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It's Simply Not Cricket, Sir

by Beverley, Napier, New Zealand


It's autumn and the place is abounding with little critters. Ollie has been in catching mode. He'll have a go at anything - moths, cockroaches, monarch butterflies, whole colonies of mice, rabbits, rats and frogs. Frogs make a frightful noise when caught by a cat. All Ollie has to do is put a paw on a frog's back and it lets out a strangulated scream. Naturally I always rescue the frog and take it back to the creek.

There is a chorus of crickets chirping everywhere -from the poplar trees, shrubs, the lawn, the clothesline. Ollie longs to catch a cricket - there is something about their chirping that turns him on. It's like a cat's love-affair with cat-mint. Ollie stalks the crickets daily but crickets are born teasers. They chirp in his face and elude his grabbing paws by centimetres.

Last night we noticed that there was a cricket chirping in the lounge near the telly. I searched for the intruder intending to throw it out. Then I noticed something. Ollie was sitting on the telly with his mouth half open. I have never seen such an expression on a cat's face. If he was a cartoon cat the pupils of his eyes would be together close on either side of his nose as he tried to see inside his mouth - because that was where the cricket was - inside his mouth chirping its little heart out.

A closer inspection showed that the cricket was clinging to the roof of Ollie's mouth just inside the front fangs. The fluttering vibrations of the insect must have felt terrible.

Ollie wouldn't have a bar of our help. The chirping cat hid under beds and sofas. We were too helpless with laughter to make more than a token attempt to catch him. Finally he dashed outside through the cat door and sat on the patio, chirping madly.

I tried opening the frig. door and banging a cat's plate. That did it. Ollie let out a desperate megaphone meow. Even the cricket couldn't stand that! It zoomed out of Ollie's open mouth into the night.

And as for Ollie. The look of disgust on his face said it all. As they say in that game of three wickets, a bat and a little white ball "It simply wasn't cricket, Sir."


Editor's note:

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