Julia Golding

Syd's replies

Dear Readers, I (Cat) have had to read all your questions and take down Syd’s answers for him as he had far better things to do with his time than learn to read and write fluently (though he can manage a few words, mostly to do with butchery and boxing). I have taken great liberties editing out all those things which I feel would make him uncomfortable (particularly love and marriage questions – you were warned!). But I hope you find the remainder instructive, Yours Cat Royal (for Syd Fletcher).

Dear Syd, You are so great! Just one question- would you ever risk your life for Cat? As a friend... not lovey-dovey! I promise! Angela

Of course. (Syd looked surprised to be asked. I can certainly vouch for his bravery – Cat)

Dear Syd, We are big fans, huge fans!!! Therefore, we must ask a few questions... Is it hard to lead a gang, and be a boxer at the same time?

They use the same skills. You see, it’s all about getting respect and a healthy dose of fear in your men or your opponent.

How did you end up in the royal navy, is there a story?

(See Cat O’Nine Tails – Cat)

What's the most outragous thing Cat has ever said?

Well, there woz that time when she told Vicar Rennison to go (rest of the sentence has been judiciously edited out by me – ha! Cat)

What are your hobbies, favourites, and things your best at?

Boxing, wot else is there?

Would you like to learn to read and write?

Nah, not really. Too much bother.

How did you meet Cat and Billy?

Same place – on the street when we were nippers.

How did you become head of the "Buchers Boys"?

I formed it as protection against the likes of Billy Shepherd.

Can Cat be annoying, do you worry about her?

Yeah and Yeah – ow! (I just kicked him in the shins – Cat)

Would you describe yourself as handsome?

Wot – me? (Of course he is – and now I’ve made him blush! – Cat)

If you went to Cambridge, what would you like to study?

(He’s fallen over laughing at the thought and can’t answer that one – Cat)

Sorry about all this, and thanks!!! Love Tabbie+Imy **Kiss Kiss** To Syd I'm so glad you're answering the mail. I have a few questions to as, and dont worry because none of them are about your feelings towards Cat or anything like that. 1) Why did you first start to look after Cat when she was a toddler ?

She woz always in trouble and needed someone.

2) Did you intentionally start the Butcher's boys gang ? Or did the gang just happen by accident ?

See above.

3) If you could'nt be a boxer or a butcher what do you think your job would be ?

The navy weren’t so bad.

4) If you had £100 what would you spend it on ?

Me own boxing academy.

Can't wait until the next book and i hope you are in it more than the last one ! :-) Love from Sammy xx Dear Syd, Here are some questions I would like you to awnser: 1. Have you lost any boxing matches, if so too whom?

Course I ‘ave. Too many to mention. Newgate Neb was a tough one.

2. Do you think cat would be a good actress?

I know she is.

3. Who is your best friend?


4. What is your faveourite colour?

Red – the colour of Cat’s hair (now I made ‘er blush).

5.Do you think you might Kill Billy Shepard?

Give me a chance and I’ll take it – but only if it’s fair.

6.Do you like Cat's tatoo?

No. Stupid kitten going and doing something like that (yes, yes Syd I know what you think about that! Cat)

7. Do you think you might stop being a butcher and become a full-time boxer?


8. What have you done about Mick Bailey?

Lookin’ for ‘im but ‘e back slanged it out of London.

Thank you! From Lizzie Hay Syd, I was just wondering if you could tell me soe stuff!! How old were you when you first took up boxing, and why did you want to be a boxer.

I like it – took it up as a nipper and never looked back.

Also, who got you in to boxing??

Me dad.

Please answer as i really want to know!!! P.S Your my favourite character!! PP.S W hen did you and Nick first meet? How long have you known each other?

We met when Nick ‘as a little trouble with Meatpie Matt so that means we’ve must ‘ave known each other more than ten years now.

