If you see something rustling in the undergrowth, don’t worry, it’s probably just Jex in stealth mode - Susan Morrison

Before we start, I’ve been a cat owner all my life, and I am very aware of the impact moggies can have on the birds of Britain, but in my defence I’d point out that none of our cats have been of a predatory disposition.
Don't be fooled, most cats might look fluffy and cute but they can soon show their predatory skillsDon't be fooled, most cats might look fluffy and cute but they can soon show their predatory skills
Don't be fooled, most cats might look fluffy and cute but they can soon show their predatory skills

The late lamented Sully, a magnificent Burmese boy, was far too posh to chase anything, and so laid back one of his best friends was a robin who regularly sat between his front paws.

In fact, Robin was the one who eyed up the birds.

He once spotted a potential girlfriend flutter into the garden. Robin came over full-on lad with a lager on a Saturday night and started the dance of love, but at some point, Girl Robin thought, nah, and flew off to boogie with someone else.

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Boy Robin, feathers deflated, returned dejected to his place beside Sully, who looked him over and they both seemed to say, “Burds, eh?”

Should have told Boy Robin that girls usually check out the mates of the potential mate.

She may well have been put off by the fact that his best pal was apparently a hulking great Burmese cat.

Gertie can’t chase things. That’s just a decision she and her waistline have taken.

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Matronly, our Gerts. When a mouse ran clear across the living room floor, Gertie looked at it, looked at me and coolly vacated the room like a mildly irritated grand duchess and waited for the servants (me) to do something about it.

On the other hand Jex is a young boy cat, and quite the Hotspur.

He proved his predator skills when he was still just a fluffy cute looking kitten.

We came downstairs one day to find the remains of a mouse we’d been trying to catch for ages neatly dumped on the rug. Gertie looked utterly disgusted.

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Unfortunately, he has turned his attention to the outside world, and scored two hits already.

I’ve managed to get the sparrow unhurt out of his grip on both occasions. This involved a lot of hissing and wailing. From me, mainly.

Something must be done. We ordered up some rather snazzy quick release cat collars and then had a family argument about who would actually bell the cat.

The daughter managed to wrestle him to the ground and collared the hunter.

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There then followed ten demented minutes of him rotor-racing round the back garden waving his paws about doing a pretty credible impersonation of Quaisimodo wailing about the “bells, the bells, Esmirelda”.

And then he just got over it.

Actually, he looks pretty handsome.

Green collar, ginger cat. He pads about the house with his little bell ringing.

It’s like being stalked by Tinkerbell.

The birds are safe, but yesterday I saw something rustling in the undergrowth.

There was a flash of a long thin tail. The red devil went into stealth mode. Quite how he went tinkle-free I do not know, but that rat got the fright of its life when Jex streaked silently at him like a rodent seeking missile.

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Jex was locked onto his target, but Mr Ratty managed a sharp turn and squeaking tight getaway.

He strolled back into the house, bell a-tinkling with an unmistakable air of smugness about him.

Down here in Leith there are some things we don’t mind him chasing.

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