This is the second to last chapter and what a ride it was to write. Hope you are all still having fun!
Anticipation buzzed among the cats. Skimbleshanks, the cat of the railway train, the one cat that Pounce felt even remotely inclined to listen to, was about to make his entrance. All lethargy quickly vanished as he jumped to his feet. Munk rushed to the front of the stage and brought all the attention to himself as he prepared to introduce who Pounce felt was one of the greatest cats to have ever walked the earth.
"Skimbleshanks, the Railway Cat-" Munk started to sing.
"The cat of the railway train!" Pounce joined in. There was absolutely no way he was not going to sing Skimble's praises. They would have to forcibly drag his cold, dead body out of the theatre before they'd keep him from singing about the Railway Cat. It was basically sacrilege not to sing when Skimble was around.
As if sensing that it would be a huge waste of time to try and stop him from singing along Munk instead looped an arm around Pounce's shoulders and brought him closer.
"There's a whisper down the line at eleven thirty nine when the Night Mail's ready to depart." Munk pulled him up to stand on top of a drum, gesturing for him to continue the song. "Saying-"
"Skimble, where is Skimble?" Pounce peered around the theatre. "Has he gone to hunt the thimble?"
"We must find him or the train can't start." Munk replied. "All the guards and all the porters and the stationmaster's daughters would be searching high and low."
"Saying Skimble, where is Skimble? For unless he's very nimble then the Night Mail just can't go!" Pounce sang with a flourish.
Singing with Munk was pretty fun, especially with an audience of Jellicles watching. And it was nice to prove that he could pay attention when he wanted to. Together he and Munk finished out the introduction.
"At eleven forty-two with the signal overdue and the passengers all frantic to a man-"
"That's when I would appear and I'd saunter to the rear. I'd been busy in the luggage van." A cat in bright red pants, suspenders, tap shoes and a hat made his entrance.
"Then he gives one flash of his glass green eyes and the signal goes 'All clear!'." Everyone joined in as Skimbleshanks made his way into the center of the dance.
"And we're off at last for the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere." Skimble hopped up onto a wooden beam and blew a shrill whistle. Then, starting slow and building up speed, he began to tap out a rhythm that echoed the click- clack of a train rushing down a track.
Pounce joined the others to watch in rapt fascination. There was still that same Skimble energy around him, still that boisterous, joyful enthusiasm that infected everyone else when he started singing about the Midnight Mail. Pounce couldn't help but bop his head along to the tune. The tap dancing was new but honestly, Skimble could do anything and it would be enthralling.
Inspired by the rhythmic tapping, the others grabbed a few bits of junk and pantomimed the workings of the train while Munk and another queen joined in the dance. Before Pounce could figure out how to to join in Skimble twirled away, the wall before him melting into nothingness and providing an exit from the theatre.
"Um." Well, there was the emergency exit Pounce had been looking for earlier.
No one else seemed to notice the rip in reality. As everyone followed Skimbleshanks the rest of the theatre melted away, solidifying into an actual railway track. The location wasn't the only thing that changed.
"Wait a minute, hang on." Pounce peered down at his feet. Suddenly he was wearing tap shoes. "Where did these shoes come from? How'd we get on the railroad track?"
Something wasn't right with the scale. Not that he spent any amount of time running around on the railroad tracks, but Skimble had definitely shown him the train station and he knew that the tracks weren't supposed to be this size. Had they shrunk? Had the world gotten bigger?
As he was puzzling out the sudden change the world shifted again and they were now inside an actual train. Could Skimble teleport people like Mistoffelees could? That would be a new development. Then again, maybe that explained why Skimble was so obsessed with trains. Pounce would be obsessed too if being a train cat meant that he could control the very laws of physics and bend reality to his will.
"Oh it's very pleasant when you've found your little den with your name written up on the door." Skimble sang, directing an awestruck Pounce into a room with his name on it.
"How'd they know?" Clearly Skimble was a god, there was nothing else that could explain it.
"And the berth is very neat with a newly folded sheet and there's not a speck of dust on the floor."
Pounce almost felt bad for not regularly bathing. Clearly he was not good enough for such stellar room service. That didn't stop him from diving under the covers of the bed, nudging Plato over so he could hog the blankets. Or maybe it was Socrates. Who knew. Either way, Pounce was now wearing Skimble's hat and he was having a blast.
"You ought to reflect that it's very nice to know that you won't be bothered by mice..." Pounce trailed off, seeing another horrifying child faced mouse scurry by.
