‘Excuse me, what are you doing with my cat?’ Elspeth was not happy to see Daphne Jones from down the road cuddling the rather rotund Tortoiseshell Benny.
‘What do you mean, your cat? He spends all day with me. I feed him and he sleeps on the back of the sofa by the window. He likes the sun. It’s his favourite spot.’ Daphne held Benny closer.
‘He’s my cat and I feed him. And I pay for his injections and even bought him a collar.’
‘Oh that.’ Daphne was scathing. ‘It was too tight. I took it off.’
‘How dare you. I want it back, and Benny too.’
The two women glared at each other. Elspeth had suspected that Benny had found another billet, but had no idea it was with Daphne Jones so close by.
‘So,’ Daphne challenged: ‘If he’s with me all day when does he live with you?’
‘He comes in most nights.’ Elspeth replied. ‘He has his supper then he sleeps next to the radiator.’
Daphne thought for a minute, then made a suggestion.
‘How about we share him? I’ll feed him one week and you do the next, because he is getting rather fat.’
‘Alright,’ Elspeth agreed. ‘And you can stump up for the next vet’s bill.’
Benny purred contentedly. He could keep his two comfortable homes, but he hadn’t yet twigged there would no longer be two sets of meals.
© Elaine Peters