Crouching Terrier, Hidden Kitty


My eyes snapped open. The clock glowed gently: it was three in the morning.

I became aware of something hurtling around the room in disjointed dashes. It was the cat: months ago when he was a kitten, these charges which end in standstill stasis were not momentous because he was small, and light, and almost floated on the air.

Now he is large, and packed with muscle, and when he hurtles, his halt has a tomcat’s gravitas. His arrival is always accompanied by some ungodly clatter or other. It is like having a small puma charging about the room with an agenda.

And his agenda, this morning, was to wake up the dog.

Clive was bored. He wanted to play.

Which is all very well, but the rest of us were bleary, in dire need of rest. And that included the mealy-mouthed, flat-moustachio’d dog, who had spent the day humouring the cat and would rather not give his night-time hours to the same cause.

The cat was sitting on my legs, looking intently down at the dog, who sleeps on an outrageously soft pile of cushions in the narrow space next to my bed. Macaulay was a sitting duck, so to speak. I resolved to maintain the dog’s peace at all costs.

“No!” I said firmly, and put out an arm to gently ward the cat back onto the other side of the bed.

The cat backed off and sat, computing. His little mind cogs were whirring. He was going to do that cyclical thing, launch into a loop of actions. He would walk towards the dog, I would say no, I would move him backwards, he would walk towards the dog, I would say no, I would move him backwards.

Ad infinitum.

I braced myself and began the ‘No!’ cycle.

About the third time around, Β I put out my arm out to move him back. And he came out with an unpredictably nifty move: with all the aplomb of his MI6 namesake he jumped silently over the arm and continued his progress towards the dog.

This was going to be a long night.

“No!” I admonished, putting out an arm to sweep him back, and this time it was seamless: he skipped, smooth as you like, over the arm.

I lifted my arm higher; he leaped effortlessly over like an Olympic hurdler.

I sensed the dog’s reproach. Let me sleep, he implored. He was just a dark blur in the night, but he wanted to stay that way. He had no intention of joining Clive Bond’s martial arts 3am club.

And then I had an idea. What if, I thought, I held the duvet up high? It would look like a wall. Not even Clive could battle his way through a duvet.

I watched Clive prepare for his next charge. I lifted the duvet way up, high up where a cat had no business being able to reach. It formed a formidable wall of impenetrable textile between him and his beloved playmate.

And I’m blessed if the cat didn’t hurtle over my latest defensive arrangements.

So the next time I held it joke-high. All thought of rest was lost in the desire to get the better of the black cat who had come to live with us.

And like something out of one of those Chinese martial arts films, the cat soared over. It was not so much a jump as flight.

This is a good game, Clive thought.

And I gave in. Phil, I said, take this cat out and put him in the sitting room, or Macaulay – and indeed I – will get no rest this night.

He did: and Clive could be heard scrabbling at the sitting room door, furiously.

His terrier tutor has schooled him well.

A little too well for my liking.


32 thoughts on “Crouching Terrier, Hidden Kitty

  1. As much as the story of Clive jumping and hurtling through the air in aerial wonder amuses me, I was even more greatly amused at your participation in it, Kate! Just the idea of you lifting the duvet and providing him the opportunity to be a big show-off had me chuckling! The interaction we share with our beloved, albeit sometimes annoying pets, is really something fun. He was so well named! πŸ™‚

  2. You had me at the title, but the play by play was delightful, too. Predictable ending, though. I once had two cats of my own. The female was a lot like Bond (she couldn’t be stopped), the male like Mac. I do miss them.

  3. Good ol’ Clive. He’s a credit to his feline ancestors. If he continues to scrabble outside the door and the floor there is carpeting, I urge you to put down a small throw rug or you’ll end up with two holes in your carpet. Now the throw rug covers the holes, but I’d be happier not to have them there at all. At my age I’m supposed to be aware of things around the house that might trip me. Kitties are such a blast to have around. Always on, always entertaining, always playing — except when they’re dead to the world. Gotta love ’em!

  4. The title is so cool and your play by play of the middle of the night antics is hilarious. Easy for me to say since I am not in your shoes…:) Long may Clive Bond entertain us all.

  5. Ha! Such antics in the wee hours! I’ll just bet Clive is practicing his leaps and bounds while you are all away from the house. Yes. There’s Mac, balanced precariously atop the Christmas tree, daring Clive to leap.

  6. Wonderful post and I love the picture of the Shrewsday Critters. Heading out to the West Coast to spend Xmas with family and friends so I will not be online much over the next week or so. I will also be spending quality time with Thurber, the family dog, so I expect I’ll be hearing a bit of the ‘No!’ cycle myself. Have a wonderful Xmas Kate.

  7. Madam…you must surrender. CB was allowed in the bed and his little brain is now imprinted with top secret info about the fabulous world of human and canine sleep time!

    Seriously, I am laughing out loud- picturing you holding the duvet higher and higher, only to have Bond clear the hurdles. You have become his Moneypenny!!

    As you know I LOVE your writing. There is definitely a Clive Bond book in the making…

  8. Oh this so reminds me of the early days with MasterB. He was older than Bond, but every night the flat turned into an adventure playground while he leapt and hurtled about. Not having a Macauley, I was too often the one he wanted to wake. Take heart, now he has turned two nights are more settled so long as he has had a good lot of play in the day. I bought him a new play cube for Christmas (hush, don’t tell him) and we have lots of string. I had to give the mistletoe away as he was jumping at it and playing with the poisonous berries.

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