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Marcel was known for being quite a peculiar cat.
He was black and white, with no inch of grey and his moustache was perfectly placed across his face. But it was not just his looks that made him such a strange cat…
It was at 6 o’clock exactly every single morning, that he would let out one strangled meow at the top of the stairs indicating that it was time for his favourite breakfast, (salmon from a tin no doubt), and would continue to meow until exactly 6:45, when his favourite human would take him downstairs.
Now, Marcel liked his things to be in a certain place. His bed was by the fire, just a few inches away, and at a particular distance at which he could see any incoming intruders to the house through the glass front door.
He would dine at exactly 12 o’clock and then later at 5, and once again at 9 o’clock as his humans went up to bed, at which Marcel would take it upon himself to walk around the house finding the comfiest place to sleep, (usually the stairs where upon anybody could trip)
But things began to change.
All of a sudden, Marcel’s bed had been moved a little further away from the fire, in order to make room for logs and various other things… strangely coloured items that glittered like the eyes of another cat. Marcel did not like this.
Furthermore, he did not like the large intrusion that had been made by a large, spiky tree in the corner of the house. This tree could not be climbed as the needles would stab his paws, and it smelt quite strange… Marcel knew that trees were not for inside the house.
Another thing he did not like was the repetitive sounds coming from a large, black box. It was loud and sounded far too merry for a cat such as Marcel. It sounded, to him, like a strangled cat. Marcel had finer tastes.
After a few weeks of this nonsense, Marcel was fed up. Particularly when his favourite human stopped coming down to feed him at exactly 6:45, due to her lack of promptness, and it was left up to one of the other people to feed him, (at quite an unreasonable hour might he add – lunch time was not a time for breakfast.)
But still, Marcel had the night to wander about the house and find his bed on the stairs, at just an angle that he could see the front door. This is what he held on to when his life felt too upside down for him to handle.
Until one fateful night. Marcel was awoken from his dainty slumber by a loud thump. He stretched his legs and tip-toed down the stairs to see what could have made this noise (but first stopping to scratch his claws on the door mat).
He peeked in to the living room to see a big fat human wearing red (a colour Marcel particularly despised) chomping on what looked like quite a tasty food.
Marcel cautiously walked to the man and sniffed his big, black boot. This startled the old man and he turned with a loud laugh: “Ho ho ho!”
Marcel did not like this sound and he quickly turned and fled to the front door where he could escape at a moment’s notice. Yet the sound of stomping boots followed him. Marcel meowed in fear as the large figure bent over him, his black silhouette darkened the corner in which he sat, and Marcel could smell the stale stench of milk on his breath…
Marcel tried to hiss but nothing would come out, he tried to meow but his family were all fast asleep and they could not hear his cries – who was this man? Why was he here terrorising such a lovely little cat?
And at this thought, the man held out a big, puffy hand. “Merry Christmas Marcel.”
He chuckled and gave the little cat a small treat. Marcel decided that this man was no danger and he took the treat in to his jaws, swallowing it with little effort. He hadn’t realised how hungry he was… His humans had really messed up his eating schedule…
The man turned and headed back inside the living room. Marcel took this as his opportunity to head back to sleep, but this time he nudged open the door to his favourite human’s bedroom and jumped on her bed, just in case anybody else tried to sneak in to the house without his permission. Soon he fell in to a deep sleep…
At exactly 6 o’clock Marcel awoke and padded out to the top of the stairs, ready for his morning meow. His favourite human came out immediately and whispered to him: “Merry Christmas my boy!” to which Marcel purred in reply. That morning Marcel was fed at exactly 6:45, and he had a cuddle with all his humans, (plus a lot of extra treats!) Marcel decided, although he didn’t enjoy these last few weeks, in hindsight they led up to a pretty special day. He didn’t know why it was such a special day, but he realised, (since he was getting so much attention), that it must be a day all for him.
And it was as he settled down that evening on his bed near the fire, his little tummy nice and round from all the food he had eaten, that he thought of the big, fat man in a red suit, a colour which he no longer despised, and how he had laughed when he said: “Merry Christmas Marcel.”
“Maybe not every day has to be the same” meowed Marcel, and he rested his head on his arm, and fell asleep.