Up against it – not knowing where the next cat-treat was coming from – I catflipped open my flaptop and let out a yowl of glee. I was, to put it mildly, a complete and utter basket case. For in my lettertray was the reply I had been desperately awaiting from Plattypuss Publications. I licked my lips, rubbed my paws and held my breath, a veritable bundle of fur. How much would they offer for the rights to my first novel, I wondered? Or I did until I read the email . . .

Your submission has been forwarded to me by our job opportunities slacker before it skived off. To cut to the chase, it is a classic example of unadulterated scat. Your attempt to be witty and insightful is nauseating.  It is impossible to put down my utter contempt for this extraordinary ungrammatical folly. The lack of any merit whatsoever took my breath away. I can only hope that someone ties a fire cracker to your tail and euthanises you.

Kindly Slink Off and Die,

Amahl Nitrate

Plattypuss Publications.  

Reading between the lines, I got a distinct impression that Plattypuss were not yet ready to offer the multimillion pound publishing deal I had been banking on. Give them time, I thought; literary fiction can be a slow burner. Still, nothing if not stoic, I stiffed my upper whiskers and – being a bowl half full sort of a puss – took comfort in the fact that every dark cloud has a furry lining. Let’s face it, it is not what is said that matters but what can be omitted.

Five minutes later, I pawered down my fliptop having revised the front cover of the second of my rivetting clawhangers.

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