I do not pretend to have mastered the secrets of the Timelords - but join me nonetheless as we step back a short while to before the recent unfortunate fang-based incident. The hot topic of the moment was, of course, Gisèle's ill-advised "I love Peaches Party", which she was planning for one of the most irredeemably evil cats it has ever been my misfortune to encounter. Giz's theory was that Peaches was so abominably foul to any and everyone because he was lonely and didn't have any friends. Well, that much may be true, but in all the years I knew Peaches and shared a street with him I never heard him express any desire for a companion - quite the reverse, in fact. Ghastly little maggot.
Anyway - Gisèle had made up her mind and was not to be swayed. She had successfully roped in a reluctant Laddie and an even-more-reluctant and nonplussed Betty and was happily chattering to anyone who would listen (and a few who wouldn't) about her plans for the great event. Betty's expression was one of weary resignation as she was forced to listen to another stream of party-prattle from her little Jack Russell friend.
"...Rosie says she will come if she doesn't have to sit in the garden with Peaches. Fizzy says she's not coming if you are coming because she hates your whiskers-"
Betty snorted derisively.
"I should refuse to attend any function to which she was invited, in any case." barked Elizabeth.
"Well, quite. Honey says she'll only come if Peaches isn't going to be there, so we'd better put her down as a 'no'. Laddie is definitely coming, Archie [Jack Russell at the end of our terrace] says he might if I give him a kiss and Digby [Westie who has the gross misfortune to live next-door to Peaches] says he wouldn't come if I gave him all the roast beef in the world. So a nice little number, I think..."
"Oh, for Heaven's sake Gizzles, just chuck some money at the d*mn thing and go out for the day!" sighed Betty.
"What d'you mean?"
"I mean give your housekeeper and the staff a wad of overtime and enough for their own party and let THEM manage the whole sordid affair. That's what I'd do.".
"I haven't got a housekeeper!" yipped Giz, "Or any staff."
Betty, it must be explained, normally resides in a household with indoor AND outdoor staff - she possibly even has a maid to prepare her own meals, but of this one cannot be certain as Betty is extremely discreet and well-cultured.
"Well, what about your gamekeeper or estates manager?" sighed Betty, "Can't either of them sort something out, if you make it, er, worth their while?"
"I'm not sure what lands or estates you think I might have somewhere else, Bettz, but this is pretty much it." replied Giz, gesturing around at our small garden.
"It's nice. I like sitting in this garden." said Betty, "But I've really got a bad feeling about this Peaches party, Giz. I mean, he's SUCH a grotty little turd."
"Betty, that's unkind!" exclaimed Gisèle. "Anyway, it's too late. The invitations have gone out, Laddie is bringing some dips, Mistress is going to buy a carton of special milk for cats when she next goes to the shops, and I killed that mouse which I'm saving for our guest of honour..."
"Oh dear, were you saving it for the party?" mumbled Betty, looking shifty, "That might be a bit of a problem..."
"I ate it." confessed Betty, "Sorry Gizzy, I didn't realise you were saving it for the party..."
"Betty!" yapped Giz, "I TOLD you I was saving it for the party! I'm going to have to do another one now!"
"Sorry." said Betty, humbled.
"Never mind." sighed little Gizmo, "I suppose a new one will be fresher... So - are you all clear about what you are doing on the day?"
"Ye-ees." groaned Betty, rolling her eyes heavenwards. "I greet the guests when they arrive and bark 'Hello, welcome to our Peaches Party, may I take your lead and collar? Drinks are over there.' And don't worry Giz, I'll make sure that my maid's outfit is clean and freshly-pressed..."
"There is no need for sarcasm, Elizabeth." replied Giz, giving her friend a cheeky smile nevertheless. "Isn't this all so VERY exciting?! It's getting closer - I can't wait for the party to come!"
"I bl**dy-well can..." muttered Betty under her breath. Fortunately, Gisèle had pattered off indoors to re-count her party napkins and did not hear her.
Dear, oh dear...
By way of light relief, here is a picture of Gisèle from yesterday's Watercress Festival, where she was doing the rounds as Watercress Canine Princess. Forgive the rather bizarre expression on her little face - she was attempting to wink at the camera:-