THE CATTERY AND OTHER MATTERS
Honestly, I’m miffed. This morning I heard the dreaded word, Cattery. That must mean Mom and Dad are going away. I can’t say I’ve heard any conversations about going away but Cattery can only mean one thing. I’ve only been there once and that was enough. I was kept penned in a cage for hours and you know how much I dislike cages. I was only let out a couple of times a day to scratch on an imitation tree. Not once was I let out into a garden. Oh no, they believed in the residents using litter boxes. Very humiliating! Have you ever seen used cat litter? It’s disgusting. No amount of scratching or scraping will completely hide what I’ve done. And to think mom and dad paid good money for my incarceration.
My stay there seemed endless. I had plenty of time to scratch my ears and damage the lino at the bottom of the cage. The lady was nice, though, a bit on the large side but quite gentle. She always wore a green apron that was ripped and badly stained. When she handled my food she donned a pair of see-through gloves. I thought that a bit odd since mom never wears gloves when she puts my food out; it made me wonder what the Cattery lady was giving me. It could have been poison for all I knew. I needn’t have worried, it always tasted good and I was never sick after eating.
When she finished the lady threw the gloves into a bucket and proceeded to give me some soothing strokes down my back. I liked that. Her hands were so soft. One time when she opened my cage I jumped on her shoulder. She was a bit startled but she didn’t scold. Instead she put her hands up and moved me into position round her neck. Ooooh that was super. I stayed there while she sorted my bedding. I’d got the straw in a bit of a mess when I tried to make it more comfortable. Instead of smoothing it out I’d got it in a tangle and I’d accidentally upset the water bowl into the bargain. I tell you, it wasn’t very nice lying on wet straw.
Night time was best, especially after a boring day. All the cats would join in a rousing chorus, each one trying to outdo his neighbour. It was the best bit of being in a Cattery. Funny, I never think to do that at home. No need, I suppose.
The cat in the next cage to me was a bit of a looker. Handsome, with a sleek black coat and the biggest and shiniest green eyes you ever saw. His name was Romeo, and I could see why. When he turned those eyes on me I positively melted. The twins in the opposite cage sat and gazed at him for hours. They were only just out of kittenhood so it was understandable they’d go a bit goggle-eyed when Romeo turned his striking eyes in their direction.
My howling partner was a mangy looking cat with terrific street cred. The stories he told were hilarious. He had various occupations, robbing dustbins being his speciality. I couldn’t believe it when he described how he knocked the lids off bins to get at the food. There’s never any food in our bin at home and, yes, I have looked. I could hardly believe it when Chad, that was his name, told us about finding fish heads and meat bones and stale bread. It made me wonder what sort of place he lived in. It didn’t make me ever want to visit him.
Foxy was in the garden this afternoon, scaring woodpigeons, or trying to ... they flew off pretty quick when he appeared. He brought a yellow ball to play with, no doubt picked it up from a local garden where children live. Somebody should tell him he’s thieving. Those kids are probably wondering what happened to their ball. Naturally I scarpered back to the house, well you never know with foxes, do you? You hear such tales. The folks were enamoured by it, mom was almost drooling while she looked through the window, almost dancing with excitement. Dad even fetched his camera to take pictures. Come on, dad, why do you want pictures of a smelly old fox?
I’ve seen Foxy before. Last time he was having a kip in the long grass. Mom keeps telling dad to get the mower out but he’s a bit lazy when it comes to gardening. I don’t mind him leaving it; it’s more fun for us cats to play in long grass. I have a special hiding place in the old plum tree. It’s as dead as a dodo and covered with creeping ivy but nobody ever thought to cut it down so I use it as my special place. I feel like a queen up there.
It’s like being on lookout duty when I’m up in those dead branches. I lie flat so I can see what’s going on, out of sight of humans and birds. It’s a right laugh when birds land near my nose. I only have to flick a whisker and they clear off a bit smart’ish, squawking as only birds can. The blackbird’s the worst one for squawking. Talk about loud ... he could deafen a chick with that raucous noise. I bet he could hold his own in competition with the crows. Even I cringe when I hear him and it takes a lot to make me shy away. If Foxy comes when I’m in my hidey-hole I feel very safe. He could climb the tree but only so far. Anyway, I don’t think he’d have the patience to step over all those little branches to get at me. Generally speaking though, the best place is home when he’s around.
The people next door but one used to keep white rabbits. Oh my goodness, am I so glad they don’t have them anymore. Foxy would have a feast every day until Christmas. Anyway, I couldn’t match them in whisker twitching so I never felt in control when they were let loose.
Talking about Christmas, mom’s sister had a belated gift. The story went that she had been promised a kitten for Christmas but had to wait until it was born. I think it was her birthday when he arrived, he being a Persian kitten with pure white fur and a very unusual face. He’s lovely but doesn’t deserve to have been named ... you’re not going to believe this, she called that kitten Woof. Have you ever heard anything so stupid in your life? Imagine being out at night and hearing a human calling the cat: Woof, Woof, come on Woof. Wouldn’t you think it was a dog out there?
Going now to get a bit more shut-eye. I do need to keep up with my beauty sleep. With a bit of luck I might dream again of catching mice.
See you soon. Meow!