Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tough cats

Inspired by a post on Steve Mosby's blog, I fancy doing a post about cats. Actually not about cats at all, but about Cat, who is my cat. I say "my" cat but, of course, no one can own a cat. All you can do is look after it, feeding him and taking him to the vet etc in return for his tolerating your presence in his house.

Ten years ago Cat turned up outside the door and barged in. Obviously a stray because no collar, skinny as anything and a fleabitten, starving mess. I asked around and no one knew him, besides as a stray. From his condition we thought he was about twelve years old, an old cat for sure and not doing well on the street. Anyway, that was ten years ago and he's still around, and not looking like retiring. As for the name "Cat", what else can you call a cat that gradually becomes your responsibility? After a while you think "Well, maybe we should name him..." But you've already been calling him "Cat" for a few weeks, so why change that?

We moved house from London to the sticks about four years ago, taking Cat with us. Obviously I wasn't about to leave him behind, but I felt a bit uncomfortable about migrating a metropolitan cat to a different part of the country. I could see the new local cats pointing at him and making fun of his cockney accent. But he settled in OK after waging a month-long war of attrition with the locals, marking out his new manor and putting holes in a few ears. It was like SCUM meets STRAW DOGS meets... erm, THE ARISTOCATS or something. I am full of admiration for the little guy, especially looking at the competition. The main threat was "ginger cat", who included our garden in his territory. Any rabbits go missing around here, it's always "ginger cat". He is a force of nature. Once I got a shot of him picking off an alpha male bunny and eating it. All of it:

I also once saw "ginger cat" fight a fox. It was a short fight but the fox retired after a few seconds and ran off. "Ginger cat" is the Ivan Drago of the cat world, and his deep meow actually does sound like "I must break you". Nevertheless, since Cat's war of attrition "ginger cat" doesn't come round here anymore. So how did our cat beat him?

Because he's a piece of iron, that's how. And here he is:


Kay Sexton said...

Chaz, is there a white and black cat burning to death in the right hand side of your fire there? Or is it just my imagination ...?

Okay, me and my imagination will go away now.

Certainly looks like a cat though.

Kay Sexton said...

No, I had to go and have another look, and it still looks like a mainly white cat, peering through the door, with its left front paw lifted.

Either I'm hallucinating or your cat is an evil bastard.

Charlie Williams said...

That's right, Kay, we like to burn cats in our house. Only the ones that Cat beats, though, so they all have a sporting chance.