Monday, March 10, 2008
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!