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Missing cat Quincey recaptured by cunning and the bravery of Joshua and myself

Tom Winnifrith
Saturday 4 May 2019

Eight days ago, two four year old rescue cats, Sian and Quincey arrived at our new house, the Welsh hovel. On Monday night it emerged that someone who shall not be embarrassed but is currently attending a sociology conference in Germany, had not closed an internal door properly. Both cats had escaped from the kitchen dining area which is entered via a porch and the main door to the house.

Sian was collared on the upstairs landing and returned to her quarters. But Quincey made his way through the house. Until the day before this had technically been two houses. An 18th century wing to the old 17th century house was separated by hardboard and plasterboard. But those separations had been removed and thus Quincey moved on and found the annexe door open and escaped.

Every night since, he has returned but seemed nervous of myself and refused to be captured. I have no idea where he was hiding but by Friday morning he was back again but escaped my pursuit through one of the old barns on the other side of the yard behind the house facing the two doors (kitchen and annexe).

During the week, on the advice of well wishers, notably my friend Richard Jennings, I have tried to entice him further into the main entrance with food, hoping to run round and shut the door behind him but he has proved far too clever for me, grabbing the food and escaping. On Thursday night came a change of tack, putting a food bowl a yard inside the annexe and leaving its door open. My cunning plan was to entice him further into the annexe with a trail of”Dreamies”. Natch he took the food and Dreamies and escaped.

He ate more food from the inside annexe bowl on Friday during the day. Richard Jennings sent messages about using a dead fish as bait and threatened to come and capture the cat himself. A threat indeed. But the great Catfinder General will not be needed.

By 9.30 last night another trap had been laid and suddenly, as my two year old son Joshua and I said good night to Sian in her cat quarters, I heard cat miaows from inside the house.  Joshua stayed with Sian, I rushed outside through the porch and raced to slam shut the door to the annexe.  Then I returned to the cat quarters, where Sian was locked in, and Joshua and I wandered towards the miaows upstairs, where there is now no dividing door with the annexe. Quincey was indeed on the main landing but seeing us he retreated towards the annexe.

We have not yet rewired the annexe so it is deliberately without power and so Joshua and I had to pursue the cat in the dark eventually cornering it by the front door. How brave we were. I have a scratch along my forearm from where Quincey struggled. Once he escaped and had to be recaptured but he knew the game was up.

Reunited with his sister he is the prodigal son. He has been utterly affectionate, determined to be stroked and to sit on me at all times. Poor Sian has been muscled out. Both have been rewarded with food and a big fire to keep their quarters warm. Joshua, who had been told that Quincey was exploring and had learned the phrase “he might come back or he might not,” is delighted. We are all delighted. The village Facebook Group which had followed this tale is delighted.

Now there are another few days of confined to cat quarters and then they will be both allowed the run of the Welsh hovel as, I hope we start to pick up the pace of restoration. A second industrial size skip has now arrived and I am starting to fill it with old carpet and wallpaper and other junk removed from inside.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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