Chapter 44 Isn’t it Bromantic?
This is a singularly unique chapter and it is dedicated to Engbunny and VampFan5 for all their caring and support in my life. You both listen to me vent and postulate and go a little bit crazy about things and you’re patience and help means the world to me.
Just think of this bonus chapter as sort of The Wizard of Oz. We have something normal, go to the fantasy and come back to reality. It’s meant to be a bit of fun and I hope you enjoy it as we get ready for the big wedding! This also takes the place of Freshie Friday this week. Happy reading!
Logan carried Travis, safely tucked inside his carrier into Audrey’s house. She was such a neat freak he realized. He wondered what she really thought of his place and for the first time he thought about actually doing something about the mess. He had the whole rest of the house that he could use; maybe it was time to think about that. When he first moved into the basement it was because he felt secure there, the windows were reinforced and unbreakable, the alarm system was cutting edge and the door would take dynamite to get through it.
Maybe it really was time.
As soon as he entered Audrey’s house he could smell Plato; not a bad smell just an animal. Travis meowed softly and Logan felt him shift his weight in the carrier as if he stood up. He gave a soft meow as he smelled Plato too.
Audrey leaned down and greeted Travis, cooing to him and sticking her finger through the wire to pet him. “Hey Travis! Are you ready to meet Plato?”
Logan sat the carrier down and Audrey unfastened it, allowing Travis to step out and explore his surroundings.
“Hm, it’s certainly better than that hoarder’s cave I’ve been in the past few weeks. I knew there was a reason I liked this girl. Logan, you need to marry her and move in here with her, I might be able to find my food dish occasionally. Not that I’m staying with you any longer than I have to!”
Just then another cat walked up to him, sniffing him curiously. “Hi! I’m Plato. What’s your name?”
“My name is Travis. Do you live here? It’s not as nice as home really, but not bad. You should see Logan’s place; it’s like a bomb shelter that was already visited by the bomb.”
“Are you moving in? That’d be nice! We’ll have a blast. C’mon, I’ll show you around.”
Travis followed Plato, checking out the kitchen where the food and water was and the litter box in the mud room. “But look Travis, the best part is this,” Plato said, heading to the pet door, “We can go in and out whenever we want!”
Travis looked at the door which sort of scared him; he’d never really been outside before unless safely within the confines of his carrier. He lifted his nose and scented the great outdoors and stepped back, not willing to go any farther. “I am not moving in; I am apparently to be your guest for a short length of time while Audrey and Logan go away to Mick and Beth’s wedding.”
“Mommy’s leaving?” Plato exclaimed, heading straight for Audrey and jumping into her arms. “No Mommy, don’t go. When you’re gone Mrs. Murphy always checks on me and she scares me, she brushes me too hard. Don’t go, please!”
“Boy, he’s really trying to tell you something,” Logan observed, watching as Plato nuzzled Audrey’s neck. Logan wished that was him, that he could nuzzle her neck, but he was afraid to do that because when he thought about it too much all he saw was the delectable trace of veins that ran just underneath her delicate skin. He’d need to talk to Mick before he got that far because he didn’t know how to handle it.
Audrey scratched Plato’s ears and held him for a moment before saying, “Don’t worry Plato, Mrs. Murphy is going to come over to check on you often; you and Travis will be fine.” She sat him on the floor and he looked up at her, trying desperately to convey his fear of Mrs. Murphy.
“Give up Plato; they’re human’s, they aren’t capable of learning our language, although we certainly can learn theirs. Cat’s are superior you know.” Travis gave the fur on his shoulder a lick, surreptitiously peeking up at Plato who was still pleading with his mommy. “Please Plato, have a bit of dignity! Let them go! We’ll have the whole place to ourselves!”
“Until Mrs. Murphy gets here. I wish we could hide the brush,” he said, eyeing the offending instrument up on top of the refrigerator. “I knocked it off once but she found it on the floor.”
Plato and Travis both watched as Logan pulled Audrey’s bag out of the bedroom and out the door, with Audrey following behind, searching for her keys. When they were found she told the cats, “Now be good boys and have fun. We’ll see you soon!” She let herself out and closed the door firmly behind her. They heard the keys in the lock and then a car door.
A sudden thought occurred to Travis and he ran frantically to the door, pawing at it wildly. His yowls of displeasure were almost deafening to Plato.
“Hey, they’ll be back Travis! Have you never been left alone before?” Plato felt sorry for his new friend because he was so upset.
“That walking hoarder forgot to leave my eating vessels. I’ve no dish for my food or water. And my food, he didn’t leave that either. Oh dear, I’m destitute; might as well have been left on a street corner to panhandle.” Despair washed over him and he lay down on the floor, feeling as if life was over.
