Clarence and I Stayed at the East Windsor Guest House!
For the past three years, my feline buddy Clarence and I have journeyed to Massachusetts and stayed for a few nights at the East Windsor Guest House. Of course, the person we went with made all the arrangements and we cats just sort of tagged along with our cameras and our telescopes. We always attended the Arunah Hill Star Party and since cats are nocturnal animals, staying up all night is quite natural although I must admit, in my youth, staying up all night usually involved chasing after the neighborhood queens. But that is another story.....
It was Raymond Hazelwitz, rodent activist who remarked one evening in February that I was reluctant to meow about our last excursion to the star party in September of 2007. He, Carlyle, the head tom cat of the Evergreen Lake Cat Colony and Rumsfeld had dropped in for a few paws of poker when the rat brought up the subject. "You never did meow much about your trip to Massachusetts and the East Windsor Guest Club. You and Clarence seemed to have had a good time the year before...."
Let me tell you something! There is nothing like a nosy rat, believe me. All night long, he kept at it. "I noticed that you and Clarence weren't on purring terms when you got back to Connecticut," Raymond chattered.
"It's nothing I want to talk about!" I growled.
Rumsfeld grinned at me. Since he has lost most of his front teeth, the effect of those dark spaces in his mouth can be rather strange. "You can tell us, Henri. What happened in Massachusetts?"
I knew if I didn't tell them something, they would nag me all night long. "Well," I meowed, "when we arrived at the Guest House, Clarence's person unloaded the trunk of the van and rang the front door bell. The host and hostess greeted him warmly and while they were all chatting together, Clarence and I snuck past them and went to the kitchen. There was Charlotte, the guest house's feline hostess.
"Oh hello, boys. You're back again for that star party thing," she growled. "You can sleep in the laundry room. There's an old rug on the floor. That should be comfortable enough for you two old tom cats. In the morning, you can each have a small bowl of dried food. And don't wake me up before eight o'clock A.M. I am not in a good mood before that time."
I could see that Charlotte's disposition hadn't changed. She was still rude. She was still indifferent to the needs of her guests. A visiting cat would get only the minimum of service and ammentities. From what I had heard from Clarence's person, human guests received a bounty of really good stuff! I thought then, that a little flattery might get us a better breakfast and perhaps a nice pillow to rest upon after a night out under the stars. "Charlotte, lovely Queen of Windsor, could I ask you for a bit of milk to soothe my dry throat?"
Charlotte looked at me with cold, unforgiving eyes. "Bug off, Buster," she hissed. "There's a dish of water in the laundry room. Try soothing your throat with a taste of that!" Well it was obvious! Charm does not come with age...
Clarence and I waited until all the persons had retired and we were alone in the kitchen. None of the programs which Charlotte was watching interested either of us and quietly we began to explore the second floor of the guest house. After sneaking past a few half-closed doors, we discovered the room where Clarence's person was sleeping.
"We're in luck, Henri!" purred Clarence. "My person will sleep through a tornado! We can sleep in his bed among soft pillows instead on a mat in the laundry room!"
Well, I was all for that! Together, Clarence and I curled up beside his person and soon we were both asleep. Well at least I was asleep.....then I heard a noise...
Carefully, I leapt from the cozy bed onto the floor, pryed the bedroom door open and slinked to the top of the staircase. The rooms down below were dark and quiet. I thought then that perhaps Clarence might have been visiting the litter pan in the laundry room. That must have been it, I thought. I slinked back to bed and quickly fell asleep.
The evening of our second day at Arunah Hill was spent under the stars. Clarence was very busy looking through his person's telescope and taking notes about what he was viewing. I, myself took some photographs of the nighttime activities. I had to be very careful to disable the camera's flash unit lest I anger the star party's human participants. It was quite late when we drove back to the bed and breakfast and after waiting for a decent time in the laundry room, Clarence and I crept up stairs and to a night of blissful sleep. Well, I thought, we would both enjoy blissful sleep but once again Clarence had the need to visit the litter pan. I fell back to sleep before my buddie returned from his nocturnal excursion.
During the daylight hours of our visit to Massachusetts, Clarence, his person and I toured the countryside, took many pictures of the buildings and landscape. Clarence and I dined on pouches of dried cat food and treats. Then we had another night of star gazing. This would be the last night we would spend in Massachusetts and at the wonderful bed and breakfast we had called home for the past three days. When we had finally returned from the star party activities, I was looking forward to a night of blissful sleep on a soft pillow. Alas, once again I was awakened from deep slumber only to realize that Clarence was not on the bed. Quickly, I jumped down from the bed, pulled the door open and ran to the top of the stairs! In my dreams I had heard the soft but insistant meows of a tom cat's courtship. Slowly I descended the stairs and peered into the living room. To my chagrin and horror, I saw Clarence and Charlotte, sitting side by side, scooping white tuna fish from a can with their paws.
"Charlotte, you have the most lusterous and softest fur I've ever stroked," gushed Clarence.
Charlotte covered her eyes with a paw. "I bet you say that to all the queens, you rascal you!" she purred.
I turned tail and ran up the stairs before either Charlotte or Clarence could see me. My heart was heavy! I had been betrayed by my best friend! How could Clarence have been so deceitful? Did that tom cat have no sense of loyalty? Would his duplicity haunt our friendship for the rest of our live?
"So that's why you've been so quiet and brooding since your return from Massachusetts?" meowed Carlyle.
"Yes, that is why I have been so reserved. My pride has been severly injured and the friendship between Clarence and me has been forever altered," I replied.
Raymond Hazelwitz glared at me, baring his glistening, sharp white teeth. "Oh for rats sake, Henri! Can't you just accept the fact that a few queens just might find Clarence more attractive?"
"You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Henri," growled Carlyle. "Clarence has always included you when he went with his person to star parties and trips to other areas. Why should you care if the local queens find him irristable! That's life!
Suck it in! After all, the queens at the Evergreen Lake Colony cried for weeks after Clarence left the colony to become a housecat! I've never been able to replace him in their hearts. It hurts sometimes, but I have learned to live with it."
I had to agree with Raymond Hazelwitz and Carlyle. Clarence has been a very good friend to me and has taken me with him on many exciting trips. I will have to accept the fact that he is one good looking tom cat and stop trying to impress the queens when he is around. The next time he comes over to visit me, I will open a can of tuna fish and share it with him.
Before the afternoon was over, Clarence climbed over the fence and joined up on the deck. His brow was creased in an angry frown. "What's wrong?" chattered Raymond. "You seem very agitated."
"What's wrong?" hissed Clarence. "I'll tell you what's wrong! That hussy Charlotte from Windor e-mailed me today! She wanted Henri's e-mail address. She then claimed that the only reason she was nice to me was because she wanted to meet Henri and share an evening of watching television with him, but he never came downstairs. She said that she had really wanted to share the can of tuna with him, not me!" Clarence glared at me. "I feel betrayed...." he whimpered. "And I sent her all those packs of cat nip."
Well, that's life Clarence. I patted his head, went into the kitchen and retrieved a can of tuna from the pantry. Fortunately, I too know how to operate a can opener. I pushed the can of tuna toward my friend. "Why don't we both give up on queens for awhile," I meowed. "A queen shouldn't come between old buddies." As we all dipped our paws into the tuna fish, I knew that for an old cat, I still had it! MEEEEOOOW!
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