They were ushered into a private parlor in the White Hart. Mr.Henry Nostrum rolled pompously to meet them.
"My dear young friends!" He put his hands on Janet's shoulders and kissed her. Janet started backwards, knocking her hat over one ear. Cat was a little shaken. He had forgotten Mr.Nostrum's seedy, shabby look, and the weird effect of his wandering left eye. "Sit down, sit down!" said Mr.Nostrum heartily. "Have some ginger beer."
They sat down. They sipped ginger beer, which neither of them liked. "What did you want me for, as well as Gwendolen?" Cat asked.
"Because," said Mr.Nostrum, "to come straight to the point and not to beat about the bush, we find, as we rather feared we would, that we are quite unable to make use of those three signatures which you were kind enough to donate to me for services rendered in the tuition line. The Person Who Inhabits That Castle Yonder, whose name I disdain to say, signs his name under unbreakable protections. You may call it prudent of him. But I fear it necessitates our using Plan Two. Which was why, my dear Cat, we were so glad to arrange for you to live at the Castle."
"What is Plan Two?" said Janet.
Mr.Nostrum's odd eye slipped sideways across Janet's face. He did not seem to realize she was not Gwendolen. Perhaps his wandering eye did not see very well. "Plan Two is just as I described it to you, my dear Gwendolen," he said. "We have not changed it one whit."
Janet had to try another way to find out what he was talking about. She was getting quite good at it. "I want you to describe it to Cat, though," she said. "He doesn't know about it, and he may need to because... because most unfortunately they've taken my witchcraft away."
Mr.Nostrum wagged a playful finger at her. "Yes, naughty girl. I've been hearing things about you in the village. A sad thing to lose, but let us hope it will only be temporary. Now - as to explaining to Young Chant - how shall I best go about it?" He thought, smoothing his frizzy wings of hair, as his habit was.
Somehow, the way he did it showed Cat that whatever Mr.Nostrum was going to tell him, it would not be quite the truth. It was in the movement of Mr.Nostrum's hands, and in the very sit of his silver watch-chain across his shabby, rounded waistcoat.
"Well, Young Chant," said Mr.Nostrum, "this is the matter in a nutshell. There is a group, a clique, a collection of people, headed by the Master of the Castle, who are behaving very selfishly in connection with witchcraft. They are keeping all the best things to themselves, which of course makes them very dangerous - a threat to all witches, and a looming disaster to ordinary people. For instance, take dragons' blood. You know that it is banned. These people, with That Person at their head, had it banned, and yet - mark this well, Young Chant - they use it daily themselves. And - here is my point - they keep tight control of the ways to get to the worlds where dragons' blood comes from. An ordinary necromancer like myself can only get it at great risk and expense, and our exotic suppliers have to endanger themselves to get it for us. And the same goes for almost any product from another world.
"Now, I ask you, Young Chant, is this fair? No. And I'll tell you why not, young Eric. It is not fair that the ways to other worlds should be in the hands of a few. That is the crux of the matter: the ways to other worlds. We want them opened up, made free to everyone. And that is where you come in, Young Chant. The best and easiest way, the broadest Gateway to Elsewhere, if I may put it like that, is a certain enclosed garden in the grounds of this said Castle. I expect you have been forbidden to enter it..."
"Yes," said Cat. "We have been."
"And consider how unfair!" said Mr.Nostrum. "The Master of That Place uses it every day and travels where he pleases. So what I want you to do, Young Chant, and this is all Plan Two amounts to, is to go into that garden at two-thirty precisely on Sunday afternoon. Can you promise me to do that?"
"What good would that do?" asked Cat.
"It would break the seal of enchantment these dastardly persons have set on the Gateways to Elsewhere," Mr.Nostrum said.
"I've never quite understood," Janet said, with a very convincing wrinkle in her forehead, "how Cat could break the seals just by going into the garden."
Mr.Nostrum looked a little irritated. "By being an ordinary innocent lad, of course. My dear Gwendolen, I have stressed to you over and over again the importance of having an innocent lad at the center of Plan Two. You must understand."
"Oh, I do, I do," Janet said hastily. "And has it to be this Sunday at two-thirty?"
"As ever is," said Mr.Nostrum, smiling again. "It's a good strong time. Will you do that for us, Young Chant? Will you, by this simple act, set your sister and people like her free... free to do as they need in the practice of magic?"
