Garden in bloom
Garden in bloom

Spring was definitely in the air. Colourful flowers had been planted in the courtyard garden. People had begun to emerge from their houses, cautiously, but with hope. Sneezing and coughing were still to be heard, but not as frequently or loudly. Things were looking up, but then it started to rain. The streets turned into rivers and the courtyard garden was covered in a green slime which was apparently called Algie.

The skies were grey, day after day, and The Gozo Cat Detectives felt very damp indeed. Their rain meant that their paws were wet, their bottoms were wet, and worst of all, their tails were wet and droopy. Fortunately they had comfy chairs and cushions to dry themselves on, but even so, things were not as perfect as cats require, and for some reason the people they looked after seemed upset by the damp patches all over their furniture.

Whistler voiced the opinion that people were hard to please and required a lot of care and attention. They needed a lot of playing with for a start and seemed to derive a great deal of amusement if you chased a new toy around the floor for a while. This activity, while momentarily diverting, only served to build up a hearty appetite which never seemed to be satisfied, especially in Ziggy’s case. If you played with things that interested you but weren’t toys, like curtains and tea towels, or you knocked things off tables to see what would happen, you got shouted at, sometimes very loudly.

People also liked being sat on for some bizarre reason. Ziggy sat on Max occasionally, but only if it was cold and there was no more seating space available in the kitchen. The habit was generally disapproved of as showing a lack of imagination in finding novel places to sleep, such as on the tops of the cupboards, or on the recipe books, a practice that always brought forth a good shout!

On the rare occasions when the rain stopped and the sun came out, The Gozo Cat Detectives would go up to the roof and roll around in the dust. Missy was an excellent climber, and she liked to put her skills into practice by hauling herself up the netting that separated their roof from the crumbling ruin of the house next door. It had once been a farm and had a dead fig tree in its central courtyard. It was filled with ancient limestone blocks, thick undergrowth and birds flew through it and perched in its nooks and crannies. It was ideal cat territory and she spent hours there. Max, Ziggy, Whistler and Astral Squeaks were impressed but too nervous to join her, which suited her well, as she was by nature of a solitary disposition, though a good team player when needed.

The only thing she had to remember was “Don’t eat Arthur”.

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