Tufty made up his mind. He paused in his hideout desperately hoping that, while she was away, the frazzle-haired woman would not come across the Siamese cat. He wanted to find her and ask her some questions himself.
He was in luck.
The woman returned past him and back into the kitchen saying “I’ve got it. Now stand still and stop dripping blood all over the place. It looks like there’s been a murder in here…”
Tufty seized the opportunity to extract himself and slink quickly in the opposite direction down the corridor.
As well as the kitchen and adjacent lounge room, the apartment consisted of a fair-sized bedroom which, Tufty knew, was accessed via the short hall. He snuck in.
Just as he remembered, the bedroom contained a small en-suite bathroom and – a late addition to the original building – a wall of reflective sliding-door wardrobes. One of the doors was slightly open. Meanwhile, an unfamiliar double bed with a bright Ken Done-style spread took up the centre of the room, a matching ruffle falling from its base to meet the floor. There was also a chest of drawers and a small night table.
Tufty flattened himself to crawl beneath the ruffle and under the bed, tilting his head just enough to see through the gap. Here he again began to watch and wait and, for a long moment, apart from the man screeching and swearing in the kitchen, all was still.
“Hssssssst,” a feline voice then whispered from the wardrobe. “Hssssssst… who are you? What are you doing here? You need to get out. Get out. Now!”
Tufty said nothing. Instead, he checked the coast was clear and then dashed across the floor and squeezed into the wardrobe himself. There, in a dark corner, behind some winter coats and with just enough room to see out, was the Siamese cat. Her eyes were like lightning with warning.
“They call me Tufty. Tufty the Tiger,” Tufty came over all manly, ensconcing himself as best he could beside her. “Are you OK? What just happened?”
“You need to leave,” she said. “Get out while you can. Before they know you’re here.”
“Why?” Tufty replied. “What is this place? And who, may I ask, are you?…”
Go to next chapter…