The reunion part six

Twitch sat on the floor and lay back with his head across Chris's lap. She stroked his neck. "So," he said. "When are we going to have some action?"

"Action?" she asked, reaching over and refilling the other humans' glasses with iced tea.

"Yes, action! This story is getting boring. All we do is sit around."

"Silly cat," she said, absentmindedly petting his face."Weren't you just in a fight with five guys?"

"Yeah," Twitch said. "But that doesn't count. It happened behind the scenes."

"Twitch, your idea of action is napping all day long."

"Sometimes I like action. Remember that time I was visiting your mom's house in cat form and I escaped from the guest room and led you on a merry chase up and down the stairs trying to catch me—"

"Yes, Twitch, I remember. It was three days ago. My mother is over 70 years old, and I am very out of shape. So thanks for that."

"— And this morning I barfed all my new cat food into a big pile right in front of the bedroom door. It was stupendous—"

"I would hardly call that action... Although I suppose it was stupendous," Chris mumbled.

"— And this afternoon, guess who pooped in the jeans you left on the floor?"

"Was that you? I thought it was Mr. Kitten."

He stretched his arms above his head and arched his 6 foot seven frame over Chris's lap. "Maybe it was me. Maybe it wasn't. I'm kind of mysterious."

"You know, all this talk is not making me feel like adding action to this story."

Twitch curled up on the floor again, and Stanley reached over and patted his head.

"I kind of like a nice story where we're all safe and comfortable and we just chat and have a good time," Stanley said. "I haven't been in one of those before." 

"Well, you're in one now," the Anchorite said. "Look at this place. It's beautiful." 

The restaurant was, indeed, beautiful, with a light and airy cathedral ceiling, modern furnishings and sophisticated art.  Brazilian native art was displayed on wide shelves. Along the back wall  long series of tables covered with white linen and a selection of fine foods: fresh salads, exotic fruits, smoked fish and many other things. But the specialty of the restaurant was the rodizio. Uniformed waiters went from table to table throughout the evening, each carrying a barbecue spit with some sort of mouthwatering meat, fresh from the grill. The diners could choose as much or as little from each offering, or wait for the next morsel. Of course the cats, as obligate carnivores, loved it, and most of them were already very full. Recalling her Asian origins, Ting Ting groaned "it's like dim sum, but with meat!" right before climbing up on a shelf and taking a nap.

"And the best part," Chris said with a smile, "is that Anton's paying for this. I thought I was hosting, but Anton stepped in and said he was, so — hey!— $80 per person."

"No problem, I'll take care of it," the Anchorite said. He petted Twitch with his gloved hand. Faint hints of cobalt blue and deepest gray seem to shimmer above the folds of his cloak where the light hit it. "Anton is hosting the party, and it's in honor of you, little buddy."

Twitch sat up. "Yeah, whatever. We need a story, people. Stories makes sense of life. I mean, life just goes on and on and weird things happen and we don't know why. Like me having cancer. And there's so much uncertainty in life. Like, you humans don't even know where you go after you die. What's up with that? Stories have a beginning, middle, and end, and everything happens for reason, which doesn't always seem to be a case in life. And there's logical ending to a story where everyone lives happily ever after."

"Well, I think China Mieville might disagree. She might label my happy endings as 'rural, petty bourgeois, conservative, antimodernist, misanthropically Christian and anti-intellectual.'"

Mr. Kitten who had been silently watching them, unnoticed, spoke up at this. "I have been reading more deeply about China Tom Mieville, and I don't think that *he* dislikes traditional fantasy as much as we may have been led to believe."

Chris took a long look at Mr. Kitten, an overweight, fluffy brownish black cat with golden eyes, who hadn't bothered to change into human form. "Why are you reading, anyway?"

"It doesn't matter what anybody else believes. The point," Twitch said, "is that you believe in happy, comforting, escapist fiction. You write stories that uplift, that show cats — and people — growing and maturing to face challenges. You show cats fighting against impossible odds and finding the resources within themselves to make sure that good overcomes. Stories make sense of the world. I think the reason you started this story was to deal with my having cancer."

Chris looked into Twitch's wise green eyes, and felt that his having cancer was quite story enough. But, knowing he was sick, she didn't have the heart to argue with him.

"You've often said that the only things worth writing are uplifting stories and humor," Mr. Kitten added.

With Mr. Kitten, she was not thus fettered. "Listen, little cat," she said.  "If I want someone to catch a mouse or crap in my shoes, I'll call on you guys, okay? But this is writing. I'm the writer. And I'll handle it." Chris looked at Stanley and the Anchorite reassuringly. "We are going to have a very pleasant evening, and absolutely nothing bad is going to happen."

"Whatever. I'm going to go hang out with some cats," Twitch said.

Meanwhile, Grease was under the building, wiring it with explosives.
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