A Stupid Thing Called Love… (Tugger and Demeter)

By Tuggerine

Life on the junkyard was as usual on that day. But everyone was rather busy preparing a little party. For it was Munkustrap’s anniversary today and everyone wanted to make this party wonderful for their leader, especially Victoria who had developed a weakness for him lately, but didn’t want to admit to it, though it was rather obvious to everyone else.

“Look at Vic’” Bomba said to Demeter and Tantomile, smirking, “she’s constantly staring at Munkustrap , he must be blind if he doesn’t notice that.” Bombalurina laughed and brushed herself over her headfur. Poor darling, she thought, if only she’d owe up to her feelings, she may even be lucky with Munkustrap.  

“Clank-crash-clatter* Something rolled down the top of a rubbish-heap, bursting with a loud smashing sound on the ground. Everone stopped what they were doing being startled. They turned towards the noise, attentively , with pricked up ears, eager to find the cause of that splintered glass and recognized ….Pouncival sitting on the top, hiding behind an old piece of a wooden chair. When he realized he was found out, he made big eyes looking at everyone most innocently, shrugging his shoulders and grinning. As the glances wouldn’t turn away from him, he called out: “What!?” and threw up his paws insides upwards into the air. At that point most of them just laughed and carried on with whatever they were doing. They didn’t take Pounz too serious, everyone being used to his crazy wild stunts once in a while, especially when Tumblebrutus felt in the same mood, then no-one was save ot their little tricks and pesterings. 

Bomba just brushed through Demeters headfur with her claws to get the knots out, to have her nice and pretty for the party. It was already getting dark and everyone started to get excited. Misto showed up in a puff of lilac smoke and spread a few tinkles of Magic Dust to conjure up lovely starlike lights around the junkyard set up in the air only held by his magic. It looked marvellous! All the lights having different colours.

Alonzo stood there next to Plato staring up in awe at Misto’s twinkling lights. Old Deuteronomy had woken up not long ago and scratched his beard as he slowly walked over to a special seat made for him and his old brittle bones.  

Electra, Sillabub and Etcetera stood together giggling. It was only their second big party like that, they were allowed to take part in. They were chatting and gossiping about who was the most gorgeous Tom on the yard.

“Most definitely it is Misto!” Silla said with a sighing voice, “he is most certainly the loveliest of all!” Silla closed her eyes with a dreamy _expression on her face.

“Pardon me for interrupting your daydreams, “ said Electra loudly, “look at Alonzo! I say that’s a real hot Tom.”

“What’re you on about,” muttered Etcetera…”it’s most definitely the Tugger!! Don’t you remember him? He’s a reaaal hunk!”

“I know, he’s my hero too, but he’s not been on the yard for yonks, so he doesn’t count..” Electra explained with a shrill voice.

Etcetera looked at her with eyes widened and a pouty mouth: “Ok, then… well, you can forget about Alonzo, he’s only got eyes for Demeter, but check out Mungojerrie, he’s a gorgeous Darling!”  

Talking about Mungojerrie, he just entered the yard followed by Rumpleteazer, both carrying nearly bursting bags stuffed with goodies for the party. Most certainly that was their loot of the day. Mungo noticed Etcetera glancing over to him and winked at her. “Oiiii! Ce’y! owroight?” Etcetera’s eyes rolled up until only the white of her eyes could be seen. She put one paw to her forehead and pretended to faint any moment. Pounce and Tumble watched the three of them, shaking their heads. What was wrong with them? Why did these young queens always want to go and drool over grown-up Toms? Why wouldn’t they take Pounz and Tumble serious? Getting so infatuated with the big Toms. Being upset , Pounce chased after his tail for a couple of rounds and Tumble did a few roll-overs in answer to that.  

Finally it was time now for Old Deuteronomy to say a few words about Munkustrap, holding up a small tin with red liquid in it, talking about stuff like strength and courage, that Munkus had shown as their leader. Many of the jellicles sighed, cause Old Deut could really draw it out. Strangely enough Old Deut thought, it was time for Munkus to settle down with a nice queen, like a true leader , he should always have a strong lady by his side. Munkustrap frown at that, while Victoria couldn’t help blushing quietly and unseen except by Bomba, the ever-curious red Queen. She nudged Tanto and Demeter pointing at Vici. “Bless her.” said Demeter compassionately, who could imagine how Vici felt, as she herself had also been longing for a permanent relationship with a Tom, but so far had not been able to imagine herself with any Toms from the yard. Bomba always told her she was much too fussy and that the chaps around here were much better than many a Tom in the city. To which Demeter just shrugged her shoulders stubbornly. She just couldn’t feel anything for any of them. 

Meanwhile the speech of Old Deuteronomy was finished and everyone bellowed their “Bravo” and clapped their paws, and lots of tins were clonking, then the music started like out of the blue, when Misto snapped his paw-toes, for everyone to really enjoy themselves. Rumple started to sing along loudly with her strong cockney accent, spoiling that lovely song, or that’s what Cassandra thought lounging on the old car boot looking graceful. Alonzo walked over to Demeter now, having made up his mind to take his chances telling Demeter about his feelings for her tonight. “Watch out, there he comes” Bomba whispered with a giggle to her friend.

