Who gets the last laugh

……………………………………………………………..Lily’s first outdoor walk in 10 years!

To celebrate two consecutive days without rain, Grant decided this morning that he was going to walk the cats. Our guys don’t wear collars and it wouldn’t be a good way to walk a cat. They have harnesses. This is Grant’s “thing”. The only time I have had a harness on one of my cats, was when they were travelling with me. I don’t think there is any restraint that is escape-proof where cats are concerned. So the idea of walking these guys makes me a bit nervous, although I don’t think they would actually get into much trouble here. They are smart enough to know where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served.

The whole idea of taking a cat for a walk is slightly ridiculous, in any case. In their opinion, “going for a walk” is what “dumb dogs” do. Some cats, when presented with a harness, will just lie down and refuse to budge. Others will pretend to tolerate the thing and once outdoors will attempt to flee. All they need do is position them self so that their “walker” is in front, at which time they can just back out of the harness. They are a lot more flexible than dogs. Most of our cats, though, are laid back enough to take the air when the opportunity arises.

I am a bit neurotic about cats being outdoors, perhaps as a result of Mohammed’s disappearance all those years ago. I know cats love their freedom. They want nothing more than to be able to explore and stick their noses into everything. And many of them manage to do it without getting into terminal trouble. But a very large number also get run over or seriously injured in a fight, or run afoul of some poor excuse for a human being, which are all too numerous, unfortunately. Even my sweet mother used to throw stones at cats that made the mistake of entering her garden.

People, including me, get very agitated with cats that kill birds. Mostly, though, they seem happy enough for a cat to kill mice or rats. At the foster-home in Washington, I had tribes of mice that must have been exceptionally stupid, as frequently, one would saunter in to the cat rooms.

After a mama mouse delivered her babies in the engine of my car, and then died there with them, I quite was keen myself, to be rid of the little nuisances. But I wasn’t happy with any of the recommended methods. It always upset me to find their corpses, and when one of the cats caught and ate a mouse in front of me, I was really disturbed. Considering the cat was 90% blind, I’m not sure how long that mouse would have survived anyway. I did say they were a bit dim. Still…

A couple of weeks ago, Mr Pancho from next door caught a chipmunk and made off with it. We had already rescued one from him days before, and I had very stern words with him about it, but a fat lot of good it is to try reasoning with a cat. Grant was very put out with Pancho over it, and was withholding tickles and tummy rubs (he’s one of those rare cats that likes his belly rubbed). But a cat always gets the last word.

When Grant went out to walk the cats this morning, he left a basement window open. He is painting down there and wanted to get some air in. I was talking to the boy in the garden, when Grant came by with Tinkerbell. She spat rude words at Pancho who looked offended and went on his way.

A little bit later, Grant came out with Lily, and he was laughing. When he had gone back in with Tinkerbell, Pancho met him at the door, as if greeting a visitor. He had squeezed in through the open basement window.

I was persuaded to buy myself a decent office chair, for all the good it's done me. 
Lily laid claim to it this morning, as usual, so I dragged out the old one, and
two minutes later...

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