"Imogen, could you please give those cats a bath? I got bitten last night by a flea," says Mum.
Imogen sighs and turns to look for the first terror (bathing cats is hard work) .
"She is probably in the settee," calls out Charlotte.
Imogen grabs the first cat and hauls her out of the settee.
I try to clog up my ears and read my book at the same time but it is impossible with those cats yowling and hissing all the time.
Imogen throws Poppy out of the laundry after her bath. (Poppy is the worst cat in the bath.)
"I bathed the cats, Mum," says a VERY wet Imogen.
"Poppy tried to climb the wall," says mostly dry Charlotte, who has been helping.
"Thank you. Do you think it would be possible to look through the cats' fur?" says Mum.
Charlotte marches into the family room armed with a comb and a cup of hot water.
One after the other the fleas got plucked out of the cats' fur and into the hot water.
A few months later, Imogen makes a terrible discovery while hugging Sammy.
"Mum, I found a flea on Sammy."
Mum takes Sophie and me to the shops.
"We will see if we can find some flea shampoo and some flea collars."
We come home some time later with a yellow collar, a blue collar, a red collar and a bottle of flea shampoo.
Imogen starts putting the yellow flea collar on Jenny.
"That shade of yellow looks like the worming paste they get on their paws," I say.
"What if she chews through her collar like she did with the one Imogen got her for Christmas?" says Sophie.
"I doubt it tastes that nice," says Charlotte.
A few days later Imogen is out.
"Charlotte could you please go through the cats with a comb and see if there are any fleas?" asks Mum
Charlotte nods and picks up Poppy who is lying sprawled out on the floor in the sun.
Again in the family room, with a comb and a cup of water, Charlotte, Sophie and I sit down on the settee.
Charlotte holds the struggling animal who doesn't like anybody that close to its tummy while Sophie combs through the fur.
I have a cup of water all ready for the fleas but no fleas come.
We trudge off to Mum's bedroom.
"We couldn't find any," says Charlotte.
"Not a single one," concludes Sophie.
But Mum keeps getting bitten. There are fleas hiding somewhere.
Mum suddenly has a great idea.
Mum jumps into the car and we go off to buy flea bombs.
We come back home with eight flea bombs.
"What are we going to do with the cats?" asks Charlotte. The instructions say the house must be empty when the bombs go off. The house has to be empty for two hours.
"I don't know," says Mum.
The next day we put the cat question to Callum.
"Why don't you put them in one of my cars?" suggests Callum, after a lot of thinking.
"They will boil in the car for two hours."
Finally Mum has another one of her fantastic and strange ideas. "Why don't we take them down to the park."
To the park? We all look doubtful.
"People take dogs down to the park so why don't we take our cats?" says Mum
We all grin at the thought of us taking the cats for a walk.
Sophie, Charlotte and I hop into the van while Mum and Imogen get ready to set the flea bombs off. We have the cats in their carriers. Mum and Imogen come running out of the house.
"I set off all the flea bombs," says Imogen proudly.
Imogen and Charlotte are in the middle of the van with our cats Poppy and Jenny, while Sophie has to look after Sammy in the back.
Mum starts the van. I listen from the front of the van as the cats start meowing and yowling.
Lots of men with big dogs walk by and ladies with puppies. Two ladies stop to have a look at our cats.
"What have you here?" says two ladies.
"What an adorable cat you own," they say pointing to Poppy.
"We can start heading home now," says Mum eventually.
We all get up and Imogen goes to find the cats' bowls which she fills with water, so she can give the cats a drink before their ride home.
Mum pulls in at the driveway. She goes into the house with Imogen and opens the door and all the windows. Imogen then returns to the van.
"Mum is airing the house. She told us to get ice-creams."
We walk up to the village shop and buy big ice-creams.
When we get home, Charlotte opens the front door and a terrible smell wafts up to our noses. Flea bombs smell awful.