Cast of characters:
After Mommy has rested a bit, she goes back into the kitchen to finish cooking and making preparations for her guests. Mommy goes to the laundry closet, takes out the good table cloth, and drapes it over the table. Sammy promptly takes the dangling end of the table cloth in her mouth and runs across the great room dragging it behind her. Mommy reconsiders putting the table cloth on the table and goes back to the laundry closet for the good cloth placemats. Mommy sets the placemats on the table and then goes into the kitchen to start the mashed potatoes.
Sammy jumps onto the sofa then jumps from the sofa to the formal dining table. Sammy lands on a placemat which slides under her butt to shoot off the end of the table depositing Sammy on the floor. Whee! What a fun ride! How nice of Mommy to put these neat cat toys out for Sammy to play with. Sammy runs back to the sofa then jumps from the sofa to the dining table, deliberately aiming for a placemat. Again the placemat shoots off the end of the table depositing Sammy on the floor. Double whee!
While peeling potatoes at the sink, Mommy starts wondering what all the thumping is about and turns around to glance into the great room. Mommy sees all the placemats lying on the floor and gives Sammy "the eye". Sammy grins back at Mommy in total delight. Mommy sighs, picks up the placemats and puts them back on the table, then goes back to peeling potatoes. Several thumps later the whole process is repeated. Mommy has a senior moment and figures that if she puts the plates on the table Sammy won't be able to bat them off onto the floor (Mommy has not seen Sammy's modus operendi). Mommy goes back to peeling potatoes.
Mommy has a prickly feeling on the back of her neck and turns around in time to see Sammy sailing through the air and landing on a plate that is sitting on a placemat that is lying on the table. The placemat, the plate, and Sammy go shooting off the end of the table to land on the floor. Luckily, the great room is carpeted so the plate does not shatter around Sammy. Mommy, a bit shaken at the possibility that Sammy might have been hurt had the plate shattered, runs into the great room to pick Sammy up and kiss her little head. Sammy turns her head and bites Mommy on the cheek. Mommy says bad words to Sammy, puts Sammy down, and goes to get a paper towel to soak up the blood.
Mommy has forgotten about the other plates and placemats on the table and turns back around in time to see Sammy sailing through the air to land on a second plate that is sitting on a placemat that is lying on the table. The placemat, the plate, and Sammy go shooting off the end of the table in the exact same trajectory as the first plate. The second plate lands on top of the first plate and both plates shatter. Luckily, in the way that cats instinctively have of self preservation, Sammy has jumped out of the way of the shattering plates and is unharmed. Mommy sighs and goes into the great room to vacuum up the shattered plates. Mommy had only 8 "good" plates in her china set and wonders how badly the table will look set with 6 good china plates and 2 Corelle plates.
Mommy considers calling up all her guests and telling them that the dinner party has been called off due to a wayward kitten. Mommy reconsiders when she realizes how this might sound to a boss and coworkers who already think that Mommy is a bit daft. Mommy sighs then picks up all the plates off the table along with all the placemats. Mommy is a great believer in putting off a problem to a later time.
Mommy finishes peeling the potatoes and puts them on the stove to boil. Sammy, angry that Mommy has picked up all her toys before she was finished playing with them, comes into the kitchen to demand that Mommy play with her. Mommy, miffed at Sammy for having destroyed her good china, ignores Sammy and leans over the oven to check on the turkey. Sammy takes this opportunity to jump on Mommy's butt. Feeling ten sharp little claws digging into her rear, Mommy jerks forward, bangs her head on top of the stove and clutches at the oven door to try and regain her balance. The oven door is quite hot. Mommy jumps backward, banging her knee on the outside of the over door. Mommy hops about the kitchen on one foot, clutches her throbbing knee with one hand, shakes her other (burned) hand in the air, and says very, very bad words at Sammy. Sammy is delighted with the reaction she has gotten from Mommy and hops about the kitchen alongside of Mommy trying to imitate this strange new dance Mommy is trying to teach her.
