HAMMIE: A Cat's Tale -
06-11-2012, 09:59 PM
The black tinted windows of the giant pyramid that was the Luxor Hotel and Resort filtered out the harsh glare of the morning sun, reducing it to a mellow light brightening up the Presidential Suite on the very top floor. Hamlet, affectionatly known as Hammie to his owner, Criss Angel, and thousands of his fans, the Loyals, lay in a patch of sunlight, savoring its warmth through his carefully groomed short fur, grey with black tiger stripes from his tail to his face, with pure white on his paws and lower jawline. His graceful tail twitched contentedly as he lay sprawled in the sun, eyes closed as if dozing. For the moment, life was good.
A familiar clinking noise roused him out of his semi-consciousness. Hammie started, then rose to his paws, trotted to the back of the sofa and gracefully leapt up onto one of the arms, head and tail raised expectantly. The clinking noise meant that the Food Person had arrived, bringing the cart full of delicious treats for him, covered with big silver domes to keep them warm.
"Miawww!" Hammie greeted the Food Person as he parked the food cart by the sofa.
"Hey, Hammie!" said the Food Person. "You ready for breakfast, hmm?"
He lifted the lid and took out a bit of lean, tender ham with the tip of the butter knife, then pinched it with his fingers to give to Hammie. "There you go," the Food Person said, smiling. "Now, don't go telling anyone, okay? This is our little secret."
Hammie lapped up the bit of ham from the Food Person's fingertips, licking his chops in satisfaction. No, he'd never reveal their little secret--cats were the soul of discretion. The Food Person left the suite. Hammie stood by the food cart, longing for more delicacies from under the silver domes. He always had to wait for Criss to come out after he finished his shower. Hammie saw no sense in Criss' daily ablutions; water, in his opinion, was for drinking, not for bathing.
Criss finally emerged from the bedroom, showered and dressed for the day. "Hey, Hammie!" Criss crooned to him, stroking his head. "How's my boy? Huh?"
Hammie watched as Criss lifted the silver domes on the cart, revealing the delicious food underneath. He nosed closer to Criss, hoping to get another taste of it. Criss brushed him away. "Hammie, this is my breakfast, okay?" Criss told him.
But Hammie was not to be denied. Every morning it was like this: the Food Person bought all this wonderful food for him every morning, but Criss was the one who ate it! And Hammie had to sit there and watch him gobble it all down while he got none of it, save a taste from the Food Person. How rude! How selfish! How inconsiderate! "Miawww!" Hammie complained.
Criss turned to him, sighing in frustration. "Oh, all right! Here!" He gave Hammie another bite of ham, a bigger piece than the Food Person had given him earlier. Hammie gobbled it down eagerly. "Now, quit bothering me!" Criss ordered him. "I gotta finish my breakfast."
The piece of ham had made Hammie thirsty, so he leapt down from his perch on the sofa and trotted to his water dispenser for a drink. Criss finished his breakfast, tossed aside his napkin and prepared for his day by gathering his production notes, pocketing his cell phone, and tying his skull bandana around his head. He heard the housekeeper knocking on his door, so he crossed over to let her in. The housekeeper entered with the usual pleasantries, pushing her cart full of cleaning equipment and fresh linens. Criss left the suite for work as the housekeeper began hers.
Hammie had just finished his drink when he felt the need to use the litter box. He stepped carefully into the specially designed Kitty-Loo with a fresh layer of litter inside and relieved himself in comfort, cleanliness and privacy. He brushed litter over his scat with his rear paws to conceal it and stepped out again, only to notice the huge object in front of him. He sniffed it in order to try to identify it, only to inhale a noseful of dust which made him sneeze. Unconcerned, he walked away back to his patch of sun for his morning nap.
