It’s amazing how much you can get done if you get up at four in the morning. I’m usually an early riser, being up and running by six, but this morning I was woken at three thirty by a cat fight beneath the bedroom window. I’m thinking now that we have a new six-foot fence these creatures are finding their escape slower and more difficult thus resulting in a cat pile-up.
Cat fights used to be the norm around here – when we had Oscar, our Burmese warrior. He was a little sod. If I had to use one word to describe him it would have to be persistent. He thought nothing of lifting the conservatory roof to squeeze beneath it and escape into the garden. He misjudged the bedroom window on one occasion when we were out and ended up wedged in it with the neighbours attempting to free him with a line-prop from ground level. Although he was neutered and had a fighting weight of very little he battled with any cat that he came across. And if he didn’t come across one he’d go looking! Head down, blood-curdling screams and in he went. I lost track of how many abscesses I had to burst and treat. He never realised that he was punching well above his weight – literally.
We lost him once. It was the worst three days of our lives. We put up posters, toured the back fields constantly and put flyers through the neighbours doors asking them to check their garages and sheds. One person rang to say that he was sorry Oscar had gone missing because he was such a lovely cat and always popped in for a bite to eat. Popped in for a bite to eat?? Who were these people? McDonald’s? Apparently they bought food especially for him. They had photographs of him taken with each member of the family. Oscar was leading a secret life!
After three days Richard and I sat by the side of the pond staring into the depths after earlier admitting to each other that Oscar had gone. We had lost him and he wasn’t coming back. We would never know if he was lying dead in a gutter somewhere, drowned in a rain-barrel or trapped and dying a slow death. Then, on the breeze, we heard this barely audible miaow. We both spun so fast we collided heads. We just stared at each other and then said in unison, ‘OSCAR!’
Richard tracked down the miaows to just two gardens away. Two gardens away! He rushed round and banged on the neighbours door but they were out and there was no access to their garden so he came back and climbed over the dividing fences, tearing down vegetation pushing through the undergrowth like Indiana Jones.
I was in the house trying to find a phone number for the neighbours when Richard walked down the garden path carrying Oscar. Obviously we cried all over him. He devoured a dish of food before turning, tail in the air, and trotting back into the garden as if nothing had happened. We were still in flood of tears and Oscar was off on his next adventure.
Our other cat, Mishka, gave him a foul look as if to say, ‘Shit, he’s back.’
He was beastly to Mishka as well, never passing on an opportunity to beat her up and remind her she was the subservient feline.
Having said all of this, in the fifteen years that we had Oscar he never spat, hissed or scratched us once. Each time he returned with an abscess from his failed bouts he let me burst them, bathe them and he never raised a paw. He was a true ‘people’ cat. He just didn’t like other cats.
He is still causing problems now. He is buried beneath the lawn and I’ve already had to raise the area once and it is sinking again. Sometimes I wonder if he is still there. The cat fight this morning was very reminiscent of Oscar days?
Take care my lovelies x