Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Pussy galore

 I was in the town of Ludlow* just this past weekend. You know, having a mooch around, looking in shop windows, all that stuff. Anyway I came across the Cats Protection League (although these days they're just called Cats Protection) charity shop. I don't know how many of you are familliar with that series in which that dreadful Mary Portas woman shouted at a load of OAPs who'd volunteered to help out in a branch of Save the Children, but I reckon this branch of Cats Protection could have done with a nicer version of Portas to go in and give them some pointers. I have in my head the sort of person who'd either donate or bequeeth item to a cats charity. I'm sure you have the same picture in your head: elderly woman, likes a comfy cardy, doesn't get out much, stinks of cat piss. Is that the same mental picture as yours? I thought so. And obviously the same goes for the kind of person who would volunteer to work in the Cats Protection shop. To be honest, I was shocked at the items put on display in the window. That's right, in the window. You know, in the window where you're supposed to put all the decent, eye-catching gear.
Exhibit 1:
A nice floral teapot. But look closer. It has dried tea drips on it. What's happened there, do you think? Have the staff in the shop been using it to brew their breaktime cuppa? And why is tea running down it from the top? The tea's supposed to be either inside the pot or coming out of the spout, isn't it? Or am I being very old-fashioned and this is some new kind of avant garde tea-making? Or, and I suspect this to be the case, did the staff not wash the teapot before putting it on display. In the window?

Exhibit 2:

I like a nice salad as much as the next man but what you can't really see on that photo is the amount of muck that looked as though it had collected around the plastic on the top. Would you put an iceberg lettuce, spring onions, radishes and a few tomatoes in there? Would you? You would? You're insane. I value my health. Would you put that item in the window or in the skip? Total scut.

Exhibit 3:

On the left is a teaspoon rest. Now I find the teaspoon rest to be a handy item for any home (in fact, I covet one for myself). Not only can you rest teaspoons on there but also teabags freshly plucked from a mug or pot so that you can get them dry before they drip on the kitchen floor in transit to the bin (we've all been there, right?). That one was incredibly mucky. So mucky that I wouldn't even use it after it had had a good going over with a bit Domestos diluted in hot water. Again, this item was in the window, with what is supposed to be the best gear. And look at that football mug! Who'd pay money for that? It's the sort of thing that comes with a really cheap Easter egg. I bet if you turned it round in really really cheap-looking, non-trademark lettering it says 'Ipswich' or 'Queen of the South'. Scut, scut, scut!

This next item though is my favourite:

This piece of A4 fascinates me. It's clearly intended as an ad to find a stray cat a home. Why then has someone stuck not onkly Blu Tack but also Cats Protection price stickers over the text? Has someone in Cats Protection took a shine to old Demon here? Or is something more sinister afoot? Look to the right and you'll see written, and then scribbled out, 'found dead'. What's happened to Demon? Was he alive at the vets, escaped and then his was corpse found later? I've hardly slept a wink since worrying about him. Pity the shop was shut or I'd have gone in and asked.

*Nice place. It's crowning glory has to be the public toilets though. I mean, how can you not like a place whose bogs pipes in Donna Summer's State of Independence whilst you're straining your greens?