Mommy limps over to the sink to run cold water on her hand and make a cold compress for her aching head. Then Mommy goes downstairs to get ready while the food finishes cooking. [See Putting on Make-up with Mommy and Putting on Clothes With Mommy for an idea of how this goes.] Mommy smells something burning and runs up the stairs. [See Sammy and the Stairs for the reason why Mommy trips over Sammy and goes rolling halfway down the stairs.] Mommy gets upstairs to find that all the water has boiled out of the pot of potatoes and the potatoes are sticking to the bottom getting quite crispy. Mommy should have known that getting dressed takes much longer with Sammy helping! Mommy snatches the pot off of the stove before any more potatoes are burned. Mommy has forgotten to use pot holders. Mommy drops the hot pot on the floor. Fortunately the hot pot misses Sammy's head even though Sammy is in her usual position of two inches behind Mommy's butt (Sammy is not known as Mommy's little suppository for nothing). Unfortunately, the hot pot has not missed Mommy's foot. Mommy lets out a string of expletives deleted and hops around the kitchen on one foot. Sammy again accompanies Mommy in this pas de deux.
Mommy looks around at the pot of burned potatoes on the floor, the paw-imprinted, semi-scorched cornbread, the tendril of smoke emanating from the oven door, the unset (and possibly, with Sammy, the un-settable) table, and wonders again why she ever thought she could pull this off. Then Mommy remembers that she meant to make her special creamed peas. Mommy looks at the clock, sighs, and takes out a can of peas, throws them in a bowl with a half stick of butter, and shoves them in the microwave. Mommy picks up the pot of burned potatoes from the kitchen floor to see if she can salvage enough to make mashed potatoes. Maybe she can add some cornstarch and extra milk to stretch them further.
Mommy has finally finished the too-starchy potatoes, pours some lumpy (who can remember to stir in all this excitement?) giblet gravy into the gravy boat, creatively carves the paw-imprinted and scorched cornbread, removed the nuked peas from the microwave, piled all the dished and goblets in the center of the table and put the placemats on top of the pile, and has started to carve the too-brown turkey when the doorbell rings.
Mommy hurries down the stairs to the front door to greet her guests. Mommy' s hair is a bit frizzed and sticking out at odd angels. Mommy has a lump on her forehead, a decided limp, and a burned hand and foot. Mommy's guests are not at all startled to see Mommy like this; indeed, nobody has ever seen Mommy without the indications of some self-inflicted (or Sammy-inflicted) injury. Mommy leads everyone to the great room to sit down and have a chat before dinner is served. Several guests eye the dishes piled high in the center of the table, but nobody is gauche enough to broach the subject.
Finally, Mommy announces that dinner is served and that everyone should grab a placemat, plate, and goblet and take a seat. Mommy fetches the silverware from the kitchen and hands it out to each person. Sammy sees the shiny cat toys, all the people gathered around to play with her, and jumps up to the table knowing that all this commotion is for her benefit alone. Mommy quickly grabs Sammy off the table, mumbles an apology and puts Sammy into the cats' bedroom firmly shutting the door. Mommy returns to her guests followed by the loud, plaintive cries of a bereft kitten.
Mommy's guests are quite politely ignoring the racket and raise their voices accordingly in order to make dinner conversation. Nobody eats very much of the food served, Mommy decides not to tell them why the meal is in such a poor state - some people may not want to know they are ingesting food laced with kitten spit. The dinner continues in the strained manner for far too long for Mommy poor frazzled nerves.
Finally the endless meal is over and Mommy and her guests rise to adjoin to the sofas in the great room. Mommy remembers that she has forgotten to go over the dining room chairs with the sticky cat hair remover when she sees the back of her boss' pants solidly covered with long white Demi hair (one of Demi's favorite hiding places in on the chairs under the dining room table). Mommy wonders how to broach the subject of needing to lint brush her boss' butt and decides to just let it go and hope the couch will pull off enough of the hair to make it less noticeable.
As Mommy's guests are leaving, to the strains of Sammy's continued wailing, Mommy tells everyone how nice the evening was, how enjoyable their company was, and how they must all do this again sometime. Everyone is quite politely evasive about just when they will want to repeat this ordeal.
Mommy sighs as she closes the door and goes to the cats' bedroom to release Sammy from her imprisonment (the longest Sammy has ever had to endure). Sammy flounces past Mommy in a huff, then turns around to bite Mommy's ankle in retaliation. Mommy doesn't even bother with getting a paper towel to soak up the blood, she just heads wearily to bed.