Friday, March 21, 2008


Part Five

"Sweet, darling babies. Who are the most precious bundles of love? Why these sweet little honey-babies are! These are the dearest pets ever!"

Mephistopheles Cat and Nutmeg Cat luxuriated in the radiance that was Mama's loving voice as she made up the huge king-size bed. Mama could always be depended upon to recognize a Cat's true worth. The great orangey, white fluff ball that was Mephistopheles lounged on the window seat which overlooked the garden and deck. His sister, the lithe tabby, Nutmeg, had laid claim to a corner of the comforter still on the floor.

"Aren't these the best fur babies a Mama could have?!" Mama continued to coo as she tugged the comforter up - or tried to. "Nut-Nut sweetie, may I have the cover please?" Mama gently lifted her kitty from the bedding and finished her morning chore.

Lifting her gaze, Mama noticed Mephistopheles’ nose pressed to the glass, body rigid, and the fur along his back erect. His sister joined him, making growling noises in her throat. Curious, Mama wandered over to the window.

"Why look at this! And whose beautiful Himalayan kitty are you?" Mama was quite surprised to see a long haired, seal point Siamese reposing on her deck regarding her through lazy cobalt eyes.

"Oh the poor wee thing! His ribs are showing. This skinny kitty must be starving. We must feed him at once babies. My sweet darlings wouldn't mind sharing their food would they?"

"Meeoow," objected King Cat. "Mama that is a Freeloader! He's been begging from the neighbors for weeks. Papa even chased him from inside the garage the other day. He's been getting along just fine, so please don't encourage him. Besides, he's bound to be flea ridden, mite infested, and mangy."

"Meeoow," chimed in Nutmeg Cat. "Of course I mind sharing my sustenance Mama! He's perfectly capable of catching a mouse or - or, a skunk or something. I will not share my tuna or chicken hearts with anybody."

"Don't bet on it! Remember I'm King Cat and I will eat anything I choose." Mephistopheles looked his sister straight in the eye and swished his tail.

"I seem to recall you in Mama and Papa's bad graces the other evening when you climbed up the kitchen counter to attack the box of Pounce," Nutmeg reminded him slyly.

"The point is I ate a good many of them - as many as I chose as a matter of fact," he retorted rather proudly.

"You weren't very quick for a Cat, Bumble Butt! You were caught before you could clear the scene and disdainfully deny it!" Nutmeg's green eyes sparkled as she crowed with pleasure.

This was a sore spot indeed, but before Mephistopheles could reply, a howl from outside captured his attention. The Freeloader was emboldened by Mama's sweet voice and was now pacing and wailing in anticipation of some attention, which could mean a nibble or two.

"Of course my love kittens will share their food with you, you poor ravenous darling." Mama marched away to fulfill her mission.

Nutmeg Cat followed closely on Mama's heels. She must guide Mama's hands to the least important meals such as turkey or kitty stew. In fact the more of those given away the better. They were really much too bourgeois for a Princess's taste. Unfortunately, Mama had not been made to see this just yet.

Mama quickly prepared a water bowl and a dish of turkey with giblets. Nutmeg successful in her undertaking, unbent enough to feel just a tiny bit of sympathy for a homeless Cat and followed her Mama to the screened glass door. The Freeloader was standing on his hind legs pawing the screen.
"Oh you thoughtful sweetheart, you aren't even using your claws."

"That's because he doesn't have any," remarked Mephistopheles Cat dryly as he nudged Mama's leg. She paid no heed however, as she stepped out to the deck to set her offerings down for the delectation of the Freeloader. He promptly buried his head in the food dish.

"You need lots more don't you, you poor neglected kitty?" Mama continued to watch the hungry, scruffy creature gulp his meal.

"What's this?" Papa squeezed through the door to the deck so as not to let his Cats out. "No, no, and no," he shook his head as he comprehended the situation. "We have enough Cats! Two fur bags are annoying enough. We will not acquire a third! Take it to the Pound."

Even Mephistopheles and Nutmeg cringed and flattened their bodies on the floor at the mention of this nightmarish, bloodcurdling, chilling word. It was the Unmentionable Place. A destination so horrifying it did not bear thought. Only the most unlucky or cursed found their destiny here.

"I most certainly will not. I'm just feeding the poor famished beast. How could you refuse such a wretched creature - just look at him." Mama turned around only to find the Freeloader had abandoned his meal to cower behind her. "You've frightened him," she said in outraged tones. "Besides you love Mepher and Nut-Nut to distraction -- you can't fool me or them!"

Papa rubbed his face wearily knowing he was defeated. "He can't come in the house until he has seen the Vet. Lord only knows what he's got: Feline Leukemia, Feline Aides, fleas, or multiple infections for all we know." Papa sighed and shook his head. He noticed the stray was now placidly eating from his dish. Smart Cat indeed.

"He must have been someone's cherished pet at one time. It seems he's a purebred Himalayan sans claws." Mama remarked.

"That's something I suppose," Papa said as he entered the house. Once inside he thoughtfully inquired, "Have you asked these Snippets how they feel about welcoming an interloper into their midst?"

Mama peered through the screen. "Well, precious purr boxes? You two enjoy such a warm, cozy home, all the food you can eat, and all the love and attention you can tolerate. How about extending some of this bounty to a poor, unfortunate Cat with no home?"
"Meow," expostulated Mephistopheles Cat indignantly. "Over my fur-less body! That is a Freeloader and I will not have him in my home! You can't have forgotten I am King! He will not even breathe on my cat box! In short, he is not welcome in my domain!" Mephistopheles Cat could not remember having been so agitated.

"Meow! Meeoow!" Nutmeg Cat paced to and fro before the screen protesting resentfully. "I shall not share my delicacies with this bedraggled, un-groomed, grubby vagrant. He is a derelict who belongs under the bush in which he has been living! I will not have my tranquillity and solitude intruded upon!" The Princess intensely disliked any sort of excitement and this tumultuous hubbub was almost too much for her dainty fortitude.

"Why their enthusiasm is obvious," cried Mama in delight. "They would love company! You little loves, how generous of you to open your home to a helpless and homeless Cat!"

"I believe you are misinterpreting the Snippets' reaction. They are quite perturbed and no wonder - they have been our only and very spoiled beasts for all their five years. They are rejecting him," said Papa intuitively.

But Mama did not hear him and bent down to touch her new kitty. "What shall we name you Honey-Bunny?"

The Freeloader melted under his new Mama's caress. No one had treated him with this beneficence since his former People had lost him. She was quite perceptive, too. She was aware that he was an exquisite, rare purebred seal point Himalayan who's only calling was to be spoiled and cosseted. Yes, he had chosen wisely: he would be quite happy with these People.

"He has been such a brave Cat to survive in the Wild with no claws. And weren't the Siamese considered royalty? We'll call him Pendragon after a courageous and triumphant king," declared Mama.

"Dragon breath," murmured the real King sulkily as he trotted off in search of a sufficiently forbidden activity to properly show his dissent. Perchance a plump roll of toilet paper shredded and trailed about the house. No, much too tame. This required something really special.

Ahh - hah! Just the thing! The very essence of himself strategically deposited in significant locations! Mmm, where first? Perhaps a kitchen chair...or a high heeled shoe......

Friday, March 14, 2008


Part Five
"Just look at the lazy louts!" Papa exclaimed in disgust as he entered the bedroom. He peeled off his jacket and aimed it at a nearby chair.

"How adorable they are." Mama smiled as she came to a halt at the end of the bed. She crinkled the paper bag she carried just a bit. No response.

Nutmeg Cat had curled her lithe form into a ball atop her Papa's pillow. Mephistopheles Cat stretched, smearing his long orangey, white hair on his Papa's jeans, which had been thrown carelessly at the foot of the bed. Pendragon Cat alone acknowledged his Peoples' presence. Situated at the opposite end of the bed from his Nemesis, Nutmeg, he blinked sleepily and extended a welcoming paw.

"Ha! All these spoiled beasts do is eat, sleep, and sh-"

"Meeow!" Nutmeg loudly interrupted her Papa as she abandoned her pillow and dashed toward Mama. Her sensitive nose had been the first to discover the contents of the paper sack. She nosed it violently, crying "Catnip! Catnip! Oh please give it to me now Mama!"

Mephistopheles, now excited by the glorious scent was demanding his share and pushing his sister out of the way. Pendragon wandered over for whiff but failed to find what the fuss was about. The palm size pillows Mama drew out smelled no more interesting than grass. Now grass was not to be neglected,by any means. It harbored all the Cat news one could possibly desire. Occasionally, one was even driven to eating it. But it certainly didn't merit all the agitation that these silly mongrels were exhibiting.

He watched as Mephistopheles Cat roughly buried his nose in his prize, fell over on his side still clutching it, then let loose of it only to lie on top of it, staring off into space with decidedly glassy eyes.

Nutmeg pounced on her cushion, rubbing her face in it and drooling all over it. She hooked her claws in and rolled until she fell right off the bed to the floor. The ridiculous creature didn't even seem to notice, for she lay on the Persian rug with her mouth wide open and head swaying to and fro.

"MEEOOWW! MEEOOWW!" Pendragon Cat howled his pleasure at this ludicrous scene.
"Ha! Ha! Breeding will tell! What absurd Mongrels -"

Pendragon's diatribe was cut short by salmon and tuna treats thrust under his nose. Now this was an event worthy of animation! Pendragon Cat inhaled his delights with aplomb. As he was licking his whiskers in gratification he was annoyed by a bit of fluff toying with his ears. He raised his cobalt gaze to find his tormentor was a colorful bouquet of bright feathers attached to a stick held by Papa. The skirmish was on! He batted, he rolled, he feinted, he wrestled, he bullied, and finally just to show who was really in charge, took it between his teeth, shook it ferociously, spit it out and strutted from the room in triumph. An especially magnificent exit considering he was also leaving in his wake two Cats of dubious lineage and wit, unconscious and drooling all over themselves.

Sometime later Mephistopheles awoke from his splendorous stupor. He unsteadily gained his feet to go forth and find his People. He was needing the security of a lap. Ahh, perfect. He found Mama and Papa at the table enjoying an evening snack. He landed heavily on Mama.

"Mepher! Get down at once!" Papa was rather choosy in his dining companions: He demanded table manners and in his opinion, Cats had none.

Mephistopheles continued to stare at Mama adoringly, if a bit blearily. He touched his cold, wet nose to hers.

"Pay no attention to Papa, Sweetie-Pie. In fact you have my permission to bite him when you are feeling a bit more energetic." Mama glanced up at Papa. "Leave him be, he's just experiencing a catnip hangover."

"You're just encouraging him to beg at the table." Papa gathered his used place setting to dispose of in the kitchen.

"He needs no encouragement." Mama fed King Cat a morsel of roast chicken from her plate. "Do you, darling bunny cat?"

It was indeed a measure of Mephistopheles Cat's sedate state that he took no offense to this indignity. He savored his treat and snuggled himself deeper in Mama's lap to continue his nap. He was quite oblivious to the fact that Mama was now done and ready to move into the living room with Papa. Mama lovingly gathered her kitty and took him to his papa for deposit before cleaning the remnants of their light meal.

Slowly rising through layers of slumber, Nutmeg blinked her eyes. It was time to let Mama and Papa know how much she truly appreciated the special treat in which she had just indulged. Perhaps they might bring it home more often! Pendragon Cat was too much of a simpleton to be aware of what he was missing! She could almost feel sorry for his inability to capture the euphoria, the rapture, the bliss that was catnip! It did leave one a bit fatigued, however. Her wobbly gait took her to the kitchen where Mama was giving bedtime treats. Goodness, she had been in dreamland a good long while!

"You shouldn't give them so many, it can't be good for them." Papa had turned off the TV and was straightening the coffee table.

"But the sweet babies love them! Of course they should have lots," replied Mama giving out crab Pounces by the handful. "That's all darlings, they're all gone now."

"You don't say that when I'm eating ice cream," Papa said sulkily.

"Well you're not a precious little fur rascal are you?" Mama turned out the lights and followed Papa to the bedroom.

"Meeow," replied Papa hopefully.

"Then you won't mind sharing their kitty boxes instead of using the toilet before retiring. And dinner will be so much easier. All I will have to do is open a can of kitty stew for you," quipped Mama as she donned her nightgown.

"Very funny." Papa made himself comfortable in bed, adjusting blankets and plumping pillows. "Come to bed."

"The cats are waiting for their nightcap," Mama said over her shoulder as she headed toward the master bathroom.
Mephistopheles and Nutmeg were waiting faithfully in the bathtub for their post treat sip of water. After all, why would one drink from a bowl when Mama poured fresh from the faucet? King Cat drank greedily from the running stream of water while his sister licked drops from the side of the tub. Mmm, delicious! Mama didn't turn off the water until Mephistopheles Cat leaped to the floor. He knew he must dry himself before he took up his kingly position at the end of the bed.

Nutmeg Cat stayed to lap up every last drop. Perhaps she would even spend the night here. When the Siamese Tyrant came hunting, thinking to trounce her she would laugh at his efforts to find her from the safety of a secret hide-out.

At last Mama slipped between the sheets. "I trust the little good-for-nothings have been taken care of because you have more important things to do," whispered Papa as he purposefully drew Mama to him.

"MEEOOWW! MEEOOWW! Mama you can't have forgotten Me?!"

"Oh dear, I've forgotten lay a bit of fresh litter for the Dragon. He does insist upon it at bedtime you know," Mama sighed as she climbed down from the bed. "Otherwise he'll ask for it all night."

"So ignore him." Papa flung himself back on his pillow in exasperation. "Just who is more important here anyway -- those opportunistic fur weasels or me, your hardworking, loving husband?"

"Well," Mama replied reasonably on her way to the cat boxes. "Those 'opportunistic fur weasels' vie to be the first to warm my icy feet and actually enjoy my morning breath kisses!"

"Hmph, they're welcome to them," Papa grumbled.

Mephistopheles Cat felt this complaint against the Queen required reprimand. He did this by vaulting on the bed and selecting a spot where Mama could be snuggled and Papa ignored.

"I suppose you want the bed divided into thirds too, you flea bag," commented Papa before he huffily turned his back.

It was really just as well Papa understood his position, reflected Mephistopheles Cat as he sprawled, taking at least as much room as Papa mentioned. After all, there could hardly be two Kings in this domain!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Part Three

Mephistopheles Cat raised his orangey white head from his paws to gaze intently at the entry door. He had a direct view from his perch at the top of the recliner. The ball of luxurious tabby fur that was his sister Nutmeg chirped at him from her nest in the seat of the recliner as they exchanged knowing glances. Both confidently resumed their morning naps. It had been a gloomy two days indeed for the Cats despite the bright sunshine filling the apartment. Their People had been absent and were sorely missed.

Pendragon Cat was licking the last of his morning munch from his whiskers when he caught a whiff of kitty intuition. "MEEOOWW! MEEOOWW! Mama and Papa are coming home today! I just know it! I'm so excited! Just think of all the hugs and kisses I'll get and all the attention! How wonderful after the depressing company you two provide." He flung a superior look in the general direction of the recliner.

"Do please spare us the hairballs you work up when you are so impassioned," drawled Mephistopheles. "We do not wish to be blamed for them."

Pendragon Cat fluffed his fur and swished his tail. "Enthusiasm is a distinguished feature bestowed upon my exalted lineage." He held his nose high in the air. "Not a quality one would expect a victim of mixed breed such as yourself to understand."

Nutmeg Cat lifted her innocent green eyes and entered the fray. "It is rather thought to be a trait of inbreeding as well."

Inbreeding? It could not possibly be true. Could it? Of course not. Such tragedies did not happen to the Noble Siamese!

"Impossible and not worthy of comment!" Pendragon declared, trotting off to his morning constitutional.

"Oh dear, I'm afraid we are in for a tantrum," Nutmeg groaned.

"MEEOOWW! MEEOOWW!" Pendragon Cat burst from the cat box room kicking up his hind paws with every other step. "That was the most disgusting experience of my entire life."

