Come Thou No More For Ransom Pt 1

I know I’ve said this before, but don’t ever let anyone tell you that owning a cat is inexpensive. With what I’ve spent on Richard so far I could have brought up two children and sent them off to university. It probably would have been a lot more rewarding too.

I haven’t updated for a couple of weeks now because my life has been in complete turmoil. Richard didn’t come home and after the fourth day I was starting to get decidedly worried. You would think I would be relieved, after all the complaining I do about him, but it seems I have gotten used to having him around. I began to find myself staring forlornly at his radiator cat bed, his claw marks on the TV remote and his framed collection of butterfly knives.

Then, on the fifth day this arrived in the post.

They even made him put his little paw marks on it, awww

As you can imagine, I was in a state of sheer panic. Who could have taken Richard (they were braver men than I) and what could they possibly want? Then it hit me. Auntie Josie. Only last week I had received a substantial inheritance of over £25000 after the death of my mother’s sister. Though we weren’t exactly close it turns out that I was her only living relative and, ironically enough, she’d always said that she was “damned if I’m going to leave it to some bloody cat charity”. How they knew about the money was beyond me but I imagine professional criminals have all kinds of ways of accessing that kind of information.

That night I didn’t sleep a wink. I thought about going to the police, but how seriously would they take a cat-napping anyway? Was it possible the kidnappers were bluffing? What might they do to Richard if I disobeyed their instructions? How did I even know he was still alive and well? Oh the poor, sweet kitten, how unfair I had been to be so critical. How wrong to imagine that his little acts of rebellion could be ignored instead of recognising them as the cries for help that they truly were. How wrong to believe that he was capable of looking after himself, when in truth he was small and vulnerable and now in mortal danger due to my callous disregard.

The next morning I received a phone call, though the voice on the other end of the phone sounded like one of those robotic voices from a computer program. For a disconcerting moment I was convinced that I was being held to ransom by Stephen Hawking. It was disappointing because I had my dictaphone at the earpiece of my phone in the hope that the police might later use the voice to identify the villainous scoundrels. Here is what they had to say for themselves.
Ransom recording by Richard and Me

I didn’t know what to do, I’ve never been in a situation like this before. Well, come to think of it there had been that incident with Dr Proteus at the lab a few weeks ago, (which he inexplicably blamed me for by the way!) but that was just protesters and he escaped with only a hairline fracture and some minor rope burns. This seemed like it could be a matter of life or death for Richard if I made the wrong decision.

I decided to follow their instructions which, in case you had any difficulty understanding, were basically to leave twenty thousand pounds in a bin behind the local fishmongers. I had no choice but to comply, but I wasn’t going to go unprepared. After half an hour of rummaging through Richard’s bedroom I found what I was looking for. His Beretta. I wouldn’t take any ammunition, but at least I could give them a scare if it came to some sort of confrontation.

I visited the cash point before remembering that I only had a £250 daily limit on withdrawals, so I went into the bank. I daren’t ask for used notes as I thought this would raise questions in an already conspicuous situation. I decided that if any of the notes looked new I would go and get them changed in a few shops. Unless they were all new, in which case I might be walking around shops all day. As luck would have it they all appeared to be old anyway.

Now I was prepared for the night ahead, and what a night it would turn out to be.

…continues next week

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