When I was a youngster, there weren’t many other moggies around in the neighbourhood. The human is fun sometimes, but you know, you need to hang out with other four-legged creatures or amuse yourself with other critters.
For many years, I tolerated the furry dudes with even bigger tails than mine. I admit I was envious of Biff, a brush-tail possum. Other brushies would challenge him and there would be a big scuffle. Whoa! Did they make a racket. It was scary, even for the human. You wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him with those huge claws, plus he was hefty and almost as big as me.
I became mates with Pippy, a ringtail. He was smaller and gentle. We’d hang out at night after I had patrolled my domain. Geez, was he agile, zipping along the high wires. He could out-climb me. Didn’t care for his tucker though – all that green stuff, fruit and flowers.
These days there are heaps of moggies around. Currently I’m confronting a young one, a smarty paws. He’s been sitting on the bench where I lounge in the backyard and dare I say it, perching in my spot on the front window sill. Every day he’s been loitering in the front garden. The upstart is now invading the backyard as well. It’s outrageous.
We have eyeballed each other from either side of the window – me inside sitting on the wooden chest, him below crouched in the garden. The human came running when we started yowling. I felt brave on the other side. Suddenly, he leapt onto the ledge and I did too, almost knocking myself out.
The human seemed concerned but was also grinning. ‘You’ve got to stand up to him Smudge, or he’ll take over your territory.’
So, each day instead of snoozing I’d wait for him. The tip of my tail would flick from side to side. Sometimes I’d doze off and he’d appear. I caught the human talking to him when she went outside. The same soft voice she uses with me. She was crouched down and had her hand out – TRAITOR. When the human came back I glared at her. He’s not my friend, (I’ve brought some home before), but I have to admit he’s a good-looking moggie with large tan splotches on white fur… but I’m chunkier, fluffier and more handsome.
That night after miaowing, the human found me waiting to go outside. She left both the front and wire doors ajar. ‘Go Smudgee.’
As I slipped through, my nose twitched and my challenger slunk around the corner.
With an arched back and bristling fur I faced him, letting out a mighty yowl. He did too. For a moment we were frozen, then circled each other. With my tail low, eyes now slits, I slowly crept forward. My paws were wobbling. Our yowls turned into screeches… Turning, I dodged a powerful swipe from the enemy and raced through the open doors, brushing past the human, retreating to another room. It was time to rest.