Oscar, The Baron of Maungaraki


Oscar, The Baron of Maungaraki

In about 1993, Oscar was born into this world as the mightiest of his litter. His roving father had set him up with superb genes – his Dad, afterall, had all the best attributes that were far superior to even the finest of the legendry marauding Vikings of old.


Soon after he reached a totally dominant status as a robust kitten he was adopted by his new parents, Nicola and Zhivago Fleming, firstly in the slightly dubious suburb of Moera, Lower Hutt where he quickly mastered his survival skills against other cats of ‘not-such-premium’ bloodstock. Then moving to 6 Cedar Street, Maungaraki Heights, Lower Hutt. At his new home, Oscar grew rapidly to be a strong, successful and deadly fighter. His mighty presence meant he quickly took the dominating position in his neighbourhood and, as such, he was instantly known and revered across a wide area as ‘The Baron of Maungaraki’. Word spread quickly – don’t mess with The Baron.


Due to his strength and standing, he was often visited by those wishing to become his friends and acquaintances.   If they were brave enough to venture onto his patch, and if they could run faster than the wind to escape his claws if he didn’t want to see them, they would venture slowly and silently into his fiefdom. 


Oscar, The Baron Of Maungaraki, With Pretty Ginger – Cedar Street Castle In 2005
Oscar, The Baron of Maungaraki, with Pretty Ginger – Cedar Street Castle in 2005

On 27th June 1997 Nic and Zhivago produced their own little bloke named Xavier, and Oscar quickly assumed an additional role as Security Guard to Xavier with a mandate to keep a watchful eye on the wee baby.

Oscar The Baron On Duty With A Face Planted Xavier Fleming 1997
Oscar The Baron on duty with a face-planted Xavier Fleming - 1997

Sometimes being on guard all day became a bit taxing for The Baron, so he snuck in 40 winks while still on the job.

Oscar Snoozing On The Job – 1997
Oscar snoozing on the job – 1997

But as Xavier the whippersnapper continued to grow, he started to test The Barons patience and resolve to stay calm.

The Baron Undergoing Whisker And Teeth Checks From Xavier – Late 1997
The Baron undergoing whisker and teeth checks from Xavier – late 1997

Later in 1997 Nic’s Dad, Granddad Jim Barclay, came to visit and he told Xavier lots of funny cat stories.

Xavier Loved The Funny Cat Stories Granddad Jim Told Him
Xavier loved the funny cat stories Granddad Jim told him

At the end of another long and busy day, Granddad Jim also provided a warm and cosy sleeping place for the The Baron and Xavs.

Granddad Jim With A Sleeping Xavier And A Snoozing Oscar ‘The Baron Of Maungaraki’ – 1997
Granddad Jim with a sleeping Xavier and a snoozing Oscar ‘The Baron of Maungaraki’ – 1997
Oscar, Nic & Xavs
Nic, Baby Xavier and the ever alert Oscar – Cedar Street

Onwards to two new Fiefdoms – Nic and Zhivago decided to move house in 2001 so they bought a new castle at 21 Onehuka Road, Tirohanga, Lower Hutt. The Baron handled the move with ease and once more quickly overcame any sulky locals to become dominant in the new fiefdom.  He was a Legend. Nicola and Zhivago added to The Baron’s already wide responsibilities by bringing their gorgeous Briar Melanie Fleming into the world on 29th September 2001. Then, in 2005 the Flemings decided to up-sticks and move to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.   Oscar, The Baron, decided he wouldn’t like the heat, snakes and red back spiders in Queensland so Nic’s sister Stephanie Barclay and her partner Brendon Lindsay, who lived in Auckland, kindly offered a new patch for The Baron to live in. So off he went up north to Auckland. Once again, he quickly showed his dominant prowess and ruled the fiefdom of Penney Ave, Mount Roskill for the next three years. 

