The Devil and the Pussy Cat by Jo Petty

Published on 20 November 2003 in Moment, Reflections (Please wait)

This is a picture of my cousin, Claire and me. I am the ‘sexy’ she-devil, and she is the saucy temptress cat woman. This was taken on the 31st October 2003 when we were at the Isle of Wight. We do dancing and this was at a party was held for Halloween. There was going to be a prize for the best person that dressed up, so obviously we had to give it a go!

Claire and I were sharing a room and we spent ages putting on make up and glitter to make ourselves look fantastic. We went down and had a lot of fun dancing and just generally partying! Then the music stopped and the organisers announced that there would be a vote on who would win the fancy dress competition. So, all they people that dressed up gathered into the middle of the room. I would say that there was about a dozen of us that actually dressed up. Many of the others just wore flashing lights, pointy witches hats or false fingernails, which didn’t really count as costume.

In a ‘Graham Norton’ style, we all had to cheer for who we thought the best-dressed person was. I had a lot of competition as about three other people were dressed as devils. Anyway, it started off and there were a few lame cheers for a witch and a tin man. Then it got to me and there was an adequate amount of cheering. Next was Claire. She got more cheering than I did. I thought ‘she has definitely won’, as the next few were lame excuses for devils and angels.

Then there was the last person. Another witch. But no ordinary witch. This was our ‘grandma’, Helen. I put grandma into inverted commas, as she isn’t our real grandma, but close enough. This dear little old lady, with her hearing aids covered up by the long green wig she was wearing, was standing there holding my cousins hand, not expecting anything. She was smiling and laughing, and she cheered for all of the people in the competition. She certainly did look like a witch, with her long black dress on, and her small spectacles. The organiser on the stage held the microphone to her mouth and said ‘now for Helen’. A huge roar filled the hall and there were whoops and cheers from everybody around. She looked bemused and went to collect her prize. When she was there she said into the mike, ‘I would like to thank the devil and the pussy cat, for showing me how to be young again!’ and walked off stage.

I was touched, and so was Claire. It certainly put a big grin on our faces, that’s for sure! It made me think, that even the least likely suspects can succeed. Helen, 74 years young, certainly does not need to be shown how to BE young. She could beat me at any sport and could certainly tire Claire out if they went shopping together. It’s just the fact that she said that we made her ‘feel’ young. We went over to her later, and she let us have some of her sweets that she won. And they were proper ‘grandma’ sweets, because they were Werther’s Originals.

After chewing away on my toffee, I wondered if I would ever be as groovy as Helen. She certainly is fun, and a great person to talk to. Claire and I are close to her, as we only have one Nan who is ill, so we look to Helen for support. And this is what this photo reminds me of. My two grandmas. Whom I love very much. And my cousin. Who I share all the fun times with.

Jo Petty (London, England)

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