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"So you're free tonight, huh? Wanna visit the Catitorium?"
"The Catitorium. Every neighborhood has one! It's a secret hiding place known only to us of the feline persuasion. Once a week, we gather for a discussion of our... umm...shall we say. production statistics and other updates on the feline agenda. And guess what? Tonight's our meeting! I was just heading there when I ran into you"
"Yeah! Oh.c'mon! You'll see!"
"Okay! I right behind you"
We soon found ourselves in a dark, abandoned building. We took the steps and padded our way downstairs. "One thing, Kiddy. I know you're a single cat and you sometimes get the urge to bite other cats. Well, don't do it here! We park our egos at the door and there is absolutely NO FIGHTING!"
"Sure.sure, Ralph! Gotcha!"
As we turned the corner, there were more tails sticking in the air than I'd ever seen before in my life!
"Is every cat in the area here?" I inquired.
"Every cat! It's mandatory!" said Ralph.
I looked around and recognized some of gathered kitties. There's the tuxedo I see occasionally wandering through my yard. And.could it be...yes! There's Natasha.who broke my heart (but not for the reasons you're thinking. Visit my site to find out that story!).
Finally, a huge, longhaired gray and white tom stepped up to the podium. He cleared his throat with a couple hacks (actually, I thought he getting ready to have a hairball attack but.).
"Okay, okay!" he began. "Welcome to the weekly meeting, blah, blah, blah." Looking around, his gaze fell on me. "Well, it appears we have a new cat visiting us tonight. Would you like to introduce yourself, pussy cat?"
I started to open my mouth when ol' Ralph spoke up. "Fluffy, ('Fluffy? Biggest dang Fluffy I've ever seen,' I thought to myself!) I'd like you to meet my dearest cat friend, Kiddy. He's a house cat who's escaped and is on the lam tonight."
"A house cat, hmm? Well, welcome Kiddy. I hope you enjoy your night out."
"Thanks, Mr. Fluffy," I replied. In the background, I heard a few cat snickers.
"No need for the Mr., Kiddy. We're all equal here. Anyway, Sergeant-at-Arms FurrPurr, would you please begin by reading the Pest Report?"
A slinky orange and white tom strolled up to the rostrum and faced the gathering. "Well, Fluff, and other esteemed members, we have a fairly significant increase in the mice population (A murmured 'Yum!' erupted from the crowd) in Zone One so we've promised the humans there that we will increase our patrols. In Zone Two, that crazy Rocky Raccoon is still roaming around. If you run into him, steer a wide berth. The reports of him having rabies are false but he's still a mean sucker all the same so be careful. All other zones are reporting normal activities. Now for new pets.a dog (scattered boos and catcalls rippled through the house) has just arrived in Zone Three but we're not sure as to his catability yet. Until we are, use caution in Zone Three. He runs loose. And Purrtha in Zone One had her kittens last Tuesday night - five little ones for her and Fluffy (Fluffy arched his eyebrows several times in approval). She's asked that you steer clear for a few days, since she's a first-timer and is kind of hissy at visitors. Any questions? No? Okay, you kitties have a pleasant week and we'll see you next time."
The meeting broke up and for a time, all you could see were tails heading for the exits. When the crowd thinned out a bit, I asked Ralph, "What are these zones PurrFurr was talking about?"
"Oh, our little neighborhood is divided up into different zones. We also ... well ... follow me."
Ralph led me into a small room, which was dominated by a large map on the wall. "See, the town is divided up into four zones. This helps us kept track of what's going on and where it's going on!"
I scanned the map and noticed that each house was marked with red, green, yellow, and white colors. Curious, I mentioned this to Ralph.
"Oh, those identify certain houses. Red means Danger - dogs unfriendly to cats live there. The greens are residences of cats or cat - friendly dogs. Yellow refers to areas that are shared by cats living next door to each other. White means no cat or strictly a house cat."
I ventured closer to the diagram and looked for my house. It was white. Figuring it should be green, I mentioned this to Ralph. He replied that since I was an in-door cat, I wasn't free to roam and therefore couldn' t 'own' my own yard.
"Wait a minute, Ralph! My humans let me out all the time!"
"Yeah, I know, Kiddy but they put you on a leash so you can't patrol your entire yard. The committee just thought we should mark your area as Open."
'Harrumph!' I thought to myself. 'We'll have to change that!'
All of a sudden, we heard a loud 'MRREEOOWW' followed closely by meows of 'DOG!'
"Dog?" I thought to myself. I quickly peeked around the corner and sure enough a huge mongrel had sneaked into the house. It was every cat for itself! Without saying goodbye, Ralph took off up the stairs. I stayed put for a few moments (Guess my staying indoors had dulled my cat-like instincts) until the dog careened right at me! Quick as a wink, I jumped over him, up the stairs, and outside.
I looked for Ralph but he was long gone. I couldn't find any other felines in the area either so I rambled along for a few minutes until I felt safe. I then sat down to weigh my options.
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