In my curacy, many moons ago, I got upset when Sunday numbers went down when the Boss went off on holiday. Who did they come to church for, I would ask! On his return, he'd try to comfort me with, "Well, when the cat's away...". Much the same happens in St Aug's today, and my numbers drop dreadfully when I'm off enjoying myself, but that's for another day, or another sermon!
What happens when the people are away? Let me explain...
On our return from holiday, about midnight, we noticed a few feathers in the living room, and we suspected the worst. The young lad explained that there had been various birds and little mice removed during the three weeks, and he suspected the fireside rug had, maybe, been used as a litter tray once or twice.
A hunt was commissioned, and there it was.. a great dirty, dead, rat, hiding away at the back, underneath the little coffee table in the corner of the room. decomposure was minimal, as the house has been pretty freezing and we really wonder if it's possible that it's been lying there for a week or more, but there it was in all its glory.
I now sit in a living room stinking of bleach and disinfectant, which the air-fresheners are fighting a losing battle with. The rug is still outside trying to dry, and two little faces look at me in all innocence.
When the cat's away... well, when the people who live here are away... the little sods are going back to the cattery next time, and no mistake!