Mabel Prendergast and Princess

“That’s the one Joe, with the long black hair and yellow eyes. Has a nice bushy tail, I am sure she is worth something to the madam that owns her.”

“You are right Fred, should be an easy task to get her. That cat is a bit on the voluptuous side, so won’t be moving so quick. I reckon she will fetch a few thousand in ransom money when we have her. That old lady dotes on the cat.”

And so Joe and Fred were stalking Mrs. Prendergast’s black cat. They had been watching Mabel Prendergast for some time to see if it would be worth while. They followed her to the gourmet pet food shop and noticed that Mabel only bought the best for her furry friend. Minced calf’s liver or Scottish salmon was always on the shopping list. They had watched Mabel serving it to her well loved cat. The food was always arranged on a porcelain plate and garnished with a leaf of parsley or perhaps a rose bud. Not that Princess (so was the name of the cat) actually ate the rose bud or the parsley, but she was used to being spoilt and would meow quite loudly if Mrs. Prendergast forgot the decoration.

Princess was not a special breed, although she felt quite special. Her mother was black, but escaped one night and rumour had it that she met up with one of those Norwegian cats, the ones with the long fur and big bones. Princess had inherited the long black fur from her mother and her strength from the father probably.

Mrs. Prendergast was a very wealthy woman. She had only been married a short time when her husband, a banker, died suddenly with a heart attack. There had been no time for having a family, so Mabel lived on her own, until one day Princess arrived. She was a little furry kitten that Mabel found in her garden. Actually if she had known the truth, Princess’s mother decided that it was time for the kittens to leave the fold, and she knew that by depositing Princess in this garden it would be ideal. Her daughter would want for nothing in her feline life and so it was.

Then one dark night two figures sleeked across Mrs. Prendergast’s lawn and broke the garden window. They did it quite professionally; first of all applying sticky tape and then a delicate knock with a hammer. The glass broke noiselessly and they could open the window from the outside. During this time Mabel Prendergast was in a deep sleep and heard nothing. However, Princess picked her ears up, there was something afoot.

“So come on Joe, let’s find the moggy.”

Now princess had been called a few things, usually darling, snooky, bella, but never a moggy. She rolled over in her bed and climbed down from the silk cushion.

“Look Fred, there she is, I can see her yellow eyes glowing in the dark. Have you got the sack ready? I will grab her and you put her in the bag.


“What’s up Joe?”

“What’s up? The cat sunk her claws into my leg.”

“Where is she?”

“How am I supposed to know? It’s dark and she is black.”

There was suddenly a loud crash and a few swear words entered the air.

“Now what’s happened? Fred are you ok?”

“No, I am not ok, I think I have sprained my ankle. That stupid cat just ran in front of my feet and I fell over her. Hope the old lady hasn’t woken up.”

“Sounds quiet to me Fred; where’s that heap of fur?”

Now princess had been insulted enough for one evening; first of all being reduced to a common moggy and now a heap of fur. This was getting too much so she decided to show the two called Fred and Joe that she meant business. She then let out one of her famous growls and showed her teeth which reflected quite well in the shine of the torch that the men had.

“There she is Joe, but this time we will do it differently. I heard that if you cover a cat’s head they have no sense of direction. I will put the bag over her head and you push her legs in the bag.”

Now Joe was on the right track and before Princess knew what was happening she was in the bag – kidnapped from her nice warm home. What an insult that was. Joe and Fred carried her to their car and drove off, Fred still limping from his injury. They arrived at their two room apartment somewhere down town and let Princess out of the bag. This was their first mistake. She ran and hid behind the cupboard.

“Fred what shall we do, she is behind that tall wardrobe.”

“Leave her there Joe.”

“Sorry Fred but that cat is worth a few thousand for us, and we don’t want anything to happen to her. Didn’t you buy some cat food for it.”

“Yes, Joe, that’s an idea.” And Fred took a plastic dish, opened the in and put the cat food in.

Princess smelt something meaty in the air, but if the two men could have seen the look on her face, they would have realised that it was not to her taste. “Now I am an “it” and they are giving me tinned meat” she thought, “you must be joking and in a plastic plate.”

However Princess decided to play along with the two men and came out from behind the cupboard.

“Joe, I think that’s the trick. Animals do anything for food. Look she is coming out. Nice pussy, pussy, food for you.”

Princess approached the two men, sunk her nice sharp teeth into Fred’s hand and spit at Joe and scratched him, drawing blood. She then ran again to her safe place behind the cupboard whilst Joe and Fred were tending to their injuries. Eventually they decided to leave her and have a nights sleep. She would certainly not starve overnight and the next morning things would look different.

Princess waited until the two men were sleeping and decided to go into action. She crept up onto Fred’s bed and decided to mark it as her revere. She then did the same on Joe’s bed.

“Oooh, what’s that for a smell Joe.”

“You’re telling me, I think it’s the cat. Didn’t you organise a box for her.”

“You didn’t say anything about that.”

“What did you expect, cat’s go to the toilet as well. I will have to open the window to let the smell out.”

“No, Joe, don’t do that, the cat…….”

But it was too late. Now Princess had enough of slumming and wanted her luxury life back. In two seconds she was out of the window and on her way home. Cat’s have a wonderful homing sense. She was back on her silk cushion in her own little bed in no time. Mabel Prendergast woke up the next morning and her first action was to feed her Princess. In the morning Princess always had minced steak. Mrs. Prendergast was surprised to see that her window was broken, and called the police. They said someone had tried to break in and whether anything had been stolen.

“No, officer” was the answer. “I think my Princess probably frightened them away.”

The result of the story was that Fred and Joe decided that kidnapping cats was not so easy after all, so they gave it up. They both found a job in a meat canning factory for cat food. And Princess? On the way home after her kidnapping, she met a Siamese. Now how can you say no to a Siamese? The kittens were so sweet, that Mrs. Prendergast decided to keep one. The others she sold for a thousand each, after all long haired Siamese were very rare.

Mabel Prendergast decided that a cat was much better than a husband. Poor Percy, he did not last long with his weak heart, although Mabel did help a bit with an extra dose of Digitalis that she got from one of her plants in the garden.

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