Saturday, February 28, 2004

The black knight
I heard furious barking, and ran to the window. I knew our young cat, still little more than a kitten and sick with some unpleasant infection, was outside. Yes, she was in bad trouble. She was still holding her ground, but the black and white dog - about 10 times her size and, I knew from previous encounters, quite unpredictable - was getting daring. She was a tiny puff of fluff before him, only the flash of her golden eyes and her very determined hiss keeping him back. I was at a loss what to do. Running to help her might be the distraction that killed her. That stupid dog might consider my arrival assistance, since humans were flock, cats were enemies.

Luckily, the decision was taken for me. With powerful deliberation the muscular black tom Socrates leaped from the fence. He was still tiny compared to the dog, but he was twice Lionchild's size, 6 kilos of tight muscle and well-kept claws. Petting him was like trying to stroke a muscular porcupine. There was nothing soft about him, and his green eyes shone against healthy black fur and his fangs showed impressively as he hissed. He walked right up in the dog's face, placed himself between the dog and my soft ball of pale ginger fur, and spat cat-curses right into that furious stream of barking.

Lionchild didn't waste such chivalry. She lept to safety on the fence, and turned to hiss at the dog. As soon as she was safe Socrates turned his back to the dog and lept up right next to her. That was my cue. I snagged a piece of rope, ran out and grabbed the dog by the collar and pulled him with me over to the neighbour where he belonged. Nobody answered the bell, so I tied him outside the door, still furious.

Socrates? Well, let's just say I forgave him jumping in the windows, being sick in the bedroom and unearthing all the tulip bulbs outside the front door. Black knights can take certain liberties.

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