Sunday, 24 June 2012
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.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 12:59:00 pm