Well, yesterday was an exciting day for us. Our neighbour was arrested, his flourishing crop of cannabis ripped out of his garage and whisked away in a police lock-up trailer. I had never smelt freshly grown (or smoked, to my knowledge) cannabis, but I tell you, the odour coming out of that garage as the police were emptying it, was overpowering. Wet, sickly-sweet grassy smell. We had to shut all the windows and on a beautiful Melbourne summer’s day, we couldn’t dine outside! Just as well we weren’t due to fly out somewhere – those drug sniffer dogs would have loved us!
The unusual activity next door and four police cars parked around the corner alerted our attention. I crossed the corner to the other side of the street so I could walk past the newly built house in question and see for myself what all the commotion was about. I was just in time to spy the police, blue gloved, ripping down the white polystyrene? which had internally sealed the double garage door. To my amazement there in all its glory was the poor man’s crop which he had obviously lovingly nurtured for months.
We were curious as to why the cooling system was running almost 24/7 come rain or come shine, but then we weren’t in “the trade” were we? The poor guy must be on the dole we thought, because he seemed to be home most days.
We had a couple of run ins with this neighbour in the past. First up was the afternoon I decided to water the garden and there right before my disbelieving eyes was a huge tarpaulin stretching from my erstwhile neighbour’s roof, over our mutual fence and halfway across my beloved garden! I called out to my partner in case I was hallucinating, to ‘come see this’. His exclamation confirmed my view that something wasn’t quite right. We immediately pulled up the tent pegs used to secure the tarpaulin and threw the same back over the fence. Obviously, now on hindsight, his crop was over-heating. I suggested Paul go next door and confront this man who had overtaken our garden, man to man. “No”, came the emphatic reply, “I don’t want a cleaver through my scalp”.
Then, our man next door, was driving past our house with two unsecured pit bulls, his pet and another pit bull, when they spied our cat Cleo lurking in the front garden as she was wont to do. All hell broke loose; off the back of the ute jumped the dogs and the chase was on. I have to give it to Cleo, she was lightening fast on her feet that day; all her cat dignity gone. Up the metal fences she tried to leap with the dogs smashing into the fence as they tried to tear her to pieces. Our man called out to his dog, but of course it was having too much fun with its mate. Suffice to say, Cleo managed to run down the side of a building with only enough space for a cat. Cleo, although traumatised and afraid to go out into the garden which she loves, for a few weeks, is now back to normal. She at least, will be glad the dog next door is no more. She is a smart cat, she knows, and she is a black cat to boot.
As a matter of fact, I felt sorry for the dog, who often cried and whimpered to be let into the house or taken with her owner when he left the house. They clearly loved each other and I often heard her owner speak affectionately to her, using her feminine name. What has become of this most loyal of animals? This is my chief concern regarding the whole unfortunate episode. I would have volunteered to take the poor creature for walkies, but those dogs have a formidable reputation, don’t they; sometimes known to have turned on their owners?