The Caterwaul

The Caterwaul

By: Jazzer

In Which Cats Act As Teenagers
"Allright Quaxo, concentrate only on what you have to do. Forget your surroundings," That was Quaxo's master Mr. Mistoffelees. He was training the smaller cat to be the next magical cat of the Jellicle tribe. Like it is said in my last story, when Old Deuteronomy goes up to the Heavy-side Layer, the order of cats moves up. Munkustrap becomes the leader of our tribe. Rum Tum Tugger becomes the Keeper of the Kittens, Mistoffelees becomes the "hearthrob" of the tribe, and Quaxo becomes the Magical Cat. When this happens, though, Mistoffelees will still be magic, but all the attention of the younger female cats will go to him. It's odd, I know, but that how things are.

"Quaxo!" a feminine voice shouted from behind me. The cat in training turned to look and the hat Mistoffelees had been trying to get him to levitate fell to the ground and a cloud of dust rose up.

"Gemima! How are you?" Quaxo hadn't seen her in several days. Just recently he'd been in a battle with Macavity and been severely hurt. Gemima had been hurt as well, but not as bad.

"Pretty good, oh, your paw!" she sympathized. Quaxo's paw, which was usually white like the rest of his paws was now black. For some reason he had gotten burned when he had blasted Macavity and as a side affect, the fur didn't burn off, but got burned black. I guess that's the weirdest thing about Mistoffelees and Quaxo. Their magic has strange side-effects.

"How's your back?" Quaxo asked her. She had gotten thrown against the wall when his had magic hit her.

"Fine, still a little sore though."

"Allright, enough small talk!" Mistoffelees interupted, "Gemima, I need to get Quaxo ready for the Jellicle Trade. He can play later if you want,"

"Oh, sorry Mistoffelees!" She replied. Blushing she waved bye with her paw and trotted off. I watched her go and Mistoffelees "ahemmed" his apprentice.

"Well, Quaxo, have your interests been turned towards a certain cat?"

"What? What do you mean?" Quaxo asked him, breaking his gaze to look him in the eye.

"Nothing, just nothing," he replied, smiling, "Now, back to what we were doing. Raising the tire is a big event. It usually only happens once a year, at the Jellicle Ball. When it is used twice, it is of the utmost importance,"

"Yes, Mr. Mistoffelees," Quaxo answered him in a sing-song tone.

"Allright, now, back to what we were doing, concentrate only on your task, not your surroundings,"

The trainee did so and the hat began to rise, slowly at first. When it got and inch or two in the air it started wobbling from side to side.

"Steady, steady," Mistoffelees cautioned. Quaxo concentrated harder and this time the hat went up smoother. It got about three feet in the air before it would go any higher. "Allright Quaxo, I want you to keep the hat up there. Steady, steady," Mistoffelees instructed. He did so. It was harder to do than it looked. His arms were getting sore from holding the hat up. He could feel the invisible web of magic flowing from my paws. Just when Quaxo thought he was going to drop the hat Mistoffelees broke in, "Good job Quax, now, the hardest part is lowering it to the ground...slowly! I'll do it first," Mistoffelees held his paws out. He felt his fresh magic push mine to the side and he took control of the hat. Slowly he lowered it to the ground. His eyes were slits and his ears were pulled back in concentration. When the hat touched the ground he quickly pulled it back up.

"Allright, now you try," Quaxo raised my paws again. His arms, which had been thankful for the break, begrudingly went back into place. I forced out my magic and Mistoffelees loosened his grip. Soon he had taken over the hat. Quaxo started lowering it slowly. The hat ended up going down a few inches, then jerking to a stop. When the hat was only a foot off of the ground it jerked to a stop. Hanging in the air for a moment, he tried to keep its steady pace. Instead, the hat tipped to one side, straightened out, and then fell to the ground.

"Well, uh, you'll get better at it," Mistoffelees encouraged.

"But the Jellicle Trade is only two days away!" Quaxo protested.

"I know Quaxo, but you'll get it, don't worry. And, if you don't, all you have to do is hide for a couple weeks, then everyone will have forgotten about it!" Mistoffelees joked.

"Hey, thanks," he replied bitterly. "I was kidding Quaxo! Go on and play with Gemima." With that he turned away and wapped me playfully on the head with his tail. In response Quaxo jumped on his back and wrestled him to the ground. When I had pinned him he pretended to play dead.

"I am the champion! You are the loser! I am the champion...of the world!" Quaxo sang a song he had heard on the radio the day before. Mistoffelees heard this and rolled over. Quaxo turned and saw him lying quite contentedly in the dirt looking at him with a smirk on his face.

"What are you so happy about?" he asked him. Mistoffelees rolled his eyes but the smirk stayed.

"Oh, nothing," he replied in a sing-song manner,"It's just that you, my dear Quaxo, have something on your tail!"

