I have just watched a master class in feline assertion.
The very cuddly and vocal Manx cat next door whose owner wants him to be an indoor cat was in our garden. Mr Manx is not on the same page as his owner and is making himself known in various gardens.
I didn’t see him at first. I chanced to look out of the window and saw Hartley and his brother Smudge, side by side in identical postures; crouched, focused, silent; watching, I thought, potential prey just out of my sight behind the bike shed.
Then Mr Manx strolled into view. He barely glanced at the brothers, just continued a relaxed perambulation. A game of feline grandmother’s footsteps ensued. Romeo appeared from the direction of my car. Three to one: Mr Manx’s prospects did not look promising. MasterB joined me at the window, and I do hope he took due and careful note of what happened next.
Hartley led the advance, tucking into the shelter of a plant which Mr Manx had peed on with elaborate unconcern. Mr Manx walked slowly back and looked at him. Hartley seemed to get smaller. No audible exchanges were made, but Hartley remained crouched and Smudge suddenly found something on the ground immensely interesting.
Mr Manx then walked towards Romeo. Romeo looked uneasy, He too crouched down, and looked away. Mr Manx continued in his unhurried approach until both animals were nose to nose. Again there was no discernible sound, and by now my window was wide open. Romeo shrank away.
All three cats vanquished without so much as a raised paw, Mr Manx jumped languidly onto my car.
I turned to MasterB. “And that is how it’s done,” I told him.