Document 554

The Fower Quarters: 09 - Millennium Moggies Inc.

Author(s): Sheena Blackhall

Copyright holder(s): Sheena Blackhall


May I help you, Madam? I'd be very surprised if I couldn't! Here at Millennium Moggies Inc. we offer designer pets, tailor-bred to suit your every need. These Outer Mongolian wolf hounds, for example, are part of our 'Gut-Buster' range, top-of-the-market canines specially reared to pace the jogging businessman or woman of today. Surplus cellulite need no longer be a problem. No coronaries after you've done ten laps round the park with Attila here.

Executive stress? Then stroke it away with one of our 'Relax-a-Puss' purrers. Cats, you know, provide the maximum pleasure for the minimum input. No walkies, no poop-a-scoops, just pop them out at night and take them in again with the milk. If you purchase a low-level, easy-access bird table, you don't even have to feed them. Nature will stock the larder for your furry friend. They're clean, they're self-reliant and they solve the Pied Piper of Hamelin problem - vermin to your average punter.

Our Rent-a-Pet service, Madam, is extremely popular. Nothing impresses a potential client more than the sight of an animal-loving male. This service is especially liked by parents - six months' trial rental with the option of buying the animal thereafter. Or not, if things haven't worked out. Rejects can be recycled for transplants, or research specimens, or even deep space exploration.

We offer a selection of Japanese cyber-pets for the technically minded amongst you but silicon-chipped quasi-pets, mind you, aren't top of the league now for the latest cult followers. No, sirree! The pot-bellied pig's first past that post by a long way. When it grows too big for comfort, you can always eat it. I'm told they're very nice marinaded and served on a bed of Seville oranges. I defy anyone to make a stew out of a cyber-pet!

Many of our most discerning owners like their pets to complement their fashion sense. Haute couture models feel, I believe, an affinity with whippets - the anorexic, gamin, emaciated look, like trotting toast racks, lean and loping. Or maybe a functional animal is more to your taste? Is the lawn getting too much for you? Our Cretan goats are guaranteed to crop your greenery down to Wimbledon standards, short as a G.I.'s crew-cut.

No? Well, might I suggest a hobby-pet. What did you say, Madam? Hobbies are for people who keep their anoraks on inside the house? Very droll, madam. Actually, I was going to bring your attention to our range of Afghan hounds. They moult prodigiously, all the year round. Hoover up their castings, card it, spin it and before you can say Giorgio Armani, you'll have a sweater industry as well as a canine chum. Our fox hounds and retrievers are golden oldies in the popularity stakes, I always say. You can't ride after a fox at the head of a flock of sheep, now can you!

What about an economy pet, then? Economy pets have their positive side. Our boa constrictors need feeding only once a month, for example. As long as you don't forget. I usually suggest meal-times should coincide with our lady customers' menstrual cycles. No? Yes! Well, snakes have had a bad press over the years, what with Cleopatra and Eve. A stick insect, then? Just the odd leaf or two keeps it going for days. No? Too Spartan, too Zen, d'you think? What about an enigmatic pet? For the outrageously lazy or outré client, we have a supply of cocoons. The ultimate conversation piece. To add to the mystery, we don't tell you what kind of little being is actually in there. No, indeed, it's an absolute genetic lucky dip. You pays your money and you takes your chance, so to speak. Some clients have their cocoon monitored constantly on CCTV, so as not to miss the moment of transformation into a winged entity. Others have their cocoons' discarded husks cast in bronze, like babies' booties, or infant teeth on a string, just to recapture those happy early days.

Interested in energy-saving? Gerbil-power will generate a small battery. A simple kit can rig your gerbil's wheel up so that exercise time for them can be viewing time for you. A daily burst on its wheel can power a whole episode of Coronation Street. Tired of soaring petrol costs and pollution? Well, our husky teams and sleds are proving more effective than Porsches for manoeuvring the traffic jams. When taxis overtake, you can catch up with them at the next set of traffic lights, and let the huskies relieve themselves on their hubcaps. The ultimate in road rage pleasure. Ben Hur's chariot race in miniature! A Boadicea amongst the Fiats!

Our New Age department, I may say, is fanatically busy at the moment. Various local covens have expressed an interest in our black cats, and a Voodoo witchdoctor from Chelsea was delighted with a black cockerel we sold him last week. Dolphins, whales, tarantulas: here atMillennium Moggies Inc. we sell any pet, for any taste, to suit all pockets. The customer, Madam, is invariably right.

