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Veteran cricket umpire interrogated

A sixty-seven year-old cricket umpire became the focus of an intense investigation when he claimed he could milk cats.

Larry Tugg's problems started when his sister Betty Tugg, 64, asked him to entertain Mrs. Edith Drabb, a little-liked disabled pensioner and part-time cosmetics saleswoman.

"Mrs. Drabb dropped by to collect her Avon catalogue while Betty was busy fixing my bicycle horn," said Tugg.

"She insisted on waiting and asked me to make her a cup of tea. The problem was we were running low on milk and I was saving what little we had for our cat Julie. Rather than explain all this I just said I was a vegan and didn't believe in milk.

Edith Drabb celebrates the birthday of Slobodan Milosevic in 1999.

"Edith wasn't buying it. She bulldozed her way to the fridge, opened the door, pointed to a near empty pint bottle, and screeched: 'what's that then?'"

Having found himself backed into a corner the umpire decided it was time to come clean:

"My exact words were: 'you can't drink that, it's my cat's milk.'"

Unfortunately Mrs. Drabb, 81, took this to mean that the umpire had been extracting and bottling milk from Julie.

Tugg accepts it was an easy mistake for someone with moderate learning difficulties to make but he is less forgiving of Mrs. Drabb's decision to report the matter to cash-strapped animal rescue centre Yelp.

"She claims to have mistaken me for a teat obsessed cat paedophile but it is all too convenient an excuse," explained Tugg.

"Fact is she was annoyed that I wouldn't give her a cup of tea. Telling the animal fuzz I'd been fondling a young animal's private parts was her way of getting back at me."

"For many years and up until quite recently, Betty would keep a close eye on me during the night to prevent this sort of thing from happening. I guess we just got lazy."

The strain of being under investigation took its toll and Tugg panicked when Yelp inspectors caught him in what appeared to be a compromising situation during a dawn raid on his house.

"I was fast asleep in my rocking chair when Betty let them in," recalled Tugg.

"Unbeknown to me a cat had been sleeping on my head all night and this is how they found me. It was a strange cat that I had never seen before - or ever since. I guess a lot of things go on at night that you are unaware of.

"It all looked rather incriminating so I thought I'd tell them what they wanted to hear. I said I'd been up all night milking her and a few of her friends."

Mr. Tugg assumed he was at the centre of a scandal that would destroy his good standing as a dependable regional cricket umpire.

He would soon discover that his fears were unfounded as moral concerns mattered little to his unexpected visitors.

"I thought they were going to punish me but they just wanted me to show them how to do it," claimed Tugg.

Mrs. Tugg: "My toughest assignment was in Korea. On one occasion I had to milk a vole whilst locked in a tea-chest with my hands tied behind my back."

"The vet in charge of the investigation said he'd been trying to find a way to milk cats for years. He claimed that the lives of thousands of orphaned kittens would be saved each year if I taught him what I knew."

Tugg was taken to Yelp headquarters for questioning. Unable to help he admitted to his earlier deceit but his interrogators were far from convinced.

"They believed they were on the verge of making an important scientific breakthrough and would not listen to reason," said Tugg.

"They started passing me mother cats, pregnant cats, even cats wearing dresses with makeup on. They were trying to break me and saying things like 'just one squirt and you're free to go.'

"I was told they could hold me for as long as they wanted and if I wanted a drink I'd have to take care of things myself."

Betty Tugg remained at her brother's side throughout the ordeal and as an ex-services nurse is no stranger to escaping tight situations.

"You learn to be resourceful in the military," boasted Mrs. Tugg.

"I milked a mouse at gunpoint in Borneo so milking a Manx for an appreciative vet was a breeze."

Back at home and with time to think, Larry Tugg questions the sincerity of Yelp scientists.

"I am not convinced it is all about saving kittens," shrugs Tugg. "My guess is that they are looking to save money by teaching cats to feed themselves.

"Watching that poor Manx drink its own milk was one of the sorriest sights I have ever seen."