Cats, No Not The Musical, Just Cats!

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A fun blog of 'soft' philosophy about the life and times of a Westiepoo called Chester. Written as a prelude to a more serious novel raising the question: Who is the most bankrupt: the banker who won't whistle-blow or the chef who loses her livelihood?

I have an aversion to cats. I don't know why I just do. I suppose it's in my DNA. Or is it existential? I mean a life fear learned through the experience of a scrape in the ear by a horrible one as a puppy. It's like the 'nature or nurture' conversation one of my master's Mr. A had with Mrs. Brooks via Facebook the other day ... upbringing has a lot to answer for, but thankfully not everything.

Cats are an anathema to me both genetically and experientially. Genetically, because I'm confused as to whether they are for play or for fighting. Experientially, because they've done nothing to help me to reshape a more positive narrative about their felineness by their constant scratching and clawing. Thus, I am reticent to break the habit of incessantly barking at them! Take the neighbour's grey moggy. She enters the protected zone that represents my guardianship, aka the garden. She comes via the six-foot fencing, striding along the panels, swooping down to the ground beyond our bushes and jumping up to the brick wall at the rear. Every time I see her intrude my space, she provokes a fit of uncontrollable barking at the patio door. I'll even run to and fro to the back door of the utility room, impatiently demanding to be let outside, to express my rage directly to the trespasser.

Now you could say, that my owners should screen our windows, or consult a vet, animal behaviourist or dog warden regarding behaviour therapy. But this could have been unnecessary. You see, last year, when Mr. A was taking me on my morning block walk, we witnessed what we thought was a tragic affair. A said grey cat jumped straight into the busy road outside of our house to be hit directly by the offside front tyre of an oncoming vehicle. To Mr. A's shock, standing one hundred metres away from the incident, he thought my foe had instantly died. In fact, there was no evidence that the cat had done anything other than been caught in the vehicle's chassis. She vanished without a trace. Not being sure who the cat belonged to, Mr. A typed a friendly note expressing the regret of a local fatality, copied it ten to fifteen times, and mailed it through the front doors in our neighbourhood. A few hours later, the lady whose house is next to us, but in a different street behind our home, drove around. Teary eyed, she was consoled by Mr. A, that her precious companion would have died instantly without pain. Oh, how I wished! Five weeks later the cat was miraculously discovered alive in a nearby village; her pelvis shattered. Ten weeks after veterinarian surgery she was back pestering my peace.

Only yesterday, I had a couple more engagements with cats. There was the black, ginger and white cat up the tree on my field walk, and to my personal loathing, a cat hiding under a parked vehicle. The one up the tree is less stressful. All I can do is steady my front paws against the trunk, face upwards and yelp. Cats that hide under cars inflame significantly worse symptoms. Howls of fear, breathless panting, spitting and jumping backwards. Even Mango and Mrs. Smeeton heard my anguished cry around the corner one hundred or so metres away.

So the moral of this story is that we can't change the past, but we don't have to let it shape who we are in the future ... or something profound like that!?!

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