Chapter 8: 6 Days before Christmas
We waited eagerly for Monk. He had gone that morning with Lance for the show.
At last he arrived. He slowly ambled in, looking very pleased with himself.
Naturally we were impatient to know what had happened.
Cara begged him to start talking and he gave us a description of the day’s events.
“I was woken up very early this morning,” he started off.
“I had to endure one hour of brushing. Lance spent so much time examining my ears, teeth and eyes that I had no option other than to bite him a couple of times.
“That didn’t stop him though. “He is one bad dude!
“Finally, we got to the show. It was crowded with both humans and cats of various breeds. It was a total drag. We had to hang around for a long time.
“I longed for some sort of escape. I wouldn’t have minded if:
“Lance was kidnapped by gangsters. “The roof fell down only on Lance.
“Boss came in and attacked Lance and chased him out of London.
“A tornado whirled in and carried Lance away.
“A bus crashed into the place and headed straight for Lance so that he had to run for his life!
“Any one of the above would have been a relief.
“But nothing of the sort happened.
“What did happen was that many people came to look at all the contestants. They took notes, chatting away.
“I was taken out of my cage, weighed, lifted up and turned around several times. All very boring indeed.
“I looked at the other cats, some of them quite proud to be there.
“Silly spoilt brats.” I thought to myself. “Talk! Talk! Talk! That’s all the humans did.
“I thought it was never going to end, this endless babbling.
“Lance tensed. The big moment had come! “There was a hushed silence in the hall.
“Suddenly, the judge, a tall balding man stepped forward and presented me with an award and everyone clapped and cheered.”
“Wow!” we said in union.
“You won, Monk?” meowed Cara clapping her paws.
“I won a ribbon all right, but Lance didn’t get any prize money,” crowed Monk with a smirk.
“What I won was the ‘Heavyweight Champion’ award - the award given to the heaviest, healthiest, sleekest cat in the show!
“I had not lost an ounce of fat! In fact, with my daily second treats at your place, thirds at Polo’s, and being fed my Mrs. Applebee every day, I had actually gained weight,” chuckled Monk.
“All of Lance’s efforts were in vain. Serve him right!” he added with a smirk.
“The boring part though, was that the prize consisted of this ribbon, getting my photo in the newspapers and a free one-year pass to the cat spa. Can you imagine me going to the cat spa?
“Lance will be in trouble when Solo sees my face in the newspaper. He entered me in the show without talking to Solo” Monk concluded with a nasty snigger.
Monk’s chuckles died down when we heard the sound of a vehicle coming to a stop near his house and doors banging.
“Looks like you have guests,” I said.
Monk jumped out of the window, calling — “See you later.”
For a chunky guy, he did move fast.
That evening, Monk came over and tapped on our window. He told us with relief that Solo, Hobbs and Terrance had returned home safely.
Mom had received a call from Solo just as she returned home, so we had already received the news. We were waiting for Mom to jump into some warm, casual, clothes to dash over there.
More importantly, the Señora’s husband had been found!
Despite Monk’s joy in having his good friends back, there was also a feeling of grave concern.
Mom said that Raoul was terribly thin and could hardly walk. Other than that, he was in good health.
What was worrying was that when he fell off the mountain, he had bashed his head against a stone and could not remember anything.
Raoul had lost his memory, meaning he had amnesia.
Solo had decided not to inform the Señora about Raoul’s return, as of yet. Instead he had brought Raoul directly to his house.
The doctor had examined Raoul to check on his condition. He had advised that Raoul would physically recover with nutritious food and care.
The doctor’s concern was Raoul’s loss of memory. He didn’t recognize anyone - not Solo,
not Hobbs, and not even the doctor who had treated him as a patient for many years.
Solo had called his friend Inspector Reid and Mom to come over to discuss what they should do.
How were they going to break the news to Señora?
Solo, brainy and brave as he was, was completely lost on how to deal with Señora and tell her that Raoul had amnesia and could not remember the past.
Solo, though friendly and kind, was counting on Mom to break the news to Señora.
“Chicken!!” muttered Cara, because Monk had told us that Solo disappeared when women became emotional.