Friday, February 7, 2014

Chapter 7: The Forbidden Bedroom

Once upon a time, the cats had been allowed to play all over the house. Every room had its highlights. The office had the futon with the sunny spot. The guest bedroom had the brightest sunbeams and the warmest floor. The master bedroom had wonderful wool blankets, perfect for rolling and jumping around, kicking at suspicious lumps under the covers. So many places to play, so many spots to nap. But then, tragedy struck. The boss started closing the door of the master bedroom. The cats could not understand why she would keep them from a room that was clearly theirs, but though they spent many days sitting outside the room and complaining, the boss wouldn't budge. They had been exiled.

This made the master bedroom a source of fascination for the newly displaced. Donald, in particular, was determined to get in. He would trail silently behind the boss as she did things around the house. Filing papers. Doing laundry. Anything that occupied her hands was a promising activity. At first, he would sneak into the room and stroll silently around while she put away clothes. Once she'd notice him, the jig would be up, and he would be picked up, struggling and squeaking, and deposited in the hallway. Eventually, he stopped being stealthy. If the door was ajar, he would push it open, stare directly at the boss, then launch himself onto the bed, meowing and rolling around in open defiance of this unjust banishment. In these moments, when she would pick him up (laughing, for some reason, always laughing), he would go completely limp, exhausted from his righteous struggle.

James took a different approach. If, for some reason, the boss was in the bedroom, he would sit at the door and howl like a little wolf. "Awwooooo!" He would often bring his penguin to bear witness to the injustice, and they would sit together in the hall. There would be no peace in the house until their room rights were returned.

After a very long time, when they were almost beginning to despair of ever being allowed to sit on that wonderful, forbidden bed, and bunny kick those fascinating blankets, the boss relented. Perhaps it was the courageous displays of defiance by Donald. Perhaps the persistent lobbying of James. Perhaps she simply got tired of stepping over the penguin every morning. No matter what the cause, she started allowing the cats into the room for a few hours a day.


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