The Cats Who Saved America, Chapter 3, part 3

Kruger looked to the west. “How close would the ship have to be for the small rockets to reach it?”

“As close as possible,” Von Braun told him. “I think he wants you to take it all the way into New York harbor so that some bombs would fall on the city and others would go farther out to destroy large population areas.”

“It sounds like a suicide mission to me,” Kruger said.

Von Braun nodded. “it did to me, too. But he told me there are plans to have you and your crew abandon ship and the rockets would be launched automatically by electronics. The equipment is already on board. Oh, and there are other plans, too. The Fuehrer is very thorough.”

Kruger was puzzled. “Other plans?”

“I’m not sure exactly how this is being planned, but after all the rockets have been fired, the ship is to be brought close to shore and oil is to be sprayed as far out as possible.”

“Oil?”

“And then the ship would be exploded, doing severe damage to the harbor and igniting the oil. It could set all of Manhattan Island ablaze.”

“But my crew and I would be long gone by that time.”

Von Braun nodded. “That’s what he said.”

The captain had one last question.

“Do you know whether the Fuehrer is coming here tonight so that I can discuss this with him?”

Von Braun nodded. “Yes, i think so. Oh, and what I have just told you is, of course, top secret. If I were you, I would discuss with him only the rocket launch, which he told me to explain to you”

Kruger leaned on the old ship’s railing, ” The city of New York,” he repeated to himself.

***

Meanwhile, Lili was informing Hans of a discovery she had made.

“In the compartment next to the captain’s quarters, lots of big boxes. Not yet opened. And a lot of cord, which I guess goes with what’s in the boxes.”

Hans licked a paw. “Sounds logical. I’ll bet Captain Kruger doesn’t know about this. We need to keep an eye on it for him. Maybe we can figure out a way to stop the nasty little man who hates cats from doing what he’s planning.”

Lili agreed, “Maybe.”

to be continued next month….

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The Cats Who Saved America, Chapter 3, part 2

Captain Kruger and the men accompanying him stopped at the gangplank, where they turned and saw another man approaching. The captain walked toward him and held out a hand.

“Dr. Von Braun,” he said. “I recognized you from your pictures. I’m Kruger, the captain of this vessel.”

Von Braun saluted him. “Yes, Captain. They said you’d be here. The Fuehrer asked me to come by, check the work and explain to you what’s being done.”

Kruger nodded. “Find. I’ve been wondering about all this. But I thought you were involved with space and rocketry. What does that have to do with an old ship?”

Von Braun put a hand on his shoulder and guided him up the gangplank.

“Well, it’s an interesting story. Let’s get up on the deck away from the others. Please don’t call me doctor, I’m not a doctor. Some university gave me that title. I’m just a scientist.”

“But aren’t you the one who’s directed the rocketry into London? Doing a lot of damage, I hear.”

Von Braun nodded. “Yes, so far as we can tell. I’m sure that’s why the Fuehrer came to me about the special project involving this ship.”

Kruger frowned. “Special project?”

“Von Braun paused near one of the installations on the deck.

“The Fuehrer asked me if small rockets could be launched from this vessel. I inspected the ship and told him yes, if the right kind of launching pad were installed.”

Kruger looked at the mechanical devices lining the deck. “Launching pads?”

“Then he asked me how many could be installed. I told him perhaps 20, but that they could not all be fired at the same time or there would be damage to the vessel. I suggested allowing 60 seconds between launchings.”

“What would be launched?” Kruger already knew.

“Rockets, Captain. Rockets carrying as much explosive material as possible. Rockets designed to travel not more than a few miles. This would be sort of a miniature version of the rocketry now targeting London, but London would not be the target.”

Kruger was beginning to understand. “The Fuehrer asked me if this ship could make it across the Atlantic, and I told him it could. So I presume the target would be America.”

“That’s correct, Captain. But a very special part of America. A part where it could do massive damage not only to the American people but to the nation’s business and economy. The kind of damage that would demoralize the American people and their government.”

Kruger was stunned. “You mean…Washington?”

Von Braun shook his head. “No, Captain. The Americans have all sorts of plans for abandoning their seat of government if it were attacked. No, not Washington. The city of New York, a place that has no plan of survival. Where Americans feel absolutely safe. The city of New York.”

to be continued…

The Cats Who Saved America, Chapter 3, part 1

It was early in the morning, a good time to hunt for rats on an old ship. The moon was setting in the West and the sun about to rise in the East.

It would have been a peacful morning on the Rhine River, expcet that workmen had been making noise all night and keeping Lili Marlene and Hans awake with the banging and clanging and sawing and hammering involved in putting some “special additions” on the old ship; and by order of Adolph Hitler himself the work had to be done by special crews sworn to secrecy under pain of death.

“What on earth are they doing?” Lili asked Hans, who was recovering well from his run-in with a bullet from the pistol of one of the fuehrer’s personal guards.

“I have no idea,” Hans told her.

“Some sort of project for the nasty little man who’s afraid of cats. But it appears the workmen have installed lots of small mechanical devices along one entire side of the ship. Come on, Lili, “Let’s go find a rat. There are some very large ones living on this vessel.”

Lili thought for a few moments.

