By the time I woke up the next day there was noise coming from the kitchen and more interesting smells. I detoured to the dirt box then went to see about breakfast.
The door had no give when I nudged it which was doubly frustrating because the smells coming under it were like nothing I was familiar with. But I was really willing to try.
I mewed a few times but that didn't see to get any attention so I started scratching at the door. In short order I was told to "stop that goddam noise" but I wasn't looking for advice so much as breakfast. So I kept scratching until I heard footsteps. The door opened and we had another staring contest.
"Pipe down and I'll get your goddam breakfast when I'm good and goddam ready and not one minute before," he said in a rather unbecoming tone. "And don't even think you're coming into the house."
May God strike me dead if I'm lying but until he mentioned crossing into the house I was fixated on what was cooking. Then it hit me. Food came from inside the house. Door into house is wide open. Motive, meet opportunity.
Before god could get dam'd one more time I shot between his feet and skidded across the kitchen floor. Inside that room I smelled food smells more magnificent than any cat in recorded history. I would have gotten dizzy with excitement had I not heard Finn bellow and coming stomping after me. I exited further into the house ignoring some rather aggressive suggestions.
"Come back here you little bastard!"
Finn was at a clear disadvantage. First, I was scared out of my mind, which meant I ran faster than I normally would have. Second, there was the whole food thing. Third, I was up to the tip of my tail being told by swagger sailor what I could and couldn't do.
I kept scooting and he kept yelling and suddenly it occurred to me he was no longer behind me. He didn't know exactly where I was and took off where he assumed I was. None too bright, this ol' son of the sea.
With much care I verrrrrry quietly made my way back to the kitchen. I went under the table and hopped up on to the chair pushed under it. I could see the whole room and he'd never know I was here.
I cocked an ear and, sure, enough, he was still at the other end of the house -- breakfast! I inhaled as deeply as I could and smelled something new and probably wonderful. There was only one chair pushed out so went to the floor to that chair to the table and there it was.
It was white and round and had a big yellow thing in the middle. I jumped on the plate and licked the yellow thing and suddenly it was everywhere -- on my chin, my front paws -- it was a gooey mess that tasted like I had been kissed by the angels. I swooned.
And that was a tactical error because before I could slurp up some more angel kiss a large angry man grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and suddenly I was looking at some really pissed off eyes. It seems I misplayed his sense of generosity.
"My goddam doctor gets on my ass about my goddam cholesterol and I finally decided I'll goddam eat fried eggs if I want to and because of you I can't even do that!"
I didn't understand most of that but I guess eating off his plate wasn't the nicest thing I had ever done. The fact that he was yelling into my face as I hung in midair had pretty well eliminated my appetite but I didn't think that was going to matter. Where was that bucket?
I did the only thing I could think of. I apologized, which sound a lot like the mew of a frightened kitten. He just stared at me for the longest time. After what seemed like days I felt a glob of goop drip off my chin. And for the first time I heard Finn's laugh, which could be louder than his angry. He set me down on his plate.
"You've got moxie ya little bastard. May as well enjoy you last meal in this kitchen."
Now that should have disturbed me but I was lapping up that yellow stuff so happily that I wasn't listening. And neither of us knew at the time how wrong he was.