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Poor Little Buttercup

by Beverley, Napier, New Zealand


There was a garage sale on in a nearby street this morning. I took the car - after all I might need it to carry home my loot. It was a lovely autumn morning, the leaves were fluttering down and desperate Monarch butterflies were swooping on the swan plants hoping for a last try at procreation.

I arrived at the house where the rather genteel, elderly lady with a blue hair rinse, stood with her goodies arranged tastefully on benches. Shortly we were bargaining amiably over a couple of items. There was a gorgeous cat stretched out under a bench and I admired her.

"Her name's Buttercup," said the woman fondly. "She loves everyone."

But Buttercup didn't love quite everyone. Suddenly there was a flash of a streaking body from under a nearby car and the two cats began having a ding dong fight under the bench. The elderly one was equal to the occasion. She seized a couple of lemons from an open bag on the sales bench and began hurling them at the intruder. Although it was hard to see where Buttercup began and the intruder finished, such was the blurr of bodies. "That bloody cat" screamed the woman, gentility forgotten. "I'd like to have his guts for garters. He's always beating up Buttercup. And he's quite well fed so he's not a stray. I just wish I could meet his owner."

The cats vanished. One streaking one way and one the other. I was deeply sympathetic. "We're slaves to a cat called Ollie" I said. "I'd hate to have some flea-bitten tom beating him up all the time." We exchanged a few pleasantries about the problems of marauding toms before I wandered off down the drive in the sunshine.

The woman's car was parked in the driveway and I noticed a movement near the side of the wheel. I stooped over. The intruder was washing his paws and spitting out bits of Buttercup hair. I blanched. Even though it was dark under the car there was no mistaking the miscreant. "Ollie," I ground out in a stage whisper.

The cat didn't recognise me for a minute then realization dawned. "Meow," he said loudly.

"Shhhhush," I hissed back. "Come here, Ollie, puss puss."

The woman had her back to me further down the drive. Perhaps we'd get away with it.

Ollie strolled out from under the car and bowed a couple of times. It had been quite a show. I saw immediately that there was yellow hair stuck to a front fang and some on his ears. She'd hang him!!!

I grabbed up the cat. I shoved his head in my large purse and draped my windbreaker purchases over his back. I was on the run. I looked around surreptitiously. I was just in time. The woman had seen me and was already heading down the drive.

"Something wrong," she cooeed.

I gave a manic laugh and shouted, "Not a thing." I bolted for the car clutching a squirming, yowling Ollie. It was cops and robbers all over again. I had to escape. Buttercup had limped down the drive behind the lady and was making a mournful howling noise. Poor Little Buttercup! But this was no time to be squeamish. I flung the cat in the car before he shot from my arms to re-start the pursuit of Poor Little Buttercup.

As I gunned the motor and shot down the street I managed to roll up the window before Ollie made a bid for freedom. I caught a final glimpse of the woman's face as she finally saw Ollie, and a dawning realisation.

Do you think she knows where I live? Did she follow me? Will Ollie pay a return visit to beat up Poor Little Buttercup? Did we both get away with it? Watch this space.


Editor's note:

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