Spinning through time and space, their silent screams ring all over the world. Fur in all colors, textures, and patterns whirl past them. They are in a place where all time is no time, a place where it takes a million years for one second to pass, and a million years are gone in one second. Never stopping, not even slowing, they keep hurtling through the waves of the universe.
After what seems like years, they are wrenched back into proper time and space. They fall to the ground, screaming and holding on to each other for dear life. Sand infests their coats, mouths, noses, eyes, and ears. The unrelenting sun beats down like a hammer. The heat is almost unbearable. Finally, one of the panting, sand encrusted creatures speaks.
"Well, wasn't that nice and easy on the stomach," remarked Bombalurina sarcastically.
Rum Tum Tugger groaned. "Don't mention it! I think I'm going to lose my sardines!"
Munkustrap tried to clear his throat importantly, but choked on sand. "Not to interrupt or anything, but where are we?" he said in a hoarse voice. "For some reason it feels like I belong here..."
The other cats nodded their agreement. The desert somehow held the same feeling of home as the junkyard did, but none of them knew why. They looked around, trying to figure out the strange feeling. After a few minutes, one did.
"Look," said Cassandra, pointing with her elegant paw, "a pyramid. That means we're in Egypt, right? And after all, we're Jellicles, we're supposed to be her when the Pharaoh commissions the sphinx. I don't see the sphinx anywhere, so..."
"...we must have traveled back in time to ancient Egypt," finished Munkustrap. "Good work, Cassie!"
The other Jellicles looked around them and spotted the pyramid. As they stared at it together, the air seemed to shimmer. Suddenly, the desert was teeming with humans.
One came running towards the cats. "Our prayers have been answered! Help us, O mighty children of Bast! There is a famine in the land, and his highness the Pharaoh just commissioned a sphinx, but the workers are all weak from hunger..." He trailed off and fiddled with his wide, gold, jewel-encrusted necklace.
Rumpleteazer giggled. "Now tha' is somethin' worth stealin'!"
The Egyptian man, who had started to bow, stood straight up. "Steal my necklace!? If you weren't a messenger from the gods I would have you mummified for that!"
"Oh yeah? Well- woit a second. You understand what Oi'm sayin'?" Rumpleteazer was astonished. No human had ever understood her before.
"Of course I understand you. You are the children of the great goddess Bast! Please, tell me her message." The man bowed again, looking anxious for his answer.
The Jellicles shifted uncomfortably. They had no idea who Bast was. Well, most of them didn't. One, the one who seemed most at home, did.
"Take us to her temple. We must rest, for we are weary from our journey from the world of the gods," said Cassandra commandingly. The other cats thought she sounded like a goddess herself, or at least a cat who had had a lot of experience ordering humans about.
"As you say, O all-powerful cat. This way." The man started walking towards a beautiful stone temple. Cassandra followed him, and motioned for the others to follow her. Dumbstruck, they did.
"Great Bast, we welcome your children," chanted the mystical priestesses. They fell to their knees and tapped their foreheads to the floor, all the time singing the praises of the wonderful cat goddess and her mighty children.
The Tugger sighed. "I could so get used to this!" he said. The priestesses drew back a golden tapestry to reveal a row of graceful cats, females on one side, males on the other. The females immediately started eyeing Tugger, pointing and giggling among themselves. "Like I said before," he said.
Bombalurina bopped him on the head. "You do realize, don't you, that these are cats from thousands of years before we were even born?"
One of the cats, which looked a lot like the modern Egyptian Mau, came forward. "Hello, strangers. I am called 'Daughter of Bast the Wondrous' by the humans, but you may call me Sasaiot. I am of the Jellicle tribe."
"Whoa! Jellicle? There's ancient Egyptian Jellicles!?" said Munkustrap, his eyes widening in shock. "Old Deuteronomy never mentioned this."
Sasaiot looked amused. "Of course I'm a Jellicle." She motioned to the other ancient cats. "We all are. We follow the Everlasting Mau. Humans follow her a bit also, only they call her Bast."
"Everlasting Mau?" asked Munkustrap.
"You might say Everlasting Cat. Mau is cat in our humans' language."
