"Hiya, Birana!" called Patchabie. Birana looked up at her calico friend. "Hi, Patch," she said, then looked back at the ground. A tear formed in her eye and ran down her nose. Patchabie nuzzled the black cat. "What's with the frown?" she asked.
"Nothing, really. I'm just...remembering...Sam."
"Who's Sam? Old boyfriend?"
Birana laughed sadly. "More like son."
Patchabie looked puzzled. "I thought that as a human you were too young to have kids," she said.
"I was. Sam was my cat. Or I was his human. Whatever. I called him my son. He ran away a few months ago, and I really miss him...I don't know why I'm thinking about him."
"Oh. What was he like?"
"Black, like me, but he had a few white hairs on his chest. He was sort of shy, but I know he loved me- as a mother, I mean- and he spent a lot of time staring out the window at Bleckania, Howdedodat, Treeshash, and Chocoblotch. He-"
"Wait a second. Black with a few white hairs? There's a black cat with a few white hairs in the twins' chamber. He's unconscious."
Birana's eyes lit up. "You don't think..."
"It's worth a try."
At the twins' chamber, a black cat stirred. Tantomile looked up just as the cat lifted its head and said, in a weak voice, "Mommy?"
"Coricopat! He's awake!" mewed Tantomile excitedly.
At that moment Coricopat brought Birana into the chamber. The black cat called, "Mommy?" for a second time.
"Everlasting Cat, it's my Sammy," said Birana ecstatically.
Tantomile stared at her. "You know him?" she asked.
"He was my cat when I was a human."
"Did he by any chance call you 'Mommy'?"
"Go talk to him."
Birana stepped daintily over to the cushion where the cat lay. "Sam?"
His eyes flickered, then showed confusion. "Bleckania?"
"Actually, it's Birana."
"Wasn't Birana Lillie's..."
"...name for Bleckania in a story. Yes. I used to be Lillie."
Sam purred. "Oh, Mommy! I always wished you would become a cat!" He paused. "Where am I? The last thing I remember is fighting with Big Orange."
"You're in the Jellicle Junkyard."
"Oh, then that's okay. Um, I guess since you're a cat now you should call me Samowi."
"Sure, Samowi. And you don't have to call me Mommy. Just call me Birana."
"Okay...Birana." Birana and Samowi started purring.
Coricopat whispered to Tantomile, "Never tell me black cats are unlucky."
For the next few days Birana and Samowi went everywhere together. The Jellicles whispered among themselves that it was only a matter of time before some pure black kittens appeared, but it wasn't like that. Birana still felt only motherly towards Samowi.
"You know, Rana, if you don't admit that you like like Samowi, someone's gonna take him from you," remarked Bombalurina on a rare occasion when the black cats were separated.
"What do you mean? He's practically my son, for Pete's sake."
"See how much your son he is when he starts going around with another female."
Birana hissed, then stalked away.
"Look at that adorable little cat! Yes, my wittle sweetums is adorable," said a voice.
Samowi looked up and hissed. A hand was reaching for him. He ran, but not before the hand grabbed him by the scruff of the neck. He gasped for air.
"You cutie pie! I think I'll call you Blackie. I hope Fluffy likes you!" The hand let go of Samowi's neck and he dropped into the woman's arms, a captive.
After being shown off to all the woman's friends, Samowi was brought to her house and dumped on the floor. A gray Persian cat looked at him with amusement as he tried to get out of the house.
"There's no way out," she said.
Samowi saw her for the first time. "Who are you?" he asked.
"Samowi. Don't you have another name?"
"What's wrong with Fluffy? Mistress gave it to me. Everything Mistress gives me is good. She gives me everything I want." Fluffy started purring and rubbing up against the woman's ankles.
"Does my wittle Fwuffy want a tweat? Here you go, Fwuffums." She dropped a piece of tuna on the floor. Fluffy ate it.
Samowi was disgusted and said so. "Yeeuuch!"
The woman looked at him. "Does wittle Bwackie-poo have a hairball?"
Samowi growled and slinked away.
Birana was talking to Victoria when Alonzo and Mistoffelees came running up to her. Mistoffelees nudge Alonzo. "You wanna tell her?"
"That's okay. You do it."
"Tell me what?" Birana interrupted.