“Oh no! not again..!” Demeter muttered. “But why? He’s such a nice Tom I wouldn’t mind having a bit of him too.” Bomba said flashing her eyes and putting on a seductive tone. “Well, you can have him.” Demeter said desperate. “Oh, Demi, don’t be so mean.” “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it that way, I like him, he really is nice and handsome and I know he likes me, but.. I don’t love him! I don’t want a mate I don’t love” Demeter said sighing. “Your such a romantic, Demi, “Bomba shrugged her shoulders, “You’re always waiting for true love and your Tom-knight in shining armour.” “But what’s wrong with hoping for that? “ Demi replied with a hint of annoyance in her voice. “Well, nothing really, but the truth is, that kinda thing is hard to find….if ever.” Bomba looked at Demi pulling up one corner of her mouth intending to say something like ‘that’s-how-it-is-and-you-can’t-do-anything-about-it’.  

Alonzo came up to Demeter with a smile on his face. He was a truly lovely guy, best manners and all, who wouldn’t want Alonzo? Some of the queens would gladly have him, but up to now he only had eyes for Demeter. “Hi Demi, haven’t seen you all day! Your not hiding from me on purpose?” he jokinly said not realizing how close to the truth this was. “So, care for a dance with me?” he stretched out his paw to her expectantly. Demi threw a glance at Bomba, who nodded wildly, so she took Alonzo’s paw and let him twirl her around in circles to the lively rhythm of the music. “You know, you really look rather beautiful..” Alonzo carefully started his appeal to Demi. It was time to tell her how he felt about her and ask her what she would think about sharing his den in future. Demeter started to look rather desperate. She sensed what Alonzo was about to tell her and she was scared to hear about it and wouldn’t know what to answer. She really liked Alonzo, and maybe Bomba was right, and she just was too fussy with her dream of perfect love. Alonzo was tall, strong and handsome and incredibly friendly and helpful, a perfect mate indeed. Maybe she should really give in to him. “you know I have been thinking that it’s really time for me to settle down, you know… with a lovely queen…” he started a little apprehensive and Demi pressed her lips together tight at what would follow next. You should say YES, her brain was telling her, what was she waiting for anyway? Her belief, just a fairy-tale? Probably. Maybe she was really behaving too old-fashioned about this particular subject. Demi sighed and Alonzo twirled her around one more time and drew her very close to his chest, wanting to tell her what he needed to say looking directly into her beautiful eyes.  

“I was wondering Demeter, if you…..” A rather loud crashing sound and tumbling tins broke the harmony of the music and everyone stopped dancing and talking looking into the direction that noise had come from, expecting Macavity or even worse, if that was possible. Many pairs of tense eyes concentrated on the heap of rubbish ahead of them holding their breaths. This time it was not Pounz or Tumble as they just clung tightly to Jellylorums legs, not letting go, and shaking with fear of what would appear any moment there in the dark . Suddenly a big black shadow appeared in the pale moon-light. Munkustrap narrowed his eyes. A tall and fluffy being. That was never Macavity, he thought. Everyone still standing there motionless with gaping mouths, when finally Munkustrap recognized the familiar frame of that Tom ahead.  

He relieved his tension by laughing out loud. “It’s Tugger!” Everyone started breathing again and murmuring could be heard again, the music started up again and Munkustrap called out to Tugger: “What a time to make an entry here, Tugger, if that’s not typically you!” Munkus laughed again and Tugger stopped for a moment up there on that heap to overlook the little party. He must have really looked like a knight in shinging armour the way he suddenly appeared there in the moonlight.

“Tugger?” whispered Demeter to Bomba who had come right up to her at the moment, the crashing sound was heard. Alonzo had let his paws drop of Demeter in surprise of what was happening. “I haven’t seen him for such a long time.” Demeter whispered again and suddenly felt rather excited. She remembered that she always had a little crush on Tugger like most of the queens, when he still lived here before. But no-one really took it to serious, not even herself, because Tugger could not be taken serious in these matters. When he left she had slowly forgotten about him, not thinking he would ever return, cause he had told everyone he needed to leave to see the world.  

Tugger now made his way down the heap of rubbish, casually swaying his hips and shifting up his mane before greeting everyone. Munkustrap padded him on the back.

“Gosh! Long time no see! Where the hell have you been all that time?” Tugger smiled a charming smile and said: “here and there and everywhere, that’s a long story , Munkus.”

Then he made the round to say ‘hello’ to all the Jellicles. When he finally came to Bomba, Tanto and Demeter, Tugger grinned at Bomba suggestively lifting up an eyebrow eyeing her up and down. “Still as hot as ever.” Tugger grinned at her, remembering certain nights he had spent with her. Bomba beamed back at him and let him envelope her with his strong arms. He pressed a kiss of welcome onto her cheek and just for a moment Bomba had her arms around his neck. Gorgeous queen! Tugger thought to himself and let her go to turn to Demeter. He widened his eyes looking at her, gosh! She has really become shapely, Tugger thought to himself, a real beauty too, and rather dishy. He looked directly into her eyes and leaned over to breathe a little smack onto her cheek too. That’s when it happened. Demi could feel it creeping up from her tummy to her heart like a spider following its prey. That warmth, that fluttering in her stomach, that feeling of love taking over her little heart suddenly and totally. He was so gorgeous. She couldn’t remember him being that gorgeous or had she just forgotten about it? When Tugger walked over to say ‘hello’ to the three giggling young queens, that right away fussed over him, grabbing his mane and tickling him, Demeter followed that szene closely. Bomba noticed and tilted her head to look at Demeter’s face sideways. A cheeky look.  

With a sudden movement Demeter whipped her head round to Bomba. “Whats the matter?” Bomba couldn’t hide her smirk. “Demi, don’t tell me you fancy HIM?” “What do you mean? I only just met him again, after a long time of absence. But I admit he’s gorgeous.” “Oh yes that he is,” agreed Bomba nodding, “and that’s our downfall. Every queen falls for him. He is charming, and sweet and romantic and of course rather good-looking but he knows it, too. Don’t take his attention too serious. He’s always been into getting all the queens he wants. He’s obviously not capable of a permanent relationship. So he can’t possibly be your Tom-knight in shining armour.”