Dear Syd May I be in your gang? Nancy

Dear Nancy No. Syd

Hey. This is for Syd. Sorry if the questions are a bit bland but I've always wondered. First of all, why won't you let Cat be in your gang when she has so clearly proved herself to be better than most boys.

Well, she’s a girl, ain’t she?

How old are you?

Getting on for twenty years old

What do you think of the (let's go with relationship) between Cat and Billy?

Not much.

Are you worried about it?


Last question - in Cat's first book why did your father give Cat a 'dissaproving glance' after she saved Frank from Billy?

Well, she woz dressed as a boy and getting’ in to trouble. Enough said.

Thanks! You're one of my favourite characters! Ginnyxxx Syd, how old are you? and Cat are you making a movie of this?

(See above. Neither Syd nor I understood the movie bit – Cat)

Dear Syd, I was just wondering if Cat was really annoying when she was little. I hear she used to follow you around all the time, and that would really get on my nerves.

Yeah, she woz (No, I wasn’t) Yeah, you were – only at times.

What's the funniest memory you have of Cat?

‘Er trying ‘er first soap bubble pipe – she sucked rather than blew and was green for a week! (I don’t think that’s very funny – Cat) You should’ve seen yourself, Cat – we all laughed.

Would you actually punch Billy's head in if you ever got the chance?

Too right I would.

Best wishes, Emma Dear Syd, I've got a few questions to ask. What's your favourite food?


How do you prefer Cat;as a boyish girl or as a ballroom girl?

She’s fine any old way.

What do you hate?

Er, ‘e goes on two legs, ‘as an ‘orrible taste in waistcoats and answers to the name ‘Billy’.

Do you brush your teeth?

I use a peeled twig like everyone else I know.

Do you have many scars on your face?

Just a few nicks here and there.

Xxthankyou,Aiya This is a message to Syd: I have two questions....1. How do you pronounce your name?

Syd, to rhyme with ‘hid’. (Short for Sydney – Cat) I can’t believe you told ‘em that, Cat! I ‘ate that name. (Blame your parents, not me. Cat)

2.I know you will feel embarrassed (and so will Cat), but I cannot resist... what do you find so great about Cat, to the point that has your 'relationship' has come to now?

She’s sweet (no, I most definitely am not). Yeah, you are. (Not! C)

For Syd: Have you always lived in London? If you could move somewhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Yeah, I ‘ave. Can’t imagine anywhere else but Philadelphia weren’t so bad.

This is for Syd: Who is your best friend and why? What is an important quality in a friend? Thanks

Nick. Cause ‘e’s a good mate.

Hi Syd, do you have any exam tips for me? What is your best subject and your worst? Did you do you go to school? Thank you Jess

Never ‘ad time nor money for school Jess so I ain’t the one you should ask.

Dear Syd: If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be?

Nothink that ends up in a butcher’s shop, that’s for sure.

To Syd, if you could do one thing in your life, what would it be and if you were to die in twenty-four hours, what would you do?

Kiss a certain girl of my acquaintance. (I refuse to blush this time, Syd. C) Aw, go on – it looks so funny with your ‘air.

Dear Syd, I have a few questions for you. 1. As you probably know by now , you have a strong fanbase. What do you have to say to those young butcher fans out there?

Well, lads (and lassies) I ‘ope you are all strong ‘uns, don’t want no rum coves among my supporters. Keep your ‘eads up, eyes peeled and noses clean.

2. Which fist do you punch with the most?

I favour my right.

3. And ( Cat please don't kill me) how do you feel about the Boil's recent shows of affection for Cat?

Both of ‘em need their ‘eads examining.

Thank you for reading and answering. Sincerely, Zoe P.S. You love Ca-at! Syd, what is your favourite memory of Cat? and what's the most embarrassing thing you have ever done? don't worry I won't tell anyone! Thanks me and my friend think you're great becky Xx

I think you’d like the soap bubble memory above. And trusting Mick Bailey must’ve been the most embarrassing thing I’ve done.

