SAMHAIN'S PAGE

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O CANADA!

July 1st 2011 6:49 pm
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WARNING TO TROUT TOWNE TABSTERS:
THIS DIARY CONTAINS EXPLICIT MATERIAL. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

I want to talk about birds. We’ve got a lot of them around here. There’s, like, NO VACANCY signs on all the Mama’s birdhouses. If we crane our necks a little, we can see two of the houses from the cattery. On the left we’ve got swallows and on the right, we got wrens. And as far as I can tell, they’re not good for much of ANYTHING. I know the Mama says she really likes to see them and hear them sing, but that’s because she doesn’t know what they’re saying! I know what they’re saying: they’re mocking us! Because they get to fly any ol’ place they feel like and we can’t do anything about it, ‘cause we’re behind this fence. They fly to and fro, to and fro, getting OUR bugs to feed to those little free-loading babies of theirs – they’re not even paying any rent on those houses! And I heard the Mama out there apologizing to the swallows when they first moved in ‘cause she hadn’t CLEANED THEIR HOUSE FOR THEM!!! They can’t even clean their own houses!!!!!!

Oh, and there’s another nest in the elm tree that the Baltimore orioles built; at least they did some work putting up that nest; not that it benefits US any. The Mama really likes them for some reason, and will stand there looking up for the longest time, getting a crick in her neck, just trying to catch a glimpse of one of them, which is hard to do even for us ‘cause they are wa-a-a-a-y the heck up there dangling off the end of a branch with a whole bunch of leaves in the way. Believe me, we’ve TRIED to see them, too.

And do you know what else those good-fur-nothings do? They leave droppings on OUR SUNNING BOARD!!! Can you believe that?! We at least have the decency to cover our poops discreetly – they just go whenever and wherever they feel like it!!!

And then the other day, you wouldn’t BELIEVE what we saw – it was the biggest, humongous-est, UG-liest looking bird I’ve ever seen, and I could smell it from the pen – it smelled like…dinner! MOL!!! The Mama said it was a turkey.

But that wasn’t even close to what we saw today. This morning, as bold as you please, six – count ‘em – six (6) Canada geese, 2 adults and 4 goslings, came strolling by our pen!!! We were, like, where the heck did THEY come from?! Those babies weren’t even flight-worthy yet, so just where have they been nesting?! Not in MY backyard, they better not have been! But the nearest water where they might have been, and the direction they were coming from is the marsh down the hill from us, which is maybe 3 football fields away, the pawrents said (whatever a football field is). So my question is: why did they leave the marsh and come walking up our driveway headed towards the road? And then the Mama read on Catster that today is Canada Day, and so there’s our answer. Since the babies can’t fly yet, they must have been walking to the road to catch a ride north to Canada for Canada Day! And if we’d known that, we would have given them bus fare!

P.S. Just in case anyone out there is reading our other story, we do plan to finish it…as soon as we figure out what happens next! So stay tuned.

 

COMING OF AGE - PART III

July 12th 2011 3:49 pm
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So…Shadow opened the gate as Sleeper instructed, and came inside a house for the first time in his life.

“Uh…nice digs, girls,” he said peering around, trying to appear nonchalant, but inwardly feeling awed and another emotion as well – what was it?...envy, maybe?

“Yeah, we like it,” Samhain answered, watching him nervously. She was NOT pleased to have him here in the pawrent’s house, in HER home, but she kept quiet for now, waiting to see what happened next.

Sleeper, in her new role as the quick-witted kitty, fired up the Mama’s laptop, which fortunately she hadn’t taken with her, crossing her paws that everyone would be home and online.

First she tried those kitties closest to home: Jerry and Miller , her pawrent’s friend’s cats. Had they heard word of a kitten mill working in their neighborhood? No, there were some reputable Ragdoll catteries in Mid-Michigan, but they didn’t know of any that weren’t keeping up to standard. They had heard, however, that there were some Mafia-connected catteries down near the Detroit area that the girls might want to check it out.

“We don’t know these cats personally, but there are a couple of kitties on Catster that you might want to talk to,” they wrote back, including the names of the two cats. Sleeper thanked them, and moved on.

They p-mailed the new contacts: Cleopatra and Callie . Had they heard these bad rumors coming out of Detroit? Callie (AKA Grumpy), a tortie with an attitude, said “We don’t know anything about any Mafioso kit-mills, but if I find out it’s true, I’m gonna scratch their eyes out!” “Right on, sister!” Sleeper p-mailed back. Cleopatra, a lovely Siamese mix, told them they would send a message if they got any new information.

“We are SO sorry to hear about the troubles with your father, Sleeper. I don’t remember my own parents…(sniff, sniff) It must be such a shock to find you have a father and then have him taken away from you – all in one day!” Cleopatra sympathized.

“Thanks, Cleo – yes, it’s hard. I keep flip-flopping back and forth between elation and desperation! We’ve GOT to get him out!” Sleeper wrote back.

