Bobby rolled over onto his back and stretched luxuriously. It didn’t get much better than this, the early summer sunshine was deliciously warm on his speckled tummy and there was a light breeze wafting through the open window. He lay there thinking about the dream he had just had. He had been running along a beach whipping up sand followed by two pretty Golden Retreivers who had barked with glee at the chase. The wind in his ears caused them to fan out behind him and he bounded powerful and lean towards the waters’ edge.
He opened his eyes and pushed his hind legs out to their full extent and assessed their form. There was no doubt in his mind that his beautifully marked and feathered legs were probably best in breed. Little wonder that the girls liked him. As he lay there relaxing he heard the sound of footsteps on the gravel. Not sure if he was still in dream mode he kept perfectly still. No. He was right, there were definitely footsteps. He turned gently onto his stomach and slowly raised his head to window height to see what was outside. It was lunchtime and all was usually quiet. MOP and HOH would be in the house and Bosco would be guarding them in the pump room. Nobody ever came to the house at this time. Damn it! He had been working all morning playing with guests and this was his relaxation time and now… He let out a couple of disinterested barks. The people stopped in their tracks so he let another two go. He prayed Bosco would take up the challenge and he could return to his most important rest period.
The people were talking in low voices; one carrying a bundle of rags in their arms that they were both leaning towards. One more bark and he was sure Bosco would appear. Excellent! The Slayer appeared trying to look alert and viscious but Bobby knew he too had probably been asleep. The people drew their rags towards them and as their voices became raised Bobby H realise they were French. Oh well, nothing he could do now, he settled back down to observe the proceedings.
Seconds after Bosco gave voice his people arrived and put Bosco into the red car. The French and his people started an intense conversation and then out of nowhere Kyla appeared. There was much discussion and after a period of time the rags were handed over to HOH who appeared to be quite upset. They said their goodbyes and then HOH and MOP walked in Reception, his arm around her shoulder, both of them cradling the rags. Two minutes later MOP returned, wordlessly opened the red car to let Bosco out, and then disappeared back into the house.
“Kyla, Kyla, what’s going on?” Bobby was as curious as the next dog.
“God knows..I was asleep, seems like rest is an impossible dream..I’ll ask Bosco.” She let out a few squeaks and right on cue Bosco appeared. He had been told to ‘STAY’ in Reception and he was indignant. How embarrassing to be told what to do just like Bobby was, he hated that.
“It would sem from what I can smell that the French people have turned up with a dog..definitely male, young and dirty. Other than that I cannot say. They have taken it into the house.”
“What!” Kyla was amazed. Everyone knew no guests to Les Comforts ever went into the house unless there was an emergency.
“I have to contact Steve.” She waddled up to the kitchen window, still rather fuddled with sleep. Her headset was in the cat kitchen so she hoped he was up and alert and ready for action. Several calls later and he appeared at the upstairs window.
“What?! Do you know what time it is?”
“Steve, a guest has been taken into the house. We need to find out what is going on. We think it is a dog and HOH has taken it straight in. Find out what you can.”
Steve’s face registered shock and then disappeared so Kyla waited where she was hoping for immediate feedback. The sun was beating down so she settled into what she hoped looked like an alert lying down pose. As she rested her head on her paws she caught sight of KP, now referred to as PPK by MOP, watching her, a sly smile playing about his lips.
“Busy Kylie? I thought it was an emergency and now I realise it was just a sunbathing call. Let me know if you need any help catching the sun.” With that he turned and flicking his tail disappeared into the shade, his white body soon hidden from view.
Kyla was furious. Ever since Les Comforts had offered that pompous little French feral a home he had lorded it over her and was busy trying to muscle in on her relationship with Bosco. He appeared everywhere, seemed to know everything and had captivated Bosco with his fearless play fighting. She had endlessly warned Bosco of getting too close to him, but for some reason Bosco thought he was the cats whiskers. Every morning she had to endure the sickening sight of PPK leaping out from a hiding place and bashing Bosco around the face. All the stupid dog did was wag his plume and keep going back for more.
She was relieved that Bobby holiday realised the danger of this infiltrator and at every opportunity chased him up a tree barking loudly to ‘back away Pale Puss’. She did wonder where it would all end…and more to the point, she did wonder where his french accent had gone! But whatever, right now she had this new guest to worry about and she called out with some force for Steve to hurry up.
“For meowing out loud Kyla, give me a chance. Do you want all the information or not?”
“Just get on with it.”
“If you insist on speaking to me like that I don’t have to collaborate you know.” Steve once again was displaying his precious Oriental temperament and Kyla knew arguing would be pointless.
