Cookie Jar Incident
He was nervous, licking his paw and cleaning his face was the only way to ease his mind. He simply couldn’t fathom what was taking his brother so long. It had never taken this long before. His brother was used to the routine, in and out. Quick as can be. Lickety split.
Pausing to listen for a few moments, Reid began cleaning his tail. Engrossed in this activity he nearly missed his brother’s lunge for the gap under the door to their home. Skidding into the opening, Hudson slid across the floor stopping only when he rammed into the far wall.
“That was a close one!” Hudson gasped out. “That old cat must be eating some vitamins, he actually ran today. You should have seen him. I know he wasn’t just showing off for his people. They weren’t even around.”
With his chest heaving, Hudson crept back to the gap of an entryway. Peeking his whiskered nose out, he peered around searching for the orange tabby. The old tom cat lay inches away, in the regal Sphinx position, with his eyes closed. Or so they seemed.
Reid shouldered his brother out of the way. “Listen, that cat is not sleeping. He is breathing nearly as hard as you. Get back from that doorway!”
At that very moment, the orange tabby sprang at the opening. Shoving and clawing into the hole after the brothers. His claws extended, swiping this way and that as far as his forearm would allow in the cramped space.The two litter mouse brothers held one another tight. They pressed themselves against the far corner just out of the reach of the cat. After what seemed like hours, the cat appeared to give up and pulled his clawed orange forearm out of their living space.
“Well, I’ll say this about that,” Hudson began, “That cat sure is relentless. He just won’t give up and admit he is too old to chase us. I wonder if he would just lay there if we split our take with him.”
Reid looked at his brother and shook his head. Split their hard earned spoils with the cat? Why that was unheard of. The cat was a meat eater. The only spoils he was looking for was a tasty dinner made of mouse!
The next morning, once the coast was clear and the people had all gone away, Reid and Hudson surveyed the available servings left strewn about. Hudson slid on his belly into the sink. Some of the dishes had been partially rinsed, but most still had breakfast securely stuck to them. He began lapping up the uneaten scrambled eggs, while eyeing the crumbs of sausage, on the plate.
Reid stood on his hind legs and sniffed the air. That aroma from last night lingered yet. Chocolate chip cookies. Oh, to find the cookies. Not a crumb left on the floor. Following his nose, Reid quickly scrambled to the highest shelf locating the cookie jar.
Gleefully inspecting the cookie jar, Reid pranced around it. Hooray! Yippee! The pot of gold had been located! Now to figure out a way in.
Hudson, hearing the commotion, peaked over the lip of the sink. “Reid, we have company.” He called out. “I spy an orange cat slinking under the kitchen table, making his way toward us!”
At that, the old cat sat down. Tilting his head, he stared at Reid. “I smelled those cookies too. “ With that said, he lay down.
Hudson, ever the daring, challenged the old cat. “Cat, why do you chase us?”
The old cat replied, “Why do you run?”
Perplexed, Reid and Hudson exchanged looks. Hudson tried again, “We scamper where you amble, is that what you mean?”
The old cat rolled onto his back. “I don’t just eat meat, I like sweets too.”
Reid had moved to the back side of the cookie jar all the while prodding and poking at the lid. Suddenly, the lid spun out of its locked position, flying off the jar onto the counter top. Ceramic shards careened to the floor. The old cat gave an alarmed yowl and leapt sideways avoiding a pointed piece plunging into his tail.
Calming himself, Reid cleaned his forearms. Cookies! Fresh chocolate chips cookies. Oh, the glory of it. A full cookie jar of fresh chocolate chip cookies. “Mine” he thought.
“Mice, just how do you expect to get back to your lair?” Inquired the cat who was lazily preening himself.
Reid stopped his cleaning and soberly stared at the cat. Hudson, too, stopped gorging himself on the soft eggs to think about what the cat had said.
“What do you want for safe passage?”
“Done.” The mice brothers said in unison.
With that exchange Reid began shuffling the cookies over the edge of the counter onto the floor. Soft and pliable, the cookies barely broke. There were a few crumbs. The old cat began to purr as he munched on soft chocolate chip cookies. There were crumbs on the counter. There were crumbs on the floor among the broken shards of the cookie jar lid.
Having sated their cravings for the cookies. The cat looked at the mice and warned, “Since there has obviously been a breach, and there are crumbs and lid shards, my people will want to see proof that I have dealt with the problem.”
“But, you said safe passage.” Hudson started.
The old cat laughed. The orange stripe down the center of his back stood up and a menacing growl escaped from deep in his throat.
Reid pondered. He sat back on his haunches wetting his forearms to clean his face. “I am loathe to admit this, but I have eaten too much to make a dash for our home. I think I shall scurry up higher onto the counter ledge and rest. Come join me brother.” The two mice began their climb to the ledge on top of the cabinets as the old cat jumped and missed the counter.
“Brother”, began Reid, “I think we may be spending part of the night here. We won’t be going home until the people are watching their movies and the children are holding the cat. Perhaps we will be lucky enough to see him dressed in the baby doll clothes like the last time.” The two brothers chuckled and settled down for an evening filled with watching the cat and his people create a comfortable home for them.