Christianity and Middle-Earth

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Fish Benedict

A Political Farce in One Act

Scene: Pine-paneled kitchen in 1960s brick-ranch shoebox.

Cast: Seven felines. One human.

Occasion: Feeding time.

Human draws deep breath, steels herself and opens cat-food cupboard. Cat-herd immediately materializes smack in the middle of the kitchen floor and starts complaining.

Arry (I’ll bet you didn’t know that the bottomless pit was obese, long-haired, and orange and white): Supper, supper, supper! We want supper, lady – where is it? Food, food, food!

Ing (ferret-faced grey and white varmint who sprayed Narsil last night - yes, I said Narsil): Food! Hurry up! Or else.

Psmith (misnamed orange, stub-tailed Calvinist): Are we fasting today or just practicing patience?

Baggins (black scrap in a perpetual state of panic): Any crumbs left? Have the cat-skinners come? Has she stopped feeding us?

Go-Go Boots (small jet-setting calico Manx from Oregon): I’m afraid I’ll have to insist on my own dish. Nothing personal, of course.

Boggle (mildew-colored Art Deco spook that goes bump in the night): I’d sooner have my supper under the bed, but if that silly fashion-bunny gets her own dish, so do I.

Neanderbunny (orange fuzzy nitwit): Canned. Do I really want to bother?

Arry commences maneuvers by running in front of human’s legs. A lesser cat would have been kicked galley-west due to the involved physics, but Arry is not a lesser cat so human crashes into oven door instead.

Baggins bolts for cover: Aiyeeeee! Fear, fire, foes, Balrogs, cat-skinners! Aiyeeeeee!

Ing: Shut up and get back in here. You want supper, don’t you? We hang together - or I’ll have to piddle on something.

Psmith, grumbling: Of course we want supper. Not that we’re likely to get any, from the look of things. Jumps on counter and starts trying to open dish cupboard. Human leaps to secure cat-proof safety lock that has replaced the egg-turner that used to be shoved through the handles.

Arry takes another massive lunge athwart unwary human’s bow, sending her crashing once more: Supper, supper, supper! Hurry!

Human yells irritably.

Neanderbunny forgets why he’s there ( Are we having a caucus race? ) Jumps onto the sink and attempts to lick faucet. Human yells again. Neanderbunny retreats, hurt and bewildered: What’d I do? I thought we all got prizes.

Boggle takes up a cautious position in the hallway, peering through the door to make sure she’s getting her own dish: What IS the hold-up? And I only want jelly – no lumps!

Go-Go Boots, daintily wrinkling a lip: That's aspic, barncat.

Human pushes Psmith off counter and tries to get dishes out of cat-proofed cupboard. Arry bites her ankle and she yells again.

Psmith jumps back onto counter to arrange his butt-end against the dish-drainer: ARE you going to feed us or not?

Arry, like an aging Baby Boomer stuck on The Who: FEED ME, FE-ee-EED me, FEED ME, feed meee!

Baggins slinks round the edge of the floor, peeping pitifully of starvation and cruel indifference. She lied, precious. We must staaaaaaarve.

Human pushes Psmith off the counter again and opens cupboard where Sheba and treats are kept. Go-Go Boots tries to climb in from stovetop: Mousie, mousie! Fuzzy fur mousie!

Human shoos Go-Go Boots away. Opens a pop-top Fancy Feast and turns to fetch a fork. Trips over Arry again. “Confound it, CAT!”

Baggins, heartrendingly: Lies, precious! Poor, poor us!

Ing leaps onto counter and sticks nose in can: MINE!

Psmith glooms from the floor: I knew she wouldn’t feed us. Promises, promises.

Human screeches as Arry bites her shin again. “Arry, don’t DO that!”

Arry: Why won’t you FEED me? Feed me NOW!

Ing (pretends to spray tea-kettle): She’ll feed ME or else.

“ING, don’t you DARE!”

Human lets Ing have can and bends over to get another one. Ing looks smug. I told you she’d feed ME.

Go-Go Boots lands in the middle of human’s back: Mousie? Mousie?

Arry bites human’s ankle again. I want my supper NOW, lady! Why won’t you give me my supper?

Human drops dish full of cat food, permanently compromising its structural integrity. Go-Go Boots slides down her suddenly perpendicular back. “AHHHHHHH!”

The cats still on the floor scatter in panic. Disengage, disengage! Abort mission!

Temporarily, of course. Before human can react, cats return to attack fish-flavored shrapnel with gusto. (Except Baggins, who is now utterly traumatized by human’s brutal behavior and will remain under a bed til at least 3:00 a.m.)

Human screeches: “No, no! Don’t EAT THAT!”

Psmith beats a gloomy retreat and takes up an Eeyore-like pose just out of reach: I knew she wouldn’t feed us. Why doesn’t she admit it?

Ing snarffles can of fish off counter and makes a rapid descent to get his share of shrapnel.

Arry abandons glass-shards to inspect upended Fancy Feast. Tries to scrape floor over it in disgust. What kind of slop is this? Where’s the Sheba, lady? Why can’t you do anything right?

Human starts wiping up the cat-induced quagmire of fish and glass.

Go-Go Boots sniffs: Why can’t we have meals on time? It’s so hard to get good servants these days. And is this organic?

Lies! comes a faint peep from the bedroom.

Failure! grumbles Psmith dismally. What a miserable failure! I can see I’m going to have to call in the international SPCA if we ever want another meal in THIS place. What an idiot!

Human just keeps on cleaning up the mess.


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