Chapter 7: 7 Days before Christmas
“It’s time to put up our Christmas tree. I am going out to buy a Christmas tree for us to decorate,” announced Mom.
We loved helping Mom hang up decorations on the tree.
She was soon back with a large tree that was carried by the corner shop owner, Mr. Rajput, who sported a large turban on his head.
Mom pulled out the box of Christmas decorations that she carefully safeguarded each January when the tree was taken down.
“Go call Monk to spend the evening with us,” I whispered to Fromage.
“Decorating the Christmas tree is such fun. It will take his mind off missing his family.”
So off ran Fromage and returned soon with Monk.
Mom noticed that Monk was amongst us. She remembered that Hobbs was not around and she opened an extra tin of food for Monk.
Monk polished off the food. One moment the food was there, and the next it had disappeared into Monk’s belly.
Never before had he eaten at our place as he had so many treats at his home. I sometimes wondered how he could eat all the treats that he received.
He loved his food, did our pal Monk. Hobbs and Solo tended to spoil him rotten.
Soft music floated across our cottage. We had a great deal of fun helping Mom decorate the tree.
More often than not, Fromage messed up the decorations while he played with the glass balls and got himself entangled with the brightly colored streamers.
Despite the minor mishap of Fromage breaking several glass balls and being banished to a corner over and over again, we had fun.
We decorated the tree, put up streamers, and hung bunches of mistletoe tied up in red ribbon all over the living room.
Afterwards, Mom sat down and admired our work.
Mom gave a sigh of pleasure and went off to take her bath.
The fire was crackling in the fireplace, shedding a warm glow in our comfortable sitting room.
Monk was sitting beside me watching the fire crackle, with a mournful expression on his face.
“What’s wrong Monk? Are you upset about something? You’re not mad that I went to see Boss by myself, are you?”
Monk’s somber face turned towards me and broke into a chuckle.
“Inca, that adventure was one of the brightest moments in my life. You have turned out to be a great detective. No, Inca, even though I am worried about Terrance and my guys, it’s Lance that is bugging me. He has become a nuisance.”
“What is going on with him?” I asked.
Monk had not mentioned Lance’s name since the day we first met him.
“Lance wants to enter me in a show,” replied Monk with a look of dismay.
“A show?” I meowed in surprise.
Several of my old friends in Paris had won medals at shows. But somehow, I couldn’t imagine Monk enjoying being on display.
“Have you ever been in one before, Monk? I know that there is quite a lot of work that goes into getting ready for a show.”
“It’s Lance’s idea. He is keen on collecting the prize money,” replied Monk, with a glum look on his face.
“I have a good mind to run away from home. What is horrible is that he has put me on a
“Can you imagine that? Me, on a DIET!
“Horror of horrors!” shuddered Monk, “on top of that, he brushes me every day for nearly an hour.”
I dared not tell Monk that I enjoyed being brushed and that Mom dropped me off regularly at the animal spa to have a full grooming session.
“When is this show going to take place?” I meowed to quickly change the subject and avoid talking about spas.
“Tomorrow,” he replied. “I have never been so insulted in my life. Who does he take me for?”
I now understood why Lance had been so keen to examine Cara and me, while he ignored Fromage.
He had wanted to enter three cats (Monk, Cara and me) in the show instead of one.
Of course, he had not been interested in Fromage as Fromage’s pedigree is questionable.
But we think that Fromage’s personality makes him more delightful than any pedigree in the world.
Lance may have finally abandoned his idea of entering Cara and me to the show knowing how carefully we were watched over by Mom. She could pop in at home any time of the day, unannounced.
“Chin up Monk. It will soon be over.” I responded.