Next they p-mailed Gump and found his sister Nadia , a sweet little tortie-girl was online. She listened to the story and exclaimed, “This is horrible! Oh, we want to help you any way we can! Let me go get Gumpy – he’s in the greenhouse over at Bubba-Gump’s Plants.” [See Zachery Kolohe' Rider ’s story]
Gump, an attractive 17 year old tuxie, still getting around well for his age, came back online and exchanged hellos with the girls. He had received only the barest of outlines from Nadi, who had understandably been a little out of breath from streaking out to the greenhouse, past the catnip fields to get him. He read their story solemnly and said that unfortunately he hadn’t heard anything going on in his neighborhood, but did they have a picture of Sleeper’s father? Yes, they did, and p-mailed back the photo that Shadow had been carrying when he came to ask for Samhain and Sleeper’s help.
“This is a younger picture of Siddhartha. He looks a little older and rougher around the edges now, but he’s still a pretty handsome dude,” Shadow had told them.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d say he was a Savannah,” Gump replied.
“Yeah, that’s what a lot of cats think. You can’t see it in this photo, but the stripe down the back is much more pronounced than in the Savannah, that’s where the bi-lateral part of the name comes from. He’s a much rarer breed, even fewer of him around than Savannahs. Sleeper gets her pretty back stripe from him,” Shadow said. Sleeper blushed as she typed that.

Gump suggested they write Ingen . They answered back that she was the last of their Catster contacts that they knew of in Michigan. Sleeper was crossing her paws again, hoping that this time they would strike it lucky.

When they got Ingen online and explained to her what they were looking for, she was very excited!
“Yes, Yes, YES!!! There IS a kitten mill near us that we’ve been getting all sorts of bad reports about from the outdoor kitties. There are all sorts of kitties there, cramped into these terrible cages, without proper care. Some are starving, and there is disease, and hurt kitties! Oh, my Mama Jen has been very upset about it, but every time anyone has reported them to the USDA-APHIS, they’ve somehow managed to quick-clean things up and hide the worst cases.”
“Yeah, and we heard recently that they got themselves a new special cat for breeding,” Mr. Spot added as Ingen stepped away from the keyboard. “I bet it’s your father, Sleeper.”
Baby , the third cat in their household, took a look at the pic of Sidd over Mr. Spot’s shoulder, and nudged him out of the way.
“He’s CUTE!” she purred. “Is he, like, available?”
“He’s in prison,” Sleeper answered flatly.
“Just asking,” Baby said, a little hurt.
Ingen got back online and sent them the address which Mr. Spot had looked up in the phonebook. “You can google it for directions!” she wrote back before telling them to let them know if there was anything else they could do, and then signed off.

The last cats they p-mailed were the Da Tabbies o Trout Towne , ‘cause (1) they wanted to call in a favor; (2) they wanted to order some trout; and (3) just ‘cause they LIKE them! Samhain took over the typing.
“Dudes, and Miz Daisy – we need your help! Remember how you said you’d be there if we asked – well, we’re asking! We’re staging a big scale rescue; we may all die in the attempt, but we’re going anyway! How quick can you get together a truckload of trout and shrimp, and – oh, say, a couple of cases of eels (I LOVE those eels!)? We’ll need fresh water, too, and some blankets. If you can find some stretchers or better - a hospital gurney - there could be injured or sick kitties – that would be real helpful. You guys are so resourceful! Can we count on you?

To be continued...

 

COMING OF AGE - PART III and a half

July 13th 2011 12:21 pm
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Just before the girls lost internet connection, they received this urgent communique back from the Tabby Troutsters:


"MEWSDAY : July 13 in de yeer 2011:

Ok sew itz Wednesday, but we like mewsday better

Time: 10:20 am eastern trout time: an urgent call comes in on de trout line askin for help; sum kittehs knead big time ah sist tanz in michy gan...quik

Time: 10:21 am eastern trout time :de trout towners don ther pie ratz gear N load up de S S Dude with weaponz N supplies

Time: 10:22 am eastern trout time: de SS Dude leaves port; on board be 98 cannons, 208 cut lesses, 655 miles oh rope, 7,522 blanketz N gur kneez, 28,917 gallons of H two and oh, 5 cases oh eels......eeeeegaaaa........and enuff trout, shrimp, whitefish, salmon, bass, perch, tunie and s’ghetti.....hhhhmmmm...... ta feed de whole western sea coast.......

Time: 10:34 am eastern trout time: de SS Dude docks in michy gan waters ina undislcoed locayshun coz this iz a sekrit mission......hey…watch it ya stooooooooooooooooooooooooopid sea gull burd, ewe be total lee stoooooooooooooooooopid N yur rude two; cannon two starboard...FIRE !!

Time: 10:56 am eastern trout time: an encrypted message....hey....we rited another big werd.....way ta go tabbies :) an encrypted message goes out ta “S” and “S”

Time: 11:01 am eastern trout time: “S” and “S” gets de encrypted message coz they haz high speed internetz;

they reply by morriz de cat code:

stop: message: a mewving veehickle stop: will be at port stop: ta unload de goods within de.....

EEEERRRRNNNTTTT EEERRRRNNNNTTTT EEEERRRRRNNNNNTTTT

Whoa that WUZ quik

Time: 11:01:37 am eastern trout time: de goods N weaponry iz transferred from de ship two de mewving veehickle....de tabbies recognize that driver....

it be..."

The message ended abruptly, but the girls and Shadow were cheering wildly! The Tabbies were on their way!

TO BE CONTINUED...in about a week or maybe a week and a couple of days...more or less...

 

COMING OF AGE - PART IV

July 21st 2011 8:34 pm
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“OK, girls, we need to think about transportation,” Shadow said rubbing his paws together.
“I’ve got a few ideas, but it may take a little effort.”
“Why don’t we just take the Mama’s magic broom?” Sleeper spoke up after listening to Shadow and Samhain argue this or that suggestion. Again, they both stared at her.
“You know,” she prompted, a little impatiently. “The one she got from that Japanese cat Jiji of Kiki’s Delivery Service. Toki introduced us. You’ve seen the anime’ films, right?”
“The Mama’s got a magic broom?! When did this happen? HOW did this happen?” Samhain demanded.
“She owed her a favor,” Sleeper answered simply. “I would have thought you’d remember. But I guess you never flew on it, did you?” Sleeper answered.
“Wait – I’ll get it.” She ran into the kitchen and came back with what appeared to be an ordinary household appliance. Except when she threw her leg across the staff, it rose obligingly into the air.

