Author: Pirate Turner
Dedicated To: My beloved Mother
Summary: Duchess' family gives her the purrfect Mother's Day.
Word Count: 1,713
Date Written: 8 May, 2011
Challenge: For the XDisneyDreamers' weekly challenge of "mother" for the week of 6 May, 2011
Disclaimer: Duchess, Thomas O'Malley, Berloiz, Toulouse, Marie, Madam, all other characters mentioned within, and the Aristocats are & TM Disney, not the author; are used without permission; and may not be used without permission. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Duchess covered her furry mouth with her paw and gave a soft, dainty laugh as her kitten fell over onto his back before her. His paws swung as he continued swatting at the air that contained his invisible foe. "So I'd be the best alley cat ever!" Berloiz concluded, grinning triumphantly. "I'd make you and Daddy so proud, but I'd never forget you! I'd come visit often!"
Duchess' tail softly struck the floor. "And so you'd best," she informed him. She didn't want to think about her kittens ever growing up and leaving her, but she knew that it would happen one day.
Marie rolled her blue eyes toward the ceiling that stretched far above all their furry heads as she approached their mother. "Mother does not wish to hear about your silly gallivantings as a supposed alley cat, Berloiz," she stated matter-of-factly from around the present she clutched in her tiny teeth. Her small plume of a white tail frisked through the air as she reminded him, "Mother is an aristocatic lady with fine tastes. She does not wish to hear of such absurd tales."
Berloiz rolled over on to his side. His green eyes glared holes into his prim and proper sister as he reminded her, "Daddy O'Malley's an alley cat!"
"True," Marie agreed, "but he is a one of a kind alley cat."
"Scat Cat and his friends are fun!"
"They are indeed," Marie answered, sitting down before their mother, "but they are not of the style of character that any mother wishes her kittens to become."
"Marie, now, darrrling," Duchess purred cajolingly, "that is quite enough. I found Berloiz's demonstration delightfully amusing." Her blue eyes zeroed in on the present that Marie was carrying proudly. She could not yet tell what it was for it remained wrapped in two slim pieces of the kind of paper that Madame always had in her hat boxes when they were brand new. "What do you have there, my dear?" she queried, her tail swishing happily.
Marie lowered her head before her mother and gently laid her gift upon the spotless floor. The papers fell away as she released the item from her mouth, but Duchess' view was blocked by Marie's head. Marie lifted her face and smiled expectantly up at her mother. "That is for you, Mother. Happy Mother's Day, Mama!"
The white kitten's smile grew as her mother beamed her delight. "Oh, Marie!" Duchess cried, carefully lifting the jeweled collar up in both of her front paws. "It is fantastic, my darrrling! Where on Earth did you find such a jewel?"
"Madame took me to the store," Marie said proudly, puffing out her furry chest, "to pick out the ideal Mother's Day present. That is it, isn't it, Mama?"
"Oh, Marie, it is so beautiful! Thank you, my darrrling girl!"
Marie wagged her head as she was praised, her tail swishing in matching rhythm, and cast a disdainful glance over at her brother. "It is much better than some silly tale of an alley cat pretender, is it not, Mother?"
Duchess was just fastening the collar around her neck when Marie's question struck her ears. Her pointed ears turned back and forward as she realized that she had to be very careful with her choice of words in answer to her kittens before either she hurt one of their feelings or they began to brawl. Marie tried so hard to be a lady, but yet she still had a great deal of her father in her and was constantly becoming involved with battling her brothers. "I love both of your presents, my sweet, wonderful childrrren," Duchess began only to be interrupted by her other kitten's urgent cries.
"Mama! Mama!" Toulouse called, racing into the room. His voice was distorted by the paper he carried in his mouth. "Mama!" he exclaimed, sliding to a halt before her. His green eyes, filled with excitement and triumph, sparkled eagerly. "Mama, I am so sorry that I am just a tad bit late with your present this morning, but I just finished it!" He opened his mouth and let his latest drawing float to the floor.
Duchess' breath instantly stilled. Her son's artistry continued to amaze her as every one of his paintings proved to be still better than the last. Each time, she would think he could not possibly outdo his previous masterpiece, and yet every time, he proved her wrong and delivered even more stunning artwork. Her own face looked back at her as vividly as though she were looking in a mirror. She held her beloved husband and kittens wrapped in her furry, white arms, and her tail was a proud banner sailing high right underneath the words World's Best Mother. In the bottom corner of her beloved son's latest masterpiece were the words "I love you, Mother!" scrawled in lovely, cursive calligraphy right before his signature and pawprint.
