New Year's Evening is for Cats!
The weather for December has been quite mild for Connecticut. That's why we had all gathered together on the deck just beyond the back door of my house. Penelope was there meowing with my housemate, Helen. Hillary had dropped by to explain her latest campaign to improve the lives of the town's queens. Stella, another of my housemates was still sulking about her Christmas presents, those she had gotten and those she had not gotten. She was meowing bitterly to everycat who was within earshot. I do admit, I was a bit disappointed in what Santa Cat had brought me. A pouchful of catnip just doesn't make me meow with glee anymore. I was hoping for something a little more practical, such as a king sized bed with a mattress which conforms to your contours. That would have been more acceptable. I would have put it in the living room which has the television with the bigger screen. At my age, a cat must look out for his or her comfort, you know.
Ashley our dog was also on the deck. She was still brooding about Christmas and her lack of presents. "Every year I get a bunch of soft toys with squeakers in them. Every year I tear them apart in about thirty minutes. You would think my persons would have learned by now."
"Frankly," purred Max, our next door neighbor, "I am grateful for anything my persons get me for Christmas. You guys should stop complaining. We could all be out on the streets, hunting for food and desperately searching for a spot to sleep which would protect us from the cold." At times, Max gets a little preachy....
Ashley glared at the cat. "Yeah," she barked, "you probably got all kinds of nice stuff. All I got was a few dumb toys!"
Before Ashley could continue with her complaints, the fence to the back yard began to creak and shake. Three large cats had climbed, stood on top of and then leaped from the structure. They were Rumsfeld, Clarence and Carlyle. All of them were beaming with good news or what they thought was good news. Helen hissed at them. "Can't you boys unlatch the fence and walk in like normal animals! You are such a bunch of hooligans, you are!" (I am not sure what a hooligan is but she seemed to know.)
Rumsfeld danced around her with glee in his heart and eyes. "I am so happy today. You will never guess what happened these past few days."
Helen sniffed. "I'm sure I wouldn't have the slightest idea. Do tell us your wonderful but probably uninteresting news, Rumsfeld."
"Well", he began slowly. "The last few mornings when I woke up, I thought I heard noises up above me. That would mean that the humans that occupy the house were up very early and that worried me. Maybe they were planning on tearing down the deck or something like that. But no! There was a lot of activity in the garden. Cautiously, I waited and when everything was quiet again I walked slowly to the opening under the deck which I use as a door. Just inside the door was a big plate of food! It smelled so good that I just gobbled it up! Then off to the side was a big saucer of milk! Boy was that good! The next day, the same thing happened. A plate of food was left just inside the door and near it a saucer of milk. Then on Christmas day, a pillow was shoved into the opening. It smelled of catnip! I dragged it over to my sleeping area. It was so soft and comfortable, I fell asleep again and didn't wake up until noon time. This morning when I got up, there was another big bowl of food and a saucer of milk! I think they know that I am living under the deck and they like me! Maybe its because I have big green eyes or somethin'"
Helen scowled. "Probably the food has been poisoned and you will be dead by nightfall." My rooommate Helen is not always the most positive cat in the world.
"Well I think that's just great," purred Max, patting Rumsfeld on the head.
Clarence then stepped forward. "I just got the best Christmas present in the world! My person got me a brand new Fuji camera! He really thought I should get a better camera so I would have more fun taking great, earth shattering photos in the coming year!"
"That was very thoughtful of your person, Clarence," I meowed, trying to hide my tears.
"And what did you get, Henri?" asked Carlyle. "Something really great I bet!"
I hesitated before replying. "I got a pouch of catnip....."
"Oh, boy!" growled Clarence. "That must have sent you into spasms of delirium! Have you recovered yet?" I ignored his remark. Sometimes Clarence can be very sarcastic. But he continued. "I guess your persons don't love you very much anymore, Henri."
As I have often remarked, Helen can be very unpredictable in her behavior. No sooner had Clarence uttered that meow when my housemate leaped to her feet and smacked my friend in the nose. "Don't you ever say such a bad thing to my housemate Henri!" she hissed. "You are a very naughty cat, Clarence!"