He shuddered delicately and settled himself before the door to await his People.
Excitement mounted as the Arrival grew closer. The Cats carefully groomed themselves to look their finest. Faces were cleaned, claws trimmed, and tails smoothed.
Pendragon stirred first, and being a volatile Cat he just could not help expelling a perfectly formed hairball in celebration of his People's Return. Quite proud of himself, he pranced about the foyer as Mama and Papa entered.

"What have you been up to you scoundrels?" Papa's voice boomed in welcome. He promptly grabbed Mephistopheles Cat from his roost to rub his belly vigorously. Papa then placed his favorite kitty around his neck. "I'll be wearing my Mephers!"

The King Cat sighed deeply. One must humor Papa -- especially after a long absence. Still, it wasn't quite as bad as the indignity of being called a 'bird'. He had a feeling it was coming soon, too.

"What darling little love birds we have," cooed Mama. "We missed you sweeties." She eyed Mephistopheles Cat's precarious position. "Watch out for little Mephers, I don't think he's very comfortable up there."

"Little? He's a big, fat beast! And he loves it. Don't you, you purring fur weasel?" Papa did not notice the lack of response and continued to stroke the King Kitty's soft fur.

Mama bent to caress her Dragon Cat. He stretched as she played her fingers down his back.

"Yuk! Pendragon! Not another hair ball!" He watched as Mama set about cleaning up his offering. What was all the fuss about? That superlative specimen was in honor of the Homecoming! It showed how truly upset he became when Abandoned!

Nutmeg raced ahead of Mama and Papa as they hauled their big black monsters into the bedroom to unpack. Having an aversion to Flurries of Activity, she scurried under the bed. After all, one could be tripped over or trod upon. Besides the presence of a Princess was not bequeathed without sufficient begging. However, one could always be bribed with a treat.

Pendragon resented the commotion. Where was the adulation he so deserved? This was not to be endured! To show his irritation he prowled to and fro under as many feet as he could manage -- all the while wailing unceasingly.

"MEEOOWW! MEEOOWW! Mama and Papa finish this nonsense at once!"

Mephistopheles simply disregarded any busyness he encountered. He purred as he twined around ankles, placed paws on knees, and rubbed his face in welcoming hands. Kings were never ignored. Mama realized this and finally picked him up for sweet snuggles. Her neck made a cozy place to bury his head while he purred ecstatically.

"Pendragon you silly cat, do be quiet," Mama shifted the warm furry bulk in her arms. "Papa has escaped to the living room, so go visit him."

"Inflict himself you mean." Papa unfolded his newspaper and opened it. "Come here you little treat bandit."

Pendragon Cat instantly forgot the poise demanded of pure seal point Himalayans and ran to the most coveted perch in the house. He leaped on his Papa's lap and rolled over on his back to gaze adoringly into his Papa's eyes. He lay dreamily making starfish feet while he enjoyed his long awaited tummy rub.

Meanwhile Mephistopheles closely monitored Mama as she attended the cat box room. After all, Royal Advice could be needed at any time. He didn't admit for one moment that he didn't want Mama out of his sight lest she disappear again for days. He followed on her heels to his favorite room where she gathered old kitty dishes to clean and prepare a new Cat Meal.

Pendragon abandoned Papa as his nose caught the scent of tuna. The savory smell even enticed Nutmeg Cat out of hiding. The Favorite was being served!

Mephistopheles left his dish after only a few bites. Mama had joined Papa on the couch. Their attention was captured by the perplexing box of light and movement. It occurred to him they would be better employed petting and playing with Cats than worshipping that silly thing every night. They really must get their priorities straight, he mused as he snuggled into his Papa's lap and hooked a possessive paw in the shirt offered. He drifted off to the first contented sleep in days. Homecoming was almost as good being King.

Nutmeg soon followed her brother choosing to gift herself to Mama. She reflected on the strange smells from far away places emanating from her People, and was determined to seek out the treasures they had brought home -- tomorrow. Homecoming, a tuna supper, and a lovely lap were all the treasures she required at the moment.

