Another extract from the memoirs of Sharples the Cat
The veranda at the rear of number 8 made the most of the after luncheon sunshine, a gentleman could relax and allow his mind to embrace and enjoy the finer things of life. And he would relax beneath the pull down canvas shelter that like an old fashioned beach umbrella benefited those beneath with deep tree shade protection from the blazing sun while his thoughts wandered to the rhythm of wind chimes echoing on the breeze from across the various gardens. In the short while since he and the old woman had become acquainted the gardens surrounding number 8 had become his domain.
It was on one such afternoon when he had just polished off a luncheon of smoky ham and finely sliced poached chicken and had taken up his position on the veranda that it happened. A billowing white cloud had caught is lazy eyes as it stretched slowly across the open blue sky. The old woman’s sunflowers were dancing merrily to the rhythm of what he called cicada (garden crickets to you and I) when out of nowhere came a great deal of splashing and squealing.
Now he knew next door had pool and at weekends their small grandchildren would scream and splosh about in the clear blue water. This was different. The old couple next door were away for fortnight’s holiday, he had heard them telling the old woman about it and it certainly was not the weekend.
He moved towards the fence covered in wild ivy and listened. Yes, the splashing was coming from next door’s pool all right. Stealthily he leapt up onto the fence and looked over into the garden. Two men were shouting at a woman in the pool. He didn’t recognise any of them. Silently as he had topped the fence he moved back down and went into the kitchen where the old woman was making tea while listening to a story on the radio.
On the work surface she and placed some fish for that evening’s supper. He grabbed it and ran out into the garden with the old lady chasing him. He dropped the fish and looked at the fence. The old woman hearing the commotion next door tickled his ears then picked up the fish before returning to the house. A few minutes later men in blue uniforms arrived and took the shouting invaders away.
And Sharples dined on fresh fish that evening.
© JG Farmer 2014