"Skimble!" The mouse shrieked, trying to run for its tiny little life while the rest of the cats sang cheerfully around it.
Munk and Skimble clicked their tap shoes together and herded everyone back out into the hall.
"Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat-"
"Cats!" The mouse child sobbed as the entire Jellicle tribe danced after it. There was nothing Pounce could do besides watch in horror.
"The Cat of the Railway Train!" Onward Skimble tapped, the floorboards melting away under his feet to turn into the taut surface of a drum.
Pounce blinked and they were all back in the theatre again. Everyone was too enthralled with Skimble's anthem to realize that, once again, they had been teleported across time and space. Is this how his Old Deuteronomy felt when Misto whisked him back from Macavity?
"As he gives you a wave of his long brown tail which says 'I'll see you again'."
Nope, no one seemed to notice anything out of the ordinary. Not even Munkustrap, who seemed to be hyper focused on everything that happened during the Jellicle Ball.
"Eh, guess it doesn't matter." Pounce shrugged, joining in on the tap dancing only to notice that his shiny new shoes were gone. "Aw, man."
"You will meet without fail on the Midnight Mail." Skimble twirled around until he was right in front of Old Deuteronomy.
"The Cat of the Railway Train!" Nimbly Skimble spun in a circle, clearly intending to end with a flourish. He spun so fast his feet actually left the ground.
Wait. He was literally ascending before their very eyes. Suddenly the railway cat spun high up into the air, up, up and away towards the ceiling, rotating faster and faster until he was a red and orange blur. In a poof of dust Skimbleshanks was gone.
"Uh." Pounce frowned. "Is that a thing he normally does?"
Judging by the sudden confusion erupting around him it was not a thing Skimble normally did.
Maniacal laughter echoed through the theatre. The lights went out.
"Macavity." Munk hissed, clutching Old Deuteronomy protectively.
A crescent moon descended from the ceiling, illuminated by a single spotlight. It was difficult to see who was draped on it but Pounce could see a ginger tail and a foot. The foot was tapping along to a beat.
"Hold up, Macavity's a girl too?" Pounce whistled. "Look at those legs. No, wait, look at those high heels-"
"Be quiet." Misto hissed. "Macavity isn't a girl!"
"Well I know he's a ginger cat, that's stated specifically in his song, and this is the only ginger cat I see so excuse me for being mistaken." Pounce hissed back.
"Macavity's a Mystery Cat, he's called the Hidden Paw." The unseen cat, clearly a ginger queen, sang from her perch. From her hand she sprinkled what looked like glitter from a sparkly shaker. "For he's the master criminal who can defy the law."
"What's that stuff?" Pounce watched a spark land on Tugger's nose.
One by one the cats were coated in the stuff, twitching and undulating even more so than usual. Munk pushed him out of the way of the sparks and into Misto, silently gesturing for the magic cat to lead him to safety. Misto took him by the hand and together they wove their way through the crowd.
Up on a ladder Pounce spied Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer enthusiastically coating cats with liberal amounts of the stuff. Below them Tugger writhed in agony or pleasure, it was hard to tell.
"Look, I know they usually can be very charming, but maybe you should kick those guys out of the tribe." Pounce said, looking up just in time to see the ginger queen pull a lever and send a shower of sparkles all over the theatre. "After you guys clean up all this glitter."
"It's not glitter!" Misto whispered. "It's catnip!"
"That's what catnip looks like here?" Pounce watched it flutter through the air. "Hey, how come she's not affected? That stuff's all over the place-"
"Not now, we have to keep moving!" Misto pulled them towards the concession stand.
In another shower of catnip the ginger queen was transported to the top of the bar, wafting glitter all over them.
"Macavity's a ginger cat, he's very tall and thin." The ginger cat purred. On either side of her Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer spread more of the glittery dust. All the other cats began to aggressively snap their fingers.
"See, what'd I say, Macavity's a ginger cat, here's a ginger cat." Pounce gestured up at her, flicking catnip off his fur. The room was starting to go hazy. "Easy to mistake her for him, especially since your Old Deut's a lady, so there's precedence and all."
"Aaargh." Misto replied, clearly affected by the dust. The tuxedo floundered around on the floor.
"Oh. Nevermind." Pounce sneezed. "I see you're all busy."
He turned his attention to Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer.
"Did you guys seriously just roofie everyone?"
"Yeah. Why aren't you affected?" Mungojerrie sprinkled more catnip over his head.
