Good day to you, feline friends and human pets!
I actually had to start my journey in the evening in order to arrive on-time for my visit with Fat Eric. Phil picked me up very late in the evening, and if you know what the word "tension" means then you can only guess as to what happened at The House.
You see, the human pet was at the dining room table studying when she heard a knock at the door. I, having memorized the sounds of Phil Keoghan's distinctive footsteps, knew it was him so I readily went to the door. The human pet, however, just said, "C'mon in," without so much as looking up.
"Being studious tonight, are we, Marina?"
I turned to see my human pet holding her glass of Diet Coke to her lips while white spread throughout her face. I thought she had become a statue, but she didn't do anything for the longest time. After what seemed like forever, she said, "I know this Steelers shirt and purple track shorts don't match, and I'm sorry."
"Umm, I don't care, Marina. I'm just here to pick up Zeus. We'll be out of your way in no time," said Phil. Phil and I exchanged a knowing look concerning my human pet: she's slightly "off" in terms of her behavior when he's around.
Phil took me to the airport, but I sure do wish now that he had stayed with me for the extremely long flight! Traveling in an airplane in the dark can be very scary, especially if you have never done it. I know because it was my first time! Looking out the window and seeing nothing but blackness underneath you can be extremely disconcerting.
When I landed, the scene was nothing but hustle and bustle! It was amazing to me to find many similarities to America, but there were also some interesting differences. English homo sapiens do not speak the same way as Mericky humans do. They have different words and sayings that I did not know so I had to pick up NTC's Super-Mini British Slang Dictionary. I must say that was very helpful!
For example, I was looking for a taxi. I kept meowing, "Taxi! Taxi!" but not one cab pulled over. I scanned through my new book, and lo and behold, there was a completely different way of asking for a taxi! With my new information, I held my paw and said loudly, "Joe Baxi! Joe Baxi!" and surprisingly, for once, I managed to get a taxi all on my own! Take that, production crew!
I managed to get the taxi or 'Joe Baxi' to drop me off at Liverpool Street Station just as Fat Eric had directed me. Once on my ride, being in a train was simply breathtaking! I kept trying to turn my head to see what was to my left but then it was gone by the time I got to my right. Everything just moves so quickly! It's very different than a car or airplane to be certain.
When it was time for my stop, I got off and looked around, but it didn't take me long to know which house was Fat Eric's. After all, I knew his human pet had terrific gardening skills so I looked for the most English of English gardens. I spotted it in no time flat!
I walked up to the house, knocked with a few headbutts, and sure enough, a nice lady met me at the door with shouting:
"Blimey! It's Zeus!" She turned her head away from the door towards the inside. "Fat Eric! It's your friend, Zeus! Come quick so the two of you can chin wag before that Phil bloke comes along."
I meowed, purred, and rubbed along the human lady pet's legs to let her know how grateful I was for having me over, but I still couldn't help wondering what I was supposed to be doing with Fat Eric when we met. Chin wag? Phil is broke? Blimey? What does it all mean?
"Yeh ol' septic kitty, you!"
Now I'm a septic tank? Is he saying I stink? Goodness!
I turned to see Fat Eric chuckling at my expressions. I thought this was where I was supposed to wag my chin at him in a form of English standard greeting so I wagged with all my might back and forth while the girthy tabby shook with howls of laughter.
"Oh Zeus, don't be daft! She means we're going to talk! What do you Mericky kitties say? 'Chit-chat'?"
"Oh!" And with red blushing through my cheeks, I stopped shaking my chin back and forth like a fool. "So you're not saying then that I'm a stinky kitty?"
"Crikey, no! That's just some Cockney rhyming slang for Mericky peoples."
"That's a relief!" I replied with a sigh.
There was a rap at the door, and we both turned our heads in the sound's direction.
"That Phil is a prompt lad. He's all business, he is," said Eric.
Eric's human lady pet answered the door, and somehow, Phil had managed to make it across the seas without me! I was shocked!
"Fat Eric. Zeus. You have 165 pounds for this leg of the race. Make sure to read your clue carefully, and be safe on your travels."
"Excuse me, Phil?" I piped up quietly.
Phil raised one eyebrow inquisitvely, and his tone was completely host-like: "Yes Zeus?"
"I don't really think Fat Eric nor myself appreciate your implication of our weighing 165 lbs. We don't really weigh that much together, and even if we did, it's not polite to point that out to people or felines."
Phil almost smiled as he said, "Zeus, they use pounds in England. It's their currency. They don't use dollars."
"Nice try, Phil," I said.
"No really, he's spot-on, Zeus," stated Eric.
"Goodness," I muttered as I lowered my head.
Phil left soon after, and Eric and I opened our clue together:
Make your way to Piccadilly Circus. There you will find your next clue.
"Why is he going to send us there? I thought you said there's no clowns!" I said.