Did I mention our after-care service? Yes, Madam, it's second to none. We can provide kennelling, pet-sitting and psychotherapy for the anxious animal, not to mention dog-walkers for the incurably idle owner. Is Fido on his last legs? Don't upset yourself. We can clone him. He's already dead? Our taxidermy sector will stuff and mount him in his natural habitat. He's out of condition? Then just invest in our state-of-the-art gym equipment. Rigor mortis set in? Not to worry! We have a most tasteful pets' cemetery, and our very own pastor provides a funeral service in keeping with the religion of the creature's owners. Some animals of course are venerated as totems; others some are part of the family. I know of one parrot owner who had her pillow stuffed with the deceased bird's feathers, so they would always be close to one another.

Pensioners on low incomes, Madam, are very partial to our Scottie dogs. They make excellent foot-warmers. An unclipped Scotty dog is cheaper to run than an electric blanket. It functions both as an inbuilt companion and a burglar alarm. Show me the electric blanket that can rip a burglar's trousers, if you can, Madam!

What about our 'Cheap 'n' Cheerful' second-hand creatures then? Our mongrel cuties are always a hit with the kiddies. We deliver them gift-wrapped for birthdays. Do we accept trade-ins? Not as a general rule, Madam, but I must say you have kept your tortoise in mint condition - low mileage, one owner. Ha, ha! It's a pity that your little girl painted blue flowers all over its shell but, as you say, the paint is luminous, and therefore it's easier to locate the little chap when he lumbers off into the undergrowth in search of other chelonian company.

It's a real downer, isn't it, the way that most animals are driven by their groin? Our neutering service, now, is second to none - no nasty spraying or secreting of nauseous substances after the snip. They don't mind, really. It makes them better-natured. We cater for their cosmetic needs, too, in our pet's beauty salon for positively peachy pooches. For an extra fee, we'll paint their toenails as well as clip them. Our 'Crufts Makeover and Massage' service is a howling success with all our canine clientèle.

Then, there's the house. Oh, he must have his own pied à terre, Madam. The brown plastic igloo there is a recent import from our Eskimo branch in the North of Canada. Very, very popular with Rottweilers. No, they don't enjoy a very good press, do they, Madam? But what self-appointed vigilante's going to follow a Rottweiler up that small dark tunnel to remonstrate with him if he's inadvertently gnawed the odd neighbourly ankle or two?

Your pet will be living in the family home, Madam? Flea collars are over there on the stand, alongside a wide selection of toys. We do recommend toys. It's always so much better if your pet chews a plastic bone in preference to one's Chippendale chairs. And of course, accessories are a complete must. Pit bull terriers look very macho with a leather-studded collar - the punk image. Poodles, now, are much more chic with jewels set around the collar. Body-piercing? Well no, apart from the odd bull, it hasn't caught on in a big way in the animal world. Some tortoises have benefited from a regular dash of moisturising cream to fight off the wrinkles, and large dogs are definitely enhanced by swilling a daily mouthwash round their gums.

No dog leaves our premises without his or her personal 'Poopa-scoopa'. Yes, I know the earth benefits from our pets' natural excretions but there isn't a great deal of Mother Earth on the average pavement, is there? And we don't want a fine, now, do we? Or worse, a visit from the clype brigade? I can tell you horror stories, Madam - yes, horror stories - of clypes who have lifted a pet's calling card and followed the owner home, just to post the offending article through the letter box with a note stating, "returned to sender."

What's that, Madam? You don't like the sound of that Alsatian? He's growling? Why whatever gave you that idea, Madam? He's merely clearing his throat. Which reminds me, muzzles are first on your left, directly above the packets of Dotheboys' Doggie Chewits! Why not purchase one on your way out?

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The Fower Quarters: 09 - Millennium Moggies Inc. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 June 2024, from

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Information about Document 554

The Fower Quarters: 09 - Millennium Moggies Inc.


Text audience

General public
Audience size 100+

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Word count 1657

Text medium


Text publication details

Publisher GKB Enterprises
Publication year 2002
Place of publication Aberdeen
ISBN/ISSN 0952655462
Part of larger text
Contained in The Fower Quarters: Tales by Sheena Blackhall

Text type

Prose: fiction
Short story


Author details

Author id 112
Forenames Sheena
Surname Blackhall
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 16
Upbringing/religious beliefs Brought up Protestant, now Buddhist
Occupation Writer and supply teacher
Place of birth Aberdeen
Region of birth Aberdeen
Birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Aberdeen
Region of residence Aberdeen
Residence CSD dialect area Abd
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Manager of Deeside Omnibus Service
Father's place of birth Aboyne
Father's region of birth Aberdeen
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Private Secretary
Mother's place of birth Aberdeen
Mother's region of birth Aberdeen
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gaelic; Scottish Gaelic Yes Yes Yes Yes Elementary. Gaelic choir. Poetry.
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes