Mr B, The Belfast Bloggee, is obviously getting a bit irritated at all the attention being paid to undeserving mouses in Hutton. He has accordingly sent the folowing:
We (the PPW and I) extend our sympathy and understanding to Huttonian and company regarding the uninvited occupation by little furry things of the family pile. These beasties no longer make their presence obvious in this part of BT15 (North Belfast) due, partly I’m sure, to the abilities of Bagpuss, Smokey, Ouzo, Spike and Mogg.
This is Mogg, a small silver tabby. She is the best friend of Klio, a chocolate coloured Doberman roughly about the same size, appearance and intelligence as the average Moose.
Mogg is the most recent resident feline and the half sister (same mother, fathers unknown) of two previous residents, Spike & Ouzo. Both of the latter met their maker prematurely on the tarmac just outside. In their brief lives they “enjoyed” the company of two senior felines, Bagpuss and Smokey. Cats are notoriously fickle and will take up alternative residence on a whim but the senior felines choose to stay and lived out their entire lengthy lives in situ. Bagpuss was a one-eyed placid sort while toothless Smokey was intolerant, hugely irritable and would give any finger a serious gummy suck if she took the notion. The former slipped away while snoozing in the sun in the back garden and is buried in that very spot where there is now a vast rhubarb plantation. The latter choose Christmas Day for a more dramatic exit and Sam next door brought her in from his garden, an icy solid lump, her gums exposed.
All of the above, except Mogg and Klio, have their final resting places in the back garden along with various (domestic) mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, gold fish and a fire bellied newt, et al. Each has its own headstone and a personal memorial.
One of the mice Mostyn was a chap, who nonetheless produced thousands of Mostyn-ettes. Our major B minor gave the sort of explanation that bore closely to the cloning of Dolly the sheep.
Mogg is a ferocious hunter and will have a go at pretty much anything that moves. Her predecessors were fairly active in these pursuits in their heyday, but settled for a much quieter aspect in their twilight years, particularly Smokey whose gumminess did not lend much to hunting. Nevertheless, she did surprise the PPW and me by arriving at the back door with something closely resembling the wing of a pheasant. It was a bit odd, as pheasant do not normally wander about BT15, other than in what was previously the Marquis of Donegal’s estate a bit further north under the shadow of the Cavehill. The wing was spookily followed by the neatly severed head of a male mallard duck. Just how Smokey could accomplish this feat of precision engineering without the benefit of a single tooth was beyond us. It was the subject of much debate until we learned that a neighbour was of the hunting, shooting and fishing fraternity and was performing autopsies in his back garden. Smokey was in the right place at the right time.
With mice not providing much amusement for Mogg, she will happily torture whatever creatures are available, and the most common victims are the frogs from our neighbour’s pond. Frogs are either very stupid or very clever and, depending on the mood that they are in, can be endless amusement for a fun seeking feline or just a waste of time and effort. They tend to play dead, lying on their backs with their legs supine despite rigorous curious prodding, and the bored feline usually wanders off. But, a nip in the right place can generate a blood curdling howl that must resemble closely to the wail of a Banshee. That is the signal that alerts the PPW or me to launch the frog rescue mission and all the necessary ancillary equipment to make this effective, a bucket.
Mogg used to watch with much mirth as we replaced the rescued frogs in the pond and then she would sit and wait for them to re-emerge and the process would start all over again.
There is a small brook in the grounds of nearby Belfast Castle, the ancestral home of the Marquis of Donegal, which is now heavily populated by rescue frogs"
Thankyou Mr B. We have quite enough in the way of killer moggies in our backyard without wanting to add to their number-the only cat which visits us is Rosie-old and slow and is off duty when snoozing by our Raeburn and not in a mood to go after mouses. Fortunately our frogs are much smarter than their norn iron cousins and our pond too impenetrable for even Mr B's feline friends.