"I'll get into trouble if I'm caught," said Cat.
"A bit of boyish cunning will see you through. Then, never fear, we'll take care of you afterwards," Mr.Nostrum persuaded.
"I suppose I can try," said Cat. "But do you think you can help me a bit in return? Do you think your brother could very kindly lend us twenty pounds by next Wednesday?"
A vague, though affable, look affected Mr.Nostrum's left eye. It pointed benevolently to the farthest corner of the parlor. "Anything you please, dear boy. Just get into that garden, and the fruits of all the worlds will be yours for the picking."
"I need to be a flea half an hour later, and I want to look as if I can do magic on Monday," said Cat. "That's all I need, apart from the twenty pounds."
"Anything, anything! Just get into that garden for us," said Mr.Nostrum expansively.
With that, it seemed Cat and Janet had to be content. Cat made several efforts to fix Mr.Nostrum in a definite promise, but all he would say was, "Just get into that garden." Janet looked at Cat and they got up to go.
"Let us gossip," suggested Mr.Nostrum. "I have at least two items of interest to you."
"We haven't time," Janet lied firmly. "Come on, Cat."
Mr.Nostrum was used to Gwendolen being equally firm. He got up and led them to the Inn door like royalty and waved to them as they went out onto the green. "I'll see you on Sunday," he called after them.
"No you won't!" Janet whispered. Keeping her head down so that Gwendolen's broad hat hid her from Mr.Nostrum, she whispered to Cat, "Cat, if you do one thing that unbelievably dishonest man wants, you'll be a fool! I know he told you a pack of lies. I don't know what he's really after, but please don't do it."
"I know..." Cat was beginning, when Mr.Baslam got up from a bench outside the White Hart and shambled after them.
"Wait!" he puffed, rolling beer fumes over them. "Young lady, young sir, I hope you're bearing in mind what I said to you. Wednesday. Don't forget Wednesday."
"No fear. It haunts my dreams," said Janet. "Please. We're busy, Mr.Bustle."
They walked quickly away across the green. The only other living soul in sight was Will Suggins, who came out of the backyard of the bread shop in order to stare meaningly after them.
"I think I've got to do what he wants," Cat said.
"Don't," said Janet. "Though I must say I can't see what else we can do."
"About the only thing left is running away," said Cat.
"Then let's do that... at once," said Janet.
They did not exactly run. They walked briskly out of the village on the road Cat thought pointed nearest to Wolvercote. When Janet objected that Wolvercote was the first place anyone at the Castle would think of looking, Cat explained about Mrs. Sharp's grand contacts in London. He knew Mrs.Sharp would smuggle them away somewhere, and no questions asked. He made himself very homesick by talking of Mrs.Sharp. He missed her dreadfully. He trudged along the country road, wishing it was Coven Street and wishing Janet was not walking beside him making objections.
"Well, you may be right," Janet said, "and I don't know where else we could go. How do we get to Wolvercote? Hitchhike?" When Cat did not understand, she explained that it meant getting lifts by waving your thumb.
"That would save a lot of walking," Cat agreed.
The road he had chosen shortly turned into a very country lane, rutted and grassy and lined with high hedges hung with red bryony berries. There was no traffic of any kind.
Janet managed not to point this out. "One thing," she said. "If we're going to make a proper go of this, do promise me you won't happen to mention You Know Who." When Cat did not understand this either, she explained, "The man Mr.Nostrum kept calling That Person and the Master of the Castle - you know!"
"Oh," said Cat. "You mean Chrest..."
"Quiet!" bawled Janet. "I do mean him, and you mustn't say it. He's an enchanter and he comes when you call him, stupid! Just think of the way that Mr.Nostrum was scared stiff to say his name."
Cat thought about this. Gloomy and homesick as he was, he was not anxious to agree with anything Janet said. She was not really his sister, after all. Besides, Mr.Nostrum had not been telling the truth. And Gwendolen had never said Chrestomanci was an enchanter. She would surely never have dared do all the magic she did if she thought he was. "I don't believe you," he said.
"All right. Don't," said Janet. "Just don't say his name."
"I don't mind," said Cat. "I hope I never see him again anyway."
