August 8, 2011

Adventures of a Victorian Pussycat

written by Rosa Morgan

I'm Tom the Tomcat, though, you'd never surmise from this ridiculous outfit my master's daughter has put me in. No matter, it's a trifle price to pay for the luxury of hearth and home. I did not always have a saucer of milk to call my own. Indeed, I was born in an alley, and barely escaped, along with my six siblings, a watery grave in the Thames.

The man who rescued us turned out to be a maniacal musician, who wanted us for his cat-piano. Attaching our tails beneath a keyboard, we were arranged in order of the pitch of our voices, so that when the keys pressed down, we cried out in pain, thus creating a song of sorts. This barbaric instrument was for the purpose of treating patients who had lost the ability to focus their attention. It definitely captured my attention, and my tail has never been the same since.

The musician's wife had pity on us, and assisted our escape, but my kitten-hood continued to be fraught with one mishap after another. It may appear I'm having a gay old time atop this fashionable woman's muff, but truth be told, my sister and I are grieving. That beautiful marmalade fur is made from the pelts of my three murdered brothers!

As the only male left, I kept a stiff upper lip, trying my best to watch over my sisters. Those halcyon days of playing in Hyde Park, make for some of my fondest memories.

We even managed to become a part of a vaudeville act with the Barrison Sisters when they came to London. Billed as the Wickedest Girls in the World, their notorious routine used us in a most foul manner, and I'll not venture to recall the title of that song.

Breaking free from this depth of depravity, I turned to mousing, and found I had quite the knack for it. However, again bad luck followed me, when one day, I left my sisters to make the rounds. Upon my return, I found to my horror, the Pie Man was catching them up, one by one. I shall never again be able to eat a shepherd's pie without a great deal of grief.

Heartbroken, I soldiered on through those mean streets. I fought for territory with the other toms, and ate what I could catch or salvage from the rubbish. Then one moonless night, when life seemed not worth living, I heard a man call, "Kitty, here Kitty, Kitty."
There was no doubt he was looking directly at me. With my dismal experience with mankind, I hesitated, but his kind eyes gave me pause to trust him. How grateful I am that I did, for here I sit cozily with my new family. And if must occasionally don a bonnet, I don't mind in the least.

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