Paws For Thought.

"We’re going to have to rig it.” Dredly said, arriving at the scene of destruction in Albert's kitchen.
“How do you rig a polar bear - and more to the point, what d’you rig it with?” Asked Albert.
“Not the bear, the fridge. We’re going to have to rig the damned fridge, because I’m sorry but we're not supplying that polar bear’s addiction to Ben & Jerry’s and Diet Coke any longer.”
“Oh no! Tell me he hasn’t had all the Diet Coke again!” Albert was plaintive.
“No, you’re OK, he left you one.” Sage handed the old man the can.
“Thank God for that! I’m gasping.” Albert tweaked on the ring pull and it snapped off in his hand. Ten minutes later, after he’d finished swearing, he pointed to the top of the can. “Look at that.”
Sage and Dredly looked and could see strange score marks on it.
“My God!” Dredly breathed as he realised the grim truth, “He booby-trapped it so it would snap like that!”
The true measure of the evil they were facing took a few second to sink in.
“This means war.” Cried Sage, his face a deathmask. “I can only stand so much - now I’ve been pushed too far!”

A Polar Bear raids Albert’s fridge in one of the humor books at Dredly.com

He was right. The bear had finally overstepped the mark. It had been preying on Albert, Sage and Dredly for over a year, alternating between their fridges - it was at least fair in its theft. Its first raids had been minor. Sage and Dredly would come down in the morning, find all the milk gone and blame each other. Let’s face it, your first reaction to finding no milk in the fridge isn’t ‘Oh it must have been a polar bear that took it’. However, it became bolder, started going for the bigger prizes - toast; spaghetti bolognaise; full English breakfast. The penny finally dropped that something was seriously awry when Albert came down to discover the remnants of a four course meal. The bear had started with avocado vinaigrette, then had steak with salad Nicoise, Cherry Garcia ice cream and finally the whole supply of port and Stilton cheese with crackers. Albert had known at once that it couldn’t have been his housekeeper, Mrs Pudding, or his cat, Calorie. She was allergic to avocado and Calorie would never mix Nicoise salad with steak. That and the fact that the kitchen had stunk like a bear pit and one of the chairs had been covered with tufts of white hair had led Albert to deduce that it wasn’t either of his housemates, but a polar bear. However, this time there was an extra dimension to the problem.
"What about your shoes?" Sage asked.
"Shoes?" Albert looked confused - which wasn't an unusual occurrence.
Dredly quickly explained the situation, but Albert couldn't get the gist of it. Dredly slowly explained the situation - Albert's attention wandered and at the end he was still none the wiser. Sage intervened.
"We go to America to get shoes mended." He said loudly.
Albert gave an 'Oh!' Of understanding, but then looked concerned.
"Why don't you just get them fixed round the corner at the Mr Jiffy Mendit place?"
"Because we need to go to America..." Sage began, but floundered when he couldn't think of a reason Albert would understand. Fortunately, as far as Albert was concerned, understanding things had long ceased to be important.
"Oh well," He said cheerfully, "I suppose the walk will do you good."
“Yes, but the shoes'll have to wait. We’ve got to deal with this bear before we go to the ‘States.” Dredly replied as he started to clear the mess from the floor.
“I can’t go away knowing that he’s going to come in here, eat our food, watch our TV, sit on our sofas. Who knows, he might even use the shower...”
“The plug will be clogged for the rest of time.” Albert interjected.
“He might even use our after-shave.”
“Is nothing sacred to this fiend?” Sage wailed.
“And what if he wants to phone his family? I dread to think what a two-hour peak rate call to Sisimiut must cost. We’ve got to get something done!”
“Yes!” Said Albert and immediately set to work trying to open his can of Diet Coke.

Leaving Albert to grapple with the can, Sage and Dredly went out the back door and walked down the garden to the shed. They both knew that if they were to successfully capture the most efficient and intelligent of Arctic hunters, they would need the help of Albert's cat, Calorie. He was usually to be found in the shed, ever since Albert had banned him from smoking his pipe in the house. Sage knocked on the door, waited for the miaow, and opened it. Calorie was in his smoking stance - standing on his hind legs and leaning nonchalantly against the wall with one paw, whilst puffing contemplatively at his briar. He was not a thin cat. In fact, he was downright pudgy. His coat was predominantly black, though his belly, paws and central parts of his face were pure white. As with all cats, the look on his face was one which led one to wonder whether he was thinking about a lot more than just mice and litter trays. Still faces run deep and his was a veritable ocean trench of a face.

"Reiow." He said, billowing smoke.

Calorie relaxes with a good pipe in his shed in one of the humor books at Dredly.comThis was one of a number of verbal responses Calorie used when communicating with humans. "Miaow" was used for demanding food, the opening of doors, the changing of the litter in his tray, the changing of channels on the TV and any other general ordering about.  "Reiow" was his usual greeting, and also served as "yes".  "Eiow" was "Let's get on with it" and a broad word of encouragement. "Gneiow" was his way of signalling disappointment. But when Calorie was happy, he'd say "Quangle". Like most other cats, Calorie did not have a word for "No". If he tired of having his tummy tickled, he would bite. Cat language, when communicating with other species is simple and effective, while most inter-feline conversation is highly complex, non-verbal and largely ineffective.

"Hi, Cals," Said Dredly, going over to tickle the cat under the chin. Calorie purred in response.
"We need your help to catch a polar bear."
Calorie pricked his ears and knocked out his pipe - this would require his full attention. Dredly explained the situation, and Calorie was glad to have been brought into the fray. He, too, bore a grudge against the polar bear. Not only had it eaten one of his avocados, it had shed its fur on a chair on which he had later lain down. The horror of finding that he was covered in the moulted hair of another animal was more than he could handle. The subsequent fiasco with the Remington 'Fuzz Away', and the resulting dash to the vet were incidents which had given Calorie nightmares for weeks. And since he tended to sleep 18 hours a day, that was a lot of nightmares. Sure, he had his reasons for revenge on the bear - now his chance had come.
"...So you see, if we're going to rig up the infra-red surveillance unit by four o'clock tomorrow morning, you're going to have to work quickly." Dredly concluded.
"Eiow." Calorie replied.

"All right!"  Dredly patted Calorie on the head. "You and Sage rig up the surveillance system and I'll book our tickets to New York. It's time to get stuff done!"




Is it a good idea to set a cat to catch a thief? And what about when the thief is a blummin' great huge polar bear? And can you still get Remington 'Fuzz Aways'? And did that bloke really like the shaver so much he bought the company?

The answer to possibly one of these questions will appear in the next fluff-busting chapter...


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