Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Fifth and Last Installment of THE FELINE MUSE: THE FREELOADER

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......

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Fourth Installement of the FELINE MUSE: SPOILED BEASTS

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 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. After all, grass was the very essence of the great, wondrous outdoors. 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 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 his 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!