Demeter could say nothing to that, but turned her head to watch Tugger still fooling around with the 3 young queens. Well, maybe Bomba was right. But her heart burned at the sight of Tugger. The party went on and slowly but surely some of the jellicles got rather jolly. Electra just kinda turned grown up really threw herself at Tugger and Demeter could not pay attention at all to Alonzo, who had not gotten the chance yet again, to tell and ask her what he had intended, because Bomba hung around now with him and Dem’. She did it for Demeter cause she knew how she felt, and that for the moment she was caught up terribly with meeting Tugger again.  

Alonzo was not blind and noticed those many glances she shot into the direction of whereever Tugger was, so that towards the end of the party he stood up, saying his good-nights and walked off, looking rather sad. Even Demeter felt so sorry. Mungojerry and Rumpleteazer sat together with Tugger and chatted and laughed a lot. And Demeter couldn’t take her eyes of that szene.  

“Demi, please, stop that now. What use is that? Ogling at him all the time. Come and dance with me.” Bomba said and stood up pulling Demeter with her. “Well, guess your right, Bomba, I need a bit of distraction.” She tried to smile and danced happily with Bomba, starting to have a bit of fun. Course she tried to push Bomba a little into the direction where Tugger was sitting. Curiously Demi watched, while dancing and laughing, how Tantomile sat beside him, and Tugger putting his arm around her right away drawing her close. Oh , why couldn’t it be herself? Bomba twirled her around, so she wouldn’t be facing that situation so much. If she carried on like that , she would most certainly spoil the fun for her. A few minutes later though Bomba felt a tap on her shoulder and turned round. “Well my pretties, may I have a dance with one of you?” Tugger grinned his most charming smile and Demi thought she would faint any minute. Bomba laughed and gave Tugger a little push, so he would bounce on Demeter. “Alright then, Sweety, lets do some hip-swaying.” Tugger said to Demeter, who blushed slightly when he drew her close into his arms. * swoon * Demeter thought she was floating on cloud 9, feeling Tugger so close and his paws round her waist, feeling his body and smelling his macho scent. It could’ve gone on like that all night, but then Tantomile turned up claiming him. Tugger bowed to Demi and gave her a kiss on her paw, looking deeply into her eyes before he went along with Tanto. Why was everyone right away after Tugger? Couldn’t those dames leave their paws of him? Demeter went to sit down somewhere, she didn’t feel like dancing anymore. But Bomba continued dancing now with Plato.

Demeter just sat there wondering about herself. How could she feel so strong for someone, she hadn’t seen in yonks. Or .. had she felt like that before, but didn’t realize what it meant? But what was the point? That was the wrong Tom to go for. Demeter shook her head about herself. She had to get this Tom out of her system again, and quickly. Munkustrap came over to her now and started a chat, which totally diverted her attention. Demi even waved Vici over, cause she saw her sad face, knowing that the poor thing must be going through similar feelings as herself. Maybe she could play a little match-making here. That’s how the night passed and turned into dawn. The music ebbed out and the jellicles one by one dissappeared into their hideaways. Demeter noticed Tugger dissappearing into a den right between Bombas and Tanto’s Pipes, while hers was more like opposit to it. Oh well, at least she could observer his coming and going. She caught herself thinking. But who cares where his den was? Demi tried to bring her thoughts back into the right direction. She tapped Munkustrap and Vici to say good-night, she didn’t wanna disturb in their getting closer to each other. Demi withdrew herself to her den, wrapped herself into her blankets and imagined Tugger lying next to her, or even better, her lying in his strong arms! ! Demi fell asleep smiling. 

Next morning it was a mellow sunny day. Just the kinda day to hang around chatting, exchanging news. And that’s exactly what the jellicles were doing when Demeter crawled out of her den, rubbing her eyes. The sun was nearly at the center of the sky, telling her, that she got up really late. Right in front of her in the center of the yard many of the jellicles were sitting and lying around talking to each other.  

“Hi Dem’!” Bomba called out and waved to her to come on over. “Hi, little’un.” Said Jennyanydots grinning at her. For Jenny all the jellicles were ‘Little’uns’ , even Jellylorum was considered one by her. Anyone younger than her. “hi Demeter,” Alonzo said smiling and moving to the side a little to make space for her. So Demeter could not hurt his feelings, and sat down beside him. She really had wanted to sit closer to Tugger. She just could not stop herself from thinking about him all the time. He had this aura, and this charme, that attracted him to her even more than just his good-looks. Course Bomba sat next to him and luckily it was Jennyanydots sitting on the other side of him. Demi listened to what they were talking about.

“Well tell me, has anyone else left or joined our little tribe in the years passed?” Tugger asked Munkustrap, who sat right next to Demi. “Well, after you left, Skimble took this job at the railway and ‘s been working as a railway-cat since then. When he gets time off , he always comes to visit us here. But he really loves his job, takes great pride in it. “ “Right, I may be meeting him then once in a while. “ “Sure, Tugger, sure.” « What about Buzz, » Tugger wondered.

“Buzz? Oh he’s still hanging around with the high-classed. He can’t resist gourmet-food and is doing well in the posh houses. Mainly lives with his tin-openers in a big house. But never forgets us. Often comes to bring us goodies.” Munkustrap explained. “oh yes, goodies! Bless him!” said Victoria licking her mouth thinking about the caviar and salmon that he brought only a couple of weeks ago. “Well, and Gus… we don’t hear much about Gus.” Said Munkustrap thoughtful.