cat story

Oscar thinks about his move away from Penney Ave, Mt Roskill

Another new fiefdom – Browns Bay, Auckland. Steph and Brendon had started packing up their house at Penney Ave, Mt Albert, and on Thursday, October 9, 2008, they took Oscar to Steph’s parents, Jim & Joanie Barclay, at 1 Gretna Green, Browns Bay, Auckland. The Baron was to stay with them for 6 weeks or so while Steph and Brendon were away on their trip to S.E. Asia, after which he would be taken to a new house in Whangarei. Jim’s diary recorded of a ‘tearful farewell from Steph to Oscar as she was really attached to him – Oscar was now 15 years old and had just had a major operation to cut cancer out of his tummy.’ The fur on one side of Oscar’s belly had been shaved off for the operation and there were big stitch marks sewing up the cut. Not at all cool. All four of the people at 1 Gretna Green that night decided that, just in case Oscar ran away, he would have to remain inside the bedroom for a few days until he got used to this new house and fiefdom.

Friday, October 10, 2008 – Jim’s diary records he went to see Oscar at 6.15am in a downstairs bedroom, where he had been all night with the door shut, but he was wedged under one of the beds in the bedroom. Oscar had eaten some cat food and used the dirt box, but he decided to stay under the bed for a while. Jim went to golf, then out for dinner with Joanie and finally he came to check on Oscar at 11.00pm and still sound asleep. But this is what Jim said happened, so let’s read Oscar’s log to find out what The Baron really thought.

cat story

Oscar way back under the bed

Oscars Log: Report # 2

Having spent my first night in this new place at 1 Gretna Green, Browns Bay, I rose early to check out my new job.

Firstly though, who lives in this new place? I am not sure who the owner thinks he is – maybe he is the Master of Davalon because he sometimes calls me “Puss in Boots”, which is quite a come-down from my correct title of the ‘Baron of Maungaraki’.  I will call him the Master and his good looking wife will be Lady Joanie – she is really cool. I like her. She is not a catty person.  

Anyway, I had woken up, been to use my litter box, fed myself on gourmet cat biscuits for older dudes, done my daily licking and fur cleaning, and was on duty sitting in a neat heap (for a bloke cat) totally focussed on my job of checking out the window on this my first Elephant watch. You never know if there are elephants in this area, so that’s why you need to be on guard and keep a good lookout. Engrossed as I was I didn’t know the Master had come in and snuck up on me. He claims he called out to alert me and if I didn’t hear, then my cat’s hearing aid batteries must have been flat.  Regardless, it wasn’t till he was about a couple of cat’s paws away that I saw him out of the corner of my eye. Crikey, he scared the ‘Bee-Jesus’ out of me and so I scarpered into the corner of the room under the nearby bed to glare at this sneaky bloke who snuck up on me. I had the lights turned on in my eyes so I could see him and I never took my eyes off his retreating feet until he left me in peace. I stayed wedged under the bed, snoozing, for the rest of the day so I could restore the Bee-Jesus that had been scared out of me. So, no more Elephant watching that day.


Saturday, October 11, 2008 – The Master’s diary said he went the mailbox out front and got the morning paper at 7.00 am before coming to see me where I was locked in the bedroom downstairs. I purred at him but stayed safe, way back under the bed. So to keep me company, he sat and read the paper. He then opened the bedroom door and, as curiosity is a strong trait for we cats, I slunk out of my room to check the new place out. I followed the Master upstairs where I did a lot of sniffing and let out a few of my world famous yowls, which in turn woke Lady Joanie and brought her out. She read the paper, with a cuppa in hand, and I continued yowling until, exhausted, I fell asleep on the soft carpet in the sun in front of the lounge ranch sliders. Not a bad place to be for a catnap. But, according to my Log, this is what really happened:

Oscars Log: Report # 3

Saturday, October 11, 2008 – Having had the Bee-Jesus scared out of me yesterday, I wasn’t going to risk getting back on Elephant Watch duty today.  Instead, before Jim the Master of Davalon got up, I zoomed into the dirt box in my room for a big one, scoffed a bowl full of crunchy biscuits and lapped some water with it.  Then I went back under the bed to have another rest for a while.

cat story

Oscar having another rest under the bed.

When the Master came in with his Saturday newspaper to read on the floor beside me (now that is what a friend is) I purred gently, sometimes a bit rattley (must get that fixed), as he stroked under my chinny chin chin and around my ears.  I like that, it’s cool.  As The Master of Davalon is an ‘old geezer’ (well that’s my tit-for-tat, because he calls me that), and sitting on the floor didn’t help his rickety bones, he invited me to come upstairs with him. He left the bedroom door (actually it was my Elephant Watch house) open.  Great. I’m up for this.  Beats sitting under a bed all day. Let’s go.

