I was up at 5:20 this morning getting ready for the Howard Steamboat Museum’s Victorian Chautauqua today and tomorrow. No, I will not be in costume, although some folks will. One year, we chatted with Abraham Lincoln. Another year, I had my picture taken with that Rough Rider, Teddy Roosevelt.
So I got up early to do my story. It probably shows. heh!
by Marian Allen
Long ago, before the Great Flood, there were no cats in the world, and Wasn’t that a sad old place?
Then the rains came. Forty days and forty nights. The cats are just as glad to have missed that. Old Noah gathered the animals, two by two, and they all floated above the desolation.
As will happen in cramped quarters, the passengers on the Ark began to get on one another’s nerves.
The mice and rats, in particular, had no respect for anyone else’s personal space. They were into everything. Cute as their bright little eyes and pink little paws might be, their nibbling and skittering annoyed everyone. Worst of all, they multiplied.
The babies adored climbing all over any creature they could catch standing still. They considered the the elephants their own personal playgrounds.
Elephants are, of course, huge, but they’re also very sensitive. When rodents raced up their trunks or took naps in their ears, the elephants trumpeted and stamped until it seemed they would knock holes in the hull and let the Great Flood in.
With tears in their eyes, the elephants called, “Will no one deliver us, or must we go mad?”
The lion and lioness, neighbors of the elephants back in Africa, heard them and pitied them. One morning, before the decks were cleaned, they snuffled up a mixture of hair and dust. The mixture tickled and burned and, before you could sneeze, each lion … sneezed!
From each nose, out tumbled a spray of tiny balls of fur. Each ball uncurled into a full-grown cat, each with an urge to find and kill rodents.
When Noah discovered the new species, he was furious. “These aren’t God’s creatures! I didn’t invite them along for the ride! They’re killing my mice! They’re killing my rats!”
He caught all the cats he could, and tossed them overboard.
By the time the waters receded and the Ark came to rest, he was sorry for that action, as he landed with considerably more rodents than he began with.
The cats, of course, had found a place of refuge where no other creature could have, and survived their dunking, although they’ve hated water ever since.
Now, if you ever hear a cat yowling, you’ll know what it’s saying:
“Don’t worry, elephants! We’ll protect you!”
Of course, that was so long ago, they don’t remember what it means. Still, that’s what they’re saying.
Or do you think I’m making it up?
~ * ~
MY WRITING PROMPT TODAY: from the entry on Cats in the Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. I would give you a link to where you can find it, but then I’d have to kill you.