If you missed Part 1, find it here
Satan the cat slunk between the washing machines, only to be drenched by the spray now spurting from the hose above. As he shook water from his fur, the mice scattered.
Misty ran out across the floor. The door to the front-loader was open, so she jumped in.
Max scaled the big top-loader. Satan leapt after him, landing on a switch. The vibrating machine began to shake, tipping over the box on top of it. Washing powder spilled to the floor.
Max leapt onto the smaller machine and skittered down it to the ground. Meanwhile Satan skidded along the top after him and tumbled over the edge. Picking himself up, the cat spied Max by the steam press and sprang, knocking the door of the front-loader shut as he passed. The bigger machine was now shuddering, its loosened connector gushing water.
Max scaled the steam press and ran across to its handle, which lowered under his weight. The top pressing plate descended.
The resulting cloud of steam emitted an unearthly screech – like the wail of a broken fiddle. When it cleared, Satan hung by his tail from the steam press.
Max slithered down the handle and dropped, allowing the handle to rise again and release Satan. Dumped onto the floor, the cat drummed his fingers and waved his flattened tail in fury, while Max rocked with laughter.
Still steaming, Satan shook himself from head to tail – restoring its snake-like roundness – and pounced.
Max scuttled up the big machine’s hose, but before he reached the top it fell away from the loosening connection, sending Max leaping for the nearest shelf. He scampered up to the top shelf, where he could watch the bubbles rising from the flooded washing powder.
The door at the top of the stairs opened.
‘You caught them meeces yet?’ – followed by a shriek. ‘What you gone an’ done now, you useless cat?’
The door slammed. When it re-opened, trousered legs in rubber boots clumped down the stairs and waded to a row of taps on the wall beneath the shelves. Amos turned a tap, and the cascade stopped.
Bessie – also booted – bustled down the stairs to turn off the big machine. She handed Amos a broom. He swept the suds toward a drain, but Bessie’s broom was mostly aimed at Satan.
Amos left, dragging the bedraggled cat with him. Bessie’s eyes moved nervously from side to side. ‘I sure hope them meeces drowned in that flood.’
She poured a generous measure of washing powder from a new pack into the drawer on the front-loader and pressed a button to start the wash. This time she returned the box of powder to its shelf behind the machines.
Max tried to keep out of sight as he searched for Misty. He peered under the machines and down the corridors between them. He turned to begin again and stopped.
Pressed against the clear round door of the front-loader, Misty rotated slowly as the water level rose. Behind her, folds of laundry shaped a shadowy smile.
Max ran to the middle of the floor. Jumping up and down, he pointed to the door of the machine.