“Whoa!” Shadow exclaimed, jumping back.
“That’s amazing!” He crept closer and examined the floating device cautiously.
“Radical! Can I try that?” he asked Sleeper eagerly. She yielded the broom. From somewhere near the ceiling, Shadow looked down on her with undisguised admiration.
“Honey, I think I’m in love!” he purred.
Samhain cuffed him lightly on the side of the head as he floated back down to the floor, almost knocking him off the broom.
“Ow!” he complained, rubbing his ear.
“Come on,” she glared at him. “We’ve got work to do!” She growled in a low voice as she passed Sleeper, “And you were going to tell me this – WHEN?” Sleeper just shrugged.

“I think I know what else we can use for the initial approach – kites!” Samhain was all business now.
“We have the three we received from Zoe Kona Sunshine , Hunter and Karma Kitty and her family If Sleep flies the broom, Shadow and I can suspend ourselves from the kites, which we’ll attach behind it. The third kite will be a spare.”
“This is so exciting!!!” Sleeper cried delightedly, hopping from paw to paw.
“I’ve never been on a rescue mission before!”
“You’ve never been ANYWHERE before,” Samhain remarked dryly.
“I know,” Sleeper replied, her glee undisturbed. “And my very first time I get to go help save my own father!”
Shadow was smiling fondly at the young cat. Samhain caught his eye and couldn’t suppress a grin of her own. It WAS very exciting, and everything was coming down quickly now.

They decided it would be best to wait till dark, since no doubt the sight of three cats flying through the air might attract unwanted attention. Shadow was feeling ravenous, and downed two cans of Fancy Feast on his own, followed by a large helping of IAMs kibble.
“You really should consider getting a deworming,” Sleeper observed practically, in between her own more modest bites of food. Shadow gave her an alarmed look.
“What? Let some human stick a syringe of nasty tasting, stomach-turning goo down my throat?! I don’t THINK so!!!”
“You wouldn’t feel so hungry all the time - those worms must be getting half your food,” she added, now sitting back washing her face delicately.
“Just you mind your own business, and my worms and me will mind ours,” he answered around a mouthful of kibble.

After dinner, Samhain checked the computer to see if they were online again. There were three messages: (1) the Tabbies (2) Gump and Nadia , and (3) Jerry and Miller. The Tabbies had sent a further update on their ETA, but the others were all requesting to be included in the rescue. Could the Tabbies come pick them up on the way? Plus Jerry and Miller had told a friend of theirs, Rigel, who insisted on being in on the adventure.
"Don't forget to ask Ingen and her family," Sleeper added from over her sister's shoulder. Samhain p-mailed Ingen and then forwarded the request to Sauce of Fishbone, her Tabby counterpart manning the con at the other end of the line, and sat waiting anxiously for the reply...

To be Continued...

 

COMING OF AGE - PART V

July 24th 2011 3:27 am
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The reply from the Tabby Troutsters was not long in coming:

MORRIS DE CAT CODE: STOP.....WE GOT ROOM OH PLENTEE ON DE SS DUDE TA HAUL GOODS....STOP.....FOODZ....STOP....WATERZ....STOP.....SOUPLI ES N TREETS…..STOP…..N ENUFF ROOM TA CARRY 389,134,087,266,519,734,099 KITTEHS....OH...N A DAWGIE ORE TWO...TWO.....STOP...........

This is all they needed to hear. They relayed the GPS coordinates for the kitty pickups and the location of the evil cattery, telling the Tabbies they’d rendezvous around 12:01:56 AM. Then they left the house, Shadow piloting the broom since he was heaviest, pulling the girls on the two kites. The third kite was strapped to the underside of the broom.

Shadow was tempted to try some aerial acrobatics, but after the third alarmed and angry yell from his daughter and Sleeper’s frightened squeaks, he settled down to a straight and steady course.

A little before midnight, they reached the cattery and Shadow descended, gently pulling the girls in behind him.
“That was the most fun I have EVER had in my life,” he sighed blissfully as the girls came up beside him.
“Oh, just wait! I think the best is yet to come!” Sleeper answered excitedly.

Just then the Tabbies arrived in a camouflage humvee pulling an enormous trailer. “Right on time!” Sleeper crowed in delight. “Sh-h-h-h!!! Shadow and Samhain both hissed, glancing around nervously. The driver door opened on the humvee and Sheriff Sauce of Fishbone jumped out, looping a boomerang at the street lamp, knocking the light out. Passenger doors were opening then, spilling out several kitties. Sauce and the other Tabbies busied themselves unloading some supplies; Shadow went to confer on details of the rescue. The others all hurried over to exchange greetings with the S&S sisters. Gump and Nadia were there, as well as Ingen, Mr. Spot and Baby. Also Jerry and Miller had shown, bringing with them their friend Rigel, a large black cat with a deceptively laid-back air. Miller, a good-looking black and white long hair, standing off to the side with Samhain, remarked: “Oh, yeah – he looks lazy, but you do NOT want to cross him. For one thing, he is seriously heavy – if he SITS on you, it’s all over, dude!”

