I don’t like dogs. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind them in their own place but when they come near me I just want to spit at them. It’s a natural retaliation when they bark and strain on their leads in an attempt to get at me, though I’m not sure what they think they could do if they did manage to get close. I’m fastidious about keeping my claws sharp and, according to mom, they’re lethal. A dog would soon know about it if I gouged his face. Oh dear, I hope you’re not getting the impression that I’m a violent cat; I swear I would only retaliate if I was set upon first.
Of all the dogs in the road the most outstanding is a Great Dane called Jackson. To me, he’s more like a horse. I wouldn’t dare spit at him. One strike from one of those enormous paws would knock me sideways and no mistake. At least he’s friendly. For all his size he doesn’t try to rule the roost. Not that there’d be any room for hens if he did. What I mean is, once he enters a place he dominates by sheer size. He never barks when I’m around and for a while I wondered why I got away with it and other cats didn’t. I began to wonder if it was because of my small stature. Perhaps he can’t even see me. Walking between his legs would be like walking under a bridge. Great if it was raining.
To add to my list of dislikes we now have a new fox visiting the garden. Even he would probably fit in under the Jackson’s legs.
Foxy II is younger and his fur looks healthier than his older relative’s coat, a much fancier shade of red. His tail seems bushier as well. Tom thinks he’s quite attractive as foxes go and I can’t argue with that. The old one looks a mess compared to this youngster. Dad reckons he’s suffering from the mange, whatever that is, and warned me to stay away. I looked at him in amazement when he said that, I mean, why would I want to go near him in the first place? Cats and foxes aren’t really suited to deep friendships.
What I do object to is that he, the fox, thinks cat food is put out for him. It only happens on fine days, of course, when mom puts the feeding bowls outside. She doesn’t like the smell of my food in her kitchen. I can’t think why, it smells delicious to me. Dad caught Foxy II at it one day and chased him off. Since then the little devil has kept his distance, going instead to Tom’s garden. I always know when he’s there because Tom lets off such a terrifying yowl it’s a wonder the whole range of wildlife doesn’t disappear. Right now though I’m too busy with my latest hobby to join in.
Actually it was seeing Foxy II licking milk bottle tops that started me keeping watch. That’s how I came to see what the blue tits got up to. Have you ever seen blue tits trying to peck through milk bottle tops? One of the little blighters succeeded the other day, had a right old time dipping its beak into the cream. Now I’m hell bent on catching him. Every morning I wait for the milkman to drop off a couple of bottles and then I take shelter in the long grass and wait for the first bird to appear.
First attempts were pathetic, the birds flew off the minute they saw me. Now I wait behind the Pampas and slink out when their stupid heads are hovering over the cream. I nearly made it one day, I was actually right up to the bottles before the tits caught sight of me. One flew off just as I lifted a paw to catch it. You can imagine it, can’t you? In my haste to catch a bird with newly sharpened claws I accidentally caught the bottle. One toppled against the other and they both crashed over on the hard slabs.
There was milk everywhere. Tom arrived on the scene, looking very smart in a new red collar. We both got stuck in to lap up the mess. It was like being uplifted to heaven. I just managed to get a lick of the cream on the bottle top when I was seized by a pair of human hands. I’d been so engrossed I didn’t hear dad coming. He was in a right mood. I was literally thrown into the kitchen and Tom was booted back to his own place. Mom gave me what for as well. I was in total disgrace. It put me off ever trying to catch birds again, at least while they’re pecking at bottles.
The chase is still enjoyable. When I’m up the tree I like to scare the life out of the chaffinches by hitting out just as they land on my branch. Nowadays I don’t go up too high, not since the accident. When I’m fed-up with that game I spend a bit of time trying my luck with field mice; one day I might succeed in catching one, if one ever slows down. The times I’ve hurt my paw smashing it down on a tail that’s suddenly not there is nobody’s business. Gosh they can’t half move. No sooner do I see one when they’re gone again.
And then there’s the frogs. I almost drool when I see them sunbathing on the lily pads. If only I could conquer my fear of water I’d leap onto a pad and nobble one. Not to worry though, I have all the time in the world to find a solution.