I awakened early that day and had embarked on a morning walk around the neighborhood. On West Side, I encountered Sasha and stopped long enough to exchange a little gossip with the queen. "I was meowing with Penelope yesterday," she purred, "and she told me that Hillary had dropped by her place to say that she had visited Maggie Mae at "Two Smiling Dogs". Maggie said the the Malachi was going to visit the store this weekend!"
"That is exciting!: I meowed. "I've been trying to get an interview with that cat for a long, long time!"
"Then you had better hurry on over there, Henri," Sasha advised. "Malachi is here for a celebration. I don't think he will be in the area for more than a day or two."
That meant that I had to make arrangements to get to the store. I could go there at night, cloaked in the safety of darkness but traveling along the busy highways during day time would be very risky. I enplained my dilemma to my buddy, Clarence of Belden. "That shouldn't be a problem," he meowed. "I will ask my person to take us there. He's usually quite agreeable about things like that." That is exactly what happened. The following Sunday, Clarence and his person arrived at my house. We arrived at the store around one o'clock in the afternoon. Maggie Mae, the establishment's cat in charge of security let us in through the back door. Carefully we were able to manuever through the crowd of human beings who were there for the celebration. Then I was introduced to Malachi!
Malachi is not a big kitty but he is filled with self-confidence and charm. I introduced myself. "Hello, Malachi," I purred. "My name is Henri, Henri of Twin Brook>"
Malachi extended his paw. "Of course I've heard of you, Henri!" he responded. "You're the cat who broke into a bed and bath store and made off with dozens of feather pillows! You and your gang took them to a feral cat colony!"
I shook my head. "It wasn't me, Malachi, although I think it was really a noble deed but very daring. It was the Blackstone Rangecats from Illinois who stole the feather pillows. Every cat was meowing about it from the midwest, where ever that is, to New England. I'm afraid I am just a law abiding cat and the idea never crossed my mind to get involved in such a notorious deed."
"My mistake," replied Malachi. "I hope I didn't offend you?"
"Not at all," I meowed. "But tell me, when did you decide to wear pants. You are the only cat I've met who wears pants. Do you find them comfortable?"
"It's not a matter of comfort, Heni," answered Malachi. "I have an eye for fashion. My female person liked to shop for clothing and I always had to peek inside the bag to see what she had purchased. I became curious about fabric, their different colors and textures. I then discovered style and composition in clothing and found ways to adapt it to feline life. By the way, how do you like my turtle neck sweater? I got it as a Christmas gift."
I blinked! "Really?" I growled. "My person would never think of getting me something like that to wear! They are so conventional! Perhaps if she was to notice how smart you look, she might get the idea that I, too, could be fashionable."
"As far as I'm concerned, Henri, pants make the cat. The addition of a turtle neck sweater adds panache, if you know what I mean." purred Malachi. "I will just walk around the store and hope she will notice me. But then again, how could she not notice me! Maggie Mae says I have a swagger! Have you noticed my swagger, Henri?"
Frankly, I had not. Malachi walks like a cat. He is a nice looking cat and wears his clothes very well but I detected no swagger in his walk. Now I do have a swagger! Years of living on the streets and prowling the alleys of the town molded my walk of confidence and superiority. Not every cat can cultivate a swagger such as mine!
Later that day, Clarence and I discussed Malachi's desire to wear garments. "As a matter of fact, Henri," growled Clarence, "the average feline has little talent when it comes to chosing clothes. Malachi seems to understand color and design. If you had noticed, his arglyle sweater had just the correct colors woven into the pattern. One of them was an almost perfect match of his shade of fur."
Well, frankly, I wasn't going to argue with Clarence about that observation. I will never be a fashion plate, that's for sure!