When the Chilli got Sweet
Chilli was an old cat that belonged to Maggie Bursnip, the resident hairdresser of Ten Acre. A ginger tomcat of prodigious size both in length and girth, he often spent his days lying outside Maggie’s Salon demanding his belly be rubbed in exchange for safe access. Normally a placid cat, old Chilli had a flaw – he could not bear to be ignored.
Regrettably for Chilli, his favourite person, Mr Humble Sweet, had been giving him far less attention of late. Sweet had focused on his new friend that Sour lady who did not smile a lot. Millicent Sour did not like cats, she would sneeze a lot and her eyes water, her skin would come out in a rash and her expression would go from sour to bitter.
Chilli knew that Sour kept two dogs he disliked; very loud slobbery things, all bark and no bite. Sweet had barely noticed the growing ginger storm brewing on the mat next door. Chilli was not one to go down without a fight and decided to regain Sweet’s attentions using every feline means available, so he plotted…
Plan (A) – Location, location, location… Chilli placed himself somewhere impossible to overlook, and appeared so cute that it was unthinkable not to get his belly rubbed. He rolled on his back purring loudly as Sweet approached. He saw the orange balloon beached on his welcome mat and with a dismissive shoo sent an unhappy Chilli away.
Plan (B) – Location, location, location… Chilli rested on the window sill outside the back room where Sweet took his breaks and played the paw game on the window. That always got Humble to “ahhh” with delight. Chilli sat by the window all day hearing them talk. He called to Sweet with a loud meow which resulted in him hearing a panicked voice say: “Have you cat back there?” More cat shooing ensued…
Plan (C) – Direct action… Chilli ran straight at Humble as he left the shop, and began to purr and fuss around his legs. “Of course! You’ve been feeling left out haven’t you poor Chilli? There’s me spending all my time with Millicent. Well, I’ll just have to make sure I brush your hair off as best I can before she visits.” Success!
Humble Sweet knelt down to give the old tom a good belly rub and the ginger cat sounded like the happiest outboard motor in the world. Chilli had suddenly got sweet.