Dan stared, his eyes round and slightly blank, as his brain tried to process what the man had just said. One of his eyebrows went up slightly in scepticism.
"Pardon? I'm sorry, but I think i've already returned the cat to it's rightful owner..." He said slowly. The man stood a while, then began to describe the cat, his voice attempting to hide is slight impatience.
"The animal i'm looking for is white, and quite slender. He has problems similar to mine," he tapped his hearing aid again, "only worse. Your mother described it clearly on the phone, so there's no mistake, see?" Dan stared. He didn't trust this man quite so readily now. How can two people be in possession of the same cat? It didn't seem as if there had been a mix up, because both cats were of the same description!
"Like I said, the cat we found has already been returned, I apologize. My mum must have got it wrong when she described it to you." A remark crossed his mind as he said this, and reminded himself to say that to his mum later.
"Maybe you've got confused, sir, but the cat's name is Bobby. Perhaps that is why this mix up has occured?" He tried, taking in the fact that the man was called Bobby also.
"I don't care what you think it's called. The cat is mine, see? And I intend to get it back!" Mr Jameson growled. Dan began to edge round the man slowly and up to the door. The man began grumbling to himself again.
Then a thought struck. Could this man be a relative of Cassies? Daniel frowned slightly. He couldn't be her dad, unless her parents had been unmarried, because her last name was Paddock. If her parents had been married, could this be her stepdad? But then, Dan figured, he didn't know much about how surnames worked after that. Then Mr Jameson said to himself something that quite startled Dan.
"If it's that stupid girl again..." He murmured under his breath. Daniel almost stopped in his tracks, but remembered to keep walking so it wouldn't seem as if he had heard. His eyes widened. What did this mean?When he got to the door, he wheeled round and spoke to the man.
"I'm sorry, but since there is no cat here for me to give you, I'll have to ask you to leave." He said, controlling his voice so it didn't shake or grow too quiet for Mr Jameson to hear.
"Thank you, sonny, for wasting my time. I'll have to look elsewhere..." He trailed off. The stranger's boots thudding on rthe wet concrete, and making barely a splash due to their size in the puddles. Just as he opened the gate and walked out, the rain started coming in slight bursts of drizzle, some heavier than others.
Mr Jameson lumbered off down the road, raindrops pattering on the shoulders of his coat as he walked along, and Dan span round, opening the door at the same time, and stepped into his house. He sat down, back against the now closed door, and sighed with relief, his legs quite exausted.
Something was wrong. This kind of thing didn't happen every day. Or every other day, for that matter.