One morning while bleary-eyed I was following my daily routine of breakfast with a cup of teas to take my medicine (which taste ridiculously revolting children, as medicines for adults always have to), when I spotted a cat, one of three that has happened to chose me to use me as her slave over the years.
Her nose was poking through the undergrowth in my garden. She had spotted something of great interest to her that I could not see. I decided to watch rather than go near as her claws and teeth are sharp as razors and as you know, all cats are royal and proud and don't like to be meddled with when they are on a mission of great importance.
It is a well known fact that there is nothing of more importance to a feline (all of which are royal) than food, unless it is sleep or tease and torment humans and all other creatures. Although it also seems pretty high up on their agenda to be a general nuisance and be the cause of criminal damage to furniture too - but that aside, food and hunting is the most important thing to a cat.
I decided to sit down on my back-door step and sip my tea to observe events from a safe distance. Frankly I feared that at some point I would have to spring into action to rescue some stray mouse or half chewed bird again. I was not in the mood to do so for, as I said I had only just got up from my own night-long nap and was therefore both bleary-eyed and not, as a cat always is, ready to spring anywhere fast. Cats are soooo very smug about that? Have you noticed?
They can go from totally sparko, out for the count, comatose to instantaneous attack mode faster than a speeding bullet and way faster than the speed of light... or so they will tell you, if you believe and can understand all they say as I do now I've been comprehensively trained by three of them.
As I watched, this furry fiend of an organic feline killing machine quite unaccountably jumped with all four paws losing contact with the ground most unexpectedly. This was very curious and I have to confess perplexing too. It is very rare indeed for a cat to be startled at all (if you believe and can understand all they say as I do).
At this point I should perhaps point out that one should always be respectful of royalty because they all have claws and teeth as sharp as razors one way or another. One should never laugh at them and only ever purr with them after permission has been granted, no matter how idiotically they may seem to behave. Cats are never idiotic (if you believe and can understand all they say as I do).
I continued to watch and wait to see what it was I might have to rescue from the furry feline fiendish monster this time. I confess to having become infected by a sense of curiosity which is a most dangerous and peculiar state to be in most of the time; after all it has been known to kill cats very easily. By this point I was almost alert enough to rescue whatever the cat had found, but not so quick of wit to grab my camera to record the event - which was a pity really as I think you would have enjoyed what followed as much as I did.
The cat continued to stalk what startled her, which in my humble opinion is not always the wisest thing to do. (Far be it for me to attempt to preach warnings to those who are adamant that they are wiser though). All things considered, her behaviour was so comical that I risked a smile which turned into a grin without her majesty's permission. I was fortunate she didn't notice this although I could tell she knew I was there from the brief twitch of one ear in my direction and one solitary flick of her tail. The grin on my face turned into a smirk and spread into a snigger and then a giggle and then... a laugh as her absurd behaviour just continued. Sniff, prod, startled jump! Sniff, prod, startled jump! Sniff, prod, startled jump!
Occasionally this had a slight variation of sniff, wiggle bottom, prod, startled jump, before returning to sniff, prod, startled jump! Sniff, prod, startled jump! Over and over again and well... repeatedly!
Luckily her royal highness was so intent on her hunting exploits that I only distracted her with my laughter enough to merit with one curt, stern, laser-beam glower before she was startled yet again. I did my best to stifle roaring with laughter and just about managed it because at that point I too was distracted by something else...
Just then the dog from next door ambled into my garden. He was a bit bleary-eyed too and forlorn, sullen and though I hate to say it, a bit sulky. He wasn't particularly impressed with my neighbour (his owner), who was busy gardening. He wanted to join in and help by digging everything up that they planted, but kept getting told off which he just couldn't understand at all.
Cats (if you believe and can understand all they say as I do), will tell you that all canines are daft, silly creatures. They are sooooo extremely stupid that if you throw a stick a dog will fetch it for you whereas a cat will never stoop to the level of picking up your rubbish. As we know we always have to tidy up after ourselves even though it's a tedious bore. However even chores like recycling can be made into a game as the dog well knew. My neighbour's dog was normally such a cheerful animal that I did feel rather sorry for him being told off when on another occasion he would have been rewarded with and extra bone to chew on for helping dig a hole for food rubbish to make compost. However even a royal feline knows that dogs can be unpredictable and dangerous and they can have claws and teeth bigger and more powerful than most small breeds of cat, though seldom as sharp.
And so... as the cat, intent on hunting continued to hunt and the dog... noticed the cat. When the cat became startled and jumped, the dog became startled and jumped. His ears pricked up and his head tilted to one side when she wiggled her bottom beforehand which he was thoroughly delighted by because his tail wagged faster with excitement. (I am moderately proficient in understanding canine body language and speech too, but please don't tell any cat or my life simply would not be worth living).
