Chapter 6 In Which Piglet Discovers He's Been Neutered

 

One day, when Piglet and Schnecka were reading the afternoon newspaper through the bay windows, Piglet mentioned his secret desire to become a father.

 

"Let's face it, Schnecka.  I'm not getting any younger, and my hopes of having a brood with Hello have been seriously dashed by her dumping me... again.  I need to find another lady cat to have my kittens.  Perhaps that foxy cat Emma you're always battling through the window," he mused.

 

Schnecka bristled.  "Don't say that name around me," she spat.

 

Piglet ignored her outburst.  He knew that Schnecka had no sense of humor when it came to the neighbor cat who cruelly taunted her through the window.  He continued spinning his tale of fatherly contentment, going on at length about how he would teach his kittens this and that-- the joy of fresh cat litter under the paw, the skullduggery of snatching bits of food from distracted humans, the artful placement of hairballs upon the stairs, the delicate taste of the humans' favorite houseplant, how to pop wheelies on a Harley.  His eyes grew soft and moist as he envisioned his litter following him about the house, lapping up his teachings like warm milk.  "I'll teach 'em all my tricks, Schneck!" he exclaimed. 

 

Schnecka, still sore about his lascivious comment about her nemesis Emma, rudely interrupted his paternal fantasy with a revelation of her own.  "Why, you can't father a litter, Piglet; you've been fixed."

 

"Fixed?!  Whadaya mean?  Nothing here needs fixin'!" He crowed and puffed out his chest arrogantly.

 

"No, silly, I mean you've been neutered.  Your little swimmers will never know the great race," she said coyly, reverting to metaphor.

 

Piglet slumped over, his head between his paws.  "Wow, what a blow.  I had no idea."  He then suspended his despair for just long enough to grin like a fool and elbow Schnecka in the vicinity of her ribs.  "I mean, the equipment still works, if you know what I mean..." he said suggestively. 

 

"Yes, yes, I know what you mean, Piglet."  Schnecka was now thoroughly grumpy and licked at her back agitatedly.  Bad enough that the afternoon newspaper was dull-- just a few crows fighting over trash and some inscrutable human activity in the lot next door, but now she had to suffer the indignity of a conversation with Piglet about his "lipstick."  She could scarcely believe her rotten luck.  All she needed now was for that hussy Emma to come parading around the fence, flaunting her outdoor-catness to really ruin her day.  What she wouldn't give to curl up in front of the fireplace with her well-pawed Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds.  Yet, she must again set aside her own desires and tend to Piglet.  He could be a bit of a fool at times, but Schnecka could tell he was genuinely aggrieved at his infertile status. 

 

She started licking Piglet about the head and talking to him in a low, soothing tone.  "Piglet, there are simply too many cats in the world already.  Even our monthly contribution to Sally Struthers can hardly make an impact on feeding all the strays.  Perhaps it's better this way."  Schnecka paused to listen to the rumble beginning in Piglet's chest and pondered Piglet's innate need to mother-- first Oswald the biker and the rest of the Hell's Angels, then Wasabi, his pet teacup Chihuahua whom he absolutely doted on-- why, even Hello got her share of mothering from Piglet.  Suddenly, she had a brilliant idea.  She stopped licking and sat up straight.  "Listen, I've a great idea.  Why don't you volunteer to help with strays?"

 

"Volunteer?" Piglet said with a heavy mark of skepticism.  He absently licked Schnecka's cheek while mulling it over. 

 

Schnecka then thought to appeal to his vanity.  "Yes," she said, turning so he could groom the back of her head.  "I think you would be a wonderful mentor.  I bet the street toms would really look up to you, what with all your worldly experience."

 

Piglet gripped her head in his paws and began to groom more enthusiastically.  "You've got a good point there, Schnecka.  I've racked up a considerable lot of experience in my short life, and I aim to share it with misguided feline youth."  His mind made up, he abandoned Schnecka to the window and raced over to his laptop to start making inquiries.

 

 

* * *

 

"Brea-kin' rocks in the hot sun, I fought the law, but the law won," sang Piglet as he adjusted the new sign in the window.  He went out the door and trotted across the street, then stood admiring his handiwork.  "Piglet's Home for Wayward Toms" read the sign.  Satisfied, he nodded, then returned to his work getting the abandoned storefront ready for his toms.  Already he'd laid out several litter pans (it was a good thing Schnecka wasn't around to see the mess toms made of the alleys, he thought with a shiver) and hired a boy to open canned food.  But there was still lots to do-- fluffing cat beds, lining up scratching posts, arranging chairs in a semi-circle to facilitate open discussions.  He'd better get moving if he wanted to accomplish all of it and still have time for an afternoon nap. 

 

 

* * *

 

Two weeks later, his Home was full of toms who'd lost their way, as well as a few who'd been dragged in by the scruff of their necks.  Piglet's inspiring tales of travel overseas captivated even the most jaded, at least after he'd initially won their respect with some truly spectacular moves he'd passed off as a martial art learned during his time in Japan (but which were really gleaned from Hong Kong action movies he'd seen).  Even the new toms that occasionally drifted in had acquiesced to his house rules after he'd flung them a few chops.  Yes, his philosophy of three squares and a healthy dose of Tough LoveTM had set many a tom straight. 

 

 

 

Stay Tuned for Chapter 7, In Which Piglet Meets Bacon and Pork Chop