Just as I was beginning to doze off, a door slammed open. Familiar footsteps rushed towards us. The cat was back! One and I tumbled into each other as our box was wrenched off the ground.
“Will it be on a ship?”
“Ouch! That hurts. Get your foot OFF MY LIP!”
We continued speculating as we were violently jostled back and forth. The cat was in a hurry to get us somewhere. That always meant fun.
Our movement ceased with two last crashes. The first, of the box into the ground. The second, of One’s head into mine. It felt like solid ground. Something leapt onto the box top above our heads. We could just make out the cat’s muffled voice.
“Fun-in-a-box… something new… bite you.”
The hook slid out of the loop. Oh how I loved that sweet, sweet sound. The wall flopped open, and One and I were greeted by a flood of light, two young faces with mouths agape, and the most curmudgeonly goldfish you’ve ever seen. We zoomed forward to meet them, saying in unison, “How do you do? Would you like to shake hands with Thing One and Thing Two?” I greedily shook the girl’s tentatively offered hand as the goldfish went ballistic.
I think the cat tried to console the fish. Can you imagine? A cat. Consoling a fish! But I’m not entirely sure, because One and I weren’t really paying attention. We were just happy to be out of the box again. Somewhere from inside that conversation between the cat and the fish the word kite escaped. It bolted across the room and sought refuge in my ears. Kites? I LOVE kites! One and I whipped out our latest flyers and tore through the house, checkered panels and streamers trailing behind us.
This was the best! Just me, One, and our kites. Sure, there was other stuff around, and some of it may have gotten knocked over… I think I saw a polka-dot dress hanging from One’s string at some point… but we didn’t care. This was awesome!
We were racing our kites to the end of a hallway when this net came out of nowhere, and PLOP, our fun was over. It was our turn to stand there with mouths agape in shock. The cat looked sad as he picked us up and carried us back to the box. As he closed the lid and latched the hook, I think I saw him mouth the words, “I’m sorry.”The cat picked us up and took us home. The ride was unusually stable. There was no spring in the cat’s step. He put us down, and I heard the door shut behind him as he left. “Sigh,” I sighed, as I laid down to wait. Across the box, One began humming and drumming. Once again, it was dark in the box. It was always dark in the box.