Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Page Twenty Six - Cat Minge (Copcast #141)

George and his old mate Mark were posted as the Early Turn van crew and as even more of a rarity George was posted as the operator and not the driver. The banter between the two was usually fairly predictable, Mark would be baiting George over his stocky build and George in return usually found some way to mock Mark's bald and shaved head.

The two friends had been working on the the same team together for years but didn't often get a chance to work together and the supersticious among their team-mates preferred things that way. You see, George and Mark had a reputation for being grief-magnets, that is to say when they worked together then the shift was not going to go well and somewhere along the way the wheel was going to come off.

Fairly soon after parade and that all-important first coffee of the shift, it seemed as if the worst might come true. The first call the van was assigned to was a sudden death. Never the most pleasant of taksings to be given, it became evident immediately after their arrival that this was going to be even less pleasant than normal.

The recently deceased turned out to be the the local cat-lady and they had been called by her 44 year old son who had found her when he came to see her for his weekly visit. Every town has a cat-lady and this one followed all the stereotypes faithfully. Her house was over run by around twenty-five cats, all of whom appeared to be shedding fur with abandon and none of whom appeared to ever leave the house for any reason, especially to use the toilet. The house was filthy, there were unwashed dishes all over the kitchen and the whole place reeked of stale cat urine.

The cats themselves were undernourished, dishevelled and neurotic, there didn't seem to be a single healthy specimen among them and they somehow managed to be everywhere at once. They were sprawled over shelves and tables, seats and cushions and particularly on every space on the floor where either George or Mark tried to set foot.

While they made arrangements for the coroner and the undertaker to attend and deal with the body of the old lady, Mark made sure that the RSPCA (the main UK animal welfare organisation) was informed. Within the hour a lady RSPCA Inspector turned up to attend to the cats. She identified one that had the worst open wounds and decided that that one was her priority and removed it from Cat City. Mark almost ran out of the with with her then returned to the van where George was waiting and desperately gulping some fresh air into his lungs.

“How many is she taking?” asked George.
“Just one for now. She’ll be sorting the rest tomorrow. She’s worried about that one. It’s got open wounds and minge,” said Mark.
“Minge?” queried George.
“Yeah! A skin disease that animals get,” Mark confirmed.
“You mean mange, you fool” said George.
“Oh yeah,” said Mark, “I wondered why she was looking at me a bit funny when I started going on about minge.”
“You might get away with that Mark,” said George, “so long as you called them cats and not pussies.”

Eventually they both returned to the police station, scratching themselves vigorously. Whether it was because they had attracted cats fleas through their prolonged contact to that house filled with mange ridden cats or whether it was just the thought of the fleas they did not know, but Inspector Brigstock was on hand to give advice to the pair on how to eradicate cat fleas.

While he was doing so, Mark was scratching the top of his shining and smoothly shaved scalp. It was then that Mr Brigstock pointed out that fleas lived in hairy or furry places and not on bare, hairless skin.

“But Guv!” cried George, “Mark’s ones are wearing ice skates. Look!”

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