The magician was reaching under the display cases retrieving the last of the red balls. Munkustrap walked to the edge of the counter peering over to watch him. "I really think that 4 times is over doing it, Misto." He said.
Mistoffelees' eyes were locked on his target. "He's almost collected them all, I think he's getting faster at finding them."
"You may be right, but I don’t think he's enjoying this game as much as you and I."
Mistoffelees peeled his eyes from the box to look at his human friend still on his hands and knees, "I guess you're right, Munku, besides I don’t think we can make the jump. He moved it to far away." He relented.
"Four thousand forty-five…forty-six…. Seven.. Four thousand fifty." He had separated 50 of the balls to keep on hand for inventory in another box. "One they aren’t going to find" he added to himself. Happy with his cleverness to hide the box in plain site. The magician then placed the last of the foam balls into the original shipping box. "Oh my aching back!" he complained as he rose to his feet. He looked at the two felines sitting on the counter. "It's a good thing we're closed on Fridays, otherwise I don’t think I'd have been able to let a single customer in with such a mess." He closed the box up and secured it with packing tape. "I'm sending this thing back to the company now before you two get anymore ideas." He reattached the invoice and left the store. Munkustrap jumped down and went to look out the store window. Mistoffelees joined him at his side.
"What are you looking at?" he asked.
"I was just wondering what the others are doing. This is the first time I have been away for two days straight." Mistoffelees looked in the direction of the junkyard; "Do you think they miss me any?"
"I'm sure they do, Misto" He reassured his friend.
Mistoffelees watched the events outside the store window quietly. A small girl holding her mothers' hand pointed at the two of them with a huge smile on her face. A man walking his pollicle passed by pulling it away when it stopped to bark at them. Mistoffelees stuck his tongue out "Bark, bark, bark." He mocked. Munkustrap pressed his paws and nose to the glass.
Once the pollicle was out of view they jumped down to lay on the floor in the late afternoon sun.
Mungojerrie spent what was left of the late afternoon searching each of Rumpleteazer's and his own favorite places for the second time that day, again seeing no trace of her. Unknowingly he was avoiding the small search party out looking for him without even trying. "Where could she be?" As the sun began to set he grew more and more upset with himself for his actions and his attitude. "I even made 'er cry, I don’t deserve 'er." He started towards the junkyard, if she was there he knew Rumpleteazer was going to be upset at him for being away for so long. Not that they didn’t spend some time away from each other, but when they did, the each at least knew where the other was. He was just about to enter the yard when Tugger and Plato came into view, neither having any luck of their own.
"I don’t know where Misto lives, and who knows where Munks went off too." Plato complained to Tugger.
"You could've said something before we went all the way down to the theater."
"You know how much Mistoffelees likes spotlights, I figured he might be there." Plato explained.
"Lets just hope the others had better luck then we did." They walked into the yard.
Knowing that they would only ask his whereabouts and why he had missed the meeting Mungojerrie hid from view and waited until they passed. Once it was clear, he slinked into the yard using the shadows to conceal him. He could see Jennyanydots and Jellylorum watching the kittens, who were walking around in an almost patrol fashion. Quaxo and Alonzo were talking to Demeter and Bombalurina. Coricopat and Tantomile were on the far gate keeping watch. The only two cats he didn’t see were Tumblebrutus and Pouncival. "Probably off trying to break their necks with some silly stunt" he thought to himself "Great, ow' am I gonna get by all of them?"
Old Deuteronomy and Skimbleshanks came into view from behind the large tire; everyone turned to look at them.
"Now's my chance" he bolted without a sound towards his small hiding place. "Good thing Teazer thought of an back door." His heart fell as he thought of her. "I 'ope she's 'ere." Even before he entered the small area he knew she was no where around. "I guess she really did leave me" He pawed at the small marble he had wanted to give her as a gift. Not knowing what else to do he curled up on himself and went into a restless sleep, unaware of the conversation going outside.
"We looked everywhere, the market, the bridge, the pollicle yard…" Demeter looked tired and weary.
"We even went to their home, but those little girls think all cats are dolls and we had to make a hasty retreat. " Bombalurina explained.
"She almost broke my ribs!" Quaxo complained rubbing his side.
Alonzo spoke up, "I know this might sound mean but, I don't think we should jump to the conclusion that Macavity has Rumpleteazer, I know that Tumble and Pounce saw her being chased by Neko and Sainan, but how many times have those cats terrorized the younger kittens. If Macavity had grabbed Rumpleteazer then he would have come by and gloated by now. You know how he can't resist keeping one of his plans quiet."
