It was 3 am, and Clementine was perched on the counter, attempting to open a plastic tube filled with catnip. She was at a distinct disadvantage since she didn’t have thumbs and both the tube and its cap were completely smooth, but she needed that catnip. She clawed at the point where the cap fit onto the tube and tried to pry it off, but it was too tight a fit. Next Clem swatted the tube with all her strength, hoping that it would pop open when it hit the wall on the other side of the kitchen. Unfortunately, the tube only skittered off the counter and dropped to the floor, completely intact. Finally she resorted to whacking it around the house with her paws, knocking it into every available wall and even jumping up and down on it a few times. She needed that catnip.
The overhead kitchen light blinked on and Clem was caught red-pawed. She stared up at the yarn lady, eyes pinned by the sudden bright light. The tube of catnip was between her front paws since she was making another attempt to pry off the cap, hoping that the repeated impact against the walls had loosened it. The yarn lady shook her head, trying to wake up enough to make sense of the scene on the kitchen floor. Clementine was crouched over the tube of catnip that had come with the new mousie, and pieces of said mousie littered the kitchen. Its tail was in front of the stove, the head was under the round maple table and bits of body were scattered throughout the room. The yarn lady sighed and grabbed the catnip tube from between Clem’s paws and tossed it on top of the refrigerator. Clem’s bowl of crunchy food was a little low, so she filled it up, deciding that the destruction of the mousie and the game of tube hockey were Clem’s way of saying, ‘feed me’ She turned off the light and headed back to bed, muttering, “If you wake me up again, I’m locking the bedroom door. “
Absolutely mortified with embarrassment, Clem crouched on the floor. It was bad enough to want the catnip so much that she’d barely been able to sleep tonight, but to be so noisy she woke the yarn lady, well that was terrible. She took a deep breath and resolved to put the catnip out of her mind. It was time to snuggle with the yarn lady and try to make up for waking her. Her human loved it when Clem fit herself in behind her bent knees or slept stretched out against her back. Clem jumped up on the bed, tucked her paws in and put her head down on the blanket. She closed her eyes, but found her mind going sixty miles an hour. It was as though there was an entire committee of cats inside her head, all telling her what she should be doing or thinking. She shook her head, trying to make them go away, but they all yammered at her. She closed her eyes tightly, but cat faces swam inside her eyelids.
A tiny kitten voice in her head whined, “I want my catnip, I want my catnip!” A curmudgeonly old cat with lots of hair in his ears grizzled, “Bah, catnip. It’s no good for you. Go to sleep!” An angelic white Persian looked at her with such compassion and purred, “Poor Clementine, I feel so sorry for you. Poor, poor kitty.” A cat that looked like her cat mother looked down on her and said, “Pull yourself together, Clem. You’re better than this.” The voice of what she knew to be a handsome tomcat said, “Oh baby, I’ll open that tube for you…just come over here with me.” The voices and faces overwhelmed her and she jumped straight up in the air, landing sprawled over the yarn lady, who had just fallen back asleep. Clem found herself scooped up and dumped outside the door, which closed with a definite click. She was banished from the bedroom. That hadn’t happened in months, probably even a year. Oh, what in the world was going on?