Quaxo turned quickly to see what he meant. In his turn his tail was jerked with the rest of his body. Quaxo raced around trying to catch a glimpse of what was on his tail. You could hear Mistoffelees laughing as he fell over in the dirt and started rolling around.

"Whats so funny?" Quaxo asked.

"Nothing," he said between gasps for air, "It's just that...just that, y-you w-were..." he couldn't finish his sentence and started laughing again.

"Darned chesire!" Quaxo shouted playfully. He kept laughing and Quaxo trotted of beginning his pursuit of Gemima.


"Do you 'ave any...kangaroo rats?" Rumpleteazer asked.

"Go fish-paste," was the reply. Gemima and Rumpleteazer were playing Go Fish, or as they put it, Go Fish-Paste. Gemima, obviously winning the game was shuffling her cards waiting for Rumpleteazer to take one from the stack. Rumpleteazer, on the other hand was looking sadly at her two matches and then at Gemima's six. Her paw was twinkling above the stack of cards as if she were deciding to pick one or not. Finally she picked up a card. Her eyes widened and her toothy grin gave away the discovery.

"Core blimey!" she shouted. Happily she slammed down the card she had gotten and then took one from her set of cards. Smiling she looked at Gemima. The smaller cat merely shook her head. Picking up the two cards she examined them.

"Rumple, this isn't a pair. This," she held up one of the cards, "is a black kangaroo Rat, and this," she said holding up the other, "is a field mouse,"

"Oh," Rumpleteazer said. Shamed, she retreived the two cards and put them in her stack. "Your turn," she continued.

"Do you have any..." Gemima's voice trailed off as another came in.

"Idea who's taking you to the Caterwaul tommorrow night?" the voice asked.

"Etcetra! Why do you ask?" Rumpleteazer asked. She all to willingly tore herself away from the game of cards and turned her attention towards the tan and brown striped cat whose head had just popped up.

"Oh, just...curious!" Etcetra replied. She had entered the area Gemima and Rumpleteazer were playing in and on the word "curious" she looked at Gemima.

"If you want to know who I'm going with, I'm not telling," Gemima answered to question Etcetra had implied to. She didn't even look at the cat but patiently put away the cards.

"Now what gave you the idea I wanted to know who you were going with? It's just that we all know Rumpleteazer is going with Mungojerrie, and Pouncival has asked me to go."

"And therefore you want to know who I'm going with," Gemima finished for her.

"Well, in a round about way, yes! I want to know!" Etcetra hopped to sit next to Gemima. The smaller cat merely looked at Etcetra and said;

"I don't even know if I'm going,"

"What!?" Rumpleteazer and Etcetra shouted at the same time.

"Why not?" Etcetra asked.

"Yeah! Why? You have to support us!"

"First of all, I'm not going because I don't have a date, and secondly, why do you need support?"

"Well, if our dates are duds," Rumpleteazer started.

"You can bail us out!" Etcetra finished for her.

"Why do you need support. Rumple, you hang out with Mungojerrie everyday. It's guaranteed you two are going together, and Etcetra, you and Pouncival have been wooing eachother since day one!"

"You've got a point there." Rumpleteazer replied. Etcetra, not so easily convinced, went on pressuring Gemima.

"Well, that's a shame, becuase I know a certain kitty who would just love to go with you!"

"You do!? I mean, who?" Gemima corrected herself.

"First, you have to tell us who you like," Etcetra bargained.

"Well, I don't really like anyone..." Gemima's voice trailed off.

At that moment Quaxo walked by the three cats. he looked as if he were on a hunt. Though looking ofr Gemima, he didn;t even notice her standing there. Unforunately fior gemima, she oticed him. As he wlaked by she caught her breath and watched him. Etcetra and Rumpleteazer tried to stray her attention but to no avail. When he was out of sight, the two cats sat and looked at her with smirks on their faces.

"What?" Gemima asked when Quaxo had walked out of sight.

"You know, I hear he doesn't have a date to the Caterwaul," Etcetra said.

" I also heard that Mistoffelees taught him everything he knows," Rumpleteazer added. This was true. Along with being a magic cat, Mistoffelees was an incredible dancer and amazingly light on his feet.

"Oh really? Lucky Victoria, she's going with Mistoffelees. Too bad Quaxo won't get to dance with anyone," Etcetra said, "So, Gemima, you don't have a dat for tommorrow night? What a coincidence. You know, I beleive Tumblebrutus is still single,"

"No!" Gemima exclaimed. Immediately she covered her mouth with her paw.

"Why not? Don't you wanna go?" Rumpleteazer asked.

"I do, but not with someone like Tumblebrutus. I wnat to go with someone who's sweet, cute, and someone I get along with."

"Hmm," Etcetra siad, "it seems that Rumpleteazer and I have our work cut out for us,"

"Us? Ya mean 'me' " Rumpleteazer interupted, "I don't wanna get all fussed up in some silly lovers quarrel,"

"Well fine then!" Etcetra replied.

