Welcome to my journal! It's a sort of diary, you know, and I'm going to keep a record of all my adventures, so you can follow where I've been and what I've been up to. I'm sure you'll find it very interesting ... plus, there will be lots of photos of my handsome self! What more could anyone wish for?
We've just been on an incredible journey - back in time to Atlantis. You may have heard of it, because it's a famous lost city. It was a scary place though, because I got kidnapped while we were there. I was also afraid that we wouldn't be able to leave before the big disaster happened. Luckily, we managed to get out in the end and we helped the family we were staying with to escape as well. The best thing about Atlantis was meeting Mia, the temple cat - she was the love of my life, but we had to say goodbye and I'm really sad because I know I won't see her again.
As you can see, sleeping is one of my favourite pastimes and I'm rather good at it, in case you hadn't noticed! I'd better catch up on plenty of sleep before we set off on our next adventure - all that time travel can be very tiring! Wake me up when it's time to go.
... Well, we've just got back from another trip into the past - this time to ancient Crete, and I'm totally exhausted. I'm going to need to sleep for a while to build up my strength again, but I promise to tell you all about it in a few days. It was quite an adventure, I can assure you! ... Zzzzzzz
Here I am again, wide awake and ready to tell you what happened in ancient Crete. We had to travel on a boat during this trip, well two boats in fact ... and I don't like the sea at all! When we arrived on Theseus' boat a horrible sailor threatened to throw me overboard - I'd have bitten him if I'd had the chance, but Jemima made me behave myself! And then, on our second journey, we almost got shipwrecked in a storm. It was terrifying. I've never been so cold and wet in my life ... I'm definitely not cut out to be a ship's cat!
The best bit about this whole trip though was seeing Mia again ... I was so happy! We met up with the family we stayed with in Atlantis and I got to spend some time with my lovely Mia. Charlie even managed to take some photos of us and I now have one hanging in a frame above my bed. I know I probably won't ever see her again and that makes me really sad, because I love her so much. Still, at least now I have some pictures to remember her by and I know she's happy with her new family in Crete.
At least I didn't have to face the horrible Minotaur though. Hearing it was bad enough - you cannot imagine how scary that was. I managed to get out of the labyrinth and later I came back to rescue the children, with the help of Princess Ariadne and our friend Medon. I had to suffer being stuffed in a basket on the back of a horse (I'm never going near a horse again - I'm sure I've still got the bruises), but it was all in a good cause. For one dreadful moment I thought I was too late and that the Minotaur had eaten the children ... that nearly broke my heart. Luckily they turned out to be all right and and we were able to escape. We finally made it home in one piece and Jemima says it was all thanks to me, so I'm feeling quite proud about that!
I wish we could just stay here where it's nice and safe now, but the children are already planning their next adventure. I can't let them go on their own, as someone needs to keep an eye on them ... I just hope there won't be any monsters this time! Better get plenty of rest before we set off - these journeys are so tiring! Perhaps I'll just go and have a bit of a lie-down. See you later ...
Uh oh! Looks as if we're off on our travels again. The children say we're going to Troy and mentioned something about a war - sounds pretty dangerous if you ask me. I'd better dash as I don't want to get left behind. I'm sure there'll be plenty to tell you when we get back ... if we get back, that is. Bye!
I've got so much to tell you, I really don't know where to begin. We've just returned from the ancient city of Troy and some pretty dreadful things happened while we were there. In fact, I'm still having nightmares about some of them. The battles between the Greeks and the Trojans were horrible - some of the people we got to know were killed and it makes me very sad to think about them right now. I didn't like the Greek warriors I met and if anyone even mentions Achilles I have a panic attack ... I never want to hear that man's name again. Luckily the goddess Aphrodite rescued me from him, or I'd have ended up skewered on his spear. I think I love Aphrodite - well, she is the goddess of love, after all!
Anyway, what happened just before we left was so sad. We tried, we really tried, to stop the Trojans from bringing the Wooden Horse inside the city, but they just wouldn't listen. We'd hoped to be able to change the course of history ... it was all in vain though. The Greeks won and Troy was destroyed. We were very lucky to get out in the nick of time and that was mainly thanks to good old Aphrodite again. I'll always remember her whenever I smell roses - she saved our lives.
I'm busy catching up on lots of sleep since I got back - the whole trip was really exhausting - and while I'm asleep I don't have to think about some of the things I'd prefer to forget. There were a couple of incidents where I let the side down and I'm not too proud of what I did. I'd rather not mention them here but I'm sure, if you read about our adventure, you'll know what I'm talking about.
