on the unfortunate stroking of cats

I did something unfortunate earlier.

I stroked The Cat.

Which doesn’t sound too terrible on the face of it, but over the past few months of living here my relationship with The Cat has been to rap on the window and fly out the door to chase him out of the garden.

Because we love birds, and now they’re all coming to the feeders I hate it when cats come and stalk them. I tell myself I Don’t Approve of Cats. That they should All Have Bells on their Collars, if people persist on keeping them.

I walked into town this morning, glimpsing as I did so the many house martins tumbling in the air in our vicinity, the sparrows ducking under eaves, blackbirds with beaks full of worms, starlings being the great impressionists that they are and filling the air with varied song. Swifts zipped overhead, swooping and gliding. And I heard a cuckoo! It’s been so long since I heard one. I wanted to locate it but alas, was on my way to an appointment. But to hear it was wonderful.

On my return from the town centre The Cat was lazing by the front hedge. Too lazy perhaps, to do his characteristic bolt when he saw me (well-trained). But I stood there, and the song ‘why can’t we be friends?’ popped into my head. I crouched down before The Cat.

“Hello,” I said. “I shouldn’t be talking to you.”

The Cat regarded me with lidded eyes. “Mee-oo.” He said.

I proffered a hand, which was duly sniffed, and then he ducked his head. And, unable to resist the invitation, I stroked The Cat. 

He stood, and extended himself in a full body stretch in front of me before another sniff and stroke. Then lay down again, looking up at me. “Mee-oo,” said The Cat.

Oh dear.

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6 thoughts on “on the unfortunate stroking of cats

  1. When I read the title I wondered if you had allergies or if you had caught an uncomfortable patch and it had scratched you. I love cats, so much more intelligent than dogs. To paraphrase from Casablanca, perhaps this could be the start of a beautiful friendship…

  2. I love cats and have one. I recently put a bell on his collar to see if it would stop me getting ‘gifts’ (which are fortunately normally alive so I can rescue them much to the cat’s intense displeasure!) However within days of being the wearer of a brand new collar with bell, he came in with a live mouse, which then took me 5 days to catch with a humane mouse trap! A couple of days after that he lost his new collar and so I have to go and get another one. Will get another bell though as it might save birds, even if it has no effect on mice!

  3. I should qualify this entry by saying I don’t dislike cats (although admittedly am allergic in confined spaces). I love animals and birds in general, I just don’t like other people’s pets stalking the birds in our garden (since we currently only own a goldfish, the garden birds are like my pseudo-pets!).

    I grew up with cats and will willingly chat to, stroke and cuddle when visiting others’ houses…until I start sneezing 🙂

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