Anna Takes Out the Trash

“Oh, Christ on a bike!” I muttered.  The darn cats had been in my flower bed again.  You’d think I never cleaned their litter box at all, the way they trample the azaleas and dig holes between the tulips.  If they weren’t so damned cute I’d drown the lot of them, I swear.

I trudged back to the shed and rooted around for a rake and a bag.  As I always say, never clean a litter box tomorrow that is dirty today.

Leaving the shed, I spied Bruin staring vacantly over the hedgerow.  What a kook he is.  Bush pilot my ass, the man couldn’t find his way out of his yard with any regularity let alone find his way out of the bush.

“Oh, hello Anna,” he shouted.  “Looks like someone’s been in your bushes, eh?”

“Yes, Bruin, I know,” I shouted back.  “Just the cats again.”

“No, those footprints look larger than your cats, Anna,” he said, pointing to the beleaguered azaleas.  “Unless they’ve taken to wearing size 10 Nike’s, eh?”

Puzzled, I bent down for a closer look.  Well, I’ll be buggered!  Someone had been traipsing through the garden!  Fuming, I stood up and threw the rake to the ground.  “Christ on a bike, if I catch the bugger he’ll be cat food before you can say boo, I tell ya!”

“Well now, Anna, maybe it was just kids, you know, fetching their ball or somethin’.  Nothing to get excited about.”

“What, I’m supposed to play the meek old lady and let them trample my gardens?  I think not!  Listen, Bruin, you see anything you let me know, you hear?  I’m gonna sit in that window till Kingdom Come if I have to, I’m gonna catch this bastard and give him a piece of my mind!  Then he’ll know he can’t walk all over old Anna!”

“Okay, Anna…um…I’m gonna go back in now.  Don’t do anything stupid, eh?” 

“’Don’t do anything stupid’, like that isn’t calling the kettle black”, I muttered.  I stooped to pick up the rake and headed back into the house.  I’ll show him.  I’ll catch the S.O.B. and then he’ll have something to talk about.

I pulled the old wing chair over to the window.  Not so close that it would be obvious I was watching but just close enough that I could stand up and catch the perpetrator.  Gosh, I felt just like a detective on stakeout on CSI or something.

Within minutes I had three cats on my lap and one perched on the back of the chair, purring in my ear.

“Keep your eyes peeled, girls.  We’re out to catch a killer tonight!”

Day faded to dusk and after making a cup of tea – this stakeout stuff sure was drying – I opened the window to better hear any noises and catch a bit of the evening breeze.  As I was lifting the cup to my lips I heard a distinct snap of foliage.  Creepin’ Jesus!  What is he doing, crawling through the garden?  I haven’t seen a thing!

Suddenly a brilliant flash of light stole my eyesight.  I dropped my tea cup in surprise and cats screeched all around me.  Blinded, I grabbed the rake from beside the chair and thrust it through the open window.

“Ow!  My eye!” I heard.

“Your eye?  You’ve bloody well blinded me, you bastard!” I screamed, stumbling for the door, trusty rake in hand.

“Look what you’ve done to my camera!” I heard as I rounded the corner of the house, my eyesight slowly returning.  Coming to the edge of the garden I saw a crumpled form rising out of the more crumpled azaleas.

“Why you wretched Peeping Tom!” I cried.  I raised the rake and swung with all my might.  “I’ll teach you to pester poor defenceless old ladies!”

I swung and I swung until from beside me I heard, “Um, Anna?  I think you can stop now, eh?  He ain’t movin’ no more.”

I stopped, looked down, and saw my poor azaleas now blood spattered and torn.  Looking up at Bruin’s terrified face I sighed.

“Well, I always say – Never clean a litter box tomorrow that is dirty today.”


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