It’s not that I don’t like cats

By 5th March 2009No Comments

Its not that I don’t like cats, it’s more like well cats not liking me. I do like them and if they would just tolerate me, I would love to do the same for them.

Having said that I suppose cat lovers everywhere will be yelling for my blood. So please allow me to put my thoughts and fears into some form of an explanation, and I am sure that you will see that it would be justly unfair to condemn me out of hand, when cats continuously show their lack of understanding towards me.

I have been persecuted by cats for most of my life, in the early 1930’s when trying to help a wild cat escape from a poachers Snare, I had a perfectly good jacket torn to shreds when I placed it over his head in an effort to restrain it, that’s not all I had a series of nasty injections to ensure that his bites and scratches left me unharmed. Ungrateful creature, well alright it was terrified having been imprisoned for several hours.

Then again that cat on the Cemetery wall in South Wimbledon when I was serving as a Policeman just after WW2. This cemetery has a high wall with several alcoves let into it, around the perimeter. Now all policeman in those times when patrolling their beats had favourite spots in which to conceal themselves and enjoy a rest, and the usual cigarette, these alcoves were one of my spots. I could lean back with my helmet just protruding above the wall in a most comfortable position. One moonlight night just after 2.A.M. I settled down for my respite. Then it all happened I suddenly felt something cross the back of my neck , first one way then back again, what could it be ? a branch of a tree blowing in the breeze? but there was no breeze and no trees. It felt more like the blade of some instrument of torture. Then the purring started, well more of a growling sound as though some beast was about to behead me. Turning quickly with my hands held high to ward of some wild animal , or torment evil spirit, I was confronted by a mangy looking cat glaring at me. The silly thing is that I was so relieved that I gave it the sausage which I usually gave to the friendly guard dog in the factory down the road.

Night duty again brought me my next encounter with another Moggie.

Just outside the Wimbledon Station the street has been built over the railway and is really a bridge with shops on both sides, behind which is a sort of catwalk, with back entrances to the shops on one side and a wall on the other safe guarding a drop of about 100 feet to the rails below. Night duty entailed walking down this Cat walk ensuring that the backs of the shops were safe. On my first night patrol I started my inspection of the shops , now I don’t know if you have ever experienced walking down a poorly lit alleyway and have something grab your shoulder in a vice like grip, well it is not pleasant! Apparently my predecessor had been playing some stupid game with the local cat seeing who could give the other the greatest shock. Now you must begin to see that I am a martyr to cats.

Cats do treat me with contempt, Living in the Cotswolds in a comfortable warm bungalow, enjoying glorious countryside, with my wife and her adoring cat was my idea of comfortable living to be enjoyed by my adoring family. It was my custom when returning from a hard days work to be greeted by my wife, and told to go and put my feet up, and she would bring in our usual cup of tea, and have our cosy little chat before dinner. Settling into my big reclining chair, in front of the big log fire, my wife’s cat as usual stretched out in front of it. With my greeting of hello cat, this ungrateful creature would stretch ,yawn , arch it’s back, turn contemptuously walk away with stiffened legs and curled tail, looking very like a very fat naval orange on stilts, at least when viewed from the rear.

Success with cats , or rather with a cat came to me late in life, on a visit to my Grand Daughter who has two cats I was greeted by her beautiful big black cat, who actually came up purring her pleasure, settling down in my lap perfectly happy. Now this must be a cat of very superior breeding, a cat that actually like me, what a sensible she is, not so the ginger one, obviously of a lower intellect, it simply walked away, and on reaching the door, turned blinked an eye, and I am sure muttered “You are the weakest link, goodbye.”

Ashley Roden

Author Ashley Roden

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