As you may know, November was National Novel Writing Month. Since I have an awesome story to tell, I was motivated to participate. However, since I am a cat, I wasn’t motivated to find all that time necessary to actually work on my novel. After all, I already had many hours of nap time scheduled.
To resolve this dilemma, I asked three of my fans to write for me. They collaborated for the month and came up with a masterpiece that includes all of my favorite things: Me! Pâté! Snacks! Buttered toast! I hope you will read the piece that follows, but first, a big THANK YOU to the authors:
- L.C. LaBrecque
- Crepes from Catinthefridge. com
- Princess Fluffybutt
Just so you know, I wrote the first line. The rest is all thanks to my minions. I mean, collaborators.
They threw me off the couch at noon. That was their first mistake.
Not a gentle relocation of the sleeping kitty; not even a polite attempt to share the space I had already claimed. No, my introduction to the floor was rude, even by Thing standards. Slowly, slowly I climbed back up the back of the couch and, with the grace of Baryshnikov, settled myself near Thing Two’s shoulder, making sure to poke It subtly with my finely tuned claws, eliciting a cry of irritation that warmed my soul. I nestled back into my still-warm spot, but it no longer had the right depth, the right temperature, and I had to begin my nap anew. With quiet dignity and a silent purr, I centered myself and slept.
Did I mention that when I nap, I dream in haiku? Most cats only dream in iambic pentameter, but I am special. My lack of eyelids fluttered closed, and I began to dream.
Mouse on your pillow
Chickadee in your slipper
Thing One: Make pâté!
I awoke feeling refreshed, and hungry. I hoped the pâté was ready. Or toast with butter. Hold the toast.
With my faith resurrected, I practically danced my growly tummy to the kitchen, anxious to oversee the assembly of my repast. But it only took a moment for their second mistake to upend my world again: they had gotten toast crumbs in my butter!
They know better than that. My butter must be smooth, creamy and crumb-free – this is sacred. Disheartened and unsatisfied, I retreated to the couch to lick the crumby butter off my paws. If revenge is a dish best served cold, then sardines in aspic would be on an upcoming menu, because now, now, I decided, they were going to pay.
I waited patiently, as I always do, until just before first light. At forty-five minutes until daybreak, I took up my position outside the bedroom door and began my warm ups. First, I stretched my paws against the door frame, dragging my nails down the wood and leaving my own special mark. The sound of my claws whispering against the oak spurred me on to my next warm up: vocal octaves. I began slowly, my voice but a tiny mew, and then swelling upward, skyward, until my magnificent yowl hit its high note and pierced through the door to their sleeping ears.
A pillow flew through the air and collided with the door. They’d heard me, but what they didn’t realize was that it was just a taste of what was yet to come. That the Things are blissfully unaware of their fate only heightens my excitement.
But first, a nap.
It was a glorious nap, better than any other nap that had preceded it. Such is the luck of my life. A wish I made as a kitten must have been granted as I have been blessed to have each successive nap be better than the last. Tremendous, no? I can’t say I remember each and every nap; they’ve been too numerous to count. I’ve napped while the Things were at work, or shopping for my groceries, or sitting through endless meetings that sucked the souls from their very bodies, but I know that each nap I’ve taken has been glorious: filled with sweet kitty-dreams of eating sardines on hot buttered toast and napping on the couch in a dog-less household.
Barely at the edge of slumber I was awakened, my peace violated by the most heinous of human acts, rivaled only by the unleashing of the unspeakable demon Hoovacuum. Thing Two SNEEZED! The horror! My finely tuned ears heard it through the door as though we were in the same room. I was shaken to the very tips of my whiskers, my magnificent fur on full alert.
I decided then to commence my vengeance. But first, preparation for battle. Warriors must be clear-headed, rested, and full of sardines and non-crumby buttered toast. The Things weren’t yet awake, and although I had often observed and supervised, I’d never used the Toaster myself.
