Have you ever heard that old song "I took my harp to a party, but nobody asked me to play. So, I took the darned thing away"?
Last night we went to a friend's birthday party and as the friend lived down the other end of our rather long street, we decided to walk. We hadn't gone far when someone said "Meow". Ollie was coming to the party right along with us.
"We can't take a cat to a party," I exclaimed to John.
John handed me the present and the wine. "I'll take him home," he said. He vanished around the back of the house with Ollie under one arm. I waited under a street light. John sped back casting furtive looks around him. "I put him over the back fence by the creek," he puffed. "Let's go, we're late."
We walked a metre or so. "Meow," said Ollie. He emerged from a Jacaranda tree ahead of us. He was definitely smirking.
This time I suggested that John take the cat right through the back gate and down to the creek. There were plenty of mice and other goodies at the creek to divert him - I gritted my teeth - we were very late. After a time John arrived back looking agitated. "That cat rules our lives," he scowled, "but we've won this bout."
The party was great and we were enjoying ourselves - until the cat arrived. Ollie marched in and sat in the centre of the room. What an opportunity it was for a star. The cat was equal to the occasion. He took the stage at once. He leapt onto a glass table top and sat down gingerly amongst the several crystal glasses displayed with the other presents. "Meow."
"Get him away from the crystal", someone screeched.
Our friend looked at me sideways. "He looks a lot like your cat," he commented.
"It's Ollie," I agreed grimly. I tip-toed forward. "Pussy, Pussy, nice Pussy."
I swear that cat laughed out loud. Criminal-style he had no intention of going quietly. He eluded my groping paws with ease and with delicate skill, missed smashing the crystal; with a couple of effortless bounds he landed on the supper table. "Ollie, Ollie, " I screeched but it was too late. Ollie had his face in the cream-coated birthday cake. In seconds he was wearing a cream moustache.
"Yuk," said someone. "I won't be eating THAT cake."
I was desperate now, John had vanished and I was on my own. "Ollie,Ollie." My fingers touched his fur briefly before he was away again. It was such fun - the party of his life. One graceful leap and he was in the jelly.
"Yukkkkk" said one of the kids. Ollie didn't like the jelly much and he shook it off his front paw with disgust.
Now it was play time. Ollie's cream moustache was decorated with bits of green jelly. He upturned a plate of oysters and paused to snatch one off the tablecloth. I missed him when he landed on the chocolate log but finally caught him with his face in the beetroot. His cream whiskers had turned pink. and he had chocolate on his ears.
The cat had had a wonderful party but the party givers didn't seem to think so. We didn't stay - had to take the cat home, didn't we. "Sorry, sorry," I kept muttering as we collected our coats. "Don't know how this happened." I held the cat in a vice-like grip - the wretch was trying to bow to the audience. I likened our predicament to the song at the beginning of this piece - "I took my cat to a party, but ......."