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The Party Cat and the Drummer Boys

by Beverley, Napier, New Zealand


Ollie discovered he is a party cat. His x-slaves sold the house next door to a young man who had two boarders to stay. Ollie was delighted. He regarded the house as his anyway. He gobbled up the food presented to the new resident cat and gave that hapless animal a good thrashing every time he saw it.

I was asleep on the sofa the night it all began. The noise that woke me sounded like a platoon of heavy-footed giants on the roof. Ollie is on the roof again, I thought. I steamed outside to capture the culprit but I was wrong. As I stood in the driveway a thunderous drum-roll pounded out from the garage beside the fence. I fled inside. This was the beginning of the siege.

There were two drummer boys. The owner of the house also owned the drums. Drummer boy number 2 was the boarder who thought his inept bangings would bring him fame and fortune. Ollie loved it all. There were also parties that took place from Friday night deep into Sunday. There were parked cars along the street to investigate, empty beer cans to bat along the footpath and occasionally comatose bodies to delicately sniff as they lay on the grass verge. Taxi drivers were fun too. A cat could chat to various waiting taxi drivers as they pounded their horns at intervals during the night. But best of all was the stereo system. It bellowed all night until five in the morning. It was all very exciting and Ollie howled too, joining in the fun.

We also howled but not for the same reasons. Along with other neighbours we became familiar with the noise control officers. Finally John went over and talked gently with Drummer No. 1. "Could they tone it down a bit," he asked, "perhaps the drums could be played in the house!"

"Sorry," said Drummer Boy No. 1 "there was no room in the house." His manner implied we were definite misery guts types. The drums were also played on weekend afternoons and after work. We thought about shifting but how could we condemn some poor unsuspecting buyer to such a rumpus When visitors came conversations could only take place between the drum rolls. The parties at night got fiercer and louder.

At 3,00 a.m. one morning I awoke to the throbbing tom-toms. I ran outside. A friend of the drummer boys was standing by the fence - the stereo in the car was screaming full bore. He was drunk and solemnly peeing in my garden. Ollie was sitting on his car bonnet swaying to the beat - a true party cat. I told the drunk one that I had an axe in the garage and would use it on his stereo if he didn't turn it off. The look on the man's face said it all 'what a nark'. But he did turn the radio off.

Then real disaster struck. Drummer Boy No. 2 lost his job. After that he slept until 1.00 p.m. and practised his drumming skills all afternoon on a daily basis.

We pleaded that our lives were a nightmare but politeness didn't work. Neither did letters from the Council Noise control officers.

One day John decided to have an afternoon sleep after a late night. Drummer Boy No. 2 started up as usual. Bang, bang bang, rata tat tat, crash crash went the cymbals. There was an eruption from the bedroom. John sped past me into the driveway and leapt the fence like an olympic gold medal runner. I am not quite sure what threats were uttered but that was the end of the Drummer Boys. In a week or so Drummer Boy No. 2 wandered off up north to greener pastures. Drummer boy No. 1 seemed to mellow and stopped playing the drums in the garage. The parties stopped. And Ollie - he was fed up with the whole thing. He always slept in the bed of Drummer Boy No. 2 and missed him. And he'd loved being a party cat.


Editor's note:

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