The day our sweet little cat turned vicious predator | Elise Brewerton

No matter their size, cats can be vicious   Picture: ShutterstockNo matter their size, cats can be vicious   Picture: Shutterstock
No matter their size, cats can be vicious Picture: Shutterstock | Other 3rd Party
Our cat, Oscar, had the life of Riley at our old house. The gardens of numbers 62 to 68 were his domain, where he’d loll on shed roofs and fences blissfully undisturbed. He bothered no one, and no one bothered him.

Last October we moved just six doors down, but for Oscar it may as well have been the Serengeti. He’s been terrorised by at least three cats from the surrounding properties ever since.

They scream at him from the porch while he cowers behind the wheels of our car. He comes home covered in scratches, one time ending up at the vets.

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The perpetrators are a very expensive-looking British shorthair – who frankly should know better – a huge ginger tom, and, rather unnervingly, a cat identical to our Oscar, just bigger.

These blighters are twice the size of our meek little rescue cat, and had the brass neck to climb brazenly through our cat flap, gobble up Oscar’s specialist urinary biscuits – costing a cool £45 a bag – and take a swipe at him while they were at it.

One night we were woken by an almighty racket coming from downstairs – cats screaming, photo frames crashing to the floor. It was Oscar and his doppelganger going paw-to-paw in the lounge. We installed an electronic cat flap that opens only with Oscar’s microchip. Our boy was finally free of the terror wrought in our own home by the vicious interlopers.

Imagine my horror then when at the weekend, sweet, timid Oscar leapt through the open kitchen window with what I at first thought was a shuttlecock poking out of his mouth.

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I was doing my coronavirus sit-ups and had my head on the floor when he plopped what was actually a terrified little bird next to my face. As I screamed out, Oscar, with a glint in his eye and teeth bared in an almost maniacal grin, lifted his paw and whacked it squawking across the kitchen floor. Its wing had been broken and it couldn’t fly. We scooped it up, and even after throwing Oscar out he clawed at the door to get at his prey. The bird was whisked to the vets and is recovering, no thanks to what we now know is the vicious predator within our midst.

There are no hidden depths behind the Boris bluster

Inside the Foreign Office is a BBC documentary filmed over a year at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

For part of that year, Boris Johnson was foreign secretary. The scenes with him in were excruciating to watch. He came across as a bumbling idiot.

Do not forget, one of the reasons Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe languishes in Iran is because of a gaffe by Johnson, while in that great office of state.

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But Johnson was on fire when he gave speeches. He is a fantastic orator. He has confidence, passion, connects with his audience, puts in the odd fist thrust to hammer home a point. But that’s it.

His Sunday night address had gravitas – and left the nation dangerously confused.

The BBC licence fee is worth it for the radio stations alone

As a teenager, every Friday I listened to Pete Tong’s Essential Mix on Radio 1 while getting ready for a night out clubbing. My sister once recorded over my favourite Ibiza mix and we didn’t speak for weeks.

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Radio 1 no longer darkens my airways, instead it’s 3 for breakfast, 4 for The Archers, plays, and documentaries on everything from Bletchley Park to Machu Picchu. Radio 2 for the hilarious Liza Tarbuck and Graham Norton, and 6 for new musical discoveries from Cerys Matthews and Gilles Peterson. When arguments rage over funding, radio is often overlooked, but it is the jewel in the BBC’s crown.

It’s been a constant in my life and a particular boon during lockdown.

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