I suppressed a smirk because Ron had obviously forgotten that animals have eyes and can observe these things taking place when humans operate the Machine.
Angela continued: “Could a Ghost have operated the machine, Ron, say the ghost of a cat?”
Ron pondered the question for several seconds without scratching any part of his anatomy before saying: “In my considered opinion, a ghost couldn’t operate a machine like this because they’re comprised of spiritual matter only, not physical matter, and wouldn’t be able to apply pressure as such on the red button in order to operate the machine. That’s just my opinion of course. If you’re worried you should ask the vicar up the road, Reverend Clements, to come and perform an exorcism, to get rid of this spiritual visitor of yours.”
“It’s not just mine, it’s a concern of the staff, or some of the staff on the second floor of the library.”
That was useful information, the second floor of the library, so I’d have to go down two floors to escape out of the front entrance. Forewarned is forearmed as my mum used to tell me when I was a kitten. She was preparing me for just such a situation as this. My mum was really clever and able to see into the future.
“Well, I can’t see anything wrong with the machine, so I shouldn’t waste any more of your time and money,” said Ron, starting to pack up his tools, “I think an exorcism is the best option and then you’ll know there’s no ghost operating the photocopier.” With that he placed some metallic objects into pockets in the bag and closed it.
“Well, thank you, Ron for your time,” said Angela, “I should go home and walk the dog.”
“It might be a good idea to lock your office,” said Ron, “and then no one could get in.”
NO, I thought, no don’t do it Angela, don’t lock the office, please don’t lock the office.
“I can’t today,” said Angela, “Roger sent me an email to say he needs to come in and get some paper for his machine and as you know, for security reasons, only one person has the master key, the head librarian and she’s on a course today.”
“Well, at least close the door so that it looks locked,” suggested Ron.
Ron was quickly becoming my least favourite thing in the world, apart from Gemma, as his suggestions might hinder my progress. If I had chance, I would place him in Room 101.
“Thanks, Ron,” said Angela, “I will do that.”
I peeked over the top of the window to see what was happening. Ron was leaving and Angela was putting on her coat. I observed closely how the door handle worked when Angela closed the door. Once again, Archimedes wasn’t around when I needed him most, so I, Freddie cat, would have to work out how to get myself out of the predicament without an ancient Greek genius to help me.