The sun’s rays beat down warmly on the junk yard, which pleased the Jellicles. It had been raining for three days and they couldn’t wait to be out in the sun again. They were thankful for the warm morning.
Victoria woke up late that day and had just reached the junkyard, but she wasn’t last. And, for that matter, Rum Tum Tugger didn’t show up last in his usual supercilious manner. Someone was missing that morning.
“Where’s Jemima?” Victoria asked after she had searched the whole place.
“I don’t know. I’ve been looking for her all morning! This isn’t like her to be so late!” Mistoffelees said with a distressed look on his cute, little, white face. “Why are you looking for her?”
“Well, hello? She’s only like my BEST friend.! Duh!” Victoria answered with an almost harsh tone. “I want to play with her.” He looked at her and rolled his eyes.
“Kittens, ay!” he said. “I was just wondering. Gee!” She took it offensively.
“Well, Mr. Magical Adult Cat Mistoffelees, why do you care where Jemima is?” she snapped at him. Her eyes were scanning him suspiciously. They had never had a conversation like that before. Then, she started to feel the guilt. “I’m sorry, Misto. I guess I got kind of carried away. I’m not mad at you.”
“I’m sorry, too,” he said and rubbed his head against hers in apology. Then he tackled her playfully. Victoria soon pinned him to the ground.
“So, why are you looking for her, anyway?” she asked again.
“Well, she said something to me last night before she left,” he said, but he seemed to be lost somewhere, not even knowing where he was. He looked off into space past the beautiful white cat and she was forced to call him back.
“Mistoffelees, hello? Misto!” she yelled in his face and asked when he came to, “What did she say? What are you talking about?”
“She said,” and then he paused. “She said… Oh my gosh! Now I know what she meant! Oh no!” he exclaimed and ran out of the junkyard without another word.
“Not even a goodbye,” she said angrily. “It had to be something serious, though,” Victoria stated to herself. As she said this, a giggle sounded from a pile of garbage to her left. This was followed by the infamous “Shhhhhh,” only to come from Mungojerrie. “What are you two up to?” Victoria said walking to where the noise came from.
“Teazer! You ‘ave got to stop blowin’ our cover!” Mungojerrie scorned his partner.
“O, Jerrie. We’re always found sooner or later. Whether I giggle a li’le or you make a bunch of racket, ‘cause you run so fast you bump into ev’rything!” Jerrie shot a look of irritation at Rumpleteazer and then grinned. He couldn’t be mad at her for more than a minute.
“Excuse me, I have to call upon Munkustrap. I need some insight on a situation that just took place,” Victoria said nonchalantly passing right between the couple.
“What’s up? Is somethin’ wrong?” Mungo asked as he scrunched up his face in confusion.
“It’s a long story and I’d rather not explain it twice. So, if you want to hear it, then you are welcome to accompany me to see Munkustrap. Otherwise, I can’t say anything,” she answered turning to see what their response was. They looked at each other and shrugged. Without a word, they filed into a line behind Victoria and followed her.
Before they could find Munku, they came upon Demeter and Bombalurina grooming themselves on a pillow.
“Hey you guys! Where’re you headed?” Bom asked as she licked her front paws. The three stopped in their tracks and turned to the two sisters.
“We’re going to see Munkustrap. Have you seen him?” Victoria told them.
“Oh, well he’s visiting Old Dueteronomy at the vicarage wall. Why, dear? Is there something wrong?” Demeter answered beginning to worry about what might’ve happened.
“Oh, not again. If you want to hear the story, then come with me please. I don’t want to explain it twice! I don’t want to sound like I am complaining, but…”
“Too late!” Rumpleteazer interrupted, giggling again, and received a mean look.
“It’s okay, dear. We’ll come with you. It’s about time I got up off my rear and walked about,” Bombalurina answered with a sweet smile.
Again, they all filed into a line, but this time following Bombalurina and Demeter and reached the wall in no time. They stopped and let Victoria jump up first and they all sat down in front of the two cats.
“Well, Victoria, you brought the whole tribe!” Old Deuteronomy joked as he looked at the faces of each of the cats. “Did you come to see me or Munkustrap here?” he asked looking at the pretty white kitten.
“I came to see Munkustrap and, since I didn’t want to explain the story a bunch of times, they came with me to hear of the incident,” she answered waiting for Munku’s response. He nodded for her to continue. Victoria opened her mouth to start, but stopped to think. She decided not to go through all of her and Mr. Mistoffelees’ conversation, since half of it was an argument. She skipped that part. “When I got to the junkyard this morning, I looked around for Jemima and I couldn’t find her. So, I asked Misto and he didn’t know either. He stated that he had been looking for her all morning. I asked why he was looking for her and he replied with the weirdest statement. He said that she said something to him last night before she left for home. I asked what she said and he paused for a moment. Then he said, ‘She said…Oh my gosh! Now I know what she meant!’ He got all scared and worried and ran out of the Junkyard without saying another word. What does it mean?” All of the cats had been listening intently and were a bit confused with all the ‘he said’s and ‘she said’s. But they pretty much got the gist of it and became very serious.
“Something has to be wrong with Jemima and only Misto knows what. We have to find them, if they’re even together at the moment,” Munkustrap said gravely. “What do you think, sir?” he turned to Old Deuteronomy.
“Well, Jemima is in trouble, and since Mistoffelees went to find her, then he is in danger too. Call together a search party, Munkustrap, and split into teams. Each team will explore different areas. Victoria, how long ago did you speak to Mistoffelees?”
“About 15 or 20 minutes.”
“Well he can’t have gone far although he is a speedy one. He probably already found Jemima, wherever she is. But finding them is our main problem, then we will find out what is the matter,” he said to everyone. They took their instructions and headed back for the yard to call for a search party.
Once Mistoffelees was out of the junkyard he headed for the one place he knew the kitten would be. He ran down the alley and stopped at an open field of dead grass. He ran as fast as his short little legs would allow him to until he was across the field and at a gate. He quickly hurdled over it and ran through the woods. About halfway through he slowed to a walk and stopped at a desolate wood cabin. All the windows were broken and the wood was rotting and filled the air with a stifling stench. He knew this place well. It was his place of studies. He went there to practice his magic alone. He had told Jemima about it once, for they were close friends. They knew each other very well. Despite his many friendships, Mistoffelees had only told her about it, because he felt she had potential as a magical cat. She was only allowed to go there if he was with her. Now he was confused as to why she was betraying his trust. He slowly walked up to one of the windows and peeked in, standing on his hind legs and front paws rested on the windowsill. Jemima was curled up in a ball in the corner of the room. She was torn up and bled heavily. Mistoffelees’ heart sank with each sniffle. He slowly climbed up on to the ledge and jumped onto the floor inside the cabin. Jemima turned and hissed, and then retracted when she realized it was her friend. He crept closer to her and licked her wounds and she began to purr between each whimper.
“I’m not sure I want to ask this, but what happened?” he said softly as not to ruin the moment.
“I guessed you were going to figure out where I was when I said, ‘What happens when someone betrays your trust?’ But I didn’t intend on this happening. I came here to be in the quiet, so I could read your thoughts like you were teaching me.”
“Why did you want to read my mind?” he interrupted.
“Will you let me finish? Anyway, I was totally on the wrong track and I was getting discouraged. And somehow, Macavity knew where I was and crept in while I was trying to read your thoughts. By the way, how did he know where I was?” she asked Mistoffelees.
“Well, Macavity has the powers too. If he can levitate then he can do all the other magical tricks. He must have sensed you trying to learn them and came to you.” He answered still cleaning her up from what he assumed was an awful battle.
“Well, look what he and his ugly rats did to me! I fought three of the rats off after they beat me up and the rest left because they were afraid. Then, Macavity tried to talk me into being one of his agents, but I kept refusing. The third time I refused he became enraged and yelled out until I was almost deaf! He left, stating that killing me would be a waste of a future agent. Then you came.” She explained letting out a sigh that was filled with pain. He stopped cleaning her cuts and looked up at her with an inquisitive face.
