'A bit over the top, don't you think?' I say.
We are in 'Kit 'n' Cat Bootle' - the place to be for all your fancy footwear needs, and Flora Bijou Mybug, theatrical darling and feline starlet, is strutting her stuff up and down the carpet in a pair of over-the-knee purple spangly boots.
'Do cats have knees?' says Mrs Miggins. 'It's hocks, isn't it? Cats have hocks. Like horses.'
Mrs Pumphrey nods. 'Horses also have frogs on the bottom of their hooves. It's how they can jump so high.'
(For those who aren't equine inclined, if you lift up a horses hoof, you will see a 'V' shaped structure underneath. This, for some bizarre reason known only to the horsey fraternity, is called a 'frog.' I know...I pulled a 'what????' face, too.)
'You do talk some drivel sometimes,' says Mrs Miggins.
'At least it is educated drivel,' says Mrs Pumphrey. And it is this boiling-beneath-the-surface tetchiness which is the reason I have accompanied the two ladies on their pantomime costume mission. I can't be doing with being called out to the police station to post bail. Again. Also, I can't rid myself of the premonition that, left to her own devices, Mrs P will return from the shopping trip with a bag full of pants.
Anyway, back to one Puss in her Boots. Flora has a look on her face that says, 'These are THE boots for me. I intend on making my stage début in these here very boots and if you try to stop me then I shall not be responsible for either my teeth (sharp) or claws (not quite as sharp because Andy the Vet has given them a bit of a pedicure in the vain hope the sofas might stay intact for a few more months.) It will be a brave hen, I think, to dissuade that cat from those boots.
Luckily, Mrs Pumphrey is like a magpie to jewels when it comes to purple spangles. And as she is in charge of pantomime wardrobe then what she says goes.
'I think they are GORGEOUS!!' says she. 'And I think we'll take a pair of these for the Genie,' and she waves a pair of peacock blue curly toed Arabian slippers at the shop assistant.
'Genie?' I say. 'There isn't a Genie in 'Puss in Boots.' '
Mrs Pumphrey raises a quizzical eyebrow. 'So you might think,' she says.
'So I might know,' I say. 'I've seen a performance of 'Puss in Boots' and trust me, there is no Genie.'
'Well,' interrupts Mrs Miggins, 'not in a traditional sense, I grant you. But this is the twenty-first century. Things have to move on with the times, you know.'
'Not pantomime,' I say. 'That's the whole point of its tradition. It doesn't change. It is a familiar keystone of our society, one that can be relied upon to bring contentment during the festive season. I mean, there's enough changes happening in the world as it is without you messing with something as predictable as pantomime...'
'All right,' says Mrs Miggins, 'I get the idea. But you did say, and I quote 'If you want to put on a pantomime this year then go ahead but don't expect any help from me.' And I am the producer/ director/ interval icecream seller.'
I sigh. It's true. This year I am so busy with teaching in school and tutoring after hours, and sewing and knitting and the suchlike that I shall be surprised if I manage to lever in anything Christmassy at all. The last thing I want is to be faffing about organising numerous hens and cats into a pantomime. And thusly was my rash proclamation made.
'Not only is there a Genie in 'Puss in Boots,' says Mrs Miggins, 'there is also a beanstalk, a crocodile, a poisoned apple and a fairy called Tinkerballs.'
'Tinkerbell, I think you mean,' I say.
'I know what I mean,' says Mrs Miggins. 'Now, are you going to help get these costumes sorted or are you going to ask awkward questions through this entire joyful process?'
I sigh. 'I'll help,' I say. Because secretly I am rather interested in how this panto mash up is going to develop.
And I expect you are, too, dear audience. Aren't you?