The lane grew wilder as they walked. It was a crisp, warm afternoon. There were nuts in the hedges and great bushes of blackberries. Before they had gone another half mile, Cat found his feelings had changed entirely. He was free. His troubles had been left behind. He and Janet picked the nuts, which were just ripe enough to eat, and laughed a good deal over cracking them. Janet took her hat off - -as she told Cat repeatedly, she hated hats - and they tilled the crown of it with blackberries for later on. They laughed when the juice oozed through the hat and dripped down Janet's dress.
"I think running away is fun," said Cat.
"Wait till we're spending the night in a rat-infested barn," said Janet. "Flitterings and squeak-ings. Are there ghouls and goblins in this wor...? Oh, look! There's a car coming! Thumb... no, wave. They probably don't understand thumbing."
They waved furiously at the big black car that was whispering and bouncing along the ruts towards them. To their delight, it sighed to a stop beside them. The nearest window rolled down. They got a very rude shock when Julia put her head out of it.
Julia was pale and agitated. "Oh please come back!" she said. "I know you ran away because of me, and I'm sorry! I swear I won't do it anymore!"
Roger put his head out of the back window. "I kept telling her you would," he said. "And she didn't believe me. Do come back. Please."
The driver's door had opened by then. Millie came hurrying around the long bonnet of the car. She looked much more homely than usual, because her skirts were looped up for driving and she was wearing stout shoes and an old hat. She was as agitated as Julia. When she reached Janet and Cat, she flung an arm around each of them and hugged them so hard and thankfully that Cat nearly fell over.
"You poor darlings! Another time you get unhappy, you must come and tell me at once! And what a thing too! I was so afraid you'd got into real trouble, and then Julia told me it was her. I'm extremely vexed with her. A girl did that to me once and I know how miserable it made me. Now, please, please come back. I've got a surprise waiting for you at the Castle."
There was nothing Cat and Janet could do but climb into the back of the car and be driven back to the Castle. They were miserable. Cat's misery was increased by the fact that he began to feel sick from the moment Millie started to bump the car backwards down the lane to a gate where she could turn it. The smell of blackberry coming from Janet's squashy hat made him feel worse.
Millie, Roger, and Julia were very relieved to have found them. They chattered joyfully the whole way. Through his sickness, Cat got the impression that, although none of them said so, what they were particularly glad about was to have found Janet and Cat before Chrestomanci came to hear they were gone. This did not make either Cat or Janet feel any better.
In five minutes, the car had whispered up the avenue and stopped at the main door of the Castle. The butler opened it for them just, Cat thought sadly, as Gwendolen would have wished. The butler, furthermore, ceremoniously took Janet's leaking hat away from her. "I'll see that these get to Cook," he said.
Millie told Janet that her dress would just pass muster and hurried them to what was called the Little Drawing Room. "Which means, of course, that it's a mere seventy feet square," she said. "Go in. Tea will be there for you."
They went in. In the middle of the big, square room, a wispy, skinny woman in beaded black clothes was sitting nervously on the edge of a gilded chair. She jumped around when the door opened.
Cat forgot he felt sick. "Mrs.Sharp!" he shouted, and ran to hug her.
Mrs.Sharp was overjoyed, in spite of her nervousness. "It's my Cat, then! Here, stand back, let me look at you, and you too, Gwendolen, love. My word, you do wear fine clothes to go playing about in! You're fatter, Cat. And Gwendolen, you've gone thin. I can understand that, dear, believe me! And would you just look at the tea they've brought for the three of us!"
It was a marvelous tea, even better than the tea on the lawn. Mrs. Sharp, in her old greedy way, settled down to eat as much as she could, and to gossip hard. "Yes, we came up on the train yesterday, Mr.Nostrum and me. After I got your postcard, Cat, I couldn't rest till I'd had a look at you both, and seeing as how my contacts and other things have been paying nicely, I felt I owed it to myself. They treated me like royalty when I turned up here at the door too. I can't fault them. But I wish I cared for it in this Castle. Tell me, Gwendolen, love, does it get you like it gets me?"
"How does it get you?" Janet asked cautiously.
"I'm nerves all over," said Mrs.Sharp. "I feel weak and jumpy as a kitten... and that reminds me, Cat, but I'll tell you later. It's so quiet here. I kept trying to think what it was before you came - and you were a long time, my loves - and at last it came to me. It's an enchantment, that's what it is, a terrible strong one too, against us witches. I said, "This Castle does not love witches, that's what it is!" and I felt for you, Gwendolen. Make him send you to school away somewhere. You'd be happier."
