nature of the decibel scale, I was emulating a "Jackhammer at 2m" when I replied.
'WHY YES. YES, I HAVE." I boomed.
After my ears stopped ringing, and the young man had run away, I was whisked back to my childhood when my father owned 27 cats and every second Sunday would hand each of them a telescope and a compass with the instructions that he wanted a geological map of the 67 hectare property by sundown, with all faults and rock types included.
Sundown arrived and my father was down 27 telescopes and 26 compasses. (We had one particularly responsible cat. Well, it was me actually - dressed as a cat. My father didn't quite trust the cats to go out alone with $4000 worth of equipment, but he knew they would be offended if assigned a human minder. A giant cat minder who walked on two legs and was wearing a vest that said " DO NOT REMOVE FROM STORE ROOM" was deemed somewhat less insulting.)
My telescope was special cat-sized telescope - my father had spent hours constructing it in the attic out of church window panes and used tuna cans - that almost instantly slipped through my oversized fingers and into a lollypop lady's eye.
(I'd obviously ventured off the property.)
My punishment was not too severe though. He just took my umbrella away for a week. It didn't rain anyway.