I hope our next adventure will take us somewhere far more peaceful. I'm beginning to worry about how many of my nine lives I've used up since we started this time-travelling lark!
Joe and Charlie have been playing a horrible game on Joe's Xbox - all about a terrifying creature called a "mummy". I think Joe said it was the undead corpse of Tut..., Tut..., Tutten... something or other. I had to hide under the covers when I saw it and I've been having nightmares ever since. They don't really exist, do they? I'm rather worried they might ...
Oh no! Guess where we're going to be heading on our next adventure? Ancient Egypt of all places. I just know the place is going to be crawling with those ghastly "mummy" creatures from Joe's game and, if we're unlucky enough to encounter that vile Tut character (or whatever his name is), I think I'll die of fright. I'm really dreading this trip now. I'll let you know what happens, after we come home. Wish me luck!
Phew! Back home again ... and in one piece! I didn't meet any "mummies" when we were in Egypt, thank goodness, but I had a few close shaves with some other nasty creatures. The worst one was a snake - a poisonous cobra - and I was really frightened. It could have killed me, you know, but I managed to win that particular battle and saved the king in the process. He was quite impressed, I can tell you!
After that, Ankharet started being nice to me. She was a bit horrible to begin with and I had no idea what I'd done to upset her, but we became friends after the snake incident. You see, I rescued her too ... I'm a bit of a hero, aren't I? Oh, I forgot to explain - Ankharet was the queen's cat and she was rather pretty! We met her as soon as we arrived in Egypt and she told us what she'd overheard about the plot against the king. Then she smuggled us into the palace so we could meet the queen.
Before we went, I was terrified of meeting Tutankhamun, in case he was the "mummy" from Joe's horrible game. Now I'm a bit ashamed to think how silly I was. The king was really nice and he seemed to like me too. At the moment I still don't feel ready to talk about what happened later - it was all too upsetting. All I will say is that there were some really bad people in the king's court who wanted him out of the way. He gave me a new name, you know, as a reward for saving him from a deadly scorpion (this was after the snake incident). You can tell what a dangerous place Egypt was, crawlng with cobras and scorpions, not to mention crocodiles. Anyway, as I was saying, Tutankhamun renamed me "Max, Beloved of Amun" - what an honour that was! I even have it written in hieroglyphics, but the children are refusing to call me by my new name and just laugh when I mention it. Personally, I think they must be jealous!
Do you know what a volcano is? I've never heard of them before, but the children say they explode and go bang ... and now it looks as if we're going to somewhere called Pompeii which was destroyed by a volcano. I don't want to go. Perhaps, if I put my paw over my eyes, it will all just disappear ...
As I feared, we had the scariest time of our lives in Pompeii. We're home now, thank goodness, but it really was touch and go right at the end. Something terrible did happen, exactly as I suspected - that horrible volcano erupted and trying to escape from it was an absolute nightmare. We made it though and I'm never going anywhere that has a volcano again. Even Jemima thought we were all going to die.
You'll never guess what happened when we arrived in Pompeii either! The children all ended up being sold at a slave auction. They were bought by a Pompeian banker called Caecilius. He turned out to be quite a decent chap apparently and wasn't unkind to his slaves like some masters were. I managed to slip into the house unseen and the cook, Grassus, sort of took me under his wing ... after a bit of a misunderstanding where he mistook me for a lion! (I think he must have been at the cooking wine!)
The only problem with Caecilius' house was the huge great snarling dog chained up outside - Orthus, I think its name was. The drooling brute looked as if it wanted to eat me! This is a picture of the mosaic Caecilius had in his entrance hall - yet another dog! Personally, I think a cat would have looked far nicer. And then a disaster happened ... the steward of the house discovered me in the garden, drinking out of the fountain, and thought I was eating the goldfish. As if I'd do something like that! Anyway, he threw me out of the house and I had to spend the night on the street all by myself. I had no way of letting Jemima know where I was and I was terrified that volcano thing was going to go bang during the night.
I don't mind admitting I was pretty scared that night and was rather worried I might starve too, but the next morning I was rescued. Aurelia, a priestess from the Temple of Isis found me and took me back with her. I was very upset that I might never see Jemima again, although I was treated like a prince at the temple. I quite liked that, but hated being separated from the children. Isis is an Egyptian goddess who was very popular in Pompeii - that's a picture of her on the left. I discovered that the Egyptians thought all cats were descended from the goddess herself, which made them divine. I thought this meant I might be a god too, but Jemima just laughed when I suggested it. I'm not so sure ... I do feel sort of different inside, especially since we got back from Pompeii.