There’s a first time for everything.
I went into the kitchen and there he was. The dog. Labradumb. Still wearing evidence of the maple syrup I’d “accidentally” dumped on his head the day before. Pathetic creature couldn’t even groom himself without help from the Things! I made note in my personal journal that my ads offering the dog free to a dog home were clearly not working. I’d have to up the ante – maybe include the Hoovacuum! But that was for later. Buttered toast was for now.
With the thrust of a rocket, my powerful hind legs launched me up onto the countertop. Thoughtfully (no, probably just another careless oversight), the Things had left the bag of raw toast on the counter and I proceeded to slap it with my paw. Satisfied that it was dead, I clawed through the plastic casing and carefully removed a slice. There, in front of me, was the Toaster, holy kitty-Grail of kitchen appliances. (Note: yes, the Grail used to be the revered Opener of Can, but pop-top cans have dethroned it.) Mighty Toaster had what appeared to be only one moveable part – a lever – and it was so shiny that I had to stop and admire the magnificent kitty that was looking back at me. If useless Thing Two could make toast, so could I. The time was now.
From the bedroom, I heard another sneeze!
“Silence, Violator!” I yelled to myself, for I did not want to rouse the Things until my mission was complete.
The sunlight coming into the windows reminded me that I had a deadline. I needed sustenance before I could punish them, and they must be punished before arising for the day!
More quickly now, I slapped the raw toast toward the Toaster with fantastic precision. All that was left to do was to lift it into the slot. Grabbing it with my teeth, I lifted, aimed and dropped it in. Success! Now what? The spring action of the toasty lever required more effort than I cared to exert. I’d need a someone else to do the grunt work. Looking around the kitchen, with the sun rising ever higher, my eyes settled on the answer: Labradumb.
There he stood, gazing up at me with his tongue lolling from the side of his mouth and his graceless tail incessantly wagging. He was hapless, but he would have to do.
I began prancing back and forth, meowing my taunts at him.
“Come and get me, Maple Syrup Fur!”, I yelled.
I pretended to run, feigning a dive off the counter and it worked! His instinct to chase was more than he could ignore and he lunged up onto the counter. At just the right moment, I shoved the Toaster into the path of his brutish paws. As he scrambled to catch me on my perch, his paw grazed the Toaster’s lever and pushed it down. The toast disappeared inside just like magic, er, just like I had planned!
I dispatched Labradumb back to his corner with a deft swat on the snout while I waited for the toast to ripen. Exhausted from my maneuvers, I curled up next to the warmth of the silvery finish and napped.
And as I napped, I dreamed.
Pink sandpaper tongue.
Grooms my sleek and shining coat.
Hock. Hairball. Bummer.
A metallic pop roused me and I opened my eyes to the vision of perfect toast! Unfortunately, it was also much brighter outside. I had to hurry.
Delicately dragging the (HOT!) toast from the Toaster, savoring its delicious aroma, I once again heard Thing Two sneeze. And It was closer to the door. I was too late! The toast was un-buttered, I was unnourished, the sun was up and my plan was foiled! All was lost!
Or was it?
With the agility of a cheetah, my brain focused on a new plan. I ran to the door from whence came the sneeze and pressed myself against the wall. There were footsteps lumbering towards the door. And a sneeze! And another. Now was the time!
Everything passed in slow motion as my Ninja reflexes took over. The doorknob squeaked, the door opened, and the silhouette of Thing Two was revealed in the breaking dawn. My timing was perfect as I jumped out from behind the door, my intention to run close to his feet, not quite touching them, but enough to make him change his trajectory. Instead, though, Thing Two sneezed again! Startled, I jumped to the side, disrupting my perfectly calculated maneuver and running smack into his knees with my full weight (weakened though I was). Thing Two stumbled into the kitchen, disoriented and rubbing his throbbing knees as I bolted past him into the bedroom. Too bad he didn’t see ‘ol Maple Syrup Fur, who was undoubtedly lying in wait to tell his story of my antics with the Toaster. Thing Two tripped over the dog and scrambled, attempting to find purchase on the counter top. His hands groped for something to hold. And they found something. They found my toast.
