Mary had a busy morning ironing Emily’s nightdresses whilst the cat lay under the table watching her.Eventually she rang BT to enquire whether a 66 per cent increase in the bill was normal when inflation was onlty 3 per cent.Despiter her knowledge of quantum theory and dysfynctional analysis she was unable to understand the explanation.Though she did get a slight reduction.
As she sat down at the table to fill in the Accounts Book she realised that instead of a pen she had a grapefruit spoon in her right hand.
This is just the end,she told herself.I need to relax.I am all knotted up like a ball of string.How can I change my life? Alas no ideas came into her mind as she sat staring out of the French windows at the grey and lilac November sky.
As Stan came back from his walk full of fresh air, he saw Mary sitting sobbing by the television.
What’s the matter,dearest? he asked her gently.
It’s all these bills plus the fact that I buy hundreds of pens every year yet can never find one,she said dolefully.
Yes,it’s a bit like the disappearing teaspoons, he said in a reflective tone.I suppose we must accidentally toss them into the kitchen bin when clearing up.I am not surprised so many old folk get paranoia as we like to think somebody else is responsible for the mess we live in.
And,Mary said,I bought a tablet since it’s Black Friday.But after spending ages trying to connect the camera I found it doesn’t have one.
That’s the downside of trying to buy things more cheaply,Stan said wisely.
I suppose it’s a bit like a religion.Everyone is rushing about buying stuff so we feel we should join in,Mary blurted out in a manner unlike her usual detached and affectless manner developed as a technique in her job as a maths lecturer.
I think I’d rather meditate in the church than go shopping for bargains,Stan answered.Do you feel we ought to resume our old religion.he asked her pointedly.
Well,you’ll have to give up sinning with Annie, she told him with a smile.I know i am a bit lacking in that department but it’s not personal to you.I have never felt much interest in sex except with a film star.Perhaps I should have been a nun.Still I do like sharing my life with you and the cats and even Annie…. and we have our daughters too though where are they now?
Are we keeping this little female cat,Stan asked jovially.
Oh,yes.I have already bought her some nightdresses so she can sleep by your arm at night
.I just hope Emile will not be jealous,Mary said anxiously.
Well.I want a female in bed,even if it’s a cat,Stan told her.I just want a bit of affection.And she seems not to be a scratcher.Emily purred loudly as she had been starving since her owner Jean had moved into a retirement complex where animals were forbidden although they do allow fleas and bed bugs we are told.But who wants to sleep with a bug ? They are unkind and nasty little creatures though God must have had a plan for them.He alone knows what it was.
Annie was standing outside wearing a red corduroy outfit and a purple woollen hat. and matching suede leather boots.She tapped on the window and Mary went to open the back door.
Would you like some tea,Annie,she asked her politely.
I’d love some.,was the answer.I have made some shortcake with real butter in it and she pulled a large bag of biscuits from her large leopard skin handbag..
Did you make them,Mary enquired courteously.
Yes,I decided to begin to buy fewer things in the shops and I use less sugar.Did you know your brain and heart need some fat?
No,said Mary.But I know the brain contains a lot of fat… so we must need it and butter is delicious as well.Maybe I shall make something but I have a lot of ironing with the new cat.
Surely you don’t iron the cat,Annie shouted. in horror
No, it’s just she likes pretty dresses,Mary called.Come here Emily, she carried on.Emily came out from under the table wearing a white denim skirt and a pink blouse…. and a red hat.
How can she climb trees, asked Annie.
Well,all these clothes are machine washable.And she has no shoes on so she can use her claws.Anyway she doesn’t go out much as she hates the cold.I suppose I could get her a goodesdown parka…
I think some jeans would be better, or jeggings.. with a tunic top.How about a headscarf too now it’s winter,Annie murmured softly
What a problem it is for cat owners.Should they put their pets on a fixed allowance or let them spend whatever they like with their own credit card?The two women were soon deep in thought while Stan went and made some nice hot tea.We all need a man now and then… even if we don’t have one of our own… maybe we can borrow one like we do with library books.Now that seems a good idea.
Stan would be shocked at the thought he might be avaiable on loan from the library but it would make him feel wanted and useful and give him an insight into the women of Knittingham and their unique ways.And that might help his marriage or at least give them something to talk about.
The end of the tale