Saw a wonderful happening in my local tavern last night. Just a little thing. The sort of event people wouldn’t usually pick up on, or even bother to think about.
Saturday evening. I usually enjoy three quarters of an hour there on Saturday evenings. Not to drink a lot, usually just to imbibe a solitary pint, or maybe an extra half if in good company.
This was to be a night with no conversation for me though. Regretfully I’m audibly challenged. Deaf as a post in one ear, actually and not too good in the other. Put it down to playing in an R & B group during the sixties!
So if I’m to converse with anyone they need to be upwind of the crap hearing aid in my left ear. Last night the only available seat left in my favourite room had everyone downwind of my right ear… so no conversation for Myles.
It was an evening to sit back and cogitate and observe a bit of life going on.
A married couple were sitting on tall stools with their backs to the bar, talking to people on seats opposite them. By their feet, stretched out and taking up a considerable amount of floor space was their rather beautiful off white greyhound. She’s a lovely dog and usually tours the whole room to have a chat and spend a little time with everyone, so is well known and loved.
Then, Hector made his entrance. Hector is the pub cat. Discounting my own personal house cats Hector is my favourite of all time. A large long haired black and white neutered Tom who commands a considerable presence. He is another animal who visits everyone for a chat, even people who hate cats and recoil in indifference. I consider myself honoured when he sometimes takes a place beside me, touches noses and purrs himself to sleep for a while.
Back to the story though. Someone opened the front door and Hector bustled in. The cat made rapidly for the startled greyhound, strolled round her, dragged his bushy tail over her head, touched noses, then as he began to stroll away he bumped the dog heavily on her side. That was it. Hector now owned the dog. He jumped up on the bench beside his owner and settled down to a good stroking and purring.
Never in my life have I seen such a surprised, injured and crestfallen look on a dog’s face. Her eyes were open wide in amazement, her jaw had dropped, her tongue lolled and she just couldn’t believe what had happened.
She was a greyhound! Greyhounds chase cats! Cats were terrified of her. If she could have her way she’d eat cats for breakfast, dinner and tea. This dog lived to make cat’s lives a misery!
So you can feel her predicament, poor thing. She’d just been abused and belittled by a house cat! The ghastly creature had nosed her, tailed her and as if to add insult to injury… bumped her, before stalking off to have a good time.
This greyhound had suffered a terrible and extreme indignity. She had been made a fool of in complete view of a roomful of people who all saw this catastrophe, and had marvelled and chuckled at the extraordinary event. Even her owner’s who at first felt Hector was about to become a partial meal had laughed at the poor dog’s discomfiture.
Now this greyhound was not by any means thick! She held the amazed expression for some ten minutes or so before it could be seen a certain thought process was taking place.
Half an hour later she had taken a strategic position and was quietly talking to a man sitting at the small round table in the room’s centre.
Hector hopped down from his pampering place and strolled off to the rear of the pub. Carefully making his way round the room’s edges he passed behind me at my wall seat and began to sneak furtively towards the bar entrance. Not far from that entrance was the kitchen. There was a waste bin in the kitchen. This waste bin was full of goodies. Hector was not allowed in the kitchen!
The dog knew this.
“Cat’s behind the bar,” someone warned.
Rushing over, Hector’s owner picked up the unfortunate animal, carrying him, long bushy tail dangling, past the round table on her way back to her seat.
The greyhound suddenly lost interest in her conversation and very deliberately and single mindedly stood up tall, reached out and taking Hector’s tail firmly in her mouth gave it a good hard pull, then released it. She sat down and smiled, as only a dog can do. Her eyes shone in contentment. Revenge is sweet!
Couldn’t help it. I just burst out laughing. Somehow, everyone else in the room had also been engineered to see this event. Every single person was howling with unsuppressed mirth.
“That’ll show him,” you could almost hear the dog thinking. “No cat’s going to get the better of me in public!”
Hector stalked off and sat in a far corner, cleaning his paws and scowling. What plotting was going on in that feline head? Perhaps next Saturday I’ll find out!