I have always loved pets, particularly cats. I have, really. It is true that when my dear husband died I set my mind on buying a feline to keep me company. A quiet, good-mannered Persian one I had spotted in the shop window of the big pet shop downtown. Until I heard from the shop assistant there that it would need to be groomed daily. That put me off buying it. Too much trouble, I thought and figured I could do without a companion for a while.
Until that shaggy stray cat appeared at our doorstep one day. Mr Nikos, the neighbor next door fed it every day. Of course, he never allowed it into his house. He just let it roam the premises, ignoring the fact that the horrid animal relished to empty its bowels on my fluffy, brown doormat. Every single day I would wash it clean off its contaminated excrement, the mat having by now become as sleek as a steak.
I told Mr Nikos to stop feeding it so that it would finally leave the house but he gave me the cold shoulder and kept fending for the scruffy animal. And when I placed the ceramic pot with the red carnations my sister had brought as a birthday present outside the door, the canny pet changed target and emptied its bowels on the pot. Yes, it’s true I did plant those pointed sticks I’d used for making souvlakia on the soil of the pot so that he would stop its abhorrent habit. But not to harm it in any way.
I have to admit, I felt pity for the poor animal when it started trudging its way around the entrance hall, retching like mad. I thought it must have eaten something that disturbed its stomach. I only realized how serious its problem was when I found it stiff dead on my doormat one morning. Mr Nikos accused me of poisoning it but why should I resort to such a dishonest act? Yes, it’s true I fed it a day before but I can assure you the food hadn’t gone off. I had some myself prior to offering the cat the leftovers. Mr Nikos said it smelled weird. Seriously, hasn’t this man got anything more worthwhile to do with his life other than go about sniffing at cat food on people’s doorsteps? I told him I found his accusations unreasonable and unsubstantiated. I told him I love pets, particularly cats, I once wanted to buy a Persian and I would never harm them in any way.