September 29th 2011 6:33 am
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Oh, me first, me first! Samhain can just wait!
First let me say thank you MILO for the Forever Emerald you gave me a few days back - lovely!
And Teddybearz, Kit Kat and family for my Forever Diamond - you shouldn't have!
My birthday treats:
Tasty Tate - pink rosette (that was earlier, I think), and a Cupcake! Love that chocolate!
Tink - a party hat, that I'm so sorry, Tink, but Kringle put it on top of the palace spire! KRINGLE!!!
Angel Alfie and family - a 1st Birthday card!
Jezebel and Harley - watermelon
Zach, Zoe & family
Tessa, Percy, Sawyer, Murphy & family
Tony, Anna, Greystone, Sammy & family
Luke, Tully, Sammy & Natasha
Da Tabbies of Trout Towne --- ice cream from all these kind folks, except for the Tabbies who gave us mice creem. We're scheduled for a dental appointment after all that icecream!
Leo, Grace, Casey & Frankie
Finney, Lacey & Angel Alex --- some lemonade to go with all that ice cream
Nadia and Gump gave me a baseball and a really psychedelic pic of a cupcake -ooooo, trippin'
Skylar, Mrs Murphy, Rusty DB, Skittles and family
Samsara, Colette and the Angels Marrakech and Misha
alley cat angel, Calie, littleboy, booboo & family ---hearts!
Plus another 1st Birthday pic of me and Sis looking so young and sweet from Manytoes, Lynzee, Rory and Tundra!
Also, special thanks to all those who made it to the party and/or sent us birthday wishes - you cats rock!!!
OK, Samhain - your turn...
September 28th 2011 5:52 am
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Today is our birthday, officially, though we had our party yesterday since today is a work day for the pawrents. And we just wanted to say Thank You! to all who have made this such a special time for us. We really enjoyed our party, though we apologize for some of the glitches – like so few rollovers and links working – apparently it wasn’t just us! Ah, well. Anyway, here are a few pics that you may have missed:
group portrait at the palace
Samhain and Siddhartha on the Palace grounds
We didn’t have a cake for Tigger, but I’m sure the Tabbie’s would be happy to share the honors of the trout cake that we made for them for their usual catering services – thanks, Tabbies! Good to see you last night!
Oh, and Zach and Zoe, I hope you do know we were just kidding – we really didn’t have any expectations for our party…well, except that we expected our links would work! And some of you might have noticed that our sound system was down, but fortunately (?) we had some lovely caterwalling arranged by Gump and some others. Much appreciated by all, I’m sure! Anyway, we were more than pleased at the great turn out. Thanks again!
Lastly, we’re all a little unsettled here at the Purr Palace this morning, as the pawrents caught one of the feral kittens to take in for spaying. They were hoping for Aunt Bobbie, but she took one look at that trap and disappeared with her other kitten! That’s 3 done, and, let’s see…oh, by the Tabbie mathematics…probably 2,453,733,688 more in our neighborhood alone to go! :)
When we settle down, the Mama will say a proper thank you for the prezzies!
September 27th 2011 1:50 pm
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Woo-HOO! Come join us for some curry and cake, all you kittehs! We can’t think of a nicer way to spend our 1st birthday than with all of you furs! Thanks for all the love and support you’ve given us since we’ve been on Catster.
Now pass the cake and niptinis – we’ve reached the “legal limit” finally!!!
September 26th 2011 2:30 pm
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Shoot! Meant to write this in the first reminder, but then I got distracted. Today is Harley's Birthday, so we figure she can share party time with us - yahoo!!! Come eat cake and dance with Zach! (oh, did I say that out loud?)
September 26th 2011 11:54 am
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Late the next day they were all gathered at the harbor, having picked up the Canadians and others of their friends. Preparations were under way to set sail for India within the hour.
Samhain looked around and saw other members of Zoe’s crew:
Simone, Anna, Monida, Feisty Skittles Scarr, Pippin,Calie, Rose, Bloody Kat Darkblade, Oreo, Mad Roni Cutler , Callie, Gypsy, Presley, Paris, Ginga Ninja, Harley.
