LWG 22/01/2019 prompt: “The Perpetual Calendar”
‘A very simple perpetual calendar consists of two cubes in a holder. One cube carries the numbers zero to five. The other bears the numbers 0, 1, 2, 6 (or 9 if inverted), 7 and 8. This is perpetual because only one and two may appear twice in a date and they are on both cubes.’
Having explained all that, let us move on to our little story.
Data Cat was unsure whether it was a Tuesday or not. It could have been. Or it quite easily have been one of the other numerous days available; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Yesterday, Today, Someotherday and so on.
Data Cat knew exactly the date, and the month, but not the day, and not the year – never the year.
Actually, Data Cat was often a day or, occasionally, a month behind, because he relied on the human to change the numbers and the words of Data Cat’s Perpetual Calendar.
And sometimes the human forgot.
Humans often forget, and elephants, who never forget, are simply unable to change the date due to their thumbs being slightly too large for the job.
Data Cat considered an idea that he had just thought of: what if there could be made a Perpetual Calendar that just told the day and the year?
An ideal companion for a date and month Perpetual Calendar!
Truth be known, Data Cat was a little lonely for one of his own kind; a Perpetual Calendar mate?
True, he did have Sergeant Salt and ‘Boxy’ to keep him company; but, they were not PC (in so many ways) and could not be the soul mate that Data Cat yearned for.
Another day passed.
Data Cat was a watchful cat – and that doesn’t mean that he was a cat full of watches, that would be silly.
He kept his eyes wide open as life continued to proceed before him.
Nothing escaped his attention.
There was another cat that shared his life, Rosie Cat; but, she never noticed him.
This also made Data Cat a little sad.
The days passed. The months changed in order. Life went on.
One Day – if could have been a Thursday – there was a knock upon the door: ‘Knock!’ but, nobody was around to answer that knock.
Then the doorbell rang: ‘Ring!’but, there was nobody around to answer that ring.
Then there was the sound of smashing glass: ‘Smash!’ and, as before, nobody was around to hear that sound.
Somebody had smashed the window in order to break into the house where Data Cat lived.
This was actually very silly, and a lot of wasted effort – never mind the damage caused – as the door wasn’t locked in the first place.
Data Cat stood silently and awaited the forthcoming events.
No days passed.
It was a matter of seconds.
The Burglar moved into the house, passing Data Cat, and into the lounge.
Data Cat noticed that the Burglar was dressed in a black and white striped shirt, black trousers, soft-soled shoes and had a black mask covering his eyes.
Data Cat didn’t notice the black beret that the burglar was wearing as the burglar wasn’t wearing one.
Luckily, Sergeant Salt was taking notes.
The burglar turned the place upside down – everything fell down on to the ceiling – and then the burglar decided that he wasn’t the sort of person that would tidy up after he had made a mess.
There was nothing of value to be found. Data Cat (now laying at a strange angle from where he could see up to the floor) whispered to Sergeant Salt: “He’s a messy tyke!”
To which comment Sergeant Salt heartily agreed: “He could do with a good stiff talking to.” was his reply. “If only I was six foot tall like my father.” Sergeant Salt, being only three inches tall, was in no position to apprehend the naughty burglar.
Data Cat noticed that all the numbers and months that he treasured so proudly had fallen to the ceiling and were now proclaiming that it was August, May or February the 91st – although whether it was a Thutsday or not was still unknown.
The burglar, a little miffed at finding nothing of any worth in the house, stole away.
Part of a day passed; midnight came and went; but Data Cat’s date didn’t change – as things stood, it wasn’t likely that that would happen for a while yet.
Data Cat, Boxy and Sergeant Salt just lay there on the ceiling, looking up at the floor, patiently awaiting the return of the Humans.
As to whether Data Cat found a Day and Year Perpetual Calendar to share his time… well, that is for another story