1 Oct 2016

Of Cats and Trees

 Of Cats and Trees.

 Before the days of social media, stories would occasionally turn up in the main news about a fire brigade having to rescue a cat from a tree. Surely just an urban legend, a “feel good” item bringing the broadcast to an end. As far as cats are concerned, trees are about as desirable as the nearest river bed. But put aside the thought someone might be stupid enough to call the emergency services for a cat, and consider how it got there.

Maybe the cat gets itself tempted into that tree. He hears those birds high above him, catches a glimpse of them fluttering amidst the leaves and, before he knows it, he’s up there. The birds of course don’t altogether flee from the tree. Why should they? It’s their tree. Instead they skip and settle to where the branches can’t support the cat’s weight. It’s a tease.

So now the cat can’t go any further up, but neither can he come back down. He’s confused, that’s all. Those shapes and sounds so appealing in their clarity from the ground, are now all mixed up inside his head with the rustling movement of leaves and the sunlight flickering between. To make matters worse, just as he’s trying to get a grip on his situation, someone below starts banging a spoon against the edge of a plate of processed horse meat, whilst a guy in uniform with a ladder creeps ever closer, addressing him as Pussy.

No way is that cat coming down now. Couldn’t if he tried. What started out as a frisky morning prowl around the neighbourhood has turned into a ball of confusion. In that moment, if you could speak Cat, you’d know his cries are not for “Help” but for everyone to just “Back off”. Sure, it’s risky up there in such a mesmeric situation, but it’s maybe more exciting than the realities of paws on terra firma.

Text copyright ian g craig