Claw Justice

Mr Tibbles stars in…


The party was still in full swing. Mr. Tibbles made his way through the crowd at ankle level, the smells of cheesy wotsits and cheap white wine filling his sensitive nose. His sleek white fur brushed his owner’s feet, the signal that he was hungry and it wasn’t just for another bit of vol-au-vent that had been dropped by a careless guest.

There had been humiliation before. But there always was. He was no stranger to his owner’s strange flights of fancy, and the dinner party tonight was no exception. This time it was the frog costume. Green ears and a funny thing tied to his tail. He played along, of course. Keep them happy. He pitied the guests, really. He could see in their eyes they weren’t sure about how funny it really was to see a dignified animal clad in ridiculous hats. So he kept quiet. And waited.

His owner bent down and lifted him to shoulder height, giving him a new perspective on the party. A woman who smelled of leather came over and stroked his head. His owner was talking to her and it clearly wasn’t time for feeding. He struggled out, jumped down, and slipped through the kitchen and out of the cat flap. Free at last.

Then suddenly… another cat entered the room. It was Chauncey, the white, sleek leader of a motley bunch of toms from down the road dressed as a little red rooster. For a brief moment the eyes of the party go-ers were on him; laughter, praise, applause, he had stolen Mr. Tibbles’ thunder and he never liked that when it happened. Paw by paw in a neat and precise moment Chauncey tip-toed across the floor and seeing a careless sausage roll on the floor wandered over and nibbled the contents. Once he had wiped the last few crumbs from his delicate mouth he sat by Mr. Tibbles and washed himself.

“You know you can do that anywhere,” mentioned Mr. Tibbles who ignored his presence as much as he could. “Oh I know, but I know that this annoys you and therefore I shall continue to do so,” said Chauncey smugly. “Don’t you think you can piss in someone’s pool and get away with it. Once those people have stopped staring I’m gonna deck you. Now, what do you want?”

“What do we all want, Mr. Tibbles?” asked Chauncey. He turned his head on one side and stared at Tibbles for a moment. “Look, I know you like to play the tough guy. The humans in there think you’re cute and fluffy but I understand your game.”

Mr. Tibbles gazed out into the darkened garden. Somewhere a bird crapped on the lawn. “You want me to help you out, right?”

“Yeah. If you can.” Chauncey knew he had to play his cards right, or Tibbles just wouldn’t want to play ball. And that wouldn’t be cricket. “There’s a girl. Dinkie. Got herself tangled up with the wrong kind of cats. Underworld stuff.”

“Catnip dealing?”

“And worse. Yeah. She went missing a few days ago. I’m worried- I mean, she might be in danger.”

Mr. Tibbles looked round. He could read Chauncey like a book, and it wasn’t very imaginatively written. “You like this Dinkie, don’t you?”

Chauncey nodded. “If you can help,” he said, “I can make it worth your while.”

“Leave it with me,” said Tibbles. He jumped off the patio and went to have a piss under the conifers. As the urine left his system he thought back over what Chauncey had said. There wasn’t a lot to go on but it was enough. He had some contacts down town that would know which stones to go looking under. Once he was finished he sighed and trotted back into the party to finish what his owner had started. Up on all fours he careered around the legs of all those who still bothered to occupy the room and sat on the nearest chair. The people were a little drunk; red faces, the odd stumble and not having the slightest consideration for anyone else within a 50m radius. A huge man with no hair almost sat on Mr Tibbles but he jumped out of the way just in time. This was no way to live your life.

In the morning Mr Tibbles called Chauncey to get a few details before he starting putting his whiskers in where they weren’t wanted.

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