Plato walked over to him and nosed him, checking him out. “Hey, it’s okay. I’ve got all that! I’ll share Travis, it’ll be fun!”
“Eat and drink from a communal bowl?” The very thought sent shivers down his spine. It was unimaginable. His body twitched, his fur standing on end.
“Sure. Aw, come on Travis, there’s so much to show you. Let’s go and have a nibble of food and then explore the back yard.”
Travis got to his feet and followed his companion back into the kitchen. He was a bit peckish and maybe some food would help. He looked at the bowl of strange food and swallowed, trying to work up the nerve to take a bite of it.
Plato stood by watching as Travis debated whether or not to eat. “It’s good Travis, help yourself!” he encouraged.
Travis sniffed delicately at the food; unsure of its strange odor. It certainly wasn’t what his mommy or daddy bought for him, but he cautiously picked out a small morsel and chewed it for a moment.
“GAH! What in the world IS this,” he asked, close to retching. “It tastes like non-fat soy vegan food!” He hurriedly slurped a few drinks of water, trying to wash the taste out of his mouth.
“It’s Healthy Cat,” Plato said proudly. “A hearty blend of multi-grain fiber and protein designed for the optimal health of your cat,” he finished, sounding like a TV commercial. “Mommy buys if for me because she wants me to live a long and healthy life.”
“If I had to eat this regularly I wouldn’t want to,” Travis said disdainfully. “The packaging must taste better than this!” He thought longingly of his bag of Kitty Chow back at Logan’s and knew that he had yet another complaint against the inconsiderate vampire.
Plato didn’t understand why Travis didn’t like the food but he figured it might be so new to him that he just needed a bit of time. “Hey, let’s go outside for a while; we can lay in the sunshine on the cool grass; it feels really good!” Plato walked to the kitty door and stepped outside, not waiting for his new friend.
Travis took a step towards the door and stopped. He could catch a whole new set of scents coming in from outside and while he was curious, he was also scared. Were there other animals out there? Would they be okay he wondered. He took a few more steps and poked his head out and saw Plato doing exactly as he said, lying in the sun.
Travis enjoyed a warm sunbeam or two himself and could often be found lying in one at Mommy’s house. Daddy’s house didn’t have too many of them but early in the morning there were a few that peeked through the window coverings. Outside it was pure, unadulterated sun and the temptation was too much; he stepped out and felt a breeze sweep across his fur, ruffling it delightfully. With careful steps he made his way to where Plato lay and plunked down beside him, wanting to stay close.
The grass was cool, still a bit damp from the early morning dew and he sniffed at it. It tickled his nose and he sneezed before letting out a small kitty laugh.
“Not so bad, huh?” Plato asked, stretching out in the grass, luxuriating in the sunbeam.
“Quite pleasing actually,” Travis admitted. Before long both cats were dozing in the backyard, content.
Travis stirred when he felt Plato get to his feet. He opened one eye and watched as his friend walked over to the corner of the yard and relieved himself. “Good God Plato, what if the neighbors see you?”
“So? It’s the backyard; it’s one big sandbox Travis! Help yourself!”
“Out here? Where I might be observed? Where there is no privacy?”
“Sure! Come on, give it a try,” Plato told him, walking back to the sunbeam.
Travis walked out to the corner, debating the situation. He looked around and saw no one but a robin sitting in a tree and threw caution to the wind. It was an amazingly free feeling he realized with pleasure. He walked back to Plato who was watching the robin with interest. Suddenly he ran to the tree and climbed it, in search of a snack.
The robin, knowing it was in no danger laughed at the cat. “You cannot possibly get to me quick enough Plato; I’ll just fly away. Still, I guess its good exercise for you!” the robin said merrily.
“Come on Travis, help me catch this rat with wings; they’re very tasty.”
“Up there? Climb that tree?” He had never done such a thing before. Still, it didn’t look too hard so he jumped up and dug his claws in, making his way to where Plato sat high up in the tree, watching the robin in her nest.
The wind made a soft murmur as it blew gently through the leaves and it was all quite relaxing for Travis, until he looked down. Fear paralyzed him; the ground was very far away and he was stuck up on a branch that was swaying in the wind. He dug his claws in deeper and held on, trying desperately to not think about where he was.
In the meantime Plato and the robin both admitted an armistice for the day and Plato scrambled down the tree. On the ground he looked up at Travis, waiting for him to climb down too. “Hey Travis, come on down!”
“I – I can’t. I’ll fall, it’s a long way down there,” he said as he closed his eyes and tried to imagine he was still lying safely in the warm sunbeam.