“What have you found out Steve? Do we have a new member? Who is it?” She played up to his need for importance.
“Well..it would seem we have an orphan here. Those foreign people (Kyla raised yellow eyes to the heavens) have found a baby dog in the dustbins up the road and they thought we would be the perfect people to being it to. As usual everyone trying to dump their unwanted rubbish on us.” Kyla bit her tongue, after all some might say she was unwanted rubbish along with the rest of the gang..apart from Steve!
“And I don’t know. HOH is in tears, MOP is mopping them up and there is a horrible smell in the utility room where they are with this thing.”
“So what happens now? Are they alerting the authorities, has the puppy spoken to you, will it die?” There was no end to the questions Kyla had, this was shocking news and they all needed answers.
“Kyla, I’m telling you I don’t know. Right now I need to go and clean up. I have been in close proximity to this bin baby and I need to get the stench off my fur. I smell like a feral..infact I smell like PPK.” He sneered, after all he could get away with saying these things, he didn’t have to interact with the feral add-on. “Stay by the window and I will let you know if I get more information.”
Sometimes Kyla wished she could get her paws around Steve’s stringy little red neck. How unhe;lpful was that and didn’t Oslington Bay realise that this was her lunch break and it was quite frankly far too hot to remain in situ’ for much longer. Wearily she jumped down and padded off to tell Bosco and Bobby the news so far.
Needless to say both dogs were impressed that HOH and MOP had acted so appropriately. They were both very sensitive to the needs of unwanted dogs and were keen to offer help to HOH and MOP. Bosco trotted to the silver car and held up his paw. Bobby sat up and touched the window from the inside.
“High Five Spotty, we need to get involved..this is a big day for Les Comforts.”
“As one Slayer, tell me what I need to do.” Bobby was ecstatic, a real breakthrough in his relationship with Bosco and he sensed a unity with him.
“I’ll get the feedback, we need to move this one forward, stay alert.” Bosco headed back to Reception where he was supposed to be STAYING and Bobby lay back down, his thoughts on a beach sccene with him and Bosco running through the waves with the Golden Retrievers .
A while later Kyla’s belated rest was interrupted by PPK appearing by her bed, his face pushed up close to hers.
“Wake up lazy girl, do you want to know what’s happening?” Kyla sat bolt upright. This nasty feral was intolerable. She hissed loudly telling him to move out of her personal space.
“I’m sorry PK Peanut KP, whatever your name is, do you want to talk to me?” She glared hard at him.
“I don’t have to tell you Lazy Grey Cat or however your friends address you, I just thought you would like to know what is happening in your security zone.” He grinned his unpleasant grin and Kyla took stock.
“Okay PPK you are a clever cat and I am grateful for you coming to me with news. What is the situation as you see it?”
“They, our people, are taking bin baby to the Dog Doctor. They are anxious for its health and they have pledged to keep it here and nurse it if the Doctor says that is okay. Pretty cool people I should say.”
Kyla was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. This was news indeed and she was only sorry that it hadn’t been delivered by a tried and trusted agent. Additionally, if she wasn’t mistaken, feral fuzz called them ‘our people’. This was an outrage. But enough! For the moment they all had to be sure that this new arrival offered no threat to health and security amongst them and their charges. Already Steve had complained about the stench..goodness knows what bugs the bin baby carried. She must find out.
“PPK, do you think you can get any more information? Steve is on the inside checking it out….” Before she could finish she was interrupted.
“Steve is asleep on the window sill in the kitchen. Just thought you might like to know.” Another sly grin.
Kyla was mortified, the unit was beginning to look all over the place and PPK was cashing in on it. She had to take charge completely. She shook her head to clear it, her small ears making a sharp ratatatat.
“Then go and wake him and tell him I have sent you to update him. Then tell him to go and sit by the utility door and listen to everything that is said. They have the thing in there. I want a full report in 15 minutes.” Her yellow eyes stared straight into the pale green eyes of PPK. He felt a little shiver in his tail. My! Lazy Grey was quite enchanting when she got herself in a tizz. What a challenge. He ran off..
Steve yawned widely stretched his front legs out and flicked his tail; boy it was hot by the window. He knew he should be doing something else. Something about an emergency, but whilst it was so deliciously relaxing, he would remain where he was for now. He opened his eyes into little slits to filter the direct sunlight. OH MY GOD…He leapt up off all fours and then fell to the floor like a stone. What the Hell was that???
“Oriental Boy, did I surprise you?”
Steve sprung back onto the table. This was awful, that hideous cat’s face had been an inch from his, for a second he thought he was in the room. He let out an ear splitting yowl and spat at the window.