This is Leo, a friend I made while I was in Pompeii. I actually thought he was going to eat me at first, but it turned out that he had a piece of bone stuck in his throat and needed me to help him. I managed to remove it and in return he did me a big favour. Lions are very noble-looking aren't they? People are always telling me I look a bit like a lion, you know!
See what I mean? Put a mane on me and I'm sure you'd find it difficult to tell us apart! Actually, come to think of it, no wonder Grassus thought I was a lion when he caught sight of me in his kitchen - easy mistake to make! And I am quite large, as you know. By the way, just to put your minds at rest in case you're thinking I have actually grown a mane, it's not real! I got Jemima to stick it on a photo of me to see what I'd look like. I think it rather suits me ...
Anyway, this favour concerned another friend of mine - Aurelia's boyfriend, Felix. He was a gladiator and had found out that he'd got to fight a lion at the next show in the amphitheatre. He was terrified of being killed by the lion, so Leo and I fixed it up between us that they would just have a mock fight and that the spectators would never guess what was really happening. I didn't see it, but our plan worked and, although the duel looked real, neither of them got hurt. The crowd went wild. They thought Felix was the bravest gladiator they'd ever seen and he was awarded his freedom. And he made sure that Leo would never have to fight again either. The best thing of all though was that Felix went to see Grassus and explained where I was. So the cook came to fetch me and gave me back to Jemima. She was so happy, she cried ... I did too.
The next morning, the thing we'd all been dreading happened. There was a massive explosion and everywhere became pitch black, apart from the flames shooting out of the volcano. There were earth tremors and buildings started to collapse, as thick ash like giant snowflakes came down in a blizzard, along with bits of rock and stone. We thought we'd left it too late to escape and that we'd never make it home again. We nearly didn't and the journey back was awful. Charlie said that lots of people died and archaeologists have found the remains of people's bodies where they fell. I hope everyone we knew got away - I don't like to think of what might have happened to them otherwise.
I know I say this every time, but I really hope the next place we go to will be a little quieter and less dangerous. I understand why we have to keep doing this, because the twins are desperate to find their parents - I want to find them too - but I don't see why every trip we take has to be quite so terrifying. I wonder where we'll be heading in Chapter 6? I'm keeping my paws crossed that it'll be somewhere nice for a change!
Right I'm off for a lie-down now - I'm just soooo exhausted! See you soon! Zzzzzz ....
I've been having some funny dreams lately. I keep hearing a voice calling out "midnight" again and again, and then I see this pair of really bright green eyes staring at me in the dark. I wonder what it all means? I haven't dared mention it to the others in case they think I'm going mad!
Phew, I'm not going mad after all! Now I know what all those funny dreams were about - and who the bright green eyes belong to. You see, we've just returned from our sixth adventure ... and we went back in time to Camelot, the home of King Arthur. Yes, the King Arthur! The king's uncle was Merlin the magician - that was a bit of a coincidence for me, because my father's name was Merlin (he wasn't a magician though, just a cat). And anyway, Merlin (the magician, not my father) had a black cat called Midnight. She'd been calling to me in my dreams because she knew we'd be coming to Camelot. Merlin had summoned us with a magic spell. And what an adventure this one turned out to be! I'll tell you all about it, but I'm just going to have a little nap first - I'm so tired after all my exploits!
Well, when we arrived in Camelot, the first thing that happened was that I met Midnight. She'd been expecting me. In fact, we soon discovered that not only were we expected, but that Merlin had actually brought us there to carry out an important task. And I wasn't too pleased to discover that I was the one they'd chosen to do it.
It was all to do with an ancient prophecy written on a scroll, saying that a lion from the future would come to save the Bear. It sounded like gibberish until Merlin explained that "the lion" referred to me and "the Bear" was King Arthur! I was pretty furious when I realised they were expecting me to defeat this foe which was mentioned on the parchment thing - after all, I'm just a cat - and I must confess to feeling extremely scared. Merlin told us Arthur's enemies were the Saxons and, from everyone's reactions, I realised Saxons must be terrifying creatures. I'd never heard of them before. All I knew was that I wanted nothing whatsoever to do with all this - the silly prophecy and the horrible Saxons. I just wanted to go home, except that Merlin wouldn't let me and told me I had no choice. I had a massive sulk and was quaking in my boots, or I would have been if I'd been wearing some. Actually, now there's a thought. I've always fancied being Puss in Boots. Hmm, I'd look rather fetching in those leather boots ... Ahem, where was I? Ah yes, for some reason they were relying on me to deal with this foe. I don't know why Arthur couldn't have done it himself. He was supposed to be a hero, wasn't he?