She chattered on. She was delighted to see them both, and she kept giving Cat particularly proud and affectionate looks. Cat thought she had convinced herself she had brought him up from a baby. After all, she had known him since he was born.
"Tell us about Coven Street," he said yearningly.
"I was coming to that," said Mrs.Sharp. "You remember Miss Larkins? Bad-tempered girl with red hair who used to tell fortunes? I never thought much of her myself. But someone did. She's been set up by a grateful client in a Salon in Bond Street. Coven Street's not good enough for her anymore. The luck some people have! But I've had a stroke of luck myself too. I told you in my letter - didn't I, Cat? - about being given five pounds for that old cat you turned our Cat's fiddle into, Gwendolen. Well, he was ever such a funny little man who bought him. While we were waiting to catch the old cat - you know how he never would come if you wanted him - this little man kept at me, telling me all about stocks and shares and capital investment and such like. Things I never could understand. He told me what I ought to be doing with that five pound he was giving me, and making my head go around with it. Well, I didn't think too much of it, but I thought I'd have a go. And I did what he said, as far as I could remember. And do you know, that five pounds has brought in one hundred! One hundred pounds, he got me!"
"He must have been a financial wizard," Janet said.
She meant it as a joke to cheer herself up. She needed cheering up for several reasons. But Mrs.Sharp took her literally. "He was, my dear! You're always so clever. I know he was, because I told Mr.Nostrum, and Mr.Nostrum did exactly what I did with five pounds of his own - or it may have been more - and he lost every penny of it. And another thing..."
Cat watched Mrs.Sharp as she chattered on. He was puzzled and sad. He was still just as fond of Mrs.Sharp. But he knew it would have been no use whatsoever running away to her. She was a weak, dishonest person. She would not have helped them. She would have sent them back to the Castle and tried to get money out of Chrestomanci for doing it. And the London contacts she was boasting of at that moment were just boasts. Cat wondered how much he had changed inside - and why he had - enough to know all this. But he did know, just as surely as if Mrs.Sharp had turned around in her gilded chair and assured him of it herself, and it upset him.
As Mrs.Sharp came to the end of the food, she seemed to become very nervous. Perhaps the Castle was getting her down. At length she got up and took a nervous trot to the distant window, absent-mindedly taking her teacup with her.
"Come and explain this view," she called. "It's so grand I can't understand it." Cat and Janet obligingly went over to her. Whereupon Mrs.Sharp became astounded to find she had an empty teacup in her hand. "Oh, look at this," she said, shaking with nervousness. "I'll be carrying it away with me if I'm not careful."
"You'd better not," said Cat. "It's bound to be charmed. Everything you take outside shouts where it came from."
"Is that so?" All of a flutter, Mrs.Sharp passed Janet her cup and followed it up, very guiltily, with two silver spoons and the sugar tongs out of her handbag. "There, dear. Would you mind taking those back to the table?" Janet set off across the yards of carpet and, as soon as she was out of hearing, Mrs.Sharp bent and whispered, "Have you talked to Mr.Nostrum, Cat?"
Mrs.Sharp at once became nervous in a much more genuine way. "Don't do what he says, love," she whispered. "Not on any account. You hear me? It's a wicked, crying shame, and you're not to do it!" Then, as Janet came slowly back - slowly, because she could see Mrs.Sharp had something private to say to Cat - Mrs.Sharp burst out artificially, "Oh, those great immemorial oaks! They must be older than I am!"
"They're cedars," was all Cat could think of to say.
"Well, that was a nice tea, my loves, and lovely to see you," said Mrs.Sharp. "And I'm glad you warned me about those spoons. It's a mean, wicked trick, enchanting property, I always think. I must be going now. Mr.Nostrum's expecting me." And go Mrs.Sharp did, through the Castle hall and away down the avenue with such speed that it was clear she was glad to go.
"You can see the Castle really upsets her," Janet said, watching Mrs. Sharp's trotting black figure. "There is this quiet. I know what she means. But I think it's cheerful... or it would be if everything else wasn't so miserable. Cat, it would have been no good running away to her, I'm afraid."
"I know," said Cat.
"I thought you did," said Janet.