Shadow returned with Sheriff Sauce and Butter Lover Boomer, the Troutster chef. Samhain high-fived the Tabbies, and Sleeper gave them both big hugs and thanked them for coming to help save her father. Butter Lover - a cat of few words, generally more at home with his soufflé pans than with the social niceties - blushed a little, and hugged Sleeper back, giving her a kiss that lasted long enough for Shadow to glare at him.

It was decided that Gump would fly the broom into the cattery, trailing Ingen, Nadia and Miz Daisy on the kites. Ingen, Nadia and Gump would then proceed to open the cages with the wire cutters the resourceful Tabbies had thought to bring, while Miz Daisy prepared to perform triage on any injured and/or sick kitties. Meanwhile, Samhain would ring the front doorbell and Sleeper would be hiding in the bushes by the door. When people came to the door, Samhain would create a diversion while Sleeper slipped inside to go look for her father, who they reasoned would more likely be in the safest, most secure location due to his obvious market value. The Tabbies and everyone else would be preparing to lay siege as soon as they heard the call from S&S. That was the plan, anyway. Everything happened very quickly and chaotically after that…

To be Continued…

 

COMING OF AGE - PART VI

July 25th 2011 8:32 pm
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[In our last episode, our merry band was about to storm the evil cattery, so... here we go!]

“Showtime, furs!” Shadow rasped.
“Samhain, Sleeper – to the door. Gump, Nadia, Ingen and Miz Daisy – you take off after Samhain distracts them. We want to make sure the attention is focused away from the pens while you’re there. The rest of you – take your places!”
Everyone melted into the darkness as the two young cats approached the door. Sleeper hid in the bushes by the door, giving Samhain a light mew when she was in place.

Samhain took a deep breath; it was crucial that she keep her cool and provide the needed distraction. She rang the doorbell, and then sat back, striving for calm. It took another couple of rings before she heard from within, heavy footed tread approaching the door.
“WHO is ringing the blasted door at this time of night?!” a voice growled as the light went on and the door swung open violently.

The man who stood in the doorway would have been handsome if his face hadn’t at that moment reflected the true darkness of his personality. He was tall and blond with finely chiseled features. His hair, a little mussed from sleep, was fashionably cut, and his physique suggested hours spent working out in a gym. He was looking around angrily until he chanced to look down and see Samhain.

“What kind of game is this?” he demanded, a little less forcefully. Samhain arched her back in a slow graceful stretch, and rubbed up against his pajama-ed leg, meowing in a sweet, appealing way. When he reached down to pick her up, she skipped just out of his reach, looking back over her shoulder playfully, meowing again in the same kittenish manner.
“I don’t know who brought you here - and where they are NOW,” he raised his voice, looking around again suspiciously, “but you’re MINE now, so come here, kitty, and let’s quit playing around!” He made a grab at her again with these last words, but she had danced further out onto the walkway, still staying close but out of arm’s reach.

“What’s going on? Who was it?” said a woman who was now at the door, tying her silk robe closed. As with the man, the woman had a face most would consider attractive, but there was something… wrong… about it. The eyes, beneath the fringe of lustrous auburn hair, were cold, and the well-shaped mouth whose smile so often was used successfully to charm male and female alike, displayed, in the absence of an audience, a peevishness and cruelty which would have given her admirers pause.
“I don’t know,” he answered, bemused. He looked back at her, and gestured vaguely in Samhain’s direction, “It’s a cat.” When he turned back, there were two cats.

“There are two,” he said obviously, a little stupidly. Miller had joined Samhain on the walk, both sitting statue still, staring back at the humans.
“Well, HELP me,” sniped the man at the woman, irritably, as he stepped down towards the kitties. The woman came down to help him catch the cats. As soon as the female’s foot left the porch, Sleeper was through the door.
.............

Gump had been practicing flying the broom while the girls kept watch on what was happening at the door. Ingen leaned forward suddenly, giving a little squeak, “She’s in, she’s in!” Nadia leaped up at Gump as he flew by, “it’s time!” she hissed. Miz Daisy already had the kites lined up for her and Ingen, plus the first aid packs and emergency rations, and was waiting for Nadia to get in position.
“Come on, girl!” she called. And there was Nadia in place, and the lines were tossed to Gump, and they were airborne! Over the fence they flew; much too short a trip for such a glorious sensation! But then they were in the cattery yard surrounded by cage upon cage of cats.

It seems wrong to dwell now on the depths of misery and degradation they witnessed in that place! Too many animals penned in too little space without adequate food, water or care. Nadia, Gump and Ingen moved as quickly as they could from cage to cage, cutting through the latches, helping the kittens and cats out into the open yard where Miz Daisy had set up her triage. Most kitties were well enough, just stressed from the poor conditions and meager food. But there were some who had difficulty standing because they had been kept caged without exercise for too long or were simply too weak from dehydration and lack of food. A few had injuries from accidents or fights with other cats, as well as abuse from their human captors; these wounds were slow to heal under such pitiable circumstances.

As Nadia and Gump freed the last of the kitties and Ingen talked quietly to a young kitten who was mewling and crying for her mama, there was a terrific explosion at the gate!
.............

Sleeper ran down the hall and came to a stop. There were too many doors, she thought despairingly. How could she find her father before the humans returned? She was afraid to start trying doors; who knew what might be behind them? As her sense of futility grew, a curious thing happened. There was a light brush over her shoulder and she felt a feather touch upon her cheek, almost like a kiss. She turned slowly and saw the door, and knew. He is…there. She started hesitantly towards the door, then ran and when she reached it, found it was ajar.