And the rest of the crews of the Screaming Gangplank and the Screaming Sea Cat:
Charlie Chocolate Paws, Skylar, Bloody Bear the Dreadlocked, Leo Lovebug, Jazz Morgan the Ripper,Sly Sev the Seaworthy, Toki, Captain Luke Sparrow, Shark Tooth Tully, Sea Dawg Sammy, Sonny Bono and family, Linus Chicken Bane and family, Milo, Sammy, Grey, Ashe, Tony, Doc Tigger Shark, Long John River, Tao, Kringle, Simon and Tony,
Blade, Moppie, Timmy Tomcat, Blizzard, Sam, Bugsy, Rex, Simba, Tasty Tate, Ka-zar, Squeaker, the Bush Furs
Natasha and family, booboo, Charley Bleau Eyes, CLAWdius MEOWximus and the South Florida Familia, Cody, Colette and Samsara,Gidgit da Sphynx and family, Hunter, Karma Kitty and family, Mr. Micky, Southern Gentleman, Newman, Rusty Dreamboat #39B and family, Midnight and family, Selena and all the BCCP crew, Popeye and her family, the Bearzman and family, Tigger, Tiny Tot, MoeMoe, WILLOW, Zack and Zoey.
She knew there must be others that were affected that she hadn’t contacted yet or that weren’t here, and she was purring that they would be OK once the mission was complete. For now, it was time to go.
On the voyage it became evident that others were weakening, possibly because of the close proximity to the Artifact. Shadow was still unconscious, though Doc Calie said his condition appeared stable. Gump appeared to have fallen into some sort of trance state, and was no longer responsive to outward stimuli. Sleeper wouldn’t leave his side. Others simply felt as if they were slightly seasick, though they had never been bothered by that before.
Samhain rubbed Siddhartha’s talisman against her cheek. She knew now why she had not been able to make it work again; Sidd was surely unconscious. Please let it not be too late!
When they reached the Indian shoreline, it was a relief to see that the Maharaj had sent transport in the form of buses. The buses only took them as far as the rail lines, however, where they boarded the His Royal Highness’s private luxury train cars. Everyone was tired and irritable, but it helped to be treated to a 4-star meal and feather beds afterwards, as they prepared themselves for the last leg of this journey.
Sleeper felt as if she had only just closed her eyes, when she felt someone shaking her shoulder.
“Sleeper, wake up,” Samhain spoke softly. “We’re here at the Palace.”
As Sleeper roused herself, rubbing her paw across her face, Samhain stooped before her, and took her other paw.
“We’ve been summoned – just you and me and Gump. The Maharaj has got a helicopter waiting for us to take us to the Temple.”
Gump, now that they were on Indian soil, had roused sufficiently to be able to walk on his own, but so far he hadn’t spoken since before they’d set sail. He walked between the two sisters now as they moved towards the helipad. To their great surprise, the Maharaj himself waited by the helicopter. It was obvious to the girls that here was a truly great man, and they bowed low to the ground; Gump bowed with them in a stiff, disjointed way. His Highness kindly lifted them up into the machine, and apologized that it was necessary to blindfold them. This sacred temple for which they were bound, was so secret, that even three foreign cats might not be allowed to know where it was located!
As they flew over the jungle, Samhain had a disconcerting sense of déjà vu. Then they were past the trees and hovering over the temple grounds. There it was! It was more beautiful even than her dream had pictured it, its stone walls glowing in the setting sun with an amethyst hue which reminded her uneasily of the Artifact which Gump still clutched in his paw.
The Maharaj set them down not far from the entrance to the temple, and shut off the helicopter. He untied their blindfolds and helped them all down, but when they turned back to see why he wasn’t coming, he motioned them on.
“Even I cannot enter without an invitation,” he said with a wistful smile.
The three cats turned back to the temple and saw that suddenly there were two figures standing there: a human and a cat.
