the cat rustler

Jalaika was not impressed.

StoryKettle » Colin » the cat rustler

Copyright © 2008, Michael M Wayman

Jalaika worked as a civil servant in a federal office for something so unimportant that I could never remember it, the word was five miles too long.

The name Jalaika rhymes with “Do you like her?” and I did. She taught me better German, she was German, but not one bit German. She was fun!!!

Three of them!!! Yes, that's OK in German.

How come you work in that office for what ever it is? How can you do that and be you? You can dance, you can laugh, you know how to have fun.

She laughed. No answer.

It was fun being with Jalaika. We went to discos – Jalaika had to dance. We went to pubs – we liked to drink. Particularly Kölsch beer in the Rotebühlstraße. I still met with expats once a week for a long session – Jalaika was not impressed.

One week there were a lot of new expats, a big new software project, software to help rescue people lost in supermarkets. Drinking and boasting go together, a lot of drinking leads to a lot of boasting – we got to talking about what evil things we'd done in our lives.

One guy said that he was a cat rustler, he stole other people's pet cats and kept them. They mostly escaped and went back to their owners – until he discovered cat pie.

Another said that he had been inside, but he would not say what for.

The one with glasses had been a pet tax collector. He visited houses and collected money for budgerigars and rabbits and other small animals.

“There is not tax for those animals!” we all cried.

Yes, you've got it. I kept the money, but I didn't charge for cats.

Why not?

Oh, I told all the old ladies with cats, they were all old ladies, that cats are a pest and are evil and plain nasty. I told 'em to drown the cats, I don't think that they did though.

One stole books from shops and left them in libraries. One “collected” road signs.

It was my turn. I visit all the continents on the planet to find pretty young girls that I capture and turn into slaves – quite nice really.

I did not know that Jalaika had arrived and was talking to the barmaids. She overheard our silly boasting and...

She tied her scarf round her head and approached me very slowly.

What is my master's wish?

She knelt in front of me and kissed my knees and my toes – it was summer.

I got the message.

Go to my great chariot, prepare the horses, we shall ride into the sunset and my lust will be satisfied.

She drove me home and helped me into bed. I don't know if the other expats were just boasting or not, why be so horrible to cats, but they all believed my story, at least until the next week.

I took Jalaika to a barbecue in the woods that the other expats had arranged. Someone lit a bonfire. We sat around the fire and ate the blackened sausages and meat. We drank a lot and the sun went down.

Jalaika said that she found the expats worse than the Schwabs. I asked her to be a bit more diplomatic. I turned to her and saw her face in the firelight.

She was different.

I know that you have a secret.

Yes, but you don't know what it is.