Siddhartha was there, seated on a cushion with his eyes closed. He looked older and leaner than his photo, but unharmed. If anything, the changes had shaped him into something greater – raw metal into honed steel.
“I knew you would come,” he said without opening his eyes. His voice had a pleasant tenor quality, the words almost lyrical.
“What?” Sleeper replied. She felt as if she were walking through a dream. She shook herself, and said more urgently, “We’re here to rescue you! We’ve got to go before they come back!”

His eyes opened at that.
“You are not…what I expected,” he said slowly. For a second, Sleeper had the sense that he had started to say something else. You are not…who…I expected, maybe? He stood up and walked towards her.
“But there is something familiar about you,” he mused, pacing around her, and coming back to stare at her face.
“Your eyes…they remind me of someone,” he said, touching his paw to her face.
“My mother…I have my mother’s eyes…I’m told,” Sleeper ducked her head shyly.
His gaze sharpened. “How old are you? When was your birth?”
“In the fall at the end of September. I’m almost 10 months old.”
“Why, you are my daughter!” he exclaimed in delight.
“How did you know?” she asked, wonderingly.
“It all fits: the timing, the familiarity, your eyes – so like your mother’s, that you are here now, attempting this rescue. But even without all that, now that I am focused, I can feel it; it’s in your aura.” He stroked her cheek.
“How are you called, child?”
“My name is Sleeper.”
“An unusual name for a special girl. It makes me think of a phrase from a book the Maharaj once read to me: ‘the Sleeper must awaken.’ Have you awakened, child?” he asked gently placing his paw to her forehead and pressing lightly.

Sleeper was drifting somewhere around the ceiling, then she was up through the roof, way above the house. All was peace, all was love, all was light. She looked down and saw herself standing before her father, his paw upon her head. She looked beyond and saw her sister and Miller and the two new black cats she’d met this evening, Jerry and Rigel. They were leading the two humans around in a merry chase, circling back and forth. She could see the interior courtyard where Gump, Nadia, Ingen and Miz Daisy were surrounded by dozens of cats of all ages, some joyful, some weeping, some angry, some sick and weak, others simply dazed and lethargic. She was part of it all, connected in a way she had never experienced. They were ALL interconnected till there was no one, only ONE. She looked and saw Shadow and the Tabbies. A great wave of love washed over her as she contemplated the selflessness and compassion that had prompted these erstwhile strangers to come together for the sake of a cat they had never met. Shadow and the Tabbies were rolling something big across the lawn. It looked like…

Sleeper’s consciousness slammed into her body in the space of a heartbeat, “A CANNON! GET DOWN!!!” she yelled, pulling her father to the floor just as a massive explosion shook the house!
...........

Samhain, though she had been expecting the cannon fire, was momentarily terrified, mindlessly wanting to flee as far away as she could get. She checked the impulse, and meowed loudly for Jerry, Miller and Rigel: “COME! THE TABBIES HAVE BLOWN THE GATE! WE HAVE TO MOVE QUICKLY!!!” The others had also started to run in various directions, but at Samhain’s call, they rallied and headed for the gate, which now hung open at a crazy angle. As they neared, there was another great BOOM!!! and a pink plastic flamingo head whizzed past Samhain’s ear.
“Boomer, you IMBECILE!!! You almost hit me! It’s not even REAL, you know!!!

Butter Lover Boomer grinned sheepishly at Samhain as she ran past.
“Stoopid burds…” he muttered as he kicked the smoking flamingo body.

Several young kits were mewling in terror in the aftermath of the cannon fire. Gump and the girls were comforting them, a situation not helped by the sight of Tuna of Moon, Trout Towne’s Comedian Extraordinaire, striding through the gate in complete pirate regalia including boots, pirate hat, gold earring and carrying a wicked-looking cutlass. He struck a pose and smiled rakishly.
“Arrrghhh, ma-teese! Ur ride is here!”

Shadow and Samhain swept up, rushing past him, the humvee close behind them.
“Everyone in the vehicle NOW!” Shadow shouted. “We’ve got to get out of here before the cops show up! Tuna, we need that gurney!”

Tuna, solemn now after seeing the misery before him, nodded and went to get the supplies. Shadow looked around anxiously and then grabbed Samhain’s shoulder.
“Where’s Sleeper?”
“She must still be in the house,” Samhain said, looking worried. Shadow started to leave, but she stopped him.
“No, I’ll go. You’re needed here. Some of these kits can’t walk,” she added in a low voice. “You’ll be better able to help them. And they need to feel someone’s in charge. They’ll follow you,” she said, looking up at him, her trust showing in her face.

Shadow closed his eyes for a moment and touched his forehead to hers.
“Daughter, I haven’t said it before now, but…I love you.”
“I know. I love you, too, Father. Thank you for coming to us,” Samhain answered, her eyes glistening with unshed tears.
“And…I LOVE Sleeper,” he said, giving her a meaningful stare. “Get her out safely, do you hear?”
She nodded, unable to speak, then turned and ran.

As she rounded the side of the house, the scene that met her eyes was surreal. The two humans were cowering on the front lawn surrounded by angry cats, some of them wielding cutlasses. The male human held the decapitated body of the flamingo lawn ornament and was swinging it back and forth in front of them yelling “GET BACK!”, while the female simply crouched with her arms over her head, screaming at the top of her lungs. None of the cats had moved in yet; they simply stood, tails lashing, some growling low in their throats. Samhain didn’t stop, but loped past them and up the porch steps through the open door…

…Right into the arms of Siddhartha who was coming down the hall with Sleeper beside him. Samhain jumped back and then froze, caught in the brilliance of Sidd’s emerald eyes.
“It is you!” he breathed.
Samhain was unable to speak. Here was, without a doubt, the most magnificent cat, the most beautiful creature, period - that she had ever beheld in her life! She knew instantly that for her, there could never be another who would measure up to this animal.

