Thug, aka Drang (aka the Purring Death), still drops by to say hello. It’s nice to see him, stroking is essential because he is a demanding cat. Mostly demanding with cute menaces. The important thing is that he is not, under any circumstances, allowed in the house, on account of his tendency towards violence against other cats.
Us getting in and out of the house becomes tricky when Thug is visiting, because he knows there are tasty snacks inside. The merest hint of a door opening and his nose is pressed to the gap. Fortunately, there are two doors, and Thug has learned the dangers of the Front Door, which is dangerously close to The Van. He knows the routine – stroke, stroke, cutesy noises, lifted into the air, into the van and get driven home, down the hill. Thug doesn’t appreciate being taken home, or not before he’s had a bite out of someone else’s food bowl. And perhaps a bite of said someone else. So the front door is the answer for us to get in and out the house.
At present, my partner is away, with the van. Thug is a bright cat and he’s worked it out – no undignified return home without snacks and some recreational violence. (As I type, Ginge is hiding somewhere between five and ten meters up inside an overgrown cypresses hedge, Oatmeal is watching the cat-flap and Piper is just keeping his ears down.) Thug followed me round to the front door, and pressed his nose to the opening gap.
The trouble is, Thug is fast. I can’t get round the corner to the other door before he arrives, let alone open it and get inside. My final trick, once all sheep, geese and chickens were settled for the night, was to climb over the yard gate, walk along the road as quietly as I could, use the sound of a passing car to cover walking up the path, and then try to get through the front door...
I made it. Just. I shut the door in Thug’s face. With the keys still on the outside, but that’s another story.
Thug will move on sometime in the night, but he will be back. No doubt about that, and probably before my partner gets back with the van. There’s only one answer - I need a third door.