The Tale of the Cat

by Matt H

Today's done, oh my pals and all, but the day's just a-start, 'cos soon it's sundown and then things get interesting for the kitty. And to fill the time, I'm playing games with this little one, listening to his tiny mouse heart fly manylots to the second, listening him squeal and cry his tiny mousespeech as I touch him here and there and the redness flows in prettybright drops. And scarce as it may be for a mouse his fur is red to start with, and so for a keepsake I cuts and nibbles and scritchy-scratch the kitty a scrap of beauty red mouseskin to keep, and then its mouseself ceases its feeble movings and it's nearly sundown, so I slip away to a hidey-hole where I keep bits and pieces.

The kitten loves to collect!

And there I put down the mouseskin and watch the sundown and feel the gruesome rise and fall and itch twists up through me and the floor dances its jig away and its *cold* for the kitty who doesn't look like a kitty, not now. So I'm doublequick on with the clothes, fine ones from Uncle Toquell and Uncle Belor and one or two high-and-mighties of the city who didn't know they were helping. 'Cos tonight's a night to be spent with me pals in some good cheer and good herbals and good ladies, before it's home to Mummy (dear Mummy) for dawn-time. And once my glitterags are on its down to the Jolly Bandit, for some 'Well met Patrick' and some 'Evening, Pat' and a glass or three of the Bandit's firey water and a pipe of the finest Herbals.

I must tell you, pals and all, that the evening is proceeding pleasant enough, but dullish - like, and I'm thinking my way clear to a spot of the old search - and - retrieval and maybe a present for Mummy, when I spy the dog. Now Mummy has always told this kitty about dogs and their rancid ways and their stench and their stupid and their bark bark barking for the sake of who's bark is biggest and that dogs is bad. But hold he never the Herbal pipe so well, the kitty is a kitty, and even without Mummy I know my enemy when I see him. And up there by the bar is some beery - eyed, beery - breathed young high-and-mighty, and he's holding the barmaid's chin and howso she pulls he'll not let go, and he's saying in his grand - like voice how his beer's off, and she's going to take him down to the cellar so's he can check the stocks, personal - like. And because of that spider, an' the rest, on his shirt, there's no - one much that's quite looking over their way. And for all his perfume and his voice and his glitterags of the very latest, what we have here is a dog. “What we have here, my pals, is a dog,” says this kitty, “and I think a fine chance for some fundraising, perhaps by the back door?” and there is a hearty round of nods, and as my pals head for the kitchens, I stroll to the bar.

“Get me a beer, you wretched mongrel, and make it quick,” says I, putting on the voice of gravy and brandy that Uncle Belor taught me.

“Please my lord… I've got… other customers…,” says the barmaid, her voice shaky, her eyes pleading to the young dog who stares at me, leery. But I put up a paw to stop her.

“I wasn't talking to you.” It takes a moment for this expensive dog to get my point, and then he sets up a growling.

“Now see heeyah, my good myan…!”

“All I see is that you haven't got me my beer yet. Boy. And incidently, my boots need cleaning. Perhaps you'd care to use your toungue?”

“This is outraaaaygos! I will nyott stand heeyah and be insulted! I…”

“Well, then, perhaps you'd care to step outside?”

“I would be delighted! And then, you cur, you shall learn the meaning of civility!” The kitty just smiles!

And a fewsome tic-tocs later, me and the dog are facing off in an alley, and true to the form, out is the sword and the main - gauche. Well tensed, a good clawing is promised, but lo! The dog is barking for his pack… “Come out, boys! This snotling has some airs, and needs reminding of his place…” One, two, three: out of the shadows come the hulks, the louts, with their sticks and their muscles and that spider - design again, on their chests. “Nyow then… I think someone meynshonned the cleayning of boots. Haw! Haw! Haw!”

Bark! Bark! Bark!

But this kitty's not one for the unawares, oh no. One, two, three: knives in backs and throats! Loyal pals the kitty has, and quiet too. While our dog is whining round and scrabbling his wits for what's a-falling, I'm two steps forward and on him. Up with the metal claw and swipslackslash, I listen to metal on bone and he's on his way to the place all stupid dogs go to. He's a-sprawl and bubbling his doggy life out and I give's him my Last Rites, “Mummy's going to find yooo-oou!”