Suddenly he was awakened by a terrible growling noise. Fully alert, Hammie jumped up on all fours, ready to fight or flee from whatever it was that scared him. Then he saw it--a huge monster with one big glowing eye, being pushed by the housekeeper all over the floor, back and forth, back and forth, under the furniture and all around. Hammie leapt up onto the sofa for safety, his sinewy back arched defensivly. The monster came closer and closer to the sofa, bumping its big square head against it. Hammie bolted off the sofa, away from the monster, and with one fantastic leap landed in the housekeeper's canvas lined laundry bin. It was a soft landing, and he was in deep enough to be safe from the monster.
The housekeeper finished her vacuuming and packed up her supplies onto the cart. She opened the door of the suite and pushed the cart out of the door, but then she noticed some movement inside the laundry bag.
She looked inside and let out a big laugh. "How did you get in there?" she exclaimed, scooping Hammie out of the bag. She stroked the cat's smooth head affectionatly. "You'd better get back inside, or Mr. Angel's gonna be mad."
She dropped the cat onto the floor of the foyer. "Shoo!" she said, and wheeled away, thinking Hammie would trot back into the suite. Hammie stood there for a while, bewildered, then turned back to the suite, but it was too late. The door closed before he could slip inside. He sniffed the door, pawed it to try to open it, yowled loudly, but nothing happened. Hammie was locked out.
He paced around the foyer, sniffing at the walls and searching for a way back into the suite. Clawing at the door didn't help. Neither did yowling. He padded around the foyer until he spotted something familiar standing by the elevator door. It was the food cart, left outside for the Food Person to pick up later that morning. Hammie leapt onto the cart and sniffed around the silver domes for leftovers, lapping up a crumb here and a bit there on the linen-draped cart.
A ding, then the sound of the elevator door opening. Hammie leapt off the top of the cart and ducked under the linen cover, crouching on the lower shelf. He felt movement underneath him as the cart was wheeled into the elevator. Hammie remained where he was, paralyzed with fear, uncomprehending what was happening to him.
Another ding, then the cart with Hammie underneath was wheeled out of the elevator into a noisy place of clattering china, clinking glass, rattling silverware, and rushing water. Once the cart came to a halt, Hammie peeked out from his hiding place. He didn't know it, of course, but he found himself in the dishroom of the hotel. Hammie sniffed around and was repulsed by the smell of soap and sanitizer. He slipped out from under the cart unnoticed and padded around for a way out of there. Passing one of the sinks he smelled food above him and leapt up to the counter, to the surprise of the dishroom girl scraping leftover food into the garbage disposal.
"Whoa! Hey!" she laughed, startled to see a cat on her counter. "How'd you get in here, huh?" She stroked Hammie's sleek fur affectionatly. "You're not supposed to be in here."
Hammie sniffed the leftover food on the counter and began to nibble. "What's the matter?" asked the dishroom girl sympathetically, "You hungry? Here." She gave him some leftover omlette, which he devoured greedily.
The dishroom girl petted Hammie again as he ate. "You can't stay here, you know," she told Hammie. "It's against the rules." She looked around for any sign of her supervisor and scooped up the cat in her arms. "You gotta get out of here," she said anxiously. "Can't let the manager see you here."
She carried Hammie out to the back service entrance, opened the door and tossed him outside. "There. Now, you go home now." She closed the heavy steel door, leaving Hammie outside by the dumpsters.
Left to fend for himself in the big, wide world, Hammie wandered around the loading docks behind the Luxor, occasionally leaping onto the safety rails for a better view. To pass the time, he groomed himself with his sandpaper-like tongue and "hunted" the birds seeking shelter from the sun. Suddenly there was a huge rumbling noise, accompanied by a shrill beep...beep...beep as a delivery truck backed into the loading dock. Terrifed, Hammie bolted into a corner to escape the big square monster approaching him. Then he heard another rumbling noise as the bay door opened like a huge gaping mouth, leading back inside. Hammie dashed through the bay door before either the driver or the delivery manager could see him.