Old Deuteronomy had to agree; charging into fight on such little evidence could get them hurt. "It seems that we will have to wait until we hear something from Macavity, or until the others decide to make themselves present." Sighs of relief and frustration came from around the group. "If any of you wish to continue your patrols you may do so, however no one is permitted to confront Macavity should you see him. Is that understood?" He received nods from all of them.
Plato scratched at his ear "We don't even know where that monster hides out now days."
The Old Jellicle leader started towards his own home, "Inform me at once if you see or hear anything."
Munkustrap was still asleep on the floor; the setting sun was slowly pulling its rays from him. Mistoffelees had returned to his basket on the bookshelf and was sleeping soundly. The magician inserted his key into the lock. The soft clicking noise waking both of them. Munkustrap stretched and watched him as he entered. Mistoffelees turned his head, but was too comfortable to budge. Munkustrap noted the man was carrying something under his arm. He moved off to the side so he wouldn’t be in the path of the magician. It was strange that he felt completely safe. His first encounter with the man was almost completely forgotten. "He didn’t do anything to me really" he thought to himself, watching as the magician locked the door and went to the bookshelf to stroke Mistoffelees' head. He looked on in amazement, he and Mistoffelees had caused plenty of trouble throughout the day and yet this man had never once yelled at them in anger or threatened them. The magician turned to look at Munkustrap.
"Hi there Gin" he said softly.
He walked over to where the tabby was sitting on the floor. "I got you something, I hope you like it."
He walked over to where the carrier was positioned replacing it with a wicker basket lined with sheepskin. A thick flannel pillow fit neatly inside. "What do you think?"
Munkustrap sat unblinking, "Had he heard right? This man who he had attacked and injured, and with the help of Misto, caused so much trouble, got him a gift?"
"UNFAIR!" Mistoffelees mewed loudly and he jumped down from his bed. "I do all the work and you get the new bed?"
The man picked the tuxedo up. "That one's not for you, Misto" He cradled him and scratched his belly. Mistoffelees gripped his hand with his claws and bit playfully, "Are you ready to eat?" He carried him to the kitchen.
Munkustrap remained completely baffled. He could hear the magician talking to Mistoffelees in the kitchen. After a little while he came back and placed Mistoffelees on the floor. "Lets see what your friend want's to eat tonight." He set two cans of food on the floor. "Which is it tonight, Gin?" Mistoffelees chuckled at the look of surprise on the tabby's face.
"Go on Munku, pick one." he encouraged.
Munkustrap tentatively touched one with his paw. "Turkey and egg, a gourmet are you?" Before he rose, he picked the cans up from the floor and extended his hand out, gently stroking the top of Munkustrap's head with a finger. Seeing the large tom wasn’t going to move he brought his hand around to scratch under his chin. Mistoffelees looked on amazed. He knew how difficult it was for his friend to trust a human. The magician stood slowly and went about preparing their food bowls. Mistoffelees had a silly grin on his face.
"What?" Munkustrap asked somewhat embarrassed.
"You trust him, don’t you?" Munkustrap looked at the magician through the doorway.
"Yes" he said simply "I think I do."
After the two of them had finished their meals, the magician had teased them with a laser light. The two felines darted about trying to capture the small red dot as it zipped across the floor. "You know it's impossible to catch." Munkustrap commented while sliding across the floor.
Mistoffelees was darting around, his body spinning as he made sharp turns trying to keep up with the ever-elusive red dot that zipped from the floor to the wall making crazy patterns. Munkustrap charged the wall bouncing off of it neatly when the light zipped back to the floor.
"Yea, but it's the chase I enjoy!" Mistoffelees shouted as he almost collided with the wall. His eyes darted around trying to locate its next position.
Munkustrap was standing perfectly still; he could see the light moving slowly along the base of the wall…slowly…he crouched low. Unexpectedly the light vanished from his view; he remained motionless waiting for the light to return. Mistoffelees glanced around again, "Where did it go…" He was going to cheat and look at the position of the magicians hands to reveal the location when he saw the sudden movement of red dart in front of him and stop to rest on Munkustrap's tail tip. Munkustrap was still crouched, his eyes never leaving the lights last location. Mistoffelees knew he was being set up but he was in a good mood anyway and couldn't resist the urge to humor his owner. He crept close and whispered softly to Munkustrap. "Don't move…I can see it…." Munkustrap remained still…
"Where is it?" he whispered back.
Mistoffelees crept closer.. "Right…..HERE!" he shouted as he pounced.
