Walled gardens used to be called paradises, hence Paradise Street in SE16 where Edward III had a home with an extensive walled garden. So here we have our own little bit of paradise in London. The tops of the walls are particularly attractive to cats, foxes and birds. Occasionally the odd squirrel runs along them too. The top of the wall was where I first saw Cat, making his confidently through the thick vines we then had; the new Young Turk on the block. They are also the trysting place of MasterB and Scally, his tabby girlfriend.
They were hanging out together on Saturday morning.
MasterB became aware of me and turned around.
But he was unaware of a less contented observer.
Rosie was on her way. MasterB has really got under her fur. The way he drops into her garden, visits Wanda Over the Wall, and generally makes free of the environment seems to really bug her. In the past, Cat used to keep her firmly in her own garden, sometimes making her retreat into her house. But the worm has turned. I see her appear suddenly on top of the wall moments after MasterB has sauntered by her windows. She does not look as though she intends to ask him round for tea. Previously, she would crouch on top of the wall and watch. Now, she seems intent on Having Words.
On Saturday, MasterB hopped off the wall to investigate something, and Rosie crouched down behind the vine. I don’t think MasterB or Scally knew she was there.
A few moments later, MasterB reappeared, glanced at me again, and jumped down our side of the wall, heading towards our gate. Rosie went back the way she had come.
I think she was gathering intelligence. This morning, MasterB again dropped in on neighbours the other side of the wall. As he disappeared, Rosie scuttled through the vine and when he jumped back up, she went for him. Cue one very surprised Ginger Ninja. He is faster on his feet than she is, so he came to no harm, but he was obviously quite taken aback by the experience. When I went out to find him, he was looking up at the apparently empty wall and his tail was swishing from side to side.
“There’s a big black and white cat hiding behind the vine,” said one of my neighbours helpfully.
The summer promises to be quite eventful.