I went for a bit of a patrol around the gardens of what is my empire, Gripewater Grange. Stretch the old legs and get a bit of exercise whilst sniffing the rose bushes and spraying on the lavenders. The roses where especially  fragrant on this particular day; they were planted by Elizabeth the Thirst when she popped by with her entourage centuries ago and since then they have been lovingly attended by every gardener in residence down the years here at Gripewater Grange. Given their age, they are rather industrial with gnarled roots and very firm razor sharp thorns, which, when Lady F goes out to gather them into her trug, require thick gloves to prevent the vicious things tearing into her skin. But once plonked in the Wodgerwood crystal vase and put on the dining table, their fragrance is quite divine, and the petals extremely delish. I count each petal as one of my health giving, fibre packed,  five a day as I nibble each one delicately, savouring the fleshy soft petal as if it is a mouse’s ear, until Skrowte catches me on the dining table and scufts me off with a flick of a tea towel!

It was a good old fashioned day, the sun was shining and the birds were chirping merrily in the trees and the grass was still slightly damp and glistening with morning dew. However, when I got back inside, I was limping rather badly. I had trodden on a rather large thorn from one of Elizabeth the Thirst's roses bushes which had sunk itself deeply into my front paw which was starting to throb and swell up.

Normally my private surgeon Professor Sir Simon Singeon Smeglington would be summoned immediately from my private veterinarian surgery in the city to come and see what can be done to put things right.

I love Professor Smeglington, bit of a doddery old duffer who seems to use eau de gin, export strength, rather liberally, as a cologne. He talks to me, his alcohol drenched-breath gently anesthetising me as he asks my considered opinion on my illnesses and injuries. He gently strokes me as his soothing words and gentle medicine put me on the road to health again. Even the sight of the inflated bill does nothing to upset Lady F as Professor Smeglington tells her I’m worth it, and she of course agrees that I am indeed worth every single penny.

But horrific news. Professor Smeglington is on hols. Apparently he’s swanning round Sir Richard Branston-prickles Neck-it Island being bathed in champers and sitting in Jack’s Uzzi as warm bubbles soak away the stress of his hectic life-saving surgical schedule .

Lady F was quite panicked at the sight of my swollen paw and the community vet from Lower Sozzlebury was duly summoned to attend immediately to Gripewater Grange post haste.

"Just call me ‘Roops’,” screeched Rupert Goslinton Quackgander, recently qualified vet of the parish, as he plonked his bag of brand new shiny instruments down on the dining table, almost knocking the Wodgerwood vase of freshly cut roses over. He threw his fag end into the fireplace much to Skrowte’s horror then proceeded to pick me up off the floor by the scruff of my neck and plonked me on the table. Lady F almost fainted at such cruelty.

I was flopped onto the table and my paw examined rather closely as cigarette fumes from his Hairy's Tweeked jacket poured all over me. He poked, he prodded and he squeezed as I squirmed and growled. He pressed my paws in order to extend my paw pads and I hisses quite theatrically. Lady F put her hand to her mouth and went quite white.

“Ah yes, I can see it,” he declared as he pulled a scalpel from his bag and proceeded to nick my paw pad then pull the thorn out. My language surprised even me as I howled and hissed. Professor Smeglington would have injected some form of anaesthetic beforehand to dull the pain, even if it was just a second-hand gin cloud wafting over me. Blood spurted onto the antique crisp white table cloth given to the family by Albert and Victorious many years ago on the occasion of a christening - (odd thing to give a baby as a present, a table cloth. The chavs in the village normally give the baby booze vouchers when their sprogs are christened).

But then things went from bad to worse as ‘Roops’ turned me around then hoisted me up by my tail and without so much as a by your leave, thrust a thermometer somewhere quite extraordinary. I was horrified, I’m sure my eyes were about to pop out of my head and roll across the floor. Such an intrusion of privacy, I wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week. When it was all over and antibiotics prescribed, I leapt into Lady F’s arms, fearful of what he would do next.

“My brave little soldier,” Lady F soothed with tears in her eyes as ‘Roops’ was rather swiftly escorted outside.

My bandaged paw and course of overpriced tablets meant that for a least a week I would have to be pampered and spoiled whilst I made my slow recovery from being an invalid. I was placed on a silk cushion on the four poster bed I share with Lady F who would constantly feed me little morsels of exquisiteness to help me recover my strength.  However when I managed to limp into the kitchen, jump onto the table and help myself to some roast beef which had been left out momentarily, Skrowte walked in and caught me, mouth full, mid chew.

I looked at him, mouth full of the finest Aberdeen Angus fillet mignon, and he looked at me, as his eye narrowed menacingly.

“Milking it a bit aren’t we, you old charlatan?” he commented as he shoved me unceremoniously off the table and dusted off the remains of his lunch.



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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