Scottish Charity Number: SCO40701
COOK – INN Musselburgh operating in Edinburgh & East Lothian
23rd June 2019.
‘Cats will be Cats’ pt 1
Fred was concerned. For some days, now, two of his beloved animals had been missing. He’d heard tell of their honeymoon escapades from the recent ‘Cook-Inn’ blogs, but this was going on for longer than he’d hoped. Their food bowls had stayed untouched like shrines; at least, until Daisy and Archie had run out of kibble themselves and sneaked onto the windowsill to raid their flatmates’ supplies. Fred took it as a mark of respect for their two, absent fellow felines that even Daisy had waited several whole hours before stealing their food. Barney, the philosophical staffie, barked consolingly to his master. The two adventurers would come home, as cats tend to do, when they were good and ready.
Meanwhile, in West Lothian, Misty was chatting with the Simpsons’ cat, Scampers. A reticent animal with only one eye, he squinted at his plump, dark-furred visitor from under the garden parasol, refusing to share his food. ‘Nothing personal’ he assured his guest; it’s just that I can’t catch any live grub for myself anymore. I don’t judge distance too well these days; it’s a two-eyed skill. The mice all sense this, and they get away too easily’.
Misty sympathised. He couldn’t imagine not being able to supplement his own diet from the local rodent population. Wondering how to get himself fed today, he heard the sound of Dave’s beautiful bike revving up. It sounded like they were on the move again! “Road trip”! He called to Marley, who’d been sleeping off the sausages from last night on a deckchair in the Simpsons’ back garden. The two cats hugged Scampers goodbye, and snuck into the panniers again for the next leg of their mystery tour.
When the big bike finally came to a halt, the cats waited until the humans had dismounted and gone for elevenses in a nearby cafe. Crawling out as quietly as possible, Marley opened her husband’s pannier with a claw, as she usually did to let him out (see last two weeks’ blogs). The cats slinked off to the safety of the pavement, where they smelled the seaside air and kept their other senses tuned to discover where they were. While Marley went looking for a road sign, Misty caught sight of a local tabby cat and sidled up to ask directions. It quickly became apparent that the feral tom wasn’t at all pleased to see him.
“Stay away from me”! The local snapped, and hissed Misty a warning. Misty looked at him in consternation. “You must be new in town” The newcomer estimated. “Don’t you know what happens to strange cats round here? It’s not safe to be associated with you”.
Misty shook his head. Wordlessly, the tabby beckoned him over to a little cottage at the harbour. “You’re in North Berwick” the tabby emphasised, leaving Misty no wiser. Looking up at the brightly-coloured walls, he saw many scary words and pictures. His round face dropped as he took in the information.
The billboards all around him told of how an Earl called Francis Stewart had done some very bad things. Apparently he’d tried to sink the king’s ship. King James the sixth had become very upset, and had Stewart executed as a warlock. Here had been the start of the ‘witch trials’ of Britain! And witches were all supposed to have cats… Misty’s hackles raised, and he backed up to one of the walls. Apparently, the humans here would stone a ‘witch’s cat’ to death in case it turned into something huge and ate them. Marley had been hinting to him that he needed to go on a diet, and suddenly Misty realised that the last thing he wanted to appear to be was an overfed cat in a town that burned witches! Resolving to listen to his wife more in future (always a wise decision – Janine) Misty realised that he was now far too scared to leave the cottage. Oh, why had he wanted to go
on holiday? He whimpered quietly to himself and tried to think of a plan. Somewhere out there, his beloved wife might be in danger from roaming packs of humans, all looking for a strange cat to throw stones at…it didn’t bear thinking about.
Outside, Marley had discovered from the nearest road sign that they were in the famous seaside town; but not being a history buff, she had no way of knowing of the legends currently scaring her husband. Trying to keep in sight of Dave’s bike, lest she get lost, Marley looked around for wherever he could have gone to. A rather scrawny tabby was preening himself nearby, and now he sidled up to her with a hopeful expression on his face.
“Going my way, honey”? He asked her with a smug look.
“Have you seen my husband”? Marley hinted to him pointedly. “Big dark cat, running a little to fat but still a prime fighter“. The tabby scowled at the mention of Marley having a partner already, and a sly look came onto his features. His brows raised in fervent hope.
“Can’t say I have”. He said in a bored voice. “Can I show you this town’s best watering holes”? He said, a predatory grin now suffusing his feral features.
Tune in next week, folks, when Misty makes his move, and Marley shows her mettle! 30 bags given out this week to thirty families.
God bless, all.
Janine, Duncan, Reiver and all the Animal Investigators. xx