The dog was steadily getting ever closer after every startled jump to the point that he was about to catch the cat's tail in his big powerful jaws if not her entire bottom in one playful mouthful - just to see what might happen you understand, nothing more. He, as ever, just wanted to join in the fun and play and only wanted to grab her majesty's attention to ask permission. It couldn't possibly have been because he saw his chance to get revenge for all the disdainful glares he'd received I'm sure (or almost sure) as he inched closer and closer with his big happy jaw dripping with saliva and his rather large strong teeth glinting in the sunshine. Why he licked his lips and positively smiled and he wagged his tail so vigorously that it's a miracle he didn't wag his entire bottom off as it too seemed to be wagging in gleeful anticipation of something. No, I am almost certain he was being playful and had no intention whatsoever of causing her royal feline highness's tail or wiggling bottom any harm at all.
Have you ever heard a cat scream, children? It is a most piercing and disturbing sound as indeed it should be, as it is wrong to meddle with royalty and distress them, but equally it is wrong for them to distress us. However, being the appointed and most loyal slave of this royal furry fiend I was duty bound to stop the dog and protect her so... I picked up her royal highness by the scruff of her furry feline neck and pointed her face at the dog and dropped her! Ooops, so careless of me I know, but you remember don't you, that I was not fully awake. It was most definitely not deliberately done but an mere honest mistake from this oh so stupid human servant to an infinitely superior royal feline. And my decision on that is final, binding and non-negotiable for all eternity - just in case there are any silly and awkward questions to answer from anyone! The dog is my witness and I'm pretty sure my neighbour saw it too. (Note to self, remind the neighbour of what they witnessed today).
Instantly, the cat's tail puffed out like a demented, petrified, punk-style toilet-brush in a hurricane as did the fur along her spine. With her fur all on end and rigid she had literally doubled in size! She gave one long savage, angry hiss (fortunately for me at the dog) and hurtled past me at ten times the speed of light in a blur of fur, claw and needle sharp whiskers. At the same moment the dog too sensed great danger and shot past his owner to the safety of his back door whimpering pathetically, but I... (fanfare please) had saved the day! It is far better to have been frightened than to have been gobbled up or injured and everyone involved was both alive and well.
You might think I'd be up for an award for saving this feline's life... not one bit of it. One has to go way beyond one's normal duties for such honours from any royal, or so I've heard tell. The most a feline royal will do is head-butt you, endeavouring to try to trip you up as they do so if at all possible and maybe, just maybe give you a contented purrrrrrrrrr, purrrrrrr, purrrrrrr.
The moral of this tale dear children is that while focusing on one thing too intently one can often miss a greater danger that you know not of. This is why it is wise to have friends who willingly will help keep everyone safe and to always be on friendly terms with all your neighbours.
(For the adults among you, as I wrote this tale I was distracted by another story - one of Irish history where, when the greater danger came in the form of world war or two, even the bitter troubles between Britain and the Erin (aka Tara, aka the Irish Republic or Republic of Ireland) were put on hold for the most part. I myself am the product of a Anglo-Irish agreement between my parents, which although it didn't last as long as I hoped at least it didn't end in anyone killing each other - my parents' marriage lasted a good 20+ years. It did so largely because of sheer will-power and humour when so many criticised and attacked us all for that marriage's mere existence.
I hope that we can all learn to value life above the desire for vengeance; for the cost of war and violent conflict is not merely measured in the number who died but in the toll it takes on all those who survive it. It is never worth the pain whenever people can be decent enough to talk, negotiate and share rather than steal, grab and turn away from those in dire need of help.
People can and should learn how to touch noses as my cat and the door next door will do one day very soon no doubt in respectful acknowledgement of each other, if not in friendship. This much the Republic of Ireland and Blighty (aka Albion, aka Britain or if you prefer the United Kingdom) has done in it's most recent past. May no nation starve or steal from any other from this point forward. It is not, nor ever will be an adult, humane, intelligent or civilised way to behave. it saddens and degrades us all when we know it still continues.
The pictures are among many I try to take of animals... I suspect they are likely to remain more difficult to properly understand than even our own species but one tries one's best to learn and respect all if one truly wants to live in peace and harmony don't you think? Apologies once again for any grammatical errors or speeling mistooks that may irritate, I have not managed to be perfect but then to date I know of no one else who has either).
EpilogueI suppose children of all ages, you'll be wanting to know what it was the cat was stalking that made her so startled that she jumped? Why it was a frog of course, no bigger than my thumb. It seemed totally bemused by the whole saga, almost as if it at been through it many, many, many times before. Do try to play nicely please, I have quite enough to do with that darn cat of mine that I seldom have time to chase after you!
Oh but, I should warn you children, oh darling little ones, that it's best not to have any mischievous ideas while I attend to her majesty the cat... cats have eyes everywhere and they often have adult servants to keep an eye on you! They meet up at night to plot things you know. Indeed many have teamed up with fierce and mighty, warrior wolves and some even with dogs and their owners who are are often also magical witches and wizards that pose as policemen, teachers, doctors, dentists and worst of all... sweet-snatchers and toy-trashers who are deployed as naughty child-catchers who will tease and pinch and snub and poke; and glue your hair and spit and joke... and generally not be very nice to you at all, So best beware and behave. At least, I've warned you.
"Yes... coming your majesty!" Must dash... her bowl needs filling again. Tch, royalty, eh... soooo demanding but she is rather good at warning me of danger too! ;-)