*note- all characters in this story are fictional. If they have any resemblance to you or someone you know, it's probably either because that's who they're based on or all CATS fans and actors are relatively similar. Also, I know that the Jellicles I put on Broadway may be wrong. It's been a loooong time since I saw CATS live. *
"Yes! I'm going to CATS today! WOOHOO!" shouted Keri Jones. The passenger seated next to her glared. "Oops. Sorry. I'll be quiet," she said. But as she stared out the airplane window at the clouds below her, she just couldn't contain herself. She twisted in her seat until she faced the seat behind her. "Hey Liz, doesn't that cloud look just like Old Deuteronomy?" she asked.
Liz Montgomery, a fellow CATS Fanatic who was traveling in the same group as Keri, grinned. "I think it looks more like your namesake, Bustopher," she said.
Keri made a face. "Oh come on, you know he's not my namesake. I mean, it's not my fault that my great-uncle was T. S. Eliot's best friend."
"YOUR GREAT-UNCLE WAS T. S. ELIOT'S BEST FRIEND!?!?!?" screeched Liz.
"Not so loud, you'll wake up Sleeping Beauty over there," said Keri, gesturing to the seat next to her. Then she grinned. "He wasn't really his best friend, but I think he met him once."
"Did you just say your great-uncle met T. S. Eliot?" asked an unfamiliar girl from across the aisle.
"Yeah. Are you on the CATS trip? I don't think I've seen you before," Keri said.
"Of course I'm on the CATS trip! How could I not be? CATS is the absolute best thing that was ever created in the history of mankind! And it's not like it comes to Phoenix that often," said the girl.
"You got that right," said Liz. "Oh, and I'm Liz Montgomery and this is my friend Keri Jones. What's your name?"
The girl sighed. "April May."
"Yup. My parents are so unoriginal." Then she giggled. "At least no one ever forgets my name."
"It is pretty memorable," said Keri. "Is anyone else you know coming?"
April looked thoughtful. "Umm... let me see... Jessica Denker. That's the only one I know." She made a face. "She's up in first class."
"Lucky!" chorused Liz and Keri.
"Marie and Tommy Griffith, Rob Callahan, and Mike Ellis are coming," said Liz.
"And Sandra Rogers and Jeff Wilson," added Keri. She rolled her eyes at the latter name. "Jeff is a Rum Tum Tugger wannabe."
"Oh, was he the one flirting with the flight attendant?" asked April.
"Uh-huh. He's a terrible bore." Keri smiled at her little joke, then spoke again. "Did you guys remember to bring your costumes?"
"Of course! We couldn't do our 'surprise' without them!" said April. "Who are you going to be? I'm Cassandra."
"Demeter," said Keri.
"Bombalurina," said Liz.
The voice of the pilot broke into their conversation. "Flight attendants, please prepare for landing."
There was a collective squeal from all the CATS fans on the plane. "JUNKYARD, HERE WE COME!" they yelled, as planned. The rest of the passengers all glared.
"Ohmygosh, we're here!" cried Victoria Grove as the bus screeched to a halt. She had traveled from her Connecticut home with a group similar to Keri, Liz, and April's.
Victoria's friend Amy Nelson nudged her. "Got your costume?" When Victoria nodded, Amy asked, "Who are you going to be?"
"Victoria, duh. She looks the coolest, not to mention her fabulous name." Victoria grinned as Amy made a face.
"Yeah, yeah. I'm being Sillabub. Aren't I just perfect for the role?" Amy struck a wide-eyed pose.
Victoria giggled. "Awww, wook at the sweet wittle kitten," she said, and ducked as Amy playfully punched her.
"Hey! We're rooming together!" said Keri, talking to Liz and April.
"Great! You can help me with my make-up!" April said.
"Yeah, whiskers are really hard to do yourself," Liz agreed. "Both of you will have to help me."
"Whatever you say, 'Bomby'!"
All three of them laughed, then started unpacking their costumes. "Isn't it weird how these pieces of cloth make people look like cats? I mean, look at this thing," said Keri, holding up her Demeter costume.
April giggled. "Yeah, I know. But hey, what works, works!" she said as she slithered into her Cassandra costume. Keri and Liz did the same.
"Man, these look funny without wigs," said Liz.
April opened her mouth to reply when there was a knock on the door. "Who is it?" she called, instead of what she had been about to say.
"The one and only curious cat!" came the voice from the other side.
Liz and Keri groaned. "Come on in, Jeff," they said.
Jeff swaggered in, thwuping his mane. "This is so cool! I can't believe we're actually going to do this!" He started singing. "And there's no doing anything about it..."
Liz, who had gotten her wig on by this time, walked over to him. "The Rum Tum Tugger is a curious beast."
Jeff grinned. "My disobliging ways are a matter of habit."
The other CATS fans came in the room, and they all clowned through the song. When it was over, they started the Mistoffelees song, but Keri, Liz, and April shooed them away.
"We have to get our make-up on if we're going to be ready in time," Keri explained. The others all rushed off to their own rooms to finish their preparations for the show.
"How do I look?" asked Victoria, twirling around.
Amy looked at her critically. "You look like a clown with a tail."
"Oh, shut up." Victoria hit Amy with a pillow as Lana Williams, dressed as Jennyanydots, walked in.
"Jellicle pillow fight!" Lana said. She grabbed a pillow and threw it at Victoria and Amy's other roommate, Sara Smith.
Her wig was knocked askew. "Come on, you guys! We have to be serious if our plan is going to work!" She straightened her wig and put on her tail.
Amy grinned. "Don't worry, Jelly, we'll be serious by show time."
"You better be!" Sara started applying her make-up, humming the Gus song.
"Oh, right! We have to practice!" Amy broke into song. "Daylight, see the dew on the sunflower..."
A head popped into the room. "Hey, did I hear someone singing my song?"
"Hiya, Stace," said Victoria. "Love the costume!" Stace Chase was dressed as Grizzabella.
"You really like it?" she asked, fluffing her gray curls. "I made it myself. You wouldn't believe how long it took me to get the ears right."
"It looks really professional," said Amy. "Anyone want to help me with my make-up?"
"Sure, Sillabub," said Lana.
"Sandra, Rob, you look great!" said Liz.
"And there's nothin' at all to be done about that!" they replied, laughing. They were dressed as Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer.
Sandra fingered her fake pearls. "So, you think this is going to work?" she asked, a little nervously. "I mean, what if we're the only ones here?"
Keri laughed. "I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. I've seen about five buses with cat eyes painted on them, and they were all full of really excited people. And that's not even counting the planeloads!" she said.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. Who could stay away?"
"Hey, it's almost time to go! Come down to the lobby!" Marie's voice floated up the hotel stairs.
April, Keri, Liz, Sandra, and Rob quickly went down. Marie, dressed as Tantomile, took attendance. "Jessica Denker?"
"And you're being..."
"Right. Jeff Wilson?"
"Meow!" Everyone laughed.
Marie glared at him. "Watch it, Tugger. Mike Ellis?"
"Here! I'm Demeter."
Everyone laughed again, and April blushed. "It's not my fault I have stupid parents! I'm being Cassandra."
"Whittington's friend is here!"
"Whittington's friend, Whittington's- oh. Bombalurina, right?" Liz nodded. "Rob Callahan?"
"Tommy Griffith? You're Mistoffelees, right?"
"Presto!" said Tommy.
Marie rolled her eyes at her little brother. "That's all of us. Ready to go to the show?"
Her answer was a deafening, "JUNKYARD, HERE WE COME!"
The various CATS Fanatic groups from around the country took up nearly half of the theater. All around, they greeted their friends excitedly.
"Kerikitie? Is that you?" asked Victoria.
Keri peered at her. "Well, that's the name I use online, but I don't know who you are..."
"Oh! You made it! Isn't this great?"
"Yeah! I can't believe we're actually doing this! Oh, um, this is sort of stupid, but what's your real name?"
"Keri Jones. Jones as in Bustopher. What's yours?"
"Nope. My parents are total CATS freaks. I have a four-year-old sister named Jemima."
Keri laughed. "I remember you talking about your sister. Hey, do you want to meet Lickettysplit? She's around here somewhere."
"Lickettysplit's here too? Great! I wanted to talk to her about an idea I had for a new fanfic. What's her real name?"
"Liz Montgomery. I'll get her, hold on." Keri looked around. "Liz! Get over here!"
Liz came running up with April. "Hey Keri, who's that?"
"Victoria Grove. You might know her as Glitashima."
"Your real name is Victoria Grove? And I thought my parents were weird! My name is April May. I think you know me as Maunajela," said April.
Keri and Liz stared at her. "You're Maunajela!? I'm Lickettysplit and Keri's Kerikitie!"
April grinned. "Small world."
The lights flickered. "Vici, come on! The show's about to start!" called Amy.
"Gotta go!" said Victoria. She winked. "Break a leg!"
"We will!" said Keri, Liz, and April in unison.
