It all began yesterday evening when Miffcat jumped up on to the table and hurled himself at the birdcage with an evil glint in his eye. Mr Miff uttered a shriek of horror – leapt up, snatched the would-be assassin and plopped him down on the floor. After checking the cage door he flopped back down on to the sofa with a sigh of relief….that turned to another shriek of horror as he realised that there was a black furry cushion underneath him that hadn’t been there a second ago! By some miracle (or maybe because the beloveds lost so much weight lately), the cat wasn’t hurt, but after that no amount of coaxing would persuade him to take up his usual perch on my lap. Instead he turned his back on us and started stalking round the room with the look of a creature that has Things On His Mind. Next, he’d leapt up onto the dresser, and before we could stop him, tried to insert himself into the little alcove where our Nativity figures are displayed – and began pulling at the straw.
Horrors! We had visions of many year’s worth of lovingly collected Santons de Provence being smashed to smithereens. Sacrificing theological and historical accuracy for the sake of safety, I hastily organised an emergency evacuation of the Holy Family and assorted hanger- ons to the far end of the alcove. It’s traditional in these creches to include not just shepherds and magi, but the butcher, baker, candlestick maker, priest, mayor and whoever else you can think of. At the last count ours has a duck, pig, pottery hippo from Disneyland, and two camels, one with a broken leg propped up by the rock wherein resides the Angel of the Lord. Another regular visitor used to be a super dooper reindeer pooper, only this year Ms Miffy put her foot down. Although in the spirit of inclusivity, one of her friends had slipped in a couple of Karma Sutra gingerbread reindeer and it was these that had attracted the cat. With Mr Miffy pulling at his hind legs, he held on for dear life with his forelegs whilst simultaneously trying to ram his head into the stable where one ‘couple’ of KS reindeer were lurking. (I managed to catch the infant Jesus just in time as he was sent shooting out into the cold together with the other reindeer (still clasped in a lascivious embrace) which landed under an armchair, much to the delight of the dog!)
What could it all mean, I wonder? No doubt daughter and BF would say it was a judgement on me for having turned away one overfriendly and plump little cat which followed me home one night recently. ‘ I bet you she’s pregnant,’ said Ms Miff. ‘And (accusingly) she’s probably called Mary.’ On the other hand, the scene bore a remarkable resemblance to The Goodies ‘Kitten Kong,’ that we’d been watching on TV just minutes before. I shall be watching Miffcat’s viewing with great care in future.