Mungojerrie trotted down the street deep in thought. In the past, finding a treasure for Rumpleteazer was easy, now however, was proving to be a challenge. The ribbons at Mistoffelees' home would have been perfect, but the unexpected shock they gave him was something he knew his mate would not appreciate. "There just 'as to be something…" he thought to himself. As he neared the home that he and Rumpleteazer shared, he clawed his way up the tree that was next to the window of the room that the man had placed them both in that night. As he neared the window ledge, he peered in and saw his mate resting on her side. She seemed like a statue to him, the only movement being the soft rise and fall of her chest in the soft rhythm of her breathing. Mungojerrie smiled, she was beautiful calico but she had the stripes of a tabby. Mungojerrie himself was an exception to the feline rules as well, since he too was calico, but striped the same as his mate. And that in itself was special, "You only get one of me out of many!" That was just one of the things that made them a great team. Mungojerrie frowned, "I just 'ave to find something to give 'er" he watched her silently through the window for a moment more, then turned and climbed back down the tree. "May'aps (which was he and Rumpleteazer's word for mabey and perhaps..) There's something at our 'ideout that she 'asn't seen…" he grinned and trotted towards the Jellicle yard, a slight electric ping still danced at the tips of his ears and whiskers.
Rumpleteazer tried to keep from giggling. She had 'felt' someone was looking in the window and knew that it must be her mate. She had already planned her attack, "e'll be so surprised when I grab 'im" She waited for the soft 'snick' of the window being pushed aside alerting her that he was entering. After a short while when she didn't hear anything she chanced to look over her shoulder. "Where did 'e go?" Rolling to her side so that she was facing the window she looked around to see if he had somehow gotten in with out her knowing. Finding no trace of him she slouched slightly. "Aww.. it was a perfect plan too…" She jumped from the bed to the dresser that was next to the window, and looked outside. " 'mmm I bet 'e knew I wasn't sleeping…" She grinned at the idea, "So Jer. you think you are going to wait and sneak up on me…" Rumpleteazer crouched into a relaxed pounce stance on top of the dresser. At this level she would be able to see him when he came back and be at the perfect height to trounce him. She giggled to her self at her cleverness.. "Just you wait love…I'll get ya"
Mistoffelees sniffed the air, the scent of the bakery that was just across the way tempted him. "mmmm muffins…" his whiskers twitched as he sniffed the air. A small static ping zapped his nose causing him to sneeze. He grinned at his own silliness. "Serves me right, Now Mister Mungo, where did you go…" The small tuxedo picked up the Floral Wonder he had dropped and started sniffing the area once more, every now and then he stood on his hind legs to try and catch a breeze that might give him a clue of the direction the mischievous tabby might have gone. He was sure that Mungojerrie would think that the Floral Wonder would be a great gift for Rumpleteazer. "Now all I gotta do is find him…" Mistoffelees sniffed the ground once more and continued walking around trying to get any trace. As he walked around the block corner he caught the scent of his friend, "Ahha! There you are…" with a smile on his face he followed his nose heading straight for their home. There was no possible way that anything could manage to work itself to go wrong.
Munkustrap blinked once and yawned. The silver tiger-stripe remained on his side and stretched his legs as far as he could. Looking around he found no trace of Alonzo, "I wonder where he went.." he thought sleepily. He stretched once more and began to roll to his stomach. "Wha?!" he exclaimed as he was abruptly halted in his motion. He looked over his shoulder and found the reason. Somehow he and Alonzo had ended up in the middle of the trunk. The black and white tom was still sound asleep. Munkustrap scratched his ear thoughtfully, "But why can't I move over.." At that moment as if on cue he felt a dull throb on his tail. Munkustrap stretched his neck and saw that his tail was neatly trapped under the sleeping feline. He gave a small chuckle and whispered, "Alonzo…you're on my tail…" his smile faded slightly when he did not get a response, "Alonzo…my tail" The black and white tom still rested soundly. Munkustrap tried once more to awaken his friend, touching his shoulder slightly, "Alon…." He stopped when he noticed the other wince in pain. Munkustrap felt bad that he had touched his injured shoulder. "I'll let him sleep, I really shouldn't try and wake him up." He lay on his side once more and tried to ignore the throb that he knew would tingle once he got if free.
"Helloooooo" came a soft voice out side the trunk.
Munkustrap turned his head and smiled, "Hi there Jemima" he greeted her softly. "What are you doing up?"
The small multi-colored kitten began to crawl into the trunk but lost her balance and ended up tumbling in and landing on Munkustrap's side. She grinned sheepishly. "Oops"
Munkustrap purred to her softly, "It's okay" he was still smiling at her, "So what are you doing up and about?"