"Hello and welcome to CATS!" said the announcer. He waited for the thunderous applause to die down before he continued. "A little mouse told me that many of the people here today are from CATS fan clubs from around the country. Hope it's worth the trip!"
"If he ever stops talking, it will be," Stace whispered to Victoria.
"...Enjoy the show!" the announcer finished.
The curtain slowly rose as the introduction music played. "Ohmygodohmygodohmygod, it's starting!" whispered Keri. She and the rest of the costumed Fanatics slowly crept from their seats to the stage, being careful not to be seen. They slipped behind various pieces of scenery.
"Hey! What are you kids doing here?" whispered Ellen Johnson, the Broadway actress who played Electra.
"We're taking over the show. Be quiet or everything will be ruined," Liz replied. Similar conversations were taking place all over, and all the actors kept quiet.
The Fanatics stayed hidden until the first chorus of "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats." Then they started singing with the actors and emerged from behind the scenery, as planned. The audience gasped with pleasure at the hundreds of cats.
"I saw this before, but it was only a few cats then. This is spectacular!" one viewer whispered to another. The other agreed.
The actors were in a state of shock, and barely managed to keep dancing. "What the heck is going on here?" Krista Landi, the Broadway Demeter, whispered fiercely to her many look-alikes.
It was Keri who answered her. "Like we said before, we're taking over the show. Just keep dancing and act like nothing's wrong." Krista fumed a bit, but danced.
The Fanatics who couldn't dance either sat on the junk piles or went out into the audience. The ones that couldn't sing mouthed the words. They were all having the time of their lives.
The time came for Victoria's solo dance, and the thirty-two Victorias performed the dance that they had choreographed themselves. It consisted of them dancing in a circle around the Broadway Victoria. When the twenty-nine Mistoffeleeses came out, David Carnes, the Broadway Misto, started dancing with Victoria Grove by mistake. All the other female Fanatics cast envious looks in her direction. Her face was rapturous.
She rejoined the group when their dance was over. Amy pounced on her. "Victoria Demeter Grove! Do you have any idea how lucky you are!?"
Victoria came out of her starry-eyed state. "Hmm? Oh, yeah. I definitely know how lucky I am." She twirled around. "I danced with David, I danced with David..."
Amy bopped her on the head. "Snap out of it! It's almost time for Jennyanydots!" she said.
"Oo, right! Think Lana's ready?" Victoria asked as they scrambled to their places on the side of the stage.
Twenty-six Munkustraps started singing. "We have a Gumbie cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots..."
When the trunk of the car opened, Lana was in it. The seventeen other Jennys, including the angry Broadway one, came out from behind the scenery and sat on the floor.
"But... When the day's hustle and bustle is done, the Gumbie cat's work is but hardly begun..." came the voices of twenty-five Demeter- Bombalurina- Jellylorum trios. The group consisting of Keri, Liz, and Sara was onstage, the rest were out in the audience.
"I told you we'd be serious by show time," Amy whispered to Sara as she danced past. Sara nodded and continued singing.
The beetles came out. They were played by almost all of the cats, so there were hundreds of them. They marched out into the audience, poking the viewers with their utensils. "For she's a jolly good fe-e-loooow!" they sang.
"Thank you my dears!" said Lana.
RRRIIIIIIIIIP! "Meow!" sang Jeff. He was the leader of the thirty Rum Tum Tuggers.
"Meow!" the twenty-nine others echoed him. Actually, only twenty-eight did. Adam Alexander, the Broadway Tugger, hissed.
"The Rum Tum Tugger is a curious cat!" sang everyone.
The Tuggers, besides Jeff, jumped into the audience. "If you offer me pheasant, I'd rather have grouse! If you put me in a house I would much prefer a flat, if you put me in a flat then I'd rather have a house..."
Onstage, female Fanatics gathered around Jeff, in the audience, they gathered around the others. "I can't believe I have to look like I'm totally in love with Jeff," Keri grumbled.
"You know him? Can you tell him he's really, really cute?" asked a Fanatic. She was dressed as Etcetera.
"Um, you should really tell him yourself, but it will only inflate his ego more. He is totally Tugger." Seeing the Etcetera look-alike's dreamy smile, Keri giggled. "I guess you're totally Etcetera." She paused. "What's your name? I'm Keri Jones."
"I'm Anna Nova."
"Nice to meet you."
"Abowowow..." Jeff sang.
Keri looked disgusted, but screamed along with the others. Anna, of course, was the one who kept screaming and had to be stopped.
