I gazed out the window one Saturday morning, a year ago today, May 2. The sun shone on every blade of the many weeds in our garden, and the neighbour’s cat sat on our discarded toilet near the back fence. I had the beginnings of a Nasturtium garden in those old toilets. Can’t have the cat digging up my seeds.
I strode outside and the cat scampered off in a flash of black and white.
‘The neighbour’s cat tried to use my toilet garden as a toilet,’ I told my son as he lazed in bed, sleeping in.
‘Ugh!’ he mumbled and then rolled over.
We planned to have family come over in the evening, so after washing the floors, I then left open the back door and settled down to paint.
As I nestled down in the deck chair on the back patio, I heard a growl. Then another growl in reply.
‘What’s that about?’ I muttered and went inside to investigate.
Holly, our tabby, crouched in a tense ball in the passage facing the bathroom entrance. In the freshly cleaned bathroom, Holly’s nemesis, the black and white cat from next door snarled at her.
Holly’s puffed up tail twitched and she hissed at her enemy.
Black and White emitted a low menacing growl.
The pussies peered at each other, a slow, silent, Mexican stand-off of the feline kind.
I nudged my foot at the enemy cat. She launched at it, claws dragging through my ankle’s exposed skin.
Holly screamed like a banshee and pounced on Black and White. Fused in a ball of fury, the cats rolled around the tiles, tufts of fur flying out littering our floor.
My son joined the human audience of the furious feline fight.
I glanced in his room.
Storm, our black cat, shuddered on top of the bunk, his green eyes glowing from his dark face. No way was he going to join in the fray.
I ran to the kitchen and grabbed a broom. While the cats thrashed about, I closed all the doors, except the one leading to the outside through the laundry. Then I poked the broom at the feral ball of furs. The cats flew apart. Black and White attacked the broom. I shook her off and she glared at the brush-end, hissing and spitting at it. I pushed the broom at her. She scratched it. Then sped into the bathroom.
I yelled to my son, ‘Get another broom.’
He stared at the black and white intruder that hissed and spat. ‘Where?’
I moved Holly out into the family room and then grabbed the Swish broom from the laundry. I gave it to Nat.
As mother and son, we, both armed with brooms, guided Black and White as if shuttling a hockey disk. We nudged the wild ball, shunting her through the passage, through the laundry, and then out the back door.
The cat bolted down the path and scrambled over the fence.
I slammed the door shut and with a sigh, began sweeping up the aftermath of fur bits from the bathroom. I picked up shards of cat claw, another casualty of the clash of cats.
‘Hey, look, cat claws,’ I said.
‘That cat was feral,’ my son replied..
I swept my eyes over the bathroom and noticed chocolaty nuggets in the corner. I took a closer look.
‘Oh, no! Cat poo!’ I cried and then collected the poo scoop. I shovelled up the mess. As I scanned the bathroom, I discovered more souvenirs of the feline fight.
‘Oh, Holly, did you have to?’ I said to Holly who crouched in the corner of the family room.
‘Don’t blame Holly,’ my son said. ‘It had to be the neighbour’s cat, didn’t you say that cat was on the toilet in our garden and you chased her away? It’s that cat’s revenge.’
(c) Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016
Photo: Holly, Peace After War (c) Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016