As Clove has gotten older, she has naturally gotten more confident. Something that has slowly become more and more apparent. As we live in a first floor flat, her access to the outside world is rather limited though I do try to let her run around outside a few times a week.
When she is outside, Clove is pretty much free to do as she pleases. I no longer try to keep her confined to the communal garden as I found she would naturally test my patience and persistently run away from me. As our garden backs onto a forest, it is relatively safe and I trust her not to venture to far. She often reappears ten or so minutes after vanishing and I can see how much happier it makes her. She will always return and sprint straight towards me for a reassuring stroke.
Typically, Clove pounces around, reducing the fly population, chases fallen leaves or struts around proudly with a stray pigeon feather in her mouth as if she is the greatest hunter to ever walk to earth. She isn’t much of a killer, having never caught anything besides bugs. The birds have learnt that she isn’t a hunter and will often tease her. They hop closer and closer as she melts further into the ground, transfixed. Only to fly away as soon as she wiggles her bottom.
So, one day, a few weeks ago, I decided to take her out, as per usual. Sporting her little pink harness, she was super excited to be able to run wild. I found a comfy spot on the grass and began tapping away at my laptop, writing a blog no less, all the while, keeping an eye on her as she zig-zagged around the grass. After chasing the odd fly and bringing me a feather or two that she had ‘caught’, Clove took her normal route into the forest and I thought nothing more of it.
A short while later, I hear some rustling coming from the nearby hedge. There is an abundance of wildlife in that forest so I didn’t think too much of it, assuming a Jay was looking for some worms. The rustling stopped and I continued to type. Not too long later, the rustling began again, this time a lot louder and fast, almost as if it was getting closer. I looked up just in time to see a startled Muntjac deer bounce into the garden. I was in shock, mainly because I was so close to it. It caught me staring and there was a solid 30 seconds of just me and the deer staring into each others eyes before, as quickly as it arrived, it disappeared back into the hedge. Just as it vanished, a very fluffy Clove, whizzed around the corner and chased after it, bold as anything.
I was speechless. Impressed yet shocked and a little concerned. I had no idea how dangerous deers could be and Clove is only a small kitty, weighing less than 4kg. Once I had gotten over my initial shock, I jumped to my feet, calling after my cat as the rustling beyond the hedge became more distant. Clove returned within minutes, looking like a fluffy burnt marshmallow.
Since then, the deer has reappeared several times, though thankfully while Clove has been inside. I have since nicknamed him “Wilson” (I like to name things). It’s quite an odd experience, knowing your cat has had a close encounter with a deer. I would love to know what was going through her little fuzzy head. As we are moving in a few weeks time, she will most likely never get to experiance anything like this again. How many cats can say they chased a deer?