Ginger Tom by AL Bowden

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Ginger Tom
Synopsis:

'Hey! Get out of it!'
Ziggy was dumped unceremoniously onto the floor and promptly jumped up onto Katarzyna's lap and began purring loudly, his eye's half closed dreamily.
Without looking up from her magazine, Katarzyna drooled in her thick Polish accent, 'He likes the bacon. You should pay attention on eating and not your newspaper if you not want to share, Rudy.'
'Why do you call me Rudy?' He questioned through a mouth part full of bacon he had shovelled in after Ziggy's attempt to pilfer it.
Katarzyna didn't answer. She'd always called him Rudy. He'd never questioned why before. By now, Ziggy had one white paw on the table, with another following close behind. He was sniffing out a piece of toast, easing himself stealthily closer. Katarzyna was oblivious.
'Look! He's after your toast now, little blighter,' Rudy warned.
Katarzyna looked lazily over her magazine and smiled down on Ziggy as she tore off a piece of toast and fed it to him.
'See? I brought up to share,' she said, looking pointedly at Rudy.
'That cat's spoilt. It's unhygienic allowing him on the table,' protested Rudy.
'Is my baby,' Katarzyna nuzzled into Ziggy's thick ginger coat and Ziggy responded by butting her head gently.
'He nearly bit me just now when I put him on the floor. Viscious git,' Rudy sulked.
'Is not git! You upset him. He like bacon. You no give him tiny bit, he no like you,' Katarzyna spat.
'How is this my fault?' Rudy exclaimed, scraping his wooden chair across the ceramic tiled kitchen floor as he stood.
Ziggy, who had returned to Katarzyna's lap and was padding at her small pot-belly, was temporarily startled by the noise but soon settled back down, pawing more determinedly. As he did so, Katarzyna's dressing gown began to slip, exposing her thigh. Rudy stared down lustfully.
Katarzyna did not respond to Rudy's outburst. Instead, she spooned three sugars into her strong black coffee and plonked the spoon down on the pine table, now stained from numerous times she had done this. Rudy tutted and picked up the spoon, taking it to the sink with his plate. Unwashed crockery from the previous day lay abandoned in cold greasy water like debris in a polluted river.
'It was your turn to wash up yesterday,' Rudy stated, pouring the fetid water away and wrinkling his nose in disgust as the crockery clanked together releasing sour aromas.
'Tak, tak,' Katarzyna muttered, still reading her magazine. She slurped her coffee and banged her cup down, adding another ring to the abused table.
'You ran the water, ' Rudy forged on. ' You must've meant to so why didn't you?'
'Why you nag me? Is my house!' Katarzyna snapped. 'You big moaning mini. Always is clean this, tidy that, no spoon here, no cat there. Nag, nag. Like pecking chicken.'
Rudy spun to face her, 'You live in a pigsty, and his bloody hairs are everywhere.'
'Oh, I pig now?' Katarzyna said, finally looking up from her magazine. 'I pig and you chicken. Maybe we start zoo!' She snorted like a pig and laughed at Rudy. Ziggy shot up at the noise, hunched his back and hissed at Rudy.
'I'm going to get ready for work,' Rudy stomped upstairs, red-faced.
Ziggy had just settled and Katarzyna had gone back to her magazine when they were both jolted from their reverie by a yell.
'Kat!!'
Kat rolled her eyes. She gathered Ziggy, cradled him like a baby and dragged herself upstairs where Rudy stood even redder-faced in the bedroom doorway.
'Why you yell for now? This why I call you Rudy.'
'What?! Look at what that little git has done now.'
'Always you red-face,' continued Kat, ignoring Rudy gesticulating at her. 'Red face when blush when was shy quiet boy, not like now. Now shouty boy, and red face when shout. Red face when sit in sun for five minutes.'
'He's puked on the bed. On my pillow.' Rudy pulled Kat closer in the doorway.
Kat peered at the bed and shrugged, 'Is fur ball. He cannot help.' She tickled Ziggy's tummy and he licked her hand appreciatively.
Rudy looked fit to burst. Kat softened her gaze, tilted her head and tucked her hair behind her ear in a way she knew he found sexy.
'You go work,' she smiled. 'I put in washing machine. All clean, no cat sick, tak?'
But Rudy would not be swayed. He pushed past Kat, glowering at Ziggy, who he swore glared back.
'He woke me up this morning by licking my eyelid and breathing his fishy breath on my face.'
'Is sign of affection. Sometimes he like you. Sometimes you nice,' Kat stated.
Rudy began to walk downstairs and stopped. 'He climbed my leg yesterday when I was walking into the lounge eating a ham sandwich. I look like I've been dragged through brambles,' Rudy complained.
'Ziggy like ham. You big meanie not to give him little bit,' Kat threw back.
Rudy was half way down the stairs when Kat answered. He stopped and looked up at her coddling the cat.
'I've had enough. He's ruined half my clothes, half my body; I am constantly covered in scratches. He's ruining my life.'
'Go to work, Mr Grumpy,' Kat interrupted.
'I mean it.' Rudy warned.
'Tak, tak,' Kat waved her hand dismissively.
'He goes or I do,' Rudy said, stamping down the stairs and slamming the front door as he left.
The next few days were quiet. Kat and Rudy barely spoke. On Friday night the 'phone rang and Rudy answered it. After listening for a while, he called Kat.
''Phone for you!'
Kat sauntered out and took the 'phone.
'It's a lady responding to your ad to re-home a house-trained ginger tom,' Rudy explained, grinning like the cat that got the cream.
Kat handed the 'phone back, smiling, 'Is not for me, is for you, Tom. Other reason I call you Rudy is ginger hair,' she said as she walked away.