Jemima slid off his chest and cuddled close to him. She purred as she whispered to him, "I was sleepin with Cori and Tan, but they started dreaming and it looked like a good one so I thought I should leave them alone." She paused and got a thoughtful look on her face, "I didn't want to interrupt their dream…. especially if it's a good one. But then I heard you whispering to someone and I thought I could join you, is it rude to interrupt a dream? Can I stay here with you?" she got to her feet and circled the two toms, " Why is your tail under Alonzo? Is he keeping it warm? Is he feeling better?"
Munkustrap always wondered how this kitten was able to keep so many events straight in her head. She could switch a topic like day and night and still keep track of what was happening on the other side of the yard, and she always was thinking of others. Shaking his head with a grin he tried to follow her movements, "He seems to be resting okay. I guess he is keeping my tail warm." He rotated his head trying to keep up with her circling, "I think it would be rude if you really meant to wake someone up from a dream. Not if you did it by accident."
The kitten nodded but her mind was already switched on another subject. "Doesn't your tail hurt? I know Pounce stepped on mine once, I didn't like that at all, but he said he was sorry. He's really a good pouncer ya know."
Munkustrap chuckled, "It doesn't hurt, as a matter of fact I can't really feel it."
Jemima's eyes brightened, "OH! So it's taking a nap without you?" Then she grew very serious, "Or mabey you can't feel it because it's going to fall off!" She bounced over to Alonzo's head and whispered in his ear. "Aalooonnnzooo, you have to get up..you're gonna make Munk's tail fall off"
"No no! Jemima.. Don't wake him up.. He's very tired and needs to rest." Munkustrap motioned with his head for her to move back to his side.
Reluctantly she started to move but stopped as she near where his tail disappeared under the other. She flashed a smile as an idea popped in her head. "I'll get it out Munkus!" Before the silver tiger could object she sunk her kitten needle teeth into his tail that was exposed and tugged sharply.
Munkustrap jerked as pain shot from his tail up his spine, it took every bit of control not to let out a yelp. "Jem…ouch…" he tried to get her attention, "Jemima..ouch… really… Ouch…" The kitten was determined to help and tugged even harder. Munkustrap bit down on his lip, "JEMIMA" he whispered slightly louder. He wiped a tear away from his eye, and forced a smile. "Um. It's okay really, Alonzo's keeping it warm and it's not going to fall off." The kitten looked at him skeptically "Really." He assured her.
She seemed to consider then nodded. "Okay, if you are sure. I don't think you would like missing your tail" she swished hers a few times then crawled onto his side. Alonzo's back was next to Munkustrap's, so she slowly crawled on top of both of them. Carefully, so that she wouldn't disturb Alonzo she settled in the center of the two. Munkustrap could feel her kneed her claws on his side as she made herself comfortable. She purred contently and licked the top of Alonzo's head, "Nite 'Lonzo" turning she rubbed her head against Munkustrap's back. "Nite Munkus"
Alonzo unconsciously joined in on her soft purring, and soon Munkustrap was purring along with them, in no time the three were in rhythm.
Mungojerrie was just rounding the corner when he caught the familiar scent of Macavity. "Oh..This is not good." Carefully, so not to attract attention he stayed downwind and started to circle back the way he came, just as he was crossing the street he saw another unwelcome site. "Snags.." The compact van was heading straight for him. Flashing his fangs he arched his back and flared his tail, a menacing hiss tore from his throat, his eyes were large and his ears were flat against his head. The van swerved just feet away from the enraged feline, pulling to the side. Mungojerrie could make out the cage doors on the van's side. He also was able to see an unfortunate pollicle trying to get to its feet in the small confines after the jarring motion. Just then the drivers side door opened slowly, a large man stepped out with a snag pole in hand. On the passenger side a woman stepped out and around the front of the animal control vehicle.
"We almost hit that one" The woman said as she put on her heavy gloves and took a large net in her grasp.
"It looks like a wild one to me," The man commented, "Do you want to grab it? We have the room."
"We do, but how much room are we going to need once we check out that yard we were called to?"
The man took a few thoughtful moments to consider, "True, but if there are as many cats out there like the guy had said, there's just no way that we are going to catch them all."
Both looked at each other for only one instant, but it was enough. Mungojerrie spun and darted away. He was sprinting as fast as he could. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest. "Oh no..this is not good at all, If they mean to go to the Jellicle site, I 'ave to warn them. About the Snags and Macavity!" He could hear the shout of the woman after him, but he dare not look back. "I better get back to my 'ome first, I'll tell Teazer and then we can think of what to do."
"Ah..let it go, Deb. There are sure to be plenty at the junkyard."
One last look in the direction of the retreating feline and both returned to the van. "You're right Terry, besides, either way we did get a dog tonight. So it's not a total loss."
The man started the van once more and headed towards their destination.