“Well, then now I can fill you in on his whereabouts.” Tugger grinned. “When I still lived in the streets, I met him very often. He’s got a great place in the cellar of an old theatre. He just can’t leave it alone to be close to the theatres. He’s doing very well, Though his arthritis is troubling him a lot, but still joins his mates in the pub for a couple-a-pints.”Tugger laughed, thinking about the times he joined him there too.

At that point, Etcetera had come over and startet clinging on to Tuggers neck. Tugger didn’t mind and let her do what she wanted and continued: “Also should pass on greetings from Rumpus-cat, the old mischief! He’s still keeping the streets on his side of the park nice and neat , controlling the pollicles there. Jenny you would love it, if you’d see the pollicles line up in twos if Rumpus says so. It’s a laugh really. Pollicles really haven’t got much brains or maybe they’ve been made by the lord of heavyside to be servants forever.” Tugger shrugged his shoulders. Jenny pushed her paw on Tugger’s arm. “Don’t be so harsh with the poor pollicles. We’ve all been made the way we have. Particularily you!” Oops! That was like a little slap round the face, Tugger thought glaring at Jennyanydots. “Don’t look at me like that, “Jenny said to him. “I know you’re a good Tom after all.” Etcetera climbed onto his lab and gave Tugger a kiss on his cheek. “such a good Tom.” She repeated. Tugger was satisfied about this answer and smiled at Etcetera, stroking her head and making her purrrr, then he turned to Munkustrap again. “Well, Mungojerrie and Rumple were away for quiet some time, too, living with some tin-openers didn’t you?” Munkus looked at them. “They’ve only just returned a couple of months ago.” “Yeah, we ‘ad enuff o’ all thee moanin’ ‘n complaynin’, innit Rumple?” Mungo said. “roight, Mungow, still ‘ave thee luvly necklace owf that gerl. Thea’s nuffin’ be’a than livin’ out hee in freedom, innit Mungow.” “qoite roight Ruuumple.” Tugger laughed. He like the two of them. He had met them a couple of times when they’ve been pinching stuff. Then he looked at Munkustrap again.

“No new arrivals?” Munkustrap misunderstood thinking about kittens in the Tribe. “No, funny you should say that…I never really noticed before.” Munkustrap looked thoughtful for a moment. Tugger realised what he meant and thought this was a good idea to check out, which of the queens were hooked up. “So, your trying to tell me, no mate-bindings?” (mate-binding being the jellicle word for human weddings) “No, Tugger, indeed not. “ Munkus was very surprised about that fact himself.  

Indeed no couples had been coming together in any way. Rumple and Mungo were brothers and sisters, so were Tanto and Corico. Besides that, there were no couples at all. Though he noticed that maybe Demeter and Alonzo may hit it off together. Possibly. He ignored the fact, that Vici obviously fancied himself, cause he didn’t want to admit to liking her too. Would the others not imagine him to take Bombalurina, who seemed to be more fitted for the role of leader’s Queen. But Bomba was too independent and self-confident for him. He was the more conservative type, so really Vici would fit perfectly. “So all the queens around here, are running around free for everyone.” Tugger grinned and Etcetera bang him on his head with a branch she had found on the ground and had played around with. “Oops! I was just joking, little Sweetheart,” he laughed.

“I bet you weren’t!” said Cassandra dryly with a husky voice lolling about on the car-boot behind Tugger. He turned and gave her a dirty look to which she stuck out her tongue at him. Demi observed all that and she tried to make up her mind to forget about Tugger. It really was just a waste of time to think, he would ever settle down with a queen faithfully. She sighed heavily, that Alonzo turned to her with a worried look. But following her eyes, he realized that she was staring at Tugger. Alonzo started to get rather jealous. Couldn’t he have arrived a few weeks later, when he could have gotten everything straight with Demeter? As it was, he had no claim on her at all. Well, if he waited long enough Demi would have to admit, that as charming as Tugger was, when it came to dames, he was terribly unreliable and fickle. Tugger noticed Demi’s glance and looked at her with sparkling eyes, that she could do nothing but grin back at him broadly. Tugger winked at her. Gorgeous dame she became, he thought.  

“Well, indeed,” Munkustrap said again thoughtfully. “I say, Old Deut was right with his speech yesterday, now I understand what he meant. No couples - no new kitten, our Tribe will dissappear…!” Munkus’ face looked rather grave. “Don’t worry about the kitten, Munkus, I’ve got no problems providing those.” Tugger said, looking as if he really meant it. “Oh!!! You naughty Tom!” Etcetera shouted out loud and banged her fists against Tuggers chest. And even some of the other jellicles looked at him shocked. So did Demeter. How can he openly announce something like that. Munkustrap wasn’t sure what he should answer to that: “Well, …uh ..yeah.. uh…I bet you can.. Tugger..” he stuttered not sure how to deal with it. “Oh don’t believe a word he says!” exclaimed Jennyanydot who wanted to save the situation. She padded Tuggers back. “He’s only got a big mouth. He’s not as bad as he sounds.” She said, “I know him from a little kitten,” “Jenny! Don’t reveal all my little secrets now, you spoil my reputation!” Tugger laughed.  

Tugger was really incorrigible, many of the jellicles thought. Toms as well as Queens. No wonder no-one really knew what was truly going on deep inside of him. He spoils it for himself, Jennyanydots thought. One day, she would have to hold his paw and help him solve a lady’s problem. She was sure of it. Demeter turned to Alonzo. “Didn’t you want to show me your new home? You told me you’ve moved it? I’d like to see it now.” Demeter had heard enough.

