Since moving house last summer, I have been involved in a territorial war. It is a war between good and evil. Between a British homeowner and an unwanted interloper. Between skin and fur. Yes, dear blog readers – I have waged war against a cat. My reason is this: The little sod keeps crapping on my front lawn and – just to mess with me a little more – it sometimes creeps around the back to crap in my back garden as well.
I feel my home has been compromised. Most people do not have this problem and can feel safe in the knowledge that – when they open their front doors in the morning – they are greeted with the smell of fresh morning air and blossoming flowers. Not me. I am greeted with the smell of freshly laid cat shit.
It’s a crafty devil, as I have never actually caught it in the act. This explains why I have yet to buy that giant-sized water pistol, as waiting for the opportunity to spray the furry beast would involve me performing a stake-out in the early hours of the morning. This is clearly not an option. As my wife would attest, a lack of sleep for me leads to extreme grumpiness and over-reliance on caffeine. It’s not a good combination.
Friends and family have been generous in their advice as to how I can get deter the whiskered fiend. I have used repellant spray on its preferred dumping grounds, as well as lemon juice, black pepper, orange rinds and sharp twigs in the hope that one sting on its furry backside will send it packing for good. Yet none of these seem to be a long-term solution. It still won’t quit, waiting for any smell it despises to disappear before it crawls back and finds new corners to desecrate.
A couple of friends also suggested that my wife and I get a cat ourselves to ward the invader off our patch. This was clearly a no-go from my point of view as I don’t like cats and have never really trusted them. They always seem to me to be plotting something and, in my experience, will turn on you in a second for no apparent reason. I fear that if I were to get a cat, the results would be catastrophic (no pun intended). I have visions of coming back after a hard day at work, only to find the cat has ripped the sofa to shreds, urinated over my shoes, eaten the goldfish and crapped on our bed – just because it could. There it would sit, mocking me by licking its genitals with a look of smug self-satisfaction. A statement of intent that showed it was now taking over the house.
But, I digress. The enemy in this tale is already wreaking havoc and I am determined to stop it. Towards the end of last year, I was almost transforming into Colonel Kurtz from ‘Apocalypse Now’ – a man mentally broken by the trials of war. Yet, just as the harsh winter and my increasingly frazzled state looked set to finish off my campaign, it suddenly appeared that victory might be mine. There were no sightings or smells of anything the clawed villain had left behind. I thought somehow it had grown weary and waved the white flag. But alas, I was wrong. As soon as the weather became warmer in late February, it was back with a stinky vengeance.
The double-whammy is that it had even fooled me with a case of mistaken identity. I had always believed that the culprit was the furry brown cat from across the road, as it used to appear on my doorstep every so often, just sitting there and wailing. I tried to stare it out in a number of psychological battles, but this did no good as it would still return. However, after a chance conversation with my next-door neighbour, I discovered the brown fur-ball was not to blame. “Oh, it’s not that one”, my neighbour said. “It’s that black and white one that lives in one of the houses over the pond. It keeps doing its business on our lawn as well”.
I had been duped. Now I knew how that cop in ‘The Usual Suspects’ had felt. The black and white cat from over the pond was my Keyzer Soze. So, my friends, the war continues. It will wage until the bitter end, and for one of us (probably me if you hadn’t already realized) the psychological effects of this campaign will only get worse. But, whilst I still have control over at least some of my marbles, I’m off to look at water pistols on ebay…