By | August 10, 2022


I’ve been on my own for far too long. The litter tray is full and my bowls are empty. The cat flap is locked shut, just in case I decide to escape or that pesky cat from next door climbs in to annoy me. I gave it a good beating last time that happened and we haven’t been on good terms since then. But it might forget and try again one day. I’m going to find a look-out position to check when the car comes in. Then I’ll saunter down the stairs, turning my back on the family to show my extreme displeasure at being left all day and most of the evening too.

AT last, here they are. Action stations – top step, ready, steady go – down one by one, lazy saunter, head turned away. I can hear the calls and coos but something is amiss. I can smell – dog! And it’s in my house. It’s an instinct, a primeval response. Cat hates dog. No arguments. Whatever are they doing, why ever have they allowed a dog to come in here?  Mistress bends down to show me a bundle wrapped in a blanket.

‘Look,’ she says, all soppy baby talk voice, ‘we’ve brought a little friend for you to play with.’ couchie, couchie, coo. ‘Look Theo, here’s your big sister come to say hello.’

And there it was, a small creature smelling of dog, looking like dog but tiny, smaller than me, with a squashed tomato sort of face, hair sticking up on its ears and big, wide eyes.

Of course I reacted as only a cat can do. The fur on my back rises stiffly, my claws extend ready to fight, my eyes narrow to slits and a low growl comes from my throat. I must make my position clear.

Mistress tries again. The bundle is opened up and the contents tipped out on the carpet. She picks me up and puts me close to the creature. Without being able to stop myself I lash out with one paw, catching the material with my claws. Dog retreats looking anxious. Good, cat one, dog nil. ‘Don’t do that,’ Mistress tells me, ‘Theo is a new friend, be kind to him, he’s just left his Mummy.’ As if I care, my Mummy is a long distant memory, I make my own way in life, that’s what cats do. They walk alone. ‘Make Theo welcome,’ they tell me, ‘he’s going to live here with us.’

How could they do this to me? I’ve been their loyal and constant companion for the past three years. I’ve put up with their nauseous children: being dressed up and taken for walks in the dolls’ pram, having my tail pulled and my fur rubbed the wrong way by the clumsy, fat paws of their young son and daughter. I’ve been patient and thought of my regular meals, my warm bed, Not once have I reacted badly, no biting, scratching, yowling or, as they call it, caterwauling like that tom cat from two gardens’ away. How is he going to react to Theo? My money is on the tom. All these thoughts race through my head as I back off, watch and wait for developments, cursing gently as only a wronged cat can do.

Master is losing patience, I can tell. He goes to the back door, opens it. Then he picks me up and throws me out into the garden. The indignity of it, in front of new dog. And then, as if inspired by this unnecessarily cruel treatment, dog growls too and, on tiny legs, begins to run towards the door. He sees me outside and increases his pace.

I do, quite instinctively, what cat has done throughout millennia. I run away and reach the only tree of any size in the garden. I leap and clamber up the trunk until I reach a low branch where I sit and spit and curse. Theo puts his front paws on the trunk and makes a sound that might be an embryo bark, now more of a squeak. But I’m safe and here I’m going to stay until he’s removed from my territory. Theo can’t reach me, dog cannot climb, cat is safe. ‘Well stay there,’ shouts Master, carrying Theo back into the house. The door is slammed shut.

And that’s how I ended up, up in a tree.

Last Updated on August 10, 2022