"Hey! Quaxo!" a large black and white cat shouted.

"What do you want Alonzo?" Quaxo stopped his hunt for Gemima and turned to face the cat trailing him.

"Do you, ah, do you remember the name of that cat who knew Carbucketty?" Alonzo asked him. He was blushing slightly and his tail was twitching.

"Yeah, what about her?"
"Her name was..." Alonzo hesitated, "Tansyleaf right?"

"Yeah, Tansyleaf. She's real nice. Strange cat actually,"

"Yeah, thatís nice Quaxo, anyways, do you know how to find her?"

"Why do you want to know, Alonzo?" Quaxo asked him playing dumb.

"Well, I, umm, I, uh..." He stammered.

"Spit it out," Quaxo urged.

"When-I-saw-her-I-thought-she-was-cute-and-I-want-to-go-with-her-to-the-Caterwaul," Alonzo spewed quickly, and when he stopped took a big breath of air. Running what he said through his head checking what he said, he mouthed the words again and when satisfied nodded his head and looked at Quaxo.

"Are you quite finished?" Quaxo asked.

"Yes," he said uncertainly, then nodded, "yes I am."

"Good, I'll see what I can do," Quaxo siad as he stood up to go.

"Wait! Do you know where I can find her?" Alonzo stopped Quaxo with his plea.

"Augh!" Quaxo said annoyed, "Go to Kings Cross Station and see Skimbleshanks. She's been invited to the Caterwaul for bringing us the message about Gemima's cat-napping. Skimble can tell you when she arrives."

"Oh! Thank you so much Quaxo!" Alonzo jumped for joy. He gave Quaxo a hug And then realized what he was doing and pushed the cat away. Then, trotting away he jumped in the air and took off running.

"Strang strange cat, that's all I have to say." Quaxo said as he walked off shaking his head.


Jennyanydots sat in the oven waiting fior Jellylorum to return with the tea. Halfmindedly she traced a picture of a cat playing golf on the floor of the oven.

"Now don't worry Jenny," Jellylorum said as she entered the room. On her back she was balancing a tray with two saucers on it on her back. Walking slowly she continued, "He's sure to ask you sooner or later. Who knows, maybe they've been working him extra hard at the station,"

"I don't know Jelly, it seems as if he automatically thinks I'm going with him. it's not that I don't want to go with him, I do! I just think thta a body needs to be asked, not assumed,"

"Well, maybe he doesn't know that," Jellylorum said as she set the tray on the table in front on Jennyanydots. She gave the Gumbie Cat a saucer and she promptly started to stir it with her claw. "It is possible you know. In fact, Asparagus asked me what time he was to pick me up and I said, 'For what?' I had to hint to him that I neeed to be asked. I guess it's the curse of the old school cats."

"I guess so. Too bad things aren't like they used to be. Back when men asked you no matter what!"

Jellylorum sighed, "I know what you mean Jenny dear, I miss those days as well. But it's a new time and all. In fact, I hear that Demeter is going to ask Munkustrap to the Caterwaul herself."

"Hmph! What happened to all the ladies? Where are they?" Jennyanydots snorted.

"Right here Jenny, right here," Jellylorum replied.


Demeter wandered up to the tire and looked up to see Munkustrap sitting there reveiwing his Jellicle Leader notes.

"Let's see, in selecting a cat you need," Munkustrap muttered to himself.

"Munkustrap, darling, why don't you take a break?" Demeter interrupted him.

"Demeter!" he exclaimed, stunned by the sound of her voice he jumped slightly, "What are you doing here?"

"I beleive I should ask, what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be preparing for the Caterwaul tommorrow night?" Demeter asked coyly. She hopped up on the tire and sat down next to Munkustrap...close.

"I'm studying for the...the Trade," Munkustrap stammered. Since they were kittens he had had an amazing crush on Demeter, but, thouhg he was the Keeper of the Kittens, he wasn't brave enough to ask her to dance with him at the last jellicle ball, but did get a chance to be close to her.

"Oh really," Demeter replied with false interest. She was steadily scooting closer to him and he, nervously, was scooting away, "Is there anything you want to ask me?" she said sliding right next to him. Munkustrap, surprised, slid over and fell off the tire. In a pile on the ground he looked up at Demeter and said;

"Um, I-I don't think so," he stammered. Demeter groaned and jumped off of the tire. She put her paws under Munkustrap shoulder and hoisted him upright. Then, dusting off his coat she looked him in the eye.

"I guess I'll have to ask you myself," she sat down and looked him in the eye, "Munkustrap, you are going with me to the Caterwaul," she said frankly.

Munkustrap blinked then said, "I am?"

"Yes, you are," Demeter told him, "Pick me up at six o'clock," and she walked away. Munkustrap sat there dazed for a moment and then shook his head. Then, smiling he leaped in the air.


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