“Aww, poor thing, but why were you trying to read my mind?” he said looking her straight in the eyes.
She quickly changed the subject, “O, well, we’d better get back to the junkyard before everyone starts to panic.”
“Jemima… answer me,” he said sternly.
“I was reading your thoughts to see if you felt the same way about me as I do about you,” she said and then paused. “I love you, Mistoffelees,” she said slowly with her head down. Then, she looked up to him to see his face. He was totally stunned. He had the most confused look on his face. Just then, a red cat’s figure flew through the open window and landed in front of the two cats.
“Macavity!” they screeched in unison.
The search party had returned to the junk yard, unsuccessful in their mission. They found Old Deuteronomy and let Munkustrap explain.
“We looked and sniffed all the streets and alleys. We peeked in every yard and trash can! We couldn’t find Mistoffelees or Jemima. What do we do, now?” he said morosely. They all looked at Old Deuteronomy, but they were not met with his usual benevolent countenance. He had the most distressed look on his face they had ever seen, except for when Macavity was about.
“What’s wrong, sir?” Cassandra asked anxiously.
“Macavity’s no’ around. What’s the ma’er?” Mungojerrie added walking to the front of the crowd to sit in front of their leader.
“That’s it! Macavity has to be involved in this in some way. They would’ve returned by now, unless…” Old Deuteronomy exclaimed and then was interrupted.
“…unless! Macavity’s got ‘em!!!” Electra screamed. The group of cats all began to gasp and the kittens all screamed at the idea of their friends being captured. Victoria began to cry and said between the whimpers, “We… have to… do something!”
“But how are we going to find them? We already checked Macavity’s lair,” Tumblebrutus yelled out above everybody’s voices.
“Did anybody ever find out what Jemima said to Misto last night?” Pouncival asked. Just then, the Rum Tum Tugger came running in the junk yard.
“Get away from me!!! O, will you ever leave me alone?!” he screamed at the figure running behind him. Tugger ran up to the front of the crowd and hid behind Old Deuteronomy.
“Ugh! Why do you always have to spoil all the fun?! You know you like me, Tuggie!” Etcetera said coming through the mass of Jellicles. “He does. Everyone knows that,” she whispered to Alonzo.
“Etcetera, where have you been all day? There is a crisis going on here!” Alonzo scolded her.
“Crisis? What could possibly be worse than a tom denying his love for a gorgeous cat like me?” she said not really paying any attention to the distraught faces of her friends. “Hey, where’s Misto? If I can’t bother Tugger, then Misto’s just as good!”
“That’s the problem, Etcetera,” Victoria said to her sister. She never called her Etcetera unless she was upset with her. Cettie was her usual name. “Mistoffelees and Jemima are gone! They just disappeared,” she said with more cries of sorrow.
“That’s strange! I saw them just last night,” she said, scrunching her nose up with confusion. Everyone started to get excited at hearing this.
“Did you see them talking before they left?” Munkustrap asked eagerly.
“Yeah. Jemima said somethin’ weird, but I just ignored it. It didn’t have anythin’ to do with me or my Tuggie.”
“What did she say?!” everyone was yelling.
“Well, let’s see,” she said trying to recall Jemima’s exact words. “She said… um…. She said… OH YES! Now I remember! She said, ‘What happens when someone betrays your tryst?’”
“That doesn’t sound right,” Tantomile and Coricopat said looking at each other with puzzled expressions. “Mistoffelees doesn’t have a lover, let alone a meeting place with one.”
“Etcetera, are you sure it wasn’t ‘What happens when someone betrays your trust?’” Old Deuteronomy suggested.
“Oh, that’s right,” she answered. “You’re just so wise!”
“I know where they are!” Munk said and took off in a hurry. Everyone followed behind him.
Back at the cabin, Misty was spitting and growling at Macavity while Jemima whimpered in the corner. Mistoffelees was out of control. His fur stood on end and his tail grew as fat as a log.
