Barbara has always been found of dogs and cats. At the fish and chip shop there were lot of cats and two large dogs. One was a blond Labrador and the other a German shepherd. They stayed in the yard and weren't allowed to come upstairs in the living quarters. The shepherd gave birth to a beautiful black puppy. Barbara's uncle decided that three dogs was to many and sold the shepherd, Barbara's favorite, she was very upset about this.
One Sunday Barbara asked me to join her for walk with the dogs. We loaded them in Barbara's car and drove to Grantchester meadows. The dogs were obviously not used to getting out. They didn't listing at all. The black dog had never been out of the yard before and at first was afraid to leave the car. When it finally did get out of the car we had to pull it along the walking path, it was keeping its belly continuously on the ground. This was heavy work as this dog was quite large. The Labrador on the other hand was so glad it was taking out, that it ran away immediately. It must have been a funny sight, me trying to get this black dog to move and Barbara running after the Labrador trying to catch it.
Finally we managed to get the dogs to the spot where we wanted to be. It was a lovely sunny afternoon and we had nice placet beside the river, where we could lay in the long grass without being disturbed. I was laying face up and Barbara had her head on my tummy. This was one of those nice romantic moments one doesn't easily forget. While I ran my fingers through her hair, Barbara was telling me her dreams about the future. How she wanted kids one day, she preferred girls, so she could dress them up nicely. While laying there, we even dosed off and we completely forget about the dogs. The black dog didn't dare to move but the Labrador was gone again, nowhere in sight. The next few hours we looked everywhere for that dog. We gave up and went to the police station to report the dog missing. Luckily the police had received a call about a blond Labrador without guidance near Grantchester meadows. Finally the police had to help us catching that dog. We never went walking with those dogs again.
I don't know how many cats there were at Barbara's place, a lot and every time I came round there seem to be more new ones. One of them was Barbara's favorite and only this one was allowed in the apartment.
Sometimes, when Barbara's family was away for a while, I came round to see Barbara at her home in Histon. Barbara made sure that nobody would see me there, even if there were people just making deliveries. One day I was there and an insurance agent came round. Barbara ordered me to hide in kitchen and to be quiet. I went to the kitchen and sat there waiting. After a while the house cat came towards me, went under the bench I was sitting on and started shitting on the floor. What a smell that was and I had to just sit there and be quiet. When the insurance guy finally was gone, Barbara came to the kitchen, she cleared up the shit and while doing it she said as if it was normal: "that cat always does that there".
I like dogs and cats but not the ones Barbara had.
This picture was taken in 1983 when Barbara was in Histon for a short holiday visiting her family, the black dog is the same dog as mentioned in this story.
(translated by elbc2006)
(translated from simplified Chinese by Chan Chi Chung Andy)