Etcetera's Love
by Starrla

Etcetera had heard in every story she had ever been told how Macavity was incapable of love, a monster without a soul, with out morals of any kind. She and her brother Mistoffelees, and sister Victoria would play make believe games where they captured and killed the heartless fiend.

No one in the junkyard had any compassion for Macavity: he caused trouble, kidnapped people, recruited young queens and toms, and caused one big disturbance after another. All Etcetera heard were stories, for neither she, nor her brother or sister had seen Macavity except for the night of their first Jellicle ball, in which case they had all three been nearly asleep.

Etcetera was the youngest of Demeter and Munkustrap’s litter of three. Victoria was the eldest and Mistoffelees was in the middle. Victoria was pure white with ever so slight peach colored markings on her arms. Victoria was more serious than most kittens, she was quieter too. She could often be found dancing alone under the sky on a moonlit night, she didn’t seem to be incredible interested in toms other than the Rum Tum Tugger, although many toms were interested in her.

Mistoffelees was also fairly quiet, but he wasn’t serious like Victoria. He was very mischievous as a kitten, and learned the art of magic. As he grew older he began to focus his magic towards helping people rather than entertaining them and showing off. Mistoffelees, the opposite of Victoria was nearly all black, except for the insides of his front paws, his face, and a small white patch on his chest that resembled a tuxedo.

Etcetera was different from Victoria and Mistoffelees, she wasn’t shy at all. Every cat in the junkyard could recognize Etcetera’s voice a mile off, and more often than not they would try to avoid that voice. It wasn’t that they didn’t like Etcetera, she was just so overwhelmed with energy...all the time! Etcetera went ‘gaa gaa’ over toms like the Rum Tum Tugger, and flirted with everyone! Unlike her brother and sister she wasn’t merely a solid color. Her head fur was mainly white, and the rest of her was a base color of white entwined with yellows, oranges, browns, and blacks. She was a very colorful kitten!

As Etcetera grew older she didn’t annoy the other cats anymore: she could now carry out a conversation without squealing and raving about her newest love interest, and she could sit still for more than five seconds. It seemed she had absorbed some of the charming qualities of her sister Victoria. Etcetera was rambunctious as ever, but now more fun than before.

Demeter and Munkustrap were both protective parents, they were very cautious where there kittens were concerned. Even though Victoria, Mistoffelees, and Etcetera were nearly a year old now they still guarded them and followed them as they would have when they were merely several weeks old. Victoria and Mistoffelees adopted the general belief of what was bad/good, safe/dangerous, and they avoided cats like Macavity at all costs. Etcetera on the other hand had begun to do some curious things. No longer did she refer to Macavity as a heartless fiend, in fact, for some time she didn’t refer to him at all... then suddenly it was: Macavity...Macavity...Macavity... in every conversation she had to get something about Macavity in: “oh he’s so clever! he’s defeated our bravest warriors! he must be ever so magical!”

Munkustrap who had battled Macavity the last time he came prowling around did not appreciate this sort of talk, in fact he began to get angry at Etcetera’s excessive chatter about the Hidden Paw. Demeter who had also been part of the Jellicle battle wasn’t any more pleased than Munku was, in fact she may have been more angry. Finally Demeter confided in her mate “What can we do about Etcetera? At first she seemed curious, but I’m beginning to believe this obsession might have a bad ending if we aren’t careful.”

Munkustrap gave Dem a worried look, “Yes, I’ve been thinking about that too, and I think we should sit her down and have a talk with her.” What they didn’t know was that Etcetera had been about to break up their conversation and ask a Macavity related question, but had stopped to eavesdrop. When she heard this she grew angry and stormed in...

“Why are you all so worried about me!” she demanded. “I’m nearly a year old, in fact in a couple months I’ll be able to choose a mate, what’ll you do then? I can talk about who I want, what’re you doing trying to control my interests? If I’m interested in Macavity, then I’m interested in Macavity, and there’s not anything you can do to stop it!” Then Etcetera stopped screaming, and continued on in a suspicious, dangerous tone: “What I want to know, is why everyone is classifying Macavity as such a horrible tom, I mean, he’s never done anything to me, or Mom, or Dad, or Vic, or Misto, or anyone we know...”

Demeter was shocked at how Etcetera had heard her and Munku’s conversation, and even more shocked at Etcetera’s reaction. “Etcetera, honey, we’re only trying to protect you, and well, Macavity’s not a nice tom honey, he’s not nice at all.”

“Not nice? Why should I listen to you? You’re the one who told me that Tugger was dangerous and I shouldn’t swoon around him so much...and he never did anyone! In fact, I’ve been giving this some serious thought, and I think I’m going to go find the ol’ Hidden Paw himself and find out personally whether he’s ‘not nice’!”

“No kitten of mine is going to go around with an outlaw!” Munkustrap exploded from his silence, “I forbid you to go anywhere near Macavity, or even look for him, if you do, I’ll....I’ll...”