"Oh, I am." Pounce sneezed catnip out of his nose. "But I've already been in a state of general confusion and disorientation all night so it's not much of a change at this point."
"He sways his head from side to side with movements like a snake." The ginger queen bobbed her head for emphasis. Something about the words reminded him of someone. "And when you think he's half asleep he's always wide awake!"
Pounce sneezed again. Now who sang this song back at his Jellicle Ball? Everyone had scurried off to safety while Munk sought out the Mystery Cat. But Demeter stayed behind to sing about Macavity, as did...
"Bombalurina!" Pounce shook his head to clear it a little. "The hell are you doing? What- why- when-"
"You're a cutie." She paused in her song to study him. "Did you stick your tail in a light socket or are you always this fuzzy?"
"Okay, this is too much. I've had enough." Pounce summoned every bit of indignation, outrage and sheer horror that had been growing within him during the course of the night and used it to fuel his upcoming rant.
"Alright, listen up." Pounce pointed a finger at the ginger cat. "You are not Bombaluraina. My Bomba is beautiful, kind, sexy, fiery, confident, has legs that go on for days and a pretty nice butt, not to mention she can actually carry a tune compared to whatever you're trying to do-"
Someone coughed. Pounce brought himself back on track.
"Anyways, you ain't her. And even though most of the guys here deeply disturb me on a whole 'nother level at least they aren't trying to roofie me or kidnap everybody. Seriously, what's Macavity gonna do with all those cats? It's too much!"
"Pounce, get back!" It was Cassandra who stepped in to protect him, herding him back towards Old Deuteronomy out of the range of the catnip.
"Don't you touch me, I'm still upset!" Pounce struggled. "Munk! She's trying to stop my rant! Munk!"
The Jellicle Protector was too busy rolling around on top of a table with an empty champagne glass to comment.
"Fine. Fine!" Pounce wiggled out of Cassandra's grasp and sat down on the steps leading out of the theatre, stubbornly refusing to join in on the Jellicle's roofied dance.
"Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity." Bombalurina gathered all of the Jellicles to her and aggressively danced towards Cassandra, who, despite Pounce's refusal to be protected, was doing her best to place herself in between him and the enemy. "He always has an alibi, or one or two to spare."
"Whatever time the deed took place Macavity wasn't there." Mungojerrie, Rumpleteazer, and a third cat in a beret sang along, sneaking up and sprinkling more catnip on Pounce's head.
"Hey! I said I was already disoriented and confused, I don't need more!" Oof, the room really was spinning now.
Dimly he was aware of Cassandra finally succumbing to the catnip. Munk saw the opening and grabbed him around the waist, hauling him up towards Bombalurina, who was swaying on a table with her freshly drugged audience at her feet. She was singing something else but it took all Pounce had to keep from sneezing all over the place.
"Who's in charge of this operation?" Pounce complained as he wiggled out of Munk's grasp. "I wanna talk to him. Or her."
"The Napoleon of Crime! Ahaha!"
Pounce looked up just in time to recognize the cat in the hat and trench coat appear on top of a statue. Well, the cat still had the hat. The trench coat was very, very noticeably missing.
"Everlasting Cat and Heaviside above, I thought you guys were all naked before, but this guy... Macavity... he's really, really naked. Where can I even look?" Every single part of the cat was clearly defined under a very short layer of brown fur.
Macavity laughed and blew a kiss to the crowd, gleefully tossing his hat high into the air before disappearing in a shower of sparkles. It was all Pounce could do to keep watching as the cat reappeared next to Bombalurina and joined in on the dance. Every single movement highlighted just how naked he was.
"Yep, that's definitely his butt." Pounce tried to cover his eyes.
"But when a crime's discovered then Macavity-" Macavity and Bombalurina gestured towards the stage. An enormous, gaudy, flashing staircase appeared out of thin air.
"Macavity-" Together they danced with all the possessed Jellicles flailing around them.
"Macavity!" Honestly everyone looked like they were having a good time. The stage design was interesting, the dancing was in sync, and the lighting was pretty neat. If he hadn't been just drugged into oblivion Pounce would have enjoyed the show.
"When a crime's discovered then Macavity's not there." Macavity and Bombalurina danced up the staircase, ending the song with a flourish.
Pounce couldn't help it. He applauded, his clapping echoing through the silent theatre. This Macavity was certainly not a ginger cat and seemed to be a nudist but he clearly had a good sense of showmanship.
"Ahaha!" Macavity gestured and Old Deuteronomy appeared next to him in a shower of dust. The stark contrast between her fluffy fur and his smooth coat only highlighted his nudity. "Yes!"
