Sunday, 24 June 2012

A Catastrophe of Cats.

If there was a collective noun for cats, in my life it would have to be "a catastrophe of cats".

Not because I dislike cats, as some of you may have noticed, but because, like all the best things in life, they come with strings attached.

On Friday I was sitting at my desk minding my own business, when the post landed with a crash in the hall below.

When I bent to pick it up I noticed one large envelope stuck in the letter-box.  I tugged it and it remained stuck, so I opened the front door intending to stand on the doorstep and tug from that side.

Unfortunately, my neighbour's cat Morris was perched on the step, and trying not to step on him and to grab the envelope at the same time, I tripped, fell between the step and a large wooden tub scraped my arm and leg and banged my head on the edge of the tub as I fell.

My first shocked reaction was "thank heaven no-one is about, I must look like a drunk", quickly followed by "oh heck, I can't get up".

Eventually pushing Morris out of the way, I scrambled somehow to my feet and hobbled indoors.

I have grazed arms and right leg, and a large very pale blue bruise on my forehead, but other than a 24 hour headache no further injuries.

This is by no means the first time I have fallen over a cat in my long history, particularly in the days when I was an active member of Cats' Protection.   Trying to round up young ferals in a colony in order to get them to a vet for injections, neutering etc can be great fun, as you may imagine.

Trying to entice a really wild feral into a trap/cage in order to get it examined even more so, but this has never really stopped me from wanting to spend time and energy on improving the lives of the less fortunate members of the feline society.

My late father was also cat mad, and in their retirement my parents fed many of the neglected farm cats in the area of East Anglia which was their  home for 31 years.

The cat (click to enlarge picture), at the top of this post was one such.

A lovely semi-feral whom my father adored, named Sextus, due to his 6-toed front paws.  He was a sweet-natured and friendly cat who loved everything and everybody.  Oddly, this included a large male blackbird with whom he happily shared his food, and a roaming hen who used to sit, side-by-side with him in Dad's greenhouse.

They can be sweet, gentle soft and lazy, and the next minute vicious, predatory frenzied killers.  They can get under your feet, sit on you when you least expect it and dig their claws in to obtain a good purchase on their chosen lap.

They can be unbelievably psychic, knowing when someone is on their way to your door, though you don't.
They can be distant and remote, answering neither calls, soft chirruping sounds or any other blandishments, or if they choose, can virtually throw their paws round your neck.

A wonderful section of the animal kingdom.  A complete menace.  A loyal and loving family member.
A total mystery.

A cat.


  1. Oh dear hope you are feel fully recovered soon :) But I do so love cats for all the reasons you mention that's what makes them so appealing..

  2. you have definitely nailed the cat mystique! the last cat I had lived to be 18 or was it 19, she died the month before Don and I've never been able to properly mourn her. if something happens to Baron (God forbid) I will have a cat...the independent spirit enthralls me!

    when I was a child we had a family (large) of feral cats living under the forsythia (a quite over grown 25x25 bush maze). I remember we once tried to get some of them out...and gave up rather than be sliced and diced by kitty claws and pointy needle teeth.

    I hope you will continue to heal nicely from your encounter with Morris. I feel in my bones that someday I will trip over Baron, he's short and so accident waiting to happen.

  3. I'm fine now thanks Judy, apart from my head hurting if I accidentally touch the bruised bit.
    I know exactly what you mean about cats. We slaves adore the very things which most irritate people who are not 'cat people'. Their quirky behaviour is half their appeal.

  4. Oh dear Theanne. Beware of low-slung dogs.!
    Your Baron is such a beauty, though I am not really a dog person, I think he is gorgeous.
    The awful business of having to say goodbye, long before we're ready is the very worst part of sharing life with an animal, but, despite the heartache it is such a rewarding thing to do. Let's just hope it's a really long time before it is necessary.

  5. You are so right, Ray. I will add that some of my previous cats were nurses. If I were sick, the cat would stay on the bed with me round the clock until I was well again. They just knew. (I know because they didn't do this when I was just sleeping in or having a "reading in bed" day.)

    I had one cat who was not particularly affectionate, but one night she crawled into bed with me. It was rather shocking. Then I realized that SHE was sick - in fact, she had feline leukemia and died a few months later. She wanted that comfort from me that some of my other cats had give to me at other times.

    Now I'm missing Miss Kitty! But I hope you'll mend quickly from your mishap with Morris.

  6. I hope you are mending well Ray! A friends cat had to be pulled from a drain yesterday...her reward was a very savage bite from the frightened animal....
    Blogger let's me post on your site but replying on mine is almost impossible!

    1. I don't know why but my blogger is not letting me post replies so Im putting this on your blog in answer to what you wrote on mine! I think we are all worthy of the love of God.....and thats why its important that we learn to love ourselves...not in a soppy way but in a practical way. Once we can love ourselves with all our imperfections then love flows out of us in all directions....which is I believe what God wishes for us.....that we love one another as He loves us! All of us!

  7. Hi Penny.
    Yes I know what you mean about the 'caring' cat thing.
    They can be really comforting and sympathetic when you really need someone/thing to care. But of course, they can be just the opposite too.
    I may still have to kill Morris sometime, if I can work up the energy!

  8. I'm fine Jean thanks, apart from the greenish blue sore right temple.
    The reaction you describe from your friend's rescued cat comes as no surprise at all.
    This 'biting the hand that feeds them' attitude is all too common.
    Blogger really is a pain isn't it. Wonderful when it's working well and utterly frustrating the rest of the time.

  9. Odd that I should have done a Cat post at about the same time.

  10. No such thing as coincidence TS!
    Must be something in the air.

  11. Ouch, Ray. Glad it's nothing broken, but I bet your bumps and bruises are sore.

    I so agree with you about the addictive contrariness of cats. I've always been a cat person, even when I can't have one at home - hence my concern for the semi-feral cats here in Normandy.

  12. I'm virtually mended now thanks Perpetua. As my so sympathetic brother said when I told him about it, "good job it was your head".

    Glad to hear you are 'taking care' of the little Normandy moggies. Ferals do need friends.