Nature conservation this isn’t, but for those of you more familiar to Parke there may be a sight missing from your day. Often seen basking in a warm spot on the estate, stalking squirrels or standing up to visiting dogs, of any size, “Bruce” was a force to be reckoned with.
Now i will be the first to freel admit that I’m not a fan of cats, having suffered at the hands of a demented one for years and often wondering what imapct they have on species over the country, they wouldn’t be top of the list for pets in my household. However “Bruce” was different. The reason for highlighting his name is becuase i have no idea what his real name is and no idea where he came from, people would often point into the distance and say, “he’s from over there…..somewhere”. He took no prisoners, every dog was greeted with the arched back, the hackles rising and a familiar hiss and growl. You really did have to warn dog owners that Bruce wouldn’t back down.
Bruce had his favourite spots, especially in the walled garden, he would be seen luxuriating in the flowers beds or sleeping it off in the polytunnel on a bed of drying chive flowers and the thing was with Bruce he would always let you know when he didn’t want to stroked, a firm bat with a paw or if he was in an exeptionally bad mood, he drew blood.
I always did a double take when he was walking around Parke, he was such a big cat that I often wondered what it was stalking through the grass sward.
Bruce sadly passed away on Saturday, we think he was knocked down by a car and had to be put to sleep. I’d seen him the Thursday before when he was eating his way through a fully grown grey squirrel, he soon let me know not to take another step closer.
So whilst the local squirrel and rabbit populations can breathe a bit more easily, I will be sad not see his face around and miss that growl that always put a smile on my face when he was reminding someones dog not to go near him. Rest in peace “Bruce”.