Alleycat’s gone but he’s not forgotten

Pink on her table

Alleycat’s gone but he’s not forgotten. In Bugle Street they’re saying he drives his train too fast and overtakes on hills, ignores red lights and so on. Pink hopes it’s true. She’d like to sit next to him and hang out of the window while the fields rush by. Imagine that, the wind in her whiskers. Unfortunately, she’s fated to stay where she is and wait for Alleycat’s return, and while she sits on her strange, carved table and stares across the Six Foot, she invents all sorts of rumours and if you can believe it, she’s the source of all the Alleycat stories, even the slanders. As soon as she’s got a new one, she runs to tell Bertie and afterwards Bertie sits by the back door and waits for Alleycat to confirm it.




Train Driver Cat

Take it easy Bertie

Alleycat’s been away for a long while, driving trains, but he pops home occasionally, to prove he still exists. The last time he showed his face he had a little friend with him.

It's Bertie

He found Bertie in the overhead luggage racks on the eight oh five to Paddington and whiskered her to us in Six Foot way in a few shakes of his tail.

No one knows where Bertie’s from, but she’s settled in perfectly, just as Alleycat anticipated.

My hero

Pink’s taken over her education, which means she’s clear that cats are the most important beings on the planet and much the best role models for a small but promising little spaniel dog.

Bamber’s true self

Bamber’s the most faithful, loyal animal that ever walked the earth. Dogs are meant to be loyal and true, and some of them surely are, but that’s because they know which side their bread is buttered on. Bamber, on the other claw, is as independent as he wants to be; he’s always out of doors, climbing, or exploring, and he’s often seen (more like glimpsed) on the topmost point of a pine tree, hundreds of feet above ground, swaying in the wind like a cat in the crow’s next. From there he scans the Six Foot, and the surrounds, and watches for encroachers and the onset of hostile forces. If we go out he climbs up there, to his lofty spot, and he watches and waits until we return, and when he sees us he slides down and greets us with a glad miaow. But he’s shy, is Bamber; he doesn’t like his picture taken, and he plays up extensively when he’s put on film. That’s him in the video trying to rip the camera out of my hands. He doesn’t need to look behind his eyes or hide from what’s there. He simply doesn’t care about that sort of thing at all.  He’s true to himself as much as he’s true to us.

Alleycat’s other side

The other day there was an explosion under Alleycat’s fences.   It shivered up and down the Six Foot like a bolt of lightning ripping through the earth.  We had a team of landscape gardeners working for us at the time, and they were in the middle of excavating a new post-hole when it happened.  Something a lot like lightning rushed out of the ground (out of that hole) and ran up the arms of the gardener and almost killed him.  Everyone was shaken.  I had to call in the electrical supply company and they pretended that the mains cable runs right along the front of our property. I guess they had to explain it somehow. But I know that Alleycat’s magic is buried under those fences, and he keeps it there, hidden, strung out along his perimeters, and if anyone tries to cross his boundaries uninvited something always happens.   It’s not always as dramatic as a bomb going off, but its part and parcel of magic that it’s always secretly something else, like a pearl in the shell of an oyster, or the dark side that the moon never shows us.