First, I needed to check the place out beyond my Watch house door.  You don’t want to run into an elephant you know.  I sniffed out the passage-way outside the door.  It was safe. So I ventured out, crouched. You never know when you might need a quick getaway so you gotta be poised just right. Looks better, too – like you’re on a mission.  Stealthily, I sniffed out the bathroom opposite the Watch house – all clear. With a quick check back through the Watch house door as I passed by, I padded quietly up the first couple of carpeted stairs (they didn’t really need to carpet them for me as my paws make no noise when I am in sneak mode).  On the landing at the top of the first lot of stairs, I froze, eyes ablaze. What is this?  More stairs to my left and the sun shining through a window by a wooden front door on my right. Keeping low, I slunk over and looked out the window. Great. No elephants in sight, so I let out a triumphant yowl – only massive creatures like me can make such a scary and intimidating noise like that, especially when there are no elephants around. 

With the coast clear, for the moment anyway, I thought I had better test my memory, so I skedaddled back down the stairs and retraced my carefully placed steps to my Watch House. Yup. There it was, just where I remembered it to be.  Clever.

After a rest to let my heart slow down, I figured it was time to go further in my quest to check out the world beyond the Watch house.  So with Davalon leading the way, and me ‘checking six’ (old fighter pilot saying for making sure nothing, such as an elephant, sneaks up behind you) I padded swiftly and silently back up the carpeted stairs (nice feature that – quite thoughtful of them) to the front door; there I saw again there was another flight of stairs up to where Davalon’s cool looking Lady Joanie lives with him. After a precautionary sniff to check the air (elephant poos is quite distinctive, you know, and it’s better to know where it is rather than blunder through it and get it all over your paws) I bravely climbed the second flight of stairs.

Man there was a whole new world up there in the floor above mine.  I wonder if these people who live upstairs (the Master and his cool Lady Joanie) know the danger they face living in a place like this without a qualified Elephant checker (Security Guard sounds better) in the house?

Oops.  Elephant alert had just gone off. I had better go now – I will tell you about checking out the rest of their place/palace in my next Log.


Sunday, October 12, 2008 – The crew from upstairs didn’t come to see me until 9.20 am and when they did they found me purring and safely ‘hunched up and crouched’ under the bed. The Master cleared out my dirt box on 13th and gave me fresh food and water. Not a bad bloke that guy.


Saturday, October 18, 2008 – The Master’s diary said I was sick on the carpet downstairs, and I did the same the next day – mostly half-eaten cat biscuits I had gobbled on the run. He was a good bloke to clean up my mess. Thinking I might need some fresh air, he blocked the holes under the two gates and let me out into the side patio and garden.


Oscars log # 4 – I fooled the Master of Davalon

Zip, I’m magic.

I was cruising about, silently. Sniffing and looking around upstairs in the Master of Davalon’s palace.  But not hearing anything (because I’m old and deaf).

The Master was sitting at the kitchen table so I sat and stared at him for a while as he read yet another magazine about motor racing.  He looked up and spoke to me, then carried on reading.  I’ve no idea what he said. He looked up again, but zip I was gone, silently.

Believing I had gone into the Master bedroom, he wandered in to look for me.  But I was not sitting on the floor, or under the bed, or in the wardrobe, or in the ensuite.  So he went over to the windows. The push-out windows were open and he concluded I had hopped up onto the camphor chest and got out through the window, seeking liberty outside.  Damn, he thought, where is that awesome cat?  So he went outside into the courtyard to look for me, only to find I was not there.  He saw a gap under one gate and figured I had wriggled under it to freedom, so out the gate he went.  No good calling for me, because I couldn’t hear anyway.  He looked all about, but I was not to be found.  “Rats”, he said.  “What next?” he mused.  “How about putting the jug on for a nice cuppa?” which he did.

While he was standing in the kitchen waiting for the jug to boil, he looked up and ‘Pow’ there I was.  Back sitting on my butt staring at him.  Zip, I had magic-ed myself back again.  Clever!  I know that.


