How the Toms and I Celebrated New Year' Eve!
That was December 31, 2008!

I went for a stroll one evening in December and met Frank, one of my feline neighbors from West Side. "Have we tom cats decided on what we would do on New Year's Eve?" he meowed. "I hate to think I will spend it all by myself!"
"Oh, that won't happen, Frank. We cats always find something exciting to do come New Year's Eve!" I responded. "Just you wait! We will have a great time. I'm going to suggest that we all dine at The Dumpster! They always have great food there!"
Frank nodded. "I've always liked the place. I don't always get to go with you guys because my persons lock me up at night if they can catch me....I'll make sure I am available for New Year's Eve, however!" He grinned at me. "Are we going to invite your house mate, Helen and maybe Hillary?"
I growled at him. "No we are not!" Frank looked a bit startled at my sharp retort but shrugged his shoulders. "If you say so Henri...If you say so..."




I really didn't have to think about it very much for as far as I was concerned, we tom cats would celebrate New Year's Eve at The Dumpster! And this time we wouldn't eat so much that we would all fall asleep and miss the fireworks in Westport! So the very next day, I canvassed the neighborhood and asked my buddies if they would like to spend New Year's Eve with me at the dumpster?
"Sure!" meowed Clarence.
"Why of course I will join you guys!" proclaimed Abbott.
"I can't find a better place to be on New Year's Eve!" growled Carlyle.
"Count me in!" purred Rumsfeld.
I rejoiced! My purrs had been answered! We tom cats from Hamden would celebrate another year together and welcome in the new year among friends and maybe a few former enemies. Let the past be where it belongs! The streets are long and broad enough for all of us! I was so happy!








Raymond of course!

The day of December 31, 2008 dawned bright and sunny. I was elated! When Helen asked me what I had intended to do to celebrate the beginning of a new year, I replied quickly, "We tom cats are going to The Dumpter for a bite to eat. You Queens are not invited, I may add! We intend to celebrate as only tom cats can celebrate! We will bathe in the glow of true friendship and camaraderie! That is something you girls wouldn't understand!"
"While your celebrating your glorious friendships and camaraderie, don't freeze your butts off!" Helen replied. "It will be very cold tonight. Be sure to wear your fur coats!"
We met on the corner of West Side and Wooden Street. It did seem as if all the tom cats from Hamden were there and a few cats from New Haven as well. The more the merrier, I have always said as long as no one picks a fight or decides to serenade the neighborhood with a robust feline chorus of "Auld Lang Syne". As we walked along the frigid streets of Hamden toward The Dumpster, Frank began to growl his discomfort. "My feet are ready to fall off!" he complained. "The streets are really cold to the paw! I'm going to go home! I don't need this!"
Clarence stepped forward and thrust his face against Frank's whiskers. "No, you are not going to go home! Be a real tom cat! Show your stuff! Be strong! Be tough! Be here!" Some cat then suggested that perhaps if we walked faster, our paws wouldn't get so cold. So we walked faster. We got to The Dumpster faster. We all climbed into The Dumpster. The food that we found was frozen lumps of shrimp, beef and left overs from whatever had been served at the restuarant. The morsels were so hard, that they made our teeth ache.
"I think we should go home. It is really cold tonight. I'm not going to stand in the snow just to watch a bunch of fireworks at midnight!" hissed Rumsfeld. "I have a nice warm den under a nice deck. It is complete with warm pillows and blankets. Anyone care to join me!"
Unfortunately many feline heads nodded. My heart grew heavy with dispair. No cat would celebrate New Year's Eve with me. I would be alone. I would have no feline comrades to rejoice in the spectacular fireworks at midnight. Then I heard the sound of a motor. It grew louder. Clarence saw them first as he was standing on the edge of the dumpster. "It's Ashley and Samantha! They have come to rescue us!" he meowed. "Let's hear it for Samantha and Ashley!"
There was a loud roar of meows! I looked out over the rim of the dumpster. I could not believe my eyes! Samantha, our dog neighbor was seated on an apparatus, her paws clutching its handlebars. Behind her, standing upright and leaning against Samantha was my house mate Ashley. "What kind of machine is that?" I meowed to Clarence. "It doesn't look like a lawn mower to me!"
Clarence sniffed and wiped his nose on his front paw. "That's an all terrain vehicle or ATV. Samantha's boyfriend's person owns it. I have seen it before in the neighborhood but I didn't know that she knew how to operate it!"



"Would you toms like a ride back to Twin Brook? Helen, Hillary and Penelope are having a little get together tonight to celebrate New Year's Eve. They will be serving tuna fish patties, shredded chicken and other delectables," barked Samantha. Within seconds, fifteen or more cats scrambled for a place on the ATV. Some clung to the handlebars. Some clung to the seats. Some clung to other cats. Some clung to Ashley's tail. I clung to Ashley's neck. Clarence clung to my neck. The vehicle roared into action. It was a very exciting trip! At times, I had to close my eyes as terror filled my heart and soul. Clarence started to pray. We sped through the streets of Hamden! The wind froze our whiskers, our paws, our tails. It took our breath away! The plastic bag of frozen morsels collected by Frank and Carlyle sailed away on a gust of wind! And then we arrived at our destination. Quickly we climbed the back fence and huddled on the snowy deck. "The window to the basement is open," instructed Ashley. "They are waiting for you. Samantha and I are going back to our own party at her boyfriend's house."
We pushed our way into the basement. Unfortunately only one cat can gain entrance at a time, so there were a lot of bruised noses and ears and sprained paws. Waiting for us were Hillary, Penelope and Helen and Raymond Hazelwitz, rodent activist. "Helen told you it would be very cold tonight, Henri," chattered the rat. "You toms should listen to the queens. Somethimes they are the only animals that have any common sense."
We toms all huddled together, somewhat chagrined at our dilemma. A few hours ago, we had been all meows and growls and bravado. Now we were shivering bundles of fur, hungry and thirsty. Hillary approached, dragging behind her a big plastic bowl. "I warmed up some milk for you tom cats. Now those of you who are lactose intolerant, don't drink too much of it. You know what will happen if you do...." I drank the milk which I found flavorfull. Frank drank the milk which he found delicious. Clarence drank the milk as well as Rumsfeld and Carlyle. Sidney, my house mate came downstairs to join in the festivities. He did not drink the milk. It turned out to be a wonderful evening although we didn't have any fireworks. We can see those during the July Fourth celebration during the summer. The tuna patties were excellent. The catnip punch was out of this world and the shredded chicken was awesome. We tom cats have got to rethink our attitude toward the queens. Or maybe we should just grow up!
At midnight we all caterwauled a few meows of friendship and good wishes. Unfortunately, Clarence decided to continue with his favorite songs until Helen smacked him on the nose. "You cats are welcome to stay throughout the night as it is very, very cold outside. You must be very quiet however as my persons will be coming home soon," she purred. "In the morning, you may all have a bite to eat but then you must exit through the basement window, the same way as you came in. Make as little noise as possible!"
We spent the first hours of the new year telling stories and elaborating on our former feline adventures. We were warm and well fed and finally sleep overcame us. I awakened but once to hear the contented purrs of our guests. Even though we had missed the festivities in Westport, I was a very happy cat!


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