Now you see him, now you don't! Biggles' breaks several world records! And it's curtains for the Cheese Plant with Attitude! Charlie is here to stay and Marmalade Mansions is home to 3 gorgeous ginger cats.

One night, the ritual of hide and seek was wearing thin as I was tired and couldn’t find Biggles anywhere. I had already found him once and then when I opened the dining room door to put Garfield into the room, Biggles had shot out again. As he raced upstairs, I assumed he was hiding upstairs. I hadn’t heard him creep downstairs so when I went to answer a knock on the door he was as scared to see me as I was surprised on seeing him behind the curtain. As I screamed in shock, he flew up the curtain, along the ceiling and down the wall nearer to the dining room. Realizing the door was shut he raced upstairs. All this was done with such astonishing speed that he must have broken several world records.

I opened the front door a smidgen. It was Mrs Glutbucket from Number 47 wanting to borrow some bread as she suffered with ‘late night munchies’. Having heard me scream, but not knowing the reason, she called out in her nasal catarrh clogged voice: ‘S’only me, Gladys Glutbucket from Number 47.’ Seeing my ashen face with wide staring eyes and hair on end she backed away down the path without waiting for the customary few slices of bread. ‘Jeez, you should take better care of yourself,’ she muttered as she hurried away.

Sometimes the curtain wouldn’t be pulled all the way across the door and what Biggles often didn’t realize was that a great part of him would be on display. At times, only his head was actually behind the curtain, but he didn’t realize this. His logic was very simple: ‘If I can’t see her, then she can’t see me!’

Thus it was then, that Biggles would be most surprised when I would theatrically pull back the curtain revealing him with his little face screwed up tight to stifle the nervous giggles. Crossly he would then submit to being put into the dining room so that everyone could settle down and go to bed.

Maybe peeing on the cheese plant was retribution carried out under the trauma and anxiety brought on by this nightly separation routine. But as the cheese plant had been placed on top of the freezer which was 6‘ high they had to go to great heights to carry out this form of retribution.

I came home from work one day to find the cheese plant on the floor, upturned and the pot nearby, the earth spread over most of the floor and plenty of evidence that Biggles and Garfield had used it throughout the day. The litter tray was in pristine condition – not a paw mark or indent in sight!

The cheese plant glared at me. ‘At last!’ it shrieked, ‘you’re home! You have NO idea what I have been through today.’ I realized that I had indeed no idea what it had been through and I apologized profusely to it as I swept up the earth to spread on the garden before refilling the pot with new fresh compost. But it was the beginning of the end – our relationship was never quite the same after that and it withdrew from all domestic life, sullen and sulky, bitter and jealous until the last leaf fell.

Now as I looked at little Charlie asleep, clutching his friend Spud who had been liberated from the vegetable rack, I realized that Charlie’s antics were not those of a juvenile delinquent. He wasn’t really naughty or destructive – just inquisitive. Perhaps if he had come with a sibling maybe his adventurous streak would have been stifled and we would never have experienced The Tremendously Exciting Saucer Toboggan Ride Flu and Feline Frolics

I felt sure he would fit right in soon enough and before too long, he, too, would be a model feline citizen in Marmalade Mansions. Okay, so two cats are double the pleasure, but three cats are treble the fun!

 

© Pauline Dewberry 2003

 

 

 

 

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