Merlin also had another scrap of parchment with some writing in Latin on it which had puzzled him for a long time - something about swords and stones. I hadn't a clue what he was going on about, but he seemed to get quite excited when he realised what was under a splodge of ink which someone had carelessly spilled on it.
I was dreading the thought of being sent off on another dangerous mission, like in Troy, but, as it turned out, I had a stroke of good luck. I discovered that the Saxon King - I think his name was Aelle - turned into a quivering jelly at the mere sight of a cat. Hah! I was able to take advantage of this when I crept into his tent and nearly scared him half to death. I told him I was a cat spirit sent to keep an eye on him and I made up a new name for myself - Cattus Britannicus. Pretty good, don't you think? I went back again a few days later with Midnight - or should I say Felina Malina, because that's what I told him her name was. He nearly wet himself when she trailed a fistful of claws down his face! Anyway, what he didn't realise was that we'd stolen his precious sword from him. The next day, the children presented it to King Arthur after they'd been to fetch it from the place Midnight and I had hidden it. Charlie persuaded Arthur to name it Excalibur. I'm sure you'll have heard of it, because apparently it's very famous.
A lot of other things happened while we were in Camelot. First of all we met Lancelot, who was French and spoke with a funny accent. He was convinced he was related to the twins because their surname is Lancelot. He gave us the news that he'd seen the twins' parents - they'd left before we arrived though. It's so maddening because we always feel as if they're only a few steps ahead of us, but we never seem to be able to catch up with them. Jemima was very sad we'd missed them yet again.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the king's horrible sister, Morgana. She was a witch, you know, and she kidnapped Guinevere, the queen. When we went to rescue Guinevere, Morgana also snatched the children and was threatening to hurt them. I didn't know anything about it at the time, beacuse I was riding into an important battle with Arthur. And guess what? The prophecy really did come true - I turned out to be the hero! One look at me and Aelle surrendered immediately. Fierce Saxon warrior? Hah, I don't think so! I wore my very own suit of chainmail and a mini horned helmet which was made specially for me. I was very proud of my armour and was allowed to bring it home when we left Camelot.
I'd never thought I'd say this, but I sort of enjoyed our trip to Camelot. It was a lot better than some of our other journeys anyway and I felt a real hero for fulfilling the prophecy. I was rather surprised at how brave I felt - it wasn't like me at all. You know, I wouldn't be surprised if Merlin didn't have something to do with that. In fact the more I think about it, I suspect he may have put a spell on me to give me courage and to make sure I didn't let them down. I wonder how long the spell will last? Oh well, all's well that ends well, as they say. And now we're home again, safe and sound, until the next time ...
1066. Do you know why that date's important? The children say that everyone's heard of it, but I hadn't a clue why - not until we got there anyway. As you've probably worked out, we've just returned from our seventh trip into the past ... and it was exhausting! It's taken me a little while to recover my strength, but now I can tell you all about it.
As I've already said, I knew nothing about 1066, but when the boys started talking about battles I decided that I was going nowhere without my Camelot armour. Jemima was a bit cross when I insisted she put it on me, but I refused to leave until she gave in. I mean, what's the point of having a decent set of armour and not wearing it when venturing into a potentially dangerous situation? Personally, I'd call it just plain foolish to set off unprepared for possible danger. And it was a good job I got my own way as there was plenty of danger awaiting us, I can tell you.
When we arrived everything was blanketed in thick fog and we very nearly got ourselves killed. Four riders came thundering out of the mist and almost ran us over. One of them was a horrible chap called Wulf - he had the cheek to sneer at my armour too. Luckily there was another man who seemed quite friendly - his name was Aelfric and he stood up for us against this Wulf character. Charlie told them we needed to see King Harold and eventually they agreed to take us to his fort. Jemima had a brainwave which would help us find our way home again afterwards and I helped her make a pattern in the ground with some pebbles. She's so clever, because if she hadn't thought of that we'd probably still be stuck in the year 1066 now.