Inside the dimly lit storage area, Hammie prowled around the crates and shelves of goods for an exit, using his keen night vision to guide him. He leapt onto one box to gain a better vantage point, then another, then another. He saw a stack of boxes that formed a stairway, so he leapt onto the largest on the bottom to make his way up. Suddenly the boxes began to rise, with him on them, then the dreaded beep...beep...beep again as the forklift backed up and swiftly carried the boxes loaded onto a wooden pallet to another spot in the storage area. Hammie clung for dear life on his precarious perch. Once the forklift stopped at its destination, it lowered his load and backed away, beeping. Hammie waited until the strange vehicle was gone, then leapt off his perch.
Two wide doors opened in front of him, letting in light. Hammie took cover behind the boxes as a couple of maintenance workers entered to pick up their supplies for the day. One kicked a rubber wedge underneath one of the doors, propping it open. Hammie saw his chance to escape and quickly took it, darting out of the storage area like a bolt of grey lightning.
Once he recovered from his ordeal in the storage area, Hammie took note of his new surroundings, a nondescript hallway, brightly lit with overhead flourescent lights. He padded down the service corridor and into the biggest space he had ever seen, with hundreds of people coming and going, all kinds of smells from all directions, and green growing things in big stone containers. It seemed familiar to him, but he just couldn't put his paw on it. Following his nose, he made his way unobtrusivly through the world's largest atrium of the Luxor Hotel.
Hammie padded across the soft carpet of the atrium, weaving through the ever moving forest of legs and feet, sniffing for food or anything else familiar to him. Whenever he spotted a bench, a planter, or some other elevated platform, he would leap upon it and continue his search. It was all so bewildering, not to mention exhausting. For a small cat such as he, walking around the enormous atrium seemed like crossing a continent.
Around him, life went on, with people coming and going, carrying their luggage or tipping an attendant to cart it up for them. One large lady with a mountain of suitcases piled precariously on a brass cart was imperiously giving orders to the attendant, the desk clerk and whomever she saw in uniform. Hammie watched as she set down her large carry-on bag to sign the receipt and to aquire her keycard. From inside the bag, Hammie saw something move inside, then a pointy-eared head, small as a cat but not quite feline, popped out of the bag. It was a small, brown Chihuahua, with big dark eyes zeroed in on Hammie. It sniffed nervously around, then leapt out of the bag and made straight for him, yapping furiously. Hammie arched his back defensivly, growling in his throat, baring his teeth at this noisy little intruder and hissing.
"Chico!" shrieked the large lady. "Oh! My little Chico! Come here, Baby!" She scooped up the perpetually trembling Chihuahua and cuddled it like an infant. "Bad cat!" she shouted at Hammie. "How dare you try to hurt my sweet little Chico! Shoo! Get out of here!"
She swung a huge, flabby arm at Hammie, missing him by about a foot, then she tripped away, cooing at her little dog. "Poor Baby! Yes! Did that mean, nasty cat hurt my widdle pwecious? Huh? It's all right, Mommy's here!"
Hammie leapt down from his perch and trotted away, sniffing for more clues as to his wherabouts. He found himself in one of the shops with colorful stuffed toys on display. He padded inside and saw another cat, or what looked like a cat. He sniffed it, but it smelled like clean bedsheets instead of feline. He nudged it, but it didn't move. Losing interest, he turned away, but was stopped short by a little girl in a pink sundress, obviously delighted to see him as she stooped down to hug him.
"Hello, kittycat!" she said. "What's your name? Wanna play? I'll be the mommy and you can be the baby. Okay?"
Hammie did not comprehend anything the little girl said, much less agree to her terms, but before he could lodge any type of formal protest, he felt a doll's nightie being pulled over his head and front legs, and a baby bonnet tied to his head. Then he was unceremoniously hoisted up and dumped into a baby carriage. Again the sensation of movement as the little girl happily wheeled her "baby" around the store. Hammie suffered this indignity with quiet feline grace until the little girl's mother entered the scene.
"Candace? What are you doing here?" Mommy asked. "What have you got there?"
"I'm taking my baby for a walk in the park," Candace answered proudly.
"Candace, that's not a baby, that's a cat," Mommy told her matter-of-factly as she bent over the carriage and undid Hammie's baby clothes. Hammie leapt out of the carriage and ran out of the store, relieved to be free at last.
Little Candace chased after him. "Kittycat, come back!" she called out. "Where are you going. Don't you want to play anymore? Did you want to be the mommy?"
From the amount of distance Kittycat put behind him, it was obvious he didn't. Hammie trotted across the wide atrium to the UP escalator and hopped on, trotting up the moving staircase and hopping off the minute it reached the Casino Level. The security guard was preoccupied with checking someone's ID, so Hammie slipped in unnoticed.
There were new sounds and smells coming from this part of the hotel, and more people, too. They gathered around big tables, some as happy as if they had a new catnip toy, others groaning in disappointment as if deprived of a treat. They stood in front of big, noisy machines, dropping in round things to make the wheels inside it spin around so fast, then drop in more when the wheels stopped. Occasionally, the machines coughed up a lot of the round things like hairballs, and the person in front of the machine would scoop them all up.
Hammie saw an empty stool in front of one of the big tables and leapt onto it. The people around it gasped and laughed in surprise to see a cat join them at the roulette table. One attractive lady petted him. "Well, hello, Kitty!" she crooned. "Where'd you come from?"
Hammie placed his front paws onto the table, peering into the roulette wheel. The players laughed. "Maybe he wants to make a bet!" joked an overweight man in a green sports shirt. He pushed a five-dollar chip towards Hammie. "Here ya go, buddy! What'll it be, huh?"
Hammie nosed the chip to see if it was food, nudging it to the numbered grid. It touched Three Red.
"Five dollar bet on Three Red, straight up!" the fat man crowed.
The croupier humored him. "No more bets, ladies and gentlemen," he called out, then spun the wheel and dropped the tiny white marble into its track. Hammie watched the spinning wheel and the ball going in opposite directions, fascinated. Then the ball dropped into the wheel, clattered over the pockets, and landed right into Three Red. The players laughed in amazement that a cat called the play. The croupier pushed $175 dollars in chips toward Hammie and the green shirted man.
"Hey, Lou!" said a bleached blond standing next to him. "See if he'll do it again!"
The other players cheered him on, encouraging him. "All right!" Lou eagerly agreed. "I'm game if you are!"
He set down a fifty-dollar chip in front of Hammie. "Okay, Lucky," he urged him. "Can you come up with another winner here, huh?"
Hammie nudged the chip around the table with his paw. It touched the border of Ten Black. Lou picked up the chip and set it down on the square. "Fifty bucks, Ten Black, straight up!" he said.
The croupier spun the wheel and dropped the ball again. Lou stroked Hammie for luck. There were murmurs about lightning never striking twice in the same place, that it couldn't happen again, but Hammie's winnning streak continued as the ball landed on Ten Black, winning him $350 in chips.
"My God!" exclaimed the bleached blond. "That's amazing! Do it again, Lou!"
"Hey, it ain't me!" Lou protested. "It's Lucky, here. He's the one with the magic nose! Right, Lucky?" He patted Hammie's side roughly but affectionatly. "Four hundred and seventy five bucks--that's gonna buy you a lot of catnip, you know that? Stick with me, and we're gonna be rich!"
"Uh, excuse me, sir," came an officious voice from behind him.
Lou turned around and saw a security guard standing there. "Yeah? What's the problem?" he asked casually.
"Pets aren't allowed in the casino, sir," the guard explained. "You'll have to hand over the cat."
"Hand over Lucky?" Lou was aghast. "But we got a good thing going on here! You know how much he won me here?"
"I'm sorry, sir," the guard persisted. "But the cat has to come with us."
During this arguement, Hammie had slipped from the stool and trotted off, having smelled out some seafood from the casino buffet. He watched as Food People relayed back and forth through big swinging doors, carrying big bowls full of delicious smelling food. Maybe the Food Person who came every morning with breakfast was in there! With feline stealth, Hammie slipped into the kitchen between swings of the doors and found himself in Paradise.
Hammie licked his chops hungrily as he smelled all the delicious foods being prepared in the kitchen. Shrimp, chicken, beef, fish--it was Kitty Heaven, even if it was hot and noisy in there. If only he could find his friend, the Food Person, then he could get something to eat. He stretched his sinewy neck and miaowed as loudly as he could for help. No one noticed. Hammie miaowed again. This time, he caught the attention of one of the chef's assistants, a sunny-faced woman with her frizzy red hair tucked in her paper chef's toque.
She squatted down and picked Hammie up from the floor. "What are you doing here, huh?" she asked Hammie. "You're not supposed to be in the kitchen!"
"GET THAT (BLEEPING) CAT OUT OF HERE!" the chef bellowed from behind the prep table. "HE'LL CONTAMINATE EVERYTHING!"
The shaken assistant opened the swinging doors and tossed Hammie out of the kitchen and back into the casino. Cast out of Heaven, Hammie stood close by the doors for his next opportunity to slip inside. He seemed to have miscalulated the width of the doors, because the minute one swung open it struck him squarely on his rump, sending him scurrying with an angry yowl. He bolted across the casino floor, tripping a server carrying a huge crystal bowl of shrimp cocktail. The crystal bowl crashed, and twenty-five dollars of fresh jumbo shrimp went flying in a wave of red cocktail sauce, splashing onto the carpet and some people's clothes. Hammie streaked through the casino in terror, out the door and down the escalator. Unfortunatly, it was the UP escalator; Hammie found himself running against the current. Exhausted, he stopped on a step and allowed himself to be scooped up by a security guard and taken back up to the Casino Level.
Suddenly he felt a giant hand scoop him up from the escalator and carry him off to who knew where. "Come on, Charlie," a gruff voice said to him. "You've caused enough trouble for one day."
The next thing Hammie knew, he was pacing around in a wire mesh cage in the hotel security office. He yowled to be let out, only to have a beefy fist hammer on top of the cage and an angry voice yelling at him, "Shut up, you!". He was hungry, thirsty, scared and angry over this latest indignation.
Criss had been summoned by the President of the Luxor, Felix Rappaport, to the security office. When he arrived, he could tell by the expression on Felix's face that he was none too pleased.
"Hey, Felix," Criss greeted him. "What's up? Anything wrong?"
"Your cat got loose in the hotel," Felix told him. "He's been creating havoc in the kitchen and the casino."
Criss listened incredulously as Felix replayed Hurricane Hammie's path of destruction in the casino, then stared at the list of charges Hammie had racked up during his escapades in the hotel:
One crystal serving bowl.........$125.00"What the hell...?" he murmured disbelivingly. "Oh, God, Felix! I am really sorry about all this! I swear to God it'll never happen again. You can forward this to the production office and they'll take care of it. I'll pay for everything, I swear!"
One half-gallon shrimp cocktail sauce....$15.00
Jumbo shrimp.........................................$25 .00
Carpet cleaning......................................$50. 00
Customer dry cleaning bill..................... $40.00
Total.................................................. .. $255.00
Felix smiled a little. "Actually, you won't have to," he said. "I got word from one of the croupiers in the casino that Hammie won four hundred and twenty five dollars playing roulette."
Criss' jaw dropped three inches. "He WHAT?"
"Yeah, it's true," Felix said. "We got it all on camera. He was at the roulette table with some guy and 'placed' a couple of straight-up bets and won both times."
