"It's the testosterone," says the vet, "better have him seen to." The boyfriend is reluctant. "Look," I wheedle, "which would you rather have, a nice home or your knackers?" His shudder says there's no contest. Test theory on derelict. Heat, bed, three meals a day, in exchange for bollocks? He wheezes that this was the deal he did with his wife and in the end he lost everything.
Bullit's fate sealed when he crashes through photographic set, demolishing lights, backdrop and model. "There's hardly any blood," I say, as model demands damages. The boyfriend, grim-faced, wrestles cat into his basket, while I hover with calming spliff.
"Ah, you've brought him for castration," says the vet. The boyfriend looks aghast. "Er, neutering," the vet hastily amends. Too late. Boyfriend now visibly wincing. Point out the perils of leaving nature to take its course. In Japan thousands of kittens abandoned every year. Cute, cuddly fur balls - whoops, slip of the tongue! - murdered by lethal injection. Good thing they invented the Tamagotchi. Remind him here we are at least humane.
Yasmin, along for moral support, backs me with lobster story. "The poor things was crawling about in the fridge with all their li'l claws waving. Chef says, `If I don't boil 'em they'll die of cold, so I 'ad to 'eat 'em." I nod emphatically. "Cruel to be kind."
Tatiana cheers the boyfriend with tale of transsexual mate. "He 'ad the lot off. An' he's fine, honest. Well, apart from the silicone implants. He 'ad boobs put in and now he can't fly 'cos he's frightened of 'em burstin'." I have alarming vision of Jumbo grounded by exploding bosom. "Pity," sighs Tatiana, "I wus savin' up to 'ave mine done, after seein' that Age Concern poster."
We are comfort-supping in new Bar Roscov, owned by the Bosnian mafia. Proprietor recently arrested in biting incident. Bar now known as rocks off. Syd collects signatures for his "Arts in the Ditch" campaign, one eye on the traffic warden. "You wanna get something done about them red routes," says Tatiana, "they're ruinin' my art. You can't park at all unless you're disabled." Suggest it might be better if she had some body parts removed rather than adding to them. "If 'e touches the Jag, I'll nail his balls to the wall," threatens Syd. The boyfriend goes white and clutches the table.
Back in the loft we wait anxiously for vet's phone call. Boyfriend absent- mindedly fondles maraccas, perhaps planning implants for Bullit. "He's fine," says the vet, "you can take him home. He might be a bit dozy." Bullit cannons out of basket, up-ends chair, double-somersaults over rubber plant and pisses on the computer. Wonder if vet has removed the right bits. Wasn't this supposed to tame him? Boyfriend shakes his head. "Amazin', isn't he, babes?" Sure is. Must tell derelict all is not lost. Bullit now raiding fridge. Savages sausage, shreds cheese, wolfs chicken. The boyfriend smiles indulgently. Boys will be boys. Decide on tinned meatballs for supperReuse content