MORE to BROWSE - Pages that might be of Interest

6 October 2021

So What use are cats? By Helen Hollick

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    Mab as a kitten (2007?)

    Cats. Some people love them, some hate them. Mostly, they are disliked because they tend to use other people's gardens as a litter tray and catch birds. They also catch mice and rats, but that tends to get forgotten about.

    I have two cats. Mab and Sybil. They used to be friends, but now they are not. They hate each other and if they meet up, they squabble as if they were opposing political parties. 

    Mab and Sybil back in 2013

    Sybil used to live upstairs. Mab used to live downstairs. Then Sybil decided she preferred to live the Romany life and went to live outdoors. (We suspect she was being fed by a neighbour) Mab now had the whole house (and the barn, and the dairy...)

    Mab in the dairy hayloft

    Outdoor cat...
    (picture her with rucksack & passport...)

    Then, as winter approached, Mab decided she preferred to live upstairs (where the dogs weren't allowed). She still had to come downstairs to come in and out of the kitchen catflap, though. Not a problem.

    All well and good, except Sybil decided she didn't want to be feral after all. (The neighbours had moved away. Coincidence?) So she moved back in. 

    Problem. They took exception to each other.

    Mab decided she would have nothing to do with 'Her Downstairs'. Sybil decided she would have nothing to do with 'Her Upstairs'. 
    (Anyone remember the two old grannies from Cider With Rosie?)

    'You'd think they'd provide decent seating
    wouldn't you?'

    So Mab made it clear that she would only come into the house via the porch roof and the open bathroom window.

    Onto the porch roof...
    in through the bathroom window...

    Fine in nice weather. Not so good when there's a howling gale. But I'm a sucker. The bathroom window is now permanently open with Perspex fixed on the inside with a cat-sized hole and a cat-sized box on the inside to deflect the draft. (Double glazing? You're joking!)

    Sybil asks to come in through my study window because she forgets there's a catflap. She remembers it to immediately go out again though.

    So what use are cats? 

    Well, Mab sleeps on my bed all day. Which means it's nice and warm at night. She also sleeps on top of me. Which has advantages and disadvantages. She has ensured we must get a new bedroom carpet because she fuzzed the old one by sharpening her claws on it. She will only drink water out of a glass on the bedside table. 

    Cats keep the mice and rats down. Which is also fine until Mab brings them into my bedroom to show me how clever she is. At 2 or 3 a.m I am not impressed. Especially when she starts eating the mice. Crunch, crunch, crunch. She doesn't eat the rats. She just leaves their dead bodies where I can find them.

    Sybil has decided she wants some pets. Birds. I regularly find a poor little sparrow or robin in my study (unharmed) where she's brought it in, let it go and promptly forgotten about it.

    I must admit. I'm going off cats...

    what do you prefer? Kindle e-reader or a paperback?

    *** ***

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