I had never before fully appreciated exactly how hard it is to obtain poisonous and illegal liquids over the counter in a pharmacy. Sodium Hexachloride... Hydrochloric acid... Solution of Barium Sulphate. Even simple Ammonia. My enquiries after these substances brought nothing but concerned frowns and threats to summon the constabulary from the local suppliers of medicines and sanitary goods. I have therefore had to resort to filling my water pistol with mere water.
My cunning plan had to wait a couple of nights before coming to fruition; it has been very cold indeed of late and the kitty-chorus was far too weedy to venture out on a fog and mist-filled night. However cometh a thaw, cometh the carollers. Listening carefully a couple of nights ago, my partner and I heard the pitter-patter of little paws making their approach to our window. Peeking out, we saw the three stooges readying themselves for song.
Yet again, I was baffled somewhat but the presence of one-third of this happy choir. During the summer, I regularly saw the Burmese cat, sitting in Maisie's driveway, enjoying the sun. He seemed entirely harmless, preferring his own company, inoffensively content to watch the world go by. He didn't even lunge suddenly towards any passing birds; just blinking casually as they spiralled above. I would tend to say that, of all the cats I have encountered, he is one of the finest examples. Which makes his presence among my tormentors all the more baffling. My partner suggested that he might have been bullied into joining the singers, as he shares a house with the New Cat and his wretched sidekick.
My partner and I waited behind the curtains, holding our breaths. We didn't have long to wait. The singers soon piped up, and all followed its natural course...
"Jasper's got a big fat belly,
Its rumble sounds just like a duck.
As cats, we never fear him,
He's a huge, fat, lazy fu - MEOWRRAARGH!"
For a well-brought-up young English girl, my partner has an incredibly accurate aim with a water-pistol. A jet of icy-cold water spurted across the deserving villains - striking the New Cat in his left eye at one point, I noted with satisfaction - and sending them fleeing back up the street howling in surprised rage. I pitied them not. As they receded into the dark, my partner aimed one final shot, which caught the New Cat directly on his "Little Brown Star". With a snarl, he abruptly brought down his tail to protect himself and disappeared around the corner.
After a moment or two of satisfied silence, my partner and I laughed together and hugged each other. I was still laughing when I woke up this morning. Those lads won't be back for a goodly while - unless they're eager for another richly-deserved soaking.
And now, I have my Christmas dinner to look forward to - one of the highest of the high points of the year. Life doesn't get much better than this.