Munkustrap turned just in time to see the tux in mid air he rolled on his back catching Mistoffelees with his back feet and kicked him over his head. Mistoffelees tumbled through the air and finally landed in a recently closed, un-taped box he hadn't noticed before. Woooomph! Fifty foam balls sprung into the air at the impact. Munkustrap was rolling on his back with laughter as they littered the floor once again. Mistoffelees was in hysterics "I knew they were around here somewhere!"
The magician could only groan at his own mistake "One….two…three….."
As it grew darker the magician secured his store and made one last check on the now completely sealed box. "Finally I think I can open for business tomorrow." He glanced at the two cats curled up in their baskets. As he was wiping off the counter he saw the collar he had removed from Munkustrap's neck the first night. He picked it up and knelt in front of the tom. "You know Gin, I realize you probably belong to someone else, but you are always welcome to stay here, and visit as often as you like." He brought the collar into view and Munkustrap looked at it through different eyes. The collar had once been a reminder to him of his past owner, and the cruel treatment that he endured. However now it took on a completely different meaning, as it would always remind him of the trust he learned to give and kindness this man had shown him. He looked at the magician as he fastened the collar around his neck. For Munkustrap it was a big step, "I never thought I would trust a human again" He felt a shiver run up his back as the magician scratched his neck. Much to his surprise he released a small but audible "purr". The magician smiled, and with one final stroke down his back the he stood and walked to where Mistoffelees was sleeping. Mistoffelees purred quietly as he scratched his chin. Turning out the light the magician made his way to the small bedroom and went to bed.
Rumpleteazer tried her best to look under the door. "MEW!" she called out again. Her throat was getting sore from all the noise she had been making.
"Can't we just let them out for a little while?" came the voice of one of the girls.
"No sweetie, they have to remain in there tonight. We can’t risk them getting out of the house. Now go to sleep we leave early tomorrow."
"Them? They?" Rumpleteazer thought to herself, "They think Jerrie's in 'ere too?" She was getting worried by the second. If they thought Jerrie was with her, and she knew he wasn't, and they were leaving tomorrow and planning to keep them locked in the house, but it would only be her since Mungojerrie was nowhere to be found. "That must mean Jerrie's out looking for me!" She clawed at the door mewing loudly "I 'ave to out!" she darted around the room looking for something to break in frustration.
"It’s a good thing we took all the breakables out of there," The man said
"You can say that again," His wife agreed, "Good thing that we’re only going to be away for 2 days, they absolutely hate being locked up."
Rumpleteazer sat defeated on the bed, " 'ow am I ever going to get out of this one"
The clock alarm went of waking the family at dawn. They rushed around the house making last minute checks. "Is the oven off?" The lady called from outside.
"Yes, did you lock the windows?" her husband called from the doorway.
"I did, was the pet door locked?" one of the girls shouted as she bounded from the house climbing into the back seat.
" I took care of that, okay everyone, lets go, don’t forget to open the door to the cats room so they have access to the house." The man called to his other daughter as she locked the front door.
"I just opened it, I think we're ready to go!" She joined her sister in the back seat.
The car pulled out of the driveway and went down the road.
Rumpleteazer had awoken at the sounds of the family in the house, when they had finally opened the door to the room she was in she waited until it was quite to emerge. "We'll its about time." She headed down the stairs and went to the cat door. "Now I can go find Jerr…" (Bonk!) "Wha?" she rubbed her head, "That's not right", she tried to go through the door once more, (bonk!) "OW!" she exclaimed as her head once more bumped the door, which was firmly locked. "If it's not one thing it's another.." she grumbled.
The morning sun slowly spread warm rays of light on the Jellicle junkyard. Pouncival and Tumblebrutus were the first to wake eager to practice more of their moves on the mattress. Almost all the others were to exhausted from their efforts the previous day, from walking the entire neighborhood in search of their missing friends. Alonzo, Tugger and Plato had stayed awake all night in the hopes that they might catch one of the missing trio sneaking back into the yard. Jemima was the only one that was walking around. She stopped in front of the tumbling duo, watching in awe as they preformed fantastic summersaults in the air. "How did you guys get so good at tumbling?" she asked. "Practice, (boing) practice (boing) practice! (Crash!)" Pounce collided with Tumble in the air; they both fell on a pile of aluminum hubcaps sending them clattering around. Mungojerrie emerged from his hole with a terrible frown on his face.
"Don’t you two 'ave anything better to do?!" he shouted.
Jemima slipped quietly out of the way, but stayed near enough to hear the conversation. Pounce and Tumble regained their feet and ran towards him. "Mungojerrie! Where have you been? Everyone has been looking for you."