She really was behaving like the young queens. Alonzo’s face lit up with joy, he straight away got up and took her paw to lead the way. Tugger watched her leave. What a pity, he would have liked to get to know her better. Instead he started chatting now to Bomba, who knew him well, and didn’t take his bold lines in a bad way. Tantomile joined them, and soon enough the three of them were flirting away.  

Alonzo led Demeter to a new car-wrack that must have been put there only a short time ago. He stood in front of it smiling proudly and pointing to it. “There it is! My new home! “ “Wow! It looks really great!” Demeter said in true awe of it looking at the bright-blue colour of the car-boot. “Just you wait until you see the inside, dear.” Alonzo opened the car-boot. “Ta-taaa!!” he said and Demeter looked inside. Gosh! It really looked extremely cosy in there, one could even say posh. The boot was lined with soft blue carpet. It would be soo warm in winter. “It’s really great, Alonzo, I have to admit. What a great place to live in. Your lucky to have found it.”

“Yes, and it’s big enough for a family..!” Alonzo hinted. Demeter was not ready for this again and she tried to avoid the subject by trying to divert his attention. “Uhm…. Alonzo, I think we better go back now to the others, what do you think?” “I think not.” He said being a bit pissed off. “I really wanted to ask you something and never seem to be getting the chance to ask.”

Demeter felt caught. Now she had to listen and face up to Alonzo’s questions. “I mean, surely you must have noticed, that I … well, that I like you very much indeed. “ he looked at her and Demeter just nodded. “Well, what about you?” “Well, I like you too, Alonzo…” Demeter said.

“So, could you imagine coupling up with me?” Alonzo didn’t want to give her no more chance to divert the subject or run off before she could answer him that question. Demeter was very surprised. She really hadn’t expected Alonzo being so direct , of all the cats. “uhm,..well, you really took me by surprise there, Alonzo..” Demeter stutterd. “I....I…..was really not thinking about pairing up with someone yet, I … I really think I’m not ready for that kinda thing.”

Alonzo was not very happy to hear that. It was practically a turn-down. “Well, I think your more than old enough to think about these things. And from what I can observe…” now Alonzo couldn’t hold back his jealousy anymore. “…you seem to be very interested in Tugger. Surely, your already thinking about mating with him.” Oops! Alonzo recognized his mistake too late. Did he really say ‘mating’? O darn. That was it. She’ll be really upset now, and he was right. She opened her eyes wide , very wide indeed, her mouth too. “What?? You must be kidding!” she said blushing, cause she felt that he read her thoughts and then she quickly walked off.  

Alonzo stayed behind being mad at himself. But well, maybe she was right, maybe telling her about his wish to have a family with her was a little rash. He kicked a stone that lay in his way so viciously, that it flew high up in the air and made a turn, coming back down again over him, that he quickly had to jump aside to avoid it hitting on his head. Darn!! 

Demeter hurried back to the others, but the group had kinda dispersed. Everyone was doing something else now, except Tugger, who seemed to have a good time laughing and flirting with Tanto and Bomba. Bomba saw her und waved her to come and join them. Should she come along? Well, why the heck not. Demeter held her head high and slowly came walking over.

“So you three, what are you talking about?” she said standing behind Tugger who had just grabbed Tanto round her waist in a very familiar way. Demeter was fuming inside, because she noticed that it upset her. Couldn’t he keep his paws to himself just for a while? Tugger turned around straight away when he heard her voice and let Tantomile go. “Hi Demi, come sit down next to me.” He said sweetly and pulled her down by her arm so suddenly, that she nearly dropped down onto her bottom. “As we were not talking about anything in particular, why don’t you tell us, what Alonzo and you were doing over there between the trees.” Tugger said to Demeter very suggestively, putting an arm round her shoulder. For a moment Demeter blushed, but then she got really angry, she wasn’t sure why, was it, because she was annoyed about Tuggers suggestive talk oder was she upset about Tugger thinking her and Alonzo were together? Tanto gave Tugger a push and giggled: “Your really impossible, you are, you know?”

Tugger laughed, and Demeter barked at him in a sharp tone: “It’s none of YOUR business!”

There you go, she thought, now he would really ‘like’ her, being like that. Tugger only formed an O with his mouth and opened his eyes widely. “Oooh! Didn’t know our Demeter is a little fury!” he exclaimed and pulled her into his arms, but Demeter fought against it, so he left her in peace.

“So if you have nothing to tell us, then I better go to sleep, anyone wants to join me?” Tugger’s grins was really dirty, Demeter rolled her eyes and sighed heavily, while Bomba and Tanto laughed at him. “That’s very good already Demeter, I could really go for that.” Tugger teased her about her sighing. “Better watch out you don’t turn me on with it, I may not be able to hold myself back.” Demeter just shook her head, she couldn’t believe this guy. “Can’t you be serious for just one moment?” “Guess not.” “Tugger don’t drive me crazy!” “Why not? I’d love to get you all crazy about me.” Tugger grinned broadly. Demeter rolled her eyes again and let herself fall backwards onto her back, and kicked around with her legs feeling really annoyed. Tugger startet tickling her knee. Demi sat up straight away and gave him such a nasty look, that Tugger raise one eyebrow in surprise. “Stooooppp it!!! You hear? DO NOT TOUCH ME!!!” Tugger thought it wise to stop fooling around now. He didn’t understand himself, for going that far, but he liked Demeter somehow, he didn’t know how to show it in any other way. But obviously THIS way didn’t seem to show her anything at all. “I think, I had enough of that now. “ Demi said, stood up and turned her back on them returning to her den, rolling down a piece of thick cloth to cover her entrance to get some peace and quiet. She had to think. “Tugger, now you really made her mad.” Tantomile giggled. Bomba looked at her then at Tugger. “You really went too far, Tugger, Demeter doesn’t like this kinda flirty playfullness, that me and Tanto seem to enjoy with you.” “I noticed, “ Tugger said a bit hurt by Demeters leaving. Of course he didn’t want to show that, therefore he said: “Well, we don’t need Demi to have some fun do we?” Tugger jumped on Tanto to tickle her, who started to laugh loud and screech.  

