I needed a snack, but I hadn’t left any food in my bowl as I’d been hungry in the morning. Archimedes hadn’t opened the fridge in my absence, so I decided to go and sleep on the top of the bookcase, in a defensible position, until the two humans came home and I could hang around them for a while until Gemma’s anger subsided. I jumped up to the highest shelf and managed to wedge myself between the books and the top of the bookcase. The complete works of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen felt comfortable beneath my fur and I am glad they were so devoted to their craft in 19th Century England. Who knows one day I might be able to read Great Expectations or Pride and Prejudice? Or even both, because I have ambition to improve myself.
The next thing I am aware of is that I’m being chased around the library by a woman with blue hair who is trying to swat me with a number of pieces of paper with my rearview on them. I have to jump up to hit a silver disc to open a door and then I hide under a shelf and then I am running down some stairs and jumping up to open another door. Eventually, she corners me in her store room and I’m trapped. She approaches me and says:
“You’re difficult to track down, please O great artist sign these original works of yours for me, so that people will know they’re the originals and that these aren’t copies of the originals. I am only too pleased to do so and then I start purring…
…which is when I wake up, because Julian is stroking me under my chin. He then says in his funny, foreign accent:
“Come on, Freddie, you should have some tea with your friend Gemma.”
I miaow because that is the last thing on the surface of the Earth I want right now, so I cling on to Charles and Jane as best I can. My front claws are in Sense and Sensibility and my rear claws in Hard Times. I try to keep my tummy as close to Oliver Twist as I can. However, his superior strength wins out and I am scooped up like a large baguette and carried down to the basement, where sure enough Sneer Level 6 is waiting. I am plonked down by my bowl and I start to eat because I am hungry and Archimedes hasn’t been too helpful today.
As I swallow nervously, his footsteps disappear upstairs.
“I don’t know what’s worse,” she starts, “you fraternising with crows, who you should be eating or you being carried around by that half-wit human.”
I continue to eat my food and ignore her.
“Don’t you have anything to say?” she demands.
I munch a mouthful of kibbles ostentatiously so that Gemma can see that I can’t possibly reply because my mouth is full and my mum always told me it was rude and common to speak with your mouth full.
“Why aren’t you speaking? Answer me you stupid cat.”
I chew some meat because I’m an obligate carnivore and need vitamins from meat, especially if the meat is chewed very thoroughly like I am doing now at this precise moment.
Gemma decided to attack me at that point. She swatted me on the nose and called me a lackey of fascism. I swatted her on the nose and scratched her.
“Gemma, stop this,” I said, “I was being kind to those crows, they’re our friends, and they told me some useful information.”
“Kind?” she said, “I’ll show you where kindness gets you” and she leapt onto my head and it hurt and I let out my distress miaow
Julian ran down the stairs and pulled Gemma from me by her collar. He shook her hard and said “Bad cat, naughty cat.” Gemma hissed at him.
Julian picked up a towel and threw it over her as he didn’t want to be scratched by her sharp, vindictive, evil, malicious, spiteful, harmful, murderous, nasty, scythe-like, dagger-like claws and took her to a small room and put her, still wrapped in the towel, on the floor in the cell. He pulled the towel from her and closed the door. “You will stay in there until you learn to behave,” he said.
Gemma started hissing like a pit full of snakes.
Julian came over to me – “Are you alright Fred?” he said. I tilted my head slightly and raised my eyebrows to indicate that I would manfully try to continue in spite of my suffering, like my mum had taught me. He looked at my head to make sure there was no blood and patted me. Once he’d gone, I continued to eat my food. I ate the rest of Gemma’s food too as she wouldn’t be needing it and used her litter tray, as she wouldn’t be needing that either.
I stood outside Gemma’s sadly only temporary cell with my paws at 10 to 2.