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by Beverley, Napier, New Zealand


Ollie is getting fat and for some time I've been thinking of reducing the victuals a little. The cat has two large meals a day plus nibbles available in-between. This morning I cut back his smorgasbord by a teaspoon or so. He gobbled down the available tucker and glared at me accusingly. "Miaow."

I shut the frig. "Sorry," I said.

I went to the computer to collect my email. There was a crash as he landed in the centre of the keyboard (that cat is heavy). Ollie frowned at me "Miaow", he said.

I put him on the floor "Miaow yourself," I said.

I got up to get something off the table. Ollie performed a complicated manoeuvre in front of my feet and I stubbed my toe agonizingly against the table. I writhed on the floor clutching my throbbing toe "Ahhhh, Ohhhhh."

Ollie kissed my cheek sympathetically. "Miaow," he said.

I treated that 'miaow' with the contempt it deserved. By this time the phone was ringing. I staggered to the sofa to answer the phone. It was my friend, Helen, another cat-lover. I told her about stubbing my toe and then Ollie arrived. "Miaow," he said into the hand-piece.

"Ohhhh," gushed Helen. "Isn't he gorgeous. Hello Ollie Baby, has Mummy fed you this morning?"

It was all too much for me. I told Helen I'd talk later and went out to wash the dishes. No luck - Ollie was sitting in the sink. "Miaow," he said.

"You know you're not allowed in the sink," I snarled. I put him on the floor. Then Maurice from across the road arrived to get some lemons. Ollie leaned lovingly against his legs. "Miaow."

Maurice tickled Ollie's ears. "That cat looks hungry," he said. I ignored Maurice's remark and gave him the lemons.

However half an hour after Maurice left I found Ollie calmly asleep on the sofa. For once I had won a battle. Ollie's diet had begun. I went out to the kitchen to tell John about it. He gets up late in the mornings and was making coffee. "I've managed to cut back Ollie's breakfast a bit" I said triumphantly. "He's getting too fat."

A strange guilty look flitted over John's face. "er, Ollie sat in front of the frig and said 'miaow', - so I fed him!"



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