Oh. Wait, this was shaping up to be just like his Jellicle Ball. Pounce flopped down onto the floor, crawling over towards Munk, who was doing his best impression of a dying fish.
"Get him, Munk, get him!" Pounce pushed at Munk's back to scoot him forward. "Fight him like you did earlier tonight!"
"Excuse- excuse me?" Munk gasped, eyes rolling as he tried to fight through the catnip haze.
"You gotta go fight Macavity." Pounce insisted. "My Munk did it. I mean, he lost, but he gave it a good go."
"You're... you're crazy." Munk collapsed.
Never to fear, there was another cat that stepped in to fight Macavity when Munk was down. Pounce shuffled over to the brown tabby laying next to the fallen Jellicle Protector.
"You too, Lonz, get to it. Kick his ass!"
Alonzo pushed him away. "Don't even start."
"Boo!" Pounce jeered. "You're not gonna fight him? That's lame."
"The time has come to make the Jellicle Choice." Macavity announced, ignoring Pounce's futile attempts at instigating a cat battle. "Old Deuteronomy if you would. As I am the only contestant left."
Oh, so Macavity had spirited away everyone else. That explained the absence of the other key Jellicles. Honestly Pounce hadn't even noticed Jenny, Bustopher or Gus vanishing. Judging by everyone else's reactions they hadn't noticed either. Besides Skimbleshanks the others being absent wasn't much of a loss.
"And quite obviously the best." Macavity added.
"You know, he might be right on that one. At least he's got style." Pounce muttered. "And he can actually do stuff." Munk mustered enough strength to cuff him upside the head.
"Never." Old Deuteronomy said. "I choose the cat that deserves a new life. I judge a cat by its soul."
So that's how Old Deuteronomy decided. Pounce had never really given it much thought before. His Old Deuteronomy never bothered to explain, just seemingly choosing a cat at random, but he guessed this made more sense.
"He's got soul." Bombalurina hissed.
"I've got plenty of soul." Macavity insisted.
"You're a cheat, Macavity." Old Deuteronomy stated. Macavity responded by vanishing her, himself, the staircase, and Bombalurina in a cloud of dust.
"Ooo, he did not like that." Pounce remarked as everyone slowly recovered from their daze. "And this Macavity really cares a lot about this Jellicle Choice. My Macavity just wanted to cause trouble."
"Where is Old Deuteronomy?" Munk asked, finally coming to his senses. He spied Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer trying to run off with the catnip. "Where is she?"
"We don't know." Mungojerrie admitted.
Alonzo leapt upon him, hissing and brandishing his claws. "Where is she?"
"Wow, so you guys will attack those two but not Macavity. I see how it is." Pounce grumbled.
"Look, it was only a bit of fun." Rumpleteazer protested.
"We didn't know he was gonna take Old Deut." Mungojerrie winced.
"There must be something we can do." Someone said hopefully.
"We can't just magic her back." Cassandra spat.
Suddenly it occurred to Pounce that the answer to their problems was sniveling next to him.
"Hey, you could bring Old Deut back." He whispered.
"What?" Misto looked at him with wide, watery eyes. "N-no, I can't."
"Sure you can. One of the first things you said to me was that you're a magic cat. So get doing your magic stuff."
"I'm a stage magician, not an actual wizard!" Misto hissed.
"I don't see the difference." That was the truth. It all blended together in Pounce's eyes. "You spent most of tonight poofing things into existence, so why don't you just poof Old Deut back? Even naked Macavity could do it."
"Why don't you do it then, if it's so easy? I don't see you waving around a wand and conjuring cats out of nowhere."
"See, now you're being sassy. Finally. My Misto wouldn't let anyone tell him what to do either."
"I am not your Mistoffelees!" Misto protested. "I'm just… just me. A sham. A failure. I can't even-"
"Yeah, yeah, already bored. Cut it out." Pounce gave him an encouraging slap on the back. "The Misto I know wouldn't hesitate to zap someone if they annoyed him."
"But… how could I ever live up to such a cat?"
"Probably can't." Pounce shrugged.
Seeing how dejected he looked Pounce backtracked a little.
"I mean, maybe you're just a version of Misto who hasn't grown into his coolness yet. There's still time." Pounce paused. "Well, not much time, seeing as you're the only hope of the Jellicles ever getting Old Deut back from Macavity, and the longer we stand around waiting the more likely she's going to be eaten or something, I dunno what Macavity's got planned-"
"You're not helping me feel better."
