A Mlle Crockett writes:
Dearest Sir Kelly,
It is out of concern for your cat Wellington, whose life you threatened by dropkicking him through your neighbor’s greenhouse in one of your more memorable brief works [NB link is to Internet Archive version of my old defunct website as I can't be bothered uploading this], that I feel compelled to write you today.
I realize to my horror that the previously mentioned threat was made as a result of some currently passé cybercat getting an exponentially greater number of clicks than your own Page of Misery. In light of the recent news about Sockington, the cat of Twitter fame with a following of half a million Twits (http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/05/twitters_latest_star_is_a_micr.html), Twitter being a medium which has allowed for far greater feline fame than any previously invented technology, I am very fearful for Wellington and wish to inquire as to whether or not you have put him into an iron maiden or fastened him to a railroad tie in the path of a steamroller. Please at least assure me you have not swung your poor faithful little friend by the tail till he was rendered unconscious and let him go over Niagara Falls, as that would surely take up at least three or four of his lives.
The very similarity of the names Sockington and Wellington is an added irritant which I fear might have set you off on a murderous rampage I feel certain you would under any other circumstances be centred and stable enough to avoid. I hate to pry into the lives of esteemed authors, but I feel this is an instance which merits intervention.
I do hope to receive comforting news about Wellington’s well-being in the near future, lest I be forced to alert your local Northumberland Humane Society chapter, and I hope all is on target with your career trajectory.
Thank you for your concern and I do understand the humanitarian or catatarian impulses behind your prying. I am sorry to have to inform you that, due to a freak accident that was Not My Fault, Wellington is no more. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is still investigating, but it appears that at some point on the day before yesterday Wellington climbed of his own volition into the business end of a lovingly-constructed replica of a giant medieval catapult weapon known, I believe, as a trebuchet (which completely unbeknownst to me happened to be standing in my back garden and which a person or persons unknown must have dumped there on the sly without my awareness), cranked back the counterweight, cut the cord, and tragically ended his little catty life by flinging himself at high velocity a distance of a quarter of a mile or so through the air to collide with a high-pressure propane gas-tank on an industrial estate at the edge of town. This tank was thereby ruptured, and if he was not killed in the collision, he certainly was in the subsequent explosion, which devastated the area for far around.
Obviously I feel awful about this. I had not been spending enough time with Wellington of late and had perhaps missed the symptoms of a suicidal depression. Moreover it is a basic requirement of pet owners to take care that their property is clear of dangerous medieval weaponry and in this regard I fell down badly. I don't think I will ever forgive myself.
However, without seeking to make excuses, a suspicion exists of foul play. The RSPCA have suggested, quite pointedly, that this may not have been the innocent accident it so obviously on the surface seems. In fact, they have theorized that it may have some connection to a cat serial killer they believe is operating in my neighbourhood. (That is, a human serial killer of cats, rather than a cat serial killer of humans.) The existence of this foul maniac at the moment remains in the realm of conjecture, but they point out that forensic evidence has established that, at some time prior to the tragic catapulting of Wellington into the propane tank and subsequent fireball, someone parked a van full of cats close by, which were also annihilated in the explosion. They also point to the fact that two nights previously my next-door neighbours' rather sleek, smug and self-satisfied-looking cat was found hung upside down from a lamp-post, gutted, with its blood strangely used to scrawl the words 'HALF A MILLION?? HALF A MILLION!!!' on the pavement below.
At the time of writing, the whole thing remains a mystery, but I incline to blame juvenile delinquents.
Again, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
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