The men took us to Harold's fort at a place called Pevensey. As I'm sure you can imagine, I wasn't too keen at having to travel on horseback - you know how I feel about horses! Anyway, after a bit of confusion we met King Harold and his brothers. Charlie and Joe were able to convince them that we knew stuff which would help them - something to do with Normans, a bloke called William the Conqueror and a famous battle at Hastings. Oh, and there was something to do with another of the king's brothers called Tostig. Joe thought his name was Toasty!! And he makes fun of me for getting things wrong ... pah!
The king agreed that we should stay and help, but then you'll never guess what he did ... only sent us into some forest to collect dragon's blood for him. Three defenceless children and a cat against a dragon? Blimey! Jemima did tell me there are no such things as dragons, but I wasn't sure I believed her and it was jolly scary. Actually she was right and the creature we met in the forest turned out to be something else altogether, but it was still very fierce and dangerous - but that's another story and you'll have to read the book if you want to know more!
We had to endure endless travelling across England on yet more horses. I was with the king's brother, Leofwine, on his mount called Blaze. I don't know why, but I'm sure that flipping horse kept giving me funny looks ... until I saved his life, that is. We were on our way up north to face Tostig and a bunch of invading Vikings when disaster struck. Blaze blundered into a muddy bog and we started sinking. I thought we were going to die, but Leofwine threw me to safety before he was rescued himself. The poor horse almost drowned until Joe and Charlie saved him and that's when I realised that Blaze wasn't a bad sort after all. I encouraged him not to give in and made him keep his head up out of the mud until they got him out. After that we became friends. Whoever would have thought it? Me, friends with a horse, eh?!
The king won a great victory near York over the Vikings and his own brother - horrid old Toasty! But then, we had to set off back down south almost immediately as the news came that Duke William had landed with his Norman army. We were all exhausted, but had no choice. On the way, the scariest thing happened. We were in East Anglia where we'd been warned about a phantom hound by the name of Black Shuck. Now I don't like dogs at the best of times, but this was definitely one to avoid.
The legend goes that if you look him in the eye you'll be dead within a year. I made jolly sure I kept my eyes tightly shut at all times, just in case. Unfortunately one of our party wasn't so careful - none other than King Harold himself. That didn't bode well, did it?
Well, I'm sure you don't need me to tell you how it all ended, do you? You must have heard of the Battle of Hastings. It was awful and we were all very upset by what happened. Obviously William the Conqueror won and King Harold was killed, despite us doing our best to protect him. Charlie warned him about Norman arrows and even lent the king his glasses to shield his eyes. Unfortunately Harold couldn't see properly with them on and threw them aside. I ran into the thick of the battle to fetch them back for Charlie, but I knew I'd be safe because I was wearing my special Camelot armour.
After the battle our old friend Aelfric came to our rescue. The king had arranged it before the battle, in the event of things turning out badly - he was so kind to think of our safety. Aelfric made sure we got away and thanks to Jemima's clever planning (the pattern of pebbles she made in the earth when we first arrived) we were able to find the right spot to be able to return home. I've had enough of battles now - they're ghastly and brutal things. No more, please. I hope the next chapter of the book will take us somewhere less dangerous for a change. Fat chance of that, knowing our luck!
I've just had a terrifying experience. I haven't told a soul about it until now, not even Jemima. I thought that I was lost and gone for good, but somehow I miraculously made it back home safe and sound. The worst thing was that I was all by myself - the children had no idea I'd even gone. It's a bit of a long story and I'm not quite ready to talk about it yet. Give me a little while to get over my ordeal and I might tell you what happened. Actually, it would be good to get it off my chest ...
I've been trying to remember something and it's finally come back to me. Have you ever heard a story about someone called Aladdin? When the twins were little, Dad used to read it to them but I'd forgotten all about it until the horrible thing that happened to me recently. I was minding my own business, having a quiet nap up in the spare room. The next thing I knew, I heard a voice coming from that flipping book - you know, the old book that's the cause of all our troubles. Silly me for listening to it! As I reached out to touch the page, someone grabbed me and pulled me inside. I still don't quite understand how, but I ended up somewhere in Arabia. No one else knew where I'd gone and the worse thing was that I didn't have Jemima's magic key with me, so I really believed I was stuck there forever. I thought my life was over - you simply can't imagine how awful I felt.
