The other morning I looked out of the window to see a strange tabby cat at the end of our drive, bothering something on the ground.
This is strange for two reasons; firstly, the presence of The Cats Next Door, Phantom and Sassy Cat. Sassy Cat is a cat who thinks he’s a dog. He wants cuddles and love and he wants them NOW. I don’t think it has ever occurred to him to chase a mouse, although he’s probably wondered whether the mouse might give him a stroke or a scratch behind the ears. Phantom, on the other hand, is the most hench cat I’ve ever seen. He views Sassy Cat as a sort of benign idiot brother, but his only interactions with other cats are to chase them away from his property, and he definitely views our drive as his property.
So when I saw the strange tabby cat, my initial thought was that Phantom was going to be piiiiiiisssed. I normally only see other cats shooting past in a blur of fur to avoid him.
The second strange thing was the question of what he was bothering on the ground. We have mice/shrews/voles/generic small mammals in the garden, but it seemed rather big and pale to be one of those. I asked my husband if he could see what it was and he concluded it must be some kind of bird.
The mystery deepened a couple of hours later when he went to take the bins out and reported that it was, in fact, an entire raw skin-on chicken breast. By that point, Phantom had re-emerged and taken possession of the chicken breast, which was looking increasingly sorry for itself.
In these times of panic-buying, where had the chicken breast come from? Did the cat steal it out of its house? Had someone thrown it away? How did it end up on our drive? A quarantine mystery that has bugged me ever since… It’s all about the small things at the moment.
Also kudos to my husband who actually disposed of the bloody thing.