Mistoffelees bounce-stepped as he followed Mungojerrie's scent, things were beginning to look better now. The past few days and the tensions that that followed were melting away. As he neared the home he followed the scent trail to the large tree that was next to the upstairs window. He placed the gift he carried on the ground by the base of the trunk of the tree. "I'll just leave this here for now.. I wouldn't want Rumpleteazer to see it before Mungojerrie can give it to her." Sizing up the tree he judged his distance, then jumped. Once he found purchase he began to climb.
Rumpleteazer's ears twitched, "Ah! 'e's back!" She quickly stretched and thrashed her tail in anticipation. Digging her claws into the tabletop.
Mistoffelees was just nearing the branch that stretched to the window. He sniffed curiously, "That's odd..Mungo was here but he didn't go in." As he sniffed the windowsill he noticed that the window could be pushed aside. He was so engrossed in his findings that he didn't pay attention to his senses alerting him.
"GOT YA!!!" Shouted Rumpleteazer as she sprung from the dresser and through the window that Mistoffelees had just opened.
The tuxedo was able to look up in time to see her wide grin but not quick enough to dodge the attack. Rumpleteazer's eyes were closed and a grin was splashed across her face. She was sure of her target. As they collided on the windowsill she pushed her nose to his. "Welcome back Love!"
Mistoffelees was taken completely by surprise at her actions, an electric ping danced from his nose to hers giving them both a shock. Rumpleteazer blinked and pushed him playfully "Where'd you learn…." She paused as the image of the stunned feline in front of her registered. "MISTOFF!?!" She shouted in surprise.
The magical cat fell backwards at her outburst and scrambled to catch himself on the tree, he finally was able to halt his decent to the ground below by catching the bark. The multi-colored queen was so taken aback at her mistake that she too lost her footing and clawed desperately at a branch. "'Ey now! What were you thinkin?!" she shouted at Mistoffelees, as he was trying to climb back up.
"What was I thinking?!" he retorted as he tried to claw his way back up, he slipped slightly and gripped even tighter.
Rumpleteazer thrashed her tail, she was hanging from her front paws. Her back legs were dangling and to make matters worse a small branch with thin leaves was tickling her nose. "Me?.. You… *aah*.. you're the *aaaah* you're the one acting *aaaaah* like you're not you! AAAAACHOOO!" She flailed her arms and tried to grasp the branch once more but missed. Mistoffelees had just looked up to comment when he saw her bright colored blurred form heading straight for him. The young tuxedo braced himself the best he could and waited for the inevitable. She collided with him in a great UUMPH and both were sent to the ground.
"What's this?" Mungojerrie asked as he saw the two of them rolling around on the ground.
They had both tried to right themselves in the air so that they would land on their feet. Unfortunately they only succeeded in tangling each other's tails and legs. Mistoffelees was the first to recover. He took a panic glance at Rumpleteazer, who was directly underneath him, then he shot a glance at the questioning tom standing in front of him. He flashed an embarrassed smile and quickly got to his feet. "No… No.. NO!" He sprinted behind Mungojerrie and shook the dirt from his coat.
Rumpleteazer was getting to her feet now and started to shake the bramble from her coat as well. She took a moment to fix her tail, once satisfied she turned her attention to her mate. " I thought 'e was you! 'Ey! where 'ave YOU been?"
Mungojerrie blinked as the tables were turned, "You know I went to talk to Mistoff…'ow can you think 'e looks like me?!" he glared at Mistoffelees who was still behind him.
Rumpleteazer scowled, "What are you doing sneakin about?"
Mungojerrie brought his gaze around to meet hers, "I wasn't sneakin…"
She scrunched her nose and took a few steps closer to him making him take the same steps backwards.
Mistoffelees remembered that he had placed the Floral Wonder at the base of the tree, he glanced around quickly, once he spotted it he darted towards it catching up in his mouth then hid behind the tree.
Mungojerrie's back was against the base of the tree trunk now, he wasn't sure when it had happened but now he was the one under the spotlight. "I was thinkin…you know.."
Rumpleteazer took a few more steps closer, "About what?"
"I was tryin…to ….to… think…"
"Yeeesss" Rumpleteazer said as she waited for an explanation.
"Ummm.." Mungojerrie was seated in front of the tree, his back against the trunk, he didn't want to give away the fact he had been searching for a gift, his tail twitching nervously from side to side.
Mistoffelees looked around the tree over Mungojerrie's shoulder, "This isn't looking good" He looked down when Mungojerrie's tail thumped him on the paw.
Rumpleteazer was now sitting directly in front of her mate. Her eyes locked on his.
Mistoffelees suddenly got an idea, with perfect timing he dropped the Floral Wonder into the path of Mungojerrie's swishing tail. The momentum of his tail slid the treasure around the tree and right between Rumpleteazer's front paws.