"Well I 'ave no interest in talking to anyone until I find Teazer, so if you don't mind, get out of my way." He growled.
"Find Rump…Oh no! You haven't heard!" Pounce started to back away.
" 'eard what?" he glared at the younger tom.
Pouncival stood behind Tumblebrutus using him as a shield. "You haven't heard what…… Tumble's going to tell you" Tumblebrutus shot him a thanks-a-lot look, then turned to face the angry tabby in front of him. "Uh…Mungo, we tried to find you to let you know when it happened but you were too well hidden…"
"TELL ME WHAT?" He snarled.
Tumblebrutus took a few steps back from him. "Macavity had his cats grab her yesterday, we saw it happen."
Mungojerrie stood in shock at the news, "Wh..when…did.. ?" He managed
"Yesterday, early afternoon" Pounce answered him.
He stood in the warm sunlight, but he felt cold and dark inside as an icy grip squeezed his heart. He turned, and without another word, went back into his hiding place
Jemima couldn't believe what she had just heard, she and the other kittens hadn’t attended the last meetings because Jennyanydots and Jellylorum had said that it was something they should be to concerned about. "I know why they didn't want us there" she thought to herself, "They didn’t want us to worry about her, Poor Rumpleteazer! Catnapped by Macavity! I have to tell Munkustrap!" The small kitten slipped away unnoticed by Tumblebrutus and Pouncival, she crept to the far end of the gate surrounding the junkyard, and carefully she squeezed through a small hidden gap and was soon on the other side of the gate. She looked around to make sure no one had noticed her departure and headed towards Mistoffelees' home. "I don’t know why nobody asked me where he lived." She ran as fast as she could but eventually she grew tired and had to slow to a walk. "I just hope I'm right about this, Misto is best friends with Munkustrap, and if Munkustrap's not there with him, I don’t know where to look."
Munkustrap had awoken early and had spent most of the morning staring out the store window towards the Jellicle junkyard deep in thought. "These last two days have been great, no problems to worry about, no one wanting me to know all the answers to all their dilemmas. I've eaten well everyday, been warm, and this human really cares about me." He looked at his reflection in the window. "I know that Old Deuteronomy had wanted me to be the leader of the tribe, but I'm not sure that's what I want anymore."
Mistoffelees, still curled in his basket on the bookshelf, watched the large tabby's shoulders slouch, and knew that he was thinking about something very important. "I bet I know what it is too.."
Mistoffelees was very happy and fortunate to have such a wonderful home. After all his problems in the junkyard he was feeling more and more comfortable with his decision to remain at home and even considered that he might not want to go back to the junkyard. He hadn’t even thought about Macavity. The fact that Munkustrap had come to see him and was even beginning to like his owner was even better, if he wanted to stay he would have his best friend to keep him company. He and Munkustrap had always gotten along very well. Only, now he could sense that his friend was having mixed thoughts about everything that had transpired. Mistoffelees moved his gaze to watch his other friend busy about in the store in preparation of opening. He wiped the counters once more, checked all his shelves, and finally unlocked the front door, flipping the "CLOSED" sign to "YES! We're OPEN" Munkustrap remained by the window. Mistoffelees jumped down from his basket and trotted over to his food bowl, he ate just a little of the liver meal he had chosen and walked over to join Munkustrap, noting the other hadn’t eaten at all.
"Good morning, Munku" he jumped onto the ledge.
"Hi, Misto" he replied. "You didn’t like breakfast?"
The larger feline kept his gaze outside. "Misto, I've been thinking a lot and I think that I really like it here. However I don’t want to intrude in your home."
The magical cat shook his head, "You aren’t intruding! You are very welcome here, but somehow I don’t think that is the only thing you have been thinking about."
Munkustrap turned to look at his friend. "You're right Mistoffelees, I have been thinking about the others. I wonder how they are doing, what they have all been up to, and yet at the same time I'm glad I haven't had to worry about them."
Mistoffelees knew his own reasons for wanting Munkustrap to stay were selfish, and if he was going to help his friend to decide for the best, he knew that he should convince him that returning to the tribe would be the best thing. Everyone trusted him; he was the perfect leader. "You know…"
The ringing of the store bell cut him off, announcing the first customer. They sat quietly watching as customers came in an browsed, some brought their children inside the store and while Munkustrap had sought the highest point in the store, he might be able to trust this human with out a problem but children were something different all together.
"One hurdle at a time" Mistoffelees ate the attention up.
"Mommy look, this cat's wearing a suit, he's so cute!" Mistoffelees grinned up at his friend on the bookcase, "Hear that? I'm cute"
Munkustrap rolled his eyes, " Compared to what?" he teased.
