Nelson's Column

It's a cat's life...

27 April 2007

Steve McQueen rides again

I'm really in the shi-tzu this time... I've definitely developed a taste for patrolling my neighbourhood since the beginning of this year. After all, the house is massive, but the back garden just isn't big enough to contain my wanderlust. The trouble is, people build such massive walls around their properties and forget that as a pedigree British shorthair I only have short legs. It's unfair - I can perform death-defying leaps across alleyways the width of the Grand Canyon and run down a vertical surface the height of the Matterhorn. But my legs aren't long enough to climb up again.

And so it was that things came to pass. She Who Controls the Can-Opener and her bloke decided to go away. To Rome, no less. A city that has thousands of felines roaming the ruins. Why? Aren't I enough company for Her that She has to seek other moggies out? I was more than a tad annoyed. Especially when I discovered that once again, I was going to be left alone with the House Bitch of Doom again. And only the cleaner popping in daily to supply rations. After several days fending for myself and missing the attention, I was bored. So I went for a stroll. Up the wall, across the alley and down into what looked like an interesting backyard. Then I discovered I was stuck, because the wall was too high for my poor little legs.

Time passed and I got cold and hungry. I went and had a yowl at the back door of the house I was visiting but it appeared these neighbours were also away. Perhaps they to had gone to Rome? Whatever, I was alone and nobody seemed to care. Night fell and I hid under some abandoned timber. In the morning, still no one appeared to take pity on my plight. By now, my belly was aching with hunger but I had no means of escape. If I'd had a motorbike, I could have made a ramp with the timber and, like Steve McQueen, roared uphill to freedom and my favourite armchair. But alas, another night passed. I began to worry that the House Bitch of Doom might rub her scent over my territories and sleep in my reserved spots.

Finally, in the middle of the afternoon on the third day of my desperate situation, She Who Controls the Can Opener kicked open the back gate of the garden in which I was trapped. Bruce Lee would have been proud. I was ecstatic to see Her but She was clearly very angry with me. She told me I had ruined Her holiday. Pah! There I was, suffering, and all she could do was complain about being forced to return home early. Turns out the cleaner had reported me AWOL to the vet, the RSPCA, the Missing Pets Bureau and a whole bunch of other authorities, then telephoned Her in Italy.

So, I'm in the shi-tzu. Persona non grata. And now She's threatening to imprison me next time She fancies a trip away. Some place called HMP Cattery. It sounds grim. I shall have to work hard to get back in Her good books again. Or grow some longer legs.