Animal Wars

It was a beautiful day. I was not the sole member of my household taking advantage of it.

Charlie at rest.

In the driveway, on the warm concrete, my youngest cat was having a moment with a hydrangea bush. It was enthralling to watch him. Dreamily his head rolled around as he nosed the leaf that sat slightly above his nose.

The moment was all the more pleasant for the absence of builders next door. They had left early for the day, and my quiet part of a small rural town was just that – quiet.

Then it disappeared – in a second.

The neighbours had a dog visiting. A large imposing dog that moved much faster than anything that big should be able to. It shot through the hydrangea bush headed directly for Charlie.

Charlie is part Siamese and his reactions are incredible, even for a cat. He spun around, wasting no time on protesting and ran for it. As he shot past me I threw myself at the dog, arms flailing and yelling, to distract it from its intended victim.

No – not once did I think about it attacking me.  I read and watch The Dog Whisperer for tips !!!!!

Okay, maybe it was ridiculous to take on such a big dog – but I must have looked a sight, because it skidded to a halt and I chased it off the property.

It was when I walked away that the shaking started.

Eventually Charlie came out of hiding – he was as shaky as I was. He had skidded so much on the concrete that the nails on one of his back paws were shredded.

I bundled him up and he was happy to go inside where he stayed until the following morning. Most unlike him, he was not at all interested in finding a way around me to get outside.

What saved him from JAWS was his reaction speed. Had he been my other cat Jack, it’s not something I want to imagine. Older, slower, she would have never gotten out of the way quick enough.

Jack - our gentle lady

What surprised me was the neighbours reaction. There was none. They were there, they saw and heard it all, but not one word came from them.

They did NOT ask if he was all right.

They did NOT apologise.

Nothing.

Zip. Zero reaction.

Surprising.

I’ve given it a few days.

Nothing.

They have seen me about the yard.

Nothing.

So now I am wondering. Is that all?

I expected more, I did.

Am I unreasonable to expect at least an acknowledgement of some sort over the incident?

Is it up to me to bring it up? If so, why?

Because I have to say that were the situation reversed I would have been all over the neighbours with apologies.

I know that it is a dog thing to chase strange cats, but Charlie was on his own property, having a moment of communing with nature when this happened.

I think that I am reasonable. I usually don’t argue over centimetres when someone wants to put up a fence or plant a tree. Parties don’t bother me, and I can enjoy loud music as long as it is not every night.

If you ask, I’ll collect your mail or feed your animals. I have even been known to chase the neighbours dog and bring it home when it hopped the fence, then spend an hour making sure it couldn’t get out again because they weren’t due home for a while.

But I am not happy.

I want something from them. Anything really but probably an apology would be best. Something simple would do.

It has got me wondering. Is this how neighbour problems start? Because one won’t acknowledge that they have caused some discomfort in another’s home.

Am I being demanding?

And if so, do I not have the right to demand the courtesy?

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

10 thoughts on “Animal Wars”

  1. Hey Jo, I chuckled when I read “my youngest cat” but that was the only one that came from me as I read on. (No, that’s not quite trun the sight of you waving your arms against a ferocious dog got an almost chuckle too).

    i do think you are justified in expecting your neighbors would have either said of done something. (Don’t they have leash laws for oversized dogs or dogs in general for that matter.)

    But then again, one thing I’ve learned in my old age is this: Just because you would have behaved in a decent manner doesn’t mean that your neighbors would.

    My advice: Figure out a way to protect your cats, sounds like they’re gonna need it.

    Like

  2. You my friend, have been given the Versatile Blogger Award. See the original post here http://roughwaterjohn.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/what-be-this-accolade/
    There are only three requirements, thank the giver of this reward (not necessary really), post seven random facts about yourself, and nominate others for this reward. The reward I received mentioned 15 recipients, but I feel it is more important to reward those justly deserving, than merely meet the quota. Ultimately, it’s your decision, and your reward. Congratulations, it is well deserved.

    Like

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