Oscars Log #5: My Cat Flap is back

I had a visit two nights ago.  After work on Monday 20th October Brendon, Steph and Tracey came over to visit me.  Luckily, Brendon had brought his tools and my cat flap he had rescued from Penney Ave.  Being the pretty handy dude he his, Dooney removed a lower window (well, you didn’t think he would do the top window did you? – I can’t leap that high) next to the ranch slider in my room and put my cat flap into a big bit of cardboard, which he painted black. He then installed my cat flap in place of the window pane.  Nice job.  Man did I purr.  All night long while they were here at Gretna Green I hung around upstairs, looking slinky and cool. It was good to see them here at the Master and his cool Lady Joanie’s place. And it was especially good, now that I had my cat flap back again.  Great. Now I can get out though my flap because I’m ready for some midnight cruising around the neighbourhood to check out the local talent.

Tracey, Steph, Lady Joanie With Oscar The Baron, Brendon At Gretna Green, Browns Bay
Tracey, Steph, Lady Joanie with Oscar the Baron, Brendon at Gretna Green, Browns Bay

However, the trio of sheilas, being Lady Joanie, Tracey and Steph, decided I wasn’t to be allowed to go out the cat flap till Wednesday, a whole two nights more.  Wussies.  So, in spite of my best and strongest mighty headbutts, I couldn’t get out of the magnetically operated cat flap because they had locked it from the outside.  Once again I was confined to the bedroom.  I watched with longing and frustration at the birds feeding on the lawn outside, as well as at the big old ginger cat I named ‘Thin Lips’, with her saggy belly, that cruised past my bedroom window.  Just you wait, Thin Lips, I’ll be allowed out, soon.

When the Master went to golf on Tuesday, I was asleep under their bed – and still there when he got back, and still there at 11.00 pm when they went to bed. So, he kindly made my neck a bit longer when he pulled me out from under and took me down to my room for the night – but I still purred, loudly.  Mates.  Even though he wasn’t allowed to open the flap for me.

In the night, I tried to use the cat flap and pushed it as hard as I could. The blue mat under the flap wasn’t any good for grip so under my excessive paw power it ended up all scrunched up back by the bed by morning time.  When the Master came down in the morning he gave me some more of those awesome energy boosting gourmet cat biscuits for seniors and he changed my bowl of water. Then he showed me that flap was unlocked and it would open if I pushed it; but I hadn’t finished my feed, so back I went to get my nose in the bowl, purring. 

After my breakfast, the Master put me back at the flap. Zip, I was through.  Freedom, at last. After a couple of quick ‘check-sixes’ and a look back to make sure the cat flap was still there and hadn’t moved, I slunk off, low to the ground, looking, sniffing.  Around the corner I went and down the path to the garden shed. Beaut, lots of things to sniff and rub against.  Got to leave my scent you know, as cool as it is, so other felines will know I’m here.  It’s My Place now.  I’m big and old, but bold, and I can still move quickly, so watch out for my sharp claws and my awesome bite.

It was a great place behind the garden shed. Lots of cobwebs that got stuck on my ears.  The Master came out to see if I was OK. I stared with big eyes, then cruised back to the flap in the window of my room and quick as a flash I put a paw up to push the flap open and I through I went. Back to my bowl for more food while the Master cleaned the cobwebs off my ears.  Mates.  I purred.   My flap is back.



Oscar’s log #6: Cornered and Flapping

MD was busy tapping on his computer for an hour or two before he came outside to check how I was doing with my cruising. Actually, I wasn’t busy.  He found me positioned in a tight corner where only the most wily of cats could get to – I had strategically backed myself with my curled-up tail into a right-angled corner between two huge high concrete and wooden walls with only just enough space between the wall and the very adjacent Garden shed that was positioned right on the edge of my nose.  I saw him coming so I shot him a quick knowing glance and let him have a real quick meow of acknowledgement before focusing back again on the job at hand. I’m not sure what the job was that I focusing on but just in case a mouse, a rat, another cat, or indeed an elephant tried to squeeze through the gap, I would have them squarely cornered.  Being deftly positioned right on the corner, there was no way past my steely glare, and I had ready my sharp claws and my withering bite.