Sleeper, oblivious to the interchange between them, said, “Samhain, here’s my father! He’s OK! Let’s get out of here!”
Samhain looked blankly at her sister, then shook herself, the spell broken.
“Yes, we’ve got to go. Shadow says the cops are probably on their way,” she replied, her eyes straying back to Sidd. “He and the others, uh… are loading the kits onto the humvee. You’re sure you’re alright?” Samhain asked Sidd shyly.

“I am fine. They have treated me very well, unlike the others, I am told.” He frowned, his face darkening for a moment. Samhain had the impression of a cloud passing over the sun.
“There’re no other kitties in the house, Sleep?” Samhain asked her sister as they stepped onto the porch.
“No one. Father,” she blushed as she called him that, “was the only one they kept in the main house. All the others were in cages in the courtyard. Samhain – I saw something. I…it was…I can’t explain…” she looked around and saw the situation coming down before them.
“I’ll tell you later,” she said hurriedly.

Siddhartha, meanwhile was already down the porch and pushing through the crowd of cats who were just now edging closer to the kitten mill owners.
“STOP!” he cried in a thunderous voice. All movement ceased; even the wailing human’s voice cut off abruptly. In silence, they all, human and animal alike, stared at Sidd, mesmerized.
“You must not do this,” Sidd addressed the cats quietly.
A calico manx, stepped forward, started to brandish her cutlass in Sidd’s face, then thought better of it.
“De kilt my chillrens! De kilt odders, too, ‘n hurt eden more. De be EVIL; de be needin’ to die!”

“And will this bring your children back?” He turned when she didn’t answer, and spoke to them all, raising his voice.
“Will torturing and killing these people undo the harm which they have done? Or will it make of YOU torturers, abusers and killers?” He moved in front of the humans, looking into their faces.
“The evil they have done will be visited upon them in full measure. This is The Law of Karma. It is not for you or me to take this task upon ourselves.” He gazed now upon the circle of silent cats.
“You,” he slowly made eye contact with each of them, “be BETTER.”

There was a loud engine roar as the humvee backed out of the gate swiftly and made a wide K turn, flattening five rose bushes, a birdbath, and a small cement statue of the Savannah Bird Girl.
“All a-bored, kittehs!” Sauce called from the driver’s window. Samhain grabbed Sleeper and moved over to Sidd, stretching forth her paw to touch him lightly, “Siddhartha, sir…we need to go.”
“Yes, come my brothers and sisters.” He turned and walked to the vehicle. The other kitties followed. Samhain kept pace with him.
“What about them?” she asked, gesturing to the two humans who were still hunkered down on the ground.
“Leave them. They will receive their due.”

The rest of the cats who had been in the front yard, found a place in the humvee, where Boomer had already stowed a pile of trout, shrimp, whitefish, salmon, bass, perch, tunie and spaghetti, as well as a good stock of water and some kitteh ale. Samhain, Sleeper and Sidd entered the trailer where Shadow and some of the others were ministering to the wounded, sick or very young. Sleeper introduced her father to Shadow and the rescue crew. Everyone settled down to eat.
“Eels!” Samhain cried with delight as she opened one of the cases of food.
“Yeah,” Shadow grinned at her. “We kept THOSE here in the trailer. I know how you like them!” So for awhile, they were all quiet as they focused on their food.

After they’d eaten and the ale had been passed around, they compared notes as to what had happened when. They noticed Gump had become very quiet, so they turned and looked at him expectantly. He looked down gravely, not able to meet anyone’s eyes.
“We…didn’t tell you all we found,” he said.
“I, uh…there was a dumpster there behind the fence. It had…bodies…in it - lots of them,” he blurted out with a break in his voice.
“Baby kits and others. Many of them obviously had been sick or wounded. We think they simply… discarded their ‘liabilities’, rather than care for them.” He hung his head then, no longer able to speak.

“But…what about the bodies?” Sleeper whispered hoarsely. “Did you just LEAVE them there?”
Gump couldn’t bring himself to answer; Shadow answered for him.
“Yes,” he said quietly.
“We left them there so that the police would find them. And we’ve sent anonymous e-mails to the ASPCA as well as the USDA-APHIS about this operation. And, if I’m not mistaken, I think I hear sirens.”

Passing them with sirens blaring and lights flashing, were two police cars and a fire engine.
“Well, I guess that’s the best we could hope for,” Samhain said with a sigh. Then she frowned, looking around the back of the trailer.
“Where’s the cannon? For that matter, where’s the rest of the artillery, all those grenades and the cutlasses?” she asked perplexed.
Gump and Shadow exchanged grim smiles.
“Hehehe…” Gump snickered.
“Oh, the Tabbies are going to be SO mad!” she laughed.
“Oh, no!” Shadow chortled.
“It was Tuna’s idea, and Sauce agreed!”

To be Continued…(but I promise that will be the last episode…I think…)

 

COMING OF AGE - EPILOGUE

July 27th 2011 6:22 pm
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[Finally - the last episode!]