Mungojerrie was surprised.
Rumpleteazer was speechless.
Mistoffelees was grinning.
Rumpleteazer looked down at her paws then up to her mate, "For me?"
Mungojerrie gave a quick glance at Mistoffelees who was still grinning. The tuxedo slid closer to whisper in his ear, "It's a Floral Wonder, tell her to touch the top."
The multi-colored tom stared at the magical cat in wonder for a moment, "Sure…" turning to face his mate he voiced softly, "Touch the top Teaz."
Rumpleteazer nodded and did as he had said. She watched in awe as the object bloomed, "Oh my…" she met her mate's eyes, "Jerr, where did you get this?"
Mungojerrie could only smile. Once she looked down again he turned to face Mistoffelees. "Mistoff, where?…'ow?..Why?" he stammered.
The young tuxedo was still all smiles at the success of the gift. " I knew she would like it..and you did need a gift."
Mungojerrie could only nod. "Thank you." He whispered.
The remark surprised the magical cat, "You're welcome" he responded.
"Oh Mungo! It's beautiful! Mistoff! Look! 'ave you seen!?" She held up the gift at eye level.
Mistoffelees winked at Mungojerrie and acted fascinated with the object. "It looks amazing Rumpleteazer."
Mungojerrie agreed silently to himself, "It sure is…" suddenly he remembered why he had rushed back, "Oh! I need to tell you! I saw Snags in the road. They were 'eading to the site!"
Mistoffelees' ears twitched, "Snags…what could they want at the yard?"
Mungojerrie shrugged, "I only 'eard what the Snags said, they were called to go there." He turned to face his mate and placed a paw on her shoulder, "That's not all…I smelled Macavity too."
Neko was running all possible scenarios in his head. The black Maine Coon was walking at a steady pace, Kuroi and Kurai were only a few paces behind him and finally, Sainan trotted quietly behind them. Neko was sure that no one could stand in his way. "I'll take out both of them…" The images of Alonzo and Mistoffelees both swiping at his face flashed in his mind. He scowled at the remembrance, the wound on his face stung as his muscles stretched. "Yes…I will get them both."
Kuroi smirked, it was going very well. Neko was challenging Macavity's authority and leadership. If everything went as planned Neko would become the new leader, which would be fine with him for now. But if Macavity did survive, it would be Neko that would be the target for any challenge. He and Kurai were in the clear.
Kurai seemed to sense his mood and nudged him with her shoulder, "Don't give our plan away yet Roi, mabey Macavity and Neko will finish each other off. Then it'll be just you and I." She purred mischievously. Kuroi returned the favor.
Sainan was sure that no good was going to come out of this. Neko was heading for trouble, "Like he always does" she commented to herself. She increased her pace so that she was walking along side the large Maine Coon. "Neko, I don't think you are really considering what could happen."
He didn't bother to look at her, "I know that once I rid myself of those two that did this to me, and take out that supposed leader of theirs, nothing will stop me from being on top."
"But you're not thinking of what might happen to you if Macavity finds out!" she pleaded.
He spun to look at her stopping her dead in her tracks, "I know only 2 things, Macavity is defeated and will not be able to hold his own against me, and it's my turn to show who is the true leader of this group."
Sainan could only shake her head, "You are heading for disaster…"
"Then it's my choice!" He shouted "I don't have the time for your petty worries, are you with or against us?!"
Sainan lowered her gaze, "With you." She replied.
"Good." Neko spat, then he headed for the unsuspecting Jellicle yard.
"For now…" Sainan added silently.
Kuroi trotted next to Kurai, both playfully bumping each other's shoulders, yes…everything was going to work out fine.
"'Ow is that possible?!" Rumpleteazer said after the news had sunk in.
Mungojerrie shrugged, "I don't know 'ow 'e managed it, but it's 'im alright."
Mistoffelees sat down to think, "If there are Snags heading for the yard we will have to get there to warn the others. Some of the kittens still think they are a made up story to frighten them. And if Macavity is really on his way there as well…."
"Then we are 'eaded for a whole lotta trouble" Mungojerrie finished for him.
Rumpleteazer gathered her treasure in her mouth then in one fluid motion she ran up the tree, through the window, placed the gift in one of the corners, then returned to the waiting toms. "Right! Let's be off!"
Mistoffelees was trying to calculate the distance in his head, "You saw the Snags and smelled Macavity just a while ago. Won't they get to the yard before us?"
Mungojerrie couldn't resist a sly smile to his mate, "That's if you go the long route."
Rumpleteazer nodded in agreement, "The long way is long, OUR way is the fast way."
"And what way is your way?" asked the mystical feline.
"This way!" they shouted in unison as they ran into an alley, Mistoffelees close on their tails.