Mistoffelees sat up with his head high, "You're just jealous."
Jemima had to sit down, "Whew, I wish I had longer legs, Misto, I hope you're there…and I hope Munkus is with you." Knowing the urgency of her message she forced herself to continue.
Gauging the distance she needed Rumpleteazer backed away counting her steps, then charging forward at full speed she jumped. She sprung off the sofa cushion, springing to the leather recliner, bouncing into the air she then swung from the hanging plant, propelling herself towards the lace curtains, once maintaining a grip with her claws shredding them nicely she climbed to the top of the valence. "NO!" she shouted in frustrating. The small windows above the sliding glass doors had been locked tight as well. "Ok, there's more then one way to get out of 'ere" she planned her decent.
Mungojerrie gently pawed the small glass marble on the ground, staring at the black and orange swirls that danced inside. "Teazer, if you are injured…." His hatred for Macavity grew with such intensity he shook "I'll kill 'im" He whispered. Placing the marble in his mouth he slipped out the back, heading for Macavity's lair.
"What do you mean it was all my fault?!" Pouncival shoved Tumblebrutus into a heap of trash.
Tumble got up quickly and charged the other "You're the one who said, and let me quote, 'You haven't heard what Tumble's going to tell you'. If you hadn't been trying to show off for Jemima then mabey we wouldn’t have collided in the air and made so much noise to wake Mr. Grumpy Mungo."
"Like I was the only one showing off!" Pounce shouted.
"What is all this yelling? Don’t you two have any consideration for the others that share this yard with you?" Alonzo had a scowl on his face, obviously from being forced out of bed even though it was almost afternoon.
Pounce defended himself quickly, "It wasn't my fault! We were both jumping! How was I supposed to know Mungojerrie was asleep in his hideout?"
Alonzo did a double take at the white and brown scribbled tabby. "WHO?"
Tumble thought it was best to speak up, "I didn’t know he was in there, if I did I sure wouldn’t have been making so much noise. Especially in the mood he's been in."
Alonzo stood flabbergasted. "You two are telling me that Mungojerrie was here in the junkyard the whole time and you didn’t tell anyone?!"
Rum Tug Tugger jumped down from his favorite spot on the old ford. "Did I hear that right?" he glowered at the two tabbies. "You're telling us that Mungojerrie has been here all night?"
Pounce and Tumble nodded. "It seems that way"
Alonzo had to cut in at that " When you two were told to search around the yard, did you even think to look in their hideout?"
Tumble and Pounce found a sudden interest on the floor. "No…" they said at the same time.
Alonzo threw his paws in the air "I don't believe this! Well where is he? Where did he go?"
Tumble gave Pounce a shove in the direction of Alonzo and a very annoyed Tugger, "Pounce want's to tell you.."
Pounce cowered slightly.. "Um…. well you see…"
"At last!" Jemima rested on the steps leading to the magic shop. She waited a few moments and eventually the door opened when one of the customers left the store. She quickly entered. "WOW! This place is AMAZING!"
Munkustrap's head jerked up at the outburst, Mistoffelees turned abruptly from the window. "Jemima! What are you doing here?".
Munkustrap made his way down from the bookshelf slowly.
"Hi Misto, you know everyone's looking for ya.. COOL! What is that?" she darted around him and climbed on one of the displays that had glitter and ribbons and silk scarves inside.
"Jemima, what does everyone want with me?"
The awestruck kitten had to peel her eyes from the bright colors and sparkling glitter. "HUH? Oh.. There was a meeting yesterday and you and Mungo were supposed to be there…WOW!..Are those real?!" She bolted across the floor and jumped into a bin that was filled with rubber mice.
Mistoffelees gave Munkustrap a quizzical look "Jemima, what has been going on at the yard?"
Jemima poked her head out of the bin, a rubber mouse neatly trapped in her teeth. A large grin spread across her face "Munkus! I knew you would be here! You have to do something quick!"
Munkustrap moved close and removed the mouse from her mouth. "Jemima, will you please tell us what's going on?"
She had a hard time concentrating with all the marvelous distractions. "Sure…um..only I wasn't there for all the meetings…but I heard that Mungo had attacked you and both of you where supposed to go to the meeting but you didn’t show up and then I heard that ….Is that a real RABBIT!?…"
Munkustrap was getting dizzy from her subject changes. He moved quickly, picking her up by her scruff in his mouth then jumped to the windowsill. Placing her down he looked her in the eye. "Jemima, what did you hear?"
