Cat Attack

We took a trip away this weekend to the Peak District where we stayed in a caravan in someone’s garden (I love the things you find on AirBnB!). We were so lucky to have gorgeous weather as you never know what it will be like in Britain this time of year. The owner of the caravan did falconry and we were able to handle the amazing birds of prey and we enjoyed some beautiful walks over the long weekend.

We visited Bolsover Castle and many other stately homes and historical buildings, or at least the outsides of them. As much as we love having Kubo around, it does somewhat limit what we can do. Unless we leave him in the car we are normally restrained to the grounds only; it is completely understandable although with one, we weren’t even allowed to go onto the grounds. Often it is not suitable to leave him in the vehicle: this weekend it was just way too. He is part of the family anyway so we wouldn’t want to leave him really. Luckily, with two of us, we tend to have one person manage the dog whilst the other goes inside to ave a nose and learn.

a girl and her border collie
Enjoying the views from Bolsover Castle

We found a cavern in Castleton which allowed dogs inside. This was a pleasant surprise – we are getting used to not being able to do as much due to having the dog with us but it was lovely to be able to do this! Kubo was very well behaved, despite being pretty bored. He made up for the boredom by trying to eat all the sheep poo he could once we were out whilst we desperately tried to stop him doing so.

Dog friendly cavern in Castleton
The Blue John Cavern in Castleton

Anyway, what I wanted to talk about was what happened near Chatsworth House on Sunday morning. The sun was up and it was set to be a beautiful day. We’d had a lovely weekend so far so we decided before our falconry experience in the afternoon, we would visit Chatsworth and have a walk around. To allow Kubo some time off the lead we decided to walk in the non-livestock fields behind the garden centre. The entrance to the fields was up a single track road with farm houses on either side. Kubo found huge sticks (branches) to run around in in the fields with as well as many mucky puddles but we didn’t mind – after all, a muddy dog is a happy dog. It was a perfect start to the morning, walking alongside the river with lambs prancing around on the opposite bank and we planned to visit the café for a well earned breakfast.

As we came back through the gate to the road we noticed that the last house had their dogs out in the lane. Kubo was back on his retractable lead and greeted the two Labradors nicely. I saw a fluffy black and white cat sat a little way off watching but thought nothing more of it as Kubo was occupied with the dogs and hadn’t even noticed the cat, much less caused it any bother.

We were about to start walking away when before I knew it, this cat launched itself at Kubo, taking him completely by surprise. Claws were extended as it jumped onto his face, hissing.  He just rolled over onto his back, submitting to his attacker and was yelping whilst the feline screeched and clawed at him. He managed to get up and ran to hide behind me but this cat followed and kept advancing with its attack. I unblocked his lead so he could get further away (it has an 8 metre range) and he did run away from this house but the cat chased him down, jumping on him and all the while making horrible screaming sounds and yowling. Kubo fell down again crying and yelping. It was heart breaking. The cat was going straight for his face while he was down. I screamed and presumably the cat’s owner began calling it. The noise of the animals was horrendous and I was nearly in tears. I had no idea what to do and the only thing I could think of was to kick this cat to get it away from my dog who was clearly very afraid and sounded like he was in pain. All I could think of doing was trying to save him.

I ran towards the commotion and in the meantime Kubo managed to get up and start running away again with the cat still in pursuit. He managed to get enough of a lead and the chase stopped before I had to intervene. Thankfully.

It really was a horrible ordeal and as soon as we were round the corner and sure of our safety, we checked Kubo over for any signs of damage – I was mostly worried about scratches to the eyes as I have heard horror stories of dogs who have lost their eye sight due to cat swipes. Other than a few scratches to his nose and understandable nervousness, he seemed OK.

Border collie in field
Kubo enjoying the fields

I have been left with mixed emotions after the incident and although it was only a small cat, it was so vicious and the whole thing was rather scary and seemed to go on for such a long time. I guess I am glad that Kubo is not an aggressive dog and did not fight back as if he had decided to retaliate he could have easily injured the cat quite badly, if not killed it. I know it’s much harder to control a cat; it’s not like it can be muzzled or kept on a lead. I feel if this had been a canine however it would be reported and I imagine either it would have to be put down, or kept under control in some manner. Kubo was lucky the cat did no real damage as it could have been considerably worse. Of course, I do also feel sorry for the cat to some extent as you don’t know what has happened to it in its past for it to react that way to a strange dog. Maybe it is just collies and it has had a bad experience with the breed specifically?

Kubo was on edge the rest of that day, barking and growling at shadows and even a bronze deer, generally keeping near to us: I can’t blame him! I just hope this doesn’t affect him long term as he isn’t the most confident dog anyway and I really don’t want him to become aggressive towards cats or particularly fearful. I am so glad that when we got home later that evening he didn’t take it out on Cally or Soda and still seems fine with them. Let’s see what happens next time he meets an unknown cat.

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