It was raining in Paris. It was always raining that year, but cozy inside the loft. Life was good, there were enough sardines to last a year, and more milk than a New Jersey dairy farm. Buckminster was awakened from a well deserved nap by violent scratching at the door.
The Bucks Awakened From His Nap.
Ambette’s coat was soggy wet, colors were running, and her once much cared for tail was a tangled mess. She reeked of absinth.
“Bucks, you’ve got to help me. I’ve been such a fool.”
“You’re not a bad kat,” he consoled her. “Foolish, yes. Naive perhaps. What’s going on?”
“I’m in big trouble,” she meowed. “I don’t know where should I begin.”
“At the beginning,” he suggested as he poured a bowl of warm milk for her.
“I’ve been gambling,” she admitted. “The Count and I have been going to the rat races and I bet everything I had on a big Norwegian Tolstoy said was sure to win. I wagered more that what I had, I mean, like it was supposed to be a sure thing and . . .
“You lost . . .” Bucks groomed his paws and waited for her story to continue.
“I thought the Count would help me pay, but he’s abandoned me for some Siamese pussy he met at Theater de Varieties. I’m down to my last sardine and an enforcer from the gambling syndicate is on my tail. The syndicate wants to katnap me to hold for ransom. If no one is willing to pay they plan to put me in an obscure cathouse in the Quartier Pigalle. Oh, Bucks . . . I don’t know what to do.”
“Umm. Do you know who it is, this kat that’s on your tail?”
“His name’s Mandu,” she told him.
“Kat Mandu?” he asked her with a flick of his elegant tail. This was not good.