Of Butchers and cats

The halal butchers by Kingsbury Circle chopping up chicken giblets with enormous cleavers are all wearing bright pink sparkly stetsons as a gesture to the festivities around them.

Two women in puritanical black chadors with full face veil stop off at the open air gym in the middle of the park and start exercising.

A pair of crows, chasing each other, float, soar and swoop in the stiff breeze around the faux plastic towers of the Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Silver Jubilee Park; landing atop Vishnu’s flagpole with the blasphemous insouciance of life.

In the upper branches of a bare tree, fifty feet or more above the ground, the hefty, scar faced Growltiger of a ginger tom that usually sits in ambush in Ash Tree Dell, glaring balefully at passers by as if frustrated that he’s just a bit too small to eat them for dinner; carefully tests branches and twigs as he is mobbed by a pair of angry but cautious Magpies – ¬†darting, chatting and fluttering at him in a piece of ritualistic asymmetrical warfare.

I have just been reading a biography of Wagner in which he is reported to have spread stories about Brahms that he would shoot cats on the Vienna roofs with a bow and arrow, haul them in on a line then make a note of their dying screeches to incorporate the sounds into his compositions. Catty.


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