Story

Young Frank’s Birthday

***I will update the transcript below over the coming days, it changed a lot with narration.

Rocky’s traumas all came at once…

Narrated by Karen Eastland

Young Frank had a big day, when to his… and Rocky’s surprise, a large tuna and chicken casseroled cake, covered in turkey, tuna and chicken gravy soaked biscuit icing, was placed in front of him.

Rocky was shocked. His birthday cake appeared to be less than tasty than the one in front of the ‘special boy’. Desperate for just a lick of that turkey, tuna and chicken gravy icing, Rocky tried to position himself in-line for the tasting. Surely some of it was for him? However, young Franks mum was no cats fool when it came to Rocky’s dining habits.

He positioned himself closer to the cake but Wendy, young Frank’s mum noticed and shot him a hairy eyeball. Rocky felt pained, unloved, and pitiful. He was certain a slather of white foam had gathered around the corners of his mouth as he salivated over the scrumptious cake, but it was out of his control..

He began to shake his fluffy bottom, wriggle his hind end, and moments before he could pounce and bathe in that turkey, tuna and chicken gravy icing, Wendy picked him up.

‘I don’t think he needs any cake,’ she said to Rocky’s mum and he was devistated to hear her reply.

‘You’re not wrong there.’

Then they laughed. I was plonked onto my humans lap and they started to sing, ‘Happy birthday young Frank, we hope you love your cake, happy birthday young Frank–‘

‘Oh dear,’ Wendy said and laughed. Rocky looked up to see young Frank was wrapped around the cake scraping the turkey, tuna and chicken gravy soaked biscuit icing with his claws up to his mouth. Rocky wriggled and squirmed and not being a small cat, leapt from his humans arms to frolic with him, but Wendy, always a step a head, saw what he was about to do and caught him mid air.

‘Not for you,’ she said holding him tight. ‘Oh dear, I think I just hurt my back.’

Rocky looked to his human for rescue but none was coming. He was wondering, if the cake wasn’t for him, ‘Why am I here?’

Marley had heard the commotion from outside. Rocky saw her peering in through the front window. Her eyes said it all. ‘Get me some too,’ she pleaded with Rocky, but Rocky had no control over the situation and young Frank was decimating the cake from the outside in.

‘Mmm,’ Rocky heard young Frank say, then saw him lift a long strip of red slimey liver and suck it down his throat like Rocky’s human did with spaghetti, and cringed.

Rocky was rethinking the whole situation.

‘Just pick the liver off,’ Rocky thought. ‘No, that won’t help, it may have all ready contaminated the cake… but one good jump…. yes that might do it?’

With a plan formulating in his mind, Rocky relaxed in Wendy’s arms. He lay still and purred. He let her stroke him and pretended to ignore the cake, and what young Frank was doing to it. It didn’t take long for Wendy to stand up and carry Rocky to his human and he went into action.

As Wendy let go, Rocky twisted, kicked off his humans lap with his back paws, flew through the air, and before either human knew what was happening, he landed smck bang in the middle of the cake. The sumptuous tuna and chicken casseroled cake, covered with the turkey, tuna and chicken gravy soaked biscuit icing flew everywhere.

The humans tried to stop him, but began to slide in the mess all over the floor. The walls, and young Frank, were covered in it, but Rocky, like he’d just found a dead bird, rolled his big white fluffy body in the cake. He was enthralled by the feast beneath him.

Remembering Marley’s pleading eyes, he made sure there was enough turkey, tuna and chicken gravy soaked biscuit icing on his coat for his neighborhood friends to share.

‘I’m so sorry Wend… oh dear, the mess–‘

‘Don’t worry about the mess, are you able to get him?’ Wendy asked.

‘Oh dear, the vets not going to be happy with you young man,’ Rocky’s human said. ‘You’re on a diet! Now look at you… and look at this mess!’

Rocky’s human sounded upset, and as she finally got her arms around him she wrenched him up under her left arm, apologised again and carried him out the door.

‘I don’t know what gets into you sometimes Rocky. I’m so upset… and Wendy,’ she said and when they reached the front door to Rocky’s house his human was crying. He wanted to give her some head noogies, but could only hang over her arm.

Rocky looked back to see a trail of turkey, tuna and chicken gravy soaked biscuit icing on the ground and Marley was gobbling up as much as she could. Rocky was put straight into a bath and his human smothered him with shampoo and began the long task of washing all the cake away. He had it between his claws, up under his neck and his tummy was a matte of brown gravy covered white fur.

After he was towel dried, then blow dried, brushed and de-matted his human put Rocky into their laundry, slid in a kitty litter, some bickies and a bowl of water, then she shut the door. Rocky then heard his human leave the house. She slammed the front door as she left. Tabitha, Rocky’s human, was so ashamed of the mess Rocky had made and went to help Wendy clean up.

Tabitha arrived home late. It was dark and Rocky meowed loud and long, but she never opened the laundry door. Fearful he would have to sleep the night on the cold tiles, Rocky had just curled up into a white fluffy ball when the door opened. He started to get up, but the light didn’t go on. While Rocky was wondering what was happening, an old cushion was slid into the laundry and the door was closed again.

Rocky had a fitful sleep. He didn’t know how long his human could stay upset with him, ‘But it wasn’t my fault,’ he thought.