Oscar –on Guard
Oscar –on guard

The Master went back inside and tapped away with his finger(s) on his computer again.  A long time later, he came out again to find me neatly tucked in a heap under the hedge off the front lawn, keeping my silent vigil. When he came to stroke my chinny chin chin, I gave him a quick purr before quickly slinking off towards the cat flap so I could get inside my haven.  He watched me try the flap, but the bleeding thing wouldn’t open.  So I tried again, and again and then I sat back to let him see why the flap thingy wasn’t working – which of course was why I was sitting waiting all that time outside under the hedge.  He fiddled with the battery pack before he rather crudely pressed my nose back up against the flap so that the magnet thing around my collar would trigger the battery operated security catch on the flap.  After a couple of donks, that gave me an even flatter nose, the dammed thing let out a click and the flap opened.  Zip, in I went.  Straight over to the food bowl I went and I purred as he stroked my magnificent silky coat.  While I was still eating, and without even an ‘excuse me’ (well not that I heard, even if I could), he got up and left. Off he went to do some more jobs, and this time he shut the bedroom door.

When he came back an hour later, I didn’t see him because I was sound asleep carked out on the bed, belly up, snoring quietly.  Because I’m deaf, I never heard him walk by my bed, open the ranch slider and replace the batteries in the cat flap.   

Now that the cat door will flap, I won’t need to. Zzzzzzzzz.




Oscars log #7: Encounter with an Intruder

When the Master of Davalon came out the front door at 7.00 am this morning, Friday 24 October 2008, to get the paper, I was already outside on duty.  He spied ‘Ol Thin Lips’, who lived up the road, and who had found its usual moggie way into my front courtyard.  The Master told it to ‘naff-off’ as this was now Oscar’s territory.  He needn’t have bothered because I had Thin Lips covered and was watching its every move, slow as they were.  Old ginger cats are slow like that.

The Master went inside with his paper but came back to the VIP Suite next door to mine when he heard a racket.  Right outside the window there was Thin Lips doing its best to wake the neighbourhood with its loud and persistent yowling.  Because I couldn’t hear the racket, I sat impassively in a very erect heap and stared, just like great security guards do.  When the racket got really loud the Master told Thin Lips to scoot, so it did, but only by 2 metres onto the lawn. Then it tried all its pathetic cat tricks like sitting in a heap, staring, creeping low and slow, sniffing, yowling, flicking its tail – but it didn’t scare me because I just sat, tail out, keeping one eye on it while I snoozed with the other.  I showed it I was The Baron of this fiefdom.

Thin Lips

A little bit later, Thin Lips thought it would sneak across to have another scritch in my new dirt box garden outside my bedroom door. But, sensing its dastardly move, I swiftly cut it off at the pass.  The Master took a photo of me on guard and you can see me doing my duty, bravely.  While guarding my territory I could see from quite close quarters that the old saggy-bellied Thin Lip’s fishy smelling mouth was open while making yet another yowling racket, but as I couldn’t hear, I remained impassive and stoically stared out the old saggy ginger. We got really close at one time and so I let out a few wild forest-dominating (well front yard, anyway) yowls, but I saw no need to start swatting the old feline with my awesomely big and strong paws, or getting into a fur-ball rumble with it.  You know how it is – not good form to be seen fighting against an old cat.


By now it was snack time, so being mindful of the vital need to keep my strength up and thus remain ever vigilant, I cruised inside for a snarf from my bowl of gourmet biscuits.  After a quick lick or two of pure Gretna Green water (exotic stuff I know, but there you are) I was ready for more action. Just then, the Master came in and took another photo of me, but this time I was sitting between the beds in my room guarding my cat flap.

My Room

The Master came back on another visit when he heard Thin Lips doing its feeble cat-yowl. I was outside my flap and Thin Lips was up on the steps that go to the front door of the cool Lady Joanie’s pad.  I saw the Master come into my room and just to show Thin Lips who was Boss, I cruised slowly over to my flap and after it clicked, I nonchalantly flicked it with my paw and slunk inside to give a best-purr to the Master of Davalon.  Thin Lips watched all that with envy. Then, still purring, I noshed some more of my biscuits while old ginger saggy belly sat in a heap outside.

