Dining at the Dumster
It was Raymond Hazelwitz, rodent activist who suggested that we go the Dumpster for dinner that night. He had never been there. "I've heard a lot about the place and I thought I could join you fellas sometime, like tonight, and see for myself."
Carlyle shrugged his shoulders and smoothed his whiskers. "I don't have a problem with that, do you Henri, Rumsfeld?"
We shook our heads. "Just remember, Raymond, that you will be the only rat in the company of three cats."
Raymond stood up on his hind legs. "I think I can handle that, boys!" he chattered. I have never met another rat who is so filled with self-assurance as is our Raymond! So we started off together, to the dumpster and a sumptious meal of left overs.
When we arrived at our destination, Raymond gazed up at the steep sides of dumpster, scratched his ears and within seconds was standing on the rim, looking down at us. "Last pussycat up is a wimp!" he chattered loudly. Now none of us cats are youngsters and the challenge made my blood run cold. My legs were not able to make the mighty leaps of my youth. Instead, I gasped and clawed my way to the top of the dumpster's side. Carlyle was a bit more agile and scaled the wall first, followed by Rumsfeld.
"Been lifting weights lately," explained Carlyle. "Really keeps the muscles toned up. You never know what you find in the city dump." We immediately staked out our territory and began rummaging through the pile of discarded food.
Raymond was having a wonderful time picking through a salad of garden greens and croutons made of whole grains. He stopped only long enough to approach Carlyle. "I was going to ask you this a long time ago, Carlyle," he chattered. "I've noticed that you use some really big meows when conversing. Where did you learn all those big words?"
"I thought you knew," replied Carlyle between bites and gulps, "I work at the town's library."
"The Miller Library, huh? What exactly do you do at the library, Carlyle?" chattered Raymond.
"Well if you really must know, Raymond, am a pest control officer. Someone delivers a few bags of cat food to the Evergreen Lake Colony every Saturday. It really helps..." responded Carlyle.
"Pest control? What kind of pests?" queried Raymond.
I had to speak up. Eventually the truth would come out. "Carlyle is the libraries official mouser," I meowed.
"Mouser!" shrieked Raymond. "A mouse is a member of the rodent family! How could you destroy a mouse, a member, almost of my species? Not that I am crazy about the little runts but they look like minitature rats! How could you eat one of my own, more or less!"
"Calm down, Raymond," I replied. "Carlyle, explain what you actually do at the library."
"Well," stammered Carlyle, "I work with a group of mice actors. They show up at the library every Wednesday and Friday when I am working and dash around the library floor so the patrons and the librarian sees them. I run after one of them and pounce. He goes limp and closes his eyes. I pick him up by the tail and show the librarian that I have caught the mouse. She screams. Begs me to take the 'dead' mouse outside. I release the mouse (his name is Edwardo, by the way) and give him his pay which is ten kernals of corn. I come back to the library and the librarian pats me on the head and tells me what a good kittycat I am. I am then assured that two bags of cat food will arrive at the entrance of the Evergreen Lake Colony. That's it! No big deal!"
Raymond shook his head in disbelief. "What a clever cat you are, Carlyle, to have thought up such a clever scheme! I will let every rat know about your ingenious method of self-help. Imagine, a cat working for food!"
"I beg your parden, Raymond Hazelwitz!" I growled. "All cats work for their food. Housecats work for both their room and their board!"
"Oh, come on, Pussycat!" chattered Raymond. "Exactly what did you do today to earn your keep besides take a nap?"
"If you must know, you mangy old rat! Every morning I wake up my female person with a big kitty kiss and rub my whiskers against her face. Her whole face explodes in a big smile. I know that because all of her teeth show!" I sneered at the rodent. "Then during the day, when she is washing the dishes and doing the chores, I rub up against her ankles. She loves the feel of my soft fur against her skin. And then when she eats lunch, I jump up on the table and when she's not looking, I nibble at her meal. I want to be sure that it is fit for her comsumption as well as mine. My caring attitude and deep concern for her well being keeps her from sliding into a deep and lasting depression. I am better than any people doctor and thereby I save her a lot of money. Do you understand now, Raymond?"
"You bet, Pussycat. However did she manage to survive before you came into her life, all wet and bedraggled, smelling of the street and garbage cans to say nothing about your miserable appearance...." Raymond snickered.
Carlyle meowed loudly and raised his paw. "Well, you guys, I think we've all had enough to eat. We had better disperse before these two mangy creatures precipitate World War Three!"
Rumsfeld nodded. "Good idea, Carlyle. It's time to go home. Besides I'm not in the mood for a rumble in the hood tonight. Maybe later on this week..."
Raymond and I shook paws. He rubbed his whiskers against my head. We all jumped down from the dumpster and agreed to meet here again for dinner. We would invite Falstaff to join us in another night out with the boys. And Carlyle will work at the library, pretend to catch mice and in his spare time, go through Webster's Dictionary and learn some new, big and important word which will impress us all.
Pat my head to return to my homepage and table of contents..