Another Caturday Post

Moby

This little furball was my first cat. I had lived with others, but he was the first one that was truly my own. Ferocious, huh?

He was called Moby and he was challenged: he had a twitchy leg from birth, which was resolved but might have meant he would possibly be difficult to home or may not have even been given the chance if I hadn‘t taken him. He became allergic to fleas, or flea poo, but also allergic to the available flea prevention treatments (yep, really), which meant he shed his fur in patches, so his beauty was somewhat impaired. But he was adorable, whatever.

He liked to play with water: a big bowl filled with soapy suds (also liked the bubbles) and a bobbing plastic bottle top or two would keep him amused for ages as a kitten. I have to confess, having realised this, I bought him a set of rubber ducks, which he happily played with….

He was intended to be an indoor cat. I had no experience of this, but had been told it was perfectly reasonable. Within a short time it became clear that, for Moby, it was not acceptable at all, and he needed outdoor access. Given the layout of my home, it didn’t seem it would be possible to do this safely.

Some background here, which you need for later. I lived in the top half of a Victorian house which had been divided in two. For those who don’t know UK architecture, this means large-ish rooms (by UK standards, probably nobody else’s!) and high ceilings (again, probably same caveat!), plus two extra floor levels, making the building overall much taller than a modern house. I had no way to let him out other than onto the street, which I didn’t want to do, and no obvious place for a cat flap.

I started taking him out the front and around the side of the house, through the garden of the downstairs flat and into mine whenever I could. It was OK, but less than ideal. Then one day whilst gardening with him watching, my sister suggested I go inside and call him from the house, which I did. Moby looked up, did the planning and the maths (you can see your cat doing this, right?) and worked out his route from the back garden to the kitchen window. Brilliant! Except I couldn’t leave the window open for him all day, could I? So my wonderful, wonderful dad with his equally wonderful trusty assistant (mum) arrived one weekend with a couple of bits of wood and a bag of tools. When they left I had a rebuilt kitchen window with a one-of-a-kind ‘floating’ cat flap entry. Floating because dad also had to build a landing pad and attach it to the outside wall at the corner to access the cat flap.

(cue Mission Impossible music….)

So, the route was – jump onto wall dividing my garden from my neighbour next door. Follow wall until you come to neighbour’s conservatory. Hop onto this and climb to the top and back. Jump onto neighbour’s roof at the two-storey level and climb to the top and back. Now jump over where the roofs meet (it has upright tiles with a patterned top so is irregular and can‘t just be climbed over) and scramble down a few feet, across a few feet, and hop onto a lower narrow window ledge. Now execute a precise jump onto a 15 x 15” platform which looks like it is floating in mid-air, making sure you don‘t overshoot or you are flying across the garden path, about 40 feet in the air and no hope of a safe landing. Make a sharp left turn and through the cat flap. You are now on the kitchen worktop and know that this is only allowed for entry and exit purposes. No wandering off track or meandering about. Head in a straight line and jump down immediately please. It was pretty impressive, and it worked well and made him a happy cat.

Unfortunately though Moby loved to hunt. So now imagine him scaling the above obstacles to entry with a mouse in his mouth. Umpteen times. The mice were always unharmed, so our mouse-catching skills got pretty good too. Maybe he just thought we needed the training….

One day I nearly lost my sense of humour over his predatory habits. Getting up to go to work I walked into the living room and switched the TV on to check the news. I seemed to have gained an ornament overnight. Eyeing me from the top of the TV was an undamaged very large, very grumpy blackbird. Probably about half the size of Moby. How on earth had he managed that route with that bird in tow?

Have you every tried to catch a blackbird? Or shepherd it off the premises via the window? Oh, and guess what, high ceilings are really, really useful for birds trying to evade ‘capture’…

Have you ever had to tell your boss that the reason you are late for work is that you were trying to catch a blackbird in your living room? It’s a difficult sell, I can tell you!

 

 

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33 thoughts on “Another Caturday Post

      1. I know exactly what you mean from my various kitties. But I found girl cats behaved more like cats than boys? Whilst typing this reply I have just had to inch my pc mouse from between Riley’s paws, then stop him from running off with a metal die in his mouth….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, I don’t know…as I am replying to you, two of my girl cats are punching each other in a most unladylike way through the vertical blinds and hissing at each other. My old cat, Walter, was very dignified and gentle, even as a young cat, so maybe it’s a personality thing..lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s amazing how much you can love a bundle of trouble. When I was a child, I let in our cat before I noticed she had a squirrel in her mouth. I immediately made her release it. Obviously I didn’t think that through. Now I had a squirrel running around the house. Not knowing what else to do, I let the cat catch it again. I grabbed the cat, ran out the door, and made her release it all over again. My parents slept blissfully through the entire ordeal.

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    1. Brilliant story! What a smart kid you were. Thinking on your feet, tactics, bravery (squirrels have a nasty bite), damage limitation, stealth… Are you really a spy, not a scrapbooker?

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  2. hahahahaha, haven’t had to tell the boss…close, but it was a weekend. 😉 We’ve had cows from who knows where pay us a visit, possums galore, fruit bats that love to circle rooms before being coaxed outside….oh and yesterday a rouge chicken under the stairs. 🙂 Animals, bless them, are certainly here to keep us laughing…at them or at ourselves.

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    1. What a variety of wildlife! I had a fox outside the dining room window once. Took my by surprise as it was three floors up… He had climbed some scaffolding!!

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  3. Little Moby looks so sweet! Love this story! The only things my cats ever present me with are cabbage butterflies. If I’m lucky – or they’re lucky – I can sometimes save them before the ‘playing’ gets out of hand! Cats, gotta love ’em! 🙂

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  4. Aww… I’d have forgiven little Moby for anything he did. He’s just too cute and sweet for words.
    Did he have a long life? (I do hope so. He deserved a long and happy life, bringing you presents galore!).
    Sending Sunday Squishes to you there, ~ from a happy Cobs, here in a warm and sunny but FAR more pleasant temperature than the last few days, Dorset.

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  5. Loved this post. We had cats when I was growing up. We started with a female kitty and the next year she had a litter of 5 kittens…..all in the house. That was an adventure once they started running around. They could scale anything you put in the way to keep them out of a room. Fortunately we were able to find homes for them all. My mom put up with a lot for us kids but it made for great memories. Thanks for bringing that one back!

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      1. She laughs…….now. She was and is a very good sport about most things. I think she and my dad always felt bad that we didn’t get to live on a farm. We did however, live on the edge of a very small town and had a gravel road past our place so almost in the country.

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  6. Eurgh. I love cats but this is one lf the most unappealing habits of cats. Our kitten (Maxine, who happens to be my first cat of my own) is an indoor cat, but since we live in london right next to a railway track, we still get mice. We actually got her for mouse control, as I am terrified if mice, and I naievely thought that she would scare them off before she could kill any and then they would just never come back. Boy was I wrong. Luckily, i have not been in the hluse when she has gotten hold of one, so my partner has dealt with them, but its only a matter of time…

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    1. Ooh poor you. I’m not afraid of them at all, but I don’t want them in the house either! I don’t think my current cat could catch a cold, let alone a mouse!

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