Cats and Drakes

We were up the coast a few weeks ago, staying with friends who had just bought a lovely seven acre block near the Queensland border.  They had arrived there with two middle aged dogs and an old grey Cornish Rex cat and were  in the process of acquiring a menagerie to keep them company and fill up the seven acres.  There were a few Alpacas on agistment already and the acquisition of some hens, a rooster or two, some guinea fowl and two drakes seemed to finish off the farmlet for the time being.  Then they acquired a very young grey (are they always grey?) Cornish Rex cat and that's when the fun started.  

The cat was long and lean with wickedness sprouting out of every fibre of her being.  She has a strange, pointed face, bright, intelligent eyes, huge ears (all the better to hear you with my dear), a very short, thin, grey, crinkly coat and the most beguiling manner.  To meet her to begin with you would think butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.  Don’t be fooled.  She torments the drakes unmercifully.

The two drakes minded their own business, made their own arrangements and did a good job keeping the lawn down, aerated, and copiously manured.  They are beautiful, one white, the other brown with a black head and a touch of green.  Being almost joined at the hip, they happily went about their duck business constantly talking among themselves as twins do and doing their own thing.  Life was good, all was well with the world, serenity was the name of the game, until the advent of the young cat, Indigo.

She had been ensconced there for a little while before we arrived to view the pantomime being enacted three or four times a day on the front lawn.  The cat would lay in wait in the hedge or other shrubbery until the drakes made their appearance and then she would pounce on them and start running.  They would give raucous chase, necks outstretched, mouths open telling her what they were going to do when they caught her.  She, of course, scampered off, laughing all the way “You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!” 

Sometimes the drakes would go looking for her and she would hide until they were distracted - they don’t have a very long attention span - then she’d bounce out and, startled, the two would gather themselves together and the chase would be on again.

Needless to say I spent hours watching them and trying to get a video but was always too late to capture it.  My attention span isn’t that long either and i’m easily distracted, a good book never too far away. 

The whole thing reminded me of a time a few years ago when Himself was doing some work for friends who were living about an hour away from us.  I went along also accompanied by our two dogs, Mollie and Mickey.  Mick had a sleep under a tree but Mollie went investigating all the wonderful places to check out.   

These friends had an acre or so of land and quite a flock of various kinds of poultry, amongst them being two roan-coloured turkeys which, like the above drakes, were attached at the hip, moving in unison, constantly chattering between themselves and strangely amazed by anything at all untoward. We met Trevor and Trevor.  

Mollie straight away went about the business of checking out the whole farm.  She was particularly enamoured of chook poo and spent the afternoon looking for it, completely unaware of Trevor and Trevor.  She had but one thing on her mind. 

They, however, were, stunned at her magical appearance in their yard, amazed at whatever it was that she was (they couldn’t really work it out), and intrigued by her apparent obsession with whatever it was she was looking for and voraciously eating.  Trevor and Trevor,  following her every move, would scuttle back, startled, if she turned round and appeared to be moving, even slightly, in their direction, all the while keeping up the chatter.  “What is it?”  “I don’t know.  What do you think it is?”  “What is it after?”  “Where did it come from?”  “How can we go to bed tonight with it in the yard?” 

When Mollie made a sudden move there was pandemonium as they jerked away and sometimes became separated.  Woe is me.  Separation was nearly as bad as being near the dog!!! 

Then the unthinkable happened.  She moved away from them altogether and into one of the two chook yards.  Unthinking, they followed her in.  Finding nothing of import in there she turned around to retrace her steps.  There was a flurry and a scatter (Mollie not even noticing them there) and only one Trevor had access to the gate, feathers flying as she scraped past the door, squawking and carrying on as if the dog had attacked her.  Trevor left inside with the exiting dog between her and the gate, almost fainted.  Stress levels nearly overcame her while she fanned herself with one wing while trying to look as thought she was coping.   

Meanwhile Mollie sauntered into the next chook yard, completely unaware of the chaos she had caused and so carelessly left behind.

Meanwhile, I was lying further up on the lawn (where there were no little bundles of chook poo) absolutely hysterical with laughter, having laughed so much I was completely incapable of doing anything.  The tears ran down my face and almost down my legs as I lay there helpless for most of the afternoon. 

Eventually, Mollie had eaten enough goodies to be satisfied and came and lay down near me.  Not too near.  We both had had the most wonderful afternoon but poor Trevor and Trevor would never be the same again.