Inevitably, Dopey Cat and Houdini did not get along. And Houdini is not a fighter, and is small. So I am in the habit of gently, but firmly, seeing off neighbourhood cats to reduce cat fighting and foreign cat pooing.
Anyway, twice I found Dopey Cat inside our house bailing up poor Houdini. The only way to remove it seemed to be picking it up, putting it out the door and emptying 2 saucepanfuls of water upon it. (One saucepanful only made it move briskly a couple of metres. Dopey Cat would then stop, appear to forget why it was running, and look back at me in a dopey kind of way).
Things took a turn for the worse when we heard a cat fight inside the house one night. Come morning, I was just about to dump a load of clean, unfolded washing on the couch so that I could do more washing, when I spied cat poo on a couch cushion (amongst cat fur and claw marks in the cushion threads).
Counsel was taken over what to do about Dopey Cat.
It was decided that during our absence, Houdini would have to be confined to the wash house rather than having the run of the lounge as was usual. But what if Dopey Cat ate her food? What if Dopey Cat bailed her up in the wash house and she could not escape?
On our return, Houdini looked fat and happy as she emerged to greet us from under the house (from a hole too small for Dopey Cat). However, that night...cat fight inside again. Mercifully we were spared the deposit...but the thought of poor Houdini possibly being assaulted every night we were away! From now on, Dopey Cat would be Bully Cat.
Counsel was taken over what to do about Bully Cat.
"Get it with our car" suggested Aidan. "Get it with Grandad's guns". While both of Aidan's suggestions would, no doubt, have been very effective, they were vetoed for legal and practical reasons. His third suggestion ("Get Houdini to get it with her claws") would also be effective had Houdini showed sufficient mettle.
Houdini spent last night in our bedroom safe from Bully Cat and very content. We are now faced with reconstructing our cat door to lock out Bully Cat (which means Houdini won't be able to exit, or re-enter if we get a one-way lock). We don't know where Bully Cat lives, or we might be able to ask its owners to consider keeping it in at night. Although in reality I would be reluctant to do this.
Meanwhile, late last night, from the comfort of Aidan's bed, Houdini pondered what to do about Bully Cat.