The mouse was still and a cold, white Christmass passed it by with a dribble from the left nostril.
The latest work of Coleen Innf. of The Hut, Browbeaton on the Wold, Silver Hampton Jr., Ghent
was in the hand of a cat.
Dangerous at least: but more so because this cat was....Roger!
Yes. It was he who was him, come back.
Roger, having fought his way back from the Planet Gooshdiggfreel
with only a small unripe tomato and tight fitting patent leather shoes,
killed most of Bradford West with a morphing feline flu strain,
battered a Chinaman with a green banana, stole his Wolsley 1800
and drove to Somerset, syphoning petrol in the dark hours along the way.
Arriving at 6.30am on a frosty Tuesday morning 6 years later at the Pickled Mongoose Bar and Bistro,
he forced his way into the closed pub through the throng of all night turtle fondlers.
Enjoying a good lap dance and inhaling a few gin and tourniquets,
When Roger woke up, he went outside and got his bearings back
from the sod who was stealing the wheels from his stolen car that was stolen in Huddersfield anyway in 1961
for the MIlls and Boon dawn raid bank job heist theft stealing business, one million britisher punds, worth
4 euros and a warm beer in Benidorm.
It was getting late.
Roger took his pre- first printing book post edit sample out of its iron hat,
and in a corner next to the drunk mongoose, made the mistake of opening the cover page...
It was the brail edition.
Again, another failure for the The Boss in Monoccoco.
He looked around and studied his options.
Seeing nothing of interest except the group of blind Liverpulians who had taped themsleves
to the door of the beer cellar, he had an idea.
Wriggling up between them, he would keep warm until tomorrow, when he was supposed to
deliver the tome to The Boss in Moronoccoco.
He could catch the 2.16 football special train from Harpnashe to Sooth Hoompton,
and swim the 4,681 miles to France.
All would be very well.
He still had his bus pass in the name of Senior Edwardo Pabtiste, DOB 1892/09/23, height 7 foot 9 inches.
It would work if he used his special powers of post menapasual distraction and used tissues.
One of the group of blind Liverpudlians whom he was now stuck well in the middle of, accidentally touched the front cover of the written work.
AH! he yelled out, frightening the hell out of everyone and making the landlord get his shotgun down and lock his shorts in the pantry,
while the local slightly bent of vertical police sergent, Lewellyn Penrith Myuinithian,
watched out the back door for his straight constable to start his early morning shift.
You got a book there. I can read braile you know.
Sheeet. It was over. He was a had man.
Sergent Lewellyn turned round and glared into the tight small crowd.
what book is that, he asked.
It says... the man said, feeling the title on the front cover a second time to be sure....
It says ...and let forth a huge sneeze as the sergent had left the back door open and the draft coming in was as cold as a freezer with an attitude
to keep the dead fresh without electricity.
Tissue? offered Roger...
ah. thanks. the Liverpudlian said, religiously, not noticing that is was second hand.
The sound of a bicycle bell in the car park made everyone freeze.
They all knew it was Constable Jones, cousin of Corporal Jones from Dad's Army, but really;
and the most vindictive bastard in a uniform this side of Nottingham.
Probably, the Sergent once mused, because he came from Stood, and had a chip on his shoulder,
which he took out and polished in public places, and thus frightened the children
but interested some old ladies.
It was OK. Roger used the distraction to get out and away, and got his train on time.
Without further incident, the volume was delivered after only 21 years to The BOss in Moonoccocoon.
Roger was paid the handsome sum of shite all, half a packet of Minto's,
a salty version of Vogue Magazine Decemeber 1946 edition, featuring Catherine De Villnerve's mother, Thrush,
in a full length ball gown grown from crimson Turkish party onions,
and had his bus pass extended another 3 years.
All was well, and Roger took a minute as he planned his next sinister adventure,
having evilly copied the entire master work into Icelandic, and found out the tile in Yiddish
The Serious Autistic Flannel Linving in a Leather Briefcase, Cloverleaf Cover,
with real fake yellow silk lining.
Nice. Very Nice.



