Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bee fur and cat food

Our black cat, who is an Einstein among felines when it comes to everything else, is completely daw-brained when it comes to bees. He knows they have stingers, because he sat with one paw held up like a cartoon sore-thumb all evening last summer after getting stung. But there's something about a buzzing, randomly flying bundle of stripy black and yellow fur that just can't be resisted by him. As soon as he sees one, he bounces off down the garden, swatting wildly at the air.

Last night, as I was juggling plates and dishes of cat food and carrying a box of cat biscuits between my teeth, I opened the cats' shed door to discover that inside was a large bumblebee flying about in a holding pattern awaiting landing instructions. It was obviously confused (as we all are) by the red Axminster carpet hanging on the gable wall, because it was hovering within an inch or two of it looking for nectar in the flowery pattern. Not finding any, it turned towards the light to leave the shed, only to find its path blocked by a pane of window glass. So, it zig-zagged about pondering how to find its way home from this lost position.

The cats were dancing about impatiently at my feet. It just wasn't the routine that I pile dishes high with delicious duck feet and fishguts in jelly, only to stand still for five minutes. They wanted grub and they wanted it now!

I held the door open as wide as it would go and propped it with a bamboo cane, hoping the visitor would take the hint and leave. It works for the Parish Priest, after all.

The bee buzzed about a bit, then managed a kind of insect-like shrug and dropped down to the level of the cats' bedding.

"Oh no!" I said, as the little bugger nipped in neatly through the open doorway in the side of the great big cardboard box into which the cats retire at night. I had a mental picture of the weary flier finding a nice comfortable fold of blanket and settling down for a snooze. And another picture of two sore, fat-lipped cats in the morning.

I reached for another cane and started beating about the box. This was not what the cats had signed up for so they scarpered smartly. No sign of the squatter.


I slammed the door and left things for a half hour. The cats were not impressed.

Finally, I went back to see if yer man was out of the scratcher yet and sure enough, there he was on final approach again.

"Oi! Goggles! Over here!"

You'd swear the little fecker heard me, because this time he did a 180-degree turn and flew half way out the door, tasted the air, and went back into the shed. I waited with bated breath while he did it a second time. As soon as he was anyway clear of its swing, I slammed the door shut again. He buzzed off over the rooftop and was gone.

"Bloody hell. The things I do for these feckin' cats!"

They looked at me with an "About time" expression and slipped inside.

With my luck, someone probably stood on that bee five minutes after I released it.


Angh said...

Happy you've decided to use some photos...what a gorgeous shot of the cat.

Had a wild turkey wander through our place yesterday. Instead of trying to photograph it I should have focused on the 4 cats sitting on shocked haunchs at the sight of a bird bigger than them! It was priceless, but the turkey was little more than a blur. Cheers.

Willie_W said...

Yes, I decided I didn't know enough about this Blogging thing and went and looked around. The ones I most enjoyed reading had pictures and an active Comments section. So let's see if we can fit some pics to future posts... and maybe retro fit some to older ones.