Hobnobblekins - Part 1
Leaving the litter behind
If you recall, when you signed up for this newsletter, I mentioned that I did not have a particular niche I would be sticking to other than a very open definition of not too long. So far, except for my story of Virginia Cinnamon Roll that I copied over from Medium, I have mostly been sending you non-fiction, more reflective pieces. Well, not this edition!
I have had parts of this light-hearted story floating around in my head for several months now. As it was too long for a short story, I just kept chipping away at it when the mood struck and wasn’t really sure where it would take me until I had the brilliant (??!!) idea to share it piece by piece here in my newsletter.
For those of you who aren’t big fiction fans (or don’t really care for this particular work of fiction), I will likely be interspersing other articles with this series since who knows when the next cat world mood will strike (not that I live by my moods, but storytelling sometimes needs a little boost). Hope you enjoy installment number one!
Hobnobblekins was a social kitty. An extremely social kitty. An I’m going to mix with the lions and tigers kind of kitty. Some might even say the only kind of socializing he was truly interested in was the high society type. He was born with the idea in his head.
It didn’t matter one iota that, for the entire seven weeks she had charge of him, his mother had repeatedly told him that domestic cats do not mix with the wilder types. Especially not those of the larger breed. It wasn’t good; it wasn’t safe. It was also impossible from a purely biological point of view, but she didn’t feel Hobnobblekins needed that lesson quite yet.
“Hobnobbies,” she would say, “I brought a beautiful kitten into this world, and I would not in any way want to get in the way of you reaching your full potential. I believe you will do great things one day. I just don’t want to see you waste your time trying to be something you’re not. It will eat away at you, and, in the end, it will come back to bite you.” With that, she nipped him gently, as any good mother would do who wanted to steer her child away from both moral and physical danger.
But Hobnobblekins, in all of his kitty wisdom, let that motherly advice slide right off his furry striped back. While his siblings limply submitted to their mother’s scruffing, he, at just one week old, had already begun trying to wriggle and squirm his way out of the gentle tooth hold meant to keep him safe. He couldn’t wait for the day when he could set out on his own. He was certain there were bigger, better, more powerful and adored cats out in the world, and he was determined to take his place among them.
“I’m going to be bigger and braver than all of you someday,” he would boast to his siblings as he roared (in his own mind) and pounced on and at any moving object or shadow. “You just wait and see!”
Not having much context for interpreting his statements, his littermates just looked at one another and whispered, “But he looks the same size as we do, doesn’t he?” and, “His mew doesn’t seem that special to me.” Still, they loved him because he was their brother, and, not wanting to hurt his feelings, they played along with his antics.
They actually began to wonder if what he said was true when, at exactly seven weeks of age, the very day the ad had appeared in the paper saying there were six beautiful tabbies looking for loving homes, he was the first to be chosen. They mewed, wrestled, and wished him good luck, while their mother just licked his fur and said, “I am sorry to see you go so soon, but this is the way it is meant to be in the domestic cat world, Hobnobbies. Remember my advice, and you will have a good life.” She did not have the heart to tell him that the chances of them ever seeing one another again were perilously close to nil.
For his part, Hobnobblekins felt little sadness upon leaving the only life he had ever known. His sense of adventure and the anticipation of future glory overshadowed any attachment he might feel. He climbed right into the little case set before him and allowed himself to be zipped in, knowing that he was on his way to reaching new heights.
“Love you all!” he said as he was lifted from the ground. “Next time I see you, I will be a tiger!”
His mother only sighed and lifted a silent prayer for his safety.
Thanks for reading. I hope you will continue along with me on my very eclectic writing journey!