TitanMy little friend, Titan, is the friendliest cat I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. You only have to look at him and he starts purring. In normal circumstances, a simple hello will have him running across the garden to meet me, and he’ll flop down for a roll on the ground and a tummy tickle. He is a happy boy!

However, sometimes he is a naughty kitty and gets me into trouble…

His Uncle Itchy sadly died in a road accident nine days before Titan was born, so Titan and his siblings were brought up as ‘house cats’, though that included regular time spent, supervised, in the garden.

Sometimes, though, when backs were turned and he was away from the gaze of watchful eyes, Titan – obviously having a heart for adventure – would quickly slip out ‘beyond the gate’.

Being very anxious about his safety, after Itchy’s death, this would freak me out a bit.

On one such occasion…

… a bit of background first, though…

I used to write a blog for my local newspaper’s website, about five years ago, about my experiences ‘in recovery’ from depression and associated anxiety problems, and I’d also been interviewed for a feature in the paper itself, to coincide with National Depression Week, in the UK.

It was a very frank interview. I talked about alcohol abuse, agoraphobia, trouble with the police and there was even a prison sentence in there… I had nothing to hide, and I thought, by being honest, perhaps my own experiences could prompt others to find help for themselves, if they needed it.

Not long after the interview was published, a young couple - who lived just down the road from me, but who I never spoke to – stopped me in the street, and the guy (who I only vaguely knew from school, many years earlier) told me he thought it was very brave of me to open up like that. He said he’d had no idea what I’d been through, but they both wished me the best for the future.

I was deeply touched. Perhaps a little bashful, but incredibly grateful that they’d taken the time to say that to me.

… back to the future…

On one such occasion of Titan escaping the confines of the garden, I went out to search for him and spied him sitting under a van, parked across the road at the back of my house.

It’s a cul-de-sac, so there was no ‘clear and present danger’, but my anxiety wasn’t going to leave me until he was back in the house, and safe.

However - unlike when he was in the garden and I only had to call his name for him to come sprinting over for a stroke - no amount of verbal coaxing was going to break his resolve to sit under that van, at his liberty and leisure.

After stooping down and trying to get a hold of him, from various sides of the vehicle, I decided to head back into the garden and grab a branch which had recently been cut from the tree there. I returned and attempted to scoop Titan out, but he just kept moving and watching me like I was an idiot. If cats could laugh, he’d have been howling at my efforts.

I went to get another branch, thinking that I could make a scissor action and force him out towards me…

Then, I heard something that made my heart jump…

… a car… and it was turning into the cul-de-sac…

I had visions of the car approaching, startling Titan and making him race across the road to the garden…

The car turned the corner and came towards us. I had to do something to stop it.

It was that young couple… the ones who had recently read an article about me being ‘a reformed mentalist’ and had wished me luck. They had their children in the back seat, and as the car stopped, they all stared at me…

… standing in the middle of the road… a branch in each hand… not a cat in sight… to all intents and purposes, being a tree…

I will never forget the look in their eyes.

They haven’t talked to me since.

Les Floyd

Mega thanks and gratitude to Les for giving me permission to use his article on this website.

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  • Reduces fighting, injury and noise
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