"The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth...."
Lottie's side of the story.... She wants you to know that she has been unfairly portrayed as the villainess of the piece, and that she pleads extreme provocation in the matter of that little swipe that accidentally caught Millie's eye.
She was, and says that she remains, very fond of Millie. She welcomed her as a tiny, bumptious, overactive kitten, and kept a watchful eye on her.
She was patient, although she got no peace.
From the start, little Millie took liberties.
She didn't want a big sister; she wanted a wet-nurse, a substitute mum. Lottie was only a youngster herself, but endured the endless drilling into her fur, to be followed by loud sucking sounds and even louder purring. Her chest fur began to become knotted and felted.
Sometimes she began to look a bit put-upon, even fed up, but still she endured it all.
Sucky, sucky, schloop, schloop, purr purr purr....
She discovered that if she washed Millie, the drilling and sucking would halt, and the purring would increase in volume.
Lottie washed and washed.
And washed. Millie was the cleanest kitten in Newcastle.
Millie adored it all. She wanted to be glued to Lottie, but had to tear herself away at times to get on with being the naughtiest kitten the human had ever known.
And then Lottie would relax. Have some Me Time, space to breathe.
Millie always came back.
But Millie was also growing fast. Not a baby any more.
She began to take up a lot of space, in every way. Lottie was becoming slightly harrassed.
But she carried on patiently, tolerating the invasion of her personal space.
Still washing, although Millie was really no longer a kitten.
Lottie tried to escape. She moved from the radiator bed to a chair upstairs that could be her own. Or so she thought.
And still she was cajoled into washing a cat twice her weight.
But sometimes, just sometimes, she lets her demanding little sister know that she would like to be left alone, thank you. Sometimes she just squawks at Millie, and some times she gives her a swipe.
The human sees it all; how crushed Millie is when she is rejected, but also how Lottie had to stop being a youngster and turn into a pseudo-matriarch before her time, and what a persistent nuisance Millie could be. It's sad for them both.
But they still hang out together, indoors and out, and in the middle of the night, sounds can sometimes be heard at the foot of the human's bed, where they choose to sleep: lick lick lick, purr purr purr. No more fur-sucking, at last.
And Millie's eye is getting better. Lottie says it was an accidental injury, and can the record reflect this, please? She awaits the jury's verdict.
Millie hopes the jury will acquit her beloved Lottie. She's written a poem for them; it begins:
The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth like the tender tongue of Lottie
Upon the tabby beneath....
The human refused to print any more; it was too heart-rending. The jury knows its duty.