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'Hey! Get out of it!'

Ziggy was dumped unceremoniously onto the floor and promptly jumped up onto Katarzyna's lap and began purring loudly, his eye's half closed dreamily.

Without looking up from her magazine, Katarzyna drooled in her thick Polish accent, 'He likes the bacon. You should pay attention on eating and not your newspaper if you not want to share, Rudy.'

'Why do you call me Rudy?' He questioned through a mouth part full of bacon he had shovelled in after Ziggy's attempt to pilfer it.

Katarzyna didn't answer. She'd always called him Rudy. He'd never questioned why before. By now, Ziggy had one white paw on the table, with another following close behind. He was sniffing out a piece of toast, easing himself stealthily closer. Katarzyna was oblivious.

'Look! He's after your toast now, little blighter,' Rudy warned.

Katarzyna looked lazily over her magazine and smiled down on Ziggy as she tore off a piece of toast and fed it to him.

'See? I brought up to share,' she said, looking pointedly at Rudy.

'That cat's spoilt. It's unhygienic allowing him on the table,' protested Rudy.

'Is my baby,' Katarzyna nuzzled into Ziggy's thick ginger coat and Ziggy responded by butting her head gently.

'He nearly bit me just now when I put him on the floor. Viscious git,' Rudy sulked.

'Is not git! You upset him. He like bacon. You no give him tiny bit, he no like you,' Katarzyna spat.

'How is this my fault?' Rudy exclaimed, scraping his wooden chair across the ceramic tiled kitchen floor as he stood.

Ziggy, who had returned to Katarzyna's lap and was padding at her small pot-belly, was temporarily startled by the noise but soon settled back down, pawing more determinedly. As he did so, Katarzyna's dressing gown began to slip, exposing her thigh. Rudy stared down lustfully.

Katarzyna did not respond to Rudy's outburst. Instead, she spooned three sugars into her strong black coffee and plonked the spoon down on the pine table, now stained from numerous times she had done this. Rudy tutted and picked up the spoon, taking it to the sink with his plate. Unwashed crockery from the previous day lay abandoned in cold greasy water like debris in a polluted river.

'It was your turn to wash up yesterday,' Rudy stated, pouring the fetid water away and wrinkling his nose in disgust as the crockery clanked together releasing sour aromas.

'Tak, tak,' Katarzyna muttered, still reading her magazine. She slurped her coffee and banged her cup down, adding another ring to the abused table.

'You ran the water, ' Rudy forged on. ' You must've meant to so why didn't you?'

'Why you nag me? Is my house!' Katarzyna snapped. 'You big moaning mini. Always is clean this, tidy that, no spoon here, no cat there. Nag, nag. Like pecking chicken.'

Rudy spun to face her, 'You live in a pigsty, and his bloody hairs are everywhere.'

'Oh, I pig now?' Katarzyna said, finally looking up from her magazine. 'I pig and you chicken. Maybe we start zoo!' She snorted like a pig and laughed at Rudy. Ziggy shot up at the noise, hunched his back and hissed at Rudy.

'I'm going to get ready for work,' Rudy stomped upstairs, red-faced.

Ziggy had just settled and Katarzyna had gone back to her magazine when they were both jolted from their reverie by a yell.

'Kat!!'

Kat rolled her eyes. She gathered Ziggy, cradled him like a baby and dragged herself upstairs where Rudy stood even redder-faced in the bedroom doorway.

'Why you yell for now? This why I call you Rudy.'

'What?! Look at what that little git has done now.'

'Always you red-face,' continued Kat, ignoring Rudy gesticulating at her. 'Red face when blush when was shy quiet boy, not like now. Now shouty boy, and red face when shout. Red face when sit in sun for five minutes.'

'He's puked on the bed. On my pillow.' Rudy pulled Kat closer in the doorway.

Kat peered at the bed and shrugged, 'Is fur ball. He cannot help.' She tickled Ziggy's tummy and he licked her hand appreciatively.

Rudy looked fit to burst. Kat softened her gaze, tilted her head and tucked her hair behind her ear in a way she knew he found sexy.

'You go work,' she smiled. 'I put in washing machine. All clean, no cat sick, tak?'

But Rudy would not be swayed. He pushed past Kat, glowering at Ziggy, who he swore glared back.

'He woke me up this morning by licking my eyelid and breathing his fishy breath on my face.'

'Is sign of affection. Sometimes he like you. Sometimes you nice,' Kat stated.

Rudy began to walk downstairs and stopped. 'He climbed my leg yesterday when I was walking into the lounge eating a ham sandwich. I look like I've been dragged through brambles,' Rudy complained.

'Ziggy like ham. You big meanie not to give him little bit,' Kat threw back.

Rudy was half way down the stairs when Kat answered. He stopped and looked up at her coddling the cat.

'I've had enough. He's ruined half my clothes, half my body; I am constantly covered in scratches. He's ruining my life.'

'Go to work, Mr Grumpy,' Kat interrupted.

'I mean it.' Rudy warned.

'Tak, tak,' Kat waved her hand dismissively.

'He goes or I do,' Rudy said, stamping down the stairs and slamming the front door as he left.

The next few days were quiet. Kat and Rudy barely spoke. On Friday night the 'phone rang and Rudy answered it. After listening for a while, he called Kat.

''Phone for you!'

Kat sauntered out and took the 'phone.

'It's a lady responding to your ad to re-home a house-trained ginger tom,' Rudy explained, grinning like the cat that got the cream.

Kat handed the 'phone back, smiling, 'Is not for me, is for you, Tom. Other reason I call you Rudy is ginger hair,' she said as she walked away.

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