Toulouse hesitated as Duchess did not immediately respond to him. "I know it's been done before, Mother," he admitted, his head hanging slightly, "but the words have never been truer! I love you, Mama!" His tail whisked urgently, but his voice was far more cautious as he added hopefully, "I hope you like it?"
"Oh, Toulouse, my darrrling," Duchess purred, wrapping her arms around her son and hugging him tightly. "Thank you ever so much for this wonderful painting, my son! I love it!" She pressed her nose to his furry cheek in a gentle kiss.
"But you like your new collar more, don't you, Mother?" Marie pressed.
Duchess gazed down into her little girl's face and was stricken by her big, blue eyes staring hopefully and expectantly up at her. She could not possibly pick a favorite of her gifts for doing so would hurt her other babies' feelings, and yet if she did not, Marie and Berloiz would never let the matter rest. She expected to hear his voice chiming in next and demanding an answer to the same query, but instead, just as she opened her mouth to respond to Marie's demand, music exploded into the room.
Duchess and her kittens turned toward the piano, and Duchess and Toulouse smiled happily as they saw Berloiz pounding out a somewhat raucous rhythm on the piano. Marie huffed; puffed her chest up; lifted her perky, pink nose into the air; and turned her head determinedly away. Duchess' tail beat in the rhythm that her son was playing. Her paws tapped the floor, and finally she whisked her other son into a dance as Berloiz played on. The song he played was one he had learned from Scat Cat and his gang, and he played it expertly well.
Duchess swung, dancing with Toulouse and laughing delightedly, her eyes and face sparkling with her joy. Toulouse did his best to keep pace with his mother but was soon beginning to tire despite the matching grin filling his little, furry face. His tongue hung slightly out of his mouth, and when his father appeared behind him; gently tapped him on his furry, brown shoulder; and whispered, "Mind if I cut in?", the little kitten was more than happy to oblige.
Thomas and Duchess swung in tune to Berloiz's song while Toulouse watched happily, his own tail beating out a matching rhythm through the air. Pulled by the romance of the dance, Marie finally looked back at her family and immediately smiled as she watched her father swinging her mother about their makeshift dance floor. She leaned forward, purring her delight. She had always been so glad that Thomas had come into their lives, and though her brother would never make a good one, she had to admit, despite herself, that alley cats were a world of fun.
When the song finished, Thomas pulled his beloved wife close and kissed her gently. Berloiz leapt down from the piano, pranced over to his parents, sat down before them, and looked expectantly up at his mother. "Wasn't that a great Mother's Day present, Mom?" he urged.
Duchess smiled, her blue eyes dancing. "Oh, my darrrlings, they are all wonderful presents," she exclaimed lovingly, "but every one of you has already given me the best Mother's Day present ever!"
"We have?" Berloiz questioned, cocking his little, ebony head questioningly to one side.
"We all did?" Toulouse queried, walking over and sitting down beside his brother.
"What was it?" Marie wanted to know as she followed the boys.
Duchess smiled broadly. "Why, your love, of course!" she exclaimed. She reached out, gathered her three kittens to her, and covered them all in loving kisses. Even Berloiz did not try to pull away from her on this holiday as he and his siblings all basked in the glow of her love.
Thomas grinned broadly, his white-tipped, orange tail dancing proudly in the air as he watched the family with which he'd been blessed. "Happy Mother's Day, Duchess!"
"Oh, it is, Thomas, my love, but then every day, not just Mother's Day or the other holidays, is wonderful when I have you four around me! I love you all!" She purred her joy as she rubbed her face against each of the amazing felines she loved, thanking her lucky stars, goodness, and her Goddess for the most wonderful family ever.
"We love you too, Mama!" her kittens chimed together, returning her kisses eagerly.
Thomas leaned his head over them and gently kissed her again. "I love you, and Toulouse is right! You are the best mother ever," he affirmed, purring deeply and thinking of all he'd do later that day to celebrate the grandest woman he'd ever had the honor of knowing. His tail whisked proudly. He'd give her his gifts when their kittens slept, but for now, he'd just sit back and enjoying watching his beloved forever mate do that which she did her best, and which was as natural for her as breathing: be that most wonderful mother in all the world. He purred his joy as his love and their kittens basked in the glowing sparkle of their love, and then they pulled him into the basking too. Duchess and he rubbed noses, kissing softly, as their kittens danced all around them, making their family complete once again and keeping it that way forever.