By then I was ready for a snooze so we sent boring ‘ol Thin Lips home. All in a days work,



Oscar’s log #8: The Battle of Broken Whisker

Just on daylight on Sunday 26th October I woke.  With no time to loose, I did a good long cat-press stretch, as all good cats do. After a quick trip to my bowl for a feed of nourishing gourmet cat biscuits for senior cats, and a lick or two of fresh Gretna Green spring water, I was ready for the day. I paused for a wary glance out through the ranch slider window to make sure the coast was clear then snuck through my cat flap out onto the patio outside where I took up station. A rapid glance over my territory revealed not an elephant in sight.  Great.  But wait.  A sniff of the breeze alerted me, just before I saw movement. My acute cat vision caught an early glimpse of ‘ol Thin Lips cruising onto my patch. Narrowing my dawn-piercing surveillance eyes to focus totally on the approaching threat, I put out a warning growl that in turn caused Thin Lips to stop instantly in its tracks. It stared in disbelief that I was on guard so early. It saw I was blocking its way through MD’s place on its familiar walk.  My forceful growl let Thin Lips know this was my patch now and entry was not permitted. “Oh yea”, said the clearly overconfident Thin Lips, “We’ll see about that.” 

Hunched in a heap, Thin Lips went through its now familiar repertoire letting out yowls, growls and howls.  That lot had no effect on me, because being deaf, I heard none of it.  So Thin Lips upped the ante. Next came tail flicks, bum wiggles, feline hisses and cold unblinking stares.  Undaunted I remained resolute, anchored on my spot, defiantly blocking its path through my territory. Frustration boiled over to anger as Thin Lips began to edge toward me in a slow, low crawl, yowling all the way.  Not for one second did it take its beady eyes off me.  As it slunk rowdily closer, I began to get whiffs of its smelly fish-breath.  Soon, I thought, it will be time for action, but I had still had ample time to cast a nonchalant glance around the ranch. Sensing the moment when it thought I wasn’t looking, Thin Lips sprang towards me, claws out, teeth bared, hissing loudly.  But with my simply outstanding peripheral vision, I saw it coming and deftly side-stepped its pathetic lunge, giving it a pile-driving whack with my paw as it slid harmlessly by.  Old cats like Thin Lips don’t lunge too effectively when they are up against such a highly trained, agile and skilled elephant watcher like me who’s still in his prime cat fighting form.

Thin Lips was angry at missing its first aggressive strike and it regrouped to launch round two. I was all calm and ready.  Seeing the aggressive look in its eyes, I meowed “‘Fight’s on” before we got into a fur ball of tight, twisting close combat. Experienced fighters like me know you’ve got to keep your eyeballs peeled because as old fighter pilots say ’It’s the one you don’t see that gets you.’ With that fighter pilot’s adage foremost in my mind, I watched Thin Lips closely, always ready to counter its next move. When it made another pathetic lunge towards me, I gave it my best foxy side step and as it lurched past me I gave it a clip with my mighty paw with embedded claw. As it clearly wasn’t ‘checking six’, it copped another undetected claw filled wallop from me right on its flabby backside. Really angry, it swivelled and came back with fire in its eyes, hissing loudly as if guns were blazing.  But my size, weight and agility were too much for it. Lunge, counter. Lunge, counter. Although a bit of fur trading resulted, it didn’t score any telling blows on me.  Mounting piles of cat fur littered the battle zone.  Finally, exhausted, Thin Lips backed off, growling sulkily.  Defeated, it took its saggy belly and slunk off home, bruised, to lick its wounds.

Having seen my foe drag itself wearily away, I triumphantly cruised over to my cat flap and snuck though into my boudoir haven.  Before I had a chance to clean up, the Master came in.  He told me my coat stuck out wildly like Ma Nonu’s haircut. While I had a post battle feed, purring loudly, he set about brushing me down to remove the clumps of displaced fur. He asked how one of my big whiskers got broken, so I flicked my head nonchalantly towards the outside battle zone.  Following my glance, he spied the carnage of fur balls on the battle zone.  It became abundantly clear that such was the nature of my triumph, it would obviously become an epic blockbuster to be named the ‘Battle of Broken Whisker.’