Mistoffelees took a deep breath. "Well, me, Alonzo, and Samowi were walking outside the junkyard. We saw a woman, so we ran. But...um..."
"Samowi didn't see her. She took him home," finished Alonzo.
Birana stared. "Catch her, Vici!" Alonzo cried. Victoria caught her as she fainted.
By this time, Fluffy had shown Samowi around the house. There were locks on all the windows and no pet doors.
"Once Mistress had a cat that ran away," explained Fluffy.
"I don't blame him," Samowi grumbled. Fluffy hissed.
"Fwuffy! Bwackie! Time for din-din!" came the woman's voice.
Fluffy trotted off happily. "Come on, Bwackie!"
Fluffy hit his face hard with her tail.
When Birana woke up, she was surrounded by the Jellicles and she was wet. "All right, who dumped water on me?"
There was a giggle from the middle of the crowd. Following it was a loud "Shh!"
Birana smiled. "Duh." Then she frowned, remembering why she had needed water dumped on her. "Any news about Samowi?" she asked.
As if on cue, Samowi's voice was heard in the distance. "Help! I'm locked in a house with a crazy woman and an idiot cat! Someone, HELP!"
Rumpleteazer giggled again. "There's you news," she said.
Birana thought for a while. "Does anyone know who the 'crazy woman' and 'idiot cat' are?"
The Rum Tum Tugger stepped forward. "I might."
"Who is it?" asked Birana.
All eyes were on him, and he smiled. He loved being in the spotlight. "I'm not sure about the human, but the cat is probably Fluffy. She has got to be the stupidest cat in the world. I mean, she actually likes her name, especially when her 'Mistress,' who I'm assuming is the crazy woman, calls her 'Fwuffy." If that isn't the idiot cat, I really don't wanna know who is. She-"
"Enough already! Where does she live?"
The Tugger ran off, calling, "This way! Follow me!" The rest of the tribe followed with Birana in the lead.
"Blackie, come back here right now. You're going to wear this ribbon whether you like it or not!"
Samowi hissed. He had allowed himself to be bathed, dried, and brushed, but there was no way he was going to wear the ridiculous pink bow as big as his head.
"Come on, Blackie! You'll look so handsome," said Fluffy, flaunting her identical bow.
"Samowi. My name is SAMOWI!"
It was at this point that he screamed, "HELP!" again at the top of his lungs.
"Stop that ruckus! I don't know why I don't just throw you back in the street to starve," the woman said .
Samowi continued to yowl, delighted with its effect on the crazy woman.
As this was going on, the Jellicles reached Samowi's prison, otherwise known as Fluffy's Mistress's house.
"Samowi, are you in there?" Birana called.
A relieved yowl of, "Birana! Thank the Heavyside you're here! The crazy woman is trying to get me to wear a giant pink bow!" answered her.
The Rum Tum Tugger snickered, and recieved a green-eyed glare from Birana. "Is there any way in or out?" she asked.
"I wish! Wait- I think she's going to open the door! Hide! If she sees you you'll end up being called 'cutie pie' and 'sweetums'!"
The Tugger looked like he was going to laugh again, but he stopped himself.
The door opened a crack, and the woman said, "Fwuffy, Bwackie, you be good wittle kitties while I'm gone. I wuv oo!" The door opened wider and the woman stepped out. Birana caught and held the door as it swung back.
"Yes! Oh, YES! I'm FREE! Free, free free!"
"Blackie? Where are you going? I'm going to tell Mistress on you! Bla-" The door closed with Samowi on the outside.
Samowi breathed a sigh of relief, then faced the Jellicles. "Never, never, NEVER go near that woman. You have no idea how horrible she is!"
The Rum Tum Tugger siad, with a mischievious gleam in his eyes, "Aw, she isn't dat bad, is she Bwackie sweetums?"
When they got back to the junkyard, Samowi and Birana headed for their tire.
"You know, Birana, when I was cooped up in that lunatic asylum with Fluffy, I got to thinking about you."
Birana's heart skipped a beat. "Thinking about me?"
"Yeah. I don't love you..." Birana's heart sank. "...as a mother."
Birana smiled. "What a coincidence! I don't love you as a son!"
Birana made a beautiful bride.
Exploring The Unknown