It was November, 1978. The clan had gathered in the frozen hills of Damned Its Freeking Culd Doon Hear Mun, for the Men's Troon annual bare bottom speckled nut roast. There was much joy and feasting on neighbour's pinched poultry.
Roger, not competing this year due to stated excuses of utter boredom and destitution, watched, paws crossed, from a bench in a smaller snow drift, next to a recently frozen yak.
Delilah, the marmoset with the longest known tail in existence except for a lot of others North of Bexley , sat by his side laughing as she had mistakenly drunk too much of the hot toddies that were all alcoholic even though the big bowl was marked 'VEGANS GO HOME' in Aramaic.

She was his best catch to date, swapped in Edinburgh Market before dawn one hatting day the year before for a resprayed blue Cauliflower ( fresh), green budgie in canary yellow (live), pound of lard, promissory coupon for two bars of soap from M&S (fake), and a signed full colour polaroid of Ted, the armadillo who famously won the 1967 badger fretting contest in Surrey against the Russian favourite, Serge, the fin back dolphin.
She was doing her best to judge arse hairiness before it all singed off with the heat from the open fires.
That one, she yelled, pointing and nudging Roger painfully in the whiskers with her elbow. Violently.
No- that one. Yea that one. Definitely the hairiest, she corrected with some level of gleeful finality.

Roger's whiskers could take no more. He stood up, was blasted by the icy Southerly gale over the glen straight onto his nose, which took offence and frosted over. He sat down quickly and reconsidered his options, while stuffing his nose into Delilah's armpit.

OI, she shouted, swatting his ear with her tail. That's bloody cold that is.
Yes it was, he said, taking his nose away, steaming, and feeling his sore pinged ear with his left paw.

Tell me, said Roger, gathering his wits about him as best he could for a Monday; is it right that the prize for the winner is that-, he added, pointing.

Yeah, said Delilah, Yeah. The Goose's golden ear muff on the stand under glass on the podium, next to the two oxen with Uzi 9mm's.

Ah. Right, said Roger, thinking mistakenly that they were Glocks.
Suddenly, Roger stood up and started to run up and down in front of Delilah, laughing and taunting her. He picked up some snow, made a ball and shoved it in her face, turned and legged it down the glen in the direction of the podium.
You shitter, yelled Delilah, dropping her empty cup and scooping a snowball and throwing it after Roger in one smooth action a baseball coach would have been proud of seeing, which landed very well square on the back of his neck with a heavy thunk.
Ah, he felt, yelling, you wont catch me, as he rolled, made another ball of snow and blatted Delilah in her left eye with it, standing and continuing his course.
She went after him and slipped a bit on the crystal snow with her second missile, which hit the end nut roaster neatly between his cheeks, on which he let out a roar and cried, FOUL.
One child pointed to Delilah and told him, She did it.

That was all that was needed to erupt the whole glen into a free for all snow balling contest, which was exactly what Roger had planned...
He stopped below the podium and the two oxen, and threw several snow balls at various folk in quick succession. They all retaliated; some of them hitting the oxen.
You don't snowball oxen. Elks maybe; but not oxen. There is no living record of anyone surviving such an event.
It was like starting the engines on a pair of idling tanks, putting them into gear and moving them with the same degree of accelerating inevitability of colliding asteroids.
The oxen charged into the throng, horning folks left and right, later saying ( in their defense of security issues) it was to restore order to the panicked crowd. Roger seized the moment and the golden ear muffs, waved a quick eye to eye understanding to a mouth dropped Delilah, climbed out the opposite side of the glen, up the slippery goat path and out through the frosted bracken.
He was clean away.
He met up with Delilah the very same night at home; a new burrow in Glenn Godalmightythisisshite, and they celebrated his devilish antics with a shared glass of warm water in a bubble gum bath.
12 years later in Sluff, (Slough, sorry), he exchanged the melted golden ear muffs for a years' subscription of Happy Thrombosis Monthly, a gallon of smelly mead and a pair of used sneakers from the collection of Wayne Dexter, minus original laces.
It was a good day/month/year/decade etc.