Cassandra did a little dance. "I knew it! I always had a suspicion that Bast was another name for the Everlasting Cat. And...I think I might be related to you. I've always felt that I didn't live in the right time and place, but now that feeling is gone."
Another ancient Jellicle joined Sasaiot. "You do look awfully familiar. Not your coloring, but your face and body structure could easily be Cassrapiksa. She left for the Heavyside a while ago." The new cat sniffled. "She was my best friend..."
"I...I...I don't know what to say. My name is Cassandra. I think...I think I might be Cassrapiksa. You look very familiar...Raldianand?"
The sniffling cat jerked her head up. "That's my name. Raldianand. How did you-?" Raldianand was cut off by a nuzzle from Cassandra. "Cassrapiksa! It is you! I've missed you so much!"
The ancient and modern Jellicles looked on in awe. "Imagine, our very own Cassandra... An ancient Egyptian! This is getting strange," said Mistoffelees.
"Getting strange? You mean it wasn't strange before?" asked Rum Tum Tugger sarcastically.
Mistoffelees blinked. "Actually, time travel isn't that uncommon... Never mind."
"Never mind? Are you hiding something, Misto?" said Tugger.
"Why would I hide something?" Mistoffelees said unconvincingly.
Tugger laughed. "Did anyone ever tell you what a bad liar you are?"
As Tugger opened his mouth to retort, Munkustrap broke in. "Hey, stop it! Sasaiot is trying to tell us something, but with you two..." Mistoffelees and Rum Tum Tugger looked ashamed. "...we can't hear a word she's saying." He turned to Sasaiot. "Please, continue."
Sasaiot grinned at Tugger, then continued. "I just wanted to know how you got here, and what happened to your coats? You look so strange... And one of you said something about time travel... Are you messengers from the Everlasting Mau?"
Munkustrap looked puzzled. "I really don't know. I mean, we might be, but-"
He was cut off by a shriek from a priestess. "Stop! Thieves! Stealers-of-souls! Children of Bast, come help!"
The Jellicles turned to see a group of Egyptian men stuffing small sarcophagi into large sacks. Their faces were twisted with evil and greed, and in front of them was a tall, thin ginger cat.
"Macavity!" screeched the ancient and modern cats together. Without stopping to think why they would both know the name, they ran towards him and the tomb robbers. Yowling in pain and terror, they attacked the men. They fought with claws and teeth, giving the men countless scratches. One fell to the floor, dropping his sack. His accomplices grabbed the sack and ran out with the cat in the lead.
All was silent, except for the raspy breathing of the cats and the gentle sobs of the priestesses. Finally, Raldianand spoke in an anguished voice. "Cassrapiksa! Oh Heavyside, they took Cassrapiksa!"
"Raldianand, I'm right here," said Cassandra.
"But they took your...your...your former body. And if that isn't here, then your soul will go back to it! No mau who's body had been taken from the temple can remain reborn or in the Heavyside! Cassrapiksa, you will soon leave your body if we don't get your former body back to the temple! One of you, explain to the humans. They understand you."
Mistoffelees walked over to one of the priestesses and jumped into her lap. "Priestess of Bast, we must rescue the bodies of our friends. If we don't bring them back here, their souls will depart from the land of the gods."
"Go with Bast the Almighty's blessing," said the priestess. The other priestesses echoed her through their tears, tapping their foreheads to the floor.
The modern Jellicles headed for the exit, but the ancient did not follow. When confronted with a questioning look, Sasaiot said, "If we leave, we shall no longer be connected to the temple. We cannot go out of the temple at all, or we may never return." She hung her head. "I am sorry. Perhaps this is what you were summoned for."
As the modern Jellicles stepped outside, Raldianand called, "Wait! I will come. If it is all right with you, I will return with you to your home when you go. I will not be separated from Cassrapiksa again." Cassandra nodded in agreement, and the cats went off into the desert.
The giant pyramid loomed above their heads as they made their way to where they smelled the tomb robbers. They passed a pile of large stones, the beginning of a sphinx. The Jellicles sang softly, "Were you there when the pharaohs commissioned the sphinx? If you were and you are, you're a Jellicle cat." Half-dancing to the beat of their song, they kept following the foul reek of the tomb robbers and Macavity.
