Macavity was bored. He had pinched everything worth pinching, committed every felony worth committing and look at where he was now--
"Yes, that's nice," he said absently.
"Okay, the blue one looks better."
"Squeak," said the rat and turned back to the broken mirror. It was trying on different ribbons for a scarf and Mac was the only one who was around to get a second opinion from.
Macavity was really bored. "I don't know what to do with my life," he muttered aloud.
"Squeak," suggested the rat.
"Hey, that's sounds interesting . . ."
It was a perfectly normal day in the Junkyard. A nice, warm afternoon when everything seemed normal. (Note the emphasis on the word "seemed".) Such afternoons, of course, would normally be interrupted by some cat finding an intruder and kicking up a racket--but by the end of it the tribe would have increased by one member. Aren't they such a nice bunch of cats?
(That didn't happen, by the way.)
Munkustrap and Demeter were cuddling up together on an old car with the improbably license-plate number. Victoria was receiving flowers from Mistoffelees--he ordered them from a shop like everybody else after discovering that he couldn't do flowers very well. Explosions, yes, roses, no.
The kittens were playing tag--or at least something that involved running around and biting each others' tails a lot. Etcetera was mooning over Tugger--as per normal--but her hero was currently busy else where with Bombalurina. (They were shopping for new fur brushes and shampoo--so get your minds out of the gutter!)
All in all a teeth-rottingly-sweet scene.
(Cue the main plot . . .)
Alonzo came running into the Junkyard. Pouncival was just behind him.
"Munkustrap!" As usual, they had to bug the grey tabby with their problems. (Munkustrap couldn't know for sure, but it did seem like these "emergencies" always happened when he and Demeter were having some quality time together . . .)
"What happened?" As Leader-to-be, he always took his responsibilities seriously. (Someone give him a medal. If he were a boy-scout, he wouldn't be able to move for the weight of all those badges . . . Okay, we're done with digressing. You can go on now. Well, hurry up and get on with this fic!)
"You won't believe what I saw!" the black and white tom said excitedly.
"You really won't believe what he saw!" said Pouncival. "I saw it too and I still don't believe him!"
Trying to make some sense out of this, Munkustrap finally asked, "What did you see?"
"I saw--get this--a five pound block of cheese walk down an alley!"
"I think it was mozzarella!" Pouncival chipped in helpfully.
"Alonzo, Pouncival," Munkustrap began slowly. "You saw *cheese* moving by itself?"
By this time, most of the cats had gathered to watch the entertainment--more because they were really bored out of their skulls than anything else.
"Hey, what sorta catnip are they on? Coz I want some!" This was from Tugger--back from his shopping trip with seven new brushes, a hairdryer and hair gel. Bombalurina, if you're interested, only got a comb and a copy of Vanity Fair.
"No, it's the truth!" Alonzo insisted.
"You've got to see it!" Pouncival insisted.
Normally, Munkustrap would have asked for them to go have a nice quite lie-down because they obviously had been out in the sun for too long--but the others were feeling less charitable that day.
"Hey, cool! Let's go see the walkin' cheese!" said some of the toms and they egged Alonzo to take them there. Soon, most of the Jellicles were going along--they were really, *really* bored.
"I don't know you anymore," Cassandra said to Alonzo.
"But it's true," he wailed. "Tell you what, I'll bring you some of that cheese for our date tonight?"
"No thanks, mozzarella gives me a rash."
"So the date's off?"
Meanwhile, regardless of Alonzo's rapidly deteriorating love life, the cats had reached the alley that he had mentioned.
"Well, I'll be . . ." murmured Munkustrap, for really there was something that looked like a five-pound block of cheese disappearing under the fence at the end of the alley. And it smelt like mozzarella too.
"Told you so, told you so!" Pouncival said until some cat who was older gave him a smack.
"Follow that cheese!" Tugger said and with the prospect of a nice cheesy addition to dinner in mind, the Jellicles did.
Beyond the fence, however, they came across something really strange. There was this large tent pitched up in an old abandoned lot and that was where the cheese was headed.
Being too curious for their own good, the Jellicles had a peek in.
There were some cats sprawled on the ground, giggling as they played with catnip mice. There were flowers and bowls of milk all over the place. And a big sign that said "Party!".
The cheese had came to a stop just before a cat seated on a big comfy cushion. It was--to every cat's surprise--Macavity. (The cheese turned out to have two of his henchrats under it--so much for the walking cheese plot.)
Demeter promptly yelled--yes, you guessed it--"Macavity!"
To the surprise of the Jellicles cats who had expected Macavity to be on to them at any second, no cat even looked up at them.
Macavity did notice them after examining the cheese and approving of it. "Oh, hey, Demi," he said languidly. "Want some catnip?"
