Sunday, 16 June 2019

Write-In 2019: 'Taking the Mickey' by Amanda Jones

A shout from my mother. “Mouse. Quick. Mouse.” “Yes, coming”. Where was Linus when you needed him? Blasted cat.

In her room, I realised there was a new development in the mouse scenario. The creature had clearly dined well. It was wedged fast in the hole. Front quarters invisible. Hind legs scrabbling. 

The snap of the cat-flap heralded Linus. He swaggered in. The mouse sensed danger. A small pile of droppings appeared and it plunged forward into the skirting board.

“Honestly, Linus” I said. “Honestly? Honestly what? ” He’s always peevish when he’s tired, now he was slurring after a night on the tiles. “May I have some breakfast please” he said with studied politeness. Then he sat bolt upright , stuck a leg in the air and did cat-cleaning things. I shuffled off to the kitchen. “Coffee mum?” “What time is it?” “Five.” “No thanks. But please get that ridiculous cat out of here.“ “Going” snapped Linus. She and Linus don’t speak. She pretends she can’t hear him. “Are you going to clear up this mouse manure?”. “Yes, in a minute”. Linus cackled. We both pretended not to hear him”.

There was silence. Linus can’t groom and speak. We both know this. It’s a recipe for fur-balls. I made coffee and toast, grabbed a sachet “Cod ok?” He had finished grooming. “No. Tuna. And some of my special milk please”.

So here we are. I sit at the table. He sits on the floor. That rule does survive. “It’s all take, take, take with you” I say. “Of course. I’m a cat. It’s what we do”. He wanders over to his basket. Turns round three times. Curls up. He’s asleep before I close the front door.

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