A Kitten Tale
(akaThe Lady Elizabeth)
Old Deuteronomy looked up from his lunch, ears perked forward in sudden interest and concern. He stopped chewing, his coffee brown eyes narrowing. The junkyard was quiet. Too quiet. He curled his tail around himself, suddenly filled with fear. His young, graceful mate looked up at him, her face darkening as she saw the concern in his.
"What's the matter?" she asked, knowing that something must be very wrong if her brave and strong mate looked so worried.
"Why is it so quiet?" he murmured, slowly rising to his feet.
The queen's brow wrinkled and she cocked her head to listen carefully. Somewhere in the distance, she could the high pitched shrieks and screams that could only mean one thing. She hissed violently, her ears flattening against her skull. Wide eyed with fear, she turned to Old Deuteronomy.
"What?" he asked in disbelief.
She grabbed his paw, panic written all over her brown and gray tabby striped face. "There are kittens. Coming right towards us! I thought we-"
He pulled her close to his chest and she calmed slightly at the strong, resounding booming of his heart pumping its lifeblood through her mate's body. "No time to worry about that now. We have to get out of here before they spread their insanity on to us!"
Without further conversation or discourse, the older cats ran and hid deep in the junkyard.
Minutes later, a pair of dust covered kittens bounded into the junkyard. They paused for a moment to look around, their sides heaving from running. Then the little orange and black striped tom kitten pounced on his companion, a little striped and spotted queen. She screeched and went down with a satisfying thud.
"Get off of me, you stupid-"
The little queen bit her lip to keep from cursing at him. He stared down at her with wide, green eyes. They were emerald bright and clear as the jewels themselves. They were eyes to get lost within. She tested his weigh by trying to shrug her shoulders, but both of his front paws were successfully pining her to the ground.
"If I let you up, will you kill me?" he asked, tilting his head as he asked.
"Probably," she answered, not sounding the least bit concerned about the whole ordeal.
He sighed, shifting his weight a little bit to ease up on her shoulders. A quick glance between them showed her gratitude and his brief burst of gentlemanly attitude. "This is gonna get really boring…"
"I'm willing to wait," she replied calmly.
"You scare me sometimes."
"Maybe you should learn not to pounce certain people."
"But I have to. It's fun."
She smiled. "As fun as you are smart."
"Hey! That was mean!" He hesitated then noticed that the little queen he was pining was no longer looking at him, but off a ways with a peculiar smile on her face. He knew what that expression meant and knew it meant nothing good for him. He swallowed. "How long?"
"About three seconds," she replied calmly.
In approximately three seconds, the little tom was bowled over by two shrieking and howling queen kittens. He let out a shriek of his own before he was pinned to the ground under them. One of the queens, a little gray and black kitten, threw her head back and laughed triumphantly.
"Ha! You're pinned! By girls!" she laughed, delighting in watching the pained expression on his face when she said that.
The tom kitten struggled helplessly against them. "No fair, Jenny! Three against one?"
The queen he had previously pinned got to her feet, grinning widely. "All's fair in love and war, my dear Skimble."
He hissed. "Just wait to Gus and Busty get here! We'll kick your tails!"
"I do detest that name," a portly black and white kitten called. He scowled at the marmalade kitten. "I prefer Bustopher, thank you very much."
"Whatever!" Skimbleshanks cried, squirming in a vain attempt to free himself. "Just get over here and help me!"
"If I must," he replied, an exasperated look on his face. He looked as though he had so many better things to be doing at the moment, but felt pity for the poor little creature the queens were torturing. "Girls, if you wouldn't mind-"
"Eat mud, tom!"
Bustopher Jones took the mud ball in the face, staggered, and fell, less than gracefully, over backwards. Jennyanydots collapsed with laughter, clutching her stomach and gasping for air. Skimbleshanks sighed loudly and let his head fall back onto the ground in defeat. Paws dripping with mud, the third queen kitten cackled evilly before making a point in the air with one of her claws. The black and gray kitten cheered.
"Way to go, Jelly! Wonderful shot! You sure-"
She pitched forward as a mud ball smacked her in the back of the head, sending her to the ground. She flailed her arms in an attempt to stay upright, but still ended up face first the dark, slimy mud. Skimbleshanks used the queens' shock as an opportunity to escape and scrambled madly towards the little tom still holding mud in his paws.
"Maw ha ha ha!" he cried. "I, the almighty Asparagus Jr., have conquered the evil Grizabella! I have freed the captured the noble Skimbleshanks from certain death! I am-"
"Dead!" Grizabella growled, pulling herself out of the mud. Asparagus gulped.
He darted up an abandoned car as Grizabella chased after him. Jellylorum's mouth dropped open in shock.
"He's running away from a girl," she noted with some disdain but mostly amusement.
"I would, too, if Griz were out kill to me," Jennyanydots replied, sitting up to watch and wiping the tears from her eyes. Jellylorum nodded, not taking her eyes from the two kittens racing wildly around the miscellaneous junk.
"Well, yes, but it's the principle of the thing, Jenny," she replied. She wiped her paws on her coat, her tiny nose wrinkling in disgust. "I'm all dirty now."
A mud ball soared about four feet from her head and the little queen turned to gaze blandly at a blushing Bustopher Jones. He frowned angrily and crossed his paws over his chest.
"Well, it would've hit you," he huffed.
"Observe," Jellylorum replied, scooping up a pawful of mud. Bustopher Jones swallowed nervously. "You pull your arm back like so." She arched her eyebrows as though to make sure he was watching her every movement. "Then, you aim. For instance, I am aiming at you right now. Then, you fire."
