Stranger danger

Things have changed around here. We’re living in a post cat-flap world.

This is a world of muddy little footprints, of having an extra window to clean in the kitchen, of sudden noisy entrances.

Leo is at ease with the cat flap. He slinks through it to go outside and he returns in a measured, unperturbed way as though practising his “cat cool.”

Lily aways makes getting out seem like hard work. She pokes the flap with her nose as if it’s all too much, then clambers in ungainly fashion through the flap and plops on to the terrace outside.

But her re-entry is invariably dramatic; a sudden clatter and a streak of tabby flashes through the kitchen into the hall and galumps up the stairs as heavily as a small horse.

I haven’t worked out whether she takes a running leap at the flap from outside, launching herself with sufficient velocity to hit the ground running inside or whether she thinks she’s being chased by monster.

Talking of which, I wandered into the kitchen the other day to make a cuppa and found Leo frozen in mid-stride in the middle of the room, all tensed, neck extended, staring intently at the cat flap window.

I followed his gaze and there, filling the square, was the full furry face of a feline ginger stranger – staring in with malevolent yellow eyes.

How do you warn your immature felines of stranger danger? I dunno but Leo was very freaked about the face at the window. He was poised but in an equivocal way. It could have been a “take one step nearer and you’ll be dead meat” or he could have been preparing to flee.

Just as well we have a high security flap which remains locked unless it detects the microchips of my deadly duo.

I’ve seen the ginger cat in the garden since, with Lily in hot pursuit but I’m not sure whether it’s aggression or play. She seems to have retained all her fur so far – so I’m presuming that, so far, none has flown.


About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
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16 Responses to Stranger danger

  1. The first encounters they have with other cats may influence how their behaviour develops. Bertha and Mackenzie were quite bold and over familiar with other cats to start with (they were like mongoose crowding the other cat) but they soon learned who not to take liberties with. Pushkin had a very bad effect on them and now they are just complete scaredy cats and have no idea about defending territory. Hopefully yours are playing with the ginger cat and stay bold.

  2. janh1 says:

    Hi Sophie. Interesting. Not sure how this will develop. Leo just sat letting it all happen and Lily chased this ginger visitor but not in a meaningful way, I suppose. I mean, she is half the size so it must have been play 🙂 I’ve seen Ginger lurking around in the garden a couple of times since when they’ve been inside.

  3. You’ve probably confused Ginger by having a cat flap that doesn’t work (for him).

  4. J says:

    Thank goodness! A pal at work has told me of a couple of mornings when she and her husband have woken up to find an unknown cat on their bed (ie neither of the two cats that actually do belong to them!)

  5. IsobelandCat says:

    You may have to let Ginger know he is unwelcome in your garden. Gingers are often fighters. Try to spray it with water. This is miost effective if it can’t see you are the one giving it a watery surprise. That may be enough to make your garden less desirable. Cat was horrid to neighbours’ cats when he was agile enough to get into their gardens, but so far as I know, he never went through anyone’s catflap.

  6. janh1 says:

    Ginger Newsflash: Ginger and Leo completely relaxed with each other. Touched noses in greeting in the garden this morning. Suspected Lily’s chasing thing was play.

    Glad we have a high security cat flap though. Don’t want uninvited guests for dinner!

  7. I think there’s something rather lovely about cats making friends.

  8. janh1 says:

    Yes. It’s yet another intruiguing aspect. It’s 6.50a and Leo’s just leapt on to the bed with cold damp little paws and is staying an enthusiastically purry, licky, “good morning.” The flap is working well. Although they like to be out in the back garden they also really like to be back *in.* 😉

  9. IsobelandCat says:

    All of this post demonstrates beautifully that the notion that cats are independent superior creatures is a load of tosh. They obviously are turning into great companion animals. Aaaah. 🙂

  10. janh1 says:

    Yes, Isobel, they are!! 😀 Affectionate and relaxing and funny.

    Capt Sensible is won over too. He was throwing a toy mouse for Lily repeatedly and every time she fetched and came running back with it, dropped it and sat!!! She was loving it. He actually said “She’s more intelligent than a dog.”

  11. IsobelandCat says:

    That might be pushing it a bit! Surely it depends on the dog or cat?
    I don’t understand why people define themselves as dog or cat lovers, as though they had to make the choice. It’s not like bigamy. You can love both, hey isn’t that great?

  12. janh1 says:


    I think he meant the dogs I’ve had in the past, Isobel 🙂

    I suppose the dog person/cat person thing boils down to what you’re used to. Apart from my mother adopting stray cats when I was young, I was pretty ignorant of cat behaviour compared to dog behaviour so from experience alone I’m still a dog person. Cats? They are so different, it’s going to take a while yet to figure them out! 😀

  13. IsobelandCat says:

    Well, me too. My father didn’t like cats much. So I never lived with one until Cat adopted me. Now i’d like a dog and a cat, as well the life that would allow it…

  14. janh1 says:

    You and me both, Isobel. I was only remarking to Rudi’s owner that life would be perfect if I could earn the same working part-time and introduce a puppy into the mix at home. The kittens are old enough to show a new arrival who is boss.

    I was out this afternoon and met the most handsome working springer who came to say hello. Well constructed and a lovely head and eyes with just the right degree of enthusiasm. Fortunately his owner, a bloke sitting on a nearby bench, had no objection to me giving his dog a good cuddle! 🙂

  15. IsobelandCat says:

    My mother, before she became too frail, would take a very early morning walk. All her jacket pockets were full of dog biscuits for the canine friends she made.

  16. janh1 says:

    Perfect 🙂 Early morning walks are the best. The day is still fresh and kind of private before the rest of the world wakes.

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