Oscar's moaning was getting beyond a joke so when he wandered close enough I called him.
"What d'you want Rat" ? he asked.
"Now now pussycat" I replied, " just wanted to know if you need help."
"I'm hungry" he said, "what can you do about that"?
"Well, remind youn that the housekeeper Grizelda will be here in an hour" I said.
"But I'm hungry now Amy and I can't open the packets myself" he whinged.
"I think we can help then" I told him, "but you'll need to open the cage door since the catch is on the outside."
"I can do that" he responded "but can I trust you, and what would you want in return"?
"You can if you behave, and how about peace between us." was my answer.
Oscar undid the catch on the door at the bottom end of the cage. Since it was a simple hook it didn't tax his brain too much. The door being open it was but a short jump to the floor. I told Priya and Bernie to stay and guard the cage and took Penny with me. This concordat may have been reached with Oscar but I wasn't sure he could overcome his base instincts and Penny was my watchdog. As Penny hit the floor Oscar reached out a paw and clamped it on her back. "And you Rat had better behave or there'll be trouble.
I was ready to pounce and tell Oscar this wasn't a good idea when Oscar removed his paw and started walking away. "Follow me rats" he said.
I heard Penny mutter something about payment and the Pied Paper but didn't quite catch it. We followed the cat. It was a short distance to the room where his dishes were.
Once there Oscar pointed out a box full of foil sachets. "I need one of those" he told us
"and I prefer the ones that are the colour of apples."
I jumped up onto the small table where the box was and checked inside. Oscar wasn't much help since there was a red beef one and a green rabbit one inside. With a 50% chance of being right I pulled out a beef one. "Is this it" I asked.
"Yes, that's it, like an apple as I told you." he said.
I dropped the sachet to the floor in front of Penny and asked her to open it which she did with ease using her teeth to cut away the top. I picked it up and held it over Oscar's dish where it slid out easily. He moved towards the dish without a word and started eating. Penny moved forward and nipped Oscar's tail.
Oscar leapt a foot in the air and almost choked on his food. "Why?" he spluttered.
I looked at Penny for an explanation, "Yes why?" I asked," I thought this was a day of reason."
"It is " said Penny, " and the reasons were he put his paw on me and he didn't say thank you for opening the food."
As we walked back to the cage leaving a bemused cat behind us, I decided maybe I should re-evaluate my opinion of Penny.
We shall have to see if the agreement between Oscar and I stands.