"Well, I think he knows it might be a challenge for us to find the clue. It's pretty busy there," replied Eric.
We actually decided we would go back to pick up the train and head back to the Liverpool Street Station. Once we got off there, we hopped onto the roof of a double-decker bus, and it is here that I might add it was a bit more difficult for us to get to the top due to not one, but two floors! I really thought I had seen it all, but apparently, I hadn't! And do you know they actually have people on the second floor? I don't know how humans come up with these things!
When we arrived at Piccadilly Circus, I understood what Eric had been saying. The whole place was overflowing with activity! Sights, sounds, movement! It was completely overwhelming at first, but we looked for the clue with a sheer tenacity that was unmatched. However, I must admit that I was a bit in awe of the bronze statue of an archer in the center of the intersection. Eric told me the statue's name was Eros, and I thought that was a very strange name indeed.
We found the clue (Not surprisingly, we had been walking around it, but so many humans were in our way!), but when we went to open it, I heard this a strange man's voice say,
"Are you Zeus by chance?"
I turned around and saw this older gentleman looking down at me with the most curious expression on his face.
"You must be Zeus."
I knew he was saying something, but his lips weren't moving so I was a bit confused. I played along and thought back, "Do you have something to say to me?"
"Your weblog will be very popular. When I stepped into your atmosphere, I could tell immediately as you're surrounded by positive energy."
My atmosphere? Strong positive energy? I'd heard that somewhere before...with the human pet...hmmm...
"Oh my goodness! Eric! It's Derek Acorah! My human pet is going to be SO JEALOUS!" I shouted.
"Luvvly-jubbly!" exclaimed Eric.
Before I could get my next question out, Derek said, "Of course, Zeus. You can have a picture with me. You can even have your friend, Eric, in it too."
I hadn't even asked, and he knew what I was thinking!
"How did you know I wanted a picture?" I asked curiously.
"Sam told me," he replied. Eric and I couldn't figure out who this Sam guy was because it was just the three of us talking, but we let it slide.
After taking a picture with Derek, Eric and I decided to read our next clue:
Make your way to Big Ben. Once there, search for your next clue.
"Is this some person we have to meet?" I asked Eric.
"Oh goodness no! That's the most famous Clock Tower in all of London, but really, Big Ben is the name of the bell inside of the Clock Tower and not the Clock Tower itself. Not too many Merickans know that. C'mon! I know where it is," answered Eric.
I followed Eric as we made our way to what he called the tube. I hadn't known there were trains that went underground and connected parts of the city together. Eric even told me that here in America we call them subways. It was really pretty cool.
We got off at Westminster, and there in front of us, was the amazing sight of Big Ben...or I suppose the Clock Tower with Big Ben. It was pretty remarkable. I'm sure other people might think it is just a clock, but I think it's pretty neat to see what homo sapiens can do with their time when they're not sleeping or eating.
We found the clue shortly thereafter. (To me, it seemed they were rather conveniently placed!) It said:
Make your way to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, London.
"Have you ever been there, Eric?" I asked.
"Not at all. Have you ever been to something that sounds like that in Mericky?" asked Eric.
I started to say, "No, but I did go to that haunted house with Oreo..."
"You don't think it will be like that, do you?!" Eric seemed very frightened suddenly.
"It's wax. That's from candles. Maybe it's just some fancy schmancy candle museum. How bad can it be?" I said.
We went back to the tube and this time, we got off at the Baker Street underground station. We walked for a little bit along Marylebone Road, and there it was: The museum in all of its glory. When Eric and I walked inside, we both were shocked as there were no candles in there as we had anticipated. There were homo sapiens standing there that looked like real homo sapiens, but they were actually...and you're not going to believe this...made of wax! It was completely bizarre!
"I think the Queen is lookin` at me!" said Eric as he stared at statues of the Royal Family.
"If I didn't know better, I'd say it was her," I said. The eyes on these fake homo sapiens really creeped me out!
"Maybe we should bow just in case it is her. You know...just to be on the safe side and all," said Eric.
I agreed. We both bowed down to the Royal Family just in case it turned out later it was them. I didn't want to be accused of not adhering to traditions in a foreign country!
"I don't know about you, but this is really weird," I said.
Eric nodded. "I think it's time we go home. It's been a long day, don't you think?"
I did. We hobbled our tired paws back to Baker Station and rode the tube back to Liverpool Street Station. Though we were exhausted, we walked slowly up to Eric's house where his lovely human lady pet was waiting:
"I was wondering when you boys would be back. It's time to take Zeus to the airport. He has a very long ride back to Mericky, you know!"
Ah, I shall miss London. It was thrilling to be in another country filled with strange sights and sounds with lots of exciting things to do. Thank you so much Fat Eric for letting me come visit with you, and thank you to your human lady pet for being such a great sport! I hope sometime you can come visit me in Houston, Texas, but I think you will need to shave first before you get here. It's just too hot!