More from Roger next time, in


When Roger flies, Delilah meditates, and both read the Washington Post funnies section.


Roger the cat woke early one cold January morning in 2024, and rose to the mist of floating plastic particles on the morning breeze. It was creeping up to dawn as he peeked through the dusty curtains on the side of his cardboard box. The sight of Basingstoke fighting to wake up was a call to make a really hot Nescafe with one extra sugar. His left ear twitched and realigned its furry hairs as he studied his snarl in the small flake of mirror where there would be a bathroom one day.
He arched his back and flicked his winsome tail while sinking his front claws into some spare flesh that was lying about as if put there with planned deliberation.
He was peeking out when Delilah stuck the sharp end of her tail in his right eye.
You remember what today is, she monotoned, still in her sleep.
ahh. of course I do, replied Roger gurgling through his morning flem, wondering if it was still a Monday or not.
then he caught up, and his slow mind gently drifted into the thought that maybe this was some hint.
bugger. now he would have to switch on and not only think of breakfast.
oh the effort. the effort...was it worth it to succeed or suffer the outcome of failure...?
Failure was Roger's surname. Yes, it would work. He would fail quickly with huge success, renown even; and then get back to breakfast.
Much more important.
ahh...ohh...ahh, he said carefully as if he meant it.
not a whisper from muddled figure came in return.
oh bloody hell, knew Roger. This was a silence of the beef's.
whatever it was, it was really really really.
he sat down. Basingstoke wind farms were NOT helping his problem. This was an issue of just being alive.
an existential conundrum of core being that could not be replaced with a hot meal in any vocabulary.
it meant something...
ok, so. Roger went through some permutations.
The ear piercing was not until next Thursday.
The authorities were leaving him be as they were confused by his last karaoke rendition of I Love Lucy in 4 rainbow rubber kaleidoscope boots and were in process of finding their brains, which were currently on holiday in Portugal.
The lottery ticket was coming along nicely and he was already at the two pennies mark for the purchase price; no problem there then...
oh holy of unholies. it couldnt be...could it? a WOMANS DAY THING?
oh the mental anguish and torture..let me see, Roger said to himself.
Birthdays. Anniversaries. Breast job loan repayments...come on cat, think; think.
Then Roger's whole being paled into a pointy wedge hatchet sort of realization.
Today was 3 promise day.
He had agreed to sand corridors for Marmalade and was actually looking forwards to the fun of it, while stating to an unbelieving Delilah, that yes, he would definitely do it, she would see he did and eat her words too.
He recalled how she had tickled him under the chin and given a little dubious laugh, in just the right way to goad his promises at the time.
Mental note; marmosets are highly manipulative creatures and never to be trusted with your measliest peanut.
It was too early to run away to Sicily for the linguine season
and the pleasures of Basingstoke could not so easily be sacrificed.
He opened the flap of the cardboard box with a junior whisker and sat on the concrete paving slab, watching the dawn greet him with the same hope and vim of a 90 year old 40 a day-er.
The slab was strangely 8 degrees off flat in 2 different directions; a revolution in training for sea sickness and real estate bravado.
The flap was kicked in a jerk action by sleeping Delilah that caught Roger right on his main whisker, and woke him up- as intended.
It was ALSO the evening of Delilah's Uncle's Dog's Mother's Cousin-Rachel's youngest daughter's wedding cake leftovers cutting.
A huge event with free food and drinks not to be missed.
Yes; Roger could do it, he smiled, finally feeling release from having to think.
No stopping off for a swifty on the way home today then.
No checking the tallow levels in the drains after dinner time then.
No; this was a composite lard event with meat slices at 20 paces.
It HAD to be done, Delilah was right. If only Roger could remember to remember.
He stapled a postit note to his left breast pocket next to the others and finishing his coffee, completely forgot about breakfast and sidled off down the street lifting bin lids and feeling black bags for interesting contents, while sort of heading off to work...


