Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to http://www.catminders.biz

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Sunday, 1 June 2008

Oh the embarassment the humiliation


Saturday .
I am completely knackered after what seems an exhausting round of "Day Job with extra days here and there", of driving to conferences on my days off ( well worth the effort ) , lots of CatCalls ( exactly what I want ) , lovely weather for dogwalking , friends to meet , people wanting me to do this and that , house needing attention , finances needing to be fixed etc etc .
We all do it ... anyway , having decided Saturday was to be a day of d
Doing Nothing , a friend e mailed and said what are you doing and I mail back and say Nothing , I'm taking a day off , just a few catcalls , the dogwalk , popping out to get a garden bench to fit the little space at the front ( so we can sit out there with the Pigsters in their run instead of in the back where they're not on grass , plus we can chat to passers by out front , ) then I have to make a batch of chocolate brownies to take when we go visiting later , Oh and
I've cleaned the bathroom and wonders of wonders done some upstairs cleaning as well ..... ( showing off by this point ) .
..... The point of all this is by three pm , brownies in hand I am ready either to fall asleep on my feet or to escape to the country, the coast having sea -fretted over , perhaps due to the arrival of our garden bench , guaranteed to chase the sun . As we unloaded it in unwieldy fashion , watched by several passers by , several made comments as the clouds appeared and the sun disappeared .
As we drive inland , the sun re appears and we are greeted warmly in Stamfordham by all and sundry . My parents have an old family friend staying and Marjorie , who lives in Urmston near Manchester has not seen Nat since she was perhaps two or three years old . Nat has no recollection of her .
Marjorie's husband Geoff was my Dad's friend from RAF days and he is much missed by all since he died some eight or nine years ago .
Alice loves visiting , especially when there is food on offer , and rushes around the house checking all available sources for goodies .
Although to our knowledge she has never raced as a greyhound , she certainly will always run in circles given a choice , and loves nothing better than to run in mad loops round the garden , tearing up chunks of the lawn as she corners , bending and weaving to avoid the obstacles , bird baths , swingball , the frogpond , and the like . As she races , the two resident (and one rather elderly )papillons look on from the sidelines with distaste , yapping furiously , occasionally minded to join in for half a circuit but usually bolting as they are trodden underfoot .
As the sun lowers and the conversation turns to things of the past , me my mother and Marjorie all sit squished on a bench together , taking the occasional photograph and laughing as we watch Alice . Unable to settle for long she is mooching about the garden having long since exhausted herself with her running . She pokes about amongst Dad's numerous projects , the composting systems , the nose of a plane I note in the far corner of the garden , and emerges from a distant corner of the garden behind an old shed laced with cobwebs.
Ten circuits are usually enough for her and she has long since fallen to the ground panting and seeking out the shade , the cat having scarpered to the top of the tree for safety's sake as usual .
But as we watch , the cat seems to fluff up in the tree , seems to bristle with annoyance over something , almost as if some thought of empowerment has popped into her mind and taken hold .
. She begins to pick her way down the trunk , marches over to where Alice lies snoozing , strides purposefully at the dog and picks jauntily at her tail . Alice struggles to her feet in alarm , glances towards us in horror and Whoosh , she is off , takes off round the race track she has created in her head . The three of us look on in complete amazement and then in denial and then in hysterical laughter as Alice races and the cat gives chase , tail the size of a bottle brush , eyes like saucers and a truly puerile look on the face . Alice glancing back over her shoulder from time to time as if wondering whether she ought to change direction and give chase but the fear in her eyes .....
The cat clearly does not have the speed of the greyhound so attempts to cut corners , crossing in front of her causing the dog to speed up even further to pass by as it seems to be outwith Alice's imagination to turn tail , she merely continues on and gets faster .
The cat ( Minnie , though there is nothing mini about her in this scenario) is in hot pursuit yet makes it look easy and as if she is having a sort of fun , a sort of unsavoury, gratuitous fun , the culmination of months of having been pushed to the top of a tree by a stupid greyhound no doubt .
Finally Alice worn out by her ten or so circuits , can go no further , drops near our feet , and then , the wierdest thing .
She stares at us in real anguish and sets up an unearthly high pitched shrieking , chittering teeth , chattering sort of noise whilst staring at the cat which has parked itself about two feet from her , safely under the bench upon which the three of us are seated . It is as if the dog cannot cope with her feelings of intense humiliation , fear , anxiety , whatever , and just has to let them out .
As ever after exercise of any sort , greyhounds being very very fast but lacking stamina , her chest is heaving and my mother fears she will drive herself into a heart attack so she speaks reassuringly to her about the horrid cat and that we will tell no one about this awful scene and that she must calm herself down . Alice listens carefully , gives the cat a final Look and flops .
The cat is victorious .

1 comment:

BetteJo said...

I could see it! :)

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