Screams and screeches brought the neighbours out. Women in carpet slippers holding a half-finished cigarettes, men with bed hair, still gripping the TV controllers. Everyone disturbed to see the wild red-haired woman waving her arms, brandishing a stick and screaming fit to die. That wild woman was me. I was furious, I was upset and I was on a mission.
It was lunchtime and I was taking my usual constitutional away from the office, fresh air is always welcome after a morning of serious thinking and writing stuff. Sainsbury’s was the destination today, I needed corn plasters for tonight’s run, you know, the ones with nice, soft gel padding, oh I’m such a martyr to my feet. As I passed the flats there was a most almighty commotion, yelping and hissing. Two pitbull-type dogs hurtled past following a ginger streak. Behind them was hoodie man, yelling ‘Fuck, Fuck, Fuck FUCKKKKKK!’
The ginger streak was a cat, running for its life. I assumed at least one of the dogs was called Fuck, though neither was responding to its minder. It was terrifying, each dog got hold of the cat in turn, it yowled and growled, though seemed to be giving as good as it got to begin with, sticking its claws into their bellies.
I couldn’t just continue on my quest for corn plasters, I had to do something, I love cats. So I did what any right-minded cat-lover would do, I ratcheted my voice up to on the scream screech scale, picked up a stick, waved my arms above my head and ran after the dogs and the hoodie. ‘Let go, let go, let GO!’ I shouted as the neighbours came our of the flats. ‘Fuck, Fuck, Fuck!’ yelled Hoodie.
The dogs were strong, all muscle and testosterone, I knew that if the cat got between them, they would rip it apart. I really couldn’t let that happen, though arm-waving, screeching and waving what turned out to be a rather flimsy stick wouldn’t stop the dogs. Hoodie laid into one of them, kicking it, I think that was Fuck. He collared the other one, though how he managed that when the dog had no collar was a mystery.
Somehow they let go. The cat’s owner appeared and scooped up the saucer-eyed creature, soaking wet from the chase through wet grass, growling, but not bloody. It responded to my little stroke on its head. The owner looked me in the eye, ‘Thank you’, she said. I’m not sure I did anything except act like a wild woman.
I composed myself and went back into my bureaucrat mode, confronting Hoodie and Fuck. ‘Are those dogs proscribed?’ I asked. He yelled after the owner telling her to take the cat away as the dogs would ‘ave it’ .Then realising that both Hoodie and dogs were more than a match for me and probably didn’t know what proscribed meant, I turned on my heels and headed for Sainsbury’s where, once through the door and in the safety of the corn plaster shelves, I promptly burst into tears.