Chasing a Cat
Before I start can I just say sorry for not posting for a while? I’ve been away for a couple of weeks in Europe but more on that at a future date.
For now I just wanted to talk about a battle of wills I have on occasion with Raffles the cat. Anyone who used to follow Bones’ Diary will know about his savage battles with Raffles, both vying for dominance over the house and the fact that Bones, the greedy little bugger, scoffs the cat food at any opportunity.
Raffles is asthmatic so every so often has to go to the vets for a steroid injection, today was one of those days…
I woke up with the sun straining at the curtains. I sat on the side of the bed and had my morning scratch, trying to remember what it was I had to do today. Switching on my phone and going to the calendar app reminded me: “Raffles – vet”. Oh no! I’d better warm up first. You see taking one of the cats to the vet is not the same as taking one of the dogs, no this was a whole new ball game: with a dog you get the lead out and they’re already at the door – they don’t care where they’re going, they’re just happy to be going.
A cat on the other hand is a much smarter animal, they know exactly where you’re taking them. Maybe they overhear you discussing it, maybe they listen in on the extension when you’re booking the appointment over the phone. However they find out they are nowhere to be seen. Millie was there, she knew it wasn’t her turn to go, but Raffles was hidden. No matter I’ll find him after breakfast.
About an hour and a bit later and I was fed, scrubbed and dressed. I’d done some stretches to make sure I wouldn’t suffer a muscle tear in the hunt and chase that was about to start. I moved as silently as I could across the landing, like a big game hunter combing the jungle for a glimpse of a tiger, and this was a big cat I was after. Mrs B had made sure the wardrobe where he likes to disappear into was securely shut so I knew he wasn’t in there. I looked behind the TV, under the beds and everywhere I could think of. Eventually I tracked him down to the back of an armchair in one of the bedrooms, a huge ball of marmalade coloured fluff. That was the easy bit.
A dog you can coax with a treat, not a cat – Raffles regarded me with contempt as I tried to bribe him into coming out. He turned his head away from me when I called his name in a sing-songy way, in what I thought might sound friendly. He knew he was out of reach and even when I got close at full stretch he contemptuously swatted my hand away with a swing of a large white paw.
As the chair was wedged in tight between the bed and chest of drawers it would be too much trouble and effort to drag it out of the way only for him to bolt. I would have to try something a little more extreme. I have a stick, well it’s more of a club really, I keep it as a warm welcome just in case we receive particularly unwelcome nocturnal visitors. No, don’t worry, I’m not about to describe knocking the cat cold and dragging him out; although it would have been quicker and easier! I simply tapped the floor next to his big backside to make him reconsider his position. Out he came, only to settle down under the adjacent bed.
Down on my belly and crawling into the dark I started to regret, not for the first time, ever visiting the cat rescue shelter where we first met him. “It’s for your own good you ungrateful little turd.” He remained unconvinced and just as I reached him he ran past my head and slapped my face with his tail, just to add a little insult to my impending injury if I got stuck under there.
Crawling backwards from under the bed and cursing his name I struggled back to my feet and set off in his wake, remembering to shut the door after me, don’t want him going back in there. When I reached the landing all was quiet so I tried the next room. he was sitting under the desk watching me walk in, looking smug. I moved the chair out of the way and got down on my hands and knees but it was waste of time and effort as he flew past me once more.
Dragging myself wearily to my feet I set off after him once again, chewing myself out this time for not closing the door after me when I entered the room and so cutting off his escape. I wouldn’t make that same mistake twice as I entered the next room and pulled the door shut. No escape this time you slippery ginger swine, and luckily this was the room where I’d left the cat box on the bed ready for transport. Chasing him back and forth around and over the bed ensued and continued for the next five to ten minutes. My breath getting shorter all the time. “Come on Raff, you’re supposed to be asthmatic for f***s sake!”
Eventually I managed to corner him and get both hands around his considerable girth. Now all I had to do was back him into the box and unhook his claws from the bedspread he dragged in there with him.
We got to the vet’s five minutes late but there was only an old lady and her granddaughter in there so me and Raffles sat down to wait. The door to the treatment room opened and out came the little girl’s mother, crying her eyes out and holding the now empty collar that obviously used to surround the neck of the family dog. The grandmother started crying too and when the little girl asked “Mommy, why are you both so sad?” I must admit I felt a bit choked up myself.
When I got home and I released the beast from his box, whereupon he shot up the stairs to find another dark corner to hide, in case I changed my mind and took him back for another jab, I called my three dogs to me: Jessie, Alfie and Bones. Hugs all around and a silent thank you that their collars remained full.