“You’ll what?!” Electra demanded, “You’ll do what? Face it, there’s nothing you can do! I’ve had it with you two, you’re always treating me like I can’t make decisions on my own... well I’m going to show you, I’m leaving... with any luck you’ll never hear from me again!” With that, Electra scurried off and was soon out of sight.

“Oh dear! What have I done...” Demeter cried as she burst into tears.

Munkustrap still furious took no notice of his devastated mate and hollered after Etcetera, “If you leave the junkyard, don’t bother coming back, you won’t be welcome!” At this Demeter broke into a fit of hysterical grief and collapsed onto the ground.

“Hey Mom! Hey Pop! Have ya seen ‘Cetera anywhere? We’ve been looking all over for her.” Victoria asked as she motioned to Mistoffelees, Electra, and Jemima.

It had been several hours since Etcetera had left, and it was growing late. Demeter had managed to get herself together and was walking about cleaning frantically trying to get her mind off her littlest kitten. “Oh, well, I imagine Etcetera’s just off for a walk, or amusing Tugger or something dear...” Demeter was lying as much to herself as to Viccy.

“Cut the crap Dem!” Munkustrap rudely butted in, then he turned to the kittens who were startled at how he was talking and explained in a sarcastic voice, “You’re baby sister’s gone off to find Macavity and prove that he’s just an angel...” Then he turned around disgusted and walked out of the house and away.

“Macavity??” the four kittens all said in unison.

“’Cetera’s gone out of the junkyard?!” Victoria said unbelievingly.

“Cetti’s looking for the Hidden Paw?” Jemima squeaked!

“She could get killed out there!” Mistoffelees stated bluntly and didn’t notice when Demeter winced. Electra said nothing, but just stood there in awe.

After running away from her parents Etcetera had done something she’d never dared do before: she had left the junkyard. That had been several hours ago, and now Etcetera was cold, hungry, and lost. It was dusk and Etcetera walking along nervously with no idea what to do. She was still angry at her parents, Munkustrap especially and she kept muttering under her breath “I’ll show ‘em... I’ll show those dummies...”

Etcetera suddenly sensed that she wasn’t alone. When she turned around she was facing a tom she had never seen before. He was tall, muscular, and very handsome, he was glaring at her with dark eyes. Etcetera raised her head and met his glare haughtily.

Macavity had been out prowling around not far from where his crime headquarters was. He had sensed the presence of another cat, but it wasn’t just one of his old comrades of crime, he could tell it was a Jellicle. “What in the world is a Jellicle doing so close to my headquarters?” Macavity thought to himself, “It must be Mistoffelees trying to sneak up on me...I thought he was smarter than that!” After cautiously tracking down the Jellicle by scent, Macavity peered out from the brush...he was completely suprised! It wasn’t even a male cat, it was a small female kitten who couldn’t possibly be part of a scam against him!

Macavity immediately relaxed--not that he was very worried about the Jellicles in the first place-- and then he strode out into the open and stood, several meters behind the kitten. She was nearly full grown and “quite attractive” Macavity thought. He stood there looking the Jellicle up and down. Just when he was preparing to approach her, she turned around and he was suprised by her reaction: instead of the look of terror he expected she gave him a look as though she thought he was the dumbest thing on earth, and Macavity was thourally shaken.

Recovering from the shock at being so calmly met by this Jellicle kitten, Macavity strode over to her until he was merely inches away. He glared at the Jellicle, it wasn’t a bloodthirsty glare, more of a playful one, but there was no way for her to know that! He expected if she hadn’t been frightened before, she would be now, but he was shocked by her rude reaction. “Excuse me, but what made you think you have the right to stride right up and invade my personal space, huh?” the kitten said this in a very annoyed tone.

Macavity couldn’t believe how he was being treated! Wasn’t he the Napoleon of Crime? The cat who everyone feared? How was it that he was being talked back to by a puny little kitten?! “She obviously doesn’t know who I am.” Macavity concluded, he wondered how any cat could not know him, but there was no other explanation.

Etcetera was appalled that this cat who she had never seen before was rude enough to walk up and stand with his face practically in front of hers -- except of course, he was taller than her. He was very handsome, she admitted, but Etcetera was never taken advantage of, so she greeted him rudely, hoping he would decide to be a little more courteous. He did seem a little astonished that she had talked to him in that manor, but his astonishment meant nothing to Etcetera.

Etcetera expected that the strange tom would back off, but he didn’t, he just stood there as though he though himself the king of the world. This both infuriated and fascinated Etcetera, so she decided to learn more about him. “What’s your name anyways.” She said dryly.

“Macavity.” The strange cat replied in an equally dry tone.

Now, Etcetera might not have been shaken before, but hearing that this tom standing inches from her was the one she had been obsessing over for months, the tom she wanted to meet most of all, the very reason why she left the junkyard, nearly caused her to faint. “Macavity...” She echoed to herself, then pulling her self together said quite coolly. “I’m Etcetera, pleased to meet you.”

Now, up until now Macavity had just figured that she didn’t know who he was...but for her not to know who Macavity was? This was unbelievable. There was no other explanation: any Jellicle upon learning that he/she was face to face with the Napoleon of Crime would either run or fight, and Etcetera did neither. At first she just repeated his name in what seemed like a thoughtful tone, then had introduced herself in a bouncy manner. This was very strange indeed...

