A cozy mystery about a female detective who looks for missing cats.
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Cristina Solans returns home to Lleida, Spain after working as a volunteer vet on a nature reserve in Manitoba, Canada. She busies herself between her new job as a vet's assistant in the city and helping out at The Happy Cat's Home - a sanctuary for stray and unwanted cats.
After she finds a missing cat for a neighbour, she discovers a sideline as a detective who specialises in missing cats.
O Ra, exalted lion king, thou art the Great Cat, the avenger of the Gods, and the judge of words, and the president of the sovereign chiefs and the governor of the holy Circle; thou art indeed...the Great Cat."
- Inscription on the Royal Tombs at Thebes
We stampeded towards Gate 12 like a herd of elephants fleeing a forest fire.
We had spent the last four hours listening to promises, lies and being subjected to downright rudeness. So we were in no mood for airport etiquette.
“Please form two orderly queues,” commanded the angry-faced flight attendant in a barely comprehensible accent. “Have your passports and boarding passes ready please.”
As I staked my place in the queue, a woman built like a Sherman tank jostled her way to the front.
This didn’t go unnoticed by the flight attendant. She pointed a red fingernail extension at Mrs. Sherman, giving her the kind of accusatory stare a teacher reserves for a disruptive child.
Mrs. Sherman blushed fiercely as a million-and-one eyes fell upon her.
A hushed silence stilled the air as the flight attendant parted her rouge lips in a grimace, cracking the make-up on her face.
“You madam. Get to the back.”
Mrs. Sherman’s over-ample bosom heaved as she sucked in as much stale air as her lungs could handle. Releasing it, she counteracted.
“You can start telling me off when your planes leave on time. I’m sweating like a burglar trying to break out of a sauna.”
A ripple of laughter swept through the crowd. It was just the tonic we needed.
When we were all past the gate, two flight attendants herded us towards the waiting plane. On the way there, a fleet of airport vehicles criss-crossed our paths. A fuel truck nearly ran down an old woman who had the audacity to step onto a zebra crossing. The driver showed his contempt for such silliness by beeping his horn. She showed her anger by sticking up her middle finger.
There was no seat allocation on O’ Grady Jet. Once we got on board, we jostled, threatened and snarled at each other like customers at a Boxing Day sale.
I found a seat next to the old woman who had stuck up her middle finger earlier. She was reading a newspaper. No idea how she managed to find a seat so quickly.
I pulled out the in-flight magazine from the net pouch fixed to the back of the passenger seat in front. An advert for O’Grady Jet in the magazine boasted that the airline was cheap and cheerful. I agreed with the cheap part. The ticket wasn’t anywhere near as expensive as its competitors. As for the cheerful part though, well, nobody seemed to have told that to the stern-faced ground staff.
The take off was as graceful as a flatulent elephant jumping off a trampoline. In the air, we circled, weaved and jerked across the sky until we were above the clouds.
The captain garbled his script in a monotone voice. “Firstly…” the Captain said, “…sorry for the four-hour delay. I’d like you to welcome aboard Doug McCoy… O’Grady Jet Airlines…flight…Pearson…Winnipeg…to Barcelona…we hope…a nice flight…”