Alright, it didn’t exactly play chicken-but I like the title. It was either that or Mexicat Standoff.
It was the highlight of a particularly humdrum morning. As my son and I were walking along the street, we, or rather (excitedly) he, saw a cat sat impassively in the middle of the road. Just as he was pointing it out to a Dad distractedly ensconced in grown up things, a car turned onto the street, and slowed as the driver spotted the feline obstacle in his path.
And so commenced car v cat.
For a few seconds both cat and car remained motionless, as though sizing each other up. Then the driver did a curious, exasperated ‘Well?’ gesture with his hands. I am not sure if cats understand ‘well?’ gestures. But he did it once again just in case it didn’t get it the first time.
The cat just sat there.
Then came a quick, loud rev of the engine.
The cat lazily flicked its tail.
Now resorting to the common tool of frustration, the driver gave his horn one long, drawn out honk.
The cat just nonchalantly looked the other way.
My son and I had by this point totally stopped to watch this battle of wills. An urban duel of patience, to see how it would play out.
It was the driver who blinked.
He reversed the car a few yards, then drove around the cat, two wheels mounting the pavement as he did so. I didn’t make eye contact with the driver as he passed us by. I don’t like to glory in the humiliation of the defeated.
The confrontation over, the cat lay down on its claimed patch of tarmac.
It had been Tiananmen Square all over again.