Demeter rolled up and closed her eyes. She tried to sleep but continously she heard all that laughter and giggling outside and Tuggers voice and she was so upset with him and at the same time, she wanted him soo much. I know he’s probably the wrong one to fall in love with, but what can I do? She thought to herself. Maybe, if he continues like that, he’ll put me off enough to fall out of love again. Fat chance! She thought, feeling her heart burn again. She would do anything he wanted if he’d ask her. That was so crazy! She never felt like that before. Slowly but surely she drifted off to sleep. 

Days passed in just that kinda way on the junkyard. And life went on as usual. The excitement of Tugger’s arrival ceased. Everyone went after their daily duties. Demeter tried to keep herself busy or spent time with Bomba, who unfortunately (or luckily?) seemed to spend a lot of time sitting together in little groups, that usually included Tugger. Demeter wondered if she was after him again. Everybody knew that long ago they had a little fling together. Still, that was the way to get to know Tugger a little better, and even though he was constantly flirting or being rather mouthy bragging a lot, Demeter also noticed that there was more to him than that, which he obviously tried to hide. This fact alone made her feel drawn to him even more. Demeter was a little bit like Plato in that way, they sensed what a feline-being was all about. Always trying to get to the roots of things. Anyway, funny thing was, that she was never alone with him even though more than a week must’ve passed. There were always other Jellicles around too. Also Toms of course, but usually more queens. Sometimes she observed Tugger walking off by himself, seeing him standing broad-legged on top of a heap of rubbish with a thoughtful face and his claw-thumbs hooked up to his belt looking incredible cool to her. She loved it when he shifted up his mane it looked so manly! When she sat together in a group chatting with him, he seemed so funny and cheeky, but also charming and sometimes absolutely impossible! Demeter was terribly mixed up about her feelings, she continuouly tried to tell herself to forget this Tom who was always openly flirting with every queen, it really upset her, but then, who was she to tell him what to do? She was so in love with him she decided to give up “Falling out” of love again.  

One day she sat together again as usual in the afternoon-hours with Mungo, Rumple , Vici, Bomba and Tugger. “Jellicle Ball’s coming up real soon.” Victoria said exicted and her fluffy white tail swished to and fro. “Yes, that’s right, and we’ll be starting to prepare for it soon.” Bomba added. “I think I never took part in such a ball?” Tugger wondered. “Corse ya ‘ave , mate. “ Mungo interrupted , “corse ya were much yanga then.” Mungo grinned at him. Tugger looked as if he tried hard to remember what ball that was. “Come on Tugger, don’t be silly, it’s that annual ball, which includes the mating-dance, remember?” Bomba flashed her eyes at him to remind him, that she was his partner for this particular dance several times. Tugger’s thoughtful face lit up with recognition. “Oh, yes! Now I remember!” “Typical, “ Demi muttered “as soon as the word ‘mating’ finds it’s way into his hearing-tunnels, he remembers anything!” Tugger just turned to her grinning. “Demeter! Don’t look at me so mad.” Tugger said still grinning. “Is there any, I say any other subject interesting you, besides mating? I rather doubt it.” Demeter fumed and crossed her arms in front of her chest. Tugger pulled her close to him by wrapping an arm round her shoulder and Demi felt goosepimples showing up all over her body, as he touched her.

“Of course, there is, you silly, don’t take this all so serious.” Well, easyily said! Demeter thought to herself. Maybe he could prove it sometime. “I’m so excited and curious to see, who choses who for the mating dance.” Victoria said with a sideglance to Munkustrap who was just busily hoisting old furniture around with Plato, that they had found in the rubbish not far from this little group. Tugger listend up and so did Demeter at the very same time, so that Rumple and Bomba had to giggle. Demi and Tugger looked at each other in surprise. “What!?” Tugger had a smirk on his face when he said that. “Ow nuffin’! “ Rumple laughed and as a joke she added: “wanna gow wiff me then?” “Why not?” Tugger kidded back. “Ooiii, watch it wiff ‘im Ruuumple.” Mungo grinned and winked at her. “Oy now, oy watch meself, broff (brother)” She giggled. “Oiii, stop talkin’ loike tha about me!” Tugger copied their accent and laughed.

“Cum on, we now ya mate, justa flirt yer are!” “That’s not true, Mungo, don’t spoil it for me.” Tugger grinned and pushed Mungo on his shoulder that he toppled over, then he glanced at Demeter. Mungo and Tugger started to laugh their heads off and Demeter felt fooled. She banged Tugger on the head with a book she had found in the rubbish and had actually wanted to read. Tugger withdrew his head between his shoulders and tried to cover it with both arms, still giggling. “Look all! Demeter is hitting me, that little fury!” Tugger really loved to tease Demi, who never knew how she should take it.  

