Uninvited Guests

As I was squeezing into my wellies on the doorstep of the Buteshack on Saturday morning, our upstairs neighbour got out of his car and called the spouse over.

“Have you seen what we’ve got living out the back?” he said mysteriously. The rest was inaudible owing to his conspiratorial tones, but the spouse’s foghorn replies were coming through loud and clear.

“Oh my god!” exclaimed the spouse, “Cats…round the back? Where?”

Cats! My ears pricked up. Maybe they’ve got cute kittens, I thought excitedly. My imagination went into overdrive and I saw us fastening diamond studded velvet collars round little kitten necks. I hastily forced the second welly on, so that I could get to the other side of the road to find out more.

Our neighbour was already half way through his story when I joined the conversation.

“They’re living in the sheds”, he said in hushed tones, “it’s the bird feeders they’re after…we’ve put some poison out…seems to be working, I found a dead one on the path this morning.”

Dead! I had a flashback to crying my eyes out in the Mosspark Cinema in 1972, after seeing a basket of kittens being thrown into a river and swept away in Walt Disney’s The Aristocats.

“Yuk!” said the spouse, jolting me back to the present, “…what did you do with it?”

“Threw it over the back wall into the bushes…big horrible tail and staring eyes”, said our neighbour with a shiver. “It ate my golfballs, you know…”

Eh? I thought, before asking for a recap. Our neighbour obliged.

“Oh,” I said with relief, “rats…rats, I get it now”.


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