Mad mutt Tilly branches out

By Martin Kirby

Spot the dog. It took me several seconds, on account of the ear-piercing yelping that normally accompanies the cornering of a cat or rat having a slightly higher pitch than normal. Tilly the tree mutt was 20 feet up a cypress. Our Catalan pocket rocket who weighs little more than breeze is never happier than when taking the game to a cat or rat which has woefully been advised dogs don’t climb trees. Agility – nine-months-old Tilly can bound five feet into the air – and gross disregard for gravity mean I have had to remove her from oaks, figs and walnuts. But this was taking things to a new level. Thinking she might finally have succumbed to vertigo I teetered on a top rung of a ladder, coaxed her into my arms, comforted her, settled her on terra firma and watched her tear round to the front of the house and bounce from a chair into a fig tree. Teddy Boy, her brother, remains earth-bound due to lightness between the ears and weight around the midriff. His role in life (when not cracking open nuts for his sister) is to sit, chin up until cat or rat decides to make a run for it. Which all makes life a little uncomfortable for Jess, the long-term fat feline rodent deterrent, who suddenly finds himself in the firing line. I’m having a swell time too, being torn by thorns and claws rescuing traumatised Toms and Tiddles. All of which illustrates our somewhat erratic, pinball beginning to 2010.


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