“Sure you can, it’s easy. Just climb down, like you would get down off the couch or something.”
“No, I can’t. It’s too far.”
Plato was beginning to get irritated by Travis’ attitude. Where has this cat been all his life he wondered? He didn’t know anything about being a cat. Plato launched himself back into the tree and climbed up to Travis who opened one eye and stared at him. “Okay, just follow me down, it will be fine,” he promised.
“Leave me, save yourself!” he said as shame over-whelmed him.
“So you’re going to sit up here all day and wait for someone to come rescue you?” Plato asked. The thought was almost amusing. A sudden idea occurred to him and he leaned down and bit Travis in the butt, hard enough so that it scared him.
“Ouch!” Travis leapt from branch to branch until he was safely on the ground and watched as Plato landed next to him. “You bit me!” he exclaimed.
“Worked didn’t it?” Plato said smugly.
Both cats started licking their paws in an effort to tidy themselves and ignore the other. Plato eventually headed to the house and called out, “I’m hungry. You can stay out here if you like but I’m going in.”
Travis looked around the yard and decided to follow. After that adventure a nice nap on a soft bed or couch was called for. He started walking, realizing his butt hurt a bit where Plato had bit him.
Inside Plato was chowing on his kibble; Travis’ stomach growled alarmingly. Even that detestable food would be better than nothing. He waited while Plato ate and tried to look around the room nonchalantly until it was his turn. After Plato had finished and drank some water Travis stepped up to the dish and tried to tell himself that it was the delightful pieces of chicken that Mommy often snuck him. It didn’t help but at least the cardboard imitation food filled his tummy.
A short while later, as Travis and Plato were napping on the couch they both woke to the sounds of the front door opening. Travis jumped from the couch excited that someone was coming to rescue them.
Plato said, “NO Travis, its Mrs. Murphy, run, run quickly and hide!” Plato quickly scrambled under the couch; sometimes Mrs. Murphy couldn’t get him out if he dug his claws in really deep into the carpet.
Too late Travis saw an elderly woman come in the door, shutting it behind him. She was quite small, almost frail he thought and she didn’t seem like she could be any kind of threat. “Well hello there precious,” said, snatching him up quickly. “You must be Travis,” she cooed.
Travis had to admit, for one so decidedly insubstantial she was quick and strong. Maybe Plato had a point. She held him tightly in her arms and walked into the kitchen, reaching for the dreaded brush. She was almost too short to reach it he noted.
As she sat down on the couch she talked to Travis, “My, you are a handsome cat. You’re spotted, not striped, like a Bengal cat. Yes, very handsome!”
Travis relaxed at her flattering dialog; she was smart he realized and besides, she was petting his back and it felt really good. She gave him a scratch or two under his chin and he started purring.
Until the brush came down smartly on his back and scraped along the fur with strong, deliberate strokes. One, two, three and he was ready to come off her lap. He tried to plan an escape and looked around for someplace, any place to hide. The brutal brushing continued and he struggle to his feet, looking her in the eyes.
“Why, my goodness kitty, I didn’t notice earlier how beautiful your eyes are, all silvery and round. They are quite lovely.” She sat him down and walked to the kitchen and placed the brush back up on the refrigerator and then stopped to check on their food and water.
“Well, I guess everything is fine here. I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said, closing the door behind her.
Travis only grinned to himself as he licked his paw and rubbed it over his face.
Worked every time.
“I don’t know what you just did, but whatever it was, it worked! Thanks Travis!” Plato purred with appreciation. “She just went away!”
“It’s just a matter of concentration my good man; just keep focusing and telling her what you want. I’ve found it’s quite effective!”
Travis and Plato enjoyed one anothers company the rest of their visit. Plato still thought that Travis was a bit of a sissy and Travis still thought that Plato was completely too energetic and daring, but they made a good team they decided. Everyone, even cats need that other being that balances them and makes them look at things from a new and different angle.
When Logan and Audrey came home they found Travis and Plato curled together on the couch, looking contented and happy.
“I guess they must have had a good time,” Logan said. Both cats stood up and stretched, happy to see them.
“Um hm. I never worry when I leave Plato, Mrs. Murphy always takes good care of him.”
“I guess she does.” Logan scooped up Travis and placed him in the carrier. Audrey watched, slightly disappointed. She sort of wanted them to stay but Logan seemed in a hurry to leave.
“Okay, well, I’ll see you later?” she asked, trying to sound casual.
Logan stopped and kissed her; he didn’t know which one was trembling more. He had talked to Mick but he didn’t feel any more ready than he had been before. One thing was for sure - he couldn’t take much more of this!
To be continued…