Sunday, 4 December 2011

Sunday 4 December 2011

'Tis one life's eternal mysteries that those who have genes least-worthy to be passed on to the next generation are often the most fecund.

Another litter of kittens has been born in the workplace haystack.  That's four separate litters this year alone.  Each new litter has been virtually identical to the last and 'tis no mystery whatsoever as to from whence they sprung.

One of the latest batch

Owl.  The rampant, over-sexed tom-cat from the farm across the road.  After each fresh litter, the farmer has taken steps to assure my partner and colleagues that Owl has "been done" (that certain surgical procedure of which we do not bark).  They remain unconvinced.  The problem, you see, quite apart from the kittens themselves is that the woodlands beyond the work-yard are a Site of International Nature Conservation - home to a rare species of bat and an even-rarer species of dormouse.  Easy pickings for the feral cats who are threatening to over-run the woods, all of whom emanate from the over-active loins of Owl.

The further problem is that most of these kittens are terribly inbred and subject to genetic problems.  The only queen-cat who was able to keep Owl's appetites in check was the mother of the original litter who, regular readers may remember, was killed in a car accident on the crossroads at the bottom of the hill.  All subsequent kittens are, therefore, the offspring of cousins, of brothers and sisters, of nieces and nephews or of father and descendant.  Revolting in and of itself, not to mention the ghastly mutations that are the tainted results of such foul couplings.

Even my marshmallow-brained chum Ewan grows weary of the presence of kittens - and he is generally doting towards innocent newborns of any species.  After the appearance of the latest litter, Ewan, Fizzy and I decided to investigate whether the farmer's most recent protestations concerning his fecund feline were true.

We trotted along the lane towards the farm-yard, chatting as we went.  Stopping just before the main lane (which we aren't allowed to cross by ourselves, as it's busier than the other little roads) we peered into the farm-yard.  Sure enough, there was Owl, swaggering about the place with the smug grin of a fellow who knows he gets more action than he has any right to.  I shook my head and tut-tutted.
"Maudie" [one of the farm dogs, a feisty wire-haired Jack Russell] "says he even tries to have a go on the chickens and ducks sometimes." barked Fizzy, a note of marked disdain in her voice.
"That's gross." I snorted.  After a brief pause, Ewan began to cackle with mirth.  "What's up with you?" I asked.
"Just imagine!" laughed Ewan, "If Owl makes a chicken have a kitten!"
"Erm..." I muttered, wondering if I ought to stop Ewan there or wait to see what else had popped into his simple head.
"Sometimes I likes a dippy-egg for my breakfast." giggled Ewan.  "Just imagine if when Fizzy bites the top off for me and there is a little chicken-kitten inside!"

Fizzy and I exchanged a glance.

"Well, Ewan," I managed, after a pause, "If I had a boiled-egg for my breakfast and I nipped the top off to find an unbarkably horrific beaked kitten foetus inside I'm not sure that laughter would be my first response..."

Fortunately for our collective sanity, Owl turned his back to us and stalked off down the hill towards the piggery.  We watched him go.

"Well, either those are two of the largest rectal tumours I've ever seen," I sighed, "Or Owl hasn't been done."

Fizzy laughed and, after a moment, Ewan joined in.  I'm not convinced that he fully understood what he was laughing about, but his laughter was joyful to my ears all the same...

Good afternoon.
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