Biggles' style of medicine is unconventional to say the least, involving a lot of concentration, winking and dribbling - followed by a good sleep.

Garfield settled at a discreet distance where he could monitor the proceedings without intruding and stuck his hind leg behind his ear. He gave his bottom a thorough work over before moving in to inspect the patient once again. 'Ah,' he murmured conscientiously, 'she is asleep.' He placed his head on the pillow next to mine, and with his paw across my cheek, he didn't leave my side for the next few hours while I slept.

After a while, he decided that it was time for his dinner and poked me in the eye. He knew from experience that this was guaranteed to get results. 'Come on, a bit of exercise won't hurt you,' he chivvied poking me in the other eye.

With both eyes watering and blinking madly, together we walked through to the kitchen, followed by Biggles and Charlie who brought Spud along placing him on the floor next to his dish. Garfield opened the larder door expectantly. Still blinking, I took a tin from the shelf, holding it close to read the label. 'It's tuna in tomato sauce,' I announced, 'will that be all right Garfield?' But he was already by his dish, napkin around his neck, poised ready.

I made another hot lemon drink and went to the bathroom. I was startled at the face I saw in the mirror staring back at me. It had a white forehead and wild eyebrows. Was that me? This must be a rogue strain of flu I thought as I washed my face and teased my eyebrows back into their normal position.

I crawled back to the warmth of the front room, checking that the cats all had enough dinner to keep them going. I slid under the duvet once more and slowly sipped the hot lemon. Gradually sleep overtook me once more and as I slept Biggles arrived as locum to look after me while Garfield went about his business.

Biggles practices alternative medicine. With forehead wrinkled in concentration and beads of sweat across his brow, he walked round my head a few times casting out evil spirits. Then he leant over my face, purring loudly and dribbling continuously, trying to detect the nature of the illness. Not satisfied with that angle, he came round to my face and put his nose up my nose. He licked my nose, but I refrained from licking his. He wasn't quite sure what to make of this so he sat on the adjacent cushion assimilating the facts as they presented themselves, trying to make a diagnosis. I opened one eye, wondering what he was planning to do next. He winked at me. I winked back. Mutual winking went on for some moments until I had no strength left to open my eyes. 

Biggles was baffled. 'Best sleep on this one,' he decided, before giving himself a good stand up wash, which involved a lot of sitting down and various hatha yoga positions.

Soon he was asleep and we slept on until Garfield made another house call. Once again a paw was placed upon my forehead, this time he was worried. The temperature had gone up slightly. He pulled back the quilt deftly, moving it away from my neck where I was wrapped up like a cocoon. 'Give her some air!' he ordered Biggles. Biggles slept on. 

Taking up his post as Chief Consultant, Garfield slept on my pillow, his face next to mine. I opened one eye to find an amber one staring back. He smiled his best smile. The one that says 'Don't worry, we're here,' and he patted my nose comfortingly, his claws on my nostrils for good measure. Eyes watering once again, and nose running, I unhooked Garfield's claws. I reached for a tissue and dabbed at the blood. Undeterred, he rested his paw across my cheek. We slept on for another hour or so, he licking various parts of my face comfortingly until I had been completely exfoliated and the eyebrows had returned once again to their wild state.

 Click here for Chapter 3

A Cats Prayer

Lead me down all the right paths,
Keep me from fleas, bees, and baths.
Let me in should it storm,
Keep me safe, fed, and warm.


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