I knew something had gone terrribly wrong in the neighborhood when Raymond Hazelwitz, rodent activist, scratched frantically on the pane of the computer room window. I was reading the New York Times but put it aside, rushed across the room and pryed open the window. "Raymond, is something wrong?" I meowed loudly.
"You could say that," chattered Raymond. It's about our dear friend Clarence. Henri, he desperately needs our help!"
"Oh, no" I moaned. "Is he sick? Did he take inhale too much catnip? Did he get into a bit of spoiled fish, from the neighbors garbage can?"
Raymond shook his head. "It is much worse than that, my friend. Clarence is deeply depressed. He is thinking of running away from home and becoming a colony cat once again."
"Whatever has happened to him, Raymond? Clarence doesn't seem to be the type of cat that gets depressed. What ill fortune has befallen my friend? What evil feline has accosted his aging body? What heartless resident of our neighorhood has dared to tamper with Clarence's fragile ego? I shall go with haste and beat the stuffing out of the miscreant!" I growled loudly. "As soon as I discover who it is, of course."
Raymond exhaled deeply. "Keep your fur on, Pussycat! In the first place, I doubt that Clarence would like your reference to his 'aging body' or his 'fragile ego'. He isn't all that old. It is true that his ego occasionally gets in the way of common sense but that is the way of the cat, doncha know!"
"I mismeowed, Raymond. I admit that, but do tell me what is wrong with Clarence which has made him want to run away from home," I pleaded.
"Well!" snorted Raymond. "There are no pumkins in the pumpkin patch!"
I stared at Raymond. His gaze was now directed downward toward his feet. His whiskers twitched and he had that silly grin on his face which revealed all of his very sharp teeth. "And I bet," I growled, "you have a plan to help out poor old Clarence and lift his spirits heavenward!"
"You betcha, Pussycat" I could tell by the smug look on the rodent's face he had formulated and carried out much of his plan, long before he had scratched at the computer room window. "Meet me tonight, at eight o'clock on the corner of Belden and Baker Street. Abbott is going to round up all the cats from Belden Street and you will notify all the cats from West Side and Wooden Street. Ask Helen to coax Clarence into taking a long walk to visit the Evergreen Lake Colony."
I nodded. "See you tonight, Raymond. "And my name is Henri, Henri of Twin Brook."