I was driving home from my Potters Bar clinic one afternoon in the summer, the closer I came to home the stronger a feeling of uneasiness crept upon me that I could not work out. I drove extra carefully in case my intuition was warning me of an imminent car accident yet there were none. As I drew near home my awareness became heightened, I scanned the small road and houses: Cars were parked in their usual places, a neighbour was walking her dog, there was no smoke bellowing from the dwellings…. I thought my senses must be miss-firing as all seemed well but as I rounded the last curve to our house the first signs of trouble glared at me.
There were police vehicles and the chilling image of yellow crime scene tape stretched across the back gate of our neighbour’s house opposite.
The house in question had seen a few changes since I have moved into the road; originally it had an elderly couple living there with their two kittens, one ginger and white and the other a tabby, sadly the tabby cat died following an incident with a car. The other cat became quite a stocky menace in the street over the years that followed, he terrorised all the other cats in the area including our own Harry cat. I rarely saw him except for when he did a wobbly tight-rope walk along the top of their garden fence, trying to keep his oversized round stomach from toppling him one side or the other.
Four years ago their middle-aged son came back to live with them, although very skinny and poorly looking he would often be seen heading in and out of the property on his bicycle and if I spoke first, he would politely reply with the niceties of the day. Three years ago the lady of the house passed away, leaving the ‘old boy’ as we called him, the bully cat and the old boys son, who by now was looking almost as old as his father. One year ago the old boy passed away in hospital leaving his son, Paul and the bully cat at the house. Sadly during this time alone in the house Paul’s health appeared to deteriorate more, there was some unsavoury characters coming and going from his property and he became quite well known as being a drug user.
As I looked through my kitchen window, across to the events unfolding opposite, thoughts ran through my head of assault or burglary and though my nose wanted to interfere my instinct was telling me to stay well out of the way so I went about my own business..... until the doorbell rang: