|I hesitated, then asked the question,” Are you a cat or a kitten?”
Munkus’ eyes twinkled as he replies, “I’m still a kitten…but I will be a cat by the next Jellicle Ball.”
I was surprised…I had been so certain Munkustrap was a cat. He acted like a cat and even looked like one. “What’s the Jellicle Ball?
Munkustrap smiled and softly san, “Jellicle cats meet once a year, at the Jellicle Ball where we all rejoice. And the Jellicle Leader will soon appear and make what is known as the Jellicle Choice. When Old Deuteronomy just before dawn, through a silence you feel you could cut with a knife, announces the cat who can now be reborn and come back to a different Jellicle life. For waiting up there is the Heavyside Layer, full of wonders one Jellicle only will see. And Jellicles ask, because Jellicles dare, who will it be?”
I watched the tabby, entranced by his beautiful voice and the way he matched his body movements with the words. “What do you do at the ball? Sing? Dance?”
Munkustrap nodded. “We sing, dance, and tell stories. The Bell itself is exciting and lively, but also very tiring.”
“When is it?”
“The Ball always takes place on a night with a full moon during the summer. It is four months away.” Munkustrap was about to say something else, but Bombalurina woke up.
“Good morning, Bomby,” I said smiling.
“Hello, Demy,” she grumbles. My sister yawned, then started washing her fur.
“good morning,” Munkustrap greeted. Bombalurina eyed him carefully, then went back to her cleaning. I didn’t know why, but my sister didn’t seem to trust, or like Munkustrap. I gazed up at the tabby, afraid he would be insulted, but he didn’t seem to mind.
After Bomby and Munkus ate, we set out for the Jellicle Junkyard. Munkustrap led the way while my sister and I followed him. “Bomby?” I whispered.
“Why don’t you like Munkustrap?”
Bomby stared at me, then replied, “How do you know he doesn’t want to use us?”
“But…but…he saved us.”
Bombalurina nodded. “He could have done that just to earn our trust.”
I gazed at my sister, then up at the tabby. Normally, I would have agreed with Bomby, especially after all I had been through with Macavity, but I felt that this tom would never hurt us. For some reason, I trusted him and knew he cared about us.
Munkustrap began slowing down then stopped. We were in front of a large pile of junk. I looked curiously up at him. This couldn’t’ be the Junkyard…how could anybody dance here? The tabby led us along the edge of the pile until we came to a large hole.