And now it’s Story time…. with London’s BEST Feline Adventure! (serialised in 36 parts)
(This adventure is suitable for ages 12 and upwards, and for younger readers with adult guidance/permission.)
Erin cursed as she tried to squeeze herself into the gap, and fend off the kitten who seemed to be making a game of it all and tried to bite her ankles. It took a firm cuffing of the little guys ear, that sent it tumbling forwards, to stop it’s antics.
Try as she might though, getting back into gap from this narrower end was harder than the other way around when she just seemed to pop out the end.
She squeezed herself in as much as she could and pushed as hard as she could, but to no avail and got stuck at her shoulders. It was like she had gained a pound in weight since she had entered the store. She sat and pondered the matter for a moment and then it came to her. Of course, it was the fabric of the harness she was wearing that was snagging on the edge of the edge of the counter. She slapped a paw against her forehead at her own stupidity. All she needed to do was either shed the harness or pull it in tighter. Reaching down she was able to catch a claw into the small buckle on her chest that held the harnesses webbing straps together. Mrs Hudson had insisted Erin should be able to get herself dressed, if need be, and that she practice getting in and out of the harness herself. In an emergency, this was important and could save her life should she become entangled.
But, if she stepped out of the harness she would have to leave it behind as she couldn’t carry it and the kitten. That, she mused, was not an option as she had chosen it as a birthday present from Mrs H to herself. Tighten it was then. With a good tug of the webbing straps, she pulled the harness tighter and tighter until she felt she had no more room to breathe. Snapping the buckle shut, she pushed her way into the narrow opening and to her relief, was able to fit, though she did shed a few hairs along the way.
As soon as she was free of the tight end of the gap, she sat and loosened the straps, letting out a sigh and taking in a deep breath. The banks of overhead lights started to come on, row by row, causing her a momentary panic before she realised what was happening. “Drat, can’t be long till opening time,” she muttered to herself, as she picked him up and trotted back to the rabbit hutches. Jumping the outer picket fence, she headed straight into the one with the other two kittens. Still asleep, they hardly moved when she placed the third kitten amongst them, giving him a lick on the head to settle him in. Moments later the three were curled together, asleep. The only movement came from their tiny breaths and the occasional twitch of a paw as they dreamed. Maybe of a silken thread and a tail? Erin thought, smiling.
Shaking herself from the cute family scene in front of her, it was time to get back to the plan, such as it was, and get to Mrs H and Esme. The stairs up seemed to long a journey and the chances of meeting someone were now increased greatly with the stores impending opening. She had to intercept Mrs H when she arrived on the floor, and the best way to dothat, was by the elevator. She recalled admiring a potted palm tree beside the customer elevators, the foliage of which was broad and dense enough to conceal a cat. It seemed the most obvious place, and safe too, after all who would look for a cat up a tree, besides a fireman?
With one last look at the kittens, she checked all was clear outside then left for the picket fence. Once over, she checked direction signs for the elevators and then sprinted for cover. With the display stands, mannequins and pillars for concealment, she worked her way around the store until only a clear space separated her from the palm.
She covered the remaining twenty feet to the potted tree in a twinkling ofthe eye. The white of her tummy floof a ghostly cloud against the dark and mottled colours of the marbled floor. She entered into the tree in one graceful bound, her claws finding an easy hold on the trunk’s rough surface. As soon as she had her breath, she moved quickly up and settled into a crux of one of the larger fronds, to wait.
Anders had exited the lift on the first-floor moments after the lights went on. He looked left then right and decided to head around to the right, a decision based purely on the lust of a quartet of mannequins displaying swimming costumes and floral bathing caps. To Anders, who had never had a girlfriend, this was the height of indulgence. He winked at the brunette wigged model and pouted a kiss at her before carrying on.
He looked behind pillars and, somewhat stupidly, in closed cupboards and locked rooms. In fact, he checked everywhere for the cats that he should have checked for his job, but never did. Around the next corner was the companion area, and more bending which troubled his back. His head had started to throb again and so, having braced himself against a pillar decorated in fake foliage, he took a sip of whisky from his flask.
Whilst he was tired and upset at losing the kittens, they were by no means going to earn him as much money as the goods he had been pilfering and shipping out from the loading area at night. Butthey would be easy cash, no questions asked, and best of all, untraceable.
It was whilst he was rubbed his eyes to further ease his sore head, that he saw it. Or at least thought he had, as it was all happened so very quick. A black cat had, he thought, just jumped out of the one of the rabbit hutches just ahead, and ran off into the store. He stiffened and tried to focus through the foliage at the store beyond. Yes there it was again, a flick of a tail and a flash of pink from its back. That was the same cat that had assaulted him, it had to be.
He watched and thought he saw a blur with a flash of pink move across the floor at the farthest end near the lifts. If it was in with the rabbits then that is where he would look for the kittens. He didn’t know nor he did he care where the cat was, as there was no money in a moggy, not like those kittens. If it came back it would grab it and then drown it for the aggravation and scars then present it to Mr Herod to demonstrate he was doing his job. Maybe even get a bonus for it, too! Slowly and as carefully as he could he took the sack from his jacket and crept to the rabbit hutches and stepped in. This, he thought, was going to be his lucky day.
To be continued………..
Is this then end of the road for Erin and the kittens? Will Anders really sell the kittens into slavery? And are cat corsets really going to be this years must have item for the size challenged fashion kitty? Tune in next week for more mayhem adventure and booing and hissing at Anders, who we all love to hate!