Ollie And The Feral Cat

Some years ago, a person here told me about some feral cats living in Beetley. I never encountered one, and thought he was probably teasing me, regarding me as a ‘City Boy’ who had moved to the countryside.

Yesterday was very humid, and after Ollie had taken two dips in the river to cool down, I headed over to Hoe Rough as usual, hoping to make a longer walk of it in dry weather. Ten minutes in, and along the narrow riverside path on the north side, I spotted a cat a couple of hundred yards ahead. It looked scruffy, had no collar, and seemed to be in need of a meal, it was so thin and ragged. It was also a strange colour, with black and tan markings resembling some kind of spotted fur, like a wildcat.

(We don’t have wildcats in England any longer)

When it saw me, it arched its back, like they do in cartoons. But then it noticed Ollie following, and it turned and ran off. Ollie saw the movement, and took off after it at lightning speed. Despite his age, my dog cleared the distance in a remarkably short time, and for a moment I thought he might catch the cat.

Luckily for the feline, there are plenty of trees around there, and it had scooted up one before Ollie was close enough to grab it.

Following at some distance, I could hear Ollie whooping and yelping, sounding like a real hunting dog. When I caught up, I found him at the base of the tree, and up in the top branches was the cat, staring down at us.

Reluctant to leave the tree and the cat seeking sanctuary in it, Ollie eventually followed me along the path. He got as far as the bend in the river before creeping under the wire of the fence and plunging in for a much-needed drink.

At least the cat had made him remember once again that he was one of nature’s hunting predators.

50 thoughts on “Ollie And The Feral Cat

  1. Great experiences for Ollie! But he should not underestimate the claws of these cats. 😉 Our cat had a behaviour like a wild cat, and if a dog had tried to catch him, after entering the tree he sprung on the dogs back, and wanted to show him how vulnerable eyes can be. xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  2. At one time we had three adult, and fairly large, pet cats. We had a neighbour with a German Shepherd cross dog. The dog came for an uninvited visit, though the cats weren’t happy. I have a memory of him heading for the gate with two cats’ claws firmly embedded in his backside, chased by the third amidst various cats’ vocal complaints! Nobody hurt, but the dog didn’t come back.

    Maybe a good thing Ollie didn’t catch the cat?

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    1. Oh yes, Jerry. Ironically, he is friendly to local cats. The cat next door comes into the garden and ‘smooches’ up to Ollie. But when he is out on the nature reserve, and off his lead, anything is fair game. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. Glad Ollie had fun chasing the cat, and that he didn’t catch it. There are some domestic cats that are spotted like wild cats. The Bengal, for example, is very close to the wild cat – Asian leopard cat – it was bred from (one or two generations). There is also the Egyptian Mau and Abyssinian.

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    1. Thanks for that cat information, Jeanne. The one Ollie chased didn’t appear to be well-cared for, or a pet. It was ragged-looking, and very skinny. But it might well have escaped from a house nearby and found its way onto the nature reserve. There are mice, voles, and lots of birds over there.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We’ve been training (haha) Sophie’s cats to go out and not long after their first forays a woman left her terrier mutt off the lead walking on the path by our house. The thing chased Winnie into our garden and our conservatory though it balked at trying to get Vinnie as he’s a big cat, it was bedlam. We were shouting at it and I think the woman called it eventually and it went back to her, she walked off rapid before I could remonstrate with her about keeping it on a lead when on the estate, I was mighty p’d off.

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    1. He doesn’t chase cats when he’s on his lead, and I don’t let him off until we are in open country. But if he sees one on The Meadows, or Hoe Rough, it’s fair game as far as he’s concerned. He has never hurt one yet, fortunately.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am glad he didn’t catch it! >Cats are awful to tangle with. It has rained here for two weeks-everything is sloppy. I have thought of you more than once-Loving you new series. I am not usually drawn to crime mysteries but I am hooked! A good writer can do such things. x Michele

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It stopped raining here a few days ago, and now it is hot by Beetley standards, and uncomfortably humid at 25-26 C. I will take that over rain any day. Glad to hear you like my new serial, Michele. It helps that I am writing about things I remember, in a place where I lived. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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