We like having Uncle Jack to stay but he does have a problem. He is a practising hypochondriac and is terrified of germs. Jack was telling me about his blood-pressure when he spotted Ollie. "I see you've acquired another germ collection," he scowled. "That black cat was bad enough."
I tried to stick up for Ollie. "He's a very clean cat." I said.
Uncle Jack wasn't listening. Some people can't resist banging their feet and shouting to scare a cat and Jack was one of them. He bellowed "Shoo, scat, get out cat," and did a little rushing dance in front of Ollie.
Ollie yawned. He is the only cat I know that enjoys noise. He even likes the vacuum cleaner. You can vacuum him all over and he purrs with delight. He easily kept out of Jack's reach but I could see he was admiring the foot banging and shouting. I began to feel uneasy.
That afternoon Ollie brought Uncle Jack his first gift. It was a well-chewed piece of meat which he dropped on Jack's polished shoe. I don't know what had got into Ollie - he'd never done such a thing before. Jack's roar of rage was equal to an erupting volcano. He jumped off the sofa and began dancing - stamping and shuffling, side-stepping and rushing. Ollie danced too, just out of reach - he was loving every minute.
Ollie's next gift was a half-devoured lizard which he managed to drop on Jack's newspaper. This time the display was even better, much to Ollie's delight. Jack went off to have a shower - to get rid of the germs.
But when Ollie brought in a long-dead bird-carcass and left it on Jack's pillow-case Jack had had enough. "Do you think you could shut him outside," he protested pitifully, "if I get an infection I'm done for."
I did try. I locked the cat door and ignored Ollie's face at the window. But keeping that cat outside is a feat beyond me. When I was bringing in the washing Ollie shot through the door like a rocket. I raced after him but it was too late. Ollie had landed on Jack's knee with a crash and in his mouth he had the ultimate gift. He dropped the mouse and yowled with pleasure. The look on Jack's face was indescribable but there was more to come. The mouse had no intention of waiting around and dived down the neck of Jack's open shirt.
This was the dance to end all dances - it was the Dance of the Seven Veils. First the shirt was torn off with buttons popping everywhere, next came the singlet. But the mouse had scarpered to the nether regions. Jack got a funny cross-eyed look on his face and began tearing at the belt of his trousers. By this time John had arrived and we were both watching, open-mouthed. The trousers landed in a heap and Jack began scrabbling at the band of his under-pants. John and I looked at each other in disbelief - were we going to see it ALL!!! We were saved by the bell. Just then the mouse popped out of Jack's under-pants like toast from a toaster. Ollie pounced and grabbed it expertly. John grabbed Ollie and put him outside.
Jack fell back on the sofa - he was scarlet and speechless. He left later that afternoon. Seems he had to go home and get a fresh dose of Prozac. It was probably just as well that he left. I think Ollie was on track for a new gift. He was spending all his time waiting outside a rat-hole behind the garage.