“You go ahead. I may wait for Fritz to bring the breakfast scraps. They feed the crew very generously and there’s always a lot left over.”

Hans looked out toward the dock. “Is that nastly little man coming back? We dont’ want them shooting at us again.”

Lili began grooming herself. “Probably not till they start work again this evening. He comes and inspects what they’ve done the night before.”

It was daylight now, and several men were approaching. “Nothing to worry about. It’s Captain Kruger. I think he likes us. He tickled me under the chin the other day.”

Hans agreed and trotted off to inspect a dark passageway he knew led to the cabins where the crew ate.

Lili found a nesting place in sight of the dining area and curled up for a short nap.

to be continued…

The Horrors of Declawing

WHAT YOUR CAT WANTS YOU TO KNOW…

WHAT IS DECLAWING?

The best way to understand the operation a veterinarian does to declaw a cat is to hold up both your hands, fingers outstretched.

Then imagine that your thumb and all your fingers are cut off at the joint just below your fingernails. It sounds like something Saddam Hussein and his sons did to their political enemies, doesn’t it? Something you wouldn’t want down to anyone, much less a companion you love.

Well, that’s what you’re doing to you cat if you have it declawed. It is literally mutilation of your cat’s paws. And no matter what any veterinarian may tell you to the contrary, it is excruciatingly painful to the cat, both physically and mentally.

HOW DOES THIS HARM THE CAT?

In many, many ways. First of all, it deprives the cat of its primary means of defense. Since cats walk and run on their toes, it cripples the cat, making it unable to run fast.

It prevents your cat from ever being able to climb a tree to escape a vicious dog or other attacking predator.

It prevents the cat from being able to catch prey for its food if it escapes into the wild. Without claws, a cat in the wild can starve to death, if it isn’t first killed by a predator.

And perhaps most frustrating of all, it prevents your cat from being able to scratch if a flea or something else is bothering it.

WHAT IF THE CAT NEVER GOES OUTSIDE?

People who know cats know full well how easy it is for a cat to escape from any house or apartment. How many times have you read in the newspaper’s lost and found column an ad for a poor cat or kitten who is missing–and who had been declawed?

The sad fact is that the psychological effects of a the pain and disfigurement of declawing often cause the cat to run away from home, and it will find a way to get out the door no matter what. Usually it will never been seen again.

IF DECLAWING IS SO BAD, WHY ARE VETERINARIANS ALLOWED TO DO IT?

They aren’t, in most civilized countries of the world. It’s against the law.

Unfortunately, the United States is not yet one of these countries. But many responsible vets in the United States flatly refuse to perform this cruel, brutal operation.

BUT IF THE CAT HAS ITS CLAWS, WON’T IT SCRATCH THE FURNITURE?

Probably. But there are many safe and painless alternatives to declawing. Read the ads in any of the popular cat magazines, and you will find many different products and procedures to keep your cat from using your furniture to remove the ragged edges of the sheaths of its claws-something cats must do to keep their claws sharp.

And any caring person with a little patience can train a cat not to claw furniture.

Quotations to Remember

THE RAINBOW BRIDGE

“Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to the Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill or old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they each miss someone very special to them who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling to each other in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.

The happy kisses rain on your face, your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet. So long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together!”

Author Unknown

Cat Prayers

AN OLDER PERSON’S PRAYER FOR A COMPANION CAT

Dear God,

Thank you for giving me so many years of life. And thank you for giving me the friendship of my wonderful kitty, who is also old, but who is loving and loyal.

I have outlived all my human friends, God, and I would be very lonely were it not for the companionship of my wonderful cat. Each morning she awakens me, and we share the happiness of a new day. Without my kitty, I would have nothing to look forward to.

Bless and protect my kitty, Dear God, and if it be your gracious will, allow my kitty and me to live out our days together, and when you decide it’s time for us to go to our eternal rest, let us do so together, just as we have lived for so long together, in love and peace.

Lessons From Cats

CATS ACHIEVE HAPPINESS BY NOT LIVING IN FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN

Psychologists have said that one of the primary reasons many people are never able to achieve happiness is that they live constantly in fear of the unknown and worry about things that exist only in their imagination.

The fear that they may have some terrible illness prompts them to go to the doctor and then to worry constantly when the doctor is unable to find anything wrong.

When the economy is bad, they fear they may lose their jobs. And, of course, many religions have prospered because humans have no idea of what happens to them after they die, fear the worst and try to buy their way into heaven.

Cats don’t live in fear of the unknown. This doesn’t mean cats aren’t cautious. And it doesn’t mean cats don’t experience fear when they are threatened by something real, such as an automobile or predator. But they are able to enjoy a happiness most humans never achieve because they don’t live in fear of the unknown.

There’s a big difference between fear of the unknown and caution. Any intelligent person will exercise caution so as to guard against the legitimate possibility of danger. And when something real and dangerous is encountered, fear is an emotion that sends a rush of blood and oxygen to our brains to help us figure out how to protect ourselves.

But too many people fear things that exist only in their imaginations, and therefore cannot enjoy the real happiness that life is all about.

Cats can, because they don’t spend their lives imagining thing to be afraid of and worry about. We could learn so much from cats.