Seven months later…
A young kitten was walking down the sidewalk on a street in London. His coat was composed of tiger stripes all around, and in most aspects he was a normal kitten for his age. His name was Harothenes.
Harothenes continued walking on all fours until he reached a food stand. He went up to the person at the counter and nuzzled against her legs.
The person looked down in surprise initially, but when she discovered that a kitten was at her foot, she just smiled down at him.
"Hi, there," she kneeled down and stroked him behind his ears, "Aren't you just adorable?"
Why, thank you. Harothenes thought.
Harothenes just purred in affection as the woman patted him on his head. She talked to him, saying things like "I have a cat like you. Though, I must say; you seem a little young to be out on the streets on your own."
Whoever said I was alone? Harothenes thought to himself.
Little did she know that right behind her, Harothenes's younger sister Noremeda and his younger brother Sornetem were creeping up to the pretzel cage.
Noremeda and Sornetem had the same tiger-striped pattern on their coats, and they were approximately the same size Harothenes was.
Harothenes signaled "Go!" to his siblings through a gesture with his eyes, and they quickly went to the cage. Sornetem carefully picked the lock with his claws and opened it up quietly. Then Noremeda gracefully removed two salted pretzels and one cinnamon pretzel without making any noise.
Once that was accomplished, Sornetem closed the pretzel cage, and he and Noremeda casually left the stand unnoticed.
Their job accomplished, Harothenes nuzzled against the stand owner's feet one more time and sauntered away from the stand. "Have a nice day!" she called to him, waving good-bye.
Harothenes walked around the corner. There, he rendezvoused with his siblings.
"Gr'eat wo'rk, guys," he congratulated his siblings.
"A lot of t'he cre'dit shou'd go to you, Haro," Sornetem pointed out, "You w'ere able to k'eep th'at woman occupied the whole t'ime."
"Oh, th'at was si'mple," Harothenes scoffed. He gestured towards their sister and said, "You shou'd give mo're cre'dit to Nora. She p'ulled off the swipin' part so well."
"Th'anks, Haro," Noremeda smiled at her brother, "But th'at would not 'ave been possible h'ad if not been for Sorn and h'is ability to p'ick locks."
"You all d'id ve'ry well," came a fourth voice.
Sornetem, Noremeda, and Harothenes turned around. There, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer were standing right before them.
"Th'at was ve'ry good fo'r you'r fi'rst heist," Mungojerrie smiled at the three tiger-striped kittens.
"Do ya th'ink so, Dad?" asked Harothenes.
"I kn'ow so, Haro," Mungojerrie smiled at his eldest kitten, "Now, h'ow a'bout we eat?"
"An excell'ent id'ea," Sornetem nodded.
Noremeda gave one of the salted pretzels to Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer. The two of them broke it up evenly. Noremeda broke the other pretzel up into three equal portions. She gave one portion to each of her brothers, and kept the third one for herself. Rumpleteazer took the cinnamon pretzel and divide it into five equal portions, and distributed them equally. However, Harothenes' portion of the cinnamon pretzel was just a little smaller, as he much preferred the salted pretzel and he had been known to react a little strangely when he ingested too much cinnamon.
"Oh, Mom, I m'anaged to get some of th'at must'ard that you like," Sornetem handed two small packs of plain mustard to Rumpleteazer.
"Th'ank you, Sorn," Rumple thanked her son. Sornetem just smiled at her brightly. Rumple opened one of the packs up and spread the yellow condiment onto the salted pretzel. Then she started eating.
Noremeda watched for a moment, and then she said "Th'at actually looks pr'etty good, Mom. I don't supp'ose you'd mind if I tr'ied a little must'ard, do ya?"
"H'elp you'rself, Nora," Rumpleteazer handed her daughter another of the mustard packs.
Following their sister's example, Sornetem and Harothenes decided to give the mustard a little try as well.
Harothenes ended up getting mustard all over his cheek as he ate. When Rumpleteazer noticed this, she just scoffed and said lightheartedly "Haro, you c'an be such a slob at t'imes. You've got must'ard all ove' you'r cheek. H'ere, let meh get it off."
"Aw, Mom…" Harothenes groaned in embarrassment as Rumpleteazer licked her front paw and started to rub the mustard off of his cheek.
Mungojerrie turned to Sornetem and Noremeda. He asked them "I don't supp'ose eithe' of you m'anaged to swipe a few nap'kins?"
"Here ya go, Dad," Sornetem handed over a few plain white napkins to his father.
