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Skitty GingePawprints give a lot away about an animal, especially size and shape. So, it’s easy to tell a dog print from a horse. But when the pawprints aren’t all that clear, and rather smudged too it can be rather hard to identify the owner. This was what happened when pawprints suddenly began appearing on the middle of the gate, upwards, then again on the other side. It was obvious that something was having a good run at the 2-metre fence, then jumping over. The same pawprints appeared again and again. It was obviously not a dog or a fox which only left one clear suspect… it had to be a feline gate crasher.

Over a noticeably short time, the pawprints steadily grew into an unsightly brown mud slick on both sides of the gates. Clearly, it was a regular visitor.

The scraps from the kitchen and the rather picky resident cats’ feeding station attracted stray cats who came round before the blue bottles came to feast. The scraps were also scavenged by hedgehogs, foxes, birds, and other neighbourhood cats and most annoyingly, the very cats for whom the food had originally been put out for in the kitchen. The resident cats stumbled across the food on the lawn and assumed that they had successfully hunter gathered a free meal which they would then throw down their necks as if it was an epicurean feast.

Skitty GingeOne morning, a young ginger, ring-tailed tom was seen munching away at the scraps. He had one eye on the food and the other timidly look round. When the window was tapped, he looked up in horror, snatched a mouthful of food then hightailed it over the 2-metre-high gate in a single athletic bound, catching his back paws on the panel, thus revealing himself as the grubby-pawed culprit who had been depositing mud on the gate panel.

This very nervous stray cat then became quite a regular in the garden. He was very wary of humans and would run in fear if approached. He certainly could stuff himself with food, eating more that the resident cats if he could. He got himself the very apt name Skitty Ginge.

One of the resident cats also happened to be ginger, and as a Maine Coon, was a very large, muscular cat. He was hidden away under a bush when Skitty Ginge made another early morning raid on the bits and ends strewn on the lawn.

The appearance of such a large ginger cat alarmed Skitty Ginge and he bolted for cover as the resident cat gave chase. After a brief exchange of handbags and threatening hisses whereby clearly there were no winners, Skitty Ginge made a swift exit over the gate. The resident cat, who was bordering on obese, and limping with age couldn’t be bothered to give chase felt that victory was his anyway.

Skitty GingeThis incident didn’t stop Skitty Ginge’s hungry tummy bringing him back to the garden on an almost twice daily routine. He even started to sit, rather cheekily on top of the gate, which was no more than an inch wide, so he could look into the kitchen to alert humans to his presence and need for food. He could also keep a watch out for the resident ginger bruiser from his watch post. But he still wasn’t going to allow a human to touch him, no matter how hungry he was.

He remained Skitty by name and Skitty by nature!

Carol Lake

 

In the Middle of a World...

"In the middle of a world that has always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence."

Roseanne Anderson