Sensing this was his no nonsense tone she quickly blurted everything out as fast as she could, "Pounce and Tumble said they saw Rumpleteazer get grabbed by Macavity and he's gonna kill her if we don’t find her and Mungojerrie just found out this morning and he was real mad because it happened yesterday and we have been trying to find you but all three of you are real hard to find only I knew where you were because I know where you live but they didn’t ask me so they don't know I found you and because I'm the official triple M spotter I have to go tell Old Deuteronomy!" she gasped for a breath.
Munkustrap sat wide-eyed, " I can bet I know what Mungojerrie has in mind. Jemima, did you see where he went?"
She shook her head, "No, he went back into his hiding place and didn’t come out."
Munkustrap jumped down from the windowsill. "Mistoffelees, I have to go and see what this is all about, I'll understand if you don’t want to come along. Macavity is the last cat you want to see." Much to his surprise Mistoffelees had a determined look in his eyes.
"Munkustrap, I've been hiding too long. I love my home and you're right when you said that he's the last cat on my list, but I'm through hiding. And if he's got Rumpleteazer, Mungojerrie's going to need all the help he can get."
Munkustrap smiled at his courage. "You are a true Jellicle my friend."
Jemima had disappeared from in front of them and was now teetering dangerously close to a deck of cards house. "How do these things stay together?" she lifted a paw to touch it lightly.
"NO Jem! Don’t'!" Mistoffelees shouted as he lunged from the window to the display, he knew that his owner had spent countless hours assembling the delicate structure, and wouldn't be pleased to see it crumble to the ground. Unfortunately he had moved in such haste that he miscalculated the jump and while he did manage to stop the kitten from destroying it, his momentum carried him into the card house like a wrecking ball. As his luck was going his owner just happened to walk in at that very moment "MISTO!"
Jemima darted away and ran underneath the counter. Mistoffelees looked extremely guilty. "Meow?" he tried. But the man would have none of it. He picked the tuxedo up and walked to the door also taking hold of Munkustrap, he placed them on the steps outside. "I don’t know what's going on in those heads of yours, but you two have been regular disasters." He lifted Mistoffelees chin "Look, try and spend your energy out here okay? I can’t keep up with you two right now." Mistoffelees gave him his most powerful "poor me" look. The magician relented, "OH don’t look at me like that Misto, ….agh…Okay okay, I'm sorry I yelled at you and Gin." He stroked his head and scratched behind Munkustrap's ear then walked back into his store.
Mistoffelees shrugged his shoulders "Well, we wanted to be outside anyway, right?"
Jemima was still hidden under the counter, "Great, how do I get…..OOH!…" she was fascinated by a small foam ball. She gripped it in her claws, slowly opening them to let the small ball spring from her grasp. "Neat!" The ball sprung away and rolled out from under the counter.
"Another one?" The magician reached down to pick it up. Unknown to him Jemima was in the act of pouncing on the small red ball, she bumped into his hand and remained frozen, the small ball locked in her jaws. "Another cat? Where did you come from?" He asked as lifted her in the air. He reached to remove the small ball from her grasp. Jemima held on tight. "Ah, you can keep it." He smiled.
"We have to get Jemima and hurry to the yard." Munkustrap was looking through the window. Mistoffelees jumped to the opposite window and mewed loudly.
The magician looked towards the noise, "This is one of your friends too, I take it." He opened the door and placed her next to Munkustrap.
"Whoa!" she exclaimed once recovering from her shock. "That was wild!"
Munkustrap rolled his eyes, "Kittens…"
Mistoffelees jumped down from the other window and joined them, "What are we just sitting around for? We have a mission"
Jemima picked the ball up in her mouth. "Dees tings are NEAT!" she exclaimed through clenched teeth.
Mistoffelees had a silly grin on his face, "I learned her good, eh Boss?"
Munkustrap chuckled along with his friend "You's did good kid."
All three started for the Jellicle yard. Jemima couldn't resist a giggle " Where'd you two learned how to spoke write?"
Rumpleteazer was up stairs, she lay on her back, staring at the ceiling. "When I find 'im, I'm going attack 'im myself! 'ow come everything 'appens to me?" She rolled to her stomach, "Mungojerrie, you're going to want to 'ide if I ever get my claws on you…"she quieted when she heard the doorknob twist. "At last!" She ran to the top of the stairs and was about to descend when something bothered her. "Funny, they never took that long to open the door.." She sat and waited watching carefully. She could just make out mumbled words. Instinctively she went into a crouch. The doorknob wiggled and she could hear scraping as well. Then the door swung open by a forceful kick, two large individuals walked into her house. Rumpleteazer slinked backwards into the master bedroom. "Those people do not belong 'ere." She could hear them walking around the house, fumbling through the family's belongings. "I'll just wait till they leave, then I can finally get out of 'ere." She listened as one of the men mentioned jewelry, she smirked as only she and Mungojerrie knew where the best stuff was hidden. Then she heard a loud CRASH! She sat up at the noise, a low growl emerged from her throat. "No one breaks anything in our 'ome except Mungo and me!" She flew down the stairs, her fur bristled and her teeth were bared.
