Children are naughty

Grendel T Kittenfish MacBride is officially in the bad books today. I let her out at about half four this morning, seeing her on her way with the usual set of instructions: "Be good, stay away from the road and no fighting!" She went, "Prooop!" in reply and pattered off into the mist.

Stuart then grumbles about how it's too cold to be standing outside in the altogether at half four in the morning, before shuffling back to bed and a disturbing dream we won't go into here.*

06:40 and the alarm goes off. More grumbling, some ranting at the radio while the newspaper headlines are read out. And then our bearded protagonist groans his way out of bed to let the cat back in.


The door opens on a world of white, the sound of distant cockerels bellowing their wakeup call, muffled by a thick blanket of fog. The sound of randy pigeons going at it in the hedge. And a bearded crime write-ist shouting, "Kitten? Come on! Grennnnnnnnnnndel!" Very manly.

Still nothing.

Then the Bearded, naked one** looks down at what's lying on the porch floor. And swears.

We've had stoats living next to us ever since we moved out to the back end of nowhere. It was part of the appeal of the place, seeing these lovely little marmalade coloured ribbons of fur pop-hopping through the long grass, white tummies shining in the sunlight. Sometimes dragging a rabbit three times their size from point A (where they killed it) to point B (where they were going to gnaw their way into its skull and feast on the gooey goodness inside). I like stoats.

Remember a couple of weeks ago I posted about a milk-fed baby rabbit Grendel left half eaten in the porch, oozing yoghurty stuff all over the concrete? Well, we'd finally come to the conclusion that there was no way Little Miss would have gone down the burrow to get the thing, and what were the chances of her grabbing it on its very first day out of the warren? Slim, but not impossible. And then last week I watched one of the neighbourhood stoats hauling a huge rabbit across our front lawn. Dropping the thing every four pop-hops to take a breather. BIG rabbit.

So what were the chances of Grendel lying in wait for Mrs Stoat to come along so she could relieve it of its shopping? A damn sight higher than the previous two options.

Well it looks like this time Mrs Stoat decided she wasn't giving up the bunny quite so easily.

A bad day for nosesA bad day for stoats

Now I don't mind Grendel murdering mice, battering bees, crunching centipedes, or slaughtering shrews, but stoats? Stoats are dangerous. Stoats have big pointy teeth that bite things. Stoats are carnivorous killers. You do not screw with stoats.***

Which is why Little Miss Violent Fish now has a pair of holes in her nose. Well, an extra pair if you're counting nostrils. And they're not holes in the 'go all the way through' sense, more sort of dents. With blood.

We don't have any TCP either. Not that she'd sit still for long enough for us to rub it in - it was difficult enough just getting her to pose for the picture. She's so chuffed with herself it's unreal. "Look at me! I killed a stoat! A STOAT! Not some sort of cheesy little mouse, or a wriggly little piss-ant shrew, S-T-O-A-T! Oh yeah, who's your kitty? Eh? WHO'S YOUR KITTY?"

This is not the kind of behaviour I like to encourage.

How's she going to hold on to her crown as the world's prettiest cat if she keeps collecting scars all over her nose? And what's next: badgers? Alsatians? Jehovah's Witnesses? Am I going to wake up one morning and find a full-grown grizzly bear lying face down, dead on my porch? And don't look at me like that - it is too possible. The bear might be in the North East of Scotland on holiday... visiting with relatives... or backpacking its way around the world, working in bars and things to pay its way. You know. There it is, out snaffling picnic baskets, or looking for a shady wooded spot to do its business, and the next thing it knows there's this furry ball of teeth and claws ripping its throat out, screeching, "WHO'S YOUR KITTY?"

It's not too difficult to give Mrs Stoat a decent Christian burial courtesy of the council's fortnightly collection, but can you imagine trying to cram a dead bear into a wheely bin?

* But it did involve marmalade.
** Stop picturing me naked! It's very naughty. What would your significant other say?
*** Unless you are seriously perverted and don't mind lacerated genitalia.

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