I feed and house two cats. Like all cat lovers, I will never admit to owning them. In moments of inebriated honesty, I might admit that they own me.
They are litter-mates, both neutered male black and white domestic shorthairs (read moggies), but there any resemblance between them ends. Firstly there is the cat known as LMKM (Lean, Mean, Killing Machine) who considers his day incomplete if he has not contributed to the household meat ration in some significant way. Then there is CP (Couch Potato – also known as the Thief of Dad's Bag for reasons which will become obvious), who is so ultimately laid back that my daughter carries him around like a handbag, dresses him in dolls clothes, gives him slides down the climbing frame and (their latest trick) wears him as Batman's cape on her back as she rushes around Gotham City righting wrongs and fighting off animal rights protesters! (My sympathies are with the protesters, but I remind myself that CP does have claws and he could use them if he really wanted to).
They are both affectionate creatures, but whereas CP may be hugged and cuddled, LMKM tends to inflict his affection upon his chosen recipient. The 'victim' finds themselves abruptly invaded by five and a half kilos of determined feline, subjected to involuntary and painful acupuncture as all their most tender places are enthusiastically kneaded, and nearly deafened as the Lancaster Bomber engine resident in his chest is revved up to full throttle!
A couple of evenings ago my peaceful evening (good book, glass of wine) was rudely interrupted by my husband who stalked into the library (OK – the dining room where the bookshelves are – but it sounds good, doesn't it) declaiming "Your blasted cat has got a pigeon in the kitchen!" He resisted the urge to say "again!" for which I was grateful.
As a second body was just about to be discovered by the feisty heroine I refused to be discomposed. "Leave him: I'll deal with it later." I muttered, returning to my story as a steady drip of blood fell upon the narrator's ears and a tremor of trepidation shivered her skin.A couple of spine-chilling chapters later I reluctantly opened my kitchen door to deal with the expected carnage.
Unsurprisingly, the floor was more covered in feathers than a Mallory Towers dorm after a girls' pillow fight and the mighty hunter was crouched over his kill, growling ferociously and watched, with interest and anticipation, by CP.
I removed the pigeon (and not co-incidentally the cats) to the garden, swept up the feathers and retired to bed. Peering out of the window a little later I was entirely unsurprised to see LMKM again prowling his hunting grounds, while the best part of the pigeon was being consumed with gusto by CP.
That's always the story. LMKM catches the prey, eats his favourite bits and the rest is stolen by his brother.
Does CP beat himself up over his woeful inadequacies as a hunter? Does he suffer self-doubts, crises of confidence and bouts of depression? He never seems to: he just gets on with being a cat and eats the pigeon (and anything else he can find to steal). I wish I could take a lesson from him.
Although I've never been that partial to raw pigeon.
A Moodscope member.