Thursday, March 06, 2008
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.