Top: Rufus; Bottom: Oscar (and we need to clean the windows eek)
Rufus and Oscar have settled into London life. Again. They’ve both carved out their neighbourhood territories and places they go to sleep in the sun. There’s a great big enormous cat that lives somewhere near. It’s the size of a very small cow. A very small cow that has slashed poor Mr Rufus’ little leather ears. Little leather ears from too much Oscar licking them. Soft leather ears, are I suppose, quite easy to rip.
Sometimes Oscar takes a while to come home and we go down the street and around the block and then out into the back garden again, calling, “Oscar, Oscar… Oscar. Puss puss puss puss. Puss puss puss puss. Oscar”. And on it goes. Usually Oscar comes back. The other night Oscar did not.
I wandered down the road, singing the usual Oscar call. A few doors down I heard meowing and I looked and I looked and I thought, “He’s in one of those bins”. Surely not. He’s behind that garden door. But he can get out of there easily. Not the bin. Not the gate. Follow the quiet sound of the Oscar meow. Meow. Raow. Raow. Rrrrraaaoowwwwwww.
Oh. There you are Oscar. You’re in that man’s house aren’t you. Now it’s all falling into place. The man. Who says you come into his house. My brother said a cat can’t just get into someone’s flat without a bit of cooperation from the human occupier.
Ring ring ring ring ring. All the doorbells of all the flats. It’s dark up where you are. But at least I can see you and you’re alive. Oscar. Oooh, here come footsteps and somebody opening the door. Ah, you’re not from that flat. Oh. Really, the guy is feeding Oscar. Right. That explains why he’s always talking about Oscar when he walks past us when we’re out in the front garden.
The neighbours all know the guy who’s flat Oscar is stuck in. The lights are out. I think the worst. He’s fallen asleep and Oscar won’t get out until tomorrow. Kevin thinks even more worst – the guy is dead. I stand outside in the freezing cold watching the house. Talking to Oscar. We’ll get you out little Oscar as soon as we can. But it might not be until tomorrow now. The police can’t come and knock the door down. (We did check).
It’s freezing. Free. Zing. I walk a few meters back home. But I keep my boots and coat on while I put Edith to bed. She’s asleep in minutes and I go back to stand guard for Oscar. Poor little cat. It’s still freezing so I go home again. Back. Home. Back. Home. Ring the doorbell. Home. Back. Ring the doorbell. Talk to Oscar. At least he’s ok.
What if the guy is dead? Ok, well the police will come tomorrow. We’re going to have to stop the guy feeding Oscar. Now we know why he’s ballooned. Even the vet said he’s getting a bit big.
Kevin says we’ll wait till midnight. Then what? I ask him.
He’s not sure. Nor am I. I decide I’ll go to bed soon. But I’ll wait up till pub closing time and keep checking but in the meantime I write a note for the door. A little drawing of a cat with a speech bubble saying he’s stuck inside and he’d like to go home please.
Sure enough. At 11.45pm. Not long after pub closing I am heading to the door. I’ve still got my boots and coat on. Kevin says, “He’s coming”. Little Oscar is slinking up on unsteady feet. Creeping long and low like a ferret, looking around. I open the door and he swiftly slinks in and I pick him up and he’s overjoyed to be home. Purrrr purrrr claws in my chest dancing feet purrr purrrr purrrrrrrrrr claws ouch ouch ouch yes hello cat glad you are home little cat I hope you don’t go visiting like that again.