It’s the second week of the Challenge and Captain Savage is on holiday losing karma points by the minute (just for having a good time, SURELY that must be sinful) so I’m using the opportunity to stack up as many points as I can (but as they can only really be awarded by CS that’s, well, a bit pointless really)!
This week I decided I would –
- Be nice to my neighbour. She may not like it, but that’s tough, Neighbour Lady! Just swallow it down and be grateful it isn’t any worse!!
- Ring the Crazy Cat Lady. Whose number has been in my handbag for a hundred years. Never rung. NOW is the time.
On Sunday. I invite my neighbour around for cake. Now that the talented Mr F has a cookery book, he’s not afraid to use it, so we ALWAYS have cake.
I mean to invite my soft, quiet, cushiony, nervous neighbour but end up inviting my slightly acerbic, defiantly single neighbour instead, because after all this time (it’s been a year now) I can’t remember which is which. Never mind. We have a lovely chat and I can always ask the other one next time.
THE CAT LADY
The Cat Lady looks like an elderly white English golliwog. I have never seen so many cats in one place, since I went to the RSPCA Animal Shelter . The WHAT!!!
“Are you a FAN of theirs??” says the Cat Lady, in an ominous voice.
“Well, not so much a fan, exactly…I haven’t had much to do with them really….I always thought they were kind of nice…I got some of my pets from there but I don’t really know…” I say, gaging her darkening frown as I stumble on.
“The RSPCA is a TERRIBLE organisation. A glorified pet shop. And they’d rather KILL animals than keep them. The RSPCA! Ha!”
“See Rosy there? They were going to kill her. She’s got no back paw. She was born that way.”
And indeed, when I take a close look at Rosy, her back leg ends in a sort of rounded stump. You wouldn’t know it till she walks, which is with a sort of uneven kittenish lollop. A disabled cat, along with Fluffy, who’s recovering from Cat Flu, and Digby, who has no tail.
The whole idea of this expedition is to help to socialise rescue cats, so they can get used to nice people and then go on to nice people’s homes. There must be about thirty of them, and they smell. Not so much of cat, but because it’s dinner time and there are bowls of steaming cat food everywhere being eagerly gobbled up by little furry critters. Plus, I think, the odd accident. Ms M and me spend half an hour stroking every cat that’ll come near us. Surprisingly, they’re all purry and friendly and seem to be happy to gather in our laps. Ms M is entranced. “They’re so unbelievably cute!”
After dinner, the pussycats go out to play in the big messy backyard, enclosed by cat proof fence. They roll around in the grass having little pretend-fights, and creep up on each other, and pounce, and lurk. And stalk magpies.
“You’d think the magpies wouldn’t come in a yard with thirty cats in it,”
“They do,” says the Cat Lady, gently reprimanding a grumpy tabby with a half-hearted tap on the nose. “I put triple bells on the hunters, but they still catch them sometimes.”
People don’t feel sympathetic towards cats, the Cat Lady explains grimly, because they make a meal of the wildlife. But then, she points out, so do cars. Australian roads are littered with dead wildlife, none of whom have been offed by cats.
So is it karmic to cuddle a killer?
5 POINTS MINUS 2 BECAUSE WE’RE AIDING AND ABETTING ANIMAL PSYCHOPATHS??
THE FINAL TWIST!
And lastly, an unpremeditated Good Deed. We’re going out to our car, our little dog on her lead, when we see the neighbours about to get into theirs. Their two dogs are at their side – one smallish friendly but bouncy staffy pup, and a large golden dingo-lookalike who always scowls and runs away when we meet. Suddenly, Dingo-dog leaps on poor Gucci and begins to savage her. The neighbours pull him off, but not soon enough. Gucci, trembling with fright in Ms M’s lap, turns out to have a large bite in her abdomen (which given her size, is more serious than it sounds). It’s Sunday. We take her t the vet. She gets stitches. An hour later, we get a bill for $500.
“I’m sorry to do this to you,” I say, “But we’ve got a vet’s bill of $500 and we’d like you to pay half. You don’t have to pay straight away, it’s on credit. But, in the next month or so would be good.”
“I can’t!” wails the neighbour (a practised wailer), “We’re paying so much money every week to keep our dogs in kennels, to stop them barking in the day, we can’t afford any more!”
“Well I can’t afford it, cause I don’t HAVE a job right now.”
I left them the bill, and they promised to talk it over with each other (or escape to Brazil, possibly). Then I thought, there IS something I can do here. So I wrote them a note.
“If it helps, I can look after your little black puppy in the daytime while I’m home, so at least that’s ONE dog you don’t have to pay kennel fees for.”
So far, no comment. But that’s what karma’s like. You do a good deed, but are people grateful? NOT NECESSARILY.
Anyway if they don’t pay up I will sick my ex-husband onto them, and HE will sick Animal Services. Good Karma? I don’t think so.