Creamy stood back, gazing at the name plate on the door. It read: Beagle & Husky, Solicitors. Underneath, in smaller lettering, it said: Specialists in Complaints.
‘Mmm…. I don’t know ….’ he was muttering to himself, ‘not sure it’s shiny enough.’
‘Creamy! Where are you? Get that phone, can’t you!’ came Lennie’s voice through the open door.
Coming, coming!’ he shouted back, ‘was just polishing our name plate.’
‘Not again! Really, Creamy, we’ve got masses of letters to write. Can’t do them all myself, you know.’
‘I know, I know,’ growled Creamy. Then he spat on the name plate, gave it a final polish with his elbow and trotted back inside.
The phone stopped ringing.
‘There you go! We’ve probably lost a client.’
‘Ah, well, who cares,’ said Creamy putting his feet up on the desk and leaning back comfortably in his chair. ‘I’m bored of them all. Always complaining about something.’
Lennie laughed. ‘Funny that, eh? Considering that we’re in business as specialists in complaints. Anyway, you should care, Creamy, as we need every client we can get if we are ever to make that family reunion of yours.’
Creamy raised his eyes to the ceiling and kept them there. For a while, he sat twiddling his paws and watching the fan spinning round. Then, feeling Lennie’s reproachful gaze on him, he sat up, pulled his chair close to his desk and bent over a sheet of paper where he had scribbled a few lines of a letter.
For a while, there was silence in the room as Lennie wrote and Creamy sat, chewing a pencil and re-reading his draft.
‘Excellent,’ he suddenly exclaimed. ‘I bet you couldn’t have written a better one, Lennie.’
‘Mmm….’ said Lennie, deep in thought.
‘By the way, Lennie, I was wondering. Do you spell codger with a ‘j’ or a ‘g’?
With a ‘g’ – or rather a ‘dg’, said Lennie absentmindedly. Then he suddenly sat up and looked suspiciously at Creamy. ‘Why do you ask?’
Creamy pushed the sheet of paper across to Lennie. ‘Just thought I’d check with you. ‘There, where it says: Dear Old Cojer.’
Lennie’s eyes bulged. ‘What?!’ he cried, ‘You can’t address a client like that! It’s very rude.’
‘Is it? The woman who came yesterday said she wanted to complain about her next door neighbour, and kept calling him Old Codger all the time.’
‘Creamy, please! You’re just being silly. You can’t go by what names people call each other.
‘Well then, what do I go by?’
Lennie gave up. ‘Listen, old chum. Just call her and ask her what his name is.’
‘Right-o.’ Creamy called the woman, and had just put the phone down, when there was a ring at the door.
Lennie looked up.
‘I’ll go,’ cried Creamy and rushed to the door.