When Peep woke up on Sunday, she went to her special place where she was keeping track of the days until the Mommy came home. As she made her next scratch she looked carefully at them.
Lining up her paws with the scratches she was that there were more than one paw’s worth of scratches, and just less than two. Tomorrow would be two front paws of scratches, so that must mean that the Mommy would come home today. She gave today’s scratch one final going over, as it looked a bit light and bounded into the kitchen looking for Miss Rudy or LT.
“Miss Rudy, LT – come quick! I think Mommy should be home today!” She ran through the house looking for them, but they were nowhere to be found. She bravely stuck her head out of the cat door, after looking through it to make sure that Fuzzy wasn’t on the other side. “LT, RUDY – COME HERE!” she yelled and ducked back inside as she saw both of them come running from around the side of the house.
“What’s wrong, little Peep? Is there an emergency?” LT asked.
“No emergency, but I think the Mommy is coming home today. I made the scratches just like you said, and I have almost two full paws of scratches and you said a week was less than two front paws of scratches. That means she comes home today!”
“Hmmm, good logic, Peep. You’re getting to be a smart little cat. I didn’t realize you remembered that about counting and were using it. I’m impressed,” LT said.
“I’m glad I’m impressing you, but the important thing is that the Mommy is coming home! We need to get ready for her. What should we do? Do we clean the house, plan a coming home party, what, what what?” Peep was now running around the room, bouncing from couch to table to floor.
LT ran to where Peep had just landed on the floor and pounced on her, pinning her. “STOP! You’re going to break something, Peep. I’m as glad as you are that the Mommy will be home, but we don’t want her to come home to a wrecked house.”
The Peep lay panting where LT had pinned her, and once she calmed down, he let her up. She looked around, and saw that the rug was pushed up towards the kitchen, the pillows from the couch were lying on the floor and a book was hanging precariously on the edge of the end table. “Okay, I’ll be good now,” Peep said. “So what are we going to do? I think we should plan a party, and decorate the house!”
Miss Rudy looked over from where she was grooming her beautiful white ruff. “A party is a nice idea. People always have good food at parties.”
The cats prowled into the kitchen, looking at the visible food supplies. No chips, no cookies, just uninteresting looking cans and boxes. “I think we’re going to have to provide the refreshments,” said LT. “Do you think the Mommy would like a selection of fresh rodents?”
“Well, if she doesn’t, I surely would, and party food should be for everyone coming to the party,” was Miss Rudy’s reply.
“You two can supply the food, since I’m not going out to find rodents. I have some ideas on decorating,” said the Peep.
“It doesn’t involve water, does it?” asked LT, eying Peep suspiciously.
“No water – I think I learned that lesson, LT,” replied Peep. “There are plenty of other things I can use to make the house look like a party. I’ve seen parties on the television, you know.”
LT and Rudy went outside to try and decimate the local rodent population, and the Peep set to work inside. “Hmmm,” she thought as she walked through the house. “Balloons, I don’t think I could blow them up without popping them even if I could find them. A welcome home sign? I can’t write, but I could put paw prints all over a paper and put it on the table with the mice and stuff. I know – streamers!”
Peep went into the bathroom and carefully unrolled a long piece of toilet paper. When it got to the length she wanted, she tore it off with a swift swipe of a paw, and dragged it into the living room. She kept almost stepping on it, but managed to get it through the kitchen in one piece. Gathering herself, she sprung onto the back of the couch, and walking its length, brought the other end onto the top of the couch. She then carefully arranged it along the back of the couch and draped it artistically down one side, marred only by a bit of wet at one end where she’d held it in her mouth.
She got another piece, and arranged it diagonally across the bed, and put a third piece in kind of a circle on the table. “There,” she said to herself. “It would be better if I could hang them from the ceiling, but no cat is that tall!” She then went into the office and got a piece of computer paper off of the Daddy’s desk. Luckily there was one with no writing on one side lying right there. She put it on the floor and looked around for something to use to make the pawprints show up. “I know – mud!” It had rained a lot last night, and there was probably some mud outside.
She went to the cat door, where LT and Rudy were bringing in their contributions to the party. LT had caught two field mice and a vole. The vole was so small that it looked a bit sad next to the two healthy sized mice. Rudy, amazingly, had caught a young rabbit. “Look at me, the great hunter Miss Rudy!” she crowed.
“You were just lucky, Rudy that you found that rabbit and not me. I was stalking those two mice that I brought down at the same time, I’ll have you know. Otherwise, I probably would have caught it first.” LT was a bit miffed that she’d caught the bigger prey, although he’d caught more.
“Great, let’s arrange them on the table, so that Mommy can see them when she comes in. Come see my decorations! Oh, and I need you to guard me outside while I make a welcome home sign with some mud.” Peep led them into the kitchen, where LT and Rudy arranged the little bodies inside the toilet paper circle.
LT walked outside with Peep and watched as she carefully put her foot into the mud under the deck and then hopped onto the deck five times to make pawprints in mud on the paper she’d brought out. Stepping back she decided that it looked nice enough, and brought it back into the house through the cat door.
As Peep and LT came into the kitchen, Miss Rudy jumped quickly off the table. Peep jumped up with the paper and laid it next to the refreshments. “Wait a minute, I thought there was a vole along with the two mice and the rabbit,” Peep said.
“Of course there was, I put it there myself,” said LT.
They looked at Rudy, who was hiding something under her as she lay on the floor. “Hey, who knows what time she’ll get home, and I’m hungry now! These critters won’t stay fresh forever, you know.” Miss Rudy’s protests didn’t match the guilty expression on her face.
“Put it back, Rudy,” LT said with a mean look. “Otherwise you’ll have to deal with me.”
The effort of all that work had exhausted the three cats, and they settled down to sleep in the living room, so they didn’t hear the Daddy come in. They did hear him yell, “What the heck is this?” though. They rushed into the kitchen, expecting to see the Mommy with him. Instead they found him using the toilet paper to pick up the dead animals, which he tossed one by one out the back door. “Hey, maybe I’m not eating as well as when Mary Rose was here, but I’m not eating small dead animals!”
“But they’re not for you,” said the Peep, although the Daddy didn’t understand her. He walked through the house, collecting the other pieces of toilet paper and tossed them in the garbage.
“You cats get odder every day she’s away,” said the Daddy, shaking his head. He walked out the door and went to his computer room.
“Oh, well. We’ll just have to have us be the party and give her a giant welcome home. He did leave our sign, though. We can show that to the Mommy,” said LT.
The cats settled back down to nap, and didn’t wake up until well after dark.
“It’s still today, isn’t it, LT?” asked Peep.
“I’m not sure, Peep, but sometimes when the Daddy goes to