Trevor's nose was out of joint. He was exceptionally grouchy, even for him. Mrs Pig "Farmer" had a new cat.
The little black and white cat appeared on the croft last autumn. It survived an encounter with Spike the terrier, took up residence underneath the ever-growing scrap heap before, for a short while, sharing digs with Kim the sow in the pigshed.
By the time the worst of the winter had set in, the little cat was snuggling up in the hay loft in the barn and Mrs Pig "Farmer" was in full "aaawww" mode. I, of course, assumed it was male (I hadn't been close enough for a really good look) and, considering its moustache, named it Salvador. It's not often I name anything after a fascist, but there you go.
Mrs Pig "Farmer" got on speaking terms, stroking terms and built up to cuddling terms. I was beginning to take notes.
Then we found out she was female so we had a "d'you know any famous women with moustaches" conversation. The list is short and amounts to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo whose self-portrait has a little pencil moustache. . . unless it's been vandalised. . . but then there would surely be spectacles too.
So, anyway. . . Frida turned out to be what they call in Orkney "frecky". She can't get enough fuss and she certainly gets plenty.
It should have been no surprise really when Trevor decided enough was enough and - in the words of the Knights Who Say 'Ni' - he buggered off.
He was last seen on a Thursday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday passed - a long time for a cat who insists of his five regular meals a day - and I was having to reassure Mrs Pig "Farmer" that, by my reckoning, the lad had at least four, possibly five, lives left.
We made a poster and stuck up in the shop. I checked with the neighbours and took to wandering about the place shouting "Trev, Trev, here puss" like some barmy old biddy.
I'd pretty much given up hope by the time Alicen called by to say she'd seen him at the former school half-a-mile away. Pat and I jumped into one of the wrecks we like to call a car and spluttered up the road.
Having persuaded a yowling tabby into the car we returned, Pat looking nervous as the last time the two of them had had the pleasure of sharing the front seat of the car, Pat had ended up covered in cat vomit and diahorrea.
Trev chuntered and, once home, he grumbled about the place for 24 hours before remembering he's allowed on the electric blanket and Frida isn't, he's allowed in the house and Frida isn't and he gets meaty chunks and Frida gets a bit of dried food and is expected to catch mice. Life's not so bad, after all.