“Okay Mimosa, what did you do?” Stanley was standing at the garage door in the pantry, talking through the door to Mimosa. “I got up this morning and I heard the Big Guy yelling at you. When I went to see what was going on, I hear you’re in the garage!”
“I knocked down the Christmas tree,” Mimosa answered. “Apparently, that is a crime punishable by lock out!” He was sitting on a blanket on the floor of the garage.
“That’s not good!” Stanley whistled. “The Big Guy does like Christmas! You must have damaged it a lot.”
“No, not really!” Mimosa defended himself. “I just thought the ornaments were bright and shiny! I just had to get up the tree for a closer look!”
“Hey! Why are the ornaments all over the floor?” Pepper asked from the living room. “And the big green thing is on its side!” She trotted from the living room, into the kitchen and to the pantry. “Stanley, did a hurricane come through here?”
“Yes, a really ugly and terrifying storm called Hurricane Mimosa!” Stanley cried out.
“I heard that!” Mimosa called through the door.
“Stanley, where’s Mimosa?” Pepper whispered. “Did he turn into vapor in the hurricane and that’s why we can only hear his voice? Mimosa, can you hear me?” Pepper called, looking up to the ceiling.
“No, Pepper! Mimosa is in solitary confinement in the garage!” Stanley answered, motioning his head towards the door.
“The garage?” Pepper furrowed her brow. “Doesn’t he serve his time in the extra bedroom when he’s naughty?”
“True, when Mimosa chases and corners me, that’s when he gets put on a time out in the bedroom.” Stanley agreed.
“Hey, I am trying to get you to exercise!” Mimosa countered. “You would get no cardio work out without me! And the name’s Big M!!”
“Quit being so concerned about my health!” Stanley hollered.
Pepper trotted away from the arguing cats back towards the fallen Christmas tree in the living room. Golden ornaments were scattered on the carpet, the tinsel appeared as a sparkling snake along the floor and the artificial tree had limbs torn from the base. Pepper noticed the bedroom door was closed. She crept over and placed her head gently on the door, listening to the voices on the other sides. She didn’t like what she heard and softly whimpered, hoping that the humans would open the door. When they ignored her, she scampered back to the pantry.
Meanwhile, Mimosa called to Stanley, “Psst! Stan! Do you know why you need a cardio work out?”
“I’m not answering that!” Stanley refused, turning away from the door.
“I’ll tell you why. Because you’re fat!”
She found Stanley smacking the garage door with his front paws and calling to Mimosa on the other side of the door, “Stop calling me that! I am big boned!”
“Earthquake!” Mimosa chuckled through the door.
“Hey, you guys,” Pepper interrupted. “I heard the Boss and Mom talking and it’s not good.”
Stanley stopped hitting the door and looked at Pepper’s worried face.
“What did you hear?” Mimosa called in a muffled voice, pressing his ear to the door.
“Well, the Boss said he was going to return Mimosa to the shelter!” Pepper revealed. “At least that’s what I thought I heard over Mom’s crying!”
“You’re right, that doesn’t sound good at all,” Stanley mused, hopping onto the dryer.
“Oh, man! Not the shelter!” Mimosa whined. “I can’t go back to that cage! I didn’t think it was such a big deal! The Boy and the Lady Boss laughed when I did it before!”
“I don’t want you to go!” Pepper cried, crouching down so her chin touched the floor. “Stanley, what are we going to do? He’s part of the pack!”
“Well, I wasn’t going to say this, but since it sounds like my days are numbered, I did enjoy being a part of this family.” Mimosa confessed. “I never really had a home, I lived on the streets until I was picked up and taken to the shelter. You’ve all been terrific. I may not have said it before, but I’m glad I got to know you and for a little while call you my family.”
“Mimosa! We love you, even though you’re destructive and kill Christmas trees!” Pepper sobbed, pacing frantically up and down.
“Wait a minute,” Stanley’s head perked up. “Mimosa, did you say you’ve knocked down the tree before?”
“Yes, while the Big Guy was out of town, the Lady Boss and the Boy would yell out Timber and everything!”
“So they must have put the tree back together, that’s why we didn’t know about it!” Stanley hopped off of the dryer. “And you’re certain they laughed about it?”
“Yeah, it was a joke to them,” Mimosa answered. “That’s why I was shocked the Big Guy put me in here!”
“And he’s going back to the shelter!” Pepper sniffed.
“Oh, no he’s not!” Stanley said triumphantly. “Mark my words, the Lady Boss won’t let that happen!”
“What do you mean?” Pepper asked. “I heard the Boss say he’s taking Mimosa back to the shelter!”
“But did you hear what the Lady Boss said?” Stanley challenged.
“No, she was crying!” Pepper answered.
“Even better! Mimosa, you’ll be set free in no time!” Stanley confidently stated.
“You know, you have a point!” Mimosa agreed. “My outlook isn’t so bleak!”
“I still don’t understand!” Pepper barked. “The Boss said—“
“Ah, yes, but what you’re not considering is which Boss will get her way!” Stanley smiled.
Just then, the bedroom door opened. Out came the male human, with a grim look on his face. He walked past Pepper as she jumped up to greet him. Stanley leapt back onto the dryer with a view of the garage door. Pepper exchanged a worried glace at Stanley as the Man opened the garage door. He scooped up Mimosa, who was sitting at the entrance waiting his fate.
“It’s a good thing your Mother loves you, cat!” the Man spoke to Mimosa as he held him in his arm. “Otherwise, you would be out of here!” Mimosa squinted at the Man as he was gently let down to the floor. The Man walked back to the bedroom and shut the door.
“I think you’ve been pardoned!” Stanley whispered.
“It’s a Christmas miracle!” Pepper hopped around Mimosa, licking the top of his head. “You get to stay!” Then Pepper stopped as she heard another bedroom door open. “My Boy is awake! My Boy is awake!” She then galloped towards the other end of the house.
Mimosa shook himself to try to get dry. Stanley jumped off of the dryer and walked to his side.
“Well, you called that one right, old man!” Mimosa said.
“I just got lucky!” Stanley smirked.
“Hey, listen, about all the sappy stuff I said about being part of a family,” Mimosa began, looking at Stanley sideways.
“We could barely hear you behind the door,” Stanley finished, turning away to go to the water dish.
“Great! Well, I’d better go thank the Lady Boss. She likes it when I jump on her lap and purr!” Mimosa said as he headed out of the kitchen.
“She’ll appreciate that!” Stanley nodded, cleaning the back of his ears.
Mimosa stopped and turned back to Stanley. “Hey, Stan, how about I not chase you today?”
“Okay, sounds good, thanks!” Stanley agreed.
“Do you know why I won’t chase you today?” Mimosa crept towards Stanley.
“I’m sure you’ll tell me if I don’t answer that!” Stanley sighed.
“Because you’re old!” Mimosa snapped, then scurried to the master bedroom.
“I knew there would be a catch!” Stanley smiled to himself.