Somehow Tugger developed a special liking for Demeter since he had come back to the yard, which surprised himself, he hadn’t had any similar feelings like that for such a long time. In all the years that passed he had gotten used to being alone, getting cuddles or more, here or there just when he needed it. He was used to the queens coming to him for just that, but when they wanted a permanent tom-ship they always chose another Tom than him. Tugger had never pondered about that fact, why queens would not want to chose him. It just was that way. And he was a little proud that he had such sex-appeal to all the queens. Also, there had not been any queen, that he really considered being serious about. She would have to be someone really special, he had always thought. But since once he really fell in love many years ago with a lovely queen and was betrayed and left again, he thought to have learned his lesson there, not to be that stupid and vulnerable anymore. No more of that! He had put it and fared quite well with it till now. Once or twice there had been a queen he fancied, but to call it love? Not really, Tugger thought, besides they also seemed to only want to enjoy his great stud-qualities – even if he’s say so himself, then moved on to their sweethearts or chose another Tom for mate-binding. Tugger never wasted a though about it, because he had no reason to. Like that, he got what he wanted without being hurt, and the ladies usually fared well too. Well, cats seem to be real creatures of habits Tugger thought.  

Mungo got up now calling to Rumple to come along, he wanted to go to town to see what he could get. Rumple’s eyes lit up at the chance of a good job coming up. “See yis lider” Rumple said waving to them. Vici also got up, cause she saw, that Munkustrap was finished with what he was doing and just walking alone towards the tyre and she was eager to get in his way. Bomba was just trying to grab Tuggers mane and twirl it around suggestively when Jennyanydots called her for help. She turned her head and looked at Jenny. What should she have to do for her just NOW? Bomba nevertheless stood up with a sigh and left Demi and Tugger….alone. Demi couldn’t believe it. Suddenly she found herself alone with Tugger for the first time. But now she got nervous , she didn’t know what to say and kept staring at her book. Tugger looked at her and when she felt his eyes upon her she lifted her head. “Why don’t we go hunt together, I’m absolutely starving.” Tugger said to her in a very soft voice, that sounded very seductive, and Demeter had to remind herself that he was talking about HUNTING! “Uh…yes, your right, I’m also rather hungry.” “Ok, then, lets go.” Tugger got up and stretched his paw out to her to pull her up. Then they walked over towards the trees and meadow. They sniffed around and Tugger spied a little movement under a root of a tree. Both of them went down on all fours observing. Tugger was whispering to her: ”That’s a bloody fat rat for you, sweetie, go for it!”  

Demi crawled ahead very slowly and Tugger took delight in watching her moving butt. Then the rat ran out and Demi jumped on her, grabbed her with her paw and bit her in the neck right away. “Lovely, just lovely! “ Tugger said, meaning her butt, but Demi didn’t know that. “Lets get you one too,” Demeter said. “Don’t worry about me, I’ll get it myself just eat your prey sweetie.” Tugger turned sniffing around some more. There were a couple of big holes close to the tree and Tugger sniffed into one hole, when Demi called out: “Behind you Tugger! Behind you!” Tugger bent his head down and looked between his legs to see another big juicy rat sitting right unter the tip of his tail. That cheeky bugger! Tugger thought. How should he move around now, without that darn thing running away? Tuggers tail lifted and swung about excitedly. Then he threw one front-paw suddenly down passed his tummy and between his hindlegs and just about caught it with his sharp claws. He drew her up and lay himself down on the ground, with his head propped up on one paw, the rat in the other paw lying in front of him. Demeter swallowed the rest of her rat and watched Tugger smirking. Course he wanted to show off a bit now. Tugger let the rat go a few steps then caught her again and pulled her close to him. Then let her run a bit again and *bang* his paw landed on the rat again holding it down. 

“Come on, stop showing off and eat the damn thing.” Demeter giggled. Tugger just grinned and stuffed the rat into his mouth, chewing and licking his lips. When he’d swallowd the rat he looked around for more. “Still hungry Tugger?” “Oh, yes, don’t you want anymore?” “No, I’m full, it was a really fat rat.” Tugger didn’t answer cause he had jumped around the tree again after another rat. This place was full of rats…not just mice. Just wonderful! Tugger thought and got his prey, flung it in the air and caught it with his mouth. “Yes, Tugger, really cool, they’d surely take you at the circus with that stunt.” Tugger turned his head to her in surprise, still crunching the rat in his mouth: “Demeter!! You are really cheeky! Just you wait!” When he was finished eating he rubbed his tummy and lay down beside Demeter. “Look at that full belly.” He smiled at her and took her paw to put it on his tummy. Demeter started to feel faint. The atmosphere seemd to change now to something softer and somewhat romantic. “Yes, very full, isn’t it.” She said, not really knowing how to react to this. “Let me feel yours..” Tugger said with a low voice, that made Demeter freeze down her spine with excitement. But she didn’t let his paw get to her tummy. “Lets go back then, it’s getting dark, the moons out already.”

“Just another moment, Demeter.” Tugger said, “Please ly down beside me, for a minute. I’m so full now I can’t move. Just let it set a little in my stomach then we’ll go.” Demeter lay down beside him on her side with her head propped up on her paw, while Tugger was lying on his back with his arms under his head and one leg drawn up. He looked up into the sky at the moon. Demeter followed his glance, but when she turned her head back to him he had rolled himself onto the side and looked straight into her eyes. Demeter held her breath and before she could say something Tugger kissed her onto her mouth and Demeter felt herself melting away under him. As Demeter didn’t struggle he half came to lay on her with one arm round her waist , kissing her passionately again and again, and Demeter getting all weak wrapped her arms around his neck. He was so gentle and tender, Demeter went all limp with love. Suddenly they heard footsteps and Demeter startled jumped up. “Someone’s coming!” she said worried.