Surely these two were the oldest of each of their species that either of the girls had ever seen! The human was dressed in a long white robe; his feet were bare. Though his face was clean shaven, he had long snowy white hair which cascaded down his stooped back, and he held a wooden staff in his gnarled brown hand. Sleeper realized with a start that he was blind!
The cat was even more curious in appearance. Her fur was solid white, but for a bright patch of yellowish gold fur in the center of her chest, and she had a short cape of scarlet around her shoulders.
“Like Siddhartha wore in my dream,” Samhain thought.
Once again, it seemed not just appropriate, but necessary that they acknowledge these extraordinary beings, and they all three prostrated themselves before them.
The human did not speak, but smiled kindly at them. The cat, however, said simply, “Come!”
What happened there that day, none of the three could ever after remember very clearly.
They were taken far down into dark catacombs. Sleeper had a sense of the great age of this place; the deeper they descended the more did she feel they were traveling not just through space, but time – even to the beginnings of the world.
Finally they halted in a huge cavern. The girls had been tired, but now all thoughts of exhaustion were forgotten as they beheld the purpose of their journey. The Entity! It was huge, by comparison; the Artifact had only been a small piece. This thing, this…Crystalline Being stood about 3 meters tall, and the radiation coming off it was unmistakable.
The old cat, one of the guardians of the temple, came forward and nudged Gump towards the Crystal.
“You are the Custodian. You must place the remnant yourself,” he whispered.
Gump moved forward jerkily, his legs not seeming to want to respond. As he approached the Crystal, he saw the “arm” off of which the Artifact had been broken. He reached up as high as he could and put the jagged end of the amethyst piece against the broken edge, and as he did, there was a flash of light that momentarily blinded them all!
When he looked again, he could see the Crystal was whole, as if it had never been broken.
“You have done well, brother.,” the ancient cat patted him on the shoulder.
Suffice it to say, there was much rejoicing when the three friends returned to the Palace. Some of the cats who had been prisoners of the kitten mill that the girls and the others had liberated, came out to help celebrate the restoration of the Balance. It had been revealed afterwards that many of the kits who had died in the mill, were, in fact, victims of the Artifact.
Shadow had completely recovered, and seemed to have developed a crush on Lacey! It seems that some portion of his consciousness had been aware of her nursing him after his collapse.
Everyone else was feeling remarkable fine, though the huge pitchers of niptinis and baskets of Indian samosas (potato stuffed pastries)), pakoras (deep-fried fritters), and papadums (a crispy spiced cracker) might have had something to do with their good cheer.
Gump was hero of the day, and everyone wanted to hear his story, but he was still feeling a little awed about the whole experience, and frankly couldn’t recall much of what had happened down in the catacombs.
Sleeper was enjoying a mild flirtation with Zach, to which Tink, wise cat that she was, turned a blind eye – she knew there was nothing serious in it.
Samhain was feeling depressed and lonely, despite the fact that she was surrounded by so many happy (and slightly drunk) friends. She wandered away from the crowd, no destination in mind. Past the line of trees at the edge of the great lawn, she came upon a another temple, similar in shape to the one she’d just seen in the jungle, but much smaller. She heard a sound off to her right, and turning, saw what she had been waiting for. Siddhartha was walking towards her.
“Sidd!” she cried, and ran into his outstretched paws.
[Looking forward to sharing our birthday festivities with you all! – Sleeper and Samhain]
September 26th 2011 11:08 am
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Tomorrow is our Birthday Party folks, right here at this diary! We hope you will have a moment to stop by and say hi, and have a piece of birthday cake and maybe some curry and trout! And there's always the possibility that we can all see Tink dancing with a lampshade on her head again. That's got to be a good reason to come!
Anyway, the festivities will start around 5PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time. And for those of you reading the story, we WILL be ending it TODAY - finally! Whew! Another runaway story out of control...Then we're packing our bags for India. The party is at the Maharaj's Palace - woo hoo!
September 25th 2011 7:28 pm
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The Tabbies, who had been administering oxygen to Shadow, who was still unconscious, but now transferred to the gurney, came to stand in the doorway. The others in the house were crowded in behind them, staring silently.