"Right. What I'm saying is that maybe you just need a little push."
Misto stared blankly at him.
"Alright, Misto, just for you I'm gonna go out on a limb here and do this." Pounce shuffled off onto the center of the stage. "But you need to become friends with Tugger so he can sing your song next time."
"What was that about being friends with Mistoffelees?" Tugger asked from the crowd.
"Quiet, I'm not talking to you. Can we get a spotlight and a drum roll over here?" Pounce announced. "Er, please."
Everyone turned to look at him. Quickly he tried to remember how Tugger had started the song. Something about persuading everyone to ask Misto for help. And then there were flashy lights and explosions, but that had happened after Misto showed up.
"All you guys ought to ask Magical Mr. Mistoffelees, the original, ah, what was it… oh, right, the original conjuring cat. There's no doubt about it. About that."
"What." Munk stared at him. "What are you going on about now?"
"Those great magic guys have something to learn when Misto shows up and goes out of turn." Those weren't quite the right words but he was trying to remember a song he had only heard once. Also once his Misto started flinging lightning bolts and blowing up the junkyard it was hard to pay attention to Tugger's lyrics. At least he knew for certain that he had the chorus down.
"And we all say: Oh! Well I never! Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!" Pounce gestured towards Misto for his cue. There was only empty air. "Hey!"
Munk came to his rescue, dragging Misto back up on stage and spinning him around to face the audience.
"Thanks." Pounce nodded to Munk before turning back to the others. "I don't normally sing this song-" He shot a glare over at a confused Tugger. "- but no one else is stepping up to do it so deal with it."
If he didn't have everyone's attention before then he certainly had it now.
"Anyways, this is Misto. He's quiet, he's meek, he's not very confident, and he's mostly black from his ears to the tip of his tail." Wait, Tugger was much more complimentary in his song. "Um, I mean, he's stealthy. He can creep through the tiniest crack. Um, he can walk on the narrowest rail?"
Nope, he was losing his audience.
"Pick a card from the pack!" Pounce whispered to Misto, who looked like he was about to throw up.
"Which one?" Misto asked.
"Any of them! Just do something to show them you got magic!"
"I'm equally cunning with dice-"
"Well then do that!"
"Although when asked if I'm doing magic I usually tell the others that I'm only hunting for mice-"
"For the love of-"
"I can play any trick with a cork, or a spoon and a bit of fish paste-"
"Stop gabbing and start showing them!" Pounce shoved Misto out into the center of the stage.
"Um." Misto pulled a fork out of his sleeve. "If you look for a knife or a fork and you think it is merely misplaced-"
"You've seen it one moment, and then it is gone!" Pounce tried to add a little pizazz to Misto's admission of theft.
"You'll find it next week lying out on the lawn." Misto admitted, handing the fork off to an excited Syllabub.
"And we all say..." Pounce pointed to the audience.
"Oh! Well I never?" Munk tried to remember the chorus among the confusing lyrics.
"Was there ever a cat so clever as..." Pounce gestured to him.
"Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!" Munk finished.
"Oh! Well I never! Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistoffelees?" The other cats sang along.
Misto himself seemed to grow a little more confident with each note. Taking note of this new development, Pounce stepped forward to address the cats once more.
"So, anyways, his manner is vague, he's pretty shy, in fact, if you talk to him too harshly you'll probably make him cry." Blank stares.
"Thanks, Pounce, but I'll take it from here. You're kind of making me look worse." Misto gently nudged him out of the spotlight.
"Thank the Everlasting Cat." Pounce gratefully stepped aside.
"My manner is vague and aloof. You would think there was nobody shyer." Misto admitted. "But my voice can be heard on the roof while I was curled up by the fire."
"And he's sometimes been heard by the fire when he was about on the roof." Pounce added.
"At least we all heard that somebody purred, which is incontestable proof!" Munk stepped in to quiet any questions the cats might have had about the claims made about Misto. "Of his singular magical powers."
"And I've known the family to call me in from the garden for hours while I was asleep in the hall." Misto bragged.
"And not long ago this- this phenomenal cat produced seven kittens right out of a hat!" Pounce proclaimed.
"What? No I haven't." Misto said. "All I've done is mice."
"Oh, uh, wrong Mistoffelees. Sorry." Pounce slunk off to the side of the stage, perching next to Tugger and Old Deuteronomy's empty basket.
"Did he really do all that?" Tugger asked.
