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. Continue reading
My life seems divided between work and cats at the moment. Heaven knows, when I was fifteen this is not how I imagined my prime; wondering about the reproductive status of cats and if a litter of kittens was going to be born in my garden.
And yet this is how it is. Plus worrying about how MasterB fits in with the latest feline dynamic, and hoping he is not being sidelined in his own garden. I’d hate him to feel left out.
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 and I were in the garden when Sophie Scott arrived. There had been An Altercation, and I was observing feline politics, ready to wade in if the Ginger Ninja looked like he was getting into trouble.
The new ginger and white had come the heavy on Sonny, and I had intervened. Sonny is our resident feral, and I’m not going to stand by and watch some bully-come-lately push him out. MasterB got quite excited, and seemed to think that if I could get involved, then so could he. My involvement stopped at chasing the bully away from Sonny. I did not attempt to follow him under my car and hiss at him. Continue reading
I think I’ve mentioned before how Cat used to wake me most mornings by lying beside me and purring into my ear, then stretching out for a cuddle before leading me to his brush.
In contrast, Not Cat seems to be modelling his morning behaviour on Cato, Inspector Clouseau’s servant. He sleeps quietly for half the night, and then gets up to play. Around five in the morning, he sees any movement, especially of feet, as an invitation to pounce. As soon as I show any sign of getting out of bed he rugby tackles me, and wants a full on game of wrestling. Fortunately he’s very gentle and only play bites, but it’s a bit disconcerting.
He’s completely over his front door phobia, and loves to play on the stairs, though he retreats growling to the top landing if anyone lower down opens or shuts their front door. In the garden he’s had a stuck-in-the-tree incident, is finding all Cat’s old favourite places, and is increasingly confident. He’s also met three of the local moggies. He’s chased two of them. The third snuck up on him and made him jump, so I made play with the waterspray.
I’m glad to see he thinks this is his territory – it is – but a bit surprised that he thinks he can take on Sonny, the alpha male of the area and our local kitten father and semi-feral. Continue reading