Young Frank knowingly deprived Rocky of the prize he so desperately craved, until his belly could take no more. Only when he launched into is plan did he get to taste the turkey, tuna and chicken gravy soaked biscuit icing. A bit of liver slid in his mouth, but he spat it out faster than it went in. As Tabitha was carrying him out, he saw the liver had hit the white wall and was sliding slowly down to the floor again.

Rocky may have been at the party, but he felt like a food deprived Hippo, penalised by the vet, a stranger, who told his human he had to lose weight. His human had taken away his treats, his favorite foods and biscuits. He was put outside everyday and only let back in, in the afternoon.

‘It wasn’t my fault,’ Rocky thought as the door opened, then closed.

Tabitha stood in the small laundry with him. Rocky kept his head low and began to rub his furry body around her legs and loudly purred his apologies, ‘But feed me, for the love of all that’s good and decent, feed me!’ he begged.

‘I’m sorry you had to sleep in here last night, Rocky,’ Tabitha said. The usual warmth in her voice was missing, ‘but you did a bad, bad, thing last night.’

Rocky’s human opened the door to the back yard. She walked out and Rocky followed. Tabitha filled up a water bowl then walked back into the house and shut the door behind her, shut the door on Rocky. He was caught up in some horrific scene from one of his nightmares.

‘Young Frank’s usually so nice,’ Rocky thought. ‘So why? I know, I’m going to find out.’

Rocky held his head high and began a prance towards the back gate when Marley stopped him.

‘Thank you for the cake,’ she said, ‘but your human is so upset. I watched her cry when she knocked on young Franks door last night.’

‘I know,’ Rocky said as a tear slipped from his eye, ‘she cried when she gave me my bath, and when she locked me in the laundry. I don’t–‘

‘You got locked in the laundry?’ Marley asked. ‘Goodness. Is she going to start treating you like young Frank?’

‘I don’t–‘ Rocky stopped in shock. ‘you don’t think… do you think?… Marley what am I to do?’

‘I don’t know Rocky–‘

‘Liver, will she start to give me liver?’ Rocky asked in horror.

‘It’s possible,’ Marley said, ‘I did hear young Frank’s mum telling her what she does with young Frank… Oh Rocky. What’s going to happen?’

Rocky stopped in his tracks and thought about it.

‘I’m going to beg,’ he said. ‘I’m going to be the sweetest, nicest, huggable pussycat if ever there was. I’m going to make it up to her–‘

‘But she didn’t get this upset when we broke her arm,’ Marley said. ‘She wanted to lie down with you and snuggle, but the laundry… and liver–‘

Stop saying that,’ Rocky spat.

‘What?’ Marley asked in wide eyed shock.

‘Liver!’ he said. ‘I can take the laundry until she forgives me, but I will never eat the liver… remember Salty the slug down the back garden?’

‘Yeah,’ Marley said.

‘Well before I knew what a slug was–I thought it was snail who’d lost its house–I picked him up with my claw and he wriggled but couldn’t speak yet, remember?’ Rocky asked.

‘Oh, yeah.’

‘So I put him in my mouth and spat him out real quick.’

‘Oh, that’s right. Your human had watered the grass and Salty was all shiny and slimy–I understand why you were attracted to him–‘ Marley said and laughed remembering the whole scene.

‘Why?’ Rocky asked, not getting the joke.

‘He was shiny… you like shiny things,’ Marley said but Rocky had a blank stare. ‘Anyway, Salty was extra slimy that day because of the water, and when you put him in your mouth, he wriggled and learned to speak real quick. He scared you senseless.’

Marley was rolling around on the ground with laughter, when she saw the moment Rocky remembered.

‘Oh right! I tried to spit him out and away, but my claw was stuck around him,’ Rocky said getting with the laughter then. ‘It took a bit of time to detach my claws and for Salty to speak a language we could understand.’

‘So there’ll be no liver then?’ Marley asked with a cheeky grin.

‘No, no liver. Lots of purring, snuggles and rubbing up against my humans legs until she forgives me, and if I have to stay in the laundry until she does, then so be it!’

‘That’s the spirit Rocky,’ Marley said.

‘Have you seen young Frank today?’ Rocky asked.

‘He’s not allowed out today,’ Marley said, ‘I heard his human tell him he wasn’t to play with you for a whi–‘

‘What?’ Rocky asked, almost becoming speechless. ‘Why not?’

Rocky hung his head low and he felt very sad, but knew the fault lay with that lovely young human who clipped his nails and told his human he was too fat!

‘Guess I’ll just stay in my yard today,’ Rocky said. ‘Want to hang with me Marley?’

‘I can’t today,’ Marley said.

‘What! Why?’

‘It’s going to be a cold night tonight and I have to collect some food from somewhere else since we can’t get into your house. Want to come with me?’

‘No,’ Rocky said, ‘guess I’ll just sit right here and wallow in my misery.’

‘Cheer up,’ Marley said as she climbed under the gate. Sticking her head back under, she said, ‘At least it’s not liver,’ she said, then disappeared.

Rocky knew that young Frank would’ve eventually feel the pity a popular pussycat some times does and allow him the special privilege of licking the crumbs from his chin, but Rocky was to impatient and knew he had caused a mess, and must take the punishment. He walked to a sunny spot near his water bowl, walked around in circles, then finally laid down.

He watched crickets play and snails slither by and waited for his human to get home so he could say sorry for making her cry.