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In Love & Pollination, Violet needs to shut Frank, Perdita’s black rescue cat, in Saul’s car to further her scheming… This is what Frank thought about that!
As soon as Violet fed him – and boy, had he been hungry – she popped him in this cardboard box and shut the lid. Then there had been a very strange sound that Frank dimly recognised as from when Perdita wrapped brightly coloured paper around things to stop the paper from falling off. Was Violet wrapping him up?
Sensing the box move, Frank dug his claws into the base to keep himself steady. After a short while, it seemed like he was on firm ground again. That was better. But the next thing Violet did made him feel very unsafe. She opened the door of that man’s car. Frank knew the sound, he’d heard it often enough, and then she lifted up the box and put it down again. He heard the car door shut. Circling the box, Frank discovered a definite tilt to one side.
Frank heard Violet’s retreating steps on the sharp gravel that dug into his pads when he walked on it but the sound was muffled. He sniffed at the hole in the lid. He’d been put inside that man’s car. It was outrageous! But the car hadn’t moved so it didn’t seem like he was going back to the vet. That was a relief. He hadn’t known how to let Perdita know that the vet man was not a good man; that Frank had gone in with his special furry pouches full and had come out with them empty. If Perdita ever left him alone with that vet man again, Frank might come away with something else missing, and that didn’t bear thinking about.
For a while he mewed piteously to himself. It was a good sound as it reflected how he felt. He didn’t understand what he’d done to deserve being shut in that man’s car. The man who didn’t much like him anymore; the peculiar man. The man who cuddled him and petted him when they were alone together yet ignored him when anyone else was around. Frank just didn’t understand that game. Probably too sophisticated for him. What, Frank wondered, would the peculiar man do when he found out that Frank was in his car? Did he know? Frank was thinking it over when he heard another car and it sounded just like Perdita’s.
Perdita! She would rescue him. When Frank heard Perdita call for him he cried out, ‘I’m in here. Help me get out. I’m stuck.’ He couldn’t understand why he was here in the first place.
Perdita didn’t find him. He pondered over what to do next. It was so dark in the box; even he could barely see a thing. He clawed frantically and the cardboard began to rip. Good job he’d sharpened his claws on the oak tree next door last night.
It was getting very hot in here. He took a breather. He couldn’t hear Perdita anymore. No, he could, just faintly. His hearing wasn’t what it used to be. ‘Over here,’ he meowed. ‘This way. Inside the peculiar man’s car.’ Perdita’s voice was sounding stronger again. She was coming back. Frank redoubled his efforts using his teeth as well as his claws, shredding the cardboard lid above him. At last, there was a big hole, and he squeezed his nose through the opening.
Whew, nice to breathe cooler air. It had been getting hot and stuffy inside the box. The air smelt cleaner too. Perhaps he hadn’t washed himself as thoroughly as he could have done. The thing was, it was sometimes hard to tell. He did check himself over regularly, giving himself a good sniff but, lately, he’d felt his joints aching a little. In the mornings, when he woke up. Once he was free of this box, he’d check out his hind quarters. He’d limbered up today already. Would that have been why Violet had put him in the box? Because she, too, had detected a smell? He felt ashamed of himself. From now on, he would be extra careful in his ablutions.
Pushing upwards and stretching his neck, Frank’s ears popped up through the hole; his head was through. He was free to look all around the peculiar man’s car, but he found he could not get fully back inside the box, nor could he extricate himself completely. And the edges of the hole were digging into his neck. It was decidedly uncomfortable. Standing on his hind legs, he scrabbled around the circumference of the hole with his front paws and claws. Boy, was he pleased he hadn’t lapsed his manicure last night.
There, he heard it again. Perdita was still calling for him. He had to get out. With super-feline effort, Frank made the lid collapse around him as first one paw and then the other made it through the opening. After clambering out of the box, Frank reached his paws to rest on the side window, to steady his hind legs while he looked out. Just bushes. Normally, he enjoyed looking at bushes. He could stare at them for hours in the hope that he would detect movement in them, or hear a slight rustle. And then he would crouch low, wiggle his hips from side to side while he considered the best moment to pounce and then spring towards the movement in a single leap. If he was lucky, he might catch a mouse or a vole. If he was unlucky, he would catch a pile of leaves.
He decided to try another window. How many of the things had this car got? Funny, he’d not bothered to count them before as cars hadn’t interested him. But he would from now on. Jumping onto the shelf above the seats, Frank got ready to let out a yowl. But there was no point. He glimpsed the last part of Perdita disappearing around the back of the house.
He decided to yowl anyway.