Have you ever seen a cat fight? I mean a real cat fight, not one of those handbags at dawn affairs where there’s a lot of caterwauling and swinging of paws, but little if any contact. Well if you haven’t, you don’t want to.

Whiskas, or should that be Rocky Balboa, had a Robert Vaughn ‘Magnificent Seven’ moment on Saturday and it’s all my fault…or more accurately, cause I’m not taking all the blame here, mine and Andy’s fault.

There have been a few stray cats looking for new territory of late; appearing just as we’ve put Whiskas bowl down etc. You know the thing; moggies mooching for food. The annoying thing has been that when they slinked closer to his bowl, Whiskas has backed off and we had to step in and chase the intruder cats off, otherwise Whiskas would have gone without dinner.

Clearly we gave him a lot of stick about this, especially as he’s about twice the size of these intruders. So for days it was “You’re nothing but a big coward” “I bet if these cats were the size of a mouse you wouldn’t back off” “So what exactly is your role here if we’ve even got to defend your territory for you? What do we get out of this relationship?”

All the taunting must have gone deep, because when a particularly persistent tabby sauntered nonchalantly across the terrace, as if Whiskas didn’t exist, something must have snapped in Whiskas’ head. Before we knew it he was on the tabby and the two of them were locked together, biting and screaming and spinning around the garden like a pair of Tasmanian Devils. It was horrendous; fur was flying everywhere and even though we tried desperately to break them up they were oblivious to us; it looked like a fight to the death.

I’d heard how vicious cats could be, but I’d never witnessed it. I remember reading tales of Scottish crofters encountering wild cats in the highlands where life or death fights ensued which, more often than not, ended with the crofter running for his life back to his cottage with a demented cat on his tail.

Seeing it in reality was a shock. They flung each other into trees, oblivious to self inflicted injuries, and tumbled around the garden, neither willing to relinquish their hold on the other until finally they slammed into a wall. Whiskas must have loosened his grip at the impact as the other cat broke free and took off like a bat out of hell.

It was only after the fight was over that we saw the extent of the damage to Whiskas. He was bleeding from a small puncture wound in his head and another in his cheek; he had scratches down one ear and was limping badly – he was a mess.

We’ve been treating his wounds daily with tea tree oil (a fraught business as he has made it clear he’s not keen), but his limp has gone and he seems okay. It was frightening to see such a vicious battle and we really don’t want to see a rematch. Thankfully the other cat seems to be have learnt a bit of humility and is paying Whiskas due respect now, so I’m sure he sees that as a result.

For our part we’ve learnt our lesson. No more taunts about him being a coward; the price is just too much – remember what happened to Robert Vaughn.

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