A little while later, Cassandra stopped and gasped. "Something... there's something pulling on me... ACK!" The 'ACK' was because she had been lifted off of the sand by some invisible force.
Raldianand grabbed her leg. "Help! Someone get her other leg!" Alonzo took hold of Cassandra's other leg, and all three of them were jerked higher into the air. The other Jellicles grabbed on to them, and soon there was a chain of cats climbing higher and higher into the desert sky.
"Hey Misto! Can you use your powers to stop us?" called Rum Tum Tugger from somewhere in the middle of the chain.
"Tugger, if I tried that I would have to let go. If I let go, everyone except Cassandra, Alonzo, and Raldianand would fall. That includes you, by the way. Besides, this is being done by the Everlasting Cat. I wouldn't be able to stop it anyway."
The chain of cats soared above the very tops of the pyramids and kept going higher and higher. The humans looked like ants, the pyramids, anthills. They passed through clouds, still climbing the sky.
Finally, they burst through a giant cloud into a world of light. Sopping wet, they let go of each other and stared at their surroundings. There were flickering cat forms everywhere, and presiding over it all was a large cat with a color-changing coat sitting on a golden throne.
Cassandra walked towards the throne like a sleepwalker, her eyes empty. The cat on the throne looked down at her. I AM SORRY THIS HAS TO HAPPEN, she said. Her voice was heard not only in the Jellicles' ears but in their minds, and they felt her words sink into every part of their body.
The Jellicles bowed, awed to be in the presence of the Everlasting Cat. "Everlasting Mau, please help us. The mummies of our friends and kinscats have been stolen, and their souls will depart from the Heavyside Layer if they are not brought back to your temple. We were brought here by the mummy of Cassandra's former body calling across time and space to reach her soul. Please, assist us in our quest for the immortality of our friends," said Raldianand.
The others looked impressed, but the Everlasting Cat shook her head. I CAN DO NOTHING. MANY OF MY SUBJECTS ARE BEING CALLED BACK TO THEIR BODIES, AND THEY WILL GO. YOU, MY CHILDREN, MUST RESCUE THEM. I KNEW THAT THIS WAS COMING, SO I BROUGHT YOU, O JELLICLES OF THE JUNKYARD. THE EVIL MACAVITY HAS SPANNED TIME AND SPACE TO ROB ALL CATS OF THEIR HOMES IN THE HEAVYSIDE, AND YOU ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN STOP HIM. I WISH YOU GOOD LUCK, MY CHILDREN. With that, the cats fell from the Heavyside.
It was almost as if they had never been there. Without even trying, they were back in their chain, led by Cassandra. They were speeding towards the mummies, the ancient Jellicles. Around them in the air were the spirits of the hundreds of cats whose rest had been interrupted by the evil Macavity. With the words of the Everlasting Cat ringing in their minds and ears, they continued their fall.
"AAAH! Help! Great Heavyside, someone HELP ME!" screamed Cassandra in agony. The cats were in the tomb robbers' lair, and the spirits surrounding them had found their mummies. However, the sarcophagi and wrappings blocked them from entering. All around there were screams as the spirits crashed into their bodies. Cassandra's spirit was trying to get free from her living body and go to the mummy.
"Cassrapiksa, my friend, you must let your soul fly free," said Raldianand.
Cassandra lashed her tail. "I'm trying! It feels like my skin is being ripped apart, and AAAH! Oh, HELP!" She was thrown to the floor by the invisible force, and her screams stopped. From her prone body rose a misty form that kept changing from the silver and black of the Egyptian Mau to the brown and cream of the Siamese. The Jellicles felt that they were seeing what made Cassandra Cassandra, every little detail of her personality. Her body kept living, but the eyes showed that it had no soul. The soul was on its way to another, more ancient, body.
Tears running down her cheeks, Cassandra's spirit joined the others in their hopeless quest to get back into their bodies. Again and again she slammed into the sarcophagus, each time feeling like something was being torn out of her and snapped back. The Jellicles looked on in horror, thinking that they could do nothing.
