Cheddar died of old age and not because Grandma slaughtered it. I know she wanted to and was often seen chasing after it with a knife. At the age of 15 or 16 – I have no idea how much that is in dog years but I was told that multiplying it by seven is not the correct way to go about it – Cheddar died with a smile on its face. Well, actually, it was more one of those faces dogs make when they just let one go and pretend it wasn’t them. It was as if Cheddar knew its time had come. He stumbled into his bench, lay down on his special designer dog cushion, closed its eyes, let one go and died with that silly grin upon its face. That was the kind of dog it was. I loved it to bits.
By the time the dog died I had already moved out of the house and into my own place in the Whitechapel area. Without knowing it, you actually already know a lot about me, for I have been telling you about myself throughout Arthur’s adventures. Of course I couldn’t have been my own neighbour, but the house described in the stories is what my house looked like at the moment of writing. There was only one thing I left out and that was my parrot Mr Crackers. I thought one animal in my memoires would be enough. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mr Crackers and ever since Cheddar died he’s been my best friend, but it felt kind of weird having my own (now dead) dog and my parrot in one story.
A man who was hardly ever at home occupied the house next to Arthur’s. He was always out for business, but nobody really knew what kind of business that was. Not even Unice knew and I guess that says it all. Dad said Mr Pink – that wasn’t his real name, it was what Dad used to call him – worked for the mafia and that I’d better not go near that house. When I was younger I’d pass that house in the biggest circle I could make around it. Dad used to say Mr Pink would cut off my fingers if he were to find out that I had been looking in through the window and thus knew too much. Have you any idea how I felt when I saw Unice nearing the house and peeping through the window!? I thought she’d be a goner. Dad was a little disappointed he was wrong about Mr Pink’s occupation.
I replaced Mr Pink for myself as he was never at home anyways and there was not much in my memoires about him. So, his house was not really my house, but other than that my apartment was and still is quite messy, full of books (maybe that’s because I work in a bookshop), bric-a-bracs, pictures, and I have an incredibly comfortable couch that I can sink into and not get out of. To be honest the pictures are not really pictures, they’re just empty frames over my wallpaper. Basically what I did was frame stains. It’s amazing how coffee can end up on walls. The former owner of this place did a really good job on making the impossible stains possible. I don’t know how he did it, but he even managed to get a coffee stain on the ceiling. I got rid of that one, but I framed the small one in the hall. I must say, if I were to cut out the piece of wallpaper and stain and frame it, I could pass it off as modern art. I’m not much of a connoisseur, but I think it’s ridiculous what people pass of as ‘art’ nowadays. It’s almost as if people don’t take the time to make a beautiful drawing anymore. It’s just a bunch of lines or some splotches on a piece of canvas. Sometimes not even on canvas. Toto … I don’t think we’re on the canvas anymore.
That’s it and that’s that. See me tomorrow.