3. A Kitten Adventure
Three inquisitive feline faces peered through the open pantry door. They had seen the female Twolegs Nofur go into the unknown room and swiftly return bearing cans and a crinklely bag. They had sat with Momma Cat just outside of the range of the large swing door. Momma Cat had told them to be on their best behaviour otherwise the crinklely bag might go back into the room. The three kittens were always careful to heed Momma's advice for they had learned that the crinklely bag held some of the most wonderful flavours. Little One loved the faint pink ones which Momma said were salmon, whereas his sisters Eppy and Alyssa loved the pale yellow ones, which Momma said were tuna.
"Are you sure, Little One?" Eppy asked as she tentatively crossed the threshold of the pantry. “Won’t Momma be mad if she finds out?"
"We'll bring her back some treats too." Little One explained. "Then she won't be so mad. I'm sure if Bandit was here, he would have helped us."
"You sure spend lots of time with Bandit." Alyssa stated. "I don't think Momma likes him very much."
"Momma doesn't mind him. Little One explained "She just doesn't like him telling me about the..."
Little One caught himself before he mentioned the Free and the Bound. His Momma had warned him not to tell to his sisters anything of Bandit's stories about his life as one of the Free. Bandit was not supposed to tell Little One anymore stories about the Free. Little One had heard from Uncle Magoo that Momma and Bandit had a severe fight because of his stories. Bandit in fact was currently at the Veterinarian getting an infection caused by Momma's claws cleared up. Momma had been extra nice to Bandit after their fight. She told Little One that although she had been very mad at Bandit she did not want him to be put out of the house. She had made a point of cuddling Bandit in front of the Twolegs, so that they would think she had accepted Bandit as part of the household.
"Doesn't like Bandit telling you what?" Eppy asked.
Little One sometimes did not like his sister Eppy. She was a lot smarter than his other sister Alyssa and did not miss much of what went on in the house.
"Nothing." Little One lied.
Eppy sniffed disdainly at Little One. He could keep his stupid little secrets. She really was more interested to see if he could get the treats out of the pantry like he had bragged he could. She was looking forward to having several of the tuna treats. The Twolegs only ever gave the kittens one treat at a time, and that was not enough for Eppy. She licked her chops at the thought of having two or three tuna treats.
"So how are you going to get the treats, Little One" Eppy asked.
"The Twolegs always gets them from up high and near the back." Little One explained. "I don't know exactly where because Momma always makes us stay with her. But I do know that the Twolegs has to go right into the pantry. WE just have to see if we can find them."
The three kittens looked up at the four larges shelves lining the walls of the pantry. They could only see the front of the shelves from their vantage point, six inches off the floor.
"Do you see it" Little One asked
"No, do you." Eppy relied.
"I can't see it." added Alyssa.
The kitten milled about the floor as they tried to locate the crinkly bag of treats. Each one bobbed up and down on their rear legs like a meercat trying to see over the edge of the shelves.
"I think I see it." proclaimed Alyssa. "There on the not quite bottom shelf."
Little One hated to admit it, but even though his sister Alyssa was not the smartest one, she did have the sharpest eyes. She could spot their fuzzy mice from across the room far faster that Eppy or him, but she was not the fastest and was often beaten to the prize by Little One or Eppy. Little One looked up and then stretched himself as tall as his little legs could lift him.
"I think she's right." Little acknowledged to Eppy.
"Can you reach it?" Eppy asked.
"Maybe if I was big as Uncle Magoo or Bandit" Little One replied as he pawed at the air trying to judge the distance to the metallic treat package.
"Can you jump to it?" Alyssa asked. "You are the best jumper of us."
"I can try." Little One said, emboldened by Alyssa encouragement.
Little One paced about the front of the shelf as he tried to determine the optimum point for launching his attack. He decided on spot near the corner. From this spot, the foil package was barely visible. Little One settled himself down on his legs. He rhythmically twitched the muscles in his legs like his Momma and Bandit had taught him. His front paws were merely holding his upper body straight. Little One locked his eyes on the edge of the foil package that he could still see. His body quivered as he focused all his energy into his rear legs. With a sudden expulsion of air from his tiny kitten lungs, Little One jumped upwards. He reached upwards and twisted his body as he rose from the floor. At the apex of his jump, he vainly attempted to hook the shelf where the treats laid. A faint scratch of kitten claws on the white melamine shelf was the only result.
"I thought you were a good jumper." Eppy said snottily.
"I am." Little One countered. "I am the best jumper of us. I almost had it"
"Not from where I was sitting." Eppy replied.
"You were very close, Little One." Alyssa encouraged her brother.
"Once more time" Little One said aloud; not to his sisters, but more to himself.
Little One keyed his little body up again. He was a taught spring of feline kitten strength. He exploded upwards.
He felt his body reach its apex once again and he quickly stretched out his paw with claws unfurled. There was the satisfying tug as a little kitten claw first pierced the foil bag of the treats then hooked on the firm surface of the shelf.
"I did it" Little One exalted as he felt his claws find purchase on the shelf.
His exuberance was short lived as his body pivoted on the shelf edge and swung under the shelf. He frantically pulled at the tentative grip he had on the treat bag and was rewarded as it was pulled from the shelf and fell to his sisters below. He instantly focused his attention on curtailing his own unceremonious fall to the floor below. He twisted his body and grabbed at the closest thing on the shelf. Unluckily for Little One, it was a poorly sealed flour bag that weighed less than him. Both he and the flour bag fell from the shelf to the pantry floor.
There was an alarming bang as kitten and flour bag hit the floor. Eppy and Alyssa scattered to avoid their brother. Little One landed with a thud as he barely tucked his paws beneath his body before he hit the floor. He and his sisters were not prepared for the explosive white cloud that blossomed from the upset floor bag.
"My fur" Alyssa cried out.
"Run." Little One cried.
"Moron." Eppy sneered as the kittens tried to flee the scene.
They could hear the approach of the Twolegs as they responded to the confusion in the pantry. Momma Cat had also raced to the kitchen in answer to her kittens' cries.
Momma Cat arrived to see three flour covered kittens racing around the corner desperately trying to avoid be caught by the Twolegs. Their little legs pounding feverishly on the floor. There was a small whitish cloud billowing from the pantry. Momma Cat ignored the frantic cursing from the Twolegs as they tried to prevent the kittens from spreading the flour to the rest of the house.
"Kittens!" Momma Cat yelled. "Stop where you are right now!"
Little One, Eppy and Alyssa stopped in their tracks at momma's command and were quickly scooped up the Twolegs. Eppy and Little One where held by the female Twolegs and Alyssa was in the arms of the male. Little One sensed that the initial anger and surprise in the Twolegs' voices had been replaced by laughter as the Twolegs surveyed the mess in the pantry and the three flour covered kittens. Little One gave a sigh of relief as he figured that they would not be punished for their little adventure in the pantry. He looked down and saw the look on Momma's face. His stomache dropped as he saw that whatever punishment the Twolegs were contemplating was nothing compared to what Momma was deciding on in her mind.