“Temper, temper Oslington. I have only come to give you your instructions.”
“Get lost you disgusting creature, just looking at you offends my eyes. You make trouble of the first degree and in my opinion there is no room for you in this or any other investigation at Les Comforts, now clear off and let the real team get on with their jobs.” He flattened his ears to show he meant it.
“Oooh slow down OB I have been sent by Kyla to tell you to maintain your position..I think that is supposed to be by the utility door, but, with ears the size of yours you can probably hear everything within a ten mile radius…except you were asleep. So just to keep you in the loop, they are planning to keep bin baby but we need to know more.”
Without a meow Steve slid away and tiptoed up to the door of the room placing an ear close to it…
“That was Greg. He got my text about the puppy. He says he will have him whatever and would like to come to the vets with us so we’ll meet there in an hour.” MOP relayed the details of his phone conversation to HOH.
“God! He is such a lovely person, who else would take on an abandoned puppy unconditionally? We are so lucky to have a friend and neighbour like him. You don’t think he thought we were asking him to take him on do you?”
“No way. I only asked if he knew of anyone who might want to foster the little man for a while, he is going to need so much t.l.c we wouldn’t ask that of anyone lightly.”
“Do you think we should keep him here for a while just to make sure everything is okay first? We could bring Bobby in to keep him company and to show him the ropes.”
“Maybe, let’s see what the vet says first, we’re way ahead of ourselves. Greg has even offered to pay the vets bill, but I did say that was way beyond the call of duty.”
“Do you think Sue Ellen will get on with a young male?” HOH was referring to Greg’s Great Dane puppy who herself was only 8 months old.
“I hope so….look, I think he’s hungry, that’s good, I’ll go and make up some formula. Do you think it is okay to feed him before he sees the vet?”
“I think that would be a good idea, if he drinks something it’s got to be a good sign.”
As the door started to open Steve melted away into the recess below the stairs. He was pleased that he had managed to gather so much information with so little effort. This was how it should be. He waited until the coast was clear and stealthily made his way up stairs and upon reaching the master bedroom window let out a few calls. Unfortunately PPK appeared not Kyla which he found irritating.
“What news OB?”
“Steve Oslington Bay if you don’t mind feral, have a little respect.”
“Okay S.O.B what’s happening?”
Steve outlined the situation and PPK left to update Kyla. On his way PPK made a detour.
“Bobby Hobby…Bobby Hobby…you in there?” He sprung up onto the bonnet of the silver car causing Bobby much alarm.
“You are going on the inside puny dog..they want you to keep the little baby company. I guess that is the level of security they think you are up to. Ha ha and that will leave The Slave to do all the outside work on his own…at his age!!”
Bobby simply sat there perplexed. He had never come up against such nastiness from a fellow animal before and he felt very hurt. He was also worried about having to go inside. He hated the inside. Before MOP found him at the rescue place, he had been locked up for week upon week in a small shed with not much to eat and drink all because he didn’t make the grade as a hunting dog. He was scared of the inside. MOP knew that and that was why they let him have the safe silver car to hang out in. Also it seemed to him that PPK was playing them off against each other. He was supposed to be Bosco’s friend and yet he seemed pleased that Bosco would have to keep guard without his, Bobby’s, assistance. His jowl sagged and he felt sad and afraid. Who knew what his future would be with another agent on board.
Meanwhile PPK zoomed off to impress Kyla with his findings.
“So now we play the waiting game..you feral are off duty and I will visit Bosco to check on all other areas of possible breach in our security. Away and play with some mice, I am sure there are plenty for you to be getting on with.” She squished her mouth into a straight line and glared hard at PPK.
“You are dismissed for now Monsieur!”
A furious PPK turned tail and stalked out of the cat kitchen. How dare that fat grey ball of fur talk to him in such a way! Revenge was imminent…he would wait!!
Calm descended for a short time and then all of a sudden HOH and MOP emerged from Reception carrying a small bundle wrapped up in what Bobby was horrified to note was one of his fleece blankets. Bosco was hot on their heels trying to sniff the parcel and calling loudly despite the admonishments delivered by MOP. They climbed into the big truck (rarely used outside of land duties) and drove towards the gates. HOH called from the window..
“On guard Bosco!” and they sped off.
Bosco reluctantly turned away from chasing the truck and realised that with the gates open he had his work cut out.
“Bosco, Slayer, do you know what’s going on?” Bobby had his head to the window.
“You know as much as I do Spot, clearly I am to get no rest today, they never leave the gates open, I have to stay here now and wait to see what happens.” He was fed up. Surely they could have taken him for the ride and he would have had all the information they all needed. He settled down to lie in the middle of the forecourt to await their return.
