Living on the second floor, and being Cat’s concierge, I had quite a lot of exercise going up and down the stairs to let him in and out.
I also spent rather more time in the garden and checking the streets after dark than most of my neighbours when I needed to find him.
Until last year, even when it was very cold, he liked to spend a fair amount of time outside.
So, several years ago I went out to fetch him on a cold dark night. One of those where you feel your breath starting to freeze in the air in front of you. I walked into the garden to look for him, and saw a youth standing on the grass outside my ground floor neighbours’ window. I stepped back and asked him what he was doing.
He pointed the window. “Look,” he said. “It’s open. There’s someone inside.” He beckoned me over, leading me to believe I must be fairly cabbage looking.
By this time Cat had come to me and I picked him up.
Feeling unequal to dealing with the youth and protecting my neighbours’ property, despite having read every Famous Five book ever published, I gave the youth his chance of escape.
“Go and call the police,” I ordered him. This now indicates to me that this was the era before everyone had mobile ‘phones, so we’re probably talking late nineties. The youth ran off.
I raced round to the front of the building and buzzed another neighbour; an ex naval captain and keen rugby player.
“You watch the windows,” he instructed me. “I’ll call the police.”
It didn’t seem the right time to argue, and after all this was a man used to commanding sailors on nuclear submarines, but I did wonder what I was supposed to do if the burglars climbed out of the window; set the cat I was holding onto them perhaps? Continue reading