My garden is a permanent battle ground for local cats at the moment. I was tolerant but since the demise of Tetley last summer, who had the monopoly on my garden; the neighbourhood moggy population has decided that I am fair game. Well game on moggies because I am fighting back.
Now don’t get me wrong I am not against pets and realise for many people they can be life enhancing companions. However they are not for me. We have two rabbits Magic and her son Smudge whose lives are so boring and non functional that you have to question their raison d’etre. Once in a while they escape and have a fun packed day in our garden feeding off my herbs and vegetables. Not unlike Mrs McGregor I threaten to put them in the pot ready stuffed with herbs.
Of course, despite my antipathy towards them I could not serve them up in a stew. I have eaten and cooked rabbit, as a child helped rear poultry for food and I am happy to coo and admire my sister’s pigs and lambs before buying said meat from her and producing wonderful family meals. My self sufficiency does not really extend to putting the family pets in the pot whatever havoc they may have wreaked upon my barely budding beans and prolific parsley plants.
We also have Reg; the cockatiel, who is a story in his own right and one day I will embellish liberally on Reg and his exploits. He thrives on human company having moments of self expression when he sings and talks incessantly. Thankfully the effort for him is short lived leaving him exhausted and in need of yet another nap.
I have entertained the idea of a puppy in the house on many occasions; it could be a deterrent for the faction of felines defecating in my herb garden. Three children would be delighted at the arrival of a tiny bundle of mischievous fur with their promises to look after it and walk it, clear up after it etc. I, generously would give it a week before I was walking it and maybe not that long before I was the one clearing up the little packages left whilst we were asleep or at work. Not to mention the chewed shoes and ripped clothes left lying around by teenage boys.
I cannot even begin to imagine the attraction of getting up in the rain and snow and embarking on a trek across the fields with nappy sack in hand. On a particularly cold morning I guess the warmth of the filled nappy sack could potentially have benefits but one I struggle to accept. When I have my mansion with suitable area of garden for dogs to run and do their business, I may reconsider my feelings towards muts in general. For now my home and already cluttered life remains resiliently puppy free.
The same cannot be said for cats. They come in to my garden uninvited and use it as a public meeting place watching the rabbits for signs of escape so they can enjoy a well fed tasty takeaway. They sit at the conservatory window , their eyes transfixed on Reg, waiting for the door to be left ajar so they can sneak up against his cage salivating. They use my ornate bath herb garden for their toileting habits and are not in the least bit penitent.
It is time to fight back. I have finally been driven to the point of insanity and invested in a cat repellent device which I have gleefully
installed in the bath. The adverse, although some might see it as positive, effect of this little tool is the deterrent effect it has on teenagers. The gadget emits a high pitch sonic drone which really seems to bother the ears of my two teenage boys. Mini Son can hear it but is not agitated by it. I can hear nothing.
I woke this morning to an ultra low eerie wave of sound, a little like the sweep of the old air raid klaxon but far more futuristic, similar to the continual wave of a Jedi lightsaber. Realising the device was turned on and in some spooky retribution I was being subjected to punishment I leapt from the covers and ran into the garden to turn it off before the whole family was wakened.
Standing in a cold damp garden in just my nighty and bare feet I found the machine already off and the noise dissipating into the foggy distance. Was it an alien alerting his amigos, a walker whistling for his disappearing dog or a complex and confusing additional dimension to the dream I was dragged from? Or maybe the moggies are fighting back. I may never know but I do understand the low sonic wave the boys find annoying and will remember to turn it off when they are around.
Needless to say I have not seen any cats all weekend and even the dogs, whose owners are not so diligent, have failed to leave their little gifts where the children all play. Even more remarkably there has been a lack of teenagers hanging round the house; so there may be some benefit after all.
It has been a busy week for writing, I have sent off 6 stories to the Reader’s Digest 100 word story for this year’s competition, hoping to match Middle Son’s success last year at the very least. 100 words is not a lot and the whole story has to pivot round one sharp scene with a twist in the final sentence. In contrast I am writing a short story on conflict for which I am researching Hindu religious culture and producing some interesting first person prose. It may end up too long to be a short story but I can’t tell yet if there is enough backfill to make a novel.
I was approached at work a couple of weeks ago to pen a press release. Delighted with the challenge and recognition I sent off the piece to the local paper and was over the moon when it was published the following week. I claimed ownership from them to add to my portfolio; you know the ever increasing published and unpaid writing portfolio, people I have worked with for years suddenly found me interesting albeit transitory.
Finally I have launched a new blog. This has been a long time in the making not because it is difficult but time and events always seem to have delayed its creation. It is a very different type of blog with a few words introducing recipes and comments after to tell how they went down. I hope people will interact and give advice and comments back so the original recipes become catalysts developing online threads and experimental menus. Please take a look and try out the recipes, let me know what you think. http://tiggy-tea.blogspot.com/
Happy eating I am off to clear out the herb garden and plant fresh for this year so we can actually use the cat free herbs.