Good Morning All.
I’m a kind person, right? And you all know for a fact that I adore my chucks and Chea, so it may come as a surprise when I divulge yesterdays trauma. It wasn’t nice but it was necessary.
With migraine buggered off and the broken back sprayed with painkiller off I limped into the garden and made my merry way to the ‘shed project’ where the next job was to move the compost heap. Chucks were scratching happily, murdering insects and bugs. Chea was playing happily, stalking the chucks and chattering to the wood pigeons who sat just out of reach cooing like a very bad, girl backing-group.
For the first hour all went well. When I realised that I hadn’t seen Chea for the last ten minutes I went in search of her little striped body and found her up the small conifer tree. She was stuck! Again! I laughed at the stupid animal and stretching up, grabbed her front legs and pulled her down. I left her sitting there and went back to my compost heap. Another ten minutes and I realised Chea hadn’t followed me back up the garden so again I went in search of her.
Her presence was only obvious by a shower of dead conifer fronds slowly falling like snow from the neighbours leylandii. This particular tree stands higher than the house roof! I instantly had a bad feeling about this particular adventure of hers. She was nowhere in sight. I called and called and eventually the tiniest miaow drifted down through the dense branches. I pinpointed the miaow at two-thirds up the tree. I decided that this time the stupid cat would have to find her own way down. It was at this point that the miaows turned into distress calls. I couldn’t even see her and Richard wasn’t due home for two hours. I knew that if I let her get to the top of the tree in would be a fire brigade job.
Suddenly my concern, rising terror and helplessness turned to sheer bloody annoyance. This sodding cat had tested every tree in the garden, got stuck up everyone and now she’d disappeared. I knew Richard would not be impressed when he came home to find Chea at the top of a tree and a fire engine parked outside. ‘Right! That’s it!’ I yelled into the tree. ‘It’s time you learnt that tree’s are NOT fun!’
I stomped off, rigged up the hose-pipe, dragged it into position and turned it on full, aimed at the very top of the tree. For a full minute nothing happened and then a slight movement disturbed the upper branches so I turned off the hose-pipe. Everything went quiet. So I turned the hosepipe back on. By now the tree looked like something growing in the Amazon rain forest with water rushing down the trunk and dead fronds showering down. I needed the ladder.
Struggling to get the ladder onto the top of the rockery and shove it up into the branches was a hoot. The water had shifted Chea. Good plan. Now it was all showering down on me as I precariously climbed the ladder into the lower branches. Huge flaw in the plan.
Standing on the top rung, hanging on with one hand, I could see Chea’s head. I coaxed her with a few loving words …believe that and you’ll believe anything, but she still wasn’t having it and began to climb back up the tree! With the effort of a super-human I made a lunge for her, managing to grab a back foot. This sent her mental and she dragged the foot through my hand, ripping open my wrist. I knew that I had one chance to get this cat before she disappeared so I grabbed her side and yanked. She screamed. Really screamed. And wrapped her arms around the branch, hanging on like a feeding leech. I managed to grab her scruff and pulled. And pulled. She screamed and screamed. The water and debris showered down.
I dragged her kicking and screaming through the dead branches, almost fell off the ladder, which tipped, before landing in a heap in the wet mud at the bottom of the tree. She sloped off into the kitchen and set about licking herself clean.
I spent the next ten minutes fishing up the tree trying to release her collar which she had lost in the battle. Obviously it hit me on the head .
As usual, later, when we had repaired our bond, Chea had scoffed some chicken and I had ventured back to my compost heap, the neighbour stuck his head over the fence and casually remarked, ‘Gail, was that your cat in distress?’ My cat in distress? Why is it that whenever I do ANYTHING some neighbour is watching? I took a deep breath and said, ‘No. That WAS my cat … but it was ME in distress!’ He gave me that familiar look that basically all my neighbours give me, stopping to take in my bleeding arms and face, my wet, conifer strewn mop, before nodding and disappearing into his greenhouse.
I muttered for quite a while about stupid cats and bloody nosey neighbours and then I went back to the relatively calm job of moving a pile of chicken shit. Happy days!
I pray to all things holy and with wings that Chea has learnt her lesson because frankly I can’t take much more of this. My son is coming over tomorrow to replace ten fence panels so I’m going to ask him to take down the neighbours tree! More than one way to skin a stupid cat, sunshine!
Take care my lovelies x
PS I’ve bought her a little treat this morning from the supermarket. Because when all is said and done – I love her unconditionally. As you do!