“It’s like pictures in my head,” Gump spoke quietly. Most of it I’m not getting - like a different wavelength, or something. I’m seeing that tsunami that hit Japan not long back. The Artifact…” he paused and took a great shuddering breath, “was brought up from deep under the earth’s crust. The animals found it first. We’re all of us, cats and other animals, more sensitive to some frequencies than the humans, ‘cause, like, we “live” there on the other levels in greater part. It’s why we can sense earthquakes before they happen, and seem to know and see things our humans can’t. Well, most humans, anyway. Though there are some that see and feel those things, too. The word was sent to a group of these humans – they call themselves guardians, and they came to collect it. But something happened. Now I’m seeing an image of one of these human’s helpers. He’s breaking off a piece of Me – I mean – It! He’s bringing it to those two humans who used to own this Kitten Mill. They are dark. Their minds are dark - stunted and twisted like a diseased tree. No! No, this is not good! There must be balance for there to be Life! Life will cease if we are not restored!” Gump was writhing now as if in pain. Zach and MILO had hold of him and were shaking him.
“Gump! Gumpy, snap out of it, buddie! Come back to us!”
Gradually, Gump quieted and seemed to be aware again of where and who he was.
“This thing,” he held out the artifact, “it isn’t evil itself. But it’s not safe for any of us to be around, including humans. Including anything living for that matter!” Everyone involuntarily shrank back from his extended paw.
“I think it’s giving off some kind of radiation, something physical and something not quite physical. Somehow I got the picture that this is its normal function, but since it is no longer complete, the radiation has become poisonous. It’s hitting us first because of our greater sensitivity, but eventually, unless it’s restored to its former state of being, it will start to show its effects in humans. Heck, maybe it already is – humans are as crazy as bedbugs, but lately they seem to be even worse than ever!” Gump said, shaking his head.
“It’s true,” Sleeper spoke calmly, now that she understood and could see clearly what needed to be done.
“Well, wat we bee wait N fur? Time ta go!” Sauce of Fishbone said, wheeling the gurney out the door to the humvee.
“Zach, with Shadow gone, you and Captain Zoe need to take charge here. I’m ready to assist you both in anyway I can,” Sleeper said, her paw on his shoulder. “ I only want to make this suggestion: we need to pick up our other contacts that we’re usually in close communication with. This…radiation, as Gump called it, it’s more than that. He said it wasn’t quite physical – it’s not. I can’t explain it, but the poison is working on other levels as well, emotional and mental. We need to pick up the Canadians before we set sail for India. And where are Blizz and both your and Zoe’s crew mates?”
Zach helped Sleeper into the humvee, since she still seemed a little weak..
“They’re all back at the harbor, guarding the Screaming Gangplank and the Sea Cat, as well as the Tabbie’s boat, the S.S. Dude.”
“ I’ll tell the Tabbies to send a Morris de Cat code to everyone else to tell them to meet us at the harbor,” Samhain said as she helped Gump into the back of the humvee, careful not to touch the artifact. He still held it tightly in his paw, unwilling to surrender it to anyone else.
"Are you sure, Gump? I'm worried about you - you don't look very good," Tundra asked him anxiously.
"I'm sure," he replied. "I heard it calling me as soon as we stepped through the door..."
To be Continued...
September 25th 2011 9:58 am
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In the darkened studio, pandemonium reigned. The three kittens – Novi, Snow, and Gris were screaming like banshees, running and looking for hidey-holes. Tink had recruited Zoe, Ingen and Jez to try and calm them down. Jerry, Miller and Rigel were checking Shadow to see if he was breathing, while Lacey had gathered his head in her lap and was tenderly licking his forehead where he had hit his head when he fell. Nadia and Lynzee were running back to the kitchen they’d passed to get water. The Tabbies had taken one quick look at the situation and had headed back to the humvee for the first aid kit, bandages and the hospital gurney which they’d decided to keep in the vehicle after discovering how useful it had been the last time they raided the kitten mill. [SEE SAMHAIN’S DIARY ENTRIES FOR COMING OF AGE – PARTS I – VII]
Rory, Tundra, Manytoes and Finney, feeling nervous that all the noise might attract attention from the neighbors, slipped outside to patrol the perimeters in case it became necessary to raise the alarm.
