Thursday, April 22, 2010

THE HOMECOMING -- Third Installment of the FELINE MUSE

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 wished 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!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Even cats are using the new iPad!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Second Installment of the FELINE MUSE: THE ABANDONMENT

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 environment, 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."
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.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The First Installment of THE FELINE MUSE: 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 myself.”
“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 household. 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 responses: soft strokes, sweet voices, comforting cuddles. However, in this case the fail safes
“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.