There is Hat for Every Rat!

Helen my housemate, Stella, the new cat in town, Sidney and I were all in the computer room looking out the window at the dark clouds which had formed in the western sky. Helen poked me in the ribs. "Aren't you glad we're all inside the house, cozy and warm, Henri?" I nodded in agreement, stretched my hind legs, yawned, turned over and closed my eyes. Again Helen poked me in the ribs. "Why, isn't that Raymond running across the lawn? He seems to be in a big hurry!"
I raised my head and peered through the window. A small figure raced across the frozen earth beneath the large maple tree. The creature stumbled and fell. I pulled the window open and jumped from the sill onto a small bush. Quickly I ran over to the figure which was sprawled on the frigid lawn. "Raymond! Is that you?" I meowed extending my paw.
The rodent snarled, baring his sharp white teeth. "Yes!" he chattered. "It is me, Raymond Hazelwitz, rodent activist! Who did you think it was, Pussycat?"
He stared at me. I stared at him. There was something unusual about Raymond....He was wearing a hat. It was not the type of knitted caps that runners frequently don to keep their ears warm. It was a jaunty red number that sat on top of his head. "Nice hat, Raymond," I meowed. "A Christmas present I suppose?"
"Yes, it was a Christmas present!" he growled. "Do you think that I would go out and purchase something like this? Of course my dear mate, Brenda didn't hesitate when she saw it in the store window..."
"Really? Well she is only thinking about your appearance, I'm sure." I meowed.
"There is nothing wrong with my appearance!" squealed Raymond. "She's been reading Gentlerat's Quarterly! Now she wants to turn me into a fashion plate! And she won't tell me where she got the hat so I could exchange it for a nice scarf or gloves! I tried 'RAT RAGS' on Whitney Avenue and 'The Tooth and Tail' but neither of these stores carry hats. This just isn't me! I would never have picked this color or fabric!"
I could sympathize with Raymond. He did look a bit silly in the hat but I dared not meow anything about the bright red hat perched upon his head. "Well, perhaps you'll get used to wearing it and everyone in the neighborhood will stop laughing..."
Raymond smacked me on the nose. "Oh, you're a big help, you are!" With those last words, he strode toward the street, his back straight, his head held high.
I had begun to climb the bush outside the window to the computer room when I heard the rumble of heavy tires careening down the hill. Then I heard his triumphant chatter. "Oh my! That nasty ole' wind went and took my hat clean away and stuffed it under the wheels of that big, nasty ole' truck! And it's all crushed up! Well, goodbye, Pussycat! See ya around!"

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