A story by Helen Nyman
Illustrations by Emma Pennisi
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In case any of the cats were unwell there was a hospital run by a rather absent-minded cat called Dr Yowl. He was a big white cat with sparkly blue eyes, and was very hard of hearing, which often led him to giving the wrong medicine as he couldn’t really hear what his patients were complaining of, but up to now he’d never really hurt anyone.
As the cats on the island had come from all different countries, each one arrived with their own unique culture. The cats from Italy were very noisy, and all seemed to talk at the same time and waved their paws in the air when they spoke. If you sat too near to them you could often catch the smell of garlic on their breath as they claimed it added that little something to their food, and also helped to keep the fleas away!
There were cats of all breeds from France, Russia, China, England, Kenya, India, Brazil and many other nations and once a year they all dressed up in their national costumes for Cat Pride that was celebrated with a big garden party in the Palace grounds. This year the celebrations were to have an even greater meaning as it was Cat Pride’s 125th anniversary!
King Freddy was very excited at the thought of the annual party that was going to be in two days time. He was planning the list of games they could play. The most popular was “Pinning the Tail on the Lizard” – there were thousands of tiny lizards running around on the island, and a large part of them without tails as cats just love catching lizards and biting their tails off.
King Freddy didn’t consider this cruel as he never killed the lizards and insisted that their tails grew back again anyway, so why not have a bit of fun? He did make one rule though and that was that all tails that had been bitten off must be preserved so that on the day of the big party each of the cats could have a chance to pin the tail on the pretend lizard that was attached to a palm tree and the winner was awarded a free treatment at the islands beauty parlour. Here they could have a full manicure of front and back claws, and their fur would be licked until it shone like silk.
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