After licking the last tidbit from his bowl, Pendragon was nonplussed to find both laps occupied. He glanced longingly at the nearly full dishes next to his -- his time in the Wilds was not soon forgotten. He turned his back on the precious food to climb high on the back of the couch. "After all," he reasoned, as he nestled between Mama's and Papa's heads, tickling their ears with his whiskers. "Nothing was better than Homecoming."

Except perhaps a good loud howl!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Part Two

The great, grotesque monster lay on the bed, its hideous underbelly slit open. The yawning aperture seemed to sneer at Mephistopheles Cat as he froze in his tracks in the bedroom doorway.

His degagee attitude was quickly replaced by terror as he realized what this obscene ogre portended. Then Mama bustled out of the closet with several items of clothing slung over one arm. He watched with dread as she carefully folded the garments and placed them inside the beastly creature.

Who would watch over his subjects when they left his kingdom, the King Kitty wondered? Despair washed over him as he speculated how many days and nights he would be without warm laps, comforting cuddles, and sweet voices telling him he was a handsome, darling boy. Then of course, there were the practicalities of being deserted: stale food and a polluted kitty box. The water however, wasn't bad at all -- a few days actually gave it a bit of character.

Perhaps he could persuade Mama and Papa to stay home -- if not they would take part of him with them! With these lovely thoughts in mind he bravely bounded straight into the jaws of the Creature, his landing cushioned by a pile of neatly arranged garments. He nosed and kneaded these before raising imploring pale blue eyes to Mama.

"Mepher! Now your fur is everywhere!" Mama began brushing frantically at the orangey, white fluff now decorating her apparel.

Nutmeg Cat, grooming her sleek tabby coat in the midst of a treasured sunbeam before the living room glass door, stopped short at Mama's distressed voice. She valued a serene environ-ment, but it usually paid to find the reason for anxiety before hiding.

Horrors! They were being abandoned! Something must be done. Immediately. Drastic measures must be taken. She must keep Mama too busy to pack! Leaping on the bed and chirping in her most charming voice, she gave Mama insistent head-buts. "Mama you must see what an enchanting little dear I am. How can you leave me?"

Apparently, Mama wasn't as enamored as she should have been. Nutmeg was crushed when she was gently shooed. She retreated to a forbidden pillow to closely observe the un-folding drama.

"Aren't you ready yet? Hurry! What's keeping you?" Papa inquired as he entered the room.

"You know how I hate leaving the kitties. The sweet babies are helping me pack." Mama glanced affectionately at Nutmeg and stroked an ear belonging to Mephistopheles.

"Sweet babies nothing," Papa said cheerfully. "They're nothing but furry little bags of sh-."

"Don't you dare say such things in front of the darlings," interrupted Mama in an affronted voice. "I don't know how you get away with treating them so carelessly. They adore you. While I must work so hard for their affection: feeding, watering, and littering the little fur rascals."

At this Mephistopheles Cat placed a proprietary paw on Mama's hand. "And we love you for it Mama," he purred. "Nobody could take such excellent care of us as you do."

"Cute little pussy cats always love me," said Papa suggestfully as he leered at Mama. His gaze dropped to the suitcase. "Listen to the motor on that tank. Certainly matches his size."

Normally Mephistopheles worshipped his Papa, but this irreverence was too much at such a distressing time. He treated his Papa to an indignant glare before whisking himself from the room. He headed to his favorite dining room chair to wait out the Departure. It was time for the Show of Indifference.

Pendragon was nearly knocked off his paws by Mephistopheles Cat's sudden flight. He comprehended at once what was occurring as he peered into the room. He immediately wailed his terror at being left alone. (One couldn't possibly count two cheeky mongrels as company).

"No, no please don't leave me Mama and Papa. MEEOOWW, MEEOOWW."

Why, who would give him treats at bedtime? Who would provide a warm, cozy lap? Who would scratch his chin and tell him what a gorgeous, but annoying Cat he was? He knew of course, that he wasn't really annoying. Pure seal point Himalayan Cats couldn't possibly be anything but a model of the Perfect Pet. It was just something silly Mama and Papa told him. They were always saying silly things. It was just one of those idiosyncrasies one tolerated from one's People.


Uncomfortable with the charged scene before her, Nutmeg Cat bounded down from her pillow to sharpen her claws on the prized Persian rug.

