Topcat and crew decided to take a break for the holidays.


Spooky wanted to go to the North Pole to see her friend Santa Claus and her seal friends there, Panther said it was too cold and besides she did not believe in Santa Claus.


"Whoever kills a cat in Egypt is condemned to death, whether he committed this crime deliberately or not. The people gather and kill him. An unfortunate Roman who had accidently killed a cat, could not be saved either by King Ptolemy of Egypt or by the fear which Rome inspired."

Topcat said Egypt was warm and if they sailed through time they could go to ancient egypt where cats were revered. Panther said she thought this was a good idea as Egypt had provided refuge to the Christ child perhaps they could meet him.

The crew set sail through the mists of space and time in their ship the CatAvenger. A great storm damaged the ship and blew it off course to a distant shore.

As the crew was making repairs troops of soldiers arrived, ten tigers three lions and a score of ocelots arrived all armed to the teeth- make that all armed with sharp teeth!


"Surrender!" The troops roared. "Lets kick tail!" Panther purred. No," said Topcat. "Although I alone could defeat this pitiful troop I will not fight a fellow cat unless I must. I will surrender and stall them while the crew retreats to the ship. If I do not return soon sail with out me."

Topcat was surrounded by soldiers and marched through the jungle to a city, a kitty city. At length he was brought into a beautiful palace where he was shown to a banquet table and given a sumptuous feast. After dining he was brought before the Queen of the Cats. "I trust you have been treated well," said the fair feline. I am Queen Nefrikitty. " Yes, although I am not happy with how I was brought her by force. What is this land?

"I just had to have you here, my magic created the storm that brought you here to the lost cat colony of

Categypt. I have followed your adventures with great interest. I could use you by my side as my king. The cats of your crew would be given refuge and honor. Alas our ancient laws which even I cannot disobey will not allow the non -felines of your crew to stay. Indeed I had to intervene with my counsel to stop their execution for tresspassing here by non-felines is punishable by death." "You overwhelm me, Topcat replied. "You both honor me and threaten my crew. As beautiful as you are milady I must decline you. Surely you know that I shamelessly cohabitate with two female felines. Really though my life my love and my lady is the sea. My non-cat crew need my guidance especially that human known as Shel for he is rather daft."

"Very well," the Queen sighed I will not compel you through force or magic, for a good ruler should know that even the Queen cannot always have her heart's desire. However there is a way you can help me and enrich yourself. If you swear loyalty to Categypt I will grant you a Letter of Marque to prey upon my enemies' shipping."

Thus Topcat was granted a Letter of Marque and technically no longer was a pirate but instead a privateer in service of Queen Nefrikitty of Categypt.


Topcat's Letter of Marque:
Under Authority of Her Majesty Queen Nefrikitty of the Egyptian Cat Colony of Categypt:

These are to certify that Captain Topcat of Cat Cay. Master of the ship CatAvenger, a free ship. navigated by a mixed crew of God's creatures, including officers, Spooky Kitten and Panther having applied to me for an Authority to cruise against all her majesty's Enemies & having received Her Majesty's Commands to encourage all Her Majesty's Subjects by every means in their power to distress and annoy the Trade of all Her Majesty's Enemies. And the said Ship having been duly registered in Her Majesty's Custom House in this province as a free ship. With the said Ship under command of said Captain Topcat, to cruise against all Her Majesty's Enemies, and any other shipping Captain Topcat deems legitimate prey. That Her Majesty will will consider him & them as fully Entitled to having a just claim to all vessels & property of every kind which he or they shall make prize from.

POSTSCRIPT:

Spooky read my manuscript and said , "Shel this Letter of Marque may be a great Christmas present for Topcat - he may well be a privateer, but..." "Yes, I know Spooky, the USA , and most of the rest of the world, ratified the paris Accord of 1856 which outlawed Letters of Marque and Attainder, thus in our time," I sighed. TOPCAT REMAINS AN OUTLAW A PIRATE!"



Sail on to the next tale - THE RETURN

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