Deck the halls with boughs of catnip (falalalala la lalala)
I will cry if that’s not ketchup (falalalala la lalala)
Cat food comes in fish or chicken (falalalala la lalala)
Rodent flavour’s not for picking (falalalala la lalala)
I believe that somewhere out there stands a Christmas tree decorated entirely with cat collars – bells, tags and all. Winston (named after Churchill) has been with us for exactly one month today. In that time he has lost three collars, slaughtered five birds, and eaten more than our last cat did in her life-time.
When I announced we were getting a cat, friends told me to forget about Christmas decorations (“Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, your ornaments are history”) but Winston shows not the slightest interest in anything so frivolous. In a way it is a pity, because tinsel is expendable. In fact I’ve actively encouraged his interest, investing in a can of catnip spray, but even that lends no lure to kitty toys of any kind. Winston is only interested in live bait. He is a killer cat.
De-worming has made no difference to Winston’s appetite. A month after leaving the SPCA he is as voracious as ever. I’m convinced that feeding him on a diet of chicken has given him an appetite for bird. If I was half the hunter that he is, I’d start a new line of cat food containing mouse or rat only. There is a plentiful free supply of rodent (Sky News says you can pick up 60 in exchange for a cheap cell phone in one SA township, and we live only a stone’s throw from a dairy farm). Rodent’s got to be as nutritious as fish or chicken, and just imagine how it would slash the price of cat food. The world so needs to engineer a feline preference for rat rather than robin.
On Friday I took Winston for his rabies and three-in-one booster injection. This is one tough cat: the vet couldn’t get the needle through the thick skin on Winston’s neck. I should have known. He took our household dogs in his stride. Even the ridgeback takes a detour when Winston is sprawled in a doorway. Strangely enough, the only thing that spooks him is human visitors. The minute the doorbell rings he’s out the window and doesn’t return until they’re well and truly gone. Except for my neighbour who kindly brought Winston a bouquet of catnip as a house-warming gift – he tolerated that visitor, from a distance. He is obviously a “one person” cat and, for better or worse, that person is me. I can do no wrong, because I provide the food.
So I’ve decided: No more “quick release” collars for Winston. In desperation I dug out one of the old-fashioned kind, and he has not managed to lose that or any of its three heavy duty bells yet. Perhaps we should change his name to Hell’s Bells, because it makes for such a rude awakening in the early hours when Winston leaps through the window onto the bed (jinglejanglejingleTHUNK). But I don’t care: we’ve had no corpses in the kitchen for at least ten days [falalalala la lalala].