Making The Band
“Listen close my dear. I play the the guitar and I have been known to scratch a record, or two. I have a friend named Rembrandt the mouse, but he is not the kind to scurry behind a wall, or live in a couch. He is the funkiest mouse on any side of town. He has got so much soul in his sound he’d make a deaf person come around!” Henry exclaimed. “Rembrandt plays that piano like the keys are cheese, but nah he isn’t done! He plays the violin at the same time with a keen sense of timing that is indescribable my fair feline! I’m extending my hand! You can join our merry band and be the finest flute playing cat on any side of town.” Henry said warmly.
For the first time Francine knows in the most precious meows of her heart that this moment is what she was made for. In this moment she knows that this tiny flea was actually one hundred feet tall. She also finds that Rembrandt is not a meal. He is just a really small cat that is a really big deal. “Signed and sealed. We’ll be the finest of friends. You sir have a deal. Now let’s meow this town to the ground!” Francine exclaimed.
Francine’s gaunt frame was enthusiastic and fantastic. In this moment Henry realizes that Francine is being genuine. “One more thing. I and Rembrandt have been together all our lives. I love him he is my brother from another mother. We are tight like Jimi Hendrix’s guitar strings. You are family, because I say so. Rembrandt will always be open arms. You have to promise never to hurt, or eat him. I promise that even if I am going to starve to death I will never bite you again. So what do you say? Still friends?” Henry asked. Francine smiled a warm feline smile with a meow that was, warm, affectionate and kind.
“We were always friends even before we met and we always will be. I promise.” Francine said. After that Henry and Francine became inseparable. He practiced playing her imaginary flute everywhere they went. Henry hitched a ride on Francine, but he never broke his promise. He showed her around all the neighborhoods on every side of town. “You really need to stop smoking I can smell you breathe and it is a ghoulish fright. I thought my fish breath was bad, but yours is out of sight!” Francine exclaimed. Henry laughed a heartily even though Francine was trying to be mean.
Henry showed Francine the choicest places to sleep. He led her to shop owners that fed her fresh tuna and Salmon on the bone. After a time Henry decided that Francine could be trusted. Henry led her to one of the various shop owners that has been feeding her. Henry knows that every so often the shop owner would go to New York. So Henry coaches Francine into hiding in the shop until the right moment. One morning the shop owner came to work with a single suitcase.
“Okay feline it’s time. That is the suitcase he uses when he travels to Rembrandt’s town. One more question…do you think my breath still stinks.” Henry said. Francine meows irritable and it borders being feral. Henry laughs until his side hurts, but he quickly settles down. Francine nods and waits for what Henry will say next. “Alright when he goes to turn out all the lights we will go outside and make a leap into what will be our ride.” Henry said.
The shop owner fidgeted around and then he began to walk around and shut off the lights. Francine hurried through the slightly opened front door. Henry led her to the sop owner’s car. The passenger side window was down. “The window is down so make that jump.” Henry said and Francine jumps into the car window and gets on the floor board of the back seat out of sight. The shop owner drove for hours and hours nonstop.
Henry found this odd, but he never minded it. Francine slept most of the way. After what seems like an entire day the shop owner reached the big apple. The shop owner pulled up at his destination. The shop owner turned off the car and began to open the door. Francine shot out of the floor board of the back seat like lighting with an anxious meow. “We’re in Manhattan on 34th and 8th Ave. We’re not far from Rembrandt.” Henry said. Francine looked around while she weaved her way through the busy pace of the sidewalk. “Not a lot of cats around.” Francine said.
“Be sure to pay attention this place is nothing like our home town. Anything is subject to go down.” Henry said. Henry rummaged through the garbage and found an old wooden flute. Francine was disgusted with it, but the longer she look at it the more she becomes amazed. Every day she carried that wood flute in her mouth. At night she gets on Henry’s nerves as she tries to play. She tries very hard. Day after day she cries, because it was a song in her feline sad soul. One she has to get out. Night after night it was the same.
It has gotten so bad that they often get chased away from Henry’s regular spots. Henry is angry, but he also sees how much she wants and need this. So he keeps quiet. Henry guides Francine to a Brownstone and they searched around the trash cans. They went up and down the block carefully searching every familiar spot. “Okay he’s not around. He’s probably in the Subway station where you catch the “A” train. Who knows Rembrandt could be anywhere in this big ole town!” Henry exclaimed. They went to the subway as Henry directed.
It was getting late in the evening, but Henry never stop giving directions. “Maybe he is on Fulton street…He could be up in Harlem on 135th by the Schomburg…He could be around the spot I saw him at Madison square garden…” Henry said inconclusively.
Rembrandt the mouse seemingly came out of nowhere and steps into their incoming path. Rembrandt is a black mouse with large white spots. He’s wearing a black Irish tweed cap, a white button down dress shirt and a black tie. He has a tiny fold up baby Grand Piano and violin fashioned into a book bag he’s wearing on his back. “There he is…the Flea of Flea’s…Mr. Stink Breath Henry. Some of the guys said they spotted you here and there. I’ve been chasing you all around town. You never can stay in one place…Always somewhere hopping around! Who is the feline you have brought around my favorite shorter than short round?” Rembrandt asked.