COOK – INN
Musselburgh operating in Edinburgh & East Lothian
7th July 2019.
‘Cats Will Be Cats’ Grand Finale.
After eating well, courtesy of the friendly fisherman, Marley and her husband Misty slinked up the road, looking for somewhere to sleep off their huge meal. Presently they espied Duncan’s little Polo, and gratefully Marley picked the lock. As the cats crawled into the dark, cosy boot they went to sleep, cuddling. When they awoke, everything was different.
Duncan had given Karl and Abi a lift into town. The cats climbed out of the car in semi-darkness, which is hard to come by in July in Scotland. This meant it must be very late. Seeing many high-up lights, Misty identified their location as the town centre. Never having been there before, he felt a little nervous; so he led his trusting but directionally-challenged wife into a nearby store. The humans had already closed up for the night, so the cats sneaked in through an open window. Curling up together near the cooling breeze, the two sleepy animals knew no more till morning.
A sudden flurry of activity awoke Marley, who was a light sleeper. Dozens of humans were piling into their big room and making a racket. Unimpressed, she slunk off to find a place to relieve herself; leaving her husband to snore happily to himself.
Misty awoke, much later, to the sound of someone tapping on his window. Assuming at first that he was at home at number nine, dozing beside his food bowl, he shrugged and turned over. This produced a round of approving noises from the watching humans, and in surprise he opened his eyes to see where he was.
Shock overcame Misty, and his feline instincts were all that saved him from falling right out of the window. What seemed like fifty humans were crowding round, filling the street outside. All of them were cooing and purring at him. Before he knew what he was doing Misty found himself preening, giving them kitten-eyes and basically enjoying all the attention. It was hypnotic; he could do this all day if he wasn’t hungry. He registered that his wife wasn’t there beside him, but he figured she’d sidled off to bring him breakfast. She didn’t like attention as much as he did. Marley would have been unnerved by all this newfound fame. Presently he noticed a box of cat food nearby, and he nosed happily into it. Ah…here was breakfast after all! Outside, the crowd cooed its approval as he ate.
Marley was having a trying day. Lost in a strange store, she wandered around trying to find where she’d left her husband. Every now and then a passing human would bend down to her, which made her back off and hide under any nearby furniture. Once, a strange man had taken her by surprise by stroking her from behind. In sudden fear, she had widdled all over the cushion she’d been sitting on at the time. Never had she known such intense humans! Where on Earth could she be? And how would she ever find Misty and get back home?
As Marley sighed to herself, a human sidled up to her with a plate of food. The meaty smells wafting from the bowl finally won her over. Coming out of her hiding place under a table, Marley ate her fill while the woman stroked her fur.
The shop was packed full of customers today. The retired lady who was running it found herself so busy that she almost had no time to make friends with the cinnamon-furred cat who had wandered in off the street. And goodness knew how they were going to get the smell out of that cushion! While she was mulling it over, a large customer – quite furry himself – appeared in her line of vision.
“Hello” he said. “Have you seen these two cats”? He held out a picture of Misty and Marley, tails intertwined, sitting in their own, private window at number nine. The shop lady smiled, and indicated the hungry animal by her feet.
“They haven’t been any real trouble”, she told the man. “One of them widdled a bit, but the added sales they’ve attracted should more than pay for it”.
‘Oh no’! Thought Marley, looking up from the food bowl. That big, furry human was coming closer. Fearing she might have to abandon her brunch, Marley looked up at him, trying to smell out what type of person he was. Then she relaxed; it was only Duncan from ‘Cook-Inn’! How had he found her here? She mewed a greeting and let him stroke her face. “I’ve been looking all over for you”, said Duncan, “since I saw you two jumping out of my car boot last night. I knew you’d find a place to hole up and spend the darker hours, so I figured you might show yourselves this morning when you got hungry. Now, where has Misty got to”?
Wordlessly, the shop lady indicated the front window, where the star of the show was currently rolling on his back and playing lazily with a curtain tassle – to the joyous sounds of the crowd outside. Duncan smiled down at Marley, who gave him a long-suffering look back in return. “Ok, I suppose we can let him have another half-hour. After all, the ‘Cat & DogHome’ charity shop seems to be benefitting from the extra sales”.
Eventually Duncan coaxed Misty from his adoring fans with a few treats and a carefully-concealed cat box. This time, they would be going straight home to number nine, where Fred and Linda were having fits worrying about them. Marley curled up again, next to her husband. “It was a wonderful second honeymoon”, she purred.
Misty smiled, remembering all the food he’d eaten. “Yes, it certainly was” he mused.