Saturday, 18 September 2010

Pigeon est mortuus

On my walk on Thursday night I noticed an unusually large number of pedestrians carrying fold down chairs. They were returning from the Pope's visit to Bellahouston Park. I wondered why they needed chairs. Had they been expecting bad news? Had the Pope's sermon started with "You may want to be sitting down for this" before going on to describe the atrocities committed by the priesthood, like some open air confession. I doubted it very much. Then I heard what he had to say in London and began to wonder.

I got a shock myself on Friday morning. In the garden, during my morning constitutional, I found pigeon feathers strewn across the grass and could smell blood around the site. Immediately my hackles were raised. We had a pigeon assassin operating in my garden. And it wasn't me. 

There was no sign of the body. This would normally indicate a fox but my garden is totally fox proof (and dog-escape proof too unfortunately). Surely a cat couldn't have killed a pigeon and carried it over a six foot fence?

I patrolled the borders, sniffing delicately. My worst fears proved founded: cat scent. But which of the clutter of cats in the street had committed this offence, in my garden?

All my instincts suggested Percy, the cat from next door. He was new to the area, disrespectful towards my superior dog status and had the fearless audacity of a sociopath. He also still had to learn that this garden was my territory and not to be trespassed. Later that day we had words.

To the untrained ear, the exchange would have sounded like a barrage of barking. I'll admit I did raise my voice. It was understandable. I was angry, made all the more so by Percy's smug grin and responses.

"Why do you think it was me?" he smirked.

"It's got your claw marks all over it."

"Ridiculous! Where's your proof? You've got no body, no witnesses and the pigeon ain't talking."

"I can smell your presence. I may not be a bloodhound but I've a bloody good nose for these things."

"Could be a copycat. Another cat impersonating my smell."

That threw me. I'd heard the term before but never in a literal sense. Was it possible? Could one cat mimic another?

"You're bluffing, I've never heard of such a thing."

With a gentle shrug of his shoulders, Percy unexpectedly relaxed. He leaned closer to the fence and whispered, "Look it was nothing personal. It's what I do. It's my job. You've heard the human phrase, 'putting a cat among the pigeons', well I'm that cat. You may not be aware of this but there's a war going on out there. Pigeons are planning to take over the world. They are mass producing themselves at such a rate that soon they'll not only control every city centre but every town, village and hamlet across the UK." 

"I've never heard this. You're making it up."

"I've got better hearing than you," Percy smiled. "And better connections. C.I.A. - Cat Intelligence Agency. We hear things. Be careful." And with that he leapt over to his kitchen door and disappeared through the cat flap.

Be careful? What did that mean? Was it a threat or a warning? Was he really in the C.I.A.? Did it really exist or was he lying? Oh, too many questions and not enough answers. And I never did find out what he did with the body. I just wanted a nibble.