The black and white kitten took another mud ball to the face and reeled back. Jennyanydots roared with laughter then screamed in terror as two arms wrapped around her waist and lifted her into the air. Jellylorum shrieked in sympathy and began frantically scooping up more mud.
"Put me down, Skimble!" Jennyanydots screamed. He carried her closer to the big mud puddle. She screamed louder and began to kick her legs. "Not the mud puddle! Please, Skimble! Not the mud puddle!"
Unceremoniously, he plopped her into the puddle. She let out another scream of fury and outrage. Adding insult to semi-injury, Jellylorum fired a mud ball at her friend's attacker, only to hit the little Gumbie Cat in the face. She howled all the louder, throwing her head back.
"That didn't help any, Jelly!" she shrieked.
"I'm trying to help you!"
However, before she could fire another mud ball, Skimbleshanks crashed forward, pitching into the mud. Apparently, Asparagus had crashed into him, knocking both tom kittens into the mud next to the disgruntled Jennyanydots. Grizabella struggled to stop her speed, letting out a scream of her own, but tripped over Skimbleshanks and was also pitched into the mud. There was silence as Bustopher Jones' mouth formed a perfect O.
A shrill screech came from the bottom of the pile. The toms scrambled off Jennyanydots in horror. The little Gumbie glared at them then glanced at Jellylorum and Grizabella.
"Now, you both die!"
The chase was on. The queens tore after the toms, who howled in terror at the prospect of what kinds of torture the females could impose upon them. Only Bustopher Jones seemed not to notice. He contented himself hunting up a second lunch as the maniacal kittens tore around the junkyard.
Finally they all collapsed into a panting, gasping heap. Bustopher Jones wandered over, chewing contentedly on a discarded tuna sandwich. A gasping Jennyanydots looked up at him. She licked her lips.
"Can I have a bite?"
Reluctantly, the black and white kitten handed over a chunk of the sandwich. Jennyanydots stuffed into her mouth, receiving a dirty look from Asparagus.
"Pig," he grumbled.
"No, I'm a Jellicle," she replied through a mouthful of tuna.
Grizabella sat up suddenly, her eyes fixed on something farther off. Jellylorum perked her ears up in interest.
"Whattcha looking' at?"
"Who?" Skimbleshanks asked, propping himself up on his elbow.
"Him," she said again with a breathy sigh. Jellylorum grinned.
"Over- Heavyside! He's coming right this way!" She glanced at the other kittens, her large eye imploring. "How do I look?"
"Like a drowned rat," Asparagus answered smugly.
"Shut up!" Jennyanydots cried, smacking him. He cowered back away from her. "You look really pretty, Griza, honey. What about me?"
"Beautiful." Grizabella gasped. "He's coming! Be cool! Be cool!"
"Hello, kittens," a tall, sleek, black tom said, approaching them. The female kittens tilted their heads back in awe. "How are you all today?"
Grizabella practically swooned. "We're good…" she whispered. The other queens stared up at the tom with wide, adoring eyes. The kitten toms glanced at one another with disgusted, confused looks.
"That's wonderful," the tom said, lavishing a smile on them. Jennyanydots drew in a shaky breath. "I must be on my way. I have a city to protect and Pollicles to keep under control."
"Of course," Grizabella murmured huskily. Asparagus glanced at her in shock. "Don't let us keep you, Rumpus."
The queen kittens fell into giggles and swoons as the dashing tom strode away. Bustopher Jones scratched his head in confusion.
"I don't get it. What's he got on us?"
"Two inches, he's a better dancer, and is more fun to be around," Skimbleshanks replied, grinning widely. Jellylorum blinked at him.
"He's more than two inches taller than you guys are."
"I know. I was quoting…" He looked around at the blank stared surrounding him and gave a disgusted snort. "Oh, never mind," he grumped, folding his arms over his chest. "You guys are so uncultured."
"I think I resent that," Bustopher said, puzzled. "But, then again, you said it, so I'm not sure if that's exactly an insult."
"Put a cork in it."
"I don't think that would taste very good."
"Aw, shut up."
"But, Skimble you said-"
Skimbleshanks hissed and scooped up a pawful of mud. "Don't make me do it!"
"Oh, all right," Bustopher said with a scowl. "You're no fun."
"SHUT UP!" Jennyanydots howled, clapping her paws over her ears, her eyes wide.
The tom kittens stared at her in shock and Jellylorum mouth formed an O. Grizabella smirked.
"Jenny's gone crazy," Asparagus whimpered, ducking behind Skimbleshanks for protection.
"I know," Skimbleshanks breathed.
"Wow," was Bustopher's input.
Skimbleshanks screamed as Jennyanydots growled and leapt to her feet, looking like a tiny and fierce huntress. He spun around and ran at top speed as the little Gumbie tore after him. Asparagus clapped, rolling backwards and somehow ending up on his feet.
"Yay! More chasing!" he cried. He pushed Jellylorum backwards, the little Lillie Cat tumbling in such a way so that she ended up on her tummy. "You're It!"
Grizabella gasped in mock horror and helped Jellylorum to her feet. "Come on! He's dead now!"
Asparagus tore away from them as the little queen hooted loudly and ran after him. Bustopher Jones sighed and shuffled after them, wanting a nice, warm nap rather than chasing after these idiotic kittens that he foolishly called his friends.
Old Deuteronomy hesitated before peeking out. He felt the reassuring brush of his mate's fur against his shoulder.
"That was frightening," he murmured, putting his arm around her. She nestled against him, silent for a moment. He looked down at her, frowning at the terror in her eyes.
"What's wrong? They've left, my love, there is nothing for you to worry about."
"There will be more," she whimpered softly. He shook his head.
"No, they're gone. What are you talking about?"
"I… I'm pregnant!"