I love cats about as much as I love dogs. Well, some dogs are OK I suppose, sensibly sized dogs that are intelligent for example. I suppose it is dog owners I really have an issue with, The ones that smash down the Skylark signs, the ones that don't apologize, the ones that swear at me. But what about cat owners? Cat owners are a mystery. Who are they? Where do they live? At least you can't get into a fight with a cat owner as you have no idea who they are.
International Cat Day was this past Saturday. Who knew? For several reasons I do not want to see cats in my garden. Those reasons should be obvious to any birders and gardeners. Largely I have been winning this particular fight, and the local cats tend to give my place a wide berth. This may be to do with the family of foxes that live down the bottom as much as anything I do of course, but I like to think that my mad shouting, lobbing of watering cans and other tactics are bearing fruit. One cat however has yet to get the message.
It is a swaggering tom, a beefy, aggressive prince of the neighbourhood, and it knows it. I've chased it, I've thrown things at it, I've sprayed water at it and I've hissed at it, and it keeps coming back. And what it is more, it sprays in my garden. It is marking its territory! I've even found it in my conservatory. How very dare it frankly. Here it is just outside my house from the other day, when I caught it napping in my front garden.
Just look at it and tell me that isn't the most arrogant cat you have ever seen? This cat does not care one jot. It is not scared of me (or anything I suspect), it is a bruiser and I reckon the local foxes keep their distance as well. I have no idea who it belongs to or where it lives. My neighbours hate it too, as it chases their two cats to the point that they no longer ever come outside or even downstairs. So I suppose it has done some good, but this is a nasty animal make no mistake.
The trouble with cats is their almost complete independence. You can buy a cat and then completely forget about it. For most hours of the day you will have no idea what it is doing or even where it is. I always thought that dog owners were the most irresponsible people I could think of, but actually it is the legions of anonymous cat purchasers who see their cat once a day when it wants some food and for the other 23 hours and 55 minutes let it run amok in other people's gardens. My garden.
I just object to treading in cat mess in my own garden. I object to cat piss on my plant pots and shrubs. I object to cats stalking birds - anywhere - and I am hugely annoyed that the owner of this particular animal does not give a shit and is probably completely ignorant of my hatred of it. One day I am going to corner this cat somewhere where it cannot escape, at which point I will probably lose an arm or something. But if I can get a few blows in with the watering can or whatever is close at hand it will have been worth it.