Another book illustration from the short story shown here. "Cats At The Seaside" is in preparation, so there is still time to take comments on board. "Cats To The Rescue" is one of four short stories within the book, the proposed retail price of which is expected to be £9 or £10.
Cats To The Rescue
Bullpuss, Mungojerrie and Wild Bill Hicat heard from their old friend Clawed, that Lyme Regis was suffering and enduring another plague of audacious seagulls.
Nearly every time that Clawed returned from an evening saunter around the town, his Old Mistress had to wipe distressing blobs and smears from his fur.
His Old Master had spotted that several of the gull perching deterrents, installed upon their property, had loosened themselves, perhaps under attack from strong yellow beaks.
Clawed reckoned, that under his guidance, his agile friends could scramble up the roofs, locate the damaged sections and replace them.
Bullpuss decided that he would act as foreman for the gang of artisan cats, since this would allow him to wear his favourite overalls. He would direct operations from ground level, positioning ladders in the safest positions, passing up hammers and nails, and each piece of the plastic strips with their long slender spikes.
Mungo, using his extra long tail to maintain balance, in a manner perfected by gibbons, would operate in the most precarious of positions.
Wild Bill, an expert at scrambling through the heathers of the Scottish glens, would traverse the roof tiles and act as the intermediary between Bullpuss and Mungo.
The day chosen dawned with dappled clouds over the bay and, before any people were about, the cats set about their work.
Squawks and screeches soon showed that the seabirds were also up early and anxious to tell their friends of the intruders advancing carefully up the steeply sloping roofs into their domain. Wild Bill quickly cleared out a couple of nests, containing reasonably fresh eggs. These were passed down to Bullpuss, and thus to Clawed, who trotted off to find his culinary hedgehog pals, Oliver and Tom, to arrange a breakfast omelette for later.
A most untidy and evil smelling mess was found by Mungojerrie, tucked into a chimney stack. Together with dried fish scraps, bones and twigs, he pulled out remnants of children’s ice cream cones, and the wrappers from sandwiches and fish and chip takeaways, which the Herring Gulls had stolen in their dangerous raids upon the holidaymakers.
This was too much for the seagulls, who dived down upon Mungo from all angles, as he fixed the first set of spikes.
Mungo slid down the cat ladders, and retreated, rubbing his head.
“Mirrawacow, I shall need a helmet for protection!” he cried.
Bullpuss and Clawed conferred and soon appeared with the scooped out halves of yesterday’s red grapefruits. One of these was fitted over Mungo’s head and tied quite tightly under his chin with dried grasses.
Wild Bill had a great idea for distracting the silly birds. Clawed brought a loaf of brown bread from his kitchen, and he and Bullpuss pulled off small pieces, rolled them up neatly into small, firm spheres, and passed them up to Wild Bill.
“Macai, it’s a guid job I had ma’ catapult with me,” he exclaimed, “I’ll start by firing the pellets in long arcs away from the roof, and over the seagulls, to entice them away. And if that disna’ work, I shall tighten up the elastic and fire the pellets directly at them.”
Luckily the first option proved satisfactory. The seagulls thought it was great fun to have breakfast served up by a feline predator, and they made a graceful display across the morning sky, chasing the savoury nuggets.
Mungo continued tapping away, firmly securing a strip in each place one was missing. He looked very becoming in his protective grapefruit helmet, with his ears poking out.
With the job neatly finished, and as the town was starting to awaken, the seagulls were quite happy to relocate to adjoining properties, leaving Clawed’s in peace.
Just then the hedgehogs returned, and a breakfast feast of savoury omelettes was enjoyed upon the terrace, with the four cats lounging in the deckchairs, in the restful knowledge that, for a while at least, target practise would be applied elsewhere.
ink lines, watercolours, art pencils