This can be regarded as yet another instalment of my series Cats. A user’s guide. It’s an object lesson in the sheer snootiness of felines. The ancient Egyptians revered them as gods, and all they got for their trouble was a plague of boils. Anyway, this tickled me over the weekend.

Some three years ago, a cat got stuck in a wall at a Metro station in Cairo. In typical cat fashion it entered through a gap it had found, and promptly discovered it couldn’t get out again, something cats are almost supernaturally good at. All was not lost, however. A kindly person made sure the cat got fed and watered regularly. That took care of the top end. I hate to think how the cat dealt with the other end, since it couldn’t do the usual cat thing of hopping over the fence and making things unpleasant in its next door neighbour’s vegetable patch. No cat likes to crap on its home turf. Must have been a dreadful dilemma for the poor mog.

Then help appeared to be on hand. Some renovation work was needed on the station, and this involved demolishing the wall containing the cat. Now demolition workers do not generally use the word ‘Finesse’ when they’re filling in the application form for the job. Having watched wrecking crews at work in Cairo, I can vouch for their being pretty much the horny handed sons of toil you’d expect, so things might have gone badly for our furry friend. Remarkably the workmen didn’t just take a jackhammer to the brickwork, but carefully dismantled things by hand. Happily the cat was freed apparently unharmed.

Without so much as a purr of thanks it promptly hightailed it out of Dodge, and has not been seen since. Fairly typical behaviour.