Take a close look at the picture! Go on. …. look closer. Who’s that? No really; who is it? You might be forgiven for thinking it’s Austin, but I swear it isn’t – unless he’s managed to clone himself. Look at the paws though!
I have suspected for a while now – I know I’ve mentioned this before, like errr once or twice – that Austin and Tigger’s relationship is at times a bit edgy. For instance my elderly Ma once had to intervene to stop Austin disembowelling Tigger in the cupboard under the stairs. It was a very traumatic experience for her, poor dear. She hasn’t been able to eat offal since – or venture under the stairs. Then, of course, there was the conservatory door fracas, which almost resulted in me needing a couple of skin grafts. So when I heard the usual scrabbling sound of claw on fence yesterday, I was expecting to see Austin or Tigger, or Austin and Tigger coming over from next door after a few hours of the usual rampaging through the uncharted territory of the east Anglesey back garden “seeking whom they may devour”.
Well, there were two cats, that’s for sure; and there was no doubt that the first one was Tigger. He was quite sure of himself, the path he took, the route well trod. The black and white one behind was not so certain and Tigger kept turning back as if to check it was still there and offering encouragement; “it’s ok, just follow me; jump down to here and up the side and along the top”. I thought it strange. Why would Austin need detailed directions to enter his own domain? I turned round at this point to carry on with whatever I was doing to the sight of Austin lounging on his bed! Huh? Bit of a double take moment as I whirled round again to check I hadn’t been hallucinating. Nope! Tigger rushed through the door and headed for the food as usual and Austin mark 2 tentatively stuck his head inside “Is it ok if I come in?”
I backed up against the wall to keep out of the way and to watch and see what happened. Austin mark 1 made like a giraffe – all neck and antenna ears, his whiskers became huge and bristling. No sound though; no threatening growl or welcoming chirrup. I’ve no idea what would have happened next had I not trodden on Tigger (stuffing his face on leftover breakfast by the door). His indignant “yaaht” galvanised Austin mark 1 into action and with one bound he leapt to the door and it wasn’t until the dust settled that I saw the tails of Austins 1 and 2 disappearing over the fence at the top of the garden. Meanwhile Tigger …..
There has to be an explanation for Tigger bringing another black and white cat to chez Austin. Could it really be because of a breakdown in feline relations? After much thought and rumination I have concluded that it could be any or all of the following: a) Tigger, unfortunately resorting to racial stereotyping, thinks that because they appear to have the same ethnic heritage, they must be related; b) Austin and Tigger have had a big row and fallen out, so Tigger now wants to make Austin jealous; c) Austin mark 2 has applied for the job of Austin mark 1’s stunt double and was invited along for an interview; d) Tigger gives off a pheromone which is irresistible to black ‘n whites; or e) Tigger thought it was Austin all the time!
I believe Austin thinks he’s looking in the mirror when Two is around, as he tolerates him much in the same way as he does Tigger. Two does have less white on him, but I still have to peer a bit longer to determine which it is. In actual fact I really don’t know if it is a he, she or undecided. I will have to find out!
Anyway what we have now is a gang! I fear for the future of the neighbourhood if the mob from the other side of the estate gets wind of developments!