Not so, apparently. Witness for yourself:
See him? Yes. Strategically positioned under the garden bench, to avoid any aerial assault. Peaches once more.
And to those friends who enquired - yes. Peaches IS a boy. (Here is a link to the Blog entry in which he was first mentioned: http://jasper-thedogsblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/thursday-24-september-2009.html). I agree with my friends - 'tis an unusual name for a male black cat. It may well go some way to explaining his violent, foul-mouthed, hatefully vicious nature - but it does not excuse it.
I marched boldly out to challenge him, feeling thoroughly fed up at his trespass. I was also well aware of what cats like to do in other people's gardens - and had NO desire to find a shiny little sh*te in amongst the bulbs we planted in the summer. As soon as I appeared around the corner, the charming Peaches hissed and spat at me. He edged a little further from under my bench and began an outpouring of spiteful comments and threats - none of which I care to repeat here. From the corner of my eye, I could see a number of blue-tits queueing up in the tree branches - cold and hungry, yet each too afraid to venture down to take its nut. Some tell-tale scratch marks up the post of my bird table told me that their hesitation was justified. I felt utterly disgusted. Peaches moved closed to me, still snarling his filth. I am afraid, dear reader, that I lost my normally-well-controlled temper.
"OH B*GGER OFF!" I bellowed, in my most angry bark. The birds fluttered, alarmed, into the air. My shout echoed around the close. I was expecting violent retribution from the target of my rage - but he merely heaved up his fat bulk with as much dignity as he could muster and with a parting angry glance, stomped off, looking aggrieved. To date, he has not returned.
My throat hurt for the rest of the day, but it was well worth it, hehehe...
No more work for me and my partner now until after the New Year. She has taken some holiday days so that she can have a nice long break over Christmas. However, today was an unexpected extra, due to the recent heavy snowfall. We were almost stranded at work last night. Despite being allowed to depart at half past three, it took us TWO AND A HALF HOURS to get home. It usually takes 35 minutes at most. Scary too. My partner was given the option of not working today by her kind boss, and she decided that she did not want to put her Jasper through a similar experience once more. She said that she didn't mind for herself - but Jasper is too precious to risk. That's my girl...!
The second instalment of The Evolution of Jasper is still on its way and will be posted either tonight or tomorrow. It is taking me all this time because, although we know that the tale has a happy outcome, the first parts are distressing for me to recall - particularly this second episode. It reminds me of just how close I came to missing out on life with my partner - or, indeed, any life at all...