#164 – Unwelcome

Dear Diary,

The Fat One was in an exceptionally good mood. He said he was “between projects” and was going to enjoy his “downtime”. Whatever that means. But he spent almost the entire morning playing with Momma and me by our sunny spot. He had us running around chasing toys and lavishly loved on us. We ran around so much, Momma had to take a nap!

Afterwards, he got up and went back to his desk. I trotted over to him and jumped up in his lap. He stroked my back and head. I was purring with pure pleasure! While he did this, he looked at things on his display and laughed. He’d type a little bit and then laugh some more.

At one point, he said, “Charlene, play my oldies list.”. The little puck-shaped beast on his desk began playing music. This is some kind of magical beast. It can talk to the Fat One and tell him things, too. The Fat One sang along with the songs. Not the most pleasant sound in the world. But it was too nice a day to let his sour singing ruin it.

After a while, he told me, “Tiddles, I have to get up.”. He gently set me on the floor. As I stretched, he got up and headed out of the Big Room. Soon, I heard him making water in the Room with the Porcelain Chair.

While he peed, he sang:

Ooooh Oh Oh Ooooh
Love is the
Love is the
Love is the drug!

When he was done, he came back into the Big Room holding our harnesses and leashes. “Who wants to go for a walk to the neighborhood?” he asked. He didn’t have to ask twice! I dashed over to him, meowing, “Me! Me! Me! I want to go for a walk!”. Momma jumped up from her nap, ran over, and joined my meowing.

The Fat One laughed. “Ok! Ok! Ok!” he chuckled, “Let’s get you harnessed up!”. He put Momma’s harness down on the floor and she daintily stepped into the loops. The Fat One fastened the harness around her. Next, he put my harness down. I eagerly stepped into the loops and meowed, “Hurry up, Fat One!”.

After he’d fastened my harness around me, Momma and I drug him to the front door and cried to be let out. “Good grief!” the Fat One groused in jest and opened the front door. Momma and I dashed out onto the porch. The General was nowhere to be seen. The Fat One opened the porch gate and Momma and I tore down the steps onto the grass.

Ahh! The grass felt so good on our paws. We pulled the Fat One over to our scratching maple tree. Momma and I both plopped down onto the dirt around the tree and rolled back and forth. It was exquisite! The Fat One just stared at us, shaking his head. After a good long roll, Momma and I stood up and shook the excess dirt off of us. An enormous cloud of dust rose and the Fat One coughed and waved his hand around to clear the air.

But now came the pièce de résistance. We both stood on our hind legs and had a wonderful scratch on the tree. Nothing beats the firm but yielding texture of maple bark as your claws slice through it. It was glorious!

It had been so long since we’d been in the yard, Momma and I made the most of our scratch. We scratched so long, the Fat One grew impatient and griped, “Alright! Alright, already! You’re gonna chop the tree down!”.

As we reluctantly dropped to all fours, the General came trotting around the corner of House. Seeing us, he came over and jovially asked, “What’s all this then?”.

Momma pushed her head against him, and he gave her head a lick. “We’re taking the Fat One for a walk, Nigel. Come with us!” she explained.

The General pondered a bit and asked, “Where are you going?”.

“We’re going to the neighborhood, sir.” I replied, “It will be fun!”.

The General grimaced. “Every time we go to the neighborhood, the cats sit in front of me staring, not saying a word. If I lick down an errant tuft of fur or burp, they go ‘Ooo!’ and ‘Ah!’. Then they say things like ‘He’s just like us!’. It’s damned awkward and makes me feel uncomfortable. I think I’ll stay here, and you can tell me about it when you get back.”

Momma looked a little disappointed, but said nothing. “Let’s go!” urged the Fat One, and we started down the driveway.

It was a beautiful day. The sky was bright blue with no clouds, and it was warm but not hot. I was so eager to get to the neighborhood, I didn’t stop to mark my territory. We turned left at the end of the driveway and headed down the hill.

I was looking forward to catching up with everybody. I wanted to tell them about our new Beast That Roams and how it took me for rides around the house. Momma and I happily trotted along with our tails straight in the air.

In no time at all, we were on the outskirts of the neighborhood. As we walked along, cat heads appeared around corners, fences and from behind bushes. Soon we had a small crowd of cats following us silently. A young Siamese male ran ahead of us crying, “Tiddles is here! Tiddles is in the neighborhood!”. More cats appeared and joined the silent crowd.

