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.


Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

LOL, poor Pendragon Cat.

Carol Burnside said...

See? Now this is why my cat is banished from the bedroom. I'd never get any sleep!