Catflap James Follett © 2008
A true story
The Boss Cat
The Staywell International Catflap Corporation
From Dylan and Thomas (aged nine-months)
24th July 1995
Dear Mr. Staywell Boss Cat,
Please find enclosed the remains of your Staywell Type 21 electronic catflap which hasn't stayed well at all even though it is only two-weeks old. If you hold all the bits together, there should be a complete door and frame but our owner hasn't included the power pak because he said what was the point of paying postage on the one thing that was working. He bought it from Robert Dyas in Guildford -- who sounds a dogey human if you ask us. Our owner also wondered whether your `lifetime's guarantee' meant the lifetime of the catflap, the lifetime of us cats, or the lifetime of humans.
The cause of the door's sorry state is Himmler -- a local farm cat. Himmler is big for a cat and we do mean BIG! He has one ear, one eye, half a tail, and appears to be held together by scar tissue and sheep ticks. His half a tail is a result of an argument with a combine harvester that the combine lost. He leads a hard life, sleeping in leaky barns and outhouses, and living on rats, rabbits and the odd sheep now and then.
Occasionally he decides to cross a couple of fields to pay us soft `domestics' a visit. Himmler going walkabouts invariably leads to a crop of sightings of the Surrey puma reported in the local papers. How humans can confuse Himmler with a puma is beyond us -- Himmler is much bigger. He never looks for a hole in a hedge but simply walks straight through it. From this you will gather that Himmler is the feline equivalent of Panzer division.
Our first encounter with him was when we were barely out of our kittenhood. We were playing in the garden when we suddenly became aware of his awesome presence on the lawn. Dylan, who is the bolder of the two us (and marginally more stupid -- T), decided to see him off. He approached Himmler by walking sideways, back arched, tail straight up, fur standing on end, and emitting rather sad growls. Mum taught us this threat display which works extremely well with dogs and sparrows. Unfortunately she must've blabbed because Himmler seemed to know all about it. He watched Dylan's approach through his lone slitted eye as though trying to make up his mind which leg to rip off first. When he eventually decided, all hell broke loose, and -- well -- we were creamed when we got jammed side-by-side in the ordinary catflap we had then.
The vet's bill was what prompted our owner to fit one of your Staywell electronic catflaps and make us wear funny little sensor units on our collars. We got used to the clunk-click every trip, and even took to hurling insults at Himmler and hopping through the catflap to safety whenever he got mad. We guess that Dylan calling him a dried-up smear of rancid raccoon smegma was taking it too far because Himmler saw red and came through your catflap like it wasn't there. I mean -- Jesus -- he just exploded through the wall, beat us to a pulp, and scoffed our Whiskas.
So here are the remains of your catflap. The unanswered question is: how many of our lives does your lifetime guarantee cover?
(inked paw print) (inked paw print)
Astra Business Centre, Roman Way
3rd August 1995
Dear Dylan and Thomas,
We are so sorry to hear of your problems with Himmler. We have pleasure in enclosing a replacement type 21 Staywell catflap and a complimentary No. 22 Automagnetic, our latest cat flap, for your trial. We are confident that it is Himmler proof.
Please pass on my regards to your owner.
Julie A Coene, Consumer Services.
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