Cat may be in his sixteenth, or even possibly seventeenth, year, but he can still put on a good show.
I’ve just watched him intimidate neighbour’s cat, real name unknown, but called Gussie in this household because of an indefinable something that brings P G Wodehouse’s Gussie Fink-Nottle to mind.
Gussie used to beaten up daily by Cat. Sometimes it was twice a day. So, wisely, he took the precaution of never entering our garden if he saw Cat in it. But recently he seems to have realised that Cat’s abilities to defend his territory are not as fearsome as formerly, and he is routinely visiting and openly strolling around the place.
Today he was already in the garden when Cat went outside to patrol his domain. He walked towards Cat in a confident sort of way and then found himself being chased across the garden by an outraged ginger and white cat whose tail had fluffed up alarmingly. At the foot of the wall, which Cat can no longer climb, they stopped. Cat fired off some comments which you didn’t have to be a fluent feline speaker to understand contained threats and, very possibly, bad language.
Gussie started that very slow pavane that cats do when they want to retreat in the way least likely to provoke further aggression, trying to get onto the wall without actually turning his back on Cat. It took several minutes.
Cat gradually relaxed, but couldn’t resist some parting shots once Gussie was on the wall. Presumably something on the lines of ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’. Then he began his inspection of the flowerbeds and anointing of the plants. There was a distinct swagger about his walk.
As a display of bloody-minded determination and successful bluff I don’t think it could be bettered.