Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Soft heart, sharp claws
"So can you take these two home? Even for a night or two?"
The woman's practiced brand of beseeching and bossiness was working its magic. The ancient Siamese rasped once more through its broken front teeth, and it was clear we were cracking. All that was left was to sign on the dotted line.
We'd walked up to the van intending to make vague noises about being available to foster at some point in the hazy future and within a couple of minutes had been guilted into stepping up and signing up for a pair of purring old timers.
"So you can take them home in a carrier right now?"
"Don't worry, if you don't have a car we can drop them off tonight. Shall we say seven?"
It wasn't really a question.
"What about this fella?"
"Ah ha ha..." For the first time her bustle slowed. "This one's not so friendly."
"Looks quiet enough."
"Oh no, it's quite freaked out. I think it'll need a few days shut in my bathroom. Just watch."
Gingerly she opened the cage door, and the meek black and white kitten transformed into a spitting whirl of claws and fury.
"Right. Gotcha." We turned back gratefully to our purring, placid twosome.
At six thirty that night we got a phone call. Turns out there had been some misunderstanding, and a frantic owner had come to pick up the two old dears.
"But you know, we're just round the corner. And don't worry, because we still have that other cat..."