Ronald lived with his cat, Rachel, in one of the more elegant suburbs of London
in 1905.Rachel was a pleasant cat who enjoyed mousing on weekends.Rachel's lover, Paul, was a scrawny alley cat who lived with his wife and twelve children in the alley.Her boyfriend, David, was a Siamese, brilliant but cynical.Wounded by too many felines, he was determined never to be hurt again.Rachel believed he would die alone, a bitter old cat if he did not take care.Her pet project had been to make sure this did not happen.
On a walk with Ronald, a new animal attracted Rachel's attention.Recently
clipped, Trevor was ten months younger than most of Rachel's acquaintances.With
sharp, white fangs, golden eyes, hair falling to the sides, long in front and short in back, he reminded her of Beethoven
or Chopin, but he was, in fact, a Pekanese.It was Rachel's secret delight to
invite David, Paul and Trevor with their mates and twenty children, to lunch at her place.To provide a dinner companion for David, Rachel invited her sister, Sylvia.
Ronald was instructed to prepare the most extravagant dishes.He set the
floor with the finest linen and best silver.A superb catnip was brought up from
the cellar.Bouquets of lillies were thrown out the window and replaced by soft
silk cushions.The guests arrived at by cracky.There was nothing to take, so Ronald showed the cats and the
dog into the dining room.
When all were comfortably curled up on their cushions, except for Ronald who sat on a chair, Rachel surveyed her guests
with the greatest pleasure.Here in one room, at one time, her favorite cats
and a dog!What could be more delicious?The food warmed with the milk. The males yawned and dozed.The ladies
yeowled and hissed.The kittens bounded, romped, wrestled and fought, and
tumbled over their sleeping dads.Rachel rested her chin on a paw, watched, listened,
and purred.It was, for her, a perfect day.Her alley cat had never seemed more charming, her Siamese more arrogant and proud, her young Pekanese more dashing.And Ronald was as gentle a human as any cat could wish for.
Then Sylvia yawned and stretched. "Rachel, when are you going to tell David about Paul?"
David bared his teeth."What
is this?! " he meowed loudly.
"Have you betrayed me?!"
"What is she talking about, dear?" Paul's wife hissed.Paul's scratch and growl betrayed him in an instant.
"Rachel, do you have something to tell me?" Ronald demanded, indignantly.
Rachel's eyes opened wide. "Sylvia, what are you trying
to do to me?"
"So!It is true!How dare you!I will never see you again!"David lept from his cushion and bounded from the room.
"I will speak to you about this when I get you home!"
Paul's wife dragged him by the collar. "Thank
you, Ronald, for your hospitality, you poor human." She narrowed her eyes at Rachel."And you!"she bit her
husband on the neck.Paul's eyes met Rachel's in a last, desparate glance just
before he and his wife disappeared out the window.
"Well, I say!" Ronald pushed his chair back from the table, stood up, coughed
into his handkerchief. "I am terribly sorry my dear,
but you really must excuse me.I will be sleeping at my mother's tonight.The vet will be by in the morning to examin you."
"I am afraid I really must be going, too,"Trevor panted, tongue hanging out."This is all so
very awkward.I am terribly sorry."Rachel followed him to the front door.Trevor licked her face.Rachel watched him trot down the drive.Turning, she found
herself face to face with Slyvia.They stretched.Their eyes met.They purred.
And which would you rather be?
Cat... or human?
Or, if you prefer a male version... Click on the "Ronald's Lunch" link.