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The 'Furry Fiend' of Flagstaff

Seona Smiles
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sleep has been elusive in my household this week.

Part of the reason is our cat, the Furry Fiend of Flagstaff.

At least it is our cat, we were the idiots who adopted her when she was but a cute kitten.

There is another cat who looks almost exactly the same but is all muscle and malevolence. It sneaks in through the window while I am concentrating on my computer screen and devours anything it can find, including our cat's food.

No wonder it is so strong and healthy and able to bash up the so-called fierce watchdogs.

The Furry Fiend gets quite enough food, however, to keep it plump and downright flabby. It is quite a menace about midnight snacks.

Should an unwary resident totter through the house from bedroom to bathroom in the still, quiet hours of very early morning, danger lurks at the corner of the pantry.

The Furry Fiend leaps out between unguarded feet and sends them stumbling towards the box of cat kibbles. With a bit of luck you can steady yourself before you faceplant in the flour bin or take down the good white dinner service on the bottom shelf.

The deal is that you feed the cat before you get access to the bathroom. It rarely fails.

This week the Furry Fiend has concentrated on sharpening up its hunting skills.

This has the benefit of reducing the rodent population. Or perhaps not.

How is it that I frequently see the cat climbing through the window with its pathetic prey limp in its jaws.

The deduction is that this is an outside mouse, a mouse from somewhere else in the neighbourhood, not a domiciled mouse. There are no little mouse babies squeaking for their mama in the back of my pot cupboard.

In which case, it is not welcome to my home, alive or dead.

When having this forcefully explained with a sasa, the Furry Fiend often departs with the dear departed back out the window.

Alas, that is not the last of it. By next morning I am confronted with a semi-digested corpse laid out squishily on the kitchen floor, just where I put my foot on the way to the coffee.

Another drawback of the Cat as Mighty Hunter is that this week she insisted the bedroom was overrun with evilly-intended prey.

Prey that apparently lived at the back of the several thousand photograph albums on the top shelf of the dressing table.

It took me ages to identify where the strange scuffling sounds were coming from throughout the night, a discovery signalled by several albums crashing to the floor, followed by a thoroughly surprised pussycat.

The next night there was more ceiling height shenanigans as the Furry Fiends pursued its prey up the lacy curtains, about 400 times before I managed to get it out and slam the door.

Unfortunately that wasn't the worse sound I heard this week.

After that came the sinister sound of something very wrong with the washing machine. Mostly what was wrong with it was the self-taught two-year-old laundry assistant, who had filled the soap tray to overflowing and turned the machine on.

"Stop overloading it", said the fix-it man, who no doubt should have added "and don't let any pre-schoolers drive it".

But the very worst sound came from the end of our street.

A small dog left behind by a departing household and now being cared for by neighbours was run over by a turning car as it lay at the bottom of a driveway.

Sometimes such things are just accidents, and there is a lot of traffic in our narrow, dead end street at school closing time. Accidents can happen.

But the reprehensible thing is that the couple in the car just sped away, ignoring the terrible howling from the seriously injured dog and making no attempt to find out if it was somebody's pet.

The neighbours did what they could to comfort it and over the next few hours retrieved the poor creature from the drain and managed to contact the SPCA veterinary.

We are so grateful that the SPCA provides an emergency service. The vet came and gently put down the little dog because it was suffering and too badly hurt to recover.

Don't come in our street again, you people who don't care about hurting animals or taking responsibility for the suffering you cause.

Or I'll send the Furry Fiend over to your house for a few nights to make them a misery; and maybe the apprentice laundry man to wreck your washing machine.

? The writer is a regular contributor to this column. Views expressed are hers and not of this newspaper.

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