Two Black Cats in the Garden

Cats & things

Over ten years ago we adopted two black cats via the RSPCA, one dainty and friendly, the other fat and feral – they were sisters, two years old. The RSPCA were extremely thorough – they sent an inspector to visit us at home to check if we were suitable, then they inoculated and ID chipped the animals before we were allowed to take them.

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This is the painting I did of the ‘Two Black Cats in the Garden’. It was sold a couple of years later. I miss it . . .

The piece below is what I wrote at the time.

There are cats; there are things. Sometimes cats are the things and sometimes the things are cats. Two black cats came into our lives. The big one disappeared for a week, then came back for food and wouldn’t come in or near us. So I trapped it, like a man, with a wooden compost bunker, a broken bamboo and a length of blue nylon string that my wife bought on Carmarthen market when she was thinking about making spinning wheels for a skills lesson on a teaching course last November. She settled for mini pompoms in the end, in fluorescent coloured yarn.

When I trapped the cat, it mauled me – bit through to the bone of the little finger of my left hand and left me with a cluster of deep scratches on the back of my right hand.

I held the beast tight against my chest and got it into the house, proud of my hunting skills – it was a macho affair. The cat pissed on me and hid under the kitchen units. The next morning she was still lurking under the sink and I decided she could have her way and her freedom; so I poked her out with the handle of a brush and shooed her out of the back door. I relaxed, thinking I’d never see her again.

I’ll never forget the images of that cat collected over those few days – a vicious feral beast, terrified and terrifying, with hard white teeth and crisp sharp claws – the smell of the piss, the fur, raised and dirty with cobwebs from under the sink, the eyes pleading, frightened, threatening. The lope as it ran down the garden path, and its teeth piercing the flesh on both sides of my little finger.

Then suddenly, two weeks after she left and immediately following the installation of a cheap cat-flap for the benefit of her sibling, she came back and called me from the living room with her meows because she wanted food. Then she padded around the house, soft and friendly as if she’d never been away.

The other cat got freaked out and they hissed at each other, so we coaxed big puss outside for the night and locked the cat flap.

A few days later, just as the cats were settling down at last, my wife got a massive allergic reaction to them that required steroid injections at the hospital.

Sadly, I took the lovely vicious felines back to the RSPCA.

PS: A few weeks later I got a phone call from a vet’s practice in Blackpool telling me that a black cat registered to me had been found on the loose in the town. She’d been recognised from her ID chip.

Click here for another post about the Two Black Cats

3 thoughts on “Two Black Cats in the Garden”

  1. Ah, young Derec, I think you probably made the same mistake many cat owners have/do….you foolishly thought that you owned the cat! That it was your animal and, quite reasonably under the circumstances, that it should look upon you as the caring provider who rescued her (and her more accommodating sister). You had it all arse about face old bean…as it’s the cat that owns you and she confers her favours on you (like not ripping/biting you to bits when you attempt to bring her into the shelter of ‘her’ house) only when she chooses to do so. Yes, those of us who heroically allow cats to let us house and feed them…and thereby hand our homes and the most comfortable furniture therein to our honoured feline guests are unfortunately thought of, and treated by them, as the pillocks we undoubtedly are. I speak from bitter experience as the carer/servant of three rescued cats and five dogs (I think the dogs like me a little bit – but the cats?)….Sometimes, when I am alone in the house on dark, stormy nights I get the feeling…and it’s only a feeling mind, that the cats are creeping up on me. They are hiding under tables and behind arm chairs or the curtains….and all I have to do is nod off to sleep and they will be upon me, tearing at my living flesh, drinking my blood and clawing at all my delicate bits. And so I feed them, and I keep them well fed because the moment they get hungry, all it will take is one little snore on my part and that will be the end of it for me. I know they will do it, they have implanted the sure knowledge inside my brain. They can do that you know, put thoughts into your brain whenever they want to….so if you ever glimpse your cat staring at you, whatever you do, do not look into their eyes,,,DO NOT LOOK INTO THEIR EYES…because before you know it you will have to get up off your bum and open a tin of Kit-E-Kat and pour out a saucer of milk and you’ll miss the last bit of Coronation Street…but even worse, you will have had your brain invaded and will never be at peace again,,,,never,,,,never….NEVER!

    I will close now as I have to take my medication.

    Take care my friend and remember…do not look into their eyes……Aaaaaaaaaarghhhhh!

  2. Ha Alan – you’ve got the makings of a creepy story there, but you’ve opened my eyes about cats – some friends of ours have got eight – will have to avert my gaze next time I see them !!!

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