"You mean to tell me that Hammie's been gambling--and winning!--while I can't even deal a single card in the casino?" Criss exclaimed. "Who is this guy, anyway? I wanna talk to him!"
"He's in the office trying to get Hammie back right now," Felix told him, jerking his thumb back to the office. "Says he's lucky."
Criss followed Felix into the security office, where he saw an overweight man in a green sports shirt named Lou pleading with a security guard.
"C'mon, you gotta let me take him, okay?" Lou begged the guard. "That cat's scored twice at the wheel. He's like a lucky charm for me. I got a good thing going with him, you know?"
"Sorry," said the guard unsympathetically. "If you aren't the legal owner, you can't claim him."
Felix stepped between them. "It's okay, Phil," he said. "Criss is here for him."
"Criss? Criss Angel?" Lou whirled around. "Hey! It's you! Tha-tha-that magician! Criss Angel! Whoa, my God! Never expected to see you here!"
"Yeah, I heard you found my cat," Criss said casually.
Lou was dumbfounded. "Your cat? That's your cat?"
"Yeah," Criss replied. "His name's Hammie. He got out somehow and--"
Lou wiped his brow, shaking his head. "Well, that explains a lot! No wonder he picked those winning numbers! He's as psychic as you, you know? All them card tricks you do, you know? Must've rubbed off on him, you know?"
Criss nodded, not sure of what to make of this poor sap. A guard appeared, carrying Hammie in the wire cage.
"Here's your cat," he growled, slamming both cage and cat onto the desk. "Keep him tied up next time, willya?" Then he strode away, cursing under his breath. Lou, however, was all too happy to see his feline lucky charm again.
"Hey, Lucky!" he cheered. "How ya doin, huh? It's okay, boy, we're gonna spring you out of there."
Criss fumbled with the latch on the cage and lifted the mesh top. Lou scooped Hammie out of the cage and petted him.
"Aw, there's a good boy," Lou crooned. "Yeah." He lifted the cat from under his forepaws so they were face to face. "How about it, Lucky? You gonna pick me some winning numbers? Huh?"
Criss took his cat away from Lou. "First of all, his name's Hammie," he told the protesting gambler. "And second of all, he's not a good luck charm. He just cost me over two hundred dollars in damages, as a matter of fact. I don't know how he got into the casino, but he's going right back up to my suite."
"Aw, come on, Criss!" Lou pleaded. "Your kitty's gotta help me win the Daily Double! I'm talking six figures here! Just let me borrow him for a while, okay?"
Criss thought about it. "Tell you what--I'll let you pet him for luck, but then I gotta take him back up, okay?" he offered.
Lou saw no choice but to agree to Criss' terms. "Fine," he grumbled.
Criss held out Hammie for Lou to pet. Lou stroked Hammie several times from neck to tail. "Bring me some luck, okay, kitty?" he said. "You're still Lucky to me."
Criss withdrew Hammie from Lou. "Nice meeting you," he said, holding out his hand to shake. But Lou held up his hands as if he feared cross-contamination.
"Oh, no," he said. "I don't wanna rub off any good luck here. I'll just be on my way. I gotta place my bet on the Daily Double."
So saying, Lou left the office, holding his hands up like a surgeon prepped for operating. Felix couldn't help but laugh. Criss merely shook his head sadly. "That guy," he said, "is pathetic."
"Well, that's why we post the one-eight-hundred number for Gambler's Anonymous in our brochures," Felix said jovially. "And as for you," he said, turning a steely gaze onto Hammie, "you stay out of trouble, you got it? If I hear of you causing any more accidents, I'm gonna have Criss ship you back home to New York! Understand?"
Hammie looked bemusedly at Felix, sniffing at his admonishing finger. Criss again looked apologetic at the hotel president. "Again, I'm really sorry all this happened," he repeated. "I have no idea how Hammie got out of the suite. It won't happen again, I promise."
