Princess Charlotte and the Half-Chewed Dragon…

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As every cat owner knows, and doubtless has experienced, catching and killing various small prey items is an inherent part of feline nature. It doesn’t mean they’re evil murderers – it’s just what they do.

Sharing my life with four cats, I have had a lot of things gifted to me, courtesy of my girls. Beetles, slugs, dead leaves, twigs and the usual assortment of mice and birds. Ting went through a phase, like some teenagers do, I suppose, of stealing from the neighbours. Highly embarrassing.

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Coat hangers, cables, pieces of wire, pegs and once, a rather good quality paintbrush, of the decorating sort that my partner still uses, actually. Ting’s downfall came when she stole half a cooked chicken and ate it… it didn’t agree with her and so it was off to the vet…

Lily, our smallest cat, is definitely the most lethal. She is a tiny killer who has brought me two different species of mouse and a variety of birds – not always dead. I’m quite glad, really, that we don’t live anywhere where there is anything larger… like deer… or bison…

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Found this. Thought you might like it. It’s made a bit of a mess in the house and it was a struggle to get it through the cat flap but still…”

However, my little cat, Charlie… I don’t know if it’s because we had her before her feline mother had chance to show her how to kill, or whether she is just naturally a pacifist, but I can confidently say she’s never killed anything in her life.

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There was one afternoon, last year, when we were all outside enjoying the summer sunshine… my partner is a keen fish enthusiast and has always built his own pond where ever we have lived. Our current pond is a little wildlife preserve, and in addition to our fish – some of whom are older than our relationship – we also have frogs, newts and toads.

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In the summer, it also attracts dragonflies, not just the little stripey hawkers, but full-on magnificent representatives of the order Odontera, bejewelled in iridescent armour and splendidly purposeful in flight. They lay their eggs and leave their larvae in our pond, aquatic demons ironically called nymphs, that can and will quite easily catch and eat a baby fish…

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I love to watch their buzzing flight across the pond as they settle on the water lilies and skim lightly across the surface of the water, like miniature helicopters. They are notoriously difficult to photograph or capture; however on this particular afternoon, one of these sky knights must have hesitated, dangerously, for a fraction of a second before charging back into the sky. He’d been caught.

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I don’t know by whom, but he’d been chewed and crumpled like a shiny piece of tin plate. In a way, he was fortunate that Charlie found him. Obviously, his “I’m dead and no longer worthy of your attention” act had convinced the author of his downfall to abandon him and move on… like most little girls, Charlie is attracted to shiny pretty things, and it just so happened that she found this fallen knight…

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The resulting scene really should have been videoed for posterity, as Charlie, in all seriousness, came running towards me with this crumpled creature in her little mouth. The dragonfly was flailing his arms and legs in indignation:

Madam! I say! This is most unmannerly of you! Unhand me at once!”

I’m afraid to say I fell about laughing… Charlie looked like she was wearing one of those comedy moustaches that spin round and round and the dragonfly’s impotent rage was palpable to see… I congratulated Charlie on her way of making new friends, but suggested the dragonfly might have other things to be getting on with, and wouldn’t she rather come and have a look at a new catnip mousie…

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My son placed the somewhat battered dragonfly on a branch of the apple tree, and we watched in wonder as he regained his strength…

Thank you, squire! Now, I believe I’ll be leaving…”

And with that he spun into the sky.

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30 thoughts on “Princess Charlotte and the Half-Chewed Dragon…

  1. Great post and stunning pictures! My cats are hunters of household insects and other assorted objects. Among them, my husband’s guitar pics (have to put them in covered boxes because one of my cats will take them and hide them), dried pasta (the other cat will snatch one and run around the house with it in his mouth like a cigar), and other random things they find irresistible!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was given your name by Gary Jefferies, regarding my FB post looking for a black cat to feature in a twitter account about my forthcoming book – The Curse of Time – a YA Fantasy set in Cambridge. I wonder if you might be interested in finding out more?

    Here is my FB post: https://www.facebook.com/marjorie.mallon/posts/1388503544501555. Your black cat looks awesome, by the way, and I love that you write about crystals. It may be the perfect fit as my book is a fantasy about time, crystals, and shadows. Hope you don’t mind me contacting you like this. Regards, Marje.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh! This sounds exciting! We would definitely be interested… I say ‘we’ because my son is actually the photographer, I usually dance around trying to get the cats to pose… I also have two black cats, Lily appears in this post, Tooty is featured in ‘Tooty’s Tale’.

      Do you have an email address and I can ask my son to send you some shots if you say what sort of poses you would like?

      Thank you very much – what an exciting comment… must go and say thanks to Gary now 🙂

      Regards,
      Samantha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much Samantha, really appreciate it. The cat in question has a sleek black coat, is male, magical, and is quite a panther! But no doubt your lady cats could play the part?

        Here’s a short unedited extract from the book:

        ‘Shadow rolled on his back and exposed his tender belly for a tickle. I almost picked him up and then remembered that he didn’t like this. The last time I’d tried he’d fought against it. I’d been surprised at the strength in his tiny body. His muscles strained against me in such a powerful way showing a superhuman strength. Shadow was my cat but he had a past, and now this extraordinary cat demanded what he wanted. Black cats! They made the rules.’

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Live and let die, I don’t know why this came up to me, but I am sure the kitties will know 😉 Beautiful pictures and beautiful story, Samantha. The sign of the Angel in the end made us really happy ❤ Pawkisses for a Happy Day 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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