I failed to tell you this story when I got into work, even after spending my cycle in composing the post in my head. So now you get the less pretty, shorter version as I scramble to get the words down before I go for a post-gym shower.
Those of you who have visited my house, or seen enough pictures, will get the gist of the layout of these terraces. Long narrow properties, with bathrooms and kitchens extending out of the back of the standard 2-up 2-down living and bedrooms. In our case, our ground floor extends for quite a way, and from our bedroom, the back window of the tiny half-bedroom directly above the kitchen looks out over the vast square expanse of the bathroom roof.
Since our house has become a fashionable hotspot for up and coming stray cats to get a sneaky warm snooze and a bit of grub, we have taken to opening this upstairs window for the cat while we are away from the house, rather than the downstairs one, on the basis that Crotchspider can't get up on the roof anymore (we don't think so anyway). Fidget is very used to this now, although if he's out when we're in the house, he will sit forlornly on the dining room windowsill waiting quietly for someone to let him in, rather than go upstairs and let himself in, as it were (note - he doesnt cry or scratch the door or anything, he just sits there silently. when its dark, seeing a black cat sitting in the unlit alleyway can be difficult. he doesnt seem to have realised this yet).
This morning, I was eating my breakfast at the dining table, in the company of Mr Fidget who, having finished his breakfast, was looking out of the window deciding if he wanted to go out or not. All of a sudden, quite unexpectedly, his ears flattened against his head and he let out this unearthly howl. I recognised the noise as "There's a cat I don't like sitting in my alleyway. How dare it!" but the reaction was a little over the top for the usual suspect - Fidget doesnt really get that agitated by Crotchspider anymore unless he's being really persistant. So I got up, leaned over and saw next doors ginger boy peering interestedly in through my back door. He heard me move (paper thin walls!) and ran a short way down the alley, then stopped to look at me. He has the most gorgeous, innocent and curious face. Almost like he doesnt realise when he's being an idiot. Anyway, he buggered off down the path, so I resumed eating and Fidget resumed his staring.
Once I'd finished, there was no sign of him. I took Fidget upstairs, thinking "I will let him out upstairs and then he wont instantly run into the other cat and start fighting". Hmmm. How wrong can one be?
We have a bedside cabinet thing in front of the window, to help Fidget get in and out. I put him down on that, and he was instantly up, face pressed against the glass as I opened the window. He jumped up onto the windowsill, and stopped, half in and half out. Still staring intently. I leaned over, looked out, and who should I see on the bathroom roof, but next door's cat! He was right near the edge, over the alleyway side. Fidget wasn't moving, so I stroked him a couple of times (it gives him the courage to stand up for himself, instead of making me do it). He jumped down, ran over to the other cat, and stopped about a foot away from him. The other cat hissed rather ferociously, and backed away until he was very precariously balanced on the edge of the roof. Fidget inched closer, the ginger tom hissed again, so Fidget smacked him round the head and pushed him off the roof! I heard his wail of despair, and an almighty thump as he hit the floor. I raced downstairs, but he had moved by the time I got to the window. So then I had to go outside and check to make sure he was ok.
Which of course he was. He was pottering round the garden, being curious at things, as if nothing had happened. While Fidget sat and sulked on the roof corner.
I have no idea what happened after that, as I had to go to work, but I did see the ginger cat leaving the garden so I'm assuming Fidget eventually came down and got on with things.
However, I did notice as well, that as I was leaving, Crotchspider also turned up and was sitting by the back door!