He picks me up around my belly. I hate that. But then his bulky muscular arms turn me toward his face and pull me in close. Our eyes lock and he speaks soothingly to me. I should scratch his eyes out, but he sounds kind, he smells good. He rubs my ears. That is my favorite, but of course I resist purring. After all, I need to keep my dignity.
He is calm, not like most Stompers always kicking and thumping about. He is taking me back to her, My Gentle. I do not want to go, and I should kick away and dart for the bushes again. I am sure I am faster. He caught me by surprise when he leaped from his big white truck, but I am ready now. Yet his purple and black shirt feels so rough and nubbly against my nose. I tell him so, but like all Stompers he does not understand me because he is stupid.
She is waiting, My Gentle. She carefully lifts me from his grasp. I struggle some because I like the way he smells – and he is still outside. They meow to each other and My Gentle touches his arm. They yowl some more and he hands her something. He is always handing her stuff. Sometimes it is a big package filled with the poppy-poppy stuff that sticks to my tail. I do not like that. But sometimes it has cat toys in it or nibbles. Then I like him.
They meow some more and she takes me inside. I expect to be scolded but instead she sets me down softly, peers out the window, and sighs heavily. She mews at me and then hurries upstairs.
I will not follow. There are things in the big room that need attention, but first I must express my anger at being brought inside. The curtains are right there, but the damage is not immediately noticeable. The couch and chairs are a definite no-no. I would spend the night in the garage for that. Carpet? No. Banister? Too permanent, and a trip to the white-clad Stompers. Laundry? Definitely laundry. I seek out the basket and relieve myself there. I don’t cover it. She needs to know my displeasure. I need to hear the sound of her mournful mewling.
The kitchen window beckons and I find myself in deep thought there. The birds are unusually quiet for this time of day. I call to them through the screen with my expert bird noises, but as usual they do not respond. They sense danger, but not from me. From something else, probably Nigel, the big black tom next door. I hate him. That sleek muscular build, long winsome tail, and subtle white blazing on his chest may turn the other female’s heads – but not mine. I am far too perfect for him. Yes, it is true I slipped outside this morning because he called. But it was out of curiosity, not desire. If he calls again, I will not answer. I stretch and extend my claws to emphasize my point.
“Nigel, do not come here again tonight under this window after dark when My Gentle is sleeping and where I might or might not be waiting,” I call out.
I jump down and slither into the big room. My perch tree is there and I climb to my throne to survey the kingdom. My Gentle is still upstairs, using water from the sound of it. I too take a cleaning and drift into a short sleep of merely three hours or so. I am rudely awakened by a knock on the door. My Gentle opens it and I am surprised to see the Stomper has returned. My Gentle calls my name, so I deign to acknowledge their presence by jumping down and approaching. The Stomper is carrying bags and he no longer wears the skin he had on this morning. Gone is the purple and black, and he now wears stripes like the fat tabby Holford from across the street. I rub against his legs and act like I want to be petted. If he responds I will let him pet me exactly twice before I bite.
They go into the kitchen. She puts her paw on his arm and he does not pull away. He unloads the bags and wonderful smells assault my senses. There is Meat! Wondrous Meat and something else. Something intoxicating. . .
I jump to the counter and My Gentle shoos me off. I must know what is in that blue box. I tell her to give it to me but of course she does not listen. She is too stupid to understand my clear instructions. I will walk on her feet. She shoves me away and continues talking to the Stomper. Shoves me! That is it. The next time I escape, I shall not return. Until supper. Then I will sit in front of the big window which is also a door, and give her The Look.
The Stomper is opening all the Meat now. He is meowing at My Gentle as he places it on the cutting board. Stupid Stomper, give me the Meat or she will put it on fire and ruin it. But wait, he is doing something else now. Yes, he is adding the blue box stuff to it, the one with the strange heady smell. He puts a small bit into the Meat. He pounds and crushes the Meat now with his sinuous muscles. My Gentle is leaning in closer and she coos softly. Watch out, you silly Stomper. She will act like she wants you to be with her, but she will bite. I would.
Now he mixes in some other things with the Meat. Other delicious-smelling stuff. I will again walk over and delight them with my presence. My Gentle tries to shoo me away again, but the Stomper leans down and gives me a sample of the Meat. Careful, My Gentle. I will steal him from you.
The Stomper returns to his work and sets the bowl aside. He takes something else out of the bag. It is a Fish! A whole Fish!
“Yes! Yes! Yes!” I tell him and rub my body and butt against him. See, stupid My Gentle? This is how you get a man; do you not realize he caught the Fish for me?
My Gentle laughs and cuddles closer to the Stomper, my Stomper. His broad paws knead the Fish and Meat, expertly massaging in the smell-goods he has brought with him. My Gentle now has her own paws in the bowl with the Stomper’s and they are both kneading the Meat. Are they going to sleep in it? Stupids. Give it to me!
I see My Gentle has stepped up her game, because her eyes are dilated and she has lowered the tone of her meow to entice the Stomper. Ah, ah, ah, My Gentle, you don’t have what it takes. Watch me as I leap to the windowsill and prance with my tail high. Ha! You don’t even have a tail, you silly Manx.
It is time for me to end all this foolishness and take him for myself. I hop to the table, a no-no spot – but this calls for desperate measures. I stretch languidly and ease myself into my most alluring pose and cast my deep, blue Persian eyes upon him. To emphasize my desirability, I lick my muzzle.
My Gentle points to me and laughs again, leaning further into the Stomper. He laughs too as he washes his paws. Witch! You have left me no choice. Now I shall have to use the Move. No male can resist it. He will be mine henceforth and you will be relegated to the lesser males.
I lick my paw, wet my ear, then roll over on my back. But ah, here is the best part. I twist my head a little and quietly mew, “Come here.” Yes! I have him!
He puts the Meat into a dish and comes toward me with it. An offering for forgiveness of his transgressions with My Gentle. I turn over and meet his paws with my face, making sure to mark him as mine. He sets the bowl down and I smell its delicious aroma. I almost embarrass myself at how quickly I accept his offering.
Later on the couch, I allow My Gentle to sit with him as they watch the flicker of the fire. I lay on the table before him and show him my belly, which he strokes sweetly. He is a good Servant and will be allowed here again. But of course he must be reminded of his place, so I clamp down with all four paws and bite him.