my life as a cat burglar
Friday night. Another long work week survived. I was just about to start on my first glass of wine of the evening. Suddenly there was a cry from downstairs.
“Emily!” called my dad. “Your cat is in difficulties!”
I live with my parents because haha London house prices and also my parents are the best landlords ever: they charge practically no rent, cook for me, are retired and therefore have nothing better to do than run my errands and do my laundry, and the hardest part is getting them to stop washing everything in sight.
Also they allow pets!
They love my cat. Yesterday my dad took the back door apart in order to install a brand new extremely high-tech cat flap. Taking things apart is his hobby anyway - the other week he took the front door apart to see if he could carve a piece of wood exactly the right shape to stop one pesky draft - but he’s very concerned about the cat flap at the moment because a New Cat has moved into the neighbourhood and it is the Gaston of cats, which is to say it is roughly the size of a barge.
We call it The Panther. Capital T, capital P. It keeps trying to come in through our old (insufficiently high-tech!) cat flap and eat Fennel’s dinner. It is nearly three times her size. Anyway, when Dad said difficulties, I assume he meant he needed me to come and chase off The Panther with a water pistol, which is our new family funtime activity.
By the time I was halfway down the stairs, I could tell that wasn’t the problem, because when The Panther is around Fennel goes silent or hissy, and she definitely wasn’t either of those. I could hear mewing. It was very loud. It was a lot louder than I realised, actually, because I could hear it in the house and it was coming from next door’s garden.
Fennel’s thought process since she started exploring our garden has gone like this:
- A pot! I shall hide behind it.
- If I jump down here and then here I am in a vast new world of things to eat that I probably shouldn’t eat
- What is this bucket the large human keeps moving around, should I sit in it (’EMILY! Your cat is in my weeding bucket again!’)
- A bush! I shall hide inside it.
- oh my god
- oh my god what is that it’s so tall
- oh my god a tree
- I’m gonna climb it
Three days ago, she clomb the tree. Tonight: she discovered the Branch That Overlooks The Neighbour’s Garden. A vista of possibilities opened before her. She leapt down into this brave new world.
At some point after that, she discovered that jumping down from a very high branch does not mean you can jump back up to it again.