Roger was driving at dangerous speed through the streets of Swansea.
It was icy as a chill wind played about his puce cardigan
billowing out his wool scarf with the friction of the Golden Hind tacking in a Tempest.
So fast he was going, he was catching up on the milkman
in his delivery float as it skidded past the new EU grant-paid=for bull strutting factory.
These were well dodgy times.
How fast can an intelligent cat go
on a 23 year old mini-bicycle with wood stick handlebars, no brakes and sold rubber tyres?
It was heaven when he stopped in Father Cutherbert O'reilly's front hedge, half way up, with his
whiskers centimeters away from the spider's nest tucked well inside.
The good Father came out waving his fist and shouting.
He was good at shouting. No one understood what about.
Probably because his breakfast was disturbed; he was wearing an egg stained grey neck cover
with "I am up for it" clearly visible in a bright blue smile.

Avoiding the spiders nest with some success, Roger extricated his head from the hedge
and felt he could still get to the milk float despite the delay,
if only he could walk fast enough without slipping over several times
on the taxes-paid pavement between the mole holes.

That bottle of milk would he his; HIS.
ahaha. hahaha uhaha ha ha ha.
Roger put his claws out. It was time to get serious.
he lolloped along the pavement leaving the good Father slipping over in his driveway
in the early morning streetlight and sunlight mix
all taxes paid for.

Passing the Reliant Robin (parked-with wheels) at speed he spun to the left
and caught Mrs Robinson a good accidental uppercut in balance
that upset her concentration to the point she completely forgot The Student
and went to buy dog food and sliced white bread from the corner instead.

Suddenly, as his paw was almost in gripping reach of a pinta,
a most disturbing portal opened over the right tail light of the milk float
engineered by Ferarrri Buses of Reading,
cost 2 million euros each with free milk for 6 months and one strawberry yogurt.
Damn these cheap foreign milk floats, thought Roger,
as he was sucked into another dimension at shoulder height.

The scene dissolved into a brown paper bag of jelly babes from Woolworths.
Then it changed into a really angry King Edward potato. A big one.
Then it was Tuesday again in Herzegovina.
bloody foreign milk float, yelled Roger, which came back in an immediate echo as
bollocks to you too.
Morphing on;

Passing in and out of the dairy aisle in Tesco's and srangely then sliding through Asda as well
in a nanosecond
Roger landed on the West Bromwench roundabout outside Castleford in 2011.
He checked his Swiss paint-on watch.
It was two freckles slow against the town hall clock.
Blast. He would have to wait for the 4.16 bus
which was always slow because it was the weekly old ladies baggy day
at the legionnaires over 90's fork pea stabbing owners association.
You had to know these things, said Roger to the brick wall
as he picked up the dog license renewal application from the library entrance.
Moving on,

Turning into Goode St., he fell down a pothole reserved for sailors,
and landed back at his kitchen table
just as Delilah was serving the buttered toast and black tea,
wheres the milk then, she scowled as he sat heavily in the chair.
The frost still melting from his eyebrows,
he put a pint of milk on the table, still half full
courtesy of Asda, Roger said, fresh 2 days ago.

Delilah smiled.
These portals are getting better. The last one put you through Alaska not Asda.

Yes, said Roger, wondering if it was safe to aquaplane in public.