Time for a catnap.



Oscars log #9: Thin Lips tries again

Some Cats don’t learn. After its mauling at the recent ‘Battle of Broken Whisker’, I thought Thin Lips would have learned its lesson and have got the clear message to keep away from my patch.  Obviously not, because the dumb Moggie cruised back to MY place the other day and thought it could slink past my lookout point undetected.  That was a Basic Error.  Although I was snoozing quietly at the time, my heightened senses maintained an ever watchful sniff of the breeze. Sensing a cat on the prowl I was alerted from my nap and all prepared. I saw it try to sneak furtively around the end of the block wall and into my private courtyard. With a few determined steps on my big soft paws, I was quickly on scene and positioned my intimidating bulk to block the path of the old sneaking feline.


Having already been whomped once by my awesome paws, Thin Lips was not looking for a fight this time.  Instead, it hissed noisily before it stopped its sneaking and sat in a regular cat-heap, tail tucked in. It stared at me while and let out what must have been a series of challenging yowls.  As I couldn’t hear any of its feeble chorus, I ignored the cacophony and sat resolute, staring intently directly into its meekly challenging eyes. 

Thin Lips could see I was in total control of the situation and there clearly was no way through my patch.  After letting out a few ungracious yowls it reluctantly began to retire, slinking ever so slowly back the way it had come, tail flicking like a conductor’s baton in time with its persistent protesting cries.    

So there we are – Battle won, without needing to strike.  I don’t like violence anyway.    



Oscar’s log #10: The Xmas Duet Wows Them

Thin Lips snuck over to my place last night, December 10th, around 10.45pm on what I thought would be another furtive mission. But my thoughts regarding its intentions proved to be quite wide of the mark.  Instead, we sat in our own rounded cat heaps and engaged in a little singing duo to ready us for the forthcoming neighbourhood Festive Season.

Face to face, not 30cm apart, we let out our best.  My deeper Tomcat howl complimented Thins Lips more shrill rendering, and together we formed a mighty duet as we let it all out.  Solos, Duets, perfect  harmony – we had it all.  Although I couldn’t hear even a bar of this mighty performance, I knew it just had to be powerful stuff and just the thing to satisfy those nearby who would be looking for some fine music to help them celebrate the Festive spirit.

We were going full tilt and using the fence and the alleyway as echoing boards to amplify our best duet, ‘The Mighty Cats Chorus’,  when suddenly the neighbour’s lights came on. Simultaneously, the Master and his cool looking Lady Joanie came out their front door.  “Great”, I thought. “Our duet is right on the button and of such high quality it has attracted an appreciative audience.”  

But, alas, it was not to be.  Sensing impending doom, Thin Lips cut short a full blown yowl and with one nimble leap it was up onto the short fence.  With nary a moment to waste, Thin Lips continued its dash for freedom by vaulting the neighbour’s high fence and falling way down to the concrete below before speeding off into the darkness.  I could hear its neck bell tinkling as it made haste in its dash for freedom.

I stashed our song sheets and cruised nonchalantly off to take station on my regular sentry position on the brick border surrounding the front lawn. A snooty stare from me signalled the finale and with our musical performance over, the Master and his Cool Lady went back indoors, happy in the knowledge that they had heard our chorus at its very best. I knew our lullaby would help them with their sleep – and the neighbours too.


Still On Dedicated Duty Not Long Before He Died, Oscar Guarding The Master’s Lolly Jar
Still on dedicated duty not long before he died, Oscar guarding the Master’s lolly jar
Old And Cold In Front Of The Fire – Oscar’s Last Few Days With Us
Old and Cold in front of the fire – Oscar’s last few days with us

Closing piece – although Oscar was to join Steph and Brendon when they got back from their trip to S.E. Asia, he in fact stayed on at Gretna Green until he passed away peacefully on August 15th, 2009.

Job done with pride Oscar, the Baron of Maungaraki

cat story

Oscar with ears down tolerating some cuddle time with Joanie.

  • John Lamb
    Posted at 20:42h, 20 August Reply

    Love it

  • Xavier Fleming
    Posted at 14:26h, 16 November Reply

    R.I.P the Baron of Maungaraki, fantastic story Grandad Jim!

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