"I hope not," Felix told him. "We've given you a lot of privileges here, Criss. If this happens again, we're going to have to ask you to send Hammie away. I can't have him wreaking havoc here in the hotel. I got the welfare of the other guests to consider."
"I fully understand, Felix," Criss agreed. "And I promise you all the damages will be paid for, either by me or with Hammie's roulette winnings."
"Thank you, Criss." And with that, Felix left the security office. Criss lifted Hammie so that they were facing each other.
"You got me into a lot of trouble, you know that?" Criss scolded. "You really got me into a (bleep)load of trouble! How'd you get out, anyway? Hmmmm? How did you get out? And what's the big idea about you going into the casino and playing roulette? They won't even let me in there, and there you were placing bets? What am I going to do with you, huh?"
Hammie stared back with typical feline indifference. "C'mon," Criss mumbled irritably, "you're going back to the suite."
The guards were still laughing in his wake as a fuming Criss carried Hammie back to the suite. I've never been so embarrassed in my life! Criss said to himself. How did Hammie get out anyway? The only time I opened the door was to leave for the production meeting this morning. Hammie was still in there when I left; I know he was.
A thought struck him. Maybe it was the housekeeper who came in this morning, he thought. He must have slipped out when she was either coming or going. Yeah, could happen. I'm sure she didn't mean to let him out, but still...
He made a mental note to have a talk with the housekeeper tomorrow morning about it. It could have been an accident, or negligence, but he had promised Felix that Hammie would remain in the suite at all times unless Criss was with him.
Squeals and cheers greeted him around the corner on his way to the elevators. A group of Loyals had spotted him. Criss pushed aside his irritation at Hammie and went over to greet them, still carrying Hammie.
"Criss!" they called out. "Hi, Hammie!" they gushed. "You're so cuuuuute!"
They petted and stroked him, squealing in babytalk. "So, what's Hammie doing here with you?" one Loyal asked.
"Well, Hammie's been a very naughty boy today," Criss replied.
The group of Loyals groaned sympathetically. "Poor Hammie!"
"Oh, don't go 'poor Hammie' on me!" Criss told them. "He got out of the suite somehow and ran around the casino, tripping everyone and getting shrimp cocktail all over people. Didn't you, Hammie?"
Hammie looked at Criss as if to say "Hey, I'm just a victim of circumstance!"
"Oh, I'm sure he didn't mean it," another Loyal spoke up in Hammie's defense.
"Well, anyway, he made a big mess down there and I have to take him back to the suite," Criss explained. "I'll catch you all later."
One Loyal held up a camera. "Can we at least get a picture?" she asked.
Criss obliged, holding up Hammie for the camera. A quick flash, then both Criss and cat took their leave. The Loyals waved good-bye.
"'Bye, Hammie!" they said. "Be good now!"
"Yeah, Hammie," Criss said, continuing on his way. "Be good now, or you're gonna get sent back to New York."
Criss and Hammie rode up the inclining elevator to the top suite. Criss unlocked the door with the keycard and walked into the living room, carrying Hammie to his little Kitty-Condo. He set the cat down onto the top platform and stared at him sternly.
"There," he said. "Now you stay put here, okay? I don't want anyone catching you running around the hotel and causing trouble, you got that? Now I gotta go and settle damages with Felix, so you stay put. Got it?"
Hammie sniffed the carpeted platform, oblivious to Criss' admonitions. He was back in familiar surroundings, and that was all that mattered. Criss prepared a dish of cat food and refilled the water dispenser, then left to take care of the damages, leaving Hammie to think about all the bad things he had done.
Hammie, however, had promptly dismissed it all from his mind. He curled his legs underneath the Kitty-Condo platform, closed his eyes and dozed. The sun had disappeard from his morning spot by the window, but it didn't seem to matter. For the first time since early this morning, he was able to relax. All the terrors and indignities of the day were behind him now. Still, what a day! Geez!
Last edited by Veritas; 06-14-2012 at 06:36 PM.