The voice of the Everlasting Cat broke into their thoughts. MY CHILDREN, TAKE THE SARCOPHAGI BACK TO THE TEMPLE. The voice sounded like it was in pain. WHAT HURTS MY CHILDREN HURTS ME, AND THEY WILL NOT STOP HURTING UNTIL THEY ARE HOME.
The cats snapped into action. They stuffed the sarcophagi, along with the screaming spirits, into the sacks. As they were about to leave the lair, something blocked the door.
"Going somewhere, Jellicle slime?" snarled Macavity, his ginger fur gleaming in the sun. His eyes were like fire, his teeth, knives. He displayed his paw with the claws outstretched, showing that he was at the very height of ferocity.
Raldianand hissed. "Macavity, you have caused pain to countless cats. You have taken away their immortality. You are not going to stop us from bringing them back to their rightful homes." She showed her own claws.
"Ooo, I'm so scared," said Macavity, his voice dripping with sarcasm he did not feel. He had learned before that the Jellicles could be fierce when they were angry, and the ancient ones were the worst.
Raldianand growled and pounced. "Help me! Together we can beat him!" she cried as she sunk her claws into his back. Munkustrap and Alonzo jumped into the fight, soon followed by the rest of the cats.
Macavity screamed in fear and pain. As Raldianand's teeth neared his throat, he decided that enough was enough. With a flash of sparks that startled the Jellicles, he sent himself flying back across time and space.
Raldianand gave a shriek of surprise and anger as her teeth encountered air instead of Macavity. "The fiend has escaped!" she said.
"Macavity's not there," confirmed Demeter and Bombalurina. The Jellicles hung their heads in sorrow for their lost chance to destroy Macavity.
The screams of the locked-out spirits brought them back into reality. "We have to get these back to the temple," said Alonzo. He gently picked up Cassandra's soulless body. "Everyone ready for a march across the desert?" The Jellicles groaned, but carried the sacks out the door of the lair.
"We thank the Almighty Bast who has brought her children back in safety," chanted the priestesses. They picked up the sarcophagi one by one and put them in the tomb. The spirits sighed in relief as they slowly drifted back to the Heavyside Layer.
Eventually only one sarcophagus remained, the one containing the mummified Cassrapiksa. Cassandra's spirit still crashed into it, desperately searching for a way in, a way to stop the pain. One of the priestesses picked it up and placed it near the others. "Almighty Bast, your children have returned," she said.
Cassandra's spirit glided through the air to the empty shell of her living body. With a sigh, the spirit and body melded. Cassandra shivered, and stood up. "That was unbelievably horrible. If I never go through that again, it will be too soon." She looked at the ancient and modern Jellicles. "Thanks for saving me," she said. Then she looked around. "Where's Raldianand?"
"Because Raldianand went out of the temple, she can never return," said Sasaiot. "I believe she is waiting for you outside, and wants to go with you to your junkyard, whatever that is."
Tears came to Cassandra's eyes. "She gave up a life of living as the daughter of a goddess to save me?" Sasaiot nodded, and Cassandra walked over to the door. "Raldianand!" she called.
Raldianand came running. "Yes, Cassra- I mean, Cassandra?"
"Thank you, Raldianand."
Spinning through time and space, their silent screams ring all over the world. Fur in all colors, textures, and patterns whirl past them. They are in a place where all time is no time, a place where it takes a million years for a second to pass, and a million years are gone in a second. Never stopping, not even slowing, they keep hurtling through the waves of the universe.
As they landed in the junkyard, more gently this time, Raldianand looked around her. She had never before seen tires, ovens, shoes, or any other of the junk in the junkyard. It was as alien to her as another planet.
Cassandra rubbed up against her. "Welcome to the junkyard. It's not a temple, but I think it will do," she said, grinning.
Raldianand kept staring. "Oh MY! I never imagined anything like this!" she said. "There's so much...so much..."
"Junk?" provided Cassandra. "That's really what all this is. Stuff that humans threw out."
As the Jellicles welcomed Raldianand to her new home, no one even noticed the tall, thin, ginger cat lurking in the shadows. "I'll win someday, Jellicle slime. Someday..." With that, Macavity went back to his lair.
Whoa, that was eerie!