“This is mayhem Bosco, how are we going to manage it?” Kyla appeared by his side.
“Grey puss, what do I know? I guard the premises day and night and now there is a real emergency I am relegated to watch…I think they have the matter in hand, but who knows?”
What was only an hour in real time seemed endless to the Agents. Kyla waited near Bosco to lend her support in surveillance duty, Bobby H kept himself awake by watching the birds frolic in the bird bath, although several times his lids closed involuntarily, PPK was observed carrying out several fast moves in the undergrowth appertaining to be training and Steve sat phoenix like on the window sill, eyes closed, attempting to seem bright and interested.
Before any audible sound was heard Bosco set up barking and within a minute the truck was seen at the top of the drive, behind it was the large black estate car owned by Greg, they roared into the driveway and Bosco circled both vehicles giving voice.
“Hey Big Man. Who’s in charge here then?” Greg alighted from his car and gave Bosco the high five. Bosco loved Greg who was, apart from his people, the best person he had ever known. Greg then turned his attention to Kyla.
“Hello gorgeous, there’s alot going on here today isn’t there?” Kyla allowed herself to be swept up into Greg’s arms as she knew he was almost family. She purred good and loud to let Greg know she approved.
“Okay you, I think a celebration is in order.” MOP appeared backwards from the truck carrying bin baby and called to his friend. “Let’s get this little man settled and then have a beer!”
They all headed for the house and Kyla jumped down from Greg’s arms and headed for the kitchen window sill. Steve who had been disturbed from his semi-coma managed to look awake enough when Kyla almost hit the glass with her speed.
“Oslington..over to you! Get the full run down on what is happening and report back as soon is as feline possible. No mucking around, we have to know immediately. You got it?”
“Over and out Kyla.” Steve was fed up as yet again the full responsibility of information fell at his paws. He really did feel he was earning his Whiskas.
Over the next two hours the Agents were in the dark. No rest, a potential breach in health and security along with the additional uncertainty over their tight knit band was beginning to take its toll. Bosco, against his wishes, had been secured inside the Reception, Bobby was out and about taunting PPK at every opportunity and forgetting Les Comforts was in crisis, Kyla constantly checking and rechecking her headset and Steve so worn out with his duties that he kept hallucinating about a purple and orange duvet. The Agents were in bits; so when Greg emerged after beer and sandwiches they were all frankly relieved. And best of all he was carrying the bundle in his arms.
“Seriously Greg, I mean it, if you have any problems, whatever, ring us or come over, any time day or night. This isn’t your responsibility, we will happily take him back, you have been so good and we really appreciate it.” MOP had his arm around Greg.
“Really, we mean it. You don’t need another puppy at yours and if you only decide to foster him that is fine with us. We are so grateful to you.” HOH was walking towards the cars.
“I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it. He’s absolutely fine. The vet has given him a clean bill of health, he just needs to have some love and support and a new home so he’s got it! He’s fantastic and I know Sue Ellen will love him. Don’t worry about a thing. He’s a lovely little boy. Thank you!” Greg gave HOH a huge hug and plonked the fleece wrapped parcel on the back seat of his car. “Two minutes and he’s home for good. See you later.”
The car started up and HOH and MOP’s friend disappeared up the driveway along with the bin baby.
Bobby Holiday immediately swished up to MOP’s legs and presented his head for attention. He was hugely relieved that this let him off the’ inside’ hook. MOP smoothed him and rubbed his chest vigorously.
“Good man Bobby…you almost had a baby to look after..you’d have been good at that, you are such a softie.” Bobby wriggled with pride, he almost wished he could show them just how good he would have been but it was probably better this way.
“Oh sweetheart, look at the cats.” HOH drew MOP’s attention to the scene she was witnessing.
Kyla was wiggling at top speed back to the cat kitchen pursued by PPK intent on score settling watched by Steve from the window smiling broadly. Good luck with him he thought to himself.
A petulant bark turned their attention to the Reception doorway. Bosco stood there tail down, ears flat looking at them all.
“Oh Bosco! You are such a good boy.” HOH rushed over to Bosco’s side and embraced him.
“Look darling he hasn’t even bothered Bobby, how good is this dog?” HOH was ecstatic. This was a first at Les Comforts (or so she thought!). Bosco knew how to manipulate the situation, he had been in check for quite a while now and he was definitely going to get points for this. What better way than to reinforce his bond with HOH!!
“This has turned out to be a really good day, what a great result all round.” MOP put his arm around HOH. “I suppose we should be getting on with some work.”
Bosco curled his lip….his thoughts turned to taking back control. He knew he had been called ‘The Slave’.