Posting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Isis looks very sweet. She has just been brushed and since it is dry outside she is still her normal colour.
This afternoon I hammer in wooden posts around the strawberry patch. Isis likes this. She is distracted from her determined efforts to kill the last few plants and approaches the posts. Hmmmm. They must be very symmetrical pear saplings. She attacks them with her paws and teeth.
I shoo her off, ignoring the indignant growls and threats to nip herself. And she wanders off to the end of the path.
Suddenly I hear strange sounds. Isis is not happy. She has knocked over a pile of sticks and roots and dislodged a small roll of wire netting in which she has trapped a back foot. I untangle her foot but she is clawing at her mouth with alternate front paws. Savvy now about ‘stick mouth’ (Amber’s description) I peer into the pink depths and spot a length of green kerria stem wedged across the roof of her mouth. I manage to remove it. I stroke her and she is fine. I was already wearing gardening gloves but she didn’t try to bite me. “It’s as if she knows I am helping her,” I tell myself soppily.”
It’s evening now and I am watching her through the window as I sit at the computer. She has just discovered the wire netting around the (much depleted) strawberry patch. She is incredulous. How could this happen? There are at least four plants left to trample. She parades up and down the the fence, rearing up on her back legs and then standing, nose by the wire. She can’t even gnaw the posts because they are the other side of the wire.
Soon she is bouncing around the garden again. That’s all right then.
But it isn’t. A friend rings and I don’t notice that it is now raining steadily. Although the back door is open, Isis has not come in. Hastily donning my anorak, I go out into the now dark garden. As soon as I am within smelling distance, she emerges from the darkness and hurriedly follows me into the house.
She doesn’t look clean and white now.
I fetch a towel and carefully wrap it round her. She throws herself into a spin and bites her foot. I dry her very gently while she stands, then sits, emitting low growls intermittently but not attempting to escape.
When we are done and I pick up the towel, I see two bright spots of blood on it. Evidently, on this occasion she did not feel that I was trying to help her.
She escapes to the futon. But her ordeal is not yet over. I load cotton wool with Sudocrem, put on my new gardening gloves and deal with the bitten foot.
When I saw her looking so pathetic, my instinct was to wrap her up in a nice, clean, warm towel. But she hates to feel confined and I think that is what made her bite herself. I should have known better than to wrap the towel around her.
I write ‘Sudocrem’ on tomorrow’s shopping list. We need a tub each.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.com