The second cat was not the problem. Everyone agreed that, at her age, living on her own, and with an aging cat Nancy was smart to get a second cat. The older cat resisted at first, but eventually the two mogs found their own territory. Besides, the Home that they were moving into was happy to take a cat, and the first wouldn’t last much longer. The third and fourth cats were more of a concern – twin kittens Nancy’s neighbour had given her before moving overseas. The kittens tormented the others, and were only partially house trained, and Nancy’s failing eyesight often made it difficult for her to locate the source of the smells. The first cat became extremely ill and it was when she was taking her to be euthanized that she found cat number five.

It was when she adopted cat number six that her daughters got together to form an intervention. They sat her down in her lounge room and told her that they were concerned. She listened patiently, and would have continued to do so, but the intervention ended suddenly when Dorothy went behind the couch to open the window and her foot, in its open toed sandal, discovered one of the mystery gifts left by one of the kittens. She had screamed, she had yelled, she had sworn twice and she had left. Faith, the remaining daughter, had diligently cleaned up the mess, only stopping once to run to the toilet to throw up, and had issued an ultimatum to her mother: chose one. The rest are going to the RSCPCA.

When she returned a week later, she spotted three more cats that she did not recognise. She did not enter the house, but called her mother for an explanation. Her mother said that she did not know where the cats were coming from, but that they were happy and she was happy, and what difference did it make? The vet’s assistant had housetrained the kittens and everything was fine.

Faith and Dorothy conspired to find a solution. They had to move her into the Home or she’d lose the place. They arranged a moving van and went to her house early one Thursday morning. But when they knocked on the door, Nancy only opened it as far as the chain would allow. She was sorry, but she wasn’t going. The cats and she were happy. She closed the door. The women stood outside with the moving company men and tried to figure a solution. As they stood, Dorothy on her mobile, Faith assuring the moving men that they would be paid, a young man in a suit walked up to them. He’d introduced himself as the lawyer of Mrs Truscott, and advised that she would not be moving to the home, that she would be retaining ownership of all of the pets within the property, and, unless they agreed to accept this, she was requesting no further visits from her daughters. He handed them some documents and left. Faith and Dorothy looked at each other, shocked. The moving men left and the woman decided to meet down the street for a coffee to look over the documents and decide where to go from here.

It was only as Dorothy drove away that she looked back to the house and saw them looking at her. Thirteen pairs of eyes, and only one set human.


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