What I hadn't realised was that the horrible man planned to take the lamp and abandon me down there. I wasn't having any of it though and refused to give it to him unless he first helped me to get back out. Do you know what he did? Only slammed the trapdoor shut and ran off, leaving me down there, that's what!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I eventually managed to escape from my underground prison ... but that was just the start of my problems. I knew I had to try to get back to the magician's house, if I was to have any hope of returning home. Have you ever been stuck in a desert? I had no idea how dangerous it would be.
I almost died out there in the baking heat, but I must be the luckiest cat on the planet because I was rescued by two of the kindest creatures you could ever meet - they soon became my very good friends. Falak was a falcon and Ghazala a camel. They saved my life and then helped me get back to the magician's village, but the so-and-so had gone - his house was all shut up. I was on the point of giving up then, convinced that I'd never make it home.
Help came from a rather unexpected quarter - as I wiped my tears off the wretched lamp, I heard a loud bang and a terrifying being appeared in front of me. I thought he was a monster, but in fact he was a genie and kept calling me Master. It was all very strange. Once I'd got over my initial shock, I finally understood what he was telling me. He said he could make my wish come true. I thought that was a load of nonsense and anyway all I wanted was to come home. Whoosh! Guess what? He did exactly what he promised ... and here I am! I cried so many tears of relief. I never want to go off on my own again. The thought of never seeing Jemima , or the boys, again was unbearable. I'm staying well away from that book from now on, I can tell you.
You know what I said about never going anywhere on my own again? Ha! How wrong I was! Just wait till I tell you all about my latest adventure ...
This is what happened to me one night when everyone else was asleep in bed. I went on a rather important expedition with someone special - and I can tell you this, if you promise to keep it to yourselves ...
Santa Claus really does exist - I kid you not - and I know because I met him! You see, Jemima had written him a letter saying that all she wanted for Christmas was to have Mum and Dad back. Even though it was the middle of summer, Santa thought he'd better start looking for them right away and he came to fetch me to help him.
He kept dropping weird hints about people called Gardy something or other, and I think he called me an "animal of time". I didn't have a clue what he was talking about and he refused to explain, because he'd already said too much and would get into trouble. Huh?
Anyway, we set off on his sleigh and I'm sure it must have been supersonic - you won't believe the speed it did! The really odd thing, though, was that we travelled back through time, just like when I'm with the children and the old book takes us to places in the past. We were looking for clues ... or for anyone who might be able to tell us where to find the twins' parents.
We went all over the world, or so it seemed, and met lots of people who gave us snippets of information ... but we didn't find Mum and Dad. It feels like they're always just out of reach - one step ahead - and we can never catch up with them. I was so disappointed, because I really thought we'd be able to bring them home and couldn't wait to see the twins' faces light up.
One amazing thing did happen, however. We stopped in a very cold and snowy city where Santa spoke to a man who gave him a mysterious object. Incredibly, it was a present for the twins from their parents. Can you imagine Joe and Jemima's amazement when I gave them an exquisite jewelled egg which contained something even more precious? Inside was a letter from Mum and Dad, explaining what had happened to them and urging the children to keep searching. I shed a few tears too. So now we know that we can never give up the quest ... not until we find them. But, at least, now we know we will find them. Thank you, Santa, for giving us this sign and for keeping our hopes alive.
I won't bore you with the whole sorry tale, but I somehow managed to get myself shut in the attic one night and, to cut a long story short, it was one of the longest nights of my life. Nobody warned me that the toys in the old toy box come to life when everyone else is alseep and that all the Christmas decorations do the same - I had the biggest fright imaginable! I just had to get out of there and the problem was how to let the twins know where I was. Actually, in the end, I must admit that everyone in the attic did help me to escape, including a very fierce nutcracker soldier. One thing's for sure though - I'm never going back up there again!
The Tower is right next to the River Thames. I know that to my cost, as I fell into the water and almost drowned. (Just how many of my nine lives have I already used up, that's what I'd like to know? No, on second thoughts, don't tell me) I would have died, you know, if it hadn't been for Joe. He risked his own life to save me and I'll never be rude to him again ... well, not for a while anyway. We were both rescued by Doctor Argentine, a very kind man. Wasn't that lucky? And what was an even bigger stroke of luck was that he was the doctor of the two young princes. I'd better explain...