She was wanting to say more, but they were interrupted by Roger and Julia. Julia was so contrite and trying so hard to be friendly that neither Janet nor Cat had the heart to go off on their own. They played with hand mirrors instead. Roger fetched the mirror tethered to Cat's bookcase, and collected his own and Julia's and Gwendolen's too. Julia took a firm little reef in that handkerchief of hers and sent all four aloft in the playroom. Until supper, they had great fun whizzing around the playroom, not to speak of up and down the passage outside.
Supper was in the playroom that evening. There were guests to dinner again downstairs. Roger and Julia knew, but no one had mentioned it to Cat and Janet for fear the supposed Gwendolen might try to ruin it again.
"They always entertain a lot in the month before Halloween," Julia said as they finished the blackberry tart Cook had made specially out of Janet's hatful. "Shall we play soldiers now, or mirrors again?"
Janet was signaling so hard that she had something urgent to say that Cat had to refuse. "I'm awfully sorry. We've got to talk about something Mrs.Sharp told us. And don't say Gwendolen owns me. It's not that at all."
"We forgive you," Roger said. "We might forgive Gwendolen too, with luck."
"We'll come back when I've said it," said Janet.
They hurried along to her room, and Janet locked the door in case Euphemia tried to come in.
"Mrs.Sharp said I wasn't on any account to do what Mr.Nostrum says," Cat told her. "I think she came specially to tell me."
"Yes, she's fond of you," said Janet. "Oh... oh... oh drat!" She clasped her hands behind her back and marched up and down with her head bent. She looked so like Mr.Saunders teaching that Cat started to laugh. "Bother," said Janet. "Bother, bother, bother bother botherbotherbother!" She marched some more. "Mrs.Sharp is a highly dishonest person, almost as bad as Mr.Nostrum, and probably worse than Mr.Bistro, so if she thinks you oughtn't to do it, it must be bad. What are you laughing about?"
"You keep getting Mr.Baslam's name wrong," said Cat.
"He doesn't deserve to have it got right," Janet said, marching on. "Oh, confusticate Mrs.Sharp! After I saw she wasn't any good for any kind of help, I was in such despair that I suddenly saw the ideal way out - and she's stopped it. You see, if that garden is a way to go to other worlds, you and I could go back to my world, and you could live there with me. Don't you think that was a good idea? You'd be safe from Chrestomanci and Mr.Baalamb, and I'm sure Will Suggins couldn't turn you into a frog there, either, could he?"
"No," Cat said dubiously. "But I don't think Mr.Nostrum was telling quite the truth. All sorts of things could be wrong."
"Don't I know it!" said Janet. "Especially after Mrs.Sharp. Mum and Dad would be another difficulty too - though I'm sure they'd like you when they understood. They must be fearfully puzzled by my Dear Replacement by now, as it is. And I did have a brother, who died when he was born, so perhaps they'd think you were his Dear Replacement."
"That's funny!" said Cat. "I nearly died being born too."
"Then you must be him," said Janet, swinging around at the end of her march. "They'd be delighted - I hope. And the best of it would have been that Gwendolen would have been dragged back here to face the music - and serve her right! This is all her fault."
"No, it isn't," said Cat.
"Yes, it is!" said Janet. "She did magic when she was forbidden to, and gave Mr.Blastoff dud earrings for something she wasn't supposed to have anyway, and dragged me here, and turned Euphemia into a frog, and got you into an even worse mess than I'm in. Will you stop being so loyal for a moment and notice!"
"It's no good getting angry," said Cat, and he sighed. He missed Gwendolen even more than he had missed Mrs.Sharp.
Janet sighed too, but with exasperation. She sat down at the dressing table with a thump and stared into her own cross face. She pushed its nose up and crossed her eyes. She had been doing this every spare minute. It relieved her feelings about Gwendolen a little.
Cat had been thinking. "I think it's a good idea," he said dolefully. "We'd better go to the garden. But I think you need some kind of magic to go to another world."
"Thus we find ourselves stumped," said Janet. "It's dangerous, and we can't anyway. But they'd taken Gwendolen's witchcraft away, and she did it. How? That's been puzzling me a lot."
"I expect she used dragons' blood," said Cat. "She still had that. Mr.Saunders has a whole jar of dragons' blood up in his workshop."
