With apologies to both Philip K. Dick and Star Trek
And with reference to Oumuamua as described in The Times p3 Tuesday Dec 12th 2017
Oumiaowermiaower is a cigar shaped asteroid with a cat flap on the side.
Captain Tigger … flightdeck
Engineer Simpson … outside plastering intergalactic polyfilla to patch up defects in the rocky skin
Helmscat Mungojerrie … steering
Chef Bullpuss … in the galley
Lieutenant Moppet … communications officer
Vulcat Tabitha … interfacing with the inflight computers
“There’s a probe approaching from the nearby planet, Mr Tigger,” said Mungojerrie, watching the large display screen above his furry head.
“An analysis, please, Helmscat Mungo, of the probe’s quality,” commanded Captain Tigger.
“Rather poor design, inadequate drive, inferior comms equipment and a complete lack of Pussypaws supplies,” replied Mungo.
At that moment, Chef Bullpuss called up from the galley, “Ai canna get another ounce of meat off this ancient chicken - it’s regeneration system has failed completely.”
“Macau, that’s awful,” said Lieutenant Moppet, “whatever shall we have for tea?”
“That probe is getting too close,” reported Mungo, “and some garbled messages are arriving. ‘IS THERE ANYBODY THERE?’ seems to be the prevalent one. Shall I program a jump through hyperspace to avoid it?”
“Negative, Helmscat Mungo,” responded Vulcat Tabitha, “not whilst your brother, Engineer Simpkin, is outside.”
Simpkin was happily searching for cracks in the simulated rocky skin which helped disguise the appearance of the cigar shaped intergalactic spaceship. The cracks were caused by the occasional space debris, parts from junk ships, waste plastic jettisoned from resource rich planets and macerated asteroids, which their ship couldn’t always avoid.
He was attached by a long extensible life support tube, which supplied oxygen and reassuring cat melodies to his globe shaped helmet. His normal cat paws were augmented by substantial clawed gloves which worked magnetically and enabled him to crawl safely over the hull’s surface.
Attached on cords round his neck was a self regenerating pack of rock coloured space quality polyfilla. In one front paw he held a plasterer’s hawk and in the other a small pointed trowel. He was dabbing and pointing quite happily, often floating off backwards to admire his paw-work, but when the recall communication came through, he quickly retraced his steps to the cat-flap, next to which, the supply hose was automatically winding itself in.
He leant forward to try to get his collar radio button near enough to the flap activation mechanism.
“Miaow and bother!” he exclaimed, “why do the ship builders expect an alien to appear on the OUTSIDE of the ship, trying to gain unauthorised entry?”
Shortly his button connected and pushing his head globe against the flap, he succeeded in squeezing everything back into the ship.
By this time, the ship’s computer banks had provided Vulcat Tabitha with a comprehensive analysis of the earthly probe and had declared it to be a complete threat-free artefact.
“There are two simple life forms aboard,” she reported.
Captain Tigger abandoned the jump through hyperspace and brought the ship to a standstill. The tiny probe made its lethargic way towards the giant cigar-shaped starship, and began to circle around it.
The spacecats peeped out from their flight deck window and caught glimpses of the occupants.
Helmscat Mungo donned his vision enhancement mask which gave his already excellent cat vision, superb magnification over long distances.
“Meeoup, you won’t believe it!” he exclaimed, “but the pilot and co-pilot appear to be of canine structure.”
Lieutenant Moppet was quickly checking all of her communication channels. Most gave radio clicks and interference, but suddenly she located the probe’s channel.
“Wuff, wuff, ruff,” said the pilot.
Moppet’s comms computer immediately attempted a translation. “The time by Accurist, is stardate December 12, 2017, the message, brought to you and translated by the Babel App, means: ‘Have you any lamp-posts available?’”
The space-cats stared at each other with quizzical eyebrows.
Vulcat Tabitha was the first to analyse the predicament and attempted a response: “Meeoup, we have no lamp-posts, but can supply emergency light generation equipment. Please respond affirmative / negative.”
The Babel App quickly translated and everyone stood apprehensively, awaiting the reply.
“Woof, woof, yip!” said the co-pilot.
The Babel App translated: “Any bones or dog-biscuits?”
“I think we need to take these two on board,” suggested Moppet, “they obviously have problems.”
Arrangements were quickly made and the giant asteroid ship slowly manoeuvred until it’s opening entry hatch was near to the tiny probe. Magnetic lock-ons were activated and the probe glided in towards a docking station. The vacuum of space was sealed off and the cats made their way towards the door apparatus on the probe.
Moppet locked on to the door mechanism with a paw-held device and with squeaks and groans the door slid open.
A miniature Schnauzer and a demented Manchester Terrier, having smelt cats, bounced out, yipping and barking. They had only seen the felines on screen, and immediately detected an error in scale on their part. The space cats towered over them, and the tiny dogs seemed to shrink to the size of space mice as they cowered beside each other.
Vulcat Tabitha crouched down and collected both dogs into one large feline paw.
“We come in peace,” she whispered to them. “Our mission is to check all feline species in the known universe, to ensure that nothing is remiss and that all cat species have integrated themselves with the indigenous planetary populations.”
“You can help us; we can alter your sensory apparatus, and install the Babel App, to enable you to communicate with all of your kind upon your planet.”
“The message is that all feline species are to be treated with respect and provided with suitable supplies of Pussypaws.”
The Schnauzer gazed up into Tabitha’s face, “I still need to use the nearest lamp-post!” he said.
ink lines, watercolours, art pencils