Most of the cats in the trailer were sleeping, or talking quietly in small groups. Sleeper lay with her head against Shadow’s shoulder.
“Where are we headed?” she asked, yawning.
“To the Lake Michigan coast. The Tabbies are taking the kits to their boat, the S.S. Dude; it’s docked there.”
“Are they taking them to Trout Towne with them?”
Shadow shrugged, “No, they say they’ve got something else in the works, but they’re not telling. Once they’ve dropped the kits, they’ll swing back around and drop off the rest of us.”

Sleeper yawned again, and stretched before settling more comfortably against Shadow.
“This was amazing,” she said, dreamily.
“Everyone was wonderful. When I was in the house, for a moment I could see all of it. We weren’t separate, but were parts of some greater thing. I can’t explain it right. I saw you and the Tabbies pulling the cannon,” she laughed softly, and I just loved you guys so much then.”
“I love you, Sleeper,” Shadow said gently.
“I know. I love you, too, Shadow. Thank you so much for coming to us,” she murmured, unknowingly echoing Samhain’s words to him earlier. In the next instant she was asleep. Shadow gathered her closer to him, heart aching. She had said the words, but the feeling behind them had been no different than his daughter’s.
“Yes, sleep, my precious little one. You are safe from me,” he said, kissing the top of her head tenderly, and then he, too, slept.

In another corner of the trailer, Samhain and Siddhartha sat, holding paws, gazing into each other’s eyes. Samhain was first to break the silence.
“Why did you say: ‘It is you’? she asked.
Sidd smiled and Samhain caught her breath. A part of her mind said: “It’s like the sun rising at dawn.”
“I saw you in my meditation. You were gliding across the sky, your eyes shining like stars in the night.”
He saw me on the kite, she thought.
“I looked closer, and I saw You,” he pressed his paw over her heart, “the true Self which you guard so closely inside. You are very beautiful, little Samhain.”
“What will happen now?” she wondered aloud.
“I will go home.”
“Home?”
“To India. The Maharaj is waiting for me.”
And though they were traveling into the rising sun, Samhain felt as if it were setting.

It was just getting light as they reached the docks. To everyone except the Tabbie’s great surprise, there was an enormous yacht anchored next to the S.S. Dude. All the kits who could walk had piled out of the humvee and the trailer, and were staring up, open-mouthed. Sheriff Sauce of Fishbone grinned, and said: “The Ma Ha Ra Gee. We sent him wurd via morriz de cat code rite after the fust time Sow-in contack ed us. His yot is REELLY quik!”
So it was that all the poor kitties whose lives had been so wretched up to this point, now found themselves adopted by one of the richest men in India, and headed for his estate where they would live out the rest of their days in peace and joy, and with all the trout and eels they could eat, thanks to the deal the Tabbsters made with the Maharaj!

Sidd, after an emotional reunion with the Maharaj, found Samhain and took her apart from the others.
“Come with us,” he urged. “We can be together always.”
“I can’t,” she shook her head miserably. “I belong here, with Sleeper and the Mama and Papa.”
“I feared this would be your answer,” he said, smiling sadly.
“Please, take this token which the Maharaj has procured for me. When you look upon it, think of me.” He placed a small jade figurine in her paw. It was a statue of an elephant-headed man in robes which were trimmed in real gold. It had four arms and a crown on its head. In the crown were three tiny jewels: an amethyst, a diamond, and a ruby.
“It’s beautiful, but…what is it?” she asked.
“It is an image of the most blessed Ganesha, the maker and remover of obstacles. By His grace, there will be no obstacle between us but miles. And if I am in your heart, distance is immaterial.”
“I love you,” Samhain said.
“Always,” Siddhartha replied.
………….

It was a little after 10:00 AM before the Tabbies made it to S&S’s home. They’d dropped everyone else off first at the girls’ insistence, since, as they pointed out, their pawrents weren’t due back before the afternoon, but everyone else’s family might notice their absence and be worried.

Sleeper and Samhain gave all the Tabbie’s big hugs while Shadow mostly confined himself to more manly pawshakes, feeling a little awkward about the whole hugging thing; though he did hug Miz Daisy and give her a kiss on the cheek. The girls thanked them again for all their help, but the Tabbies assured them that it had been their pleasure. They hadn’t had that much fun since, while dredging for scallops, they found the USS Albatross (lost since 1928) and used her for cannon target practice. They figured any ship with a name like that deserved it! As they drove off, the girls heard Boomer’s voice crying a final goodbye: “Peace out N rock on, butter two all!”

“Well, you’re home again, safe and sound,” Shadow said. “It’s been a treat!” He hugged and kissed them both, and if he lingered a little bit over Sleeper, they didn’t seem to notice.
“Guess I’ll see you around,” were his last words as he closed the cattery gate behind them. When they turned around, he was gone.

Sleeper went in for a bite of kibble and a drink; Samhain hung back. As soon as her sister was through the cat door, she stooped and quickly dug a shallow hole in the corner of the pen. She held the jade figurine close to her heart, then kissed it. As she did, the little statue began to glow with a green light.
“Whoa!” she exclaimed softly. She stared a moment longer as the light faded slowly, then smiling, she buried it and went inside.

An hour later, the Mama and Papa returned home. The girls were stretched out on the kitchen floor, dead to the world. The pawrents were a little surprised at their lack of enthusiasm.
“I guess it’s just becoming old hat now for us to be gone for a day or two. You don’t appear to have missed us at all!” the Mama remarked.

