With an extra half hour up our sleeves, we decided to do a couple of extra drop-ins on the way to my eleven o’clock appointment. There was a parcel to be collected, eggs to deliver, petrol to buy and as it was on our way, we could pay Butterfly’s over-due licence. It is surprising how a few short stops can erode the time, I was feeling a little stressed on arrival at the council offices, as our free time was running out. With no parking spots to be seen, Hubby double parked, allowing me to alight from the car and attend to the payment, while he attempted to find a vacant one. Other than a dentist, doctors or a post-office, I find the wait for attention at a council office can be one of the longest. Not this one, just one gentleman ahead of me. Heading to the counter my heart started to sink, he stood about six feet tall, built and dressed like a farm worker, with his left leg slightly bent, an elbow resting on the counter, his other hand on his hip, the casual stance of someone having an enjoyable conversation, and in no hurry to depart. My arrival just behind him, had him straightening up, ending his conversation, and with a cheery G’d morning and a charming smile he left. Approaching the counter, handing over the licence application, much to the amusement of the young man in attendance, I apologise profusely for the offending coffee stain that had ingrained itself across one corner of the form. In what I suspect was an attempt to put me at ease he stated, No worries, you should see the condition of some I receive, a lot people just don’t like having to pay a licence fee for their pets. His request for my pension card bought forth another apology, as of all the government cards that have been sent to me, a request for, your pension card, confuses the heck out of me. I hand over all three asking him to take his pick, with two that look exactly the same, I’m never sure which is the correct one, for whatever purpose I happen to be attending to at any given time. He examines them closely, I see the grin, starting in his eyes and gradually spreading across his face, Yes Madam the only difference I can see is, one is for last year, the other is its replacement. Would you like me to destroy the expired one? Regaining my composure and handing over the money, muttering, that not only have we saved this feral kittens life and offered it a home, but we haven’t had our hand out of our pocket since, it’s not fair that they are so endearing. He then told me that a cat breeding friend had offered him a beautiful pure breed Burmese, that after eleven miscarriages was of no use to them, but warned that it could very well be expecting again, although, not to worry she wouldn’t go full term, and to call them if they were worried when she miscarried. His dad fell in love with the creature, doting on it and claiming it as his own. A couple of weeks later she was hit by a car. Oh my Lord I gasped, was she badly hurt? Yes, was his reply, Dad was beside himself, and rushed her to the vet, telling them to do what-ever was needed to save her. She lost half of her tail and one leg, coming through the whole ordeal with a dignity that only cats seem to possess, On returning to the Vet for her final examination and the removal of stiches, they were informed that, not only was she in excellent condition, and managing with ease without the leg, she was expecting at least four kittens in a matter of weeks. On hearing its history the Vet assured them that she showed all the signs of bearing this lot full term. The outcome being, yes she had her litter, his father was so proud and excited, his little girl had decided that it was time to settle down and become a Mum. Leaving the council office I thought we may be late for the appointment, but I wouldn’t have missed that story for the world. Damned animals, what a gift they are.