There was a time, Roger thought, snipping the tail off a mouse he was crunching as cats often do, that surprises came at birthdays and Christmas.
Two mice in one day; a windfall. Good luck. Timing. The new recycling plant up the street...?
Roger hung the tail next to his collection on the wall of his cardboard box, and noted its length was a little beyond medium compared to the rest.
Delilah was chewing happily on a limp head of celery and was only able to go MMM,
wide eyed in Roger's direction when a raindrop fell through the hole in the roof onto the floor. Again, she pointed, MMM.
They studied each other for a moment, flicked tails, and then looked at where the drop had fallen.
Roger eached out the window and took in a yogurt carton with a little rain in the bottom, which he set on top of the wet patch on the floor.
I'll get a fresh one later for collecting drinking water dont worry, he told Delilah, polishing his whiskers.
MMM, she said.
Looking out of the door, he noticed the darkening skies boding the arrival of heavier rain, and decided to go out now before the day was done.
MMM, he turned and said to Delilah, who, having finished her celery, said, what are you on about - MMM?
Oh. I thought it was the word of the day..., said Roger.
Delilah picked up an old carrot and continued her meal...MMM, she said.
MMM, MMM, Delilah said, waving Roger to go out and do his stuff before the weather got too bad to go out and do anything, and indicating she was seriously busy for the time being.
MMM, said Roger.
Glad to be outside and ambling towards the new recycling centre, Roger proficiently maintained his stealth tactics as he went by this and that, checking his marks for any changes in scent or moved objects...
Eventually, he flipped into the place where he knew the sideways people stored bags and bags for plastic, queued up for the machines to be recycled.
He wondered if bicycles ever rebicycled.

Was cycling recycling if you did it more than once? What happens a third time? Was recycling an up or down in other dimensions?
Ah; the endless echos of recriminations outside contextual relevence, he mused...
Why shouldnt electrons all come from one spot if they were tail chasing circles in a cold void? What was the problem with slow energy making time happen anyway, if frequency was not parallel, but consequential? Frequency has no mass; unlike a mouse, which has mass, but is not a mouse after its in my tummy. Or is it...
MMM he found himself saying. People were dense, it was true. The outside was inside too, so thats how it was connected, where time is irrelevant, and its impossible to get a good cup of tea, unless Mozart is playing near a black hole, and this bloody rain lets up.
Getting back to business in hand:-

Slicing a bag open with a claw, he selected a washed clean container and was about to leave when he noticed that the sideways people were gathered around in a circle by the corner of the building. The circle moved outwards of a sudden, and it became clear that there was a fist fight going on in the middle.
He jumped up onto the top of the stacks of bags, sat down, and took in the spectacle. One man was beating the crud out of another. Slowly and deliberately.
Spock would have lifted an eyebrow.
Gravitating in his direction slowly with each punch, Roger mentally put money on the one pushing the throng with each connecting fist.
Then, with one final uppercut, the loser ended it going through the rowdy yelling bunch of spectators and ending in the lower stacks of bags.
It was over.
The winner, blood dripping from the cuts to his forehead, took the wallet of his opponent, empited the cash and slurred the words, thats for getting me to invest in Bitcoin, and I want the rest by next week.
Bitcoin, mulled Roger, glad he did not know about that, sounded like a bird brained name if ever he heard one; and a bird in the mouth is worth two in the trees.
Roger paused at the gate and looked back. The sideways people were talking about quantum mechanics and zero point energy, he overheard them arguing.
Glory be, he froze. There was a movement out of the corner of his eye by the wall. While he was watching what was obviously the tip of a cautious mouses nose checking if the way was clear, the conversation in the background went on loudly about digital compliance and AI. Something about micro softing the clouds, which would be a good idea with this weather.
Roger pounced at the startled mouse who had stuck his head out between two bricks to look round, and caught his prey by the neck. Fine day, he thought, dealing with it, and putting it in his backback next to the carton.
Picking up a half pound of date expired broccoli from a bag or garbage in another queue for the recycling he sliced open without anyone seeing, he headed home as it was starting to pelt it down.
Shortly, he was back in his luxury cardboard box, cozy with his old candle lit and skies outside angry. Delilah was happy with the gift of her extended meal.
MMM, she said, meaning fully, as she munched, and Roger crunched some larger bones.
Do you know what a Bitcoin is, he asked Delilah, when he finished?
MMM MMM, she said.
It makes sideways people fight, anyway. Interesting.
MMM, she responded, not giving a toss, and wrapping her tail around the warm candle.
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