I was pawering down my flaptop when dog padded through the door. ‘I’ve got a bone to pick with you, BookCat,’ he growled.

‘Oh goody – bones,’ I drooled. But it seemed that I had got the wrong end of the leash.

Dog yapped that I was keeping him awake at night with what he called my literary caterwauling.

To which I said, ‘then sleep during the day like a civilised animeowl.’

‘Chance would be a fine thing,’ said he. ‘I’m a guard dog.’

 I stuck my whiskers in the air and said, ’and what, may I ask, do you guard? ‘

‘My bowl,’ Dog woofed. ‘A cat burglar has been snaffling my grub while my tail is turned.’ He snarled at me and bared his teeth.

Bristling with indignation, I narrowed my eyes and flattened my ears. ‘Well I can assure you that it’s not me. Your ChickenOffal tastes foul and those dodgy Doggybiscs take forever to digest . . . I would imagine.’ Fearing that I might have unwittingly put my paw in my mouth, I quickly changed the subject. ‘Have you been chasing the postman again, Dog?’

‘Why do you ask,’ Dog said with a smack of the chops.

‘No reason, really,’ I said with a contrived air of nonchalance. ‘It’s just that I’m expecting a hundred and sixty five publication offers. It’s been the best part of two days. Can’t understand why I haven’t heard anything.’

‘You’ve checked your spam folder, I suppose,’ Dog said.

‘I don’t do spam. Ghastly stuff.’ I stuck a paw down my throat and pretended to vomit.

‘No. Your Internet spam folder. It’s where emails go when they don’t want to be read.’

Enlightened, I rattled the pawsword into my fliptop. Sure enough there was a bulging folder marked ‘Trash.’ One click later I was ploughing through one hundred and sixty four rejections from literary agents and publishers.  All had been sent within ten seconds of receiving my submission and were spookily similar.

Dear Mr/Missus/Master/Miss/It . . . (select status and fill in the blank).

Thank you so much for submitting your work to my computer. Much as it enjoyed reading (fill in the blank), it is afraid that your drivel isn’t suitable for our list. Might I suggest that you try . . .  (fill in the blank)?

Thank you so much for thinking of me.

Best wishes,

pp Microsoft Windows

Telling myself that it was felinity’s loss, my spirits rose when I realised that my number one choice, Plattypuss Publications, had yet to respond. And that could only mean one thing – they were a whisker away from offering me a multi-book deal. Excited, I padded out to the kitchen to snaffle a celebratory tummyful of yummy ChickenOffal and scrumptious Doggybiscs.

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