"Jemima! Jemima!" Etcetera shouted, running towards her friend. Jemima sighed. She'd been lying on the old car trying to take a nap, but she knew that Etcetera would keep shouting until Jemima acknowledged her.
"Cety, what's got you so excited, this time?" Etcetera completely missed the disinterested tone in Jemima's voice.
"Oh, Mima, it was simply the best. Tugger said blah blah blah blah." Jemima had made it a habit to mentally tune out Etcetera whenever she mentioned Tugger's name, which was in practically every conversation.
Etcetera continued babbling on about Tugger while Jemima nodded at appropriate times. Electra came up to them with her face covered in tears.
"Mima, I don't know what to do about Tumble. He's been asking me to make a commitment to him, but I'm not sure if I'm ready!" Electra cried, her voice sounding completely distraught.
Jemima sighed again. Electra could get upset at the littlest things for the most absurd reasons. Jemima knew that Tumble, who adored Electra, wanted Electra to admit to the older cats that the two of them were dating. She also knew that the reason Electra didn't want the adults to know of her relationship with Tumble was because she didn't want to give up her crush on Munkustrap.
Just as Jemima was thinking up something trite to tell Electra, Plato came running up to the three females. "Jemima, I need to talk to you. It's very important.
Jemima sighed yet again. She knew exactly what Plato wanted to talk about. He wanted to ask her to consider being her mate, again. Jemima knew that she was going to say no, again. She had no intention of being the mate of a tom who was infatuated with another queen and Plato was completely infatuated with Victoria, but Victoria was infatuated with Mistoffelees.
Jemima, who had been lost in her thoughts, noticed that the other cats were arguing about which one of them Jemima should talk with first. Since she hadn't wanted to talk with any of them in the first place and she was already tired, Jemima's control of her temper snapped.
"Enough!" she shouted, "I am sick and tired of listening to you three all the time!" Etcetera, Electra, and Plato looked at Jemima like she had grown another head. Etcetera found her voice first and asked Jemima what she meant.
Now that her temper had finally been unleashed, Jemima didn't want to control it again. At that moment she wanted to tell the others exactly how she felt about them.
"You want to know how I feel, Cety, well I'll tell you! I don't want to listen to you blab on and on about Tugger. In fact whenever you mention his name I automatically tune you out, but of course you never noticed. Then again when have you ever noticed anything but Tugger? I'll tell you, never!" Etcetera looked hurt by Jemima's words. Jemima didn't care. Electra started to say something but was interrupted.
"As for you, Electra, I've listened to you cry about your relationship with Tumble for weeks now. I've tried to give you advice but you never listened. For the first time I will tell you what your real problem with commitment is. It's not fear; it's your refusal to give up on your fantasy of being with Munkustrap. Give it up! Munkustrap is way out of your league. Stick with Tumble." Electra looked even more hurt than Etcetera.
Plato stared at Jemima with a look of shock on his face, "Jemima, what--"
"Don't worry, Plato," Jemima interrupted, "I haven't forgotten you. I already know what you want to talk about and the answer is still no. I am not going to accept a tom on the rebound. But if you don't mind taking a queen on the rebound you can wait for your precious Victoria. I don't know who Mistoffelees wants but I know it isn't Victoria.
Plato was even more shocked than before. "Jemima, what's gotten into you. You're supposed to be the good kitty."
"Well, maybe I don't want to be the good kitty anymore! Maybe I want to be someone completely different. Have you ever thought of that." Looking at their faces, Jemima knew that the thought of her being anything but good and sweet never crossed their minds. "Well, I have! But I never thought of doing anything about it. Until now. Next time you see me I won't be the old sweet Jemima, but a new and completely different Jemima." With that Jemima walked away leaving three very shocked cats behind her.
It had been two hours since Jemima had left the Junkyard and it had taken about five minutes for the news of her confrontation with Etcetera, Electra, and Plato to spread to every Jellicle. The confrontation was all that they could talk about.
"Jenny, could you imagine Jemima being anything but sweet and nice?" Jellylorum asked her best friend Jennyanydots.
"No, dear, I can't. I always thought that Jemima was the sweetest, nicest kitten in the Junkyard. I can't imagine her any other way." Jenny sighed and shook her head. The opinion of the other Jellicles was essentially the same as Jenny's. No one could believe that Jemima could be anything but a good kitty.
A few moments later Mistoffelees, Coricopat, and Tantomile sat up and looked at each other. "Jemima's coming," Mistoffelees said. Coricopat and Tantomile nodded in agreement. All of the other Jellicles stopped what they were doing and concentrated on the entrance to the Junkyard. Everyone was interested in what "the New Jemima" was like.
"Well, everyone's here to meet the new me. I'm touched." A voice that sounded like Jemima's was heard to say. A moment later a cat came into view and every Jellicle's jaw dropped. "You might want to close your mouths, you wouldn't want to catch any flies."
This cat had Jemima's voice, but certainly not her looks. Jemima was a typical shorthaired calico. This cat was anything but typical. The fur on her head was orange, the fur on her stomach green, and-except for two designs on her back-the rest of her fur was purple. The design between her shoulder blades was a peace sign in blue and the design just below the first one was a lightning bolt in yellow. All five colors were very bright and intense.
Her coloring was strange enough, but it was her accessories that really shocked the Jellicles. She had gold rings in both of her ears and above both eyes. Another ring was in her nose and a gold stud was at the end of her tongue. These were just the ones on her head and face. She also had a ring in the middle of her stomach and three rings at the end of her tail.
"Je-Jemima is that you?" Exotica asked in a shocked voice.
"Of course it is. Who did you think it was? Griddlebone." Jemima said sarcastically.
All the Jellicles, for one reason or another, were rendered speechless. Alonzo came the closest to finding his voice, "Jemima, what? How?" he spluttered.
"The what is easy, it's my new look. The how isn't really that difficult either. Last week a new cat moved in down the street from me. His name is Rodcat. His fur looked different everyday, and he had all these gold things stuck in various parts of his body. When I decided to make a change I knew he was the cat to help me." Jemima paused and looked at the faces of her fellow Jellicles. The looks on their faces could be described as shocked, repulsed, or contemplative. "I want all of you to know that this new look is here to stay and I will be working on changing my attitude to better fit my look." That statement added to the shock of those already shocked and the repulsion of those repulsed. The two contemplative cats exchanged a look and nodded to each other.
"Jemima, could you introduce us to Rodcat?" Demeter and Coricopat asked at the same time.