"Naughty, naughty, naughty cat Nutmeg." Mama made an unsuccessful grab for Nutmeg as she dived under the bed.

Pendragon was incensed that a mere Tabby Cat should steel his thunder in the middle of one of his magnificent wails. He hissed in warning.

Nutmeg peeked from her hiding place to growl right back at him. "You can't intimidate me you ridiculous creature -- you have no claws!"

Pendragon swished his tail and raised his chin. "And I survived quite nicely, too," he bragged. "I lived in the Wilds for months after my former People lost me. It's really not surprising considering my superior pedigreed intelligence." He preened himself before giving forth a triumphant yowl.

"Wilds?! The only hunting you did was choosing from which neighbor's bowl of milk to drink before Mama and Papa brought you home. And your People did not 'lose' you -- they escaped from you!"

"Why, what a jealous--."

"Out cats! We're leaving now so get out from under foot." Papa led the way to the outer door, practically dragging Mama with him. She managed a farewell before being hauled over the threshold: "I'll miss you sweeties. We'll be back soon."

Hearing the lock click into place a melancholy Mephistopheles Cat developed a sudden urge to demonstrate his Dominance. He did so by sauntering casually over to the round scratching pad and covering it with his not inconsiderable bulk. He then proceeded to groom himself as if he hadn't a care in the world. It didn't do to wear one's emotions on one's paw -- after all, he was King.

Princess or not, poor little Nutmeg Cat experienced such anxiety she could only creep behind the couch to hide. Once there, she made herself as tiny as she could manage.

And the Pendragon Cat. Ahh, the Pendragon Cat. Why, he indulged in his favorite pastime, of course: he howled and howled and howled.

The Abandonment had begun.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Howling

4 am
“Mama, my cat box is filthy!” Pendragon’s howl pierced the night’s silence. Someone,” he flicked his cobalt eyes over his shoulder resentfully. The twenty pound Mephistopheles Cat was serenely grooming his long orangey, white fur.

“Someone,” he repeated “has fouled it!”
“Do wake up please! It reeks and is much too messy for a delicate pure Siamese such as my-self.”

“Bloody sod! Shut up!”

“But Mama-----” The missile hit Pendragon square in the ribs. Pendragon uttered a gasp of pure delight, the kitty box momentarily forgotten as he ecstatically buried his nose in the pungent sock. Papa’s were the best, if one didn’t count his shoes, but those delicacies were particularly difficult to indulge in. They rivaled the best tuna supper! It was so easy to forget oneself enough to chew them a bit....well, perhaps more than just a bit. Now both Mama and Papa kept him well away from those tempting morsels. Which made the socks all the more
succulent. Pendragon howled his pleasure. And howled again.



“Good God, is he at again? SHUT UP PENDRAGON!” Papa growled from the bed.

“Go to sleep you silly cat, it’s the middle of night. You won’t be getting anything until the alarm rings in a few hours,” Mama murmured from the bed.

Pendragon yowled again. “Mama I cannot be expected to use the box after that oaf--”

“Watch it you nat-furred little pipsqueek,” Mephistopheles purred dangerously, “ you are privileged to use my facilities, be they putrid or pristine. Remember I am King in this house-hold. Nutmeg Cat is Princess, Papa is Prince, and of course Mama is undisputed Queen. You Pendragon Cat are a flea. Supremely unimportant in this hierarchy. Now be quiet -- your caterwauling make Mama and Papa cranky and this ruins my royal muse.”

“Nat-furred---!! What defamation! What libel! Why, I am a pure seal point Himalayan! I am in possession of the most beautiful, smooth coat that a mongrel such as yourself could only envy!”

Mephistopheles Cat was actually quite proud of his Red Point/Maine Coon heritage, but thought it beneath him respond in any way besides turning his regal back.

“After all,” he thought as climbed up the back of the recliner, “I am King.” And from this high spot Pendragon looked quite insignificant --- and in trouble judging from Papa’s angry visage as bore down on the Dragon Cat.

No sooner had the howl left Pendragon’s throat that he was lifted high in the air.

“WHOA! I’m not a football, Papa! I’m an exquisite, sensitive purebred!”

