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A Conspiracy Theory

by Beverley, Napier, New Zealand


Ted and Ollie are at it again - it's love, love, love, all the way. Ted is installing a bay window in the kitchen which he says will give us heaps more light and also serve as a sort of mini glasshouse. Naturally Ollie is dellighted. He thinks Ted is putting in a new cat door in the side of the room. He climbs onto the kitchen bench, goes through the open space onto Ted's shoulders and then Ted has to carry him down the ladder to the ground. This is repeated endless times and neither seems to tire of the game. There is a lot of laughing and meowing involved.

Several months ago I heard Ted muttering to Ollie in the hallway about the state of the varnished doors. It seemed all the varnish needed to come off down to the wood and then the door re-varnished. Ted, it seemed,was an expert at this sort of thing, or so he informed me. "It would only cost you $100 a door," he said, "and that's a very cheap job." I silently counted the doors in the hallway - seven in all. $700. It was time to assert myself. "I think I'll leave them for the moment," I muttered politely. Fueling Ollie and Ted's affair with bay windows and freshly painted kitchens was one thing, but $700 for doors!!!!

Later, Ted got back to me. "Tell you what," he said. "I'll take the door off the linen cupboard in the hall and do it cheap. Once you've seen how marvellous it looks you'll want all the doors all done."

"er, I'll think about it," I said. But Ted wasn't listening. With Ollie hot on his heels he had vanished up the hall. Later I noticed the hall door was missing. Oh well, perhaps it would be interesting to see what it looked like. Ollie was on cloud nine - he climbed to the top of the cupboard and went to sleep on the sheets.

Weeks later Ted called in. "Have you finished the door?" I asked.

Ted looked shifty. "Soon" he said, "I'm flat out at the moment. er, is Ollie around?"

"You'll find him in the linen cupboard along with the dust," I said grimly. But Ted had gone. He was already muttering sweet nothings to Ollie.

Months went by. After a time I gave up asking about the door. Ted would bring it back in his own good time. The bay window went in this morning and was everything Ted said it would be. I stood by the window in a sort of euphoria, picturing the pot plants I would arrange under the windows. My glee was short-lived. I left the kitchen for a minute and when I came back Ollie was already arranged comfortably in the warm bay window. I heard Ted talking to him softly, "Don't you just love your new sleeping place, Ollie. Isn't this a perfect spot for a cat!"

I sighed. I could see it all. Ollie and Ted were part of a giant conspiracy. I would never get my door back and the bay window had been put in just for the cat. Who knows what future horrors they are plotting. Watch this space.


Editor's note:

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