That dog’s been here again and I’m so pissed off. Why does he always have to come on long weekends or when there’s a religious festival with food involved? This is MY time for sleeping late in bed, getting extra hugs and tasty tidbits, not his. I don’t care if it’s his first birthday. I don’t care if he’s bigger than me. He’s an idiot. PLUS he’s absolutely ruined the tartan mouse toy that was given to me as a special gift. I never play with it but that’s not the point. It’s my toy and if anyone’s going to ruin it, it should be me! I had to skulk around outside in the cold wondering where my next meal was coming from while slobbery chops got all the attention from Mummy and my even my friends were too scared to come around and visit because HE’S there and I’m supposed to be perfectly okay with this. Well I’m not okay with it. My anxiety levels are through the roof!
I was hoping to be able to talk to Whittaker about all these problems I’ve been having. After his talk to our group a few months ago I felt so much better about things and he was so approachable. But a few weeks ago, my sister Serafina broke the news to us that Whittaker had been involved in an horrific road accident and hadn’t recovered. I felt more bereaved than I probably should’ve done. It wasn’t as though I’d known him that long, but he had become my hero, if only for a short time. That was what made me so angry. The fact that I’d only just got to know him, and he seemed so worldly wise. Not the sort to end up being just another tawdry road traffic statistic. He’s not the only cat that has suffered on our Diamond Harbour roads lately. Nobody else I knew personally but according to Serafina there is quite a list of grim tragedies.
Serafina wants to me to organise a series of workshops for cats on road safety and says that we should all take responsibility for what has happened. I don’t want to shirk my responsibilities, but I really don’t feel up to it at the moment and why the hell should I be answerable for every cat that gets killed by a car? You’d think that I was out there driving the bloody cars to hear her talk. And it all just makes me feel even more dreadful. I’ve tried to tell her that I’d be the worst person to organise workshops on road safety. I have a panic attack just thinking about crossing a busy road. Squeak does it all the time when he comes to my house and now I’ve started to worry about him. Maybe that’s what Serafina means when she says I should take responsibility. Perhaps I should tell him not to leave the house? But who am I kidding? Squeak wouldn’t take a blind bit of notice of anything I had to say, and that’s what I like most about Squeak. He’s his own man.
I talked to Ron about it but he’s pretty hopeless when it comes to the big issues. He said he thought my self-confidence needed a lift and suggested I should catch a large bird and present it to Mummy as a clear demonstration of cat superiority and matchless hunting ability. I can see that going down like a lead balloon. For a start I’ve never been that good at catching birds and when I once did manage to reach that pinnacle of hunting success by catching a slightly lame sparrow, the reaction I got from Mummy didn’t boost my self-confidence in any way that could be considered encouraging. I don’t want to relive that awful experience again but suffice to say that there was a lot of shouting and I ended up staying indoors with a dirtbox for a few days.
Despite this, Ron had planted a seed that had the makings of a reasonably good idea. Without wanting to blow my own trumpet, I have to say with all due modesty, that I am pretty darned good with rodents. I can single-handedly exterminate a nest of mice without too much trouble at all. But I needed a grand gesture – not just a tiny field mouse. I needed a fully-grown rat.
All of us cats know where the rats are but as a general rule we leave them to the homeless cats. Rats can be quite fierce and they put up much more of a fight than a mouse. You certainly don’t want to get too carried away and go after a gigantic water rat or anything – they can be quite fun to chase but even a medium sized rat can be exhausting, and the cat doesn’t always win.
Once I had identified a suitable target I adopted the Ninja-style ambush approach which proved successful. I caught it cleanly enough but in the struggle, I nicked its ear with my claw and it was bleeding quite profusely when I jumped through the bedroom window with my trophy. Mummy had been sound asleep at the time but I knew she’d want to be awake to see this, so I let out a series of “look what I’ve got for you” meows. Unfortunately, the act of opening my mouth released the rat which, apart from the bleeding ear, seemed none the worse despite the foiled assassination attempt. The rat, myself and Mummy all ran into the lounge in that order and I sensed a certain tension in Mummy’s voice. The rat disappeared god knows where and I found myself locked in the lounge with rat whilst Mummy went back to bed, leaving it to me to rout out the rat and sort the whole mess out. This wasn’t going quite how I’d planned.
Morning came and there was a palpable sense of disappointment once Mummy discovered an extraordinary amount of blood and learned that there was still a sizeable, healthy rat at large in the living room. I think at some point in the night I must have dozed off because I bleakly noticed that the instruction manual for Mummy’s new TENS unit had been chewed beyond recognition. I was absolutely starving but I didn’t fancy my chances of being offered any breakfast after this fiasco. I was banished to the bedroom whilst Mummy attempted to flush the rat out of the open sliding door.
From what I could hear she didn’t appear to be having any more success with the rat than I’d had with it. That rat was a cunning bugger and without me there to supervise operations, Mummy had her work cut out for her. Then, from my vantage point looking out the bedroom window I saw Ron stroll in through the lounge slider. He was obviously hoping to cadge a bit of my food for his breakfast, but I knew he’d be pissing into the wind there. I settled down to watch the action. Ron was going to get a lot more than he bargained for.
And then everything seemed to happen at once. I heard Mummy shouting at Ron and then a triumphant cry and then both the rat and Ron ran out the lounge slider. The rat ran into the bushes and Ron pelted headlong in the opposite direction toward the man cave. I have absolutely no doubt that Ron had no hand whatsoever in making that rat leave the house. Judging from the way he ran from the house, he was just as scared of the rat as he was of Mummy shouting at him. Yet I have a funny feeling that Ron’s version of events will be subtly embellished every time the rat story is told amongst the cats of the Harbour.
I got the most appalling telling off, but I knew she wouldn’t stay mad with me for long. After all the action had died down, the blood wiped away and the TENS Instruction Manual disposed of, she was sitting at her computer having a glass of wine and I cheekily jumped up on the tabletop and looked skyward, purring loudly and adopting my most angelic look.
I was back in the good books again.