The next morning at breakfast, Samhain overheard the Mama asking the Papa if he’d heard about the big bust at a local Michigan cattery.
“Apparently the authorities got them not only on violations of animal abuse, but on charges of possession of a large cache of illegal weapons, including heavy artillery, grenades, and – get this – a cannon! I think those people are going to be put away for a lo-o-o-ng time…” Sleeper and Samhain looked at each other over their bowls of Fancy Feast and grinned.

THE END

 

WE'RE VERY SORRY

July 28th 2011 2:24 pm
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First, Sleeper and I are 10 months old today! We’re getting so OLD, but just lately we’ve been having the zoomies again like Hunter says he’s been having. Is that hormones or something? What ARE hormones? – MOL!
Anyways, we want ‘specially to apologize for committing the Great Internet Sin of posting something, whether written or video, that is TOO LONG!!! The Mama says she’s sorry, too, for her part in the typing of our story in my diary – after all, she doesn’t like reading long articles on the Net either! We just all got caught up in the story, and, see – we HAD to know how it turned out!
But, really the Tabbies are at least partly responsible, because when we asked them for help, they said they were bringing cannons and cutlasses! Well, shoot! (little pun there) Who DOESN’T like cannons and cutlasses? So we just had to write some circumstances into the story that let them actually USE them. And you can’t just do that in some offhand way: “Oh, BTW, they fired a cannon ball through the gate…” No, you have to kinda lead up to it and build the suspense.
There you have it. The Mama said we should come and apologize, ‘cause even SHE was very tired of all that typing. So we’re really, really, really sorry and we promise to never do it again……..Well, OK – we might do it again, but if we do, we’ll do it in shorter segments and we’ll post a disclaimer -
WARNING: SNOOZE ALERT!!!
As the Tabbies would say: OK then.

 

4 AM ZOOMIES

August 3rd 2011 1:33 pm
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So, anyway – apparently Sleeper and I aren’t fully matured after all. The Mama thought that our 4 AM Zoomies had ended, and she heaved a sigh of relief. Think again! Ever since she got back from her trip down south, we (OK, it’s mostly been ME) have been acting up again. Not just the middle of the night wakeup calls either. I seem to think I own the kitchen counter – my own personal walkway! And, of course, anything on it is fair game. Plus I’ve been chasing Sleeper around the house at top speed. It’s true that she sometimes turns tables on me and chases me back, but mostly the Mama thinks she wouldn’t do it if I didn’t get her started. She’s the GOOD KITTY (sneer, cough, gag). I mean, I love her, but what a kiss-ass!
And the other day, the Mama came home smelling suspiciously of tomcat. “Where have you BEEN?!” I asked her. “Buying books”, she said. Now there’s a likely story. Then the next day, she AND the Papa came home reeking of tomcat and the Mama’s pants were covered in ginger-colored hairs! This is just too much; even Sleeper was a little put-out about it. It’s bad enough that they are feeding BOTH of those feral cats out on the porch; now they leave home to go consort with unknown toms. I’m amazed they have the nerve to complain about my little, insignificant behavior quirks.
And besides that, she should be feeling sorry for me because I have a gimpy, weepy eye. She just fished the antibiotic ointment out of the refrigerator; it’s leftover from when I was a kitten, which was less than a year ago, so it’s still good. She told me if she doesn’t see improvement in a couple of days, she’ll take me to the V-E-T. I think it’s already MUCH BETTER, Mama!
Oh, and Jezebel would be proud of my assertiveness. The night after the Mama and Papa came back covered in ginger hair and ‘eau de tomcat’, I was very bad during the night, running top speed and knocking things down, so the Mama got up and closed us in our room for the rest of the night (that still left us access to the cattery, BTW). When she got up in the morning, SOMEONE - I’m not saying who – had ‘missed’ the box and peed on the floor! OK, it might have been an accident…maybe. I’m not saying! Hehehe…

 

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

August 4th 2011 5:35 am
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See - all the running and jumping on counters was just the warm-up for the main event - competition hunting! Last night we got down to business.

First to score - SAMHAIN! (Big applause) I brought in a mouse! OK, so it was a very SMALL mouse, but ya gotta understand - we are limited by the size of the wire mesh on our cage. Now when the winter sets in (oh, in about a couple of weeks - the Mama interjects only half-jokingly), and the mice start coming in the house, we may have some bigger sport.

I brought that wee little mousie in and hardly had any time to chase it in the house, 'cause the Mama and Papa were still up, and the Mama heard it squeak. I was growling and wouldn't let it go, so the Papa just picked ME up and put me back through the catdoor, mousie and all! I came back in, though, and let it go in the Mama's closet. After much grumbling from the Papa, the mouse was caught and this time taken out the front door while the Mama distracted me with some kitty treats. Hey, wait a minute - I wasn't through with that!

2nd Score: SLEEPER! (More applause) By this time, the pawrents were already in bed. Sleeper's such a card; she thought it would be great fun to put the frog on the sheet next to the Papa's nose. (Hee hee) According to the Papa, the poor little thing was terrified and didn't move. He was able to scoop it up and take it outside, unharmed. (I'm not sure if we can say that about the mousie, though it WAS still alive.)

3rd Score: ? Don't know who this belongs to, so we end in a tie. (Big groan from the audience) This morning the Mama is walking to the kitchen sink and sees the dessicated body of another baby frog. (TYPIST'S ADDITION: This is baby frog season, BTW - there are literally thousands out there in the grass right now.)Guess we'll have to go for a rematch - alRIGHT!!!

Oh, and my eye DOES look better this morning, but the Mama says we'll continue the antibiotic ointment for at least today.

 
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