"Th'ank you, Sorn," Mungo took the napkins from his younger son and handed them over to his mate. Rumple used them to clear Harothenes' cheek. When she was done, she said "Th'ere we go. Doesn't th'at feel much bette'?"
"Su're," Harothenes answered nonchalantly.
Once they were finished eating, the five calico cats started making their way back to the Jellicle Junkyard.
On the way, Mungojerrie leaned down to Rumpleteazer's ear and whispered "I th'ink we shou'd tell 'em."
Noremeda, who was walking the closest to them, overheard and asked "T'ell us wh'at, Dad?"
Mungo looked at Rumple, as if he was waiting for a sign from her. After she gave him a nod, he looked over at the kittens and told them "You'r mothe' and I h'ave been plannin' th'is all week. Beca'use of h'ow w'ell you accomplished you'r first heist, we w'ant to tr'eat you. So, ton'ight, we're going on the N'ight Mail with Grandpa Skimble!"
The three kittens were absolutely thrilled to hear this bit of news. They LOVED travelling on a train, especially one where their grandfather Skimbleshanks was in charge.
The three kittens hugged their parents and said "Th'ank you!" over and over again.
Mungo and Rumple just held their children close and told them "You ea'rned it."
Soon, the five of them returned to the Jellicle Junkyard.
In the clearing, they saw a young tom and queen playing together by the stove. Those kittens' coats were part black, part white, and part Abyssinian. They were Lomfer and Watlina, the son and daughter of Alonzo and Cassandra.
"H'ey, look!" Harothenes pointed to the stove. "Th'ere's Lomf'er and Wat'lina!"
"Mom, Dad, c'an we go play with 'em?" asked Sornetem.
"Of cou'rse," said Rumpleteazer, "Go r'ight a'head!"
Harothenes and Sornetem were about to go play with their friends, but they noticed that Noremeda was trying to hide behind Mungojerrie.
"Is everythin' alr'ight, sweetie?" Mungo asked his daughter.
"Yeah, Daddy, I'm f'ine," she guaranteed him, "It's jus' th'at… I get a little ne'vous when I'm ar'ound Lomf'er."
"Why's th'at?" inquired Rumpleteazer.
"Bec'ause…" Noremeda began hesitantly, and then she said "Bec'ause… I re'ally like him."
The others chuckled a little. Mungojerrie said "You're ner'vous aroun' Lomf'er because you like h'im?"
"W'ell, I know th'at he likes meh, too," said Noremeda, "But I f'eel rathe' excited aroun' him. I'm not quite su're h'ow to explain my f'eelings."
Mungo and Rumple just looked at each other and smirked. Then they looked down at their daughter. Rumple told her "Nora, I th'ink Lomf'er is you'r fir'st crush."
Noremeda blushed furiously as Harothenes and Sornetem chuckled.
"Imag'ine th'at," said Sornetem, "Ou'r own sisteh, falling fo'r the son of the tr'ibe's ex-flirt."
"Oh, you're one to t'alk, Sorn," said Noremeda, "I've seen t'he way you and Wat'lina look at each othe' wh'en no one else is ar'ound."
This time, Sornetem blushed as well. Harothenes was the only one chuckling this time.
"H'ey, Haro, at least Nora and I h'ave som'one to go afte'," said Sornetem, "I don't see you doin' any searchin' fo'r a poten'tial futu're mate."
"Sorn!" Mungojerrie scolded his younger son.
"No, it's alr'ight, Dad," said Haro, "Sorn does h'ave a point. Howeve', the only rea'son I h'ave not begun sear'ching for a poten'tial futu're mate is bec'ause Lomf'er, Wat'lina, Sorn, Nora, and I are the on'ly memb'ers of the tribe in ou'r gener'ation. I plan to w'ait until there are mo're to st'art searchin'."
"Or, Haro, you cou'ld look fo'r som'one outs'ide of the tr'ibe," Mungojerrie suggested.
"W'ell, I don't kn'ow a'bout th'at, Dad," Haro remarked.
"Wh'at's wrong with th'at prospect, Haro?" Rumpleteazer asked her eldest child, "Jus' look at meh; I chose a per'son b'orn outs'ide the tr'ibe fo'r my m'ate."
"Th'at is true," Harothenes acknowledged, "But I'm st'ill not su're…"
Rumpleteazer smiled down at him and told him (and, indirectly, she was talking to both Sornetem and Noremeda, too) "W'ell, if it h'elps you m'ake you'r decision, th'ink of it this way: Even thou' you'r fath'er was bo'rn outs'ide the tribe, I have neve' regretted t'aking him as my m'ate. Plus, had I not chosen him, you th'ree would neve' have been b'orn."