Clarence patted his scratched nose. "I was just teasing Henri. I didn't mean to hurt his feelings. He already knew I had gotten a new camera. I took it to New York City when we went there on Christmas day."
Stella decided that we had neglected her long enough. She began to wail and cry."I wanted a pick bathrobe. I wanted a whole lot of things but I didn't get anything!"
At that moment, Sidney, another housemate of mine, stood up. He had been playing a game of bridge with Hillary and Penelope. "We all got something for Christmas, Stella. We got that big bucket of cat treats and some stuff to make bubbles with. It's seasoned with catnip although the aroma is very faint. And besides, us cats don't need bathrobes, pink or otherwise."
"Sidney, you are such a wimp," hissed Stella. "You always side with our persons as if they never do anything wrong!"
Sidney stood his ground, his jaw pushed out to show his determination. "Look Stella! I will never criticize my persons! They saved me from certain death by sugar intoxication! Every morning and every evening, they inject me with magical herbs to keep me alive. Whether or not they give me a Christmas present is of no importance! I have captured and destroyed enough catnip mice in my life. I really don't need any more!"
"Nicely put, Sidney," purred Helen, "but your condition is known as diabetes mellitus and the "magical herb" that are injected under you skin is insulin which is a hormone produced by the pancreas. And Stella, it is a about time you stopped complaining! You have become a very badly spoiled brat cat!"
"Yes, I knew that," insisted Sidney.
Clarence stepped forward. "And now for the good news! It is New Year's Eve! It is time to celebrate! I suggest we all go to the dumpster for dinner! They will probably throw out some really delicious food and we will have a great feast. I also suggest that the queens join us on this festive occasion. How about it girls? Are you ready for a night on the town?"
Helen beamed. "Clarence, that is most thoughtful of you and I do apologize for scratching your nose."
"Think nothing of it, Helen. Throughout life I had become accustomed to having my nose scratched and my ears bitten," replied Clarence. "Now for the best part! After we have dined at the dumpster, my person will come by with his automobile and he will drive us to Milford for the fireworks at midnight! Isn't that wonderful!"
Well I can tell you that we were all overwhelmed with joy! Stella squealed with delight and forgot about the pink bathrobe and knee high boots she didn't get for Christmas. Ashley, however looked very sad and rejected. "I don't suppose I can come with you since I am a dog and not a cat."
"Of course you can come with us, Ashley," meowed Clarence. "However you will have to eat the food we throw down to you from the dumpster. I don't think you can climb up that far. And you must sit on the floor of the automobile because there is no room for a big dog like you on the back seat."
Ashley grinned. "I can accomodate! Believe me I can accomodate! It's just too bad that I didn't get a riding lawn mower for Christmas. If I did, I could have driven you myself to Milford. By the way, where is Milford? Is it on another continent or planet?"
"The city or town of Milford is within the state of Connecticut," declared Carlyle. "If more of you cats and dogs took advantage of the fine library here in Hamden, you might know that."
Well no one wanted to argue with Carlyle about that. After all, it was New Year's Eve and good food and fun were awaiting us! We were going to have a great time!
Dumb toy #1
Pet the cat to see a SURPRISE!
Yes, we had a wonderful time! Rumsfeld had a tummy ache after eating too much shrimp at the dumpster. Helen thought his discomfort was because of the cream sauce. Queens know about those things, you know.
Before the evening was out Rumsfeld's stomach returned to normal and he was able to enjoy the festivities with the rest of us. I heard that Helen had somehow gotten a bottle of ginger ale and was seen forcing the contents of it down his
throat. He did smell like ginger ale for most of the evening and washed his face a lot and his fur was damp and a bit sticky.
Even dog Ashley enjoyed herself! She gots lots of pets and biscuits from the humans who had attended the event and was glowing in her popularity. We cats maintained a low profile but both Clarence and I got some nice photos.
I HOPE THAT EVERY CAT WHO READS THIS STORY HAS A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!
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