"I dunno, you tell me. You're the one who came up with the original lyrics."
Misto did a fancy spin and brought everyone over to the basket, waving his pencil through the air. The cats were really picking up the chorus now.
"Oh! Well I never! Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!" They all sang.
Oh, here was the moment. Pounce sat up a little straighter. It looked like this Misto was going to try and conjured Old Deuteronomy right into the basket. Now this would be a sight to see. Excitedly he leaned in with the other cats, anticipation thick in the air. It was now or never.
Misto inhaled deeply and jabbed the pencil towards the basket.
"Um, Misto?" Pounce whispered. "You need some help, buddy?"
Misto quickly rallied himself as everyone sang the chorus again. "Oh! Well, I never! Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistoffelees?"
"Please." Misto whispered, flailing and grunting again.
"Ouch." Pounce shared an awkward look with Munk.
The poor impotent magical cat sat huddled in the middle of the stage in a sad puddle of fur. It was too pathetic of a sight for Pounce to bear. There was no way he was going to let this Misto lose all hope, not after he had stepped up and sang (well, kind of sang) his theme song for him. Besides, Pounce suspected that if they didn't get Deuteronomy back somehow then he wouldn't be able to return home, and there was no way he was going to let that happen if he could help it.
"Oh! Well, I never!" Pounce approached Misto, staring deep into his eyes as he sang. Whether it was out of encouragement or meant to be taken as a threat was left up in the air. "Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistoffelees?"
"And we all say-" Munk joined in, equally encouraging and threatening.
"Oh! Well I never! Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistoffelees?" Everyone gathered around the basket, crowding Misto in so he couldn't escape. "Oh! Well I never! Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistoffelees?"
The mantra seemed to be working. Misto took another deep breath. As one everyone swayed with him, feeding off the magical energy around him. One last grunt, a flourish of the pencil, and...
"Wow, okay, this really isn't your night." Pounce patted Misto on the shoulder. "Well, I'm out of ideas. Anyone wanna go search the streets-"
"Oh! Well, I never!" Old Deuteronomy's voice crept in from behind them. "Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistoffelees?"
Pounce gaped at her as everyone rushed to meet her. Somehow Misto managed to teleport Old Deuteronomy clear on the other side of the stage without even meaning to. Truly it was an amazing feat of (probably accidental) magic. Regardless it was still impressive.
"Good job, Misto." Pounce patted him on the back. "Other Misto would be proud. I mean it."
"Thanks." Misto smiled.
"Hey, do you think you could bring back Skimbleshanks too?" Pounce said, only to be ignored as Misto took a flying leap up into the air, spraying cards all over the place. "Oh. No, that's fine. It wasn't like he was really well liked or anything."
"Oh! Well, I never! Was there ever a cat so clever as Magical Mr. Mistoffelees?" Everyone was too excited to notice Pounce slip towards the exit.
The Magical Mr. Mistoffelees had gone mad with power, leaping high into the air and levitating self playing musical instruments high above the theater. Cards and flowers exploded out of his sleeves. The cat was simply brimming with confidence. It was only a matter of time before the lightning bolts manifested and Pounce did not want to be in the line of fire when it happened.
To Pounce's surprise Grizabella was watching from the door. As soon as she saw him looking she turned away.
"Hey, wait a minute." Pounce ran after her. This Grizabella certainly didn't waste time in making a hasty retreat. Somehow she could really move despite being on her hands and knees and shambling most of the time.
Once again they were back in the empty streets. And once again he felt the weird compulsion to sing. Might as well give it a go and see what happened.
"Daylight, see the dew on the sunflower. And a rose that is fading. Roses wither away." What flowery nonsense was he spouting now? "Like the sunflower I yearn to turn my face to the dawn. I am waiting for the day."
Whatever had crawled out of his throat seemed to make her trust him. Despite the fact that she had only met him twice and both times they hadn't had anything resembling a normal conversation Grizabella let him approach.
For once he didn't approach Grizabella with the intent to play tricks on her. Instead he gently butted his head up against her shoulder in a show of peace. It certainly felt like a real fur coat she was wearing, so maybe the Jellicles were mad at her because she shaved one of them for her own vanity? That'd certainly make him resent her. Although maybe now that the Jellicles had their leader back they would be in a better mood.
Well, no time like the present. Pounce took Grizabella by the hand and lead her inside the theatre. Clearly she was going to crash the party anyways, so might as well bring her in sooner than later. What could possibly go wrong?
Old Deuteronomy finally has to make a choice. But who will it be?