"Hey Paul, look, it's an attack cat!" he laughed at his own joke.
The other man chuckled, "Oooh….I'm shaking now." He gripped the broom that was leaning next to the doorway. "Get out of here you filthy animal!" he ran towards her.
"As if no one's tried that before.." she mumbled as she stood her ground.
"Hey, the cat's braver than I thought..look at him, he's daring you to hit him."
Paul grinned wickedly, "Then I guess I will have to teach him a lesson he won't forget!" he charged forward once more.
"They think I look like some TOM!" She bristled even more, waiting until the last moment she darted between his legs, using her momentum to twist a 180, then she sprung and landed on the back of his thigh, her claws dug in deeply.
"AH! Get him off! Stupid creature!" Rumpleteazer had enough of these insults, she bit down hard, sinking her teeth into his thigh. "AGH!!! He's biting me!" the man was screaming and jumping around trying to dislodge his attacker. His partner couldn’t help but laugh at his antics, "It’s just a cat, come on, shake him!"
Rumpleteazer released her hold on her first victim and glared at the other intruder, "I'll show you what a cat can do!" She launched herself at him "MRRooOWRR!!" He stumbled back in surprise tripping over the coffee table and landing on his back. Rumpleteazer leapt to his chest and slashed his face with her claws, hissing and growling. He recovered quickly and pulled her away, throwing her across the room. She regained her balance in mid air and landed with feline grace. She spun around to face the man again and charged. He was on his feet and drew back a leg to kick her, but she was to crafty to be caught by that, she ran forward leaping to his leg and clawed her way to his neck. The enraged tabby swung herself over his shoulder and dug into his back with her claws.
"AGH!!… Get him off!" She dug in deeper with her claws and bit his neck.
"CALL (BITE) ME (BITE) A (BITE) TOM (BITE)!!!!" She was in a rage, "Think you can just come in 'ere and destroy my 'ome!?"
He howled in pain and flung his arms wildly. His partner came up from behind him wielding the broom, "I'll get him" He swung at the her form still latched to his back and neck and brought the broom down on his friend. She leapt away to safety at the last second, a piece of his shirt tangled in her jaws.
"Forget this place, Bram, it's not worth it!" They fled from the house.
Rumpleteazer sat with the shirt piece still dangling from her mouth. Calmly she trotted over to she and Mungojerrie's special hiding spot. "Necklace of pearls, diamond ring, 18 carrot (although it didn’t look like a vegetable to her), sapphire ring, emerald ring (this was her favorite), gold cuff links, and one small red rock (that she couldn’t remember the name of but knew the lady was looking for franticly)." She looked over their inventory and nodded in approval. "Everything seem fine 'ere." She walked out the front door and started off to the junkyard, "Now to go find Jerrie…"
Mistoffelees and Munkustrap tried to keep a steady pace but Jemima was just to exhausted to keep up. "Go on ahead with out me guys, I'll catch up"
Mistoffelees shook his head "No way, Jem, if Macavity had Rumpleteazer snatched we aren’t leaving you alone." She smiled at that.
"He's right, Jemima. Besides we’re almost there, I'll carry you the rest of the way. Will that be alright?"
Although she really didn't like being carried like a kitten, she was a kitten and was going to get a free ride out of it. And they did need to get back the junkyard. "Okay"
He tried to control his anger as he neared the insidious cats' lair. He knew the place like he knew the back of his paw, the entire place had secret exits and entrances. He had never put any of them to use before because only Macavity used them. "Until now.." He growled. There was one entrance that he was thinking of in particular, the one that came out behind the crates the malicious feline was always sitting on. Macavity had used it often to slink in and out of the warehouse whenever he needed to make a hasty retreat or a frightening entrance. Mungojerrie kept his anger in check, and continued on his way, his precious marble still clenched in his jaws.
Bombalurina and Quaxo had shown up now to investigate what all the commotion was about. "WELL?" Shouted Alonzo. "What did you tell him?"
Pouncival trembled, "We told him about Rumpleteazer's catnapping, and he got real upset, but he didn't say anything."
