Adam Edwards: I’m unapologetic. I just HATE cats
PUBLISHED: 10:24 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:24 03 September 2019
‘I hate the presentation of a pencil-sharpener bum-hole just inches from one’s face’
For many years now I have carried out a war of attrition against the one-eyed ginger cat that has used my unkempt garden as a hide to chill. He loafs atop of my dry stone wall, in the shade of a lilac bush, and only retreats when I run at him with oaths.
This summer however, the irregular squatter in my small enclosure has vanished. I haven't seen him for months. He is probably dead. After all, homeless humans die 30 years earlier than the rest of us, so why not stray cats? His disappearance is both good news and bad news.
The good news is that I hate cats. Unlike the 'Reluctantly Anonymous' animal-loving author who wrote to Cotswold Life last month saying that he is "developing murderous thoughts towards cats that invade his garden," I am prepared to put my name to such opinions.
I too have homicidal feelings about the bumptious felines not only outside my front door but also inside the house. I dislike the sight of cat litters and the smell of cat piss. I hate the way the beasts publicly 'manspread' and preen themselves like porn stars. I loathe the creature's self-important red carpet walk, its supercilious rub against one's leg with all the affection of a celebrity mwah, and the unasked for leap-upon-the-seated followed by the presentation of a pencil-sharpener bum-hole inches from one's face.
Furthermore I loathe the pathetic idolising of the moggie, in particular online. The New York Times, for example, described cats as "the essential building blocks of the Internet". Recently there was an exhibition at the Museum of Moving Image titled How Cats Took Over the Internet. Meanwhile the latest fashion is to post pictures of flat-faced cats with folded ears and bulging eyes - known as Scottish Folds - that are genetically defective. Amazingly nine million people followed 'Grumpy Cat' - real name Tardar Sauce - with her flat-down-in-the-mouth features caused by dwarfism before her death a couple of months ago. The singers Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran are among the many celebrities who think it amusing to post pictures of these imperfect flat-faced cats on the web.
This guileless idolisation of kitty even reaches the corridors of power despite Britain being a well-known nation of dog lovers. We are larded with news of Downing Street's Larry the Cat (I gather he is hated by the Number 10 staff who describe him as "lazy and useless and miserable"). There is Gladstone the cat in the Treasury, Palmerston in the Foreign Office, and two of the creatures, Evie and Ossie in the Cabinet Office. These cats are supposed to be mousers but like nearly all domestic cats they are pampered and over-fed and have no need to heed the rodents running wild along the Westminster corridors. (Any MP will tell you that the Palace is overrun by mice).
If the domestic cat is not a mouser and it is not affectionate which, let's face it, it is not, it is difficult to think of its point now that there is no need for their guts to be used to string tennis rackets or their hides to stretched over the soundbox of the Shamisen, the traditional long-necked three stringed Japanese banjo.
Anyway the bad news about the disappearance of my itinerant ginger moggie is that I have lost my rat-catcher. Because nobody claimed him and nobody liked him, nobody fed him. The result was that while he may have been the Sweeney Todd of the songbird he was, more importantly, the bête noir of the genus Rattus. My immediate neighbours admit that since Ginger started to hang out in our neighbourhood, none of us have seen a rat. And so despite my antipathy towards the domestic pussy I am thinking of advertising for a new one. But, unlike most potential pet owners, I want one without a pedigree.
I want a bitter and twisted animal from a broken home. I want a cat that I will never need to feed or water or allow into my house. In fact, I want a cat that will go native and murder rats, mice and birds. It is called 're-wilding' - the plan to return the countryside to its natural state and to re-introduce wild animals - and it is all the rage among conservationists like Countryfile's Chris Packham and the TV presenter Bear Grylls. They would, I think, be proud of my plan to re-wild the Cotswolds.
Contact Adam at email@example.com.
Follow Adam on Twitter! @cotswoldhack