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Cats

 

When I was working, at age 15, I bought a .22 rifle.  Almost everybody owned a rifle in those days; only a .22 calibre but it could still kill you. 

One day mum said to me, “Rossi there’s a cat under the house that’s going to have kittens, can you get rid of it”.  Of course that was right up my alley.  I thought the loud bang would only be heard by the neighbours so I only used a .22 short, not the full power of a .22 long.  Then I had to entice the cat to come out so I put a saucer of milk on the ground and said “here, puss puss puss” and out came the cat to within about six inches of the muzzle of the rifle. 

I pulled the trigger…  There weren’t any comments from the neighbours so I thought if I did it once I could do it again.  Every night there were dozens of cats; spitting, meowing and caterwauling everywhere.  You could go out the back door and shine a torch and you would see 15 to 20 cats sitting on the back fence. 

I would lean the rifle up against the side of the doorway, shine the torch along the top of the sights of the rifle right between the eyes of a cat and squeeze the trigger.  I very rarely missed.  Within the next couple of weeks I killed and buried quite a lot. 

One of the neighbours in the next street was missing her prize Manx Persian cat; it didn’t take her long to find out what had happened to it. Just about everybody knew what was going on, so she summonsed me.  There was a big write-up right on the front page of the Daily Telegraph – the headlines:

 
Cat Killer bought to Book. 

The reign of the Merrylands cat killer ended this week when Mrs Melinda Black summonsed Ross Smith, a 15 year old youth for shooting her prize Manx Persian cat.

The lad confessed to the crime. 

 

I have a very good long term memory but I probably couldn’t tell you what happened yesterday.  A big sergeant of police came around to see me.  Feeling a bit sorry for me he advised me to go around and apologise to the old lady which I did; and she withdrew the summons.

So it was when I was a boy.

 

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