It is possible that 'kitten' is now a misnomer for Spook, he is just over a year old now but he still seems very young and playful with his interminable games of 'fetch'. Concentrating on the computer, I was vaguely aware of him wandering in and out of the study but it wasn't until I saw him approaching with my my new bra clenched in his teeth that I realised what he had been doing - rooting in my overnight bag and taking one by one, all the sterilised and neatly wrapped dressings, tape, and scissors that the hospital had provided for my post-op care, and piling them at my feet. When I began to admonish him he just struck an 'on starters marks' pose ready to fly after the object I was expected to throw for him. What could I do but chuck my new bra down the stairs with a clattering cat in its wake, who seized it, killed it, then bought it back for me to throw again.
Yesterday I was treated to the sight of the Bedsock chasing Spook around the house to retrieve the raw sausage stolen from a momentarily unsupervised grill pan. Even Spook's demonstrations of affection can be quite violent as he headbutts your nose, bites your chin, digs his needle claws into your shoulder and clings on like a crazed limpet squeezing his soft, silky body as close in as possible so the unlucky recipient of this 'cuddle' has to wrap their arms tightly around him to prevent the claws penetrating deeper in his attempt to anchor himself on.
Hebe is now four years old but rather than teach Spook a few lessons in dignified cat behaviour she has regressed into being nearly as naughty and wilful as him. Her latest trick is to climb along the gutter of the greenhouse and then onto the sloping glass roof where she vainly bats at the fluttering, flying, insects trapped on the other side of the pane. Spook, uninivited, will immediately join in the game with her - "monkey see, monkey do" as my mother used to say when I copied my brother's bad habits.
|Spook helping in neighbours garden|
Over the summer Spook has made some new friends. Our elderly neighbour's dog died and Spook, in a fit of opportunism bordering on coffin chasing, was in there like a shot. Racing around every time Doug went out into the garden and rolling around on his feet and purring around his legs was doubtless quite charming but I did warn Doug that Spook would be scavenging around his kitchen the moment he got a chance. "Oh no, I'll keep an eye on him" Doug reassured me, whilst even as he spoke Spook was trotting in through his back door and eyeing up the dining opportunities. Spook's love affair with Doug lasted several weeks until the excitement of the new fence and a new sport of fox-bothering engaged his fancy. One day Doug's plaintive face peered over the wall "Spook doesn't come and see me any more.." he accused. "Yes, I'm afraid he's not very loyal" I replied "perhaps he will be back when he has lost interest in the fox."
|Sadly didn't have time to focus before both fox and cat cleared off|
After the outcry of vicious foxes rampaging into people's houses looking for dining opportunities I have to admit to falling victim to a slight hysteria with regard to the resident fox making a meal of Spook. Over the last few years a family of foxes have taken over the territory and whilst originally sightings were occasional enough to engender some excitement, they are now an everyday part of our lives. One often wanders down our garden, drinking at the pondlet and nosing around by the patio doors or joins the afternoon passegiata of felines parading up and down the back walls. My fears that Spook will end up a fox feast are hopefully unfounded as Hebe sees the fox off, chasing him into next doors garden and standing her ground until the panicked fox scrabbles his way up and over the hedging. Or both cats will sit on the wide top of the new fence and leer at the fox below ready to ambush him when he walks past. The young fox appears to have taken up residence in next door's overgrown garden and sunbathes in the same spot every afternoon where Spook often joins him curling up just a few feet away. My worry is that Spook will suddenly display the same penchant for attacking the sleeping fox's toes as he does with mine when I am trying in vain to have a snooze. This could only end badly.