This is a portrait of King Richard III. When we went back in time he was still the Duke of Gloucester - he wasn't king yet - and he had his two nephews locked up in the Tower. The eldest, Edward, was about to be crowned King after the death of their father, Edward IV. Everyone thinks Richard was a monster and a murderer, but I'm not sure. I actually met him, you see, and he was quite kind to me (he saved me when I was being set upon by a bunch of ravens. Yes, I know I'm a cat and should be able to deal with birds, but they were big and there were lots of them). Anyway, back to Richard - he didn't seem horrible, but I suppose you can never really tell what someone is like on the inside.
I think our mission was all about the two princes because, before we left, Jemima had a dream where they were calling out for help. And we did help them. Don't tell anyone this, will you, as Jemima told me to keep it secret, but we got them out of there and they escaped from England. No one ever knew what happened to them. They just disappeared and it's always been thought their Uncle Richard murdered them. Only we know the truth. I'm not going to tell you how we did it, but it was a rather cunning plan and it fooled everybody.
Oh by the way, meet my friend Corbet! Yes, I know he looks just like one of those horrid ravens in the Tower, but he's not - not horrid and not a raven either ... not any kind of a bird, actually. He's in disguise! He's really an agent of the Guardians of Time, but I'm not supposed to tell you that either, so forget I said anything! He explained a lot of things to me (they're top secret too) and was there to help us with the mission.
All in all, I guess I'd have to say that our mission was pretty successful. After all, we helped the princes escape from the Tower and we all made it back home safe and sound. It was truly frightening though and I certainly wouldn't like to go back there again. Whatever happened to the princes, apparently it didn't do Richard much good in the end, as it turns out he didn't manage to stay King for long - and the House of York, with its emblem of the white rose, never ruled England again.
You're not going to believe what's just happened to me! In fact, I'm not even sure if I believe it myself and keep wondering if it was all just a strange dream. Another Tonkinese like me, a horse, a dog - yes, I did say a dog! - and many other animals besides, were there with me, all recruits of the Guardians of Time. Let me explain...
When we got out of the van that we were transported in, we arrived in front of this door. GTTCHQ? What on earth did that mean? And for some reason, people kept calling me Double O Nine Lives. I tried telling them my name's Max, but they took no notice. Clio and I just wanted to go back to our homes.
We soon found out what we were there for. Remember the Guardians of Time? Well, this was their training camp for agents like me. I thought I was the only one, but there turned out to be loads of other animals who get sent on missions into the past, just like I do with the twins and Charlie. One other amazing thing was that I bumped into Corbet again - the raven I met at the Tower of London. Only this time, he wasn't a raven ... just another shadowy figure like the rest of the Guardians. Weird, huh?
Anyway, to cut a long story short, we had to do lots of horrible physical exercise - some sort of assault course. Can you imagine? I'm not built for all that running about, leaping and climbing - it was exhausting! Then we were split into teams and had to take part in an exercise where we were abandoned in the middle of nowhere and had to use our initiative to find our way back. Guess who I was teamed up with? My two least favourite creatures (apart from snakes ... ooh, and mice or rats) - only a horse and a dog! Just my flippin' luck...
Actually, my team mates turned out to be okay in the end. Maxima, a white horse, was sensible and kind. Coco the French Bulldog was a bit annoying to begin with, but we got along together by the time we finished. And guess what? Our team won - hurrah! Luckily, they let us all go home afterwards. What's worrying me though, is that they told us we all needed this special training because our missions are going to get a lot more dangerous from now on. You have to be kidding me! How could they get MORE dangerous? I wish I could just stay safely at home and not go on any more of those horrible journeys into the past. I didn't ask for any of this...
We've recently returned from another journey back in time. We went to London, but when Queen Elizabeth the First was on the throne ... and we came so close to finding the twins' Mum and Dad in the Tower of London, but we'd just missed them, yet again! They tunnelled through a hole in the time vortex, or at least that's what Charlie says, and they've moved forward to "somewhere else". I guess that means we'll soon be off to "somewhere else" on the hunt for them.
This is the new friend I made while we were there. His name was Kit, short for Christopher - Christopher Marlowe - and he was a playwright who knew William Shakespeare. We met Shakespeare too, and the children got really excited about that, but I liked Kit much better, even though he kept calling me Tamburlaine instead of Max! He turned out to be a government spy and we ended up working together to foil a Spanish plot and to save the Tudor Rose. I'm not going to tell you all the details - you'll just have to read the story if you want to know more!