“Aren’t you a Jellicle?” Macavity inquired of Etcetera--he was going to get to the bottom what was going on here.

“Well!” Etcetera snorted, “You might say that I was born a Jellicle...but I left those sorry cowards hours ago, and I am NOT going back!” She said this fiercely.

“Now, now...” Macavity said in a dangerous tone, “What would cause a nice Jellicle like you to run away?....who are your parents anyway Etcetera?” Macavity was beginning to think that she might be of some use to him...

“My parents? They’re Demeter and Munkustrap.” She said as if it was no big deal. But of course it was no big deal to her...the big deal was for Macavity...when he realized he was standing face to face with the offspring of two of his biggest enemies... What to do? What to do? He could kill her...but what would he accomplish by that, he didn’t even know if her parents wanted her back, and maybe...just maybe, she might help him: tell him all the secrets of the Junkyard--that would be a reason worth letting her live for.

“Well, Etcetera,” I don’t know what you’re doing out here, away from the Jellicles, but I’m willing to let you come with me, and we can discuss issues tomorrow.” He motioned to Etcetera, “Come along now.” Macavity was supprized when Etcetera simply followed him--no fight, no reasonable Jellicle would follow Macavity right into his lair.

Etcetera woke up and looked around her cell--it wasn’t really where prisoners were kept, but she liked to tell herself so, because it was more exciting. The night before, she had followed Macavity to his fortress, she had said almost nothing, being still in awe that she had after so much waiting, finally met Macavity! He had shown her to her room, and then departed saying they would talk in the morning. Etcetera walked over to a small wash basin and splashed her face with the cool was very refreshing. Then she sat around waiting for someone to show up to take her to Macavity.

After quite a while of waiting several black rats (these, she remembered, had accompanied Macavity at the Jellicle ball) showed up and led her away from her room. The led her along long corridors, through tunnels and doors, and finally after she had thourally lost her sense of direction, they came upon Macavity. He was sitting in a grand bronze chair, with many symbols carved into it, it was obviously his throne.

Macavity had had the rats bring her a chair and they had sat and discussed everything she knew about the junkyard: where valuables were kept, which houses belonged to which cats, who was whose mate, how many kittens lived here/there, and many other such questions. Etcetera knew he was probably planning something evil, but didn’t think it mattered, because she was no longer a part of the Junkyard. Macavity had asked her if she was comfortable in her quarters, and if she needed anything. She had answered that she was indeed very comfortable, and didn’t need anything more, then she had been escorted back to her room.

Etcetera had been a visitor of Macavity’s for several months now. At first she had been merely a source of information to him, and he had planned to get rid of her when she was no longer of use to him. But gradually he had become more and more attracted to her. She had always been good looking, and in the last few months she had grown even more so. He had also discovered that after one got through the rude shell on the outside, she was actually quite charming. Macavity was spending more and more time with Etcetera, and she didn’t seem to mind, this encouraged him.

Etcetera’s information had been very useful to Macavity. His comrades had performed more than a couple robberies, and stolen plenty of valuables...also, several cats who Macavity didn’t particularly care for, had been ‘done away with’. All in all, ever since Macavity had had the good fortune to meet Etcetera many good things had come his way.

Etcetera yawned. “Where is Macavity?” She thought to herself. He had asked her to meet him at the fountain in the lower courtyard, and that is where she was waiting. Throughout her months at his fortress she had become used to its winding corridors and secret passages, she now knew her way around as well as any of the thieves.

Etcetera thought about the long way she had come since her days of being a Jellicle. She had told Macavity all she knew, and felt no remorse for the horrible deeds that had been carried out because of her--She could be very heartless when she felt like it. She had also spent a lot of pleasure time with Macavity. Her original obsession had eventually turned into love and admiration, but she didn’t have the faintest idea of whether he felt the same way about her.

Just then she noticed Macavity enter on the far wall and come striding on over to her. Etcetera’s heart was beating hard, and she wanted to race over, throw her arms around him and kiss him... but she contained herself--she didn’t want to ruin the friendship they had built. Macavity sat down on the side of the fountain, his long red fur glistened in the moonlight, and his mane fluttered in the wind, even in the dark she could see how strong his muscles were.

Macavity saw Etcetera and walked over. She was looking very beautiful this evening. Her white head fur was reflecting the light of the moon, and her beautiful face was half shadowed by the fountain, he longed to reach out and touch her. Macavity thought about his feelings for this Queen who had helped him so much, and he decided that it was time.

Macavity slowly moved closer to Etcetera, he took up her arm and knelt down in front of her, and he asked in a most gentlemanly manner, “Etcetera, dearest, will you be my mate?”

Etcetera was so overcome with emotions that she just flung herself into Macavity’s arms, and he didn’t back away or push her aside, he held her there. Etcetera smiled and gazed up into her love’s eyes “I thought you’d never ask!” Then Etcetera and Macavity kissed passionately out in the moonlit courtyard.

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