Outside the house it's a different ballgame. The cat is the prey, but they're still determined to irritate me from a carefully measured distance. They know that if I get hold of them they'll be gripped firmly round the neck and immersed in the water butt until they stop wriggling, so naturally they make sure that they don't put themselves in a position that could mean they use up all nine lives in one go.
I hate they way they sit under the bird table looking up and licking their lips, even though the sadistic little fuckers have only just been fed.
I hate the way they saunter through my garden like they own the damn place.
I hate the fact that they come from far and wide with the specific intention of shitting in the middle of my lawn.
I despise the way their arseholes look like one of those rubber things in the kitchen for holding a tea towel.
I hate that I'm not allowed to shoot them, especially as I'm no longer capable of running after them. They just trot away, looking back at me and smirking, secure in the knowledge that however angry I am I'm never going to be able to catch them.
All except one of them. There's this extra-fluffy tabby that sits at the end of the garden and stares. Every time I try and chase it off it doesn't run away, it just turns away and sort of melts into the scenery. It's seriously spooky and it freaks me out. I'm sure it's some kind of psycho. It just sits there staring. It never seems to blink or look away. It just sits as still as a statue and stares at me like it's seeing right through my eyes, boring into my very soul. If cats practice voodoo then this is the high priest or whatever a top voodoo practitioner is called, and I swear this furry psychopath is working some kind of black magic on me.
At the weekend I fitted new interior doors in the house and if anything could go wrong it did. A more rational person would lay the blame firmly at the feet of the builders who appear to have been incapable of constructing anything straight or square in this house, but I blame the cat.
The roses in the garden are perpetually at death's door, but I think the cat is wilting them with its stare.
I'm also holding that cat personally responsible for the weekend's crappy weather, the struggle I had getting the Honda's brakes bled out, my inability to get the rear brake drums off the Mitsubishi, my pressure washer going tits up, and my lack of progress on the campaign of Watch Dogs on the Xbox.
At a stretch I could also believe it to be the cause of all the ants in the garden (a bizarre reincarnation of the pied piper, bribing the country's entire ant population to take up residence in my garden with a stolen jar of raspberry jam), the inexplicable popularity of Rihanna, and the sale of MG to China even though very few are fooled into buying such a nasty excuse for a car just because of the badge.
It's all the fault of psycho staring cat. He's watching me, stealing my mojo bit by bit, leaving me struggling to carry out the tasks I previously found so easy.
The more cynical among you may say that this is all simply down to getting older and slower, but I know it's the cat. And one day I'll get the bugger and my cosmic balance will be restored.
"Look into my eyes. Your soul is mine."