Tugger glared at the two troublemakers, "We don’t know for sure if he has her!" He moved closer to the trembling duo, "Where is Mungojerrie now?"
Tumble backed away, "He went back into his hideout."
Bomb looked at Quaxo with a raised eyebrow, "Mungojerrie's here?"
Quaxo shook his head in disbelief. "I'll go tell Old Deuteronomy." He scampered away.
Bombalurina shook her head "This day isn't getting any better…" At that moment Mistoffelees and Munkustrap, who was still carrying Jemima, entered the yard.
"Just the cat we were looking for!" Pouncival exclaimed. He and Tumblebrutus scampered away from the angry glares of Tugger and Alonzo. "Munks! We really need you to fix this mess!"
Mistoffelees moved to sit next to Alonzo, "Jemima told us a little, what exactly happened?"
Munkustrap placed Jemima down. Not wanting to get in the way she trotted away to join the others under the watchful eyes of Jennyanydots and Jellylorum, her new red ball still firmly clenched in her teeth. "What happened EXACTLY?" he rephrased.
Tumble and Pounce were going to start talking at once but were silence with at quick glance from Tugger. "These two" he said indicating the cowering duo, "saw Rumpleteazer being harassed by Neko and Sainan, and while they didn’t see her get caught, they spread the word that Macavity catnapped her to Mungojerrie. IF they would have been at the meeting like they were supposed to, they would have thought before they jumped to conclusions."
Munkustrap turned to look at the two scribbled tabbies. "You told Mungojerrie that Rumpleteazer was captured with out knowing for sure?" They only nodded.
"Getting caught and being chased are two different things entirely." Mistoffelees commented.
"You make a very valid point, Mistoffelees." All heads turned to see Old Deuteronomy along with Quaxo emerge from behind the old tire. He was relieved to see Munkustrap and Mistoffelees had returned. They were equally happy to see the old leader.
"So where is Mungojerrie now?" Munkustrap asked the two toms.
Tumble pointed to the small hide out, "He went in there and didn’t come back out."
Mistoffelees and Munkustrap walked to the small entrance.
"'ey now! What's going on?"
All heads turned, "Rumpleteazer?!" Tumblebrutus and Pouncival exclaimed with their jaws hanging open in disbelief as she walked past them.
"Munks, Misto, what's going on 'ere?" She didn't like the idea of anyone other than Mungojerrie and herself going through their hideout. "And why are you all staring at me like I've got an extra tail?"
Pounce ran forward and gave her a hug, "We thought you were captured by Macavity!"
She pushed him away with annoyance, "Why would you think that?"
Tugger and Alonzo scowled, "Not everyone jumped to that conclusion."
Pounce moved back to where Tumble was sitting. "We saw you being chased by Neko and Sainan, we thought they grabbed you!"
Rumpleteazer rolled her eyes, "I told them what for! They never laid a paw on me!"
Tugger growled at the two, "Because of your ramblings, Mungojerrie is probably worried sick. And for no reason!"
Rumpleteazer looked up sharply, "Where's my Jerrie?" she said looking around.
"He was last seen running in here, that's what we were going to check." Mistoffelees explained.
Rumpleteazer smiled slightly, just to see her beloved mate again would put an end to this week. She walked to their hide out.
"Well it looks like things are slowly going back to normal." Bombalurina smiled.
They were all going to leave knowing the two would want some time alone when get wrenching scream stopped them all in their tracks. "JERRIE!!" Rumpleteazer stormed out of the small hideout and approached the acrobatic duo. "'e's not in there!" Pounce and Tumble backed away from the enraged feline "You told my Jerrie that I was captured, and I just know 'e's gone off to fight that monster!" She was trembling, "If anything 'appens to you love…" She ran towards the entrance.
"Where are you going?!?" Munkustrap shouted.
"I 'ave to go to Jerrie!"
Munkustrap ran after her, " Misto?" he called back not sure if the tuxedo was ready for a confrontation.
Mistoffelees was suddenly next to him "Right with you Munku! I'm ready for anything, and I am sick of that animal."
Old Deuteronomy motioned to the others, "Alonzo, Tugger, Bombalurina, and Quaxo, go with them. And please be careful." Tumblebrutus and Pouncival were going to follow but were stopped when the old leader blocked their path. "You two have caused enough trouble today." He looked on as the others ran out of site. "Be safe." He whispered. The other Jellicles through out the yard had the same thoughts. Cassandra, Demeter, Exotica, Plato….all the Jellicles, looked on as the others disappeared from sight. "Please be safe" they thought as one.
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