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Professor Vogelman

Oh, the horror! Heavens to Betsy, I simply do not know how to begin…. To think, to imagine, that somewhere out in the raw wilderness some rebellious young scoundrel holds my darling angel hostage… Oh, I shudder to think of it! You see me shaking—yes, yes, these eyes cry tears for a lost friend, for one stolen, one kidnapped, abducted from my very bosom! If I had only done my duty, my responsibility as master—no, how I talk—as partner to that divine feline, this could all have been avoided. If I could turn back time, as it is often said, I could make things right again…could stop those ruffians from taking advantage of a helpless creature. But now it is too late, and no doubt I have lost my dear Professor Vogelman forever. Yes, I do breathe heavy, for I am exhausted beyond my limit. To be sure, a woman of my age and stature is not intended for such heartache, such perilsome busy-bodying about. Indeed, you are right: nearly five full hours have passed since my driver Timothy and I began our search…. We had to refuel the car twice, to continue looking. And yet, no sign of his captors—no sign at all! They must have planned it for days…my God, have they tortured him? or, or worse—but I cannot speak so. I'm, I'm—yes, thank you, to sit down would help me greatly. Ah, yes, this comfortable loveseat will calm my nerves. Such a fine stitch of upholstery for a late 19th century piece. Lord Jesus, where is my head? You are right, that would do me some good as well—a Brandy Julep, if you please. You haven't any mint leaves? Goodness. A Brandy Collins, then. Heavens, I haven't told you a thing! My apologies—and to think, etiquette may be all a lady has at a time like this. Allow me to catch my breath … yes, thank you. Mmm, quite delicious…

This morning I awoke Professor Vogelman at 7:00 sharp for our morning walk as usual. I noticed…yes, the professor enjoys the morning walk—it helps him start the day off with momentum. However, while putting on my walking shoes I noticed that much of the professor's long white fur—the softest in the world, you know—had grown disheveled during the night. Now I've had that darling feline for seven years…or should I say I did have…. My lord, what tragedy! Yes, yes, please—just one more. Thank you. And so…where was I? Ah yes. The professor will not stand to be seen on his morning walk looking like a mangy alley-cat, so I took his grooming brush and began to clean him up a bit. He squinted and twitched with pleasure as I carefully groomed his entire body. I'm sorry? Yes, well, squinting is a cat's way of smiling. Sometimes Professor Vogelman enjoys his grooming so much that he wants to jump away for fear of having too much pleasure at once. But I hold him tight, to let him enjoy every moment of cleanliness to its fullest.

Once I helped the professor into his favorite baby blue sweater I hooked a leash to his flea and tick collar and we set out for our walk. Yes, that's true—it was still raining a bit at that hour, but I was willing to suffer the burden of a parasol to satisfy Professor Vogelman's desire for exercise. It was clear that he thought the rain was bothering me, because he held back for a time—he nearly refused to walk for my benefit. What other cat could ever replace the professor, what other animal would have such… such… undying concern for his master's happiness? My apologies—I dilly dally. Perhaps I'm simply afraid to speak of his, his horrid abduction. Mmm…you mix a fine Brandy Collins. I shall be sure to bring you some fresh mint leaves from my garden on my next visit.

At 8:00 sharp, after our walk, I had Louise prepare my favorite breakfast, and I intended to serve the professor his food myself. You haven't met Louise, my cook? Goodness me, the woman is an angel! An absolute angel, and she prepares casseroles that are to die for. Of course, she's originally from Spain, the poor thing. Well, I discovered that there was no food in the house for dear Professor Vogelman!—he insists on Prince Kitty brand mackerel or chicken a la king for his breakfast…from the jar, never the can. I gave him the remains of my poached egg and cheddar toast, and decided to take Professor Vogelman out food shopping myself. I rang Timothy, my driver, and in a few minutes he pulled the car around to let the professor and I board.

At the Piggly-Wiggly I put Professor Vogelman into a shopping basket and proceeded straight to the cat food section, where I selected enough jars of food to last two weeks, at least. I'm sorry? True, Prince Kitty brand costs more, certainly, but money has never been an obstacle when it comes to pleasing my dear feline. I paid for the goods and returned to the parking lot, where I set the basket down on the trunk of our Towncar…what a fool I was to turn my back for that brief moment! But Timothy—he had fallen asleep in the drivers seat, and I rapped loudly on the window to wake him so he could help me open the trunk. He steppped out of the car, and when we turned toward the rear of the car, my dear professor was gone! I was so taken aback that I instantly fainted into Timothy's arms. I am surprised that my old heart didn't give out completely…I don't know how much longer I can maintain my strength knowing that Professor Vogeman, at this very moment, is in the terrifying clutches of some highwaymen! Timothy and I searched the parking lot for the criminals, but they must have driven away quickly, or run into the woods carrying the professor—the poor, poor professor! No doubt the circle of heathens had plotted for weeks to find the perfect moment to steal my loving pet…oh, heavens to Betsy, how shall I go on?

Yes, you see I struggle to hold back my tears. Another Brandy Collins—yes please, just this last one. You are too kind! Professor Vogelman would appreciate your kindness to his poor old master. He must feel so utterly alone and helpless right now, caged up somewhere, so afraid to be apart from me, the friend he loves so dearly!