Getting rid of the enemy

Simon parked his cute, orange car, christened ‘the Baked Bean’ in the street outside his newly purchased, modest, terraced house in Sevenoaks. He drove there every Saturday morning to share weekends and a mortgage with his steady girlfriend. He smiled at the thought of her beaming, tanned, blue-eyed face, which would soon be welcoming him. There was a struggle to extricate his six foot body from the tiny vehicle that he had driven from his mother’s bungalow, nestling amidst its six-acres of fields, where he lived during the working week. Weekends were spent with Mug, his twenty-eight year-old girlfriend. They had met two years previously, whilst working as graphic designers in a large, corporate, illustration studio in East London. They lived apart during the week due to his mother’s need for his support and company, having recently been widowed.
Far from the expected welcoming picture, he was greeted by a vision of a glowering Mug standing on their tiny lawn, foot drawn back, preparing to kick a fat, black cat, as if taking a penalty. The beast darted off before shoe connected to fur, leaping to the safety of the neighbour’s garden.
‘Not quite what I expected to see,’ he admitted, chortling at her vexed expression.
‘I’ve had more than enough grief from the bloody cats around here,’ she moaned. ‘I’m so sick of picking up their stinking excrement from our garden. Too much time, effort and money has been spent packing the borders with plants to allow fucking felines to turn our garden into their lavatory. I’ve tried every anti-cat product and old wives’ tale imaginable to deter them, but all to no avail.’
He replied, ‘Unlike you, I don’t know a flower from a weed. It’s so annoying our lawn’s defaced by yellow patches caused by neighbour’s cat wee. That stuff is like acid.’
‘We don’t even own a cat and I never want to. I’ve never liked the vicious bastards. Our family tabby cat once slinked through my bedroom window whilst I was doing my homework and dumped an open-eyed rabbit on my bedroom floor. I didn’t dare move for ages whilst the rabbit stared at me, in case it was still alive,’ she said.
‘We can pop out later to buy that chicken wire you wanted. It looks like rain, so it’s best to delay the work until it’s dry,’ he suggested.
Crestfallen, she said, ‘That’s a pity. I’m itching to put my anti-cat plan into action.’
Rain pelted down all weekend, but they were content doing what young lovers do. True to form during an English summer, the rain stopped and the sun popped out first thing on Monday morning. As they munched their canteen lunch together at work, she said, ‘I’m not waiting any longer. Operation ‘Sod Off Kitty’ starts as soon as I get home.’
‘I’ll come and help if you like,’ Simon offered.
‘No, I’ll manage. Your mum’s needs are greater than mine,’ she said nobly.
Armed with wire cutters, she unrolled the long, unwieldy roll of chicken wire. Laying the first fifteen-foot strip from one end of the square lawn to the other, she gingerly cut it from the roll. Kneeling, as if praying, she randomly snipped hundreds of cuts into the outstretched wire grid, bending every prong skyward. She repeated the tedious process until the entire lawn was clothed in ugly chicken wire, bristling with hedgehog spikes in order to deter cats from walking on the precious grass. Her hands were bleeding from scratches inflicted by the wire’s talons, but she comforted herself by thinking at least her strenuous efforts would banish cats from the garden.
Next morning, she caught the train from Sevenoaks station, as usual looking out for Simon as the train drew into Knockholt station. Spotting her, he clambered into her carriage.
‘Morning, babes,’ she said, noticing his concerned eyes on seeing her hands, torn badly from the spiteful wire, with plasters covering her deepest wounds. ‘Yesterday evening, as planned, I covered the lawn with chicken wire. It was a horrible job, as you can tell from the state of my hands.’
‘Not sure it was worth ripping yourself to shreds, but hopefully it’s the last we’ll see of those evil bastards,’ he replied.
‘I doubt it,’ she said, looking downcast. ‘The first thing I noticed this morning on opening the front door, was a shiny cat’s turd perched right on top of the newly-laid chicken wire, mocking me. I could weep!’

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