"Why didn't you say so?" Janet yelled, jumping around on her stool.
She really might have been Gwendolen. At the sight of her fierce face Cat missed Gwendolen more than ever. He resented Janet. She had been ordering him about all day. Then she tried to make out it was all Gwendolen's fault. He shrugged mulishly and went very unhelpful. "You didn't ask."
"But can you get some?"
"Maybe. But," Cat added, "I don't want to go to another world, really."
Janet drew a long, quiet breath and managed not to tell him to stay and be turned into a frog then. She made a very ingenious face at the mirror and counted up to ten. "Cat," she said carefully, "we really are in such a mess here that I can't see any other way out. Can you?"
"No," Cat admitted grudgingly. "I said I'd go."
"And thank you, dear Janet, for your kind invitation, I notice," Janet said. To her relief, Cat grinned. "But we'll have to be hideously careful about going," she said, "because I suspect that if Chrestomanci doesn't know what we're doing, Millie will."
"Millie?" said Cat.
"Millie," said Janet. "I think she's a witch." She ducked her head down and fiddled with the gold-backed hairbrush. "I know you think I go around seeing sorcery everywhere with my nasty, suspicious mind, like you did about Chrestomanci, but I really am sure, Cat. A sweet, kind honey of a witch, if you like. But she is one. How else did she know we were running away this afternoon?"
"Because Mrs.Sharp came and they wanted us," Cat said, puzzled.
"But we'd only been gone for an hour or so, and we could have been just going blackberrying. We hadn't even taken our nightclothes," Janet explained. "Now do you see?"
Though Cat was indeed sure that Janet had an obsession about witchcraft, and he was still feeling sulky and unhelpful, he could not help seeing that Janet had a point. "A very nice witch, then," he conceded. "I don't mind."
"But, Cat, you do see how difficult she's going to make it," Janet said. "Do you? You know, you should be called Mule, not Cat. If you don't want to know a thing, you don't. How did you get to be called Cat anyway?"
"That was just a joke Gwendolen made," said Cat. "She always said I'd got nine lives."
"Gwendolen made jokes?" Janet asked unbelievingly. She stopped, with an arrested look, and turned stiffly away from the mirror.
"Not usually," said Cat.
"Great heavens! I wonder!" said Janet. "In this place, where every other thing turns out to be enchanted, it almost must be! In which case, how horrible!" She pushed the mirror up until the glass faced the ceiling, jumped off the stool, and raced to the wardrobe. She dragged Gwendolen's box out of it and sorted fiercely through it. "Oh, I do hope I'm wrong! But I'm almost sure there were nine."
"Nine what?" asked Cat.
Janet had found the bundle of letters addressed to Miss Caroline Chant. The red book of matches was tucked in front of it. Janet took the little book carefully out and chucked the letters back in the box. "Nine matches," she said, as she opened the book. "And there are too! Oh, good Lord, Cat! Five of them are burned. Look."
She held the book out to Cat. He saw there were indeed nine matches in it. The heads of the first two were black. The third was charred right down to the base. The fourth had a black head again. But the fifth had burned so fiercely that the paper behind was singed and there was a hole in the sandpaper beneath it. It was a wonder the whole book had not caught fire - or at least the last four matches. They were as new, however. Their heads were bright red, with yellowish oily paper below, and bright white cardboard below that.
"It does look like a charm of some kind," Cat said.
"I know it is," said Janet. "These are your nine lives, Cat. How did you come to lose so many?"
Cat simply could not believe her. He was feeling surly and resistant anyway, and this was too much. "They can't be," he said. Even if he had nine lives, he knew he could only have lost three, and that was counting the time Gwendolen gave him cramps. The other two would be when he was born and on the paddleboat. But, as he thought this, Cat found he was remembering those four apparitions coming from the flaming bowl to join Gwendolen's gruesome procession. One had been a baby, one wet. The crippled one had seemed to have cramps. But why had there been four of them, when five matches were burned?
Cat began shivering, and this made him all the more determined to prove Janet wrong.
"You couldn't have died in the night once or twice without noticing?" Janet wondered.
"Of course I didn't." Cat reached down and took the book. "Look, I'll prove it to you." He tore the sixth match off and dragged it along the sandpaper.
Janet leaped up, shrieking to him to stop. The match burst into flame.
So, almost at the same instant, did Cat himself.