Meanwhile, Gump, MILO and Zach felt irresistibly drawn to the two slight figures in the study; the one lying unconscious on the rug, the other kneeling beside her, silently weeping as she held her sister’s paw and stroked her forehead.
“Sleeper, Sleeper – please wake up!” Samhain was saying through her tears.
Zach and MILO stood staring down at them helplessly.
“Take it away from her,” Gump said in a low urgent voice.
“WE’VE GOT TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM HER NOW!” he cried desperately, lunging forward and grabbing the crystal out of Sleeper’s limp paw. As he held it aloft, a strange look came over his face. He staggered backward and slumped into one of the leather chairs, still grasping the artifact.
“Dude!” Milo said with concern, turning to his friend. Zach was kneeling beside Sleeper and Samhain; Sleeper’s eyes were blinking open.
“It’s alive,” she spoke dreamily, eyes unfocused.
“What the HECK is going on here?!” Zach cried in frightened frustration.
“Samhain, what IS this?!” he growled, looking with entreaty at the slim black cat. Samhain just shook her head, and asked her sister softly, “What’s alive, sweetheart?”
“IT is,” Sleeper answered, this time focusing her gaze on Samhain’s worried face.
“It’s like… a tree… if a tree was constructed like a stone. It…grows… and evolves…very slowly. If it were aware of self at all, it would measure it’s life not in hours or days or years, but in millennia, in eons…
“It’s been here a very long time. It has a purpose, but one too alien for us to understand.”
“It’s an ALIEN?!” MILO’s head whipped back from his examination of Gump, who seemed to be OK, just dazed. He still held tight to the artifact.
“No, not…as such,” Sleeper continued in the dreamy voice so unlike her own.
"It belongs here perhaps even more surely than we do. We are so transient; it is…perennial.”
Now the tone changed, and became more “Sleeper-like”, Samhain noted with some relief.
“It shouldn’t be here. Somehow all the earthquakes, weather changes, natural disasters – these are all connected to the wars and dissension all over the planet; it was forced to surface where it should never have been. Most of it was collected and is being held under guard in a safe place, but this piece was separated from the rest.”
Sleeper looked up at her sister, pleading: “We’ve got to take it back!”
“To…the temple…” Samhain said, slowly. In her mind’s eye, she could see the shining stone of the temple walls.
“It’s speaking to me,” Gump said in a flat voice.
To be Continued…
September 24th 2011 8:25 pm
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The house smelled stale and dank. Samhain shivered; she could well understand how the rumor of hauntings could have gotten started. Though not as sensitive as her sister Sleeper, she didn’t think it was completely her imagination - that sense of oppression in the atmosphere of the place. Perhaps it WAS haunted; it’s hallways prowled by the ghosts of all those kitties who had suffered and died here. She purred a silent prayer for those who had passed, and for those still living – her friends and family who were either now sick and dying or who soon would be, because of some… Thing which lay somewhere in this house: the artifact that they had been sent to retrieve.
“I don’ like dis place,” Ingen said in a small, trembling voice.
“Dat’s cuz iz ee-vil, fur shur,” said Tuna, staying behind Gump as he moved through the dark house.
“What r we lookin’ fur?” MILO whispered.
“I don’t know,” Finney whispered back.
“Why are we whispering anyway?” Lacey asked, picking cobwebs out of her fur. “This place is FILTHY!”
“I think Sleeper is supposed to “feel” something, now that we’re here. Isn’t that right, Sleeper?” Manytoes called softly.
“I think we should all back off a little and let Sleeper ‘do her thing’. Go ahead, Sleeper, ” Tink said gently. Shadow, who for the past hour, had been fighting a growing weakness and nausea, but had striven not to show it, nodded his approval of Tink’s suggestion.