The show continued, the audience loving every move. Almost all of the Fanatics got to sing or dance solos. The Tantomiles and Coricopats, including Marie and Mike, performed a twin mirror dance, the Etceteras, including Jessica and Anna, paired off with the Tuggers for a special dance, the Mungojerries and Rumpleteazers, including Sandra and Rob, went out into the audience and pretended to pick pockets, the Sillabubs and Grizzabellas, including Amy and Stace, sang parts of "Memory" together and apart, the Jellylorums, including Sara, sang their song with the Guses, the Cassandras, including April, performed an Egyptian-type dance, and even the real actors started improvising and having fun.
"You ought to ask Mr. Mistoffelees," began Jeff.
"The Original Conjuring Cat," continued Adam Alexander, grinning. He had sort of "adopted" Jeff as a little brother.
Together they said, "The greatest magicians have something to learn from Mr. Mistoffelees's Conjuring Turn!"
The rest of the Tuggers came out. "And we all say, Oh! Well, I never! Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistoffelees?"
The rest of the cats repeated them.
Backstage, David Carnes held Tommy back. "We're not supposed to be out yet, idiot," he said fondly.
"But they're singing about Mistoffelees," Tommy pouted. Then he grinned mischievously. "Did you know that my sister and her friends are all in love with you?"
David looked embarrassed, but nodded. "Ever since the CATS video came out it's been raining fan mail," he said. "I hope they're not angry that I don't answer it."
"...But you find next week lying out on the lawn!" came Jeff's voice.
"Gotta fly!" said David, and he went to get ready for his big entrance.
"And we all say..." sang Adam.
"Oh! Well, I never! Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistoffelees?" the cats sang from all over the theater.
"Presto!" shouted the Mistoffeleeses, leaping out from back stage. David came down on his rope.
The Fanatics and actors made their way through the song, dancing, singing, and having fun. When Mistoffelees to chose Cassandra to be his assistant, April and the rest of the twenty-seven Cassandras huddled under the red blanket. "This is so cool! I wish it would never end," whispered April as they were pulled down through the hole in the stage. Brenna Jacobs, the Broadway Cassandra, led the group past the eleven Old Deuteronomys to where they had to wait for their next entrance.
"And we all say, Oh! Well, I never! Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistoffelees," sang Jeff gently, taking one of the Deuteronomys' hand. The other Tuggers, Deuteronomys and Mistoffeleeses followed his example, and soon they were in a giant circle.
"Now!" whispered Brenna. The Cassandras streamed up the steps to the stage and were met by the Mistoffeleeses. "Hey David," said Brenna as he whirled her around.
"Hiya, Brenna," David said as they both bowed to the Old Deuteronomys.
The music changed, and Amy, along with the other Sillabubs, started singing. "Daylight, see the dew on the sunflower, and a rose that is fading, roses whither away. Like the sunflower I yearn to turn my face to the dawn, I am waiting for the day."
"Now, Old Deuteronomy, just before dawn, through a silence you feel you could cut with a knife, announces the cat who can now be reborn and come back to a different Jellicle life," sang the Munkustraps.
Stace and the rest of the seventeen Grizzabellas came out. The actors and Fanatics started hissing at them. They sang. "...When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too, and a new day will begin." They collapsed on the stage floor.
The Sillabubs picked up the tune. "Sunlight through the trees in summer, endless masquerading,"
"Like a flower as the dawn is breaking..."
"The memory is fading!" sang only Juanita Molina, the Broadway Grizzabella.
"Touch me! It's so easy to leave me all alone with the memory of my days in the sun, if you touch me, you'll understand what happiness is! Look, a new day has begun!"
The Victorias daintily stepped forward and slipped their hands into the Grizzabellas'. There was a collective sigh of relief from the audience as they were accepted taken around to all the Jellicles.
"Up, up, up, past the Russell Hotel, up, up, up, up, to the Heavyside Layer..." There was just enough room on the magic tire for all of the Deuteronomys and Grizzabellas. The staircase to the Heavyside Layer came down, and Juanita led the Grizzabellas up. "The mystical divinity of unashamed felinity! Round the cathedral rang Vivat! Life to the Everlasting Cat!" sang the actors and Fanatics from all corners of the theater.
The staircase disappeared, and the Deuteronomys turned towards the audience. "You've heard of several kinds of cat, and our opinion now is that you should need no interpreter to understand out character. You've learned enough to take a view that cats are very much like you! You've seen us both at work and games and learned about our proper names our habits and our habitat, now how would you address a cat? So, first your memory I'll jog, and say a cat is not a dog!"
As the actors and Fanatics repeated them, some strange Fanatics who had brought actual Pollicle costumes ran out and pretended to wag their tails. The Deuteronomys took turns having solos in the next verse.
