The Cat!

Ray has always been protective of “his” territory (the back garden) and wastes no time in checking that there are no intruders.

Any rabbit will be immediately pursued and, at least up until this moment, they have always managed to escape (thank goodness). They simply out manoeuvre him with some very fast 90 degree turns which, while no problem for a rabbit, are very difficult for a 75lb Ray to accomplish.*

Chipmunks seem to be a bit of a puzzle for him as he clearly knows where they are (in tunnels under our grass) and he can often be seen quite motionless with head on one side (listening?) and then pushing his nose along the ground, so possibly tracking one. I am not sure whether he has actually confronted one yet but they are no doubt very much aware of his presence.

Squirrels are quite different in that they will antagonize. They will sit and watch Ray accelerating towards them and, at the very last minute, will leap to safety. Their strategy has not always been successful as Ray has chalked up two to date that did not escape him.**

And then there are cats! We have no idea what has happened in Ray’s past but he has a very strong dislike of cats. As we pass known “cat homes” on our walks, he makes sure that he checks under any parked cars for one. In the event that he sees one, his body language is a very clear “Please unhook my leash and let me get that cat!”.

Just the other morning, Ray was let out into the back garden for a routine visit when he saw the cat! It was in his garden! According to Carol (I was inside), he wasted no time in charging towards it and while she has seen cats stand their ground, albeit hissing and spitting, this particular cat clearly thought that discretion was called for and immediately set a vertical take-off record as it shot up our maple tree which is right in a corner of our garden.

2015 05 28 cat 4The poor cat did not seem very old and, based on the pee trail coming down the tree trunk as it climbed to safety, we are assuming that Ray caught it rather by surprise.

With Ray patrolling the bottom of the tree, and with the cat having nowhere to go, we had an obvious problem. Taking Ray inside was a partial solution but the next issue was how to get the cat down.

If the cat is a little stressed, then any attempt to catch it would probably drive it further up the tree. It had got itself into a situation where the only way out was vertically down the trunk and, while a squirrel could do that without any problem, I do believe that it is a very precarious move for a cat . Apparently their claw design (unlike that of a squirrel) does not facilitate climbing down head first. They would have to turn around and come down backwards ……. or simply just jump!

My initial thought was to “coax” it to jump by spraying it with the garden hose to try and prompt that option……….. but it had no place to land. The neighboring gardens had no clear landing spaces and the only place in our garden suitable for such a jump was where I would be standing with the hose.

We contemplated calling our Humane Society and/or the Fire Dept so that a ladder crew could get involved but, before we did that, we thought we should just leave it totally alone and see if it solved its own problem. We checked back 20 minutes later and …………… no cat! We have no idea how it did it but, the most important thing is that it did escape.

As an aside, the cat did not appear to have a collar, tag or any other obvious sign of identification. Further, in the Town of Oakville, cats are not supposed be free roaming. I wonder, if the owners had seen the circumstances that their irresponsibility had put their cat in, whether they would be more diligent in the future. My experience, sadly, is probably not!

*See “Rocket Boy!” – Nov 14, 2014

**See “Delusional Squirrel!” – Dec 8, 2014


23 thoughts on “The Cat!

  1. Lest I offend any cat loving readers (though I am inclined to agree with the comments previously posted about loose felines vs. loose canines), I’ll just say…please get all the squirrels you can, Ray. Rotten buggars! I only wish Sam was bothered by them as much as I am. Happy weekend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Free Roaming” cats. Now just how long would any town tolerate “Free Roaming” Rays or any size dog? For some reason people have the idea their tabby has to be unconfined. Our yard has well cared for flower beds that are mounded with soft dirt in which flower roots thrive. It’s just lovely to be weeding and “find” a smelly cat deposit. How happy would your neighbors be to step into their yard and plant their sneakers in a Ray dump?

    So go get ’em Ray!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Geez, Colin, your post today is one I could have written about my dog, Charlie! Chuck is just the same as Ray — he loves to spot the chipmunks and rabbits (this morning when I took him out on his leash, he really tugged me just as we went around the house and he saw a rabbit!). Like Ray, Chuck hasn’t had much luck with squirrels, but he does chase cats off our property. Guess Ray and Charlie are just being good dogs after all! Have a great day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I guess they are doing their job…… at least as they understand it to be! Chasing cats out of the garden should minimize the chances off finding “feline presents” in the garden areas when I am digging and weeding! 🙂


        • Thinking about Ray ………. he cleans our floors; entertains us; educates us; makes us think; provides basis of Posts to entertain, educate and make others think; is quite the “poster boy” around here for supporting our Humane Society, and is a 24/7 alarm if anybody comes close to our front door. He certainly earns his keep doesn’t he!


  4. Maggie doesn’t like cats either, but has rolled a pigeon (feathers everywhere but it walked away a little surprised) and flipped a baby rabbit then watched it hop away. She also caught up with a squirrel, but the tap on her nose (just enough to draw blood but nothing drastic) soon cured her of chasing any more.
    Here she has made no attempt to chase the ducks, though she and the rabbits have come to an understanding. They know she sees them, she knows they are there, but they both seem to agree that it’s a waste of time and effort on both sides to run/chase.
    Seagulls and the occasional pheasant are however fair game!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think Ray would chase pretty much anything that was smaller than him. Outside our home he is always leashed but whenever he sees Canada Geese, he pulls quite hard. I have no doubt he would try and catch one if allowed to, although I think that he would regret it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad to hear that cat is all right! I have a few back in Delhi and they give no end of trouble to my grandparents. Pretending they can’t get down from the terrace unaided though I have seen them leap about when no one is watching. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Any thoughts you would like to share?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.