Cats have many owners. Their official one of course, and all the indulgent neighbours. It’s like that where we live, with portly felines begging at each kitchen door. At least three cats claim our front yard and back garden as their personal territory. We’ve got used to the screams of Genghis and Jamie slugging it out at 3am over who wins the right to spray all over my scooters. We no longer jump put of bed, wide-eyed, thinking that someone’s being strangled on our doorstep. Mind you, when a fox joins in it sounds like an attack by a phalanx of Samurai, and every bedroom light in the street clicks on.
This morning was the first time I’d had the PX – “Dino” – out for six months and the cover was especially “catty”. While the engine warmed up, kicking out great billows of white smoke, the scoot smelled like the lion house at London zoo. It hadn’t quite worn off when I got to work. Later today, Dino will be dropped off at the workshop for some running repairs. I’ve finally got round to ordering a replacement for the wonky centre stand, a victim of metal fatigue. If you’ve got a traditional Vespa, sooner or later you’re going to have to replace the stand, it’s one of the few weak spots. The front brake shoes need to be replaced and there’s a problem with main headlamp – it won’t come on. Then, nearer summer, it’ll be the turn of Bella, my beloved Sprint Veloce, for a pre-season fettle. I hope the mechanics like cats.