You know the only reason why Cat wants to be in your gang is because she looks up to you and wants to be like you. I know you want to keep her safe, but how about letting her in just so she can say she's in? It doesn't mean you have to put her up front if there's a fight. Katie

(Thanks Katie! Cat) ‘Ow much she paid you to ask the question, Katie?

Dear Syd Do you remember how you met Cat? I'd give anything for a brother/ friend like you

‘Ard to say the very first time – she was probably bawling her eyes out in the gutter ‘cause someone nicked her raggy. (No, I never! Cat) Did too.

To Syd, If you could be anyone in the whole wide world, who would you pick to be??? Thanks Miss Inkweaver

I wouldn’t mind bein’ Frank – ‘e’s a good sort and got loads of money.

For Syd: Do you have any exam tips? Renalie

Don’t go to school is my tip.

Dear Syd, What was your favourite boxing match you ever took part in? Which was the shortest? Also, did you have trouble managing time between boxing and butchering? From Coral

In recent times, I liked the one against the Crusher. Shortest was the one against Cat. Nah, me dad’s behind me.

Hey Syd! Could you PLEASE answer these questions for me. I also have some good advice for you! What is it like being a champion boxer?

Tough fun.

As a career would you choose boxing over butchering?

Yeah, if the income were steady.

Does everyone in London's lower class(sorry about unkind term) know about you and want your signature?

Not much in to writing.

This is the last question now! Now that Cat has... been a boy, freed a slave(Pedro), met a French thief lord, survived a press-gang(and many other things aboard the Courageous), got a tattoo, lived amongst Creek Indians, travelled to Jamacia, been a slave, got Malaria, been in a ship attack, become a bit of a white rebel, and lots more, will you let her be in your gang? She really wants to!


Ah, yes, that advice! I don't really think Cat wants to be your wife, she doesn't look on you in that way. Sorry about how long this is!!! LOTS of love, Maddy xxxxxx

(I didn’t read him that last bit – Cat)

To Syd: Why did you decide to become a boxer? What qualities do you think a boxer needs? From Natalia

I became a boxer ‘cause I’m a big bloke and got big ‘ands but am fast on my feet – all good qualities.

Dear Mr. Syd Fletcher (im sorry if this is the wrong place to post it). Having heard about you in the amazing books of Cat, I am still puzzled for why you won't let Cat in your gang? As you said, she is better than many I am sure. And now for the real questions ha ha. 1) Sorry to bring back the memory, but what was your first thought when Cat told you that Shpeherd kissed her?

I saw red.

2) If you met Billy on the streets in London, what would be your reaction?

Not pretty.

3) What do you think of the cute Catherine Fitzroy?

Babies are all right, I suppose.

4) Where was your latest boxing match and who was it against?

I ‘ad one against this Irish geezer and won.

5) How's the gang going?

Well, thanks.

Thanks. Bella. this i sfor Syd so do u like Cat??? Will u be willing to marry her??????? Kimmy Hey Syd, Its me agian but to ask is it true that Cat got a tattoo?? an would u marry Cat??? Kimmy Hey Syd, Its me agian but to ask is it true that Cat got a tattoo?? an would u marry Cat??? Ailis To syd Why do you love cat? How long have you loved her for? Do you think she loves you back? Jackie

(I warned you, Kimmy, Ailis, Jackie… Cat)

Dear Syd, Your my favorite character! I love how you are so nice to Cat! I'd loved to have you as my older brother! How many people are in you gang? I Love You Lily

Aw, you sound sweet, Lily. I’ve got around 30 lads so if ever you need some ‘elp, just send word.

My dearest Syd, Of All the people in the Cat books your my very favorite! (Sorry cat!). You are sooooooooooooo awesome! I have several questions for you to answer. NONE of which have to do with your relationships with cat. 1) Do you have any brothers or sisters?

I ‘ad a sister but she didn’t live long – died when she was two.

