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The Memoirs of Dalriada McPherson: Second Contact

Continued from The Memoirs of Dalriada McPherson: How it All Began

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‘I’m sorry about your wait, madam.’

Lee was patiently stood in a long line of potential shoppers in TK Maxx, a ‘suitable’ cat bed in hand, waiting his turn to arrive. In truth, it was a dog bed but, technically speaking, it’s use wasn’t obviously canine exclusive even if it was beast specific.

He was certain it was a bargain, too, and, expecting my arrival in the next week from the Shelter, he had to look round for all those items that were a vital necessity – don’t forget the tuna, Lee, stock up on it just in case there’s a shortage..

‘I’m sorry about your wait, sir.’

The queue shuffled steadily forward, the tills clicking and releasing paper receipts that were stuffed into plastic bags that all had to be paid for, testifying plainly to the universal truth that nothing in life is free, not even packaging.

‘I’m sorry about your wait, madam.’

In the last eighteen feet or so before you finally find yourself at the front of the queue, the company has strategically placed small items that they entice you to buy. Downstairs, there’re full rows of Jelly Beans, multicoloured and provoking saliva production, small packets of Lindt chocolates and confectionery liqueurs – here, though, on the Ground, a few toys lie scattered about but nothing that Lee would take seriously, nothing that would tempt him to part with more money.

The last shopper in front moved forward to the assistant with the all too familiar phrase ringing in Lee’s ears:

‘I’m sorry about your wait, madam.’

Of course, Lee occasionally finds shopping fun – and this was going to be one of those such occasions. For most people, the purchasing of items was the part that they really didn’t enjoy but, over the years, Lee had made it an art form, an entertainment media, something that, one day, you may see on some television programme.

Kath tells me of the time he asked an assistant whether they had any baseball caps with the peaks on the other side so he could wear it with the lip covering his neck. He even got the response ‘No, you just turn them round’ before the assistant got the joke.

Today was going to be one of those days.

As the shopper grabbed the handles of her plastic shopping bag and walked away, he ambled over to the till and, before the assistant had a chance to say anything, and with a face as solemn as an undertaker, he said quietly:

‘You know, that wasn’t very nice what you said to that woman just now.’

Looking puzzled, confused – even contemplating whether reaching for the public address speakerphone might be her best option to summon help to ‘Checkout Five’ – she stared back.

‘Some people can’t help their weight,’ he continued, ‘and you certainly shouldn’t be drawing  attention to it…’

Something was dawning on the face of the assistant.

‘…I mean, she may be a funny shape, but she certainly doesn’t expect to get insulted when she tries to pay for the goods.’

By now, there was a broad grin meeting Lee’s cracked face.

As he grabbed the carrier handles, about to head off back to work, he concluded, ‘And I bet you can’t say that line again to anyone else without bursting into fits of laughter…’

.oOo.

I was right about seeing Lee and Kath again – although it was six days later that I heard the door open and looked up from my doze in the sun to watch them come in to the airlock before entering the room.

It isn’t actually an airlock, by the way, but the cats like to joke about it. It’s a device that prevents a cat escaping from the room if a single door is opened and there’s a moggy waiting to pounce their way to freedom.

This way, the humans enter a small cubicle where the door is closed firmly behind them before opening the door in to the room. It’s an ingenious construction but, as if we were imprisoned in Colditz, there’s no harm in plotting an escape and waiting for that rare opportunity when a human forgets to close the outer before they open the inner.

But I was telling you about Lee and Kath’s second visit.

When they entered the airlock, I woke and sat erect in an instant – forget about your dug tunnels under exercise horses and constructed gliders used to fly over the walls, this was my best chance of escape.

And I took it with both paws.

I knew they’d come to see me so it wasn’t going to be that hard. Although the cats had some very good staff at the Shelter, there’s nothing quite like having your own specially designated couple who’ll make it their personal duty to look after you.

So, I made a direct path for Lee’s knee and sat there. Then lay there. Then fell asleep there with one eye open to growl at any other cats that came within six feet.

You have to maintain an air of solidarity with new staff – at least until they’re broken in. You have to make them understand that you have every intention of fighting for their attention and fussing until you’re all alone with them and you can ignore them until it’s dinner time.

Forty-five minutes later, having had to eject me from Lee’s lap into my usual bed, they exited via the airlock and made their way downstairs, home.

It was just three days until I could be adopted…

Stay tuned for Chapter 3: Preparing for My Arrival!

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  1. Pingback: The Memoirs of Dalriada McPherson: How it All Began… – The Catington Post

  2. Pingback: The Memoirs of Dalriada McPherson: Preparing For My Arrival – The Catington Post

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Litter-Robot

Just when this dog-eat-dog world has handed you all the poop you can take, it's time to walk the dog. Or wash the dog. Or feed the dog. You get the idea. So welcome to the world of easy-to-care-for cats. Entertainment comes bundled in a furry, huggable, self-cleaning cat who won't beg for your food. In his eyes, you don't eat well enough anyway. Just keep a laser pen handy, sit back and wait for the fun to begin! Cats...ya gotta love 'em.

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