I feel I am entitled to a little respect - surely that is the least anyone deserves. Unfortunately there are some who are treating me with utter disdain, refusing to listen to me, let alone obey me when I make perfectly
reasonable requests of them.
No, I’m not talking about Mr B - he is undoubtedly a Lost Cause. He has also developed a belligerent attitude towards anyone
who displeases him - usually people we don’t actually know in person but who pop up on the TV to explain their cause / fight their corner / defend the sometimes indefensible. “Shoot the lot of them!” is one of Mr B’s favourite phrases,
along with “Tell them to bxxxxr off!” Being mostly confined to an arm-chair / wheelchair, Mr B can probably be forgiven an occasional outburst of rage. It is fortunate that those he verbally attacks are in no position to answer back. “You
don’t like him / her much, then?” I will enquire, at my most moderate - which always makes him respond with a wicked grin.
No, my problem is with the
two cats who have made our back garden their personal playground. It used to be just the one - a handsome fella, white with black and ginger patches - who always made off in a hurry at the sight of me advancing down the garden, making shooing noises like some
demented witch. Now he has been joined by a Comrade in Paws - a small tabby - and together they seem to believe themselves absolutely invincible. In vain do I storm down the garden, waving my arms like a windmill in a force 9 gale. The pair of them stop, for
a brief minute, what they are doing, cast condescending eyes upon me and return to checking the bushes, presumably for birds. I am so close to them that I can see the white cat is wearing a small bell around its neck which, I concede, may help warn off any
feathered friends - but the thing is, Mr B and I gain immeasurable pleasure watching them on the bird feeders, eating us out of house and home (the sparrows don’t appear to be bothered about the cost of living crisis.) I don’t want them warned
off by the Feline Duo, and winging away in search of less hazardous gardens.
It isn’t only the puss cats, either. Last week during my Wednesday Time
Out, I took myself down to beautiful Field Place Wedding Garden, armed with Richard Osman’s “Thursday Murder Club” and a small picnic-for-one. How lovely it was, sitting there in the shade, enjoying the spectacular roses lining the route
along which many a bride (blushing or not) will be making her way to her true love this summer. I was joined by an extremely large sea-gull whom I named Hector for no particular reason except that it seemed to suit him somehow.
Well, I had that one wrong, didn’t I? Hector, the Greek scholars among you may recall, was a Trojan prince and fearless warrior, his name synonymous with bravery, courage, honour and nobility.
There was nothing the least bit noble or honourable about Hector the Sea-Gull. Immersed in my book, I’d finished my egg sandwich when I heard a strange, scraping noise - and looked up to see Hector making off across the Wedding Garden, dragging the brown
paper bag containing my (naughty-but-nice) Danish pastry behind him! The absolute cheek of it! No respect, don’t you agree?
Mr B wasn’t at all sympathetic
when I told him the story of the Danish pastry but that was probably because I hadn’t thought to buy him one - though, as I pointed out, Hector would doubtless have made off with his too. He is, however, as concerned as I am, about our feline trespassers
though his answer is somewhat robust: “Throw a bucket of water over them!” he tells me, crossly.
I can’t do that - my cat-loving grandchildren
would never forgive me.
But, wait, I have the answer - no need for violence, I shall set the Rascally Trio on them. Faris, Tala and Lilia will smother those cats
with such an excess of love that the poor things won’t know what’s hit them. They will be off over the garden fence and away before you can say “Dick Whittington!”
I almost - but only almost - feel sorry for them…