Innercity Gang Wars

A high-pitched wail carries through the night, cutting the stillness as I drift off to sleep, I wake with a start, the tormented cries continue, my cat, Lily, is alerted and jumps to the window sill trying to find a gap in the blinds to follow the distressing tones.

I’ve heard this before, and witnessed it first hand, they come out at night, stalking the shadows waiting for innocent prey, vandalising people’s gardens, the battle cries rage as they chase their victims.

I’ve taken the role of the vigilante, scaring them away with my presence, angered by the destruction they have caused.   I creep out of my backdoor into my garden and see one of them retreating over the back wall, Lily is by my side, treading carefully, her tail fluffed out to its largest as she senses the need to defend our home.  There is a commotion in the bushes on top of my wall, I reach for the garden hose, slowly turning the tap on with the other hand and then launch a cannon of water at them, they make a hasty retreat.   They’ll be back, but for now someone elses property will likely be the victim of their destruction.

At this point I should make it clear that these are not the crimes of people, I shouldn’t really make light of gang violence we read about far too frequently, but I’ve started so I will finish.

Our tormentors are neighbourhood cats, there is a definite gang leader who every cat in the street follows waiting to do its bidding.  It is large, hairy and menacing, it’s had control of the back gardens for years,  when a new cat moves in, it is soon initiated into it’s gang of hoodie cats.  For those not used to the term hoodie is a phrase used to describe youths who wearing a hooded time to conceal themselves commit crime and hang around in gangs.

One morning I opened my kitchen blinds to see him sitting on my garden table, he was flanked by three other cats, all sitting and staring.   Was this aimed at me or were they targeting Lily, waiting for her to happily skip outside and greet the wonders of the morning only to be lynched.   I think this time it was for me, they stared, not budging, I banged on the window and they remained frozen, unflinching.    The Godfather (that’s what we will call the ringleader)  slowly slunk off the table, walked over to my BBQ encased in its winter clothes, and urinated up it.  It stopped to glare at me, then sauntered off to the back wall calling his troops as he left and they quickly dispersed and tailed him up and over the wall.

Had I just been threatened?  How dare they mock me, how dare they taint Lily’s patch, our small courtyard was her domain, were they drawing the battle lines?

Subsequent mornings I have found fresh urine marks, broken plant pots, dug up plants.   At night they wage war on each other, most recently a new white cat has appeared and has been embroiled in battles ever since, is this a white knight come to rescue us for the tyranny of the Godfather, or merely someone more sinister looking to take over his kingdom?

Lily avoids confrontation, she does not a care for other cats, she will stare at them, sometimes let out a friendly squeak, other times a hiss.   But she seems oblivious most of the time, is this why The Godfather keeps returning even when at risk from a soaking?   He sees the challenge and he has so far failed.   There are many strategies at work here, he sends his minions to recce the area, I catch them sitting on top the wall staring in, gingerly watching my reactions.

But The Godfather appeared last night, he looked surprised to see me, maybe he missed me at first as he was attempting to jump across my wall, he flinched and then ran off, he was alone, have his soldiers deserted him?    The next few days will tell….it’s your move Godfather.

Lily lies in wait...

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  1. Lily Let Loose « londonsurvival

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