Friday, 1 August 2008


The familiar sound of the catflap announces Mitzi Sparkle’s entrance. I pay little heed as she strolls into the living room and takes up a favourite spot underneath the rocking chair. But then there’s a commotion and she pounces. I think she must have caught a spider and bend down to see dun feathers and the cat’s jaws clamped around a young thrush. She moves towards the wall, out of my grasp, but as soon as she lets go of her prey, the spirited fellow makes an escape attempt and flies through the house, the cat leaping wildly after him. I’m not quick enough to catch her as she chases him into the front room, but when he flies back towards me, I grab her, throw her back into the front room and shut the door quickly.

Miraculously, the bird is intact – no broken wings or blood, but as he perches on a pipe, I hope the shock won’t kill him. I move towards him. He disappears behind the television, out of reach and so begins the chase. After much moving of furniture, and several unsuccessful attempts to capture him, the bird flies into and then out of the window.

I let the cat back in with her huge saucer eyes. She can smell the bird and waits patiently for him to emerge. Eventually, she realises she’s been done out of her fun and goes back outside, through the catflap, in disgust. I, however, am pleased as punch to have averted a murder.