Mentioning it in the last post reminded me of this that I wrote last year, so it seemed fitting to re-post it here:
Dave, a friend of mine, owns a dog.
He is friendly, largely obedient, and enjoys playing with a ball.
The dog exhibits very similar qualities.
Jim – for that is the dog’s name – is allowed to ‘do his business’ in the garden, and in this respect (thankfully) he is in no way like his owner. Unfortunately, this perfectly natural occurrence has ruined Dave’s lawn, leading to an intensive programme of scarification, reseeding and general lawn care.
My neighbours own a number of cats. They regularly wander into my garden, sniff at my pots and tubs, and dwell in the borders watching birds.
Mercifully, the neighbours don’t copy this behaviour.
I am no expert when it comes to lawns and gardens, made obvious by the necessity to check the spelling of ‘scarification’ before settling down to write this (‘trimming’ being the most I’ve done to my grass since moving in three months ago). Nor am I an expert when it comes to animals and pets, but based on the destruction of Dave’s lawn by a humble dog, I witness with trepidation this feline multitude frequent my garden.
Perhaps cats can do a garden no harm, but I am not certain. Of the fact that I possess no desire to harm a cat I am certain. But, to give myself the best chance of keeping the garden in a reasonable condition, I would prefer they stayed away. To that effect, I have waged a systematic campaign of passive aggression the likes of which the back gardens of England have never witnessed. Probably.
As a result, the four – or five; it might even be six (a number of them look identical and need to be seen together for an accurate census) – cats know they are not welcome at number 8. This doesn’t stop them coming over the fence of course, and likely they run amok while I’m out at work all day. But when I’m home, the merest suggestion that I might leave the house for the garden is enough to send them scampering back to the correct side of said fence.
All except for one cat…
He – for I presume it to be a ‘he’ – has remained wholly unperturbed by my efforts. Sitting on my lawn, basking in the sun, he refuses to even flinch as I walk within feet of him. He watches my pottering about with a certain fascination, offering nothing but a defiant stare if I direct any sort of attention toward him to suggest he might go elsewhere. Occasionally I look out into the garden and see a cat-free scene, only to turn away, turn back again seconds later and find he has appeared in the centre of the lawn, as if from nowhere.
That the behaviour of this one individual is so markedly different from his fellow cats – they don’t share his unconcerned attitude, but seem unwilling to copy him – has led me to only one possible (and sensible?) conclusion.
My imagination has created a cat nemesis.
Which means I have absolutely no idea how to deal with him. Still, at least his fictional 'business' can't kill the grass.