In contrast to the glamorous sports of the human world, which erect stardom, fuel passions and ignite effigies, break backs with frayed tempers, weld relationships and engender scandals, halt countries and drive lucre under cobwebbed wooden tables, there is in this much pecuniary labyrinth yet a sport that is untouched by the wand of fame or the hand of shame.
It is not so much as kick-boxing as ‘trick-boxing’. And it is practised, perfected and excelled at by cats.
The objective is to first provoke the opponent into a bout, by one of a variety of ways, such as biting their butt, tugging at their tail, pouncing on their back while they’re looking elsewhere or wrestling them down to the ground. Once the attention of the contestant has been thus captured, the initiator then finds ways to box the competing party on their cheek, forehead, ear or neck, such that the soft sole of their paw brushes inoffensively on their fine fur, but the hit competitor must masquerade like hurt grievously and rally back with much fortitude, not mincing any facial expression. Under such a rearguard programme, extra brownie points are scored when the defendant manages to hand a swat on the rival’s nose, and even better distinction achieved when they slip a paw into an opportunely open oral gateway.
Predominantly a familial event, the participants of a duel of this specification hail usually from the same litter and are strictly under-aged. Such a ‘kin-ly’ contested affair doesn’t seem to have a winner, or at least a clearly distinguishable victor, and so in a sense, every match is a draw but not a tame one. The common purpose then, if you ask, is to have fun and sharpen skills, and so in the true sense of the word, both contestants of the match are triumphant.
And thus it goes with a spirit as sport always should, and that’s probably why we find that cats retain their soul, for even in their trickery innocence nestles and in every pore of their existence, honesty reigns supreme.
|A tricky trade|