We always had dogs, growing up, in our our house. Most of them your usual mongrel or mixed breed, whichever you prefer to call them. We loved them and they loved us.
When my eldest girl was 8 years old I promised her I would get her a dog. We were moving to Ireland and I intended to be home more, taking a part time job, instead of working full time. This would be a factor in getting a dog, so it wouldn’t be on its own all day.
We go a lovely mixed breed dog and called her Sally. Half sheep dog half collie and she looked like an old English Sheep dog. She was such a loyal and friendly dog and we had her for 10 years. It was pure heart break when she died. So much so I swore I would never get another.
People often say that after drinking too much and getting so drunk. They swear they will never touch the drink again. Like the drunk, with his self promised promises, I did indeed relent and get another dog a few years after Sally died.
This time it was at the begging of my other children (twins) who at the time were 14. We got a little miniature Yorkshire terrier and called her Indiana. She was cute. Not very smart, but cute and she was loved. Sadly, she came to a very sad end and was hit by a car after getting out of the drive. It was torture and we were all devastated…. again
‘Never again’ I said, and I meant it. It is too heartbreaking.
Again, I relented. A year or so after Indiana died, my eldest asked me if I would take a little west highland terrier, who would face certain death if I didn’t….. Well that isn’t blackmail….. much!
I took the said little Westie, Jack, and he too became part of the family and stole our hearts. He was 6 months old when we got him, but by the time he was 12, he was quite ill and deteriorated very quickly. We prepared ourselves to be heartbroken again. Indeed, we were. That was 15 months ago now, and I can categorically say, I will not have another dog. It is too too sad knowing, that they will pass before you and I don’t want to set myself up again for heartache. However, watch this space!
During the years of the dogs we have also been frequented by stray cats…. It started with the farmer at the bottom of our garden. He had cats, but they would wander down to us and of course, we began to feed them as they always seemed hungry and anyway, they are good to keep the mice and rats away.
After the farmer died the cats were taken by the WSPCA to be re-homed. However the odd stray would still come and hang around our house. As we live in the Country I would feed them as they are a good deterrent for the mice and rats.
Rusty has been coming to us now for a few years. We feed him daily and tend to his medical needs when he has gotten into a scrape, but he is feral and goes away after feeding, grateful for his daily nosh. Sometimes he hangs about in the yard, but he is a bit of a loner.
About 6 months ago or so, a black cat appeared. Quite a friendly cat with a lovely shiny coat. I advertised on all the local platforms trying to find its owner but to no avail. he would come, around the same time as Rusty and then off he would trot, back down the drive and to, well I am guessing, his own home.
Cats are like that aren’t they, they like to wander off.
Anyway, not only was he coming ‘at feeding time’, he would now push rusty out of the way and start eating his food. Well, I couldn’t have that, so reluctantly, I would also put a plate out for him. I couldn’t let him watch on, and not give him anything.
Black cat, affectionately named Blacky, how original, is cheeky though and if we leave open a window, will climb in and lay up on a bed or a sofa like he is King of the hill. What a cheek!
Rusty, wouldn’t have the same amount of cheek or nerve, he is far more ‘reserved’ and not so presumptuous or impertinent as Blacky.
This morning, I went to go out the door to feed them. Both of them on the step, waiting and the black cat, actually had the nerve to slap poor old rusty in the face to get him out of the way, so he could get the lion’s share. I was utterly gobsmacked!
Because of this I wrote a little ditty….. I hope you enjoy it!
I feed these cats
They are not my cats
But aside from that, which is a fact
I feed these cats
I don’t like cats
But they are good scare the rats
So I feed the cats
So they can do that
1st came the ginger one
Feral, shy, coy
I’m only grateful, that he is a boy
Takes his food then off he goes
To where I wonder,
Then came blacky
He is black
He is a more forward cat
He is not at all shy, not one little bit
In fact, I would say, he is a cheeky little git
He pushes in first when I open the door
Knocks rusty out the way
Hoping he will get more
He is quite a greedy black cat
I cannot say much more than that
Soon as he’s fed off he goes, strutting
Wagging his tail, and swaging his but
In all the style like a cat walk model
Unlike rusty with his old man waddle
Sits on the bench like he is the boss
Licking his fur and shakes off the dross
Sits all day, til he gets a more peckish
And scratches at the door like it’s some sort of fetish
I looked out once and guess what I saw
Roland rat scurrying on all fours
Blacky the cat, didn’t even blink an eye
Let old Roland just strut on by
Am I too soft or feeding these too much
Cos I’m sure it’s nature they should hunt their lunch
Off he goes not even a hissing sermon
Coming from the cat to this passing vermin
Rusty plods back late in the evening
Head hung low, as if he’s been grieving
Jumps up on the window sill
Patiently waiting for me to give in
Black cat though has no such reserve
Can’t even open a window, cos in he will swerve
He has no shame nor decent good manners
I do protest and I don’t mean with banners
I chase him out like a cat and mouse game
I’m sure he’s laughing cos he has no shame
He’s quite cunning that little black cat
But he won’t best me you can be sure of that
Rusty comes like a big drowned rat
When the heavens open, but I let this cat
Come in side and eat his grub
He seems so grateful and I give him a rub
Mr black cat I swear has a home
He’s Just so greedy he comes here to roam
Costing me a fortune, cos I couldn’t leave him out
When I’m buying all the cat food to share it about.
But when it’s raining I don’t let him in
Now it’s my time with a big Cheshire grin
I watch him dash back out of the drive
Properly sulking and goes home to hide
He’s not one bit feral, shy or coy
He’s just cunning this little boy
Edging his bets to get all he can
That’s when I know, that animal is like man
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