“What? Mummy? Who?” he has time to gibber out. So I lean up close, and quiet-like I let him in on the who and the where. There's just time for him to try a scream before it's all over, and he's off to the river in pieces, so the Ash-dogs don't find him. I pause to smile for a moment, a Mummy's picture warming me within. And then that's a fat purse for the pals, and a fine shirt (dirtied now) for me, spider-design and all.

The kitten loves to collect!

Back to the bar, and with Uncle Belor's voice on again. “I don't think that ruffian will cause any more trouble in here, madame. I can't abide a lack of respect,” and watch as the barmaid make busylike with the glasses and try to hide the red in her cheek. “Well, this is a pleasant place, but I fear that my companions and I will soon be receiving the attentions of the High Guard. And so we depart to more convenient drinking quarters, a pleasant evening to all. And if, madame, you should happen to have a night off soon, I'd be happy to make your further acquaintance over dinner. I know a little place that does particularly good fish…?” “Day after tomorrow. 'd be charmed,” says the barmaid, smiling, and say herself Mina. “I'm Patrick. Discretion requires I let you know my other name another time.” and so with the fascinating mystery, aye more than she thinks. “The night after next, then. Goodnight… Mina.” So out of the bar to a little playsome mewing and claws from the pals, and a smile from Mina with heat I enjoy.

The kitten loves to collect!

So goes the night, which prove pleasing to Patrick and pals alike. My heart is like a bird, and flies 'till I stroll along the river with the sun chasing, and spy me a pretty lady. Her cloth say her maidservant to some high-and-mighty or such, and her red hair spill down as she's poking a sack out from the bank. But the sack's still twitching, and it let out the tiniest collection of mother-calls and soggy mewings that ever cut across the kitty's souls, and my heart's breaking as I think of the tiny scraps of fur torn from mummy to this watery grave. Here's a pretty maidgirl, but now I realise she's a dog, she stinks bad of it, so I can't hardly be near her. So it's on with Uncle Belor's voice, and up close, so this dog gets what it's coming to.

“Ho there, girl!”

“Oh… morning, sir.” She looks me a question.

“Noisy rubbish they've set you to clearing out, what?”

“Yeah. It's a shame, innit? But cook, y'know, she just won't keep that moggy of hers under control, and she can't afford no more of these kittens, and the head butler won't hear of any more of 'em running round the kitchens anyhow. So out with them it is.”

“Indeed, indeed. Can't be helped.” I makebelieve to look her over, mind on the you-know-what. But polite, gentile, like. “Do they really make you work in the kitchens?”


“Seems an awful waste of someone so… striking…” And now she's got the fears but wants to hear more, too, so she lets me step right up close. And then the kitty's metal claw comes out! Swish! Swipe!

“AAAArghwhatwhypleasenonnononneee-,” before my hand close her mouth, and swip! Her appetite spoiled with steel in the guts, and slack! she won't be walking far again, and crunch! you can't scream with your windpipe crushed. I bats her back and forth while she flops and makes her airless sobs and squeals, now like a mouse rather than a dog. And I get to thinking how dog she may be inside, but the outside's pretty like. So I decide to take the outside and leave the dog here. Swipswishsnick, goes the kitty's metal claw, and the face peels off all graceful, leaving a translucent and beautiful mask in the moonlight, and with it her lovely red hair, now freed from the dog. As an afterthought, I kill her. What a lovely mask for the kitty to put with his others!

The kitten loves to collect!

But the sun chases me, so it's back to the hidey-hole, and down-twisty-down to fur and claws again, precious things in a pouch and away across the fields to home. And now the kitten is tired after a hardsome night, so it's an hour to doze and think on thoughts of Mummy, Mummy home soon. And then I'm a-waking from the noise of the front door, and she's walking to me smiling, and I curl up inside of me round where she tickles behind my ears. And the soft and warm starts within me and spreads to fill the whole wide world, 'cos this is happiness, pals, and…

“Mummy's home! And she's brought something *lovely* for your breakfast…”

misc/fiction/cattale.txt · Last modified: 2011/03/31 21:15 by osj01
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