We are thoroughly trained cat slaves. Long gone are the days when Ollie yowled at us pitifully outside the windows, trying to get in. He was busy enslaving the neighbours in those days. Things are different now. His slightest wish is our command. A look at the frig. sends us scurrying to offer him a choice selection of goodies. The faintest meow at a window or door ensures instant entry into the house. When he sits at my feet and looks up at me I know I must hoist him onto my shoulder and let him wrap himself around my neck. Beds are never made while he is in residence and favourite chairs are handed over to him without a quibble.
The nights are getting cool now with the advent of autumn and Ollie wants to sleep in the bed. He can be a quite pleasant addition to the bed, acting as a furred hot water bottle. He likes to get as close to me as possible, crawls up under my nightie and snuggles under my arm.
Last night he wanted to come in, in the early hours. I was in a twilight zone and automatically opened the window by the bed with one hand and lifted the bedclothes with the other. I was just drifting off to sleep again when I noticed something different. The cat's movements are slow and measured, not sharp and scurrying. Jez, the cat had let a mouse loose under my nightie!!!!
My scream rattled the windows like gun-fire. Every neighbour must have wondered if a murder was being committed (Mr. Big was back). I shot out of bed and wrenched off my nightie. The cat was having a lovely time. When I lunged at the light-switch and turned on the light I saw him pursuing the mouse around my bed. Under the bedclothes, over the bedclothes, around the pillow, pounce, yowl, thud. John woke briefly, glared at the scene and vanished under his bedclothes.
Ollie finally caught his prey and it spread across his mouth, like a grey moustache. I seized the cat clenching his mouse and tore out the front door and onto the lawn. It had been a ghastly experience but the cat wasn't going to get away with it. I hate him torturing mice, it goes on for hours with the mouse finally too weak to run away. I was determined to get the mouse off the cat and tried to prize his jaws open (he never clenches his teeth too tightly - he likes the mouse to be in good condition to chase). Just then a car moved along the street and we were caught in the headlights as the beam moved across the lawn.
For a second I was grateful for the light. It meant I could give the cat's jaws a final wrench. The mouse popped out of Ollie's mouth like a cork from a bottle and sped into the rose garden.
As I stood up clutching the cat to my chest I suddenly became aware of something. The car had slowed to a crawl - and why wouldn't it. It's not often you see a stark naked woman standing in a suburban garden in the middle of the night, wearing nothing but a cat.
I broke several Olympic records getting back inside. I didn't sleep much for the rest of the night. Would the police be down in the morning wanting an explanation for the shameless exhibition of nudity? What would the neighbours think. Horrors, did the car belong to one of the neighbours? Did the neighbour recognise me. For some reason the words of a song kept ringing through my head ... Auntie Mary had a Canary, up the leg of her drawers. da de de de, da de de de , da de de de de