Robert Jenkins

Robert Jenkins had always wanted to be a noble fireman. The thought of all those calls to fetch cats from trees had eventually put him off, however, and a police officer was the next logical choice. It was therefore a sizeable fly in the ointment of his life when duty required him to be present at the feline answer to Crufts: The Supreme Show.
Robert screwed up his wrinkling face at the very thought of the title. Crufts was nice. A solid, scruffy name for a cheeky event. All those roguish pups bounding about merrily. Dogs were nice. Cats, on the other hand; conceited washcloths as far as Robert Jenkins was concerned. Perhaps he would be posted to lead external security, but still, a cat show?! The Supreme Show said it all, Robert thought. He pranced around his ordered one-bedroom flat to get it out of his system.
"Oh, look at me, I'm a cat," he said, as mockingly as his gentlemanly enunciation would allow, "I deserve all the attention because I'm so very supreme!" He pawed his temple and then licked at it, "Oh meaow blasted meaow!"
It was then that he noticed his neighbour through the double-glazing. A street-width of air and another double-glazing window separated them, but Robert deduced that he had been espied. The evidence for this was the person's frozen posture (complete with coffee cup and halfway-to-mouth croissant), and an apparent temporary seizure of blinking-function. They may have remained in their petrified state for eternity had not Robert's phone rang just then.
He came to attention, turned left, and marched to the kitchen where his landline was affixed to the wall.
"Jenkins," he said.
"Ah! Bobby-the-bobby-Jenkins, good morning!"
Robert winced at his unwanted moniker, but judged from his superior's rapidity of speech that time was of the essence, and so forwent the routine entreaty for its omission.
"Good morning, sir."
"Jeezus, Jenkins. Guv is fine. Listen, Bobby, we need you to take some school kids round a cat exhibit at this Shoecream - " a rustling of papers, "Supreme Show today and talk to them about the furballs. It's a favour for the Superintendent...Jenkins?"
Robert's calm -well, inert - face belied the frantic flailing for an excuse he was experiencing within. He fumbled for the first thing that came.
"It's the name, Sir - Guv! Guv, do you not find, 'Supreme Show' a little too much?"
There was a pause on the line.
"What? Jenkins, have you gone mental? It's always bloomin' names with you - would it help if we called it the Pussy Olympics?! Be there at oh nine hundred."
Click.
Robert slowly returned the well-polished handset to its holster and made a conscious effort to close his hanging jaw. There were a few moments during which despair almost won out, but then Robert Jenkins set his jaw firm. Duty had called and he meant to answer its claw-on-a-blackboard challenge.

Jonny Sweeney

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