"Now dogs pretend they like to fight,"
The "Pollicles" pretended to fight.
"They often bark, more seldom bite!"
The "Pollicles" bared their teeth.
"And yet a dog is, on the whole,"
"What you would call a simple soul."
The "Pollicles" put on dunce caps.
"The usual dog about the town,"
"Is much inclined to play the clown,"
The "Pollicles" started acting like clowns.
"And far from showing too much pride,"
"Is frequently undignified,"
"He's such an easy-going lout,"
"He'll answer any hail or shout!"
"Again, I must remind you that a dog's a dog, a cat's a cat!" sang all eleven Deuteronomys.
The actors and Fanatics repeated them and pushed the "Pollicles" off the stage. They ran to get back into their feline gear.
"That was fun," commented Tommy, removing his floppy ears.
"Yeah," said Jeff, exchanging his fluffing tail for his cat tail and replacing his mane. "I hope whoever's taping this gets the wag thing."
"Someone's taping us?"
"Uh-huh. We're each going to get a copy of our magnificent performance." By this time, Jeff was fully Tugger. He grabbed Tommy's arm. "Come on, we gotta get back onstage. You, too," he called to the other Pollicle Fanatics. They nodded, finished their transformation, and ran back onstage.
Jeff slipped into the crowd and stood beside Anna Nova. She giggled. "Did anyone ever tell you that you're really, really, really cute?" she asked, gazing up at him with adoring eyes.
Jeff looked thoughtful, then grinned. "No, I think you're the first one to use three reallys."
Keri, who was standing behind him, bopped him on the head. He turned around to face her. "Have you ever considered legally changing your name to Rum Tum Tugger?" she said kiddingly.
Jeff stuck out his tongue as everyone started singing. "A cat's entitled to expect these evidences of respect! So, this is this and that is that, and there's how you address a cat! A cat's entitled to expect these evidences or respect! So, this is this and that is that, and there's how you address a cat!"
The Old Deuteronomys threw up their hands and the music stopped. The applause was thunderous, and all of the audience members stood up.
"Whoa, a standing ovation!" exclaimed Victoria.
"Naturally!" said Amy.
The actors and Fanatics grouped themselves by character and took their bows, the audience clapping, whistling, and cheering the whole time. "Encore!" someone yelled.
The rest of the audience took up the cry. "Encore, encore, encore!" they chanted.
"Mommy, what's encore?" asked a little boy.
"It means 'do it again'," his mother explained.
"ENCORE! ENCORE! ENCORE!" the little boy shouted at the top of his lungs.
The orchestra, hearing the audience's demands, began playing "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats." The actors and Fanatics sang in unison, jumping up and down, hugging each other, and running into the audience.
"Mommy, Mommy, look at me! I'm a Jellicle!" called the little boy as Liz and April whirled him around.
"Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats!" sang everyone, the audience included. The actors and Fanatics scrambled back onstage.
Adam Alexander. "How'd everyone like CATS!?" Adam called.
The audience cheered.
Jeff took center stage. "As some of you may know, all of us aren't really cast members. In fact, the majority of us are just total, complete, CATS FANATICS!!!!!"
The Fanatics cheered.
"The actors didn't even know we were going to be here until after the show started!" Jeff continued.
"Yeah, and boy were we mad!" said David Carnes, grinning at the Fanatics around him.
"But back the point," said Jeff. He nodded at the Fanatics. "The point is..."
"THAT WE LOVE CATS!!!!!!!" yelled the Fanatics.
April collapsed on the hotel bed, and was soon followed by Keri and Liz. They stared at the ceiling for a while, too tired to get up and change out of their costumes. Once the excitement of being in CATS was over, they found out how exhausting it was. They had barely even had the strength to collect and give autographs and addresses at the Fanatic/cast party.
"Wow," said April. "That was great."
"Mm-hmm," said Liz, closing her eyes.
"Just five more minutes," Keri mumbled sleepily.
April giggled. "Wake up, sleepy-heads. If you don't change out of your costumes, they'll get all messed up."
"After all that work I did? I better get up!" joked Liz, struggling to sit up. She turned to Keri and shook her.
"Huh? Wha?" she said, rubbing her eyes. She sat up. "Oh yeah. Costume." With that, she fell back on the bed and started snoring.
"So long, Broadway," whispered Victoria as her bus started moving. She sighed and turned to Amy. "Wasn't that the most fun you've ever had in your entire life?"
Amy yawned. "Yeah, definitely. Think it'll be that much fun next week in London?"
eMeow the author
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