Sleeper didn’t answer or even show signs that she had heard any of them. She was indeed “feeling” something. It was coming from the third room on the left of the hall. She moved slowly, following the strange energy which now seemed to draw her almost like iron to a magnet. Samhain stayed at her side; it was her duty to be there if her sister ran into trouble.
The door to the room opened with a loud creak which spooked Nadia and Lynzee, who’d been comparing notes on the virtues of ‘tortitude’. They both hissed and jumped back, stumbling into Zach’s paws.
“Girls, girls – I didn’t know you felt that way about me!” he kidded shakily. This place was seriously creeping him out!
Sleeper was in the room now. It was obviously a study, with books lining paneled walls. There was a small divan and a couple of plumb leather easy chairs in dark colors, ranged around a low, expensive walnut coffee table. She stood with her eyes closed, swaying slightly. Then she turned and saw the box on the desk in the corner.
It was of some light colored wood, about a foot long and half as wide, carved with an intricate pattern. And it was held closed with an iron clasp, which had… a keyhole! Zach’s key! This was the answer to her weird obsession with the key! She hurried forward and inserting it, opened the lock.
What was inside the box looked like a delicate crystalline flower, amethyst in hue. It was beautiful! She reached out her paw to grasp it, and, simultaneously, both she and Shadow collapsed with a wailing cry!
To be Continued…
September 24th 2011 12:06 pm
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The time had come to go, and Sleeper went to round up all the kittens. She found Novi, Snow and Griswold sitting on the back porch listening to horror stories told by the four feral kittens, some of them no doubt true; others – especially those concerning her own human pawrents – she believed heavily colored by the kits’ imaginations.
Gris whined, “Can’t we stay here and play till you come back?” He was a little tired of all the traveling.
“NO!!!” Zach and Zoe yelled simultaneously, both glancing uneasily at the ferals. No telling what tricks they might teach the other little innocents!
There was a further delay caused by the question of who would get to ride the flying carpet to the kitten mill. It was settled by Gump and Jezebel arguing that there should be SOME privileges of age after all. As a concession to Youth, however, they offered to carry Snow and Novi with them, to which the two brofurs responded with ecstatic whoops!
Everyone was sobered a moment later when Jez primly added: “You must remember this isn’t a pleasure cruise we’re going on,” and then spoiled the effect by giggling like a kit herself in anticipation!
When they reached the house and grounds which had formerly been the bad kitten mill, all was eerily quiet and dark. The door of the house and the broken gate to the yard were both roped off with yellow tape: CRIME SCENE – DO NOT ENTER. Someone had spray-painted the garage door with the words: KRAZY KAT KILLERZ!!!, and a couple of windows were broken, but it didn’t look as if the vandalism had gone any further. Possibly this was because a rumor had gotten started that the place was haunted. Word was that the people who’d lived here had gone crazy and blew up their own house. One thing that was for sure: when the police came and dragged them off, they were both yelling that they’d been attacked by a band of wild cats who’d come after them with swords! The really odd thing, though, was that when they went to check the cattery, they found all the cages open, and the cats gone. What had been left, aside from the cannon and illegal artillery (for which the human couple were now residing in prison), was the grim sight of the dumpster containing those feline residents who had not been so fortunate.
Of course, all this evidence was gone now, as Sleeper and Samhain and the rest of the crew gathered silently in the front yard. Butter Lover Boomer gave something a kick, and Samhain grinned briefly as she realized it was the body of the decapitated plastic flamingo.
“What now, Sleeper?” she asked, turning a questioning eye to her sister.
“You haven’t had any luck reaching Sidd through the talisman again?” Sleeper returned, without much hope. Samhain shook her head, miserably, holding the talisman against her cheek. It had been silent and inert since the moment days before when it had suddenly transported her consciousness to India to receive the chilling news from Siddhartha which had sent them on this journey.
“ U kneed us to blow the door, S & S ?,” Tuna of Moon asked hopefully.
“It’s not locked,” Gump, ever practical, had walked up the steps, and turned the knob, opening the front door. Tuna looked disappointed.
To be Continued…
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