Slipping backwards, Thing Two pulled my dry, now lukewarm toast down onto himself. He lurched towards the refrigerator and flailed at anything he could grasp to break his fall, finding the refrigerator door handle and pulling the door open. Tasty goods rained down on him and then, to my horror, the butter door opened and unleashed its buttery goodness down onto his head.
With profound sadness, I watched as Thing Two sneezed again, squishing the toast in his hands. He reached up with toasty hands to wipe the softened butter from his eyes, spreading toast crumbs throughout.
“Murderer!” I yelled. “You murdered the butter!”
But he did not hear me. The only thing I could do now, the only thing that I knew for certain would pacify my soul, was nap.
On the way to the couch, I darted in towards the remains of the refrigerator. As Thing Two was wallowing in his clumsy mess, I grabbed a piece of fallen turkey in my teeth and, growling, retreated underneath the couch to my Secret Command Center to polish off my spoils. Not buttered toast, not sardines, but turkey retribution with a side of solace.
Momentarily sated, I alighted on the back of the couch and settled in with the softness of down on a newborn swan. It would be time for breakfast soon and a new plan was forming in my head. The Things would clean up the mess and serve breakfast for me, only then making breakfast for themselves. Their breakfast would include buttered toast. And, when they weren’t looking, I would strike. The buttered toast would be mine.
They had better pray that there are no more crumbs in my butter.
But now, I needed a nap.
I began to dream, as always, in haiku.
The door is closed.
Let me out. Let me out now.
Wait! Stop! Let me in!
I awoke feeling refreshed, and with an overwhelming urge to go out and hunt for pâté.
When Thing One opened the door a crack, I slipped out, stealthy as a shadow. She made a grab for my tail (the nerve!) but I switched it out of the way, avoiding her ham-handed attempts at capture. She was in hot pursuit so I went where no human dares to tread — the vertical hillside. She followed for a few steps, then started to slide. As she caught herself, she called out to me, imploring me to come home NOW. I continued my graceful ascent and refused to dignify her pleas with even a twitch of my still-offended tail. After a few more futile attempts to woo me, she trudged home, dirty and defeated.
I, on the other hand, headed for a sunny log on which to warm my furs, where I could wait for aforementioned chickadee to fall into my mouth. I could hear some chirping in a nearby tree.
While I waited, I napped. And when I napped, I dreamed.
Luscious morsels. Fishy bits.
Chicken of the sea.
When I awoke, a brazen chickadee was perched nearby, greedily eyeing a pinecone beside me. When he made his move, I made mine. As he swooped, I opened my lovely mouth and let him alight on my tongue. Gently I closed my mouth around his body and headed home. Finally Thing One could make my pâté!
With great dignity I waited at the door, the bird peeping loudly in its confines, making it appear that I was speaking in tongues. The door opened and Thing One uttered a little shriek of excitement over my hunting prowess, then deftly removed the chickadee from my mouth.
But, but, instead of taking my prize to the kitchen and wrapping it snugly in bacon for the pâté, Thing One carried it to the aviary, where she lavished attention on it. On my meal! She brought it little bits of peanut and toast crumbs and smoothed its dampened feathers, cooing all the while as though Pâté could understand.
Was this any way to treat my dinner?! I was beside myself. I was overcome. I leapt into the laundry basket to show my displeasure, first evicting a nasty pair of Thing Two’s denim fur. Once settled there, well, why not? I napped.
Sofa, feel my claws
As I knead and shred your threads.
Fabric that I’ve tamed.
Oh, Things One and Two.
Lessons you refuse to learn.
The Kitty comes first.
May all your sweet kitty-dreams be Furry, Feline and Fabulous – you know, about me!