We reached our turnaround point, and the Fat One stopped. The crowd broke up and formed again in front of us. Several cats greeted Momma, and she dispensed her usual head licks to all who asked. A young grey female showed Momma her two grey kittens and beamed with pride as Momma fussed over them and gave them licks.

But most cats simply sat and stared at me silently. Fred trotted up, but instead of sitting next to me to feel important, he sat in the crowd and just stared.

Perplexed, I smiled and said, “Hey, everybody!”.

All the cats glared at me. “You have a lot of nerve showing up and acting all innocent!” a female Calico spat out. The crowd growled in agreement.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, puzzled by this greeting.

“You know what you’ve done!” a black male cat hissed at me, “You chased me out into the street when a car was coming!”. The crowd hissed their disapproval.

“You snuck up on me and bit my hiney and ran away laughing!” a white and grey female yelled, “It still hurts!”. The crowd got uglier.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” I replied defensively, “I haven’t been here in ages!”. The crowd growled and hissed more. Several yelled “Liar!”.

“You chased my hooman momma around the backyard so much she fell and hurt her ankle!” a cream-colored Munchkin wailed.

“Yeah, and you’ve been eating all the food out of my outside dishes!” Fred angrily chimed in.

At this, the crowd turned and stared at Fred. “Those are OUR dishes, Fred!” one cat said in disgust, “YOU’VE been stealing OUR food forever!”.

“SQUATTERS RIGHTS!” Fred yelled back.

“Maybe we have TWO problems in the neighborhood we need to fix!” a tabby male declared ominously. The crowd turned and glared at Fred and began to move towards him. Fred’s eyes darted back and forth as he panicked. Suddenly, he stood on his haunches, pointed his left front leg at me, and with head tilted back, yelled, “There he is! GET HIM!”.

The crowd immediately turned their attention back to me and moved towards me with evil intent.

While all this was going on, the Fat One had been watching with a puzzled look on his face. But seeing all the cats come at me, he sensed danger. Quickly reaching down, he scooped Momma and me up, turned, and began walking away. With our front paws on his shoulders, Momma and I watched the cats keep pace behind us.

“I have done nothing wrong!” I wailed at the cats, but they kept coming. The Fat One stopped and looked over his shoulders. The cats froze mid-stride and stared at him. The Fat One’s eyes widened. He faced forward and walked faster. The cats kept pace with him.

The Fat One stopped and looked over his shoulder again. Once more, the cats froze mid-step and stared at him. The Fat One’s eyes bulged and, turning back, he began to jog away from the cats. But the cats matched his stride and kept pace.

As he jogged, he looked over his shoulder. The cats were right on our tail. Letting out a strangled “Ahh!”, he began running as fast as he could. The cats broke into a run and chased us. Every time he looked over his shoulder, the cats were right there, and he’d redouble his efforts.

I stared in disbelief as we were chased. I looked over at Momma and her eyes were wide and her mouth hung open as the Fat One streaked up the sidewalk.

The cats didn’t stop chasing us until we reached the edge of the neighborhood. “Good riddance to bad rubbish!” one cat yelled after us. “And don’t come back!” another cat cried.

“Except for you, Momma Nancy!” I heard a cat call, “We love you, Momma Nancy!”.

The crowd cheered, “Momma Nancy! Momma Nancy! Momma Nancy!”.

Once the Fat One realized the cats were no longer chasing us, he slowed to a walk. He panted and gasped for air while coughing over and over. He staggered as he went up the hill. At the edge of our driveway, he stopped to catch his breath. In a bit, he staggered up the driveway and through the back door.

Setting us down, he took our harnesses off and collapsed in his chair at the kitchen table, still panting and gasping. Between gasps, he yelled, “What in the HELL just happened?!”.

He was drenched in sweat. His hair was sopping and sweat ran down and out of his face. His t-shirt was completely soaked. Water dripped from him onto the kitchen floor.

Momma and I sat facing each other. “What are we going to do, Momma?!” I cried, “They have chased us out of the neighborhood!”.

“It’s a horrible and terribly unfair thing to happen. But to be precise…” Momma said quietly, “Only YOU were chased out of the neighborhood. I can go back any time I want, dear.”.

At her words, my eyes widened, and my pupils fully dilated. As I stared down at the floor, sadness overcame me, and my lower lip began to tremble.

More later,

Tiddles

PS Photograph for illustrative purposes only.

1 Comment

  1. Poor Tiddles, so wrongfully accused. I hope the imposter is found out and the other cats apologize.

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