Pendragon found himself ignored and ignobly deposited in the cat box room.
“No! No! Not here! Don’t leave me here. MEEOOWW! MEEOOWW! The stench is
too much for my delicate nose! MEEOOWW! MEEOOWW!”

“Howl all you want we won’t be able to hear you in there.” Papa was already on his way back to bed. “Maybe we can still salvage some sleep,” he murmured as he crawled between the sheets.

Nutmeg Cat, oblivious to any existing tensions awoke refreshed from her nap feeling affectionate. Her green eyes glowing, the sleek, silver mackerel tabby leaped on the bed hoping to snag a snuggle. Papa gave the most delicious tummy rubs and Mama could always be counted upon to stroke the ears just so. Now... who to gift with a cold wet nose first?

“Hmph! What the--! Nutmeg! Settle yourself my girl, it not time to get up. Go back to sleep. Now.” Mama reburied herself in the pillows.

Nutmeg found herself shooed gently away. She couldn’t possibly go back to her nap when so much love was bubbling inside her begging to be let out. Perhaps a soft kneed on Papa’s chest would ease her loving feelings toward her Family. He smelled so good and was just as warm as her favorite nest by the dining room heater. The dining room was only better because food was served there. The aroma and anticipation of a possible treat was a momentous evening event. The excitement of the possible bestowal of a succulent tidbit didn’t make being pushed away quite as hurtful.

Uh-oh Papa didn’t appreciate Nutmeg Cat’s avowal of undying love. She was pushed
away again. How provoking, indeed! To show her irritation she prowled the bed, avoiding kicking legs before jumping off and strutting off to a corner where she could watch her People until they awoke.

Mephistopheles Cat, bored with his perch bounded down from the recliner and headed toward the bedroom to remind Mama and Papa that while it was all well and good to have silenced Pendragon Cat, one mustn’t leave a door closed in his domain. One never knew when King Cat might fancy a toddle through its portals. No, a closed door wouldn’t do at all.

After vaulting up the bed he let his displeasure be known with a series of soft meows, head buts, and nose nudges. These were fail safe methods of receiving the most loving of reponces: soft strokes, sweet voices, comforting cuddles. However, in this case the fail safes failed!

“No Mepher! We are trying to sleep. Settle yourself. Go away!” Papa turned his back.

Mama fortunately was not so immune to his technique. “Damn, he’s got use his litter box.” At last Mama was up and doing Mephistopheles Cat’s bidding. It was good to be King!

As soon as the cat box room door was released Pendragon wailed his thanks. “Oh
Lord,” Mama mumbled as she returned to the bedroom, “Gold fish wouldn’t keep us awake all night.”

At that Papa sat up, announcing in dire tones, “Do you hear that Cats! Your
Mother wishes to replace you all with goldfish!”

Absolute silence reigned as the Cats crept to the dining room.

“You don’t really-” Pendragon stopped abruptly to clear his throat. A croaky voice wouldn’t at all do coming from one with such an unsullied pedigree as himself. He started again, more confidently this time. “ Mama wouldn’t truly replace us with - with Goldfish?”

He just couldn’t help it, he let loose a bellow of fear and uncertainty, “MEEEEOOOWW!”

“Hush you dimwit!” Nutmeg Cat circled the requisite three times before nesting herself almost against the heater at the opposite end from Pendragon Cat. “She may replace you with a fish because you’re so noisy. She would never get rid of the Mephistopheles Cat or myself. Sometimes we’re not in the Mood for Them, this is just one of those times--”

At this Pendragon Cat, still nervous interjected, “Oh but, I’m always in the Mood for Mama and Papa! Always!!”

“Your brain must be as scruffy as your fur, Pendragon Cat,” Mephistopheles Cat replied scornfully. “Mama and Papa would never substitute us for fish. Even you, I’m pained to say. After all, we are the Center of their world.” With that Mephistopheles Cat lowered his head to resume grooming that part of himself which he had always secretly suspected Papa was a bit jealous of his ability to accomplish. Perhaps that was why Papa had taken him in to have parts of it removed. Oh, well, sacrifices were sometimes required. But it was good to be King.