To the Rescue...

or how I saved Clarence from acute depression and other issues

All that day, I was bit miffed that once again, I Henri of Twin Brook had been called upon to help a friend in need without any consideration about my own problems with the schedule of events I had planned for the daylight hours. Many of my feline friends have no idea that if I should not finish my chores during the day, I must complete them during the night hours when I prefer to watch my favorite shows on television. But, I am a loyal friend and Clarence is a friend and needed my help. And so, at seven o'clock in the evening, with Helen and Sidney at my side, we slipped out of the house through the computer room window.

We marched to the corner of Belden and Baker Streeets. There we met Abbott, Sebastian, Buster, Carlyle, Penelope, Daphne, Carol, Bruce and a few other kitties as yet, still unknown to me. Of course, Raymond Hazelwitz, rodent activist, was also there, standing within the circle of felines, entertaining them with stories about the rat neighborhood. When he saw me, he separated himself from the cats and addressed my housemate, Helen. "Helen, you do know what to do?" he chattered.

She nodded 'yes', stepped forward, bowed and then walked quickly toward the house where Clarence lived. We waited long enough to make sure that the two of them were well on their way to the Colony at Evergreen Lake, before stepping out of the shadows of a large maple tree. Raymond listened intently, cupping his right ear to better capture the sound. Soon we could all here the creaking wheels of the wagon and the chatter of of rat scouts heading in our direction. "The men have arrived!" announced Raymond, proudly. "My men never let me down!"
"How come you never have girl rats as scouts?" hissed Penelope.

"Actually, about forty percent of my 'men' are girls," squeaked Raymond."Unfortunately, seventy percent of the medals are earned by the girls which creates a bit of a problem. The male ego, you know....." Raymond shrugged his shoulders. What's a scout leader to do?" Slowly the wagon creaked to a halt. It was loaded with five rather large pumpkins. Much to my amazement, Raymond dismissed the scouts and sent them on their way. "The pumpkins shall be taken to Clarence's garden by feline power, if you kitties get what I mean." Raymond grinned, baring his sharp white teeth. "Okay. Henri, Carlyle and Sebastian will pull the wagon. Abbott and Buster will be in the rear, pushing. I will keep my eagle eyes on the left, front wheel which has been falling off from time to time."

Carlyle hissed. "Rats don't have eagle eyes, Raymond. You guys got rat eyes!"

"It's a figure of speech, Carlyle!" growled Raymond, "and one more remark from you, kittycat, and I will give you a nip on your butt you aren't likely to forget very soon....."
"Okay, okay. Sorry if I offended you, oh great one!" Carlyle made a half-hearted swipe at the rat and then moved into place behind the wagon. Together we pulled. Together we pushed. Finally we arrived at the house where Clarence lived. Carefully, we pushed the wagon with its heavy load of pumpkins over the rough driveway into the backyard. Raymond pointed to the patch of weeds bordering the wooden fence. Even the queens had to help us push the heavy wagon over the grass and stones. I was about to pull one of the pumpkins from the wagon when I saw Clarence approaching us. He was coming from the back door of his home.

"What on earth are you cats trying to do?" he meowed, a deep frown creasing his brow.
"You tell him, Raymond! It was your idea, not mine," I growled.

"As a matter of fact, Clarence, we were so concerned about your depression over the lack of pumpkins in your garden, that we decided to help you out by planting a few of them which we just happened to purchase from the local super market," explained Raymond, grinning broadly.
"That's very nice of you rats and cats, but I never planted pumpkin seeds in my garden, so I wasn't expecting any pumpkins to grow there," purred Clarence.

I was meowless! I stared at Raymond. I stared at Penelope and Sebastian. I stared at Carlyle and Raymond. At least one hundred eyes stared back at me. Then the meows started. At first only a few sounds came from feline throats, but soon a chorus erupted from the cats who stood before me. The rats began to chatter in harmony. Helen appeared from behind a thick bush of holly, holding a plate in her front paws. A candle burned from the center and I detected the delicious scent of tuna fish!

Happy Birthday to yoooou! Happy Birthday to yoooou!

Happy Birthday, dear Henri of Twin Brook! Happy Birthday to yooooou!

What a party! I was overwhelmed! Never had I had birthday party! I blew out the candle in the center of my cake which was made from tuna fish salad. Penelope had brought catnip balls simmered in chicken broth and Sebastian had made meatloaf made from chicken gizzards. Delicious! There were so many good things to eat for everyone at the party, including buckets of corn kernals for the rats and the local squirrels who had been invited. Shirley, the squirrel, who lives in my backyard brought her kids. They all enjoyed the package of sunflower seeds which Bruce had brought. The party lasted into the night and I was very happy that Sebastian had taken a picture of my birthday cake! I think it is the most beautiful cake that ever was!

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