New York City at Night!
Whenever Clarence and I come home from a trip abroad, Raymond Hazelwitz, rodent activist is the first to hear about it. How this happens, I really didn't know but news travels rapidly through the rodent community. We had just begun taking our morning nap on the computer desk that afternoon when Clarence awakened to the frantic scratching at the window. As he usually does, Clarence kicked me on the rump and growled into my ear, "Wake up, Henri! Raymond has come by to see us. Help me open the window!"
I blinked the sleep from my eyes, smacked Clarence on the nose and then, together, we raised the window sash just enough to let Raymond squeeze through the opening It always amazes me how he can compress his body like that!
"Hey!" chattered Raymond, wiping his nose on the back of his paw. "I heard you toms spent a few days in New York City! And you even went out at night! I bet you were scared!"
"Nonsense!" I growled. "Why would two tough tom cats like Clarence and me be afraid in New York City? We are former street cats in case you have forgotten."
Raymond shook his head, "That was a long time ago, Pussycat. You have been pretty much housebound for the past eight years or so."
Clarence shrugged his shoulders. "How come you knew Henri and I went to New York City? We hadn't told anyone about it."
"Well," anwered Raymond, "your housemate Helen, told Penelope, who told Eloise who told my mate, Brenda how you boys packed up, jumped into the cat carriers and took off. So that's how I knew you went to New York City. It's just not the city I would want to visit."
"Never been there?" asked Clarence.
"Oh, I've been there. Lester, my fourth cousin, thrice removed lives in Washington Square Park. I visited him once. He's sort of the "black rat" of the family so to speak. He got in with a bad bunch of rodents from New Jersey. My family asked me to go to Jersey and help him settle in New York City. We had a distant relative who lived there. I can tell you that is really a scary place at night. All those humans running around! I was lucky I didn't get squashed by their feet! Thank goodness for those subways! It's the safest route for a rat!"
"Didn't know that," I confessed. "We did a lot of walking, staying close to buildings. We did take a trip on the Staten Island ferry and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge."
"The entire span of the bridge?" gasped Raymond. "I bet you were tired!"
"We took it easy," I explained, not admitting that we haven't walked across the entire bridge. "It was exhilerating to feel the wind in our fur and the taste of salt water against our lips!"
Clarence poked me in the ribs. "Don't get carried away, Henri!" he hissed. "Spray from the East river doesn't reach that high."
"Whatever...." I meowed. "I thought it sounded rather poetic," I insisted. Clarence just sighed.
"So you toms had a good time in New York?" Raymond chattered.
"Yeah, we did," meowed Clarence. "We did the Staten Island ferry and then we did the Museum of Natural History and then we did the Brooklyn Bridge. We lost a day when I developed "cat cough" and had to rest up."
"Meet anyone at the museum? Brenda's second cousin, twice removed works there on weekends. His name is Gregory. Nice rat."
"We were there on Thursday. Too bad. I would have liked to met Gregory," purred Clarence.
Raymond shook his head. "Her cousin Gregory doesn't like cats. I mean did you meet anyone else there?"
I thought for a moment before answering. "Just the cat who checked us in. She didn't meow her name, just let us through the gate. Every other animal we met seemed to be stuffed or maybe they were just antisocial. Not a squeak out of any of them."
"Well the next time you go to New York City, let me know and I'll join you. We can ride the rails together on the Rat-Cat Express to New York! Whoopee!" Raymond grinned at us, showing us those glistening white teeth.
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