“Mistoffelees, calm down,” Macavity said nonchalantly. “I come here today to entrust in you a proposition.”
“And this would be…” Misty said indignantly.
“You know there is no way you can beat me in combat, so I have a deal to make with you. And I believe it seems you have no choice but to agree with my demands. I will set your little girlfriend free, if….” He hesitated to see his and Jemima’s reactions. Jemima blushed with the word girlfriend in reference to her and Mistoffelees. He continued, “If you will be my agent. Besides, she’s just learning. You know more.”
Mistoffelees was silent. “And if I refuse?”
“Come, come, Mistoffelees. You know the answer to that…. You die… painfully,” the evil cat replied.
“Mistoffelees, you can’t! I won’t let you! He can take me; the Jellicles need you more.” Jemima insisted.
“What for? Entertainment? No. Jemima, you go. Leave. I will sacrifice myself for yo-“
Suddenly, a streak of fur came through the window. Then another, and another came soaring into the cabin. A dozen or more cats all came through the window and attacked Macavity.
“Oh, blast! The Jellicles!” he yelled and then retreated. All the cats cheered!
“How did you know where we were?” Misty asked Munk.
“Etcetera heard what Jemima said to you last night and I pieced it together,” he answered.
“Hey! How did you know about the cabin? I’m the only one Misty told!” Jemima asked.
“Oh, uh...” Munkustrap got a little flustered.
“ Well now, Old Deut, I think we have an eavesdropper in the midst of our tribe,” Misty said to the leader.
“Well, we can’t have that!” he answered with a chuckle.
“I was just passing by you two one day a month or so back and I heard you talking about the cabin. That’s all!” Munk said uneasily.
“It’s okay. I’m pretty glad you heard us! We could be dead, or worse, working for Macavity!” Misty answered.
Everyone laughed and then headed home. Misty was walking with Munkus when the latter noticed the other was distressed.
“Misty, what’s wrong, friend?” he asked with a little nudge.
“Love,” he answered reluctantly. Munkustrap chuckled inwardly to hear such a young cat complain about love. “Vic and I have always liked each other and we are really good friends, but Jemima told me that she loves me and I think we’re even closer than I am with Vic. What should I do?”
“Well, you might want to go with the one who you feel, deep down inside, has stuck with you through everything. The one that will always stick with you through everything,” Munkustrap said wisely.
“You don’t know how much you just helped me!”
When everyone got back at the junkyard, it was bedtime. The cats went to their own little bed, whether it was in a human’s house or in a garbage can. Mistoffelees didn’t go to his human that night. He stayed in the junkyard thinking of ways to confess his love to the lucky cat. “Alright, I’m set. But how do I tell Vic? Oh well, we’ll speak later. She’ll understand,” he said to himself.
Above Jemima’s hole-in-the-ground bed there appeared a dragonfly. It was buzzing so loud, it woke her up. She loved to play with insects so she followed it, trying to pounce on it wherever it landed. It rested on something in the darkness straight in front of her. She crouched and then dove. To her surprise, the object she landed on moved…and spoke. “Hello, Jemmie.”
“Oh, Mistoffelees! Hey! I didn’t expect to land on you.”
“You’re up kind of late,” he said.
“Oh, well, you know how I am with bugs,” she said, still staring at the dragonfly that was hovering over a garbage can. Just then, it disappeared into thin air.
“Yes, I absolutely do.”
“Misty did you see tha-- Wait a minute! Did you use magic to make that bug?” she asked. He nodded. “Why would you do that? Unless you wanted me to pounce on you, I don’t know why you wou-- Let me stop myself again. What are you up to?”
“I was trying to romantically tell someone that I love them, but that someone is too smart and ruined the whole surprise,” he answered chuckling.
“Oh my! Misty, you love me!” she asked excitedly.
“Well, let me think about this… ABSOLUTEY!”
“Oh, I thought you didn’t at first! I mean, when I first told you, but now we-“ she was interrupted by Misty.
“Jemmie, just shut up and kiss me!”
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