We are suckers for cats. Well she indoors started the whole thing and I followed ... like a mouse!
So over the decades the unhoused cat population - wherever we have lived - seemed to hear about us and tracked us down without too much difficulty. Free food and housing? Any self-respecting cat would pounce at the chance!
Five years ago we came to Brum with the one remaining survivor of our brood. She's still here, aged around 23 and hanging on as the matriarch. But gradually the homeless cats have homed in on us all over again. By last year we were supporting a total of 4 cats, and this year 2 more arrived.
Now, last week something very intriguing occurred. We had suspected that one of the new arrivals had recently had kittens, and last week she turned up with the (probable) surviving one ... clearly showing it where we lived and the opportunities that existed. But all of a sudden, one of the most extrovert of our bunch - a beautiful black and sleek variety - went a.w.o.l., and has remained so ever since. But the kitten suddenly moved indoors with its mother. It has taken over from 'black streak'.
The kitty's mother - sweet little thing she is - has clearly and cleverly mugged us. She engineered a situation for her kitty and made it happen.
Do you know what? - the feeling of being mugged is just what I've been feeling about the owner and his crew at VP for some time. But, pottering around the Villa blogs that I respect the most, I find the main writers saying, effectively, "well we just have to go with the tide ... we just have to lump it. The owner, nor Lambert, is not going anywhere."
We most likely have to experience some more pain yet. But how much more will the Villa supporters take - those that have paid good money to see regular first-class performances at VP at least?
I reckon that signs to indicate that the Villa's lion is properly waking up must occur by the end of October, 2014; one year's time. It took until Ron Saunders' third season to show the benefit of his reign, so Lambert deserves the same chance. But if he fails, is it simply the manager that deserves the chop?
As I said - cats fascinate me. But more so the Villa lions. Perhaps they've been over-domesticated these last few years?.