Ms. Ginger stops in front of the hill. She stretches her forepaws and turns around. Her followers are behind her, but some have already started sniffing around for birds. The black kitten is fiddling with a tall branch dangling from a tree.
Enough is enough! Ms. Ginger lets out a loud meow. A couple of cats jump in fright, the rest cock their ears, and then continue their mouse hunt. Curiosity, however, gets the better of Blackie and he approaches Ms. Ginger. Finally!
The leader of the ‘Fraternity of Felines Against Horrors of Hoomans’ jumps on to a rock and perches herself atop it. Her eyes scan the surroundings. I have to take a tough stance NOW!
“My dear friends”, she thunders. The cats stop dead in their tracks. “It’s our honour that Bastet (May She be blessed) has given an appointment to us. We shouldn’t be late. She’s not an effing lowly hooman.” Ms. Ginger spits out the last word, as though a plate of broccoli salad has been placed before her.
Her followers purr in agreement. Blackie clears his throat.
Ms. Ginger glares at him. “What’s it now?”
“The journey is tiresome. How are we to while away the time? We didn’t even bring our toys with us.”
Ms. Ginger lets out a deep breath. “Fine. We will tell each other stories.”
“What type of stories?”
Ms. Ginger resists the urge to swat at Blackie. “How about stories from your past? I know it’s about those morons. But let’s try.”
The cats concur and start their ascent.
Ms. Snow White begins, “You won’t believe what happened to me? My servant had the audacity to feed me milk rice. Can you imagine? Luckily I escaped.”
The others gasp in horror.
“I feel for you”, condoles Ms. Ginger.
Mr. Tabby pauses to lick his paws. “My hooman is worse. When I curl up to sleep, he runs his awfully dirty hand over my forehead.”
“Oh My Bastet”, hisses Blackie.
Mr. Stripes pitches in. “Mine tried to give me a bath. Tried something foamy on my beautiful fur. I bit him.”
“Good riddance”, agrees Ms. Ginger.
Ms. Maine Coon shakes her head. “I fail to understand why the idiot woman keeps on uploading my photos. It’s so embarrassing – to get ‘likes’ from random strangers, that too hoomans.”
Ms. Ginger canters to her and headbutts her. “Worry not, friend. These atrocities will come to an end. Bastet had promised that she will do something.”
Instinctively all the cats look up. “Amen.”
Blackie adds in a rueful tone, “Hoomans spat on me. They said I bring bad luck.” Tears well up in his yellow eyes.
Ms. Ginger and Mr. Tabby immediately run to hug him. “Just ignore that crap. You are a beautiful baby. And well, the loss is theirs.”
Blackie smiles. The cats continue their journey, chronicling their traumatic memories.
History will remember these as ‘The Caturbury Tales’, but like all things hooman, they will be lost amidst the pages of time.
It’s my own sacrilegious take on ‘The Canterbury Tales’, with due apologies to Geoffrey Chaucer. The word ‘hooman’ has been used deliberately here, to showcase the cats’ disgust at ‘humans’.
Bastet is the Egyptian God of cats.
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