Harothenes nodded in agreement. Then he said "I'll conside' it. May we go pl'ay now?"
Mungo and Rumple nodded. They watched as Haro, Nora, and Sorn ran over to join Lomfer and Watlina.
As he watched the kittens run to join their friends, Mungojerrie took a moment to reflect on his life.
Just slightly under two years earlier, he had been a stray. He had been fending for himself, struggling on his own to survive. He had not even considered life worth living back then.
But then a few months later, he had meet Macavity. For many weeks they had worked together, spreading terror over many districts in London. Despite the satisfaction he had felt with his life during that time, he always felt that something was missing.
At the end of all those weeks, Mungojerrie had met Rumpleteazer. On the same night he met her, he had turned his back on Macavity's organization and joined the Jellicle Tribe.
Now, in the present day, he had everything he needed. He had a mate who was intelligent, adoring, witty, and beautiful. He loved her with all his heart; she loved him just as much in return.
Mungojerrie was also the father of three happy, active, healthy kittens. He loved all of them as much as he loved Rumpleteazer, and she loved them the same amount. Both of them could tell that their kittens loved them just as much in return, and that they were very proud to have the Notorious Cats as their parents.
Certainly, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer had faced their fair share of hardships along the way. For example, in the nine weeks Rumpleteazer had been pregnant with their kittens, Mungojerrie was able to steal several things to aid her in those nine weeks. But despite the fact that he had pulled it off well enough on his own in the old days, stealing was not as easy without Rumpleteazer.
The birthing process was also somewhat traumatic for Rumpleteazer, partly because she had given birth to three kittens. Mungojerrie would have given anything to have been allowed to see her while she gave birth to their litter. But there was a timeless rule that toms could never be present when their mates gave birth.
Fortunately, Rumpleteazer ended up handling the birthing process rather well, and all three of the kittens in that litter had survived birth.
Life had never been better for Mungojerrie.
"Wh'at are ya th'inking about?" Rumpleteazer interrupted her mate's reflection.
Mungojerrie's mind quickly returned to reality, and he focused his attention on his mate. He smiled down at her and said "Oh, I wasn't th'inkin' about anythin'. I was jus' reflectin' on jus't h'ow much my life h'as changed since you and I fir'st met."
Rumpleteazer smiled back up at her mate and said "It w'as not exa'ctly love at fir'st s'ight, but it w'as enough to bring a'bout somethin' gr'eat."
Mungojerrie nodded. Then he said "I rem'embe' th'at we both saved each othe' once that day. I s'aved you fr'om Mac's clutches; you saved meh wh'en I was bad'ly wo'unded. But in a w'ay, you saved meh tw'ice th'at day."
"Re'ally?" she said, "How?"
"You saved meh fr'om a dism'al life as a crim'inal and as one of the Jeh'licle Tr'ibe's most-h'ated enemies," he clarified, "I gu'ess I owe ya mo're than I thought."
Rumpleteazer continued to smile at her mate. Then she said "W'ell, you cou'ld re'pay meh by comin' with meh to ou'r den and havin' some 'fun' wh'ile the kids are playing."
Mungojerrie also remained smiling and said "I'll glad'ly acc'ept you'r pro'position."
The two of them embraced each other and kissed fervently.
As they made their way over to their den, Mungojerrie looked over at their kittens. They were playing a game of mouse-mouse-cat (the Jellicle version of duck-duck-goose) with Lomfer and Watlina. Watlina was the mouse at that time, and Sornetem was the cat.
As he and Rumpleteazer stepped inside their den, Mungojerrie thought about his life one more time. All of this had been made possible just because of a few choices he had made.
Note: Well, that's it! I know, the ending was somewhat fluffy, and I don't normally end with fluff, but oh well; whoever said there was anything wrong with fluff? By the way, Lomfer, Watlina, Harothenes, Noremeda, and Sornetem originally appeared in my first CATS fanfic "Magic Meets Love." So, yes, I do own them. "Magic Meets Love" is somewhat a semi-sequel to this story, even though I wrote that one first. By the way, you may have noted that Admetus was not present during the "Rumpus Cat" session. I explain that in my ongoing CATS fanfic "Someone To Watch Over You." Also, I've decided to go back and explain all that stuff about Growltiger's demise and how Mungojerrie tied in with it. All that will be explained in my other ongoing CATS fanfic "The Boatswain," which will also delve deeper into Macavity and Mungojerrie's partnership in the days they worked together. Feel free to check them out, if you're interested!