"Huh?" Totally taken aback by this 360 from the Napoleon of Crime, the Jellicles could only stare.
"C'mon in and bring your friends," he said and waved a paw at the plentiful supply of catnip toys and a buffet of salmon paste and kippers. "I think there should be enough for everyone . . ."
Munkustrap tried to get on top of the situation. "What sort of game are you playing now, Macavity?"
"Game? I ain't playin' no game, Munku," said the ginger cat placidly. "I'm a peace-loving cat now, no more Mr Hidden Paw. I'm retiring for good. Just ask your friends--" And he nodded towards a corner of the tent where a familiar pair of cats were facing each other and humming.
"Tantomile? Coricopat?" Mistoffelees went up to them and waved a paw in front of them. "You aren't under a spell, are you?"
"Ooommm. Oooommm--why'dya do that for?" the twins asked indignantly. "We were just getting in tune with our inner selves just now!"
Wise to the ways of psychic cats who couldn't even find themselves but could somehow help find lost kittens, Misto said, "Sorry, Tant, Cori--just wanted to know what you're doing in the company of Macavity. Remember him? Hidden Paw? Our Archenemy?
"Oh, him. There's nothing to worry about--this is his retirement party and invited just about every cat around town," said the twins together. "He's going through this "make love, not war" phase. We're just here to enjoy the catnip. And he's nicked some really neat incense too!"
"If there's any love to be made here," Tugger began but was cut off when Bombalurina stepped on his tail.
"So you're saying that he's not going to attack us?" Munkustrap asked suspiciously.
"Oh lighten up, Munku," said Alonzo, who had already begun on the catnip. Others were getting into it too--they had gone after a cheese, but now they had the whole feast in front of them. "We think you've been really uptight these few months--so just relax!"
"Yeah, relax . . . I don't hold anything against you, Munku. Forgive and forget--that's the motto now." Macavity waved at his henchcats and rats. "I'm now for an ideal where cats and rats or any other peace-loving beings can live in piece. We're all friends, or brothers and sisters, if you like . . ."
"Um, does this mean you aren't after Demeter anymore?" All that talk about "making love, not war" was making the noble leader rather insecure.
"Love is universal, cousin o' mine," said the former Napoleon of Crime. "I promise not to harm any cat--perish the very thought--if that's the assurance you want."
So with some trepidation, Munkustrap had to accept that. But he promised himself that he would keep an eye of for any deviations from this supposed ideal.
After the salmon paste and a few rounds at the catnip later, he was arm in arm with Macavity as the toms belted out a very interesting new version of the "The Rum Tum Tugger". (Tugger wasn't around to comment on this--he and Bomb were out cold after the catnip. It's like that for some cats.) Of course, most of the words were rather muffled, so no kittens got *too* corrupted in the end.
At the end of this particular episode, the Jellicle tribe welcomed Macavity back--cos he threw really cool parties. They thought his idea was radical--well, they actually thought it seemed to take less effort than running away from Pollicles or hunting rats--so they expanded their policy of catly love to include even dogs. (Come on, they used to let any poor, homeless cat join them--so why not Pollicles?) They had a sing-along session every Saturday to welcome new members. Now all dogs will run like the blazes if they catch the slightest glimpse of any cat wandering around the streets with a guitar/harmonica and a maddeningly cheerful expression.
Munkustrap and Macavity still had a slight problem over Demeter. So the others locked all three of them up in a basement with two pounds of catnip until they could come to a suitable compromise. They did in the end, but that's another story.
Tantomile and Coricopat found their inner selves and discovered that they didn't need to rely on each other so much. Tantomile's currently running her own aura-reading business while Coricopat adopted a human who runs a New-Age mystical supplies shop.
Alonzo and Cassandra patched up their relationship and gave up on meat to become vegans. Most cats avoid them because they'll tell any one who'd listen about the rotting meat in their intestines and advocate a cruelty-free diet. Bustopher Jones never visited again.
Bombalurina and Tugger had a huge family. (No need to tell which part of the "make love, not war" policy they took to extremely well.)
Etcetera got over her Tugger-obsession and joined Jemima, Electra and some other toms in campaigning for animal rights cos they wanted to do something with their lives other than lie in the sun all day. Sometimes, they took things a little too far. Hence, the last thing that some fur-wearing individuals see would be a group of cute kitties waving signs and yelling slogans at them before they're stampeded.
Victoria didn't like the idea of a New-Age-lovey-dovey-sort-of-lifestyle, Her humans moved to Paris, so she was happy. Misto got depressed; then he got over her and formed an alternative garage band. They went platinum within a month. (And was Vicky pissed when she found out that her former boyfriend was rich, famous and much better off without her.)
End of the Insanity.
Another Story - the sequel
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