2) What’s your favorite color?


3) What’s your favorite cut of meat?

I like a good prime steak.

4) Do you have a pet?


5) What’s your favorite animal?


6) Who is the prettiest girl you've ever seen?

Cat – ‘ad to say that as she’s ‘ere!

7) Do you like lamb and goat meat?

Lamb’s fine. Not tried goat.

8) Who is your best friend?


9) What was your favorite game as a kid? Scrumping apples 10) Am I annoying?


Thank you very much for all of your answers! Your really cool!I wrote you a short poem, hope you like! You’ve got the muscle, For the bang and the punch, You can defend you self, And others you love, But deep in side, You sweet as a pie, And I’ll take this time now, To say good bye! Love, your truest, biggest, Most loyal fan, Reagan :) p.s do you lilke mintsmeat pie?


Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaa Syd I have a few questions for you! 1.What was the worst thing about being on the coragous?

The flogging

2.what do you think of Frank and Pedro as you have once said something along the lines of that Franks quite..erm..upper-class and Cat might be interfiering with his household?Has your opioon changed?

Both are swell coves.

3. Who is your best friend apart from cat?


bye! Rhian Dear Syd, How, why and when did you start your gang? How did you meet Cat and everyone else in your gang? Are you going to be a butcher? How old are you? From Jeffrey

I started it when I was about nine as a nipper gang to face up to Billy’s bullies – grown more serious since then. I met ‘em all round and about the market. Yeah, I’m a butcher and ‘eading past twenty now.

hi syd! hows the boxing going? do you miss cat? do you ever get jealous of billy? he is very close to cat... best wishes jenna

Boxin’ is goin’ fine, thanks for askin’. Got Cat wiv me. Nah, not really.

Dear Syd, I want to ask you some questions. 1. How old were you when you met cat and how old was she?

She woz only a toddler – I was about six or seven I guess.

2. And How old are you now?

See above

3. Who's your best friend?


4. Can you describe Cat (appearance) for me? :)

Funny little red-headed thing with a snub nose (Have not! C)

THank you! You're the best! You're my favorite character! best wishes Jacky Dear Syd, Salutations from Canada (a relatively new colonie at your point in time !) Couple questions: 1. do u realize that u are kinda controling of Cat(sorry)?

Nah, I’m not – she’s out of control most the time.

2. do u plan on learning how 2 read?


3. do u have plans 4 the gang(new "territory",etc.)

Just keepin’ wot’s ours safe –we aren’t interested in other people’s turf.

4. have u come 2 terms with Cat's tatoo?

Don’t mention the bleedin’ tattoo – of all the idiotic…! (Rest has been cut. C)

Thnx. PS. ur awesome, hope Cat tells u that! Abbie Dear Syd, If you were going to have a fight against Billy, what weapons would you use agains him? Shameelah

Right, glad you asked. Fists. I don’t ‘old wiv knives and the like. Coward’s way.

Dear Syd, I have lots of questions! 1) do you like boxing or are you just doing it for the money?


2) when did you know you liked Cat (romantically)

(cut – C)

3) What do you think of Billy Sheperd?

Nothink printable.

4) Do you like Cat's tattoo?

See above

5) Are you thinking about settling down soon?

Yeah, maybe…

6) Also a boy i like liked me (romantically) then didn't and now likes me again but I don't think I can trust him! Can you give me any advice?

‘E don’t sound a good’un – I’d leave well alone.

Many thanks, Catrin dear syd, what would you give to a girl to show that you really love her?

Erm, a kiss?

hi sid, how are you? what do you think of Cat? how is your life as a boxer? is it a fullfilling job? hope you are having fun. love cathy. P.S i love you!!!!!

I’m fine, thanks for askin’. She’s wonderful. That’s pretty good too – and yeah.

This is for Syd, I hope I've sent it to the right place, When you got back to London, did you find your manager. love Albha P.s. you are one of my favorite characters.

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