A parcel named Horace

The news you’ve all been waiting for—Horace was delivered without complications on Monday. I wasn’t required to sign so I couldn’t say what was written on the delivery man’s docket. I never received the alert to tell me when the post was considering delivering Horace, nor the one to be sent the day before to warn me to block the whole morning so as to be at home when the doorbell rang. What I did receive though was the alert I’d already scratched from the list of propositions: a message to let me know that:

“Your parcel, Horace, has been delivered.”

I hadn’t seen the utility of that particular attentive detail. I was sorta aware he’d been delivered since I was the one who like opened the door and without me or my next of kin, the postier couldn’t have delivered the parcel…

This, by the way, is Horace. The real, live (well…) furry one.

PENTAX Digital Camera
Horace cloud bathing

Fine-looking animal, isn’t he? He lies next to this chimney in the sun. Or in the gloom as this morning when there was no sun. He doesn’t give a toss. This is next-door’s roof as seen from our bathroom window. Our bathroom which is actually windowless at the moment since Finbar tried to leap through it after a cat (Branwell) waiting to come in.

The height of the roof has been cunningly designed to give cats easy access to our place. A small leap even a geriatric or bone idle (Horace) cat can manage no problem. Beneath the window is a handy ledge, cunningly designed to give cats easy access to our bedroom window in the event that the bathroom window is closed. This is often the case at night.

Our roof has its share of feline residents too. We have installed roof windows to give them easy access to the bedrooms on the second floor. They tend not to come in intentionally, but occasionally drop through when their curiosity makes them lean over too far. There’s a broom on the landing to chase them downstairs  and out through the front door. I don’t need to describe what happens when they meet Finbar on the stairs.

PENTAX Digital Camera
Victor’s Little Sister
PENTAX Digital Camera

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

28 thoughts on “A parcel named Horace”

  1. Now that’s a cat’s life. I love the idea of cats ‘dropping in’ for a visit and being escorted to the door in a rush! If I’m a cat, I’d look for a haunt like this to call my home.

    1. Actually, it isn’t the neat females like Victor’s Little Sister who do the dropping in; it’s the tom cats who either blunder in or get pushed. There are a lot of cat fights go on up there. It’s scary when you find an unknown, scared witless tom cat hiding under the wardrobe. They usual tear all over the place before we manage to herd them downstairs.

  2. I read this with much amusement. As a child I sneaked many stray cats into the house. Sometimes I still do, lol. Yet, you have elevated stray cat benevolence to an art form , Jane 🙂

    1. It isn’t really benevolence. We’ve taken in three of them, Horace is fed outside because he is really too scabby to let in and he’s the neighbour’s cat anyway, and the others get handfullls of cat biscuit thrown out to them through the roof windows. The ones that drop through are so terrified they’re only too keen to be escorted off the premises!

      1. In my estimation taking in three cats and feeding the others is benevolent. My granddaughter feeds the neighborhood cats as most people feed birds. She has a growing entourage of feline admirers.

      2. I don’t mind feeding them. I’m even easy about them crashing in the shed when the weather’s bad, but I can’t deal with the sterilization of the entire feral feline population. There are always kittens and then the kittens have kittens. They lift the tiles on the roof and we all get leaks when it rains. There isn’t a policy of catching and sterilizing stray cats, but there’s a population explosion going on here!

      3. I doubt it. I just don’t see well-meaning middle-aged ladies from some cat rescue association clambering about on the roof to set cat traps!

  3. I’m so glad Horace arrived! 🙂
    And how interesting about your cat visitors. I have friends who feed cats, and some who have taken stray cats to be “fixed.” Our two cats are strictly house cats. I don’t think they would enjoy having any others literally drop in. We don’t get any cats on our roof, but we did have raccoons. The mother would look in my bedroom window–fortunately not open. She built a nest under the eaves, and we had to have someone come in and get her and her babies out.

  4. So relieved to know that Horace arrived safely. Reminds me of some pet food I ordered online and the website refused to let me leave instructions as to where they should put the parcel if I was out. I told the delivery man and he told me what to do next time I ordered something. So the next parcel of pet food I ordered was handed to me by a grinning man wanting to know if I was Mrs IfOutParcelOverBackGatePlease.

    1. At least it worked! The colissimo idea looked good, allowing you to choose the day you’d like your parcel delivering. Except that was one of the options where the ‘click here’ button wasn’t actually live, so you couldn’t. What you could do was leave the email addresses of three next of kin. In the event, I suppose that you’d died before they got round to delivering it.

  5. So glad Horace (the parcel) arrived without mishap! You are lucky to have so many marvelous moggies… I’d be happy with just one!

    1. I like cats, Ali, I really do. When we got Finbar there was only Trixie and once the initial posturing was over they’ve got on fine ever since. Trixie is the feline equivalent of Smaug and Finbar knows to leave well alone. When she dangles her tail in his bowl while he’s eating he just nudges it aside. When she pinches his bed he waits for reinforcements to dislodge her. But he hates other cats. Even the ones that live here. When intruders get in he goes berserk and things get broken. It only seems to be the massive tom cats that wander into the house and they can cause a lot of damage while they blunder about looking for the exit. Not only that but it’s creepy when you go into the bathroom in the middle of the night and find a cat sitting in the bath. Cats are great but cohabitation with dogs is not easy.

      1. Jane that is hilarious! Particularly seeing Trixie as a Smaug! Hmmm… strange cats sitting in your bath in the middle of the night would be quite creepy! You should put all this in a book! You tell it so well, and people love animal stories!

      2. Animals do make good subjects for stories—they can’t answer back, deny it, or sue you! One day when I’ve found a way of talking about my experiences at work without actually naming names, I’ll have a go at writing some of this down.

  6. Good to hear that Horace has arrived Jane. Now the pic of the Tom on the tiles reminded of a song I heard as a boy. it’s a feisty, dirty little piece and if you Google ‘cats on the rooftop, cats on the tiles you’ll find the song. 🙂 That is of course if you wanted to.

    1. Thanks Lyn. You might be interested to know that Horace eventually found his way home when a new neighbour built a veranda. Horace managed to jump from the wall to the veranda to the roof. The little white cat with grey patches now has a beautiful calico kitten.

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