The weeks went by and just as my trust in Ron was returning, there was a huge drama in the village. It happened yesterday morning when I was patrolling the southern boundary of the property in order to keep an eye on the two pugs next door. Now there’s a peculiar looking animal! When I saw them for the first time I thought they’d met with a nasty accident or perhaps a surgical procedure had gone badly wrong. I was bravely teasing them from my side of the fence when I heard all this horrendous howling and angry mewing coming from the neighbour’s house on the other side. Naturally I rushed over to see if I could assist but by the time I got there all I could hear was the rustle of bushes and the patter of paws scampering quickly away from the fight scene. Judging by the amount of ginger fur, the action appeared to have taken place underneath the neighbour’s ute.
The neighbour came out to see what all the fuss was about so I high tailed it round to the man cave to find Ron. I was worried he may have been involved. He can get a bit scrappy at times plus he’s the only other ginger cat I know who lives close by. I eventually found him sleeping in someone’s lavender bush. How he slept through all that hullabaloo is beyond me, but he is a bit of a night owl so maybe he’d had a big night at the man cave. I told him what had happened and we both went to examine the scene. We took a sample of the ginger fur and went away to conduct our investigations.
We did a house-to-house and Ron, reeking of lavender found out from his ex-girlfriend that it’s all over the village that I was involved because I was spotted running away from the scene and worse still, she told him that our neighbour had contacted Mummy! She would be furious to think that I had been fighting at the neighbour’s house!
“She’ll know it isn’t you,” scoffed Ron. “Everyone knows what a big girl’s blouse you are!”
I thought this was a bit rich coming from a cat who’d been luxuriating in a lavender bush for the best part of the morning, but I didn’t say anything. It’s true that my preference is to sit down and iron out any differences before resorting to violence but that didn’t make me “a big girl’s blouse”. And I was always very brave when Mummy was around and needed my protection from Ron, who could give a very nasty nip.
Maybe I should pretend it was me? That would shut them up! Mind you, then you get all the try-hards hanging around wanting to pick a fight and I wouldn’t want that. This is evidently what happens to poor Marty who spends half his life at the vet and always smells vaguely of antiseptic. Marty tried to organise a fight night charity event recently, although I suspect he was really trying to raise funds for his vet bills. I said I wasn’t able to participate because we had a dog coming to stay. It was the only excuse I could think of at short notice yet strangely enough it turned out to be true.
Mummy’s daughter has a golden retriever/border collie puppy called Riley. What a pain in the neck he is! He’s friendly enough and tries to present me with his favourite toys which I sincerely hope he doesn’t seriously expect me to play with. They’re heavily laden with dog slobber and I’d sooner eat my own tail than engage in some inane doggy game with these horrific offerings. I feel bad about saying that now, but when he’s around everything is so hectic and chaotic that I find it hard to keep my anxiety levels under control. To be honest I’d almost rather have gone to the fight night, but it ended up being called off due to lack of interest.
“Perhaps it was Marty?” I said to Ron who was now beginning to talk like some sort of forensic expert, using terms like inconclusive hair microscopy, behavioural evidence and criminal profiling. Good Lord, what on earth has he been watching on television?
“The evidence all points to you,” summed up DI Ron conclusively. “You were witnessed leaving the scene and the fur is an exact match to yours. If it wasn’t you, it would have to be your brother or something.”
I felt a thrill of excitement. Perhaps my big brother Winston had come over to visit me! I know he lives on a farm on the outskirts of the village. I’ve got a picture of him somewhere and he does look remarkably like me. We’re from different litters but I must add that I have it on good authority that Mother was in a stable relationship for years with the father of Winston and myself. Rumour has it that the relationship ended when Mother moved house which is sad. She passed away recently. After it happened I brought it up at one of our mindfulness meetings but the group all agreed that I still need to do a bit more work on the grief process before I’m ready to talk openly about it, so I’ll leave it at that for the time being.
Ron meanwhile had another suggestion. Evidently he had heard that my old friend, Gingah has been having dreadful problems with knots so that could be what all the fur is and perhaps there wasn’t another cat involved at all?
“Doesn’t explain the howling though,” he says as though this was the only flaw in this brilliant deduction.
Ron really needs to think this stuff through before he opens his mouth. Why on earth would Gingah walk to the other side of town and aggressively sort out his knots under the next door neighbour’s ute?
“Do you think it could be Squeak?” he said hopefully.
For a start Squeak is black and white and this cat was clearly ginger, and for another thing, Ron was always trying to pin something on Squeak. I know why. It’s because of The Choir.
Squeak is extremely musical, something which he says is “in his blood”. Anyway, a few months ago he suggested that we get a group together and form a choir. We’re a small group but under Squeak’s expert tuition we’re starting to improve, particularly now that the weather is warming up a bit and we can have regular practices. Squeak didn’t want Ron in the choir, partly because he continually makes rude remarks about Squeak’s weight and partly because, well there’s no other way to put this … Ron’s singing is appalling. What an absolute din! Squeak isn’t always that patient with him and I can see his ears twitch and flatten when Ron tries to hit the high notes. Mine do too although I’m trying hard to control it.
Ron told me the other day that Squeak channels his musical ability by whacking the sound speakers in his home at full force with his paws. Surely not! Where does Ron get all this gossip from, I wonder? And he says I over-think things!
By the end of the day we were no closer to finding out what happened with the ginger cat under the ute but everyone seems to be having great fun making up rumours that it was me. Hopefully it will die down soon and everyone will stop pointing and whispering.