Josh had decided it was time to get a cat, the mouse problem in his house was now out of control - he was terrified of mice. However, the idea of setting traps didn't sit well with him, they didn't seem very humane. Anyway he liked cats, it would be good company.
So he prepared to set off, pretending not to see the vanishing tail and hearing the scuttle of tiny feet as he pulled his coat out of the closet and headed for the door. Assuring himself the mouse doing an acrobatic dance along the front door frame was just a trick of his imagination.
He headed off down the street to the bus stop, caught in a daydream of how his new cat a (natural mouser obviously) would wipe out the mouse population in his home immediately upon arrival. The cat had a tiger-like look about it.
On arrival at the pet shop he opened the door to see the shop owner who was wearing a filthy pair of overalls, sipping a cup of tea and puzzling over a crossword. The shop was otherwise empty except for the many cages of various pets on display. The store owner put down his cup on the counter, adding another ring to the old embedded tea rings already there and looked up at Josh with a grin.
“Hello there sir, how can I help you?” he said.
Josh, with some excitement blurted out, “I am looking for a cat!” Arnold, the shop owner, smiled patiently. “Are you looking for a new cat or have you lost a cat, sir?”
With some embarrassment Josh, sheepishly responded he was looking to buy a new cat. “He needs to be a good mouser” and Josh explained his problem at home with the mouse invasion. Arnold nodded his understanding. “I see why you would like a cat, however, I am short on cats at the moment, I only have Smudge and Pepper they are kittens and have to stay together or there is Goliath, he is quite a brute and a handful. Josh, wandered over to see Smudge and Pepper behaving adorably in the way kittens do. Tumbling over each other in play fight mode. “They are very sweet,” Josh admitted to Arnold but I am not sure they will help with my immediate problem. Arnold gestured Josh over to Goliath’s cage. Josh bent down to look in at Goliath and managed to jump back just in time before the claws came swiping out of the gaps aimed at him. A low hiss and growl emanated from a dark mass of fur. “Yes, erm Goliath as I said is quite a handful, has a tendency towards disliking men, he doesn’t seem to mind women so much”. Arnold said hopefully. Josh, was a little taken aback. Although Goliath would surely decimate the mice in short order, would he Josh survive the onslaught or be clawed to pieces as well.
Josh turned to Arnold with some disappointment. “Do you really have no other cats?” he asked.
Arnold, shuffled his feet a little, wiped down his overalls once again, seemingly in thought. “Well..” he started, seemingly making a decision. “There is Max”
Josh, looked up hopefully. “Yes, Max is a ginger tabby, I am not sure if he is really a mouser though” Arnold admitted. Arnold showed Josh, through to the back of the store to Max’s cage. “This is Max”, Arnold said. And so, Josh met Max for the first time.