Pippa is, as regular readers will be aware, a fine figure of a warren – and I will freely confess that I do have a tendency to overfeed the blighter.
So, what happened this afternoon was entirely my own fault.
This road is alive with moggies; one can barely throw a stick without hitting one. One, in particular, has come to my notice. It is black, mangy and miserable-looking and appears to be of no fixed abode. Bit of a Feline Bencher, in some respects – though without the Special Brew.
A few weeks ago, in a moment of mushy stupidity which has come back to bite me, I gave the depressed black cat some titbits. BIG mistake!
I had some old potatoes and cooked sprouts loitering, probably with Salmonella-esque intent, in the fridge – and, housebound since Monday, made the cretinous decision to give them to my very own Leporine Hoover.
She appeared to be underwhelmed by my vegetable generosity – and, as my poorly back had just gone into yet another painful spasm, I beat a hobbling retreat into the warmth.
I don’t know what made me look out of the window – instinct perhaps – but I am bloody glad I did: The Black Cat had muscled open the wire slats surrounding Pippa’s hutch, stolen a potato and was lurking on the path consuming said treat. Worse still, Pippa – never one to pass up a chance to get the hell out – was lolloping merrily around the garden.
It was, to say the least, a fraught moment. I could barely move. The day was raw in the extreme. The black one showed no inclination to bugger off – and its white opposite number showed an equal lack of desire to be encaged once more.
A stalemate ensued. I yelled at the cat and it, very grudgingly – with many a hiss and dirty backward look – took up position on the back fence. My worry ran thusly: Cats are not renowned for being vegetarians – and I feared that the malevolent creature loitering had perhaps sampled the two veg part of the meal first and was eyeing up Pippa as the meat bit.
Trouble was, I was not quick enough on my feet to be chasing rogue cats or high-spirited bunnies and the day, wearing on towards dusk, was getting ever-colder. While the Bun frolicked and the cat meowed piteously, the temperature (never warm) dropped like a stone.
Teetering and tottering and wincing, I made my slow way gardenwards and, having been evaded five time, finally managed to immure Pippa in her hutch. The wire enclosure, re-erected, took its toll and I was firing off expletives by the end.I cannot bend down far enough to pick up the potatoes or the sprouts – so they remain on the ground, outside Pippa’s domain this time – and the cat is most welcome to them.
Perhaps I should just have left Pippa to survive (or not) in the relative wild of the garden. But I have become very fond of her – and feel that two animal deaths in one week would be absolutely appalling and ghastly.
My back is now complaining mightily.
Of the sodding cat, there is no sign!