Last Story Home Local Next

The Cat-Walk

by Beverley, Napier, New Zealand


Our neighbour had a rush of blood to the head and started building an addition to the top of the 5 foot 6 in. tin fence between our properties. At the moment there is a sort of dilapidated railing affair along the top of the fence and various vines and roses crawl all over it. The new topping is about two feet wide and made of some sort of hessian. It is held together with a thin slat on the bottom and on the top is a 4 and a half inch wide piece of timber to hold the top together. The neighbour was so enthusiastic that he had half the fence done in no time.

That night the thunder began, a crashing noise on the roof that made me think an elephant had parachuted down. I tottered outside (it was 3.OO a.m.) and peered around the roof. Ollie was standing on our roof, beautifully silhouetted in the moonlight. As I watched he tore along the top ridge and skated down the roof. With a graceful bound he landed on the cat-walk. He then raced along the catwalk's complete length and crashed over onto the roof again, directly above our bedroom. Oh, it was enormous fun, something the cat had only dreamed about. He had completed a couple of circuits in seconds.

But more was to come. There is nothing like variation. When Ollie next tore along the cat-walk he jumped on top of the neighbour's shed instead of our roof. The neighbour's housetop is quite a distance from the shed, a territory the cat has often looked at longingly. "It's too far, Ollie," I shrieked, "don't do it."

Since when did that cat listen to me. I had severely underestimated him. The momentum the cat had gathered from his gallop along the cat-walk served him well. His feet simply used the tin top of the neighbour's shed like a trampoline - one bounce, two bounces, he was in the air - a feline flying fox. Crash, he landed on the neighbour's roof with plenty of room to spare. Poor things, they must have thought the roof was collapsing. Lights went on as I cowered behind the fence.

The neighbours were out in the yard searching for the missile from space that had landed on their roof. Oh, the shame of it all. Next thing Ollie was strutting around their roof as bold as you like. He was not popular, judging by the tone of the voices and some words that sounded suspiciously like oaths.

But the cat didn't stay long, he was having too much fun. A nifty sprint along their roof sent him into flying fox mode again. Onto the shed, along the cat-walk, up on our roof. It was going to be a long night. As I crept back inside I wondered what the cat would do when the cat-walk stretched the full length of the section instead of half way. If he gathered enough momentum he could end up anywhere!!!!

BTW, a man with a big truck has arrived at the neighbours and I can hear the buzz of a chain saw. I can see branches of an enormous tree on their front lawn beginning to topple. Oh God, where's the cat!!!!


Editor's note:

Last Story Home Top Local Next
Top of