The teeming terrier who lives with us has perfected new levels of reproach.
He is a virtuoso: an artisan of non-verbal communications. And he is bringing all his considerable doggy skill to bear on a particular problem he has encountered.
It is now more than a year since a small pair of kittens came to invade his living space. One left us, and we miss her sorely; but one has stayed: a siamese ginger tom. Montgomery The Cat.
Every cat has his (or her) personality. This one is no exception. Montgomery is a bludgeon in cat form, laced with oriental charm and an impertinent forwardness which enables him to walk straight into the hearts of us humans. No pass required. When he wants something, he does not stop to question whether he is entitled, or whether someone might be offended or displeased. He simply walks over and gets it.
Or jumps. Ninja style.I have a problem with the fridge; it is eye level, yet when I open it miraculously there is a cat inside, examining the contents, checking out the ham, eyeing up the milk, yada yada.
Mac has watched, dismayed. He has never been allowed on the bed, yet lo: Monty bags the top spot without even asking, and no-one seems to stop him. Mac cannot reach the fridge, and people seem unaccountably to object to his personal aura when he jumps up on the sofa. Why they are so agin eau de forêt he has no idea; but he does not factor in his owners’ sense of smell when noting rank double standards.
He has carefully observed Monty’s behaviour, and then mounted a dual campaign. He does everything that Monty does; and when we grimace, and go to usher him hurriedly off, he turns on his guilt ray.
Mac should go into arms dealing. If any superpower had what he had armed combat would never be necessary again. The power of this thing, even in a small dog, is of international proportions. One reproachful glance can move mountains.
So he jumps up onto a pristine duvet, wedge wood-blue-perfect cotton perfection; bringing wood shavings, peat, the odd small opportunistic spider, and god knows what other legions with him.
And then he turns his limpid brown eyes on my and says, without a word: “You let that cat do this all the time. I have served you faithfully for nine years. This is my right.”
And I sigh, and resign myself to four days with a peaty spidery smelly duvet.
It backfires on him, though. In one significant way.
Every time this happens, I resolve to give the dog a bath.