Hard News by Russell Brown


Blog About Cat

All right, this is getting ridiculous. It's been a beautiful day in Auckland. I rode from the Chev to La Cigale in Parnell, then back via Quay Street, and out along Queen's Wharf, to inspect the damn sheds for myself. Subsequently, my darling and I stepped out to Kraftbomb, where I bought a glove puppet from Becky Stott of Freak Frienz.

And for the last three hours or so I've been trying to nail a column that's due tomorrow. It's something I've thought and read about. I have an interview to draw on. The structure is there. But the column isn't coming. I'm procrastinating.

And you know what that means? I'm going to have to pull the cord. I'm going to blog about my fucking cat.

Colin, his name is.

Colin was recently injured in a fight with another cat. He wandered in one Wednesday morning (Wednesday being Media7's production day) dripping blood. This was not convenient, but there was nothing else for it but a trip to the vet and a substantial Eft-Pos transaction.

He turned out to have a pretty messed-up right ear. There were bleeding nicks and marks in the fur and a nasty gash the length of his ear on the inside. I had to go back and pick him up after treatment, before I could change into my TV clothes, and he was quite unhappy. In particular, he was unhappy about the Elizabethan collar I was assured would be necessary so that he didn't rip out his stitches.

I dropped him home and went off to make the television. By the time I got back, the collar was off. I'm told that when when the drugs wore off enough for his attitude to progress from sullen to hostile about it, he had taken the collar off as a priority. No one really thought about putting it back.

But the one thing Colin didn't have was a drooping tail. A week before, he had tottered in looking a bit dusted-up, with his tail slung so low that we thought it had been physically injured. But the injury was, I suspect, solely emotional. It gradually came right, over the next day.

This time was different. This time, his tail flicked around, periscope-proud. The vet volunteered that his injuries suggested he'd stood his ground.

Colin has healed quickly. He petitioned against another vet's prohibition – going outside – so desperately that we let him out after two days, whereupon he ran down to the bottom of the garden and did a poo.

He's all good now. In fact, he's better than good. The fight that got him sent to the vet seems to have altered the balance of power between himself and his erstwhile tormentor, a small, aggressive, somewhat spectral-looking Persian-cross I call Ghost Cat.

I saw Ghost Cat this morning. He snarled, backed up against our boundary hedge, sprayed it, and sauntered off. He appears to have something Colin lacks: balls. Colin is strong and agile, and with his winter fur on, he looks quite big. If he was a dude, he'd be one of the non-girly-looking guys in Filament. But we've gelded the tomcat out of him, haven't we?

This morning, Ghost Cat kept his distance, skulking across the bottom of the section while Colin approached the edge of the deck and calmly eyeballed him.

Later, Ghost Cat followed Colin up a tree -- and after a frank exchange of views three metres off the ground, got the fuck back down and out of town. I think there have been a few of these confrontations now, from which Colin has returned in a notably composed state.

I expect that's not the last we'll see of Ghost Cat. He'll be around, like Fluffy Colin (longhaired Colin lookalike and playmate, greatly missed lately) and Black Cat (slightly tragic food-bowl raider). But shit has changed in the 'hood.

Right, we're definitely having takeaways tonight. Do you know what time I'll have to get up now!?

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