The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring! Traa Laa!

Raymond Hazelwitz, rodent activist scratched at the computer room window. I quickly raised the window to admit him as there was the smell of anxiety in his bid for attention. Breathlessly, he jumped down onto the desk and wiped his brow and whiskers. "Something is going on between those two and frankly, Henri, I don't like the looks of it!" he chattered loudly.

"And exactly what is going on between those two, whoever they might be?" I enquired.
"Those two just happened to be Clarence of Belden and Max!" he responded. "They're jumping around like a bunch of rabbits chasing butterflies!"
"I was not aware that rabbits liked to chase butterflies," I meowed. "I thought they like to chase other rabbits. But do tell me more about Max and Clarence. Are they doing anything illegal?"
Raymond shook his head. "I wouldn't call what they were doing illegal but it seemed inappropriate for a feline. You should have seen those too, leaping into the air, chasing each other around the back yard, jumping over the fence, crashing through a bunch of daffodils! I was truly distraught at their behavior!"

Curious at this odd behavior by my friends, I opened the kitchen door leading to the deck. Raymond followed me closely as I unlatched the gate which led to the street. ( I must leap pretty high in the air to do that, I might add!) Much to my amazement, I saw Max, my neighbor and Clarence of Belden, romping around on the front lawn like two month old kittens! Or idiot cats, whichever you prefer..

I watched those two clown cats from the safely of the bushes before they discovered my presence.
"Henri!" growled Clarence, "come over and join us! Spring is here! You can feel it in the air!"
"Thanks, but no thanks!" I replied. "You toms are making complete fools of yourselves! I don't care to join you in that endeavor!"
"Suit yourself, Henri," hissed Clarence. He pointed his face toward the sky and purred. "Ahh! I can feel the sun's warmth against my whiskers! I can feel the breeze ruffle my fur! Spring is here!" He leaped into the air, then pranced across the lawn. Max gave chase, his big tail waving in the breeze. The two cats leaped and jumped. They rolled in the grass, pawing the air in glee. It were as if they had been hitting the catnip again! Silly cats!
"Now do you see what is going on, Henri?" chattered Raymond Hazelwitz, who had approached the front lawn with extreme caution. "Those cats have gone mad, I tell you! They have gone mad!"
"You're right about that, Raymond," I agreed. It had rained last night and I could not imagine why Max and Clarence would decide to roll around in the wet grass. The two cats continued to gambol about on the lawn but Clarence then decided to jump into a small puddle which had formed near the sidewalk. Max had followed Clarence a little too closely and although the puddle was very shallow, some of the water had splashed against Max's face. Then Max, growling with pleasure dipped his paws into the same puddle and retrieved enough water to thoroughly drench Clarence's face.
Now let me explain something. It is one thing to get one's paws a little wet. It is one thing to get one's whiskers dampened but is quite another thing to get a face full of water! I saw by the expression which had altered Clarence's wet face, that this episode of fun and games was about to erupt into an episode of a full blown tom cat fight! Quickly, I intervened. "Stop it!" I growled. "You felines are making complete fools of yourselves! Cease behaving like immature kitties and start behaving like responsible and mature tom cats!"
Clarence sneered at me. "Well if it isn't Mister Know It All!" hissed my friend. He leapt toward me. I was not quite fast enough in dodging the blow. I collapsed under the assault, tangled in his legs and paws. Together we rolled headlong toward the curb. We kept rolling and rolling until we were over the boundary of the bricks. We fell head first into a puddle. It was not a little, shallow puddle. It was a big, deep puddle. And we were encased by the dirty waters of the slowly moving river. Its destination was the sewer.
Max looked on with horror. "I'm not going play with you guys any more!" he spat. "Don't come near me! Do you hear? Don't come near me!"

Clarence and I watched as Max pranced away toward home. He held his head high but not in dignity. Water from the puddle's encounter was dripping from between his ears into his eyes. He was, however, drier than either Clarence or me. And a lot cleaner as well.
Raymond stood on the lawn shaking his head and chattering. "You cats had better go inside right now! I told Helen, your housemate what you two idiots have been doing and she has pulled a bunch of towels from the linen closet. She also found the hair dryer and brought that up from the basement." He stared at us as if we were the lowest vermin on earth. He bared his sharp, white teeth. "Now get moving!"
We got moving. Helen greeted us at the door. "You tom cats look disgusting! And you don't smell too good either! Now get into the tub and wash off before our persons get home!"
You bet we did as we were told! A tom cat doesn't mess with Queen Helen! I happen to know that Clarence, like any cat, despises getting wet and the thought of a shower in a bathtub will leave the cat praying for divine intervention but we both jumped into the bathtub and huddled under the onslaught of water. Stella and Sidney helped rubbing us down to dampness and Helen plugged in the hair dryer. Within thirty minutes, Clarence and I looked splendid! "Maybe you would like to stay for an evening snack, Clarence?" I asked pleasantly.
Clarence was sitting on the dresser in the bedroom, preening himself and smoothing his whiskers. "Nah!" he meowed. "I really look good! I'd rather go and have dinner at The Dumpster. Then every cat in Hamden will see how fine I look! We could even ask Helen to join us!"
Helen would have nothing to do with us! "Are you kidding?" she hissed. "I really would not want to be seen with you toms, if you don't mind! Maybe you can persuade Penelope to go with you. Or maybe Hillary would like to join you."
It seemed that neither Penelope or Hillary were very enthusiastic about sharing an evening with us. Finally, we ran over to West Side and asked Frank if he would like to go with us. He said he would join us for dinner after the evening news had ended. So we waited for the finish of the evening news when Frank joined us in his backyard. "Hey!" he purred. "You guys look pretty good after your little splash in the gutter! Lucky you that your housemate Helen knows how to give baths!"
"Who told you that?" meowed Clarence.
Frank's lips curved in a smile. "Raymond Hazelwitz dropped by to relate the news of you little altercation with a mud puddle. I think by now every feline in Hamden knows about it. I would love to have seen it but you can explain it all to me over dinner!"

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