When I posted the other day about nearly kicking the cat, I knew I might annoy a few people and I figured I’d just have to live with that.
But when Daisy The Curly Cat left the following comment, it got me thinking:
I am sad that you do not like cats. Not all cats go potty where they are Not Supposed To Go.”
Firstly I was sad that I’d made Daisy sad because she’s a lovely cat with a great blog all of her own.
But secondly, it reminded me that I really like cats most of the time and have had many positive experiences with them too. One such experience was as follows:
What age was I? Ten, or eleven I think. Every day I used to walk my two dogs up along the riverside path. Laddie was a German Shepherd and Patch was a Springer Spaniel – bought as a gun dog but really never managed to do it very well.
There was a large open area at the end of the walk where the field ran down to the river. Nobody was around this particular day so I let the dogs run off and play a little.
Laddie made straight for the water. He jumped in, grabbed something small in his jaws and started to throw it around. I ran down to see.
It was a kitten.
I ordered Laddie back in and he came reluctantly, kitten still clamped in jaws. He gave it up when I told him to (he was such a good dog) and I was able to have a good look.
The kitten was half drowned, completely bedraggled and mewling pathetically. Still she seemed largely unharmed by Laddie’s rough treatment. I put her on my shoulder to keep the two dogs from antagonising her further.
Although I hunted all down along the river, I couldn’t find any more kittens. It is a harsh reality that unwanted litters had been known to be put in a sack with some rocks and then drowned in the river. I believe this kitten somehow escaped this awful fate.
She deserved a chance.
So I brought her home.
I carried her all the way on my shoulder and she cowered there, crying deafeningly in my ear all the way. The two dogs marched alongside and never once took their bemused eyes off my tatty little cargo.
Bringing the kitten home made me nervous. Mum was great but I didn’t think she’d take kindly to me dragging in a dripping stray after me. As a matter of fact, I didn’t quite know how to broach the subject at all. So, after I put the dogs in the back garden, I turned the steel dust bin lid upside-down on top of the bin at the side of the house and put the little kitten sitting in the bowl of this upturned lid. She sprawled there and started a miserable little puzzle. Then I went inside.
Mothers can spot furtive behavior within minutes.
“What’s going on?” She asked.
So I took her outside and showed her.
I expected her to be angry - I have no idea why, ‘angry’ was never her style - and I also expected to get a hard time. Instead she was all-over the poor kitten, getting her inside, warmed up, fed and generally ‘minded’.
A few days later, my granny heard of a neighbour of hers who was on the look-out for a nice cat. The kitten was duly brought over and she soon settled in with ease.
For years after, when visiting granny, I would occasionally see this sleek, proud cat stalking in the backyard nettles. The cat never acknowledged me and I never even got to know her name but I saved her life that day and it’s always felt great.
This story isn't really trying to say how I’m a great pet-lovin’ guy or anything.
It's just that thinking about this reminded me how differently I can sometimes feel about things from one day to another – cats for instance.
So apologies Dear Daisy, I hope this little - completely true - story, makes things up a little bit between us… I’ll still visit you regularly anyway.
You don’t have anything green you could wear someday? For us Irish, you know…