Queen Elizabeth was scary and she had a pet ferret that was really unfriendly. The queen wanted to keep me after I helped save her jewel and I thought I was never going to get away. After an embarrassing incident with her wig, I managed to get out of her private chambers and luckily I bumped into Jemima, so I was able to escape ... phew!
I came home with something far more precious - a lovely handwritten message from my friend Kit. Actually, Joe was quite excited about that too and he said it might be rather valuable. If he thinks he's getting his mitts on it so he can sell it, he can jolly well think again - it's mine!
Just when I thought I could have a little rest and recover from our Elizabethan adventure, the Guardians of Time decided to send me off on yet another solo mission. Grrr! Did I have any say in the matter? Silly question! No, of course I didn't...
When I thought I smelt smoke in the house on a sunny afternoon, what I now realise I should have smelt was a rat! Instead of the house being on fire, it was actually the smell of bonfires, and I ended up being transported back in time to the year 1646, at the time of the festival of Samhain - which is celebrated as Halloween nowadays.
The first character I met there was Jack (full name Blackberry Jack), and he'd been sent to find me by his mistress, Goodwife Clowes.
Things get a little hazy where Goody Clowes is concerned. Was she just an ordinary old lady, or was there something a little unusual about her? Maybe not as innocent as she claimed? I'm still not entirely sure, because there are certain things which happened during my stay that I simply have no explanation for.
Anyway, the fact of the matter is that she'd sent for me because she needed help. The man in this picture is called Matthew Hopkins - nothing strange there, you might think - but when you hear that his title was the Witchfinder General, I'm sure you'll realise that he was probably the sort of man you wouldn't be in a hurry to meet!
Unfortunately, I did... (meet him, that is.) And he was a very unpleasant individual indeed.
You see, Hopkins had arrested and imprisoned Goody Clowes' sister, and some other women, accusing them of witchcraft. They were about to be put on trial for their lives. Hopkins and his supporters almost caught me and Jack, but we escaped just in the nick of time. How? I'm not exactly sure, but we were somehow whisked away, and it felt like we were flying through the air, almost as if we were on a broomstick. I had my eyes tightly closed though, so I couldn't swear to it.
The upshot is that Goody Clowes sent me back home in a bit of a hurry, because time is of the essence if we are to save her sister. I had to tell the twins and Charlie to find out all they could about the Witchfinder General, so that we can defeat him. I'm not looking forward to going back there - Hopkins called me an Imp of the Devil and said I won't escape him if he sees me again - but at least I'll have the children with me this time.
Can't stay chatting any longer, I'm afraid - we have to leave now, armed with everything we've found out. I just hope we're in time. Watch out, Mr Witchfinder - we're coming to get you...
Well, we went back to Mistley Thorn, me and the children, but at least I wasn't on my own this time. I wasn't looking forward to bumping into that man again - you know the one I mean - Matthew Hopkins, the so-called Witchfinder General. For once I'm not going to go into too much detail and bore you with everything that happened, but let's just say Mission Accomplished! Ha, so much for me not escaping you a second time, Mr Witchfinder. I had the last laugh, and it served you right!
Do you know what? Just when I thought I was due some rest and relaxation after all that business with the Witchfinder, those wretched Guardians of Time had other plans for me. I should have known. There I was minding my own business, having a nice little snooze under a tree in the garden, when I found myself under attack. A flipping squirrel started pelting me with acorns - only it wasn't just any old squirrel - oh no, I only woke up to discover I was in a completely different place ... and a completely different year.
Then things got really strange. Let's just say from the start that I ended up breaking one of Jemima's golden rules and accidentally spoke to a strange man I met. It was a bit tricky at first, but the poor chap needed my help and we actually became good friends. I had no idea that he was a prince... and that he was on the run.
While I was with him I did my best to keep his spirits up, because Charles (that was his name) was understandably scared. The people who were after him had killed his father, the king. Can you believe it? It was my job to keep him safe and to help him escape. I had a bit of a brainwave when they came looking for him and I persuaded him to hide in an oak tree. It was a close shave, but my plan worked - phew!
Anyway, I did what I had to do and I think Charles got away safely, but I wish I knew what happened to him afterwards. I was sad to see him go because we'd become quite close. I really hope he didn't get caught.
I tried to tell Jemima all about it when I got home - I even showed her the lump on my head from the acorn - but I'm not sure if she believed me. I'm pretty sure she thought I'd just had a weird dream and, of course, I had no proof. I'm beginning to wonder if she was right...