“So what, it’s probably only one of the other jellicles.” Tugger said. That’s exactly what she was worried about. Demeter thought to herself. “Come on Hon’, ly down beside me again.” Tuggers voice went all goo-y. “No, lets go, please.” Demeter said and started to walk off. Tugger reluctantly got to his paws. “Hey, wait for me, Babe!”  

He hurried to catch up with her and there was Alonzo and Plato walking up the hill. Alonzo looked at Tugger then at Demeter. He didn’t smile, as Plato did. “Just been hunting…!” Demi said a little embarrassed. Alonzo couldn’t hold his tongue: “sure, I bet it was him who did all the ‘Hunting’.” Demeter knew exactly what he meant and blushed, but hurried down the hill with Tugger trailing along.  

There at the tyre Bomba, Vici and Electra were sitting chatting. Tugger and Demeter joined them. “Whats new ladies?” Tugger stepping fidgety from one leg to the other. “Tugger!!!!” Electra called out. “My hero!!” “Tugger grinned and sat next to her. “Oh really?” “Oh yes!!” Electra cried. “How come?” “Because you are sooo handsome!!” “Oh, I see, that’s a good reason to become a hero. “ Tugger laughed and gave her a hug. Demeter stood in front of Bomba.

“Where’ve you been? When I did the little job for Jenny I came right back and you two were gone.” “We just went hunting some rats together, cause we were starving.” Demeter said looking rather guilty. Bomba raised a brow. “Hang on, hunting? Are you sure your were hunting rats!?” Bomba looked at Tugger and back at Demeter. “Is there something I should know?” she whispered to Demeter, who only shook her head. “oii, Bomba, did you hear that? I’m a hero she says, cause I’m so handsome.” Tugger beaming proudly. “Yes, yes!! Frame it and put it up on your wall!” Bomba said to him. Gosh, had he always been so self-confident and narzisstical? Yes, he had. Bomba sighed. Maybe she could get another private party with him, she thought, remembering those she already had spent with him. She was sure, he would oblige. At that she had so smile seductively and Tugger winked at her. Demeter was a little dissappointed she had really expected more attention from Tugger now after that little romantic interlude between the trees and now he sat there fooling around with Electra and Bomba and not even looking at her. Sighing she said: “Well, I guess I’ll turn in now.” “Oh really? Already? You always go to bed so early, Dem’” Tugger said. “I have my reasons.” “Which are?” Tugger asked. “…none of your business!” “Where did I hear that before?” Tugger muttered. Demeter only said “Good night” to that and dissappeared in her den. There she lay about quarter of an hour replaying in her mind every little detail of the sudden kiss by Tugger and shuddered with love. Then slowly she drifted off to sleep. Tugger still fooled around another half an hour, then he chased Electra to her pipe. “Little kitten should be in their pipes by now.” “I’m not a little kitten anymore, and you know it.” Electra complained. “You only want to get me out of the way that you can do naughty things with Bomba!” Tugger raised both eyebrows. “What did you say you cheeky prat?” Tugger chased after her, that she ran off screaming to her pipe and didn’t stop until she was inside. Tugger stuck his head in. “And now…stay put!! And sleep well.”

“aaawwww! Ok .. then!” Electra pouted. Tugger smiled and went back to Vici and Bomba.

“I think I also turn in if you don’t mind Ladies.” “Oh already, Tugger? What a pity. Bomba said.” “Yes, still….good night then, see you in the morn’”  

Tugger strutted to his den well aware of the ladies checking out his behind. His tail swayed from side to side to give them extra view on it. Then he turned, waved and dissappeared in his den. He lay himself on his tummy with the head turned to the entrance so he could watch when Bomba and Vici would leave. It took another 15 min. before they finally left to there own hide-aways. And then.. Tugger sneaked out and over the yard to Demeters Den. He quietly sneaked in and looked at the restless sleeping Demeter. He lay down next to her and stroke her head then he put his arm around her waist and started kissing her all over her neck with soft little kisses. Then her mouth and Demeter woke up thinking she was dreaming. “Tugger!” she said quietly in between the kisses. “Yes, babe, it’s me!” Tugger started kissing her long and passionately and Demeter wrapped her arms around him and returned every kiss. He started exploring her body and so did she with his. Tugger slipped on top of her and started panting, Demi thought she would not survive this night, she thought she’s die of extasy. Tugger squeezed between her thighs and Demi knew, he would be mating with her now. And she wanted it, and she wanted him. She held him tight, all the time they were enjoying the game. Tugger was so tender and gentle, Demi let herself go totally and gave all of herself to him, and it seemed as if he did exactly the same. She’d never experience such sensual mating before, not that she had much experience with it, but twice before it had happened with a young tom from town. Afterwards Tugger slipped next to her and kept on holding her with one arm round the waist and his head lay on her shoulder. She thought this was sooo sweet and tender, and stroke his head. “Demi..” Tugger sighed. Then they fell asleep like that.  

In the morning Demeter stretched out with a long yawn and a very happy face thinking about the night before. She turned over and wanted to kiss Tugger awake….but! He wasn’t there! She was really startled by his absence. Then she hoped he only left cause he had to...well relieve himself or something. Quickly she crawled over to the entrance of her den and peeked out carefully. She was really shocked to see Tugger sitting there on the tyre already with Bombalurina between his legs and with his paws on her butt!! She could not believe that. What was he doing? What was going on? Why did he come to her last night then? And those magic moments on the grass yesterday? No, no, no. It couldn’t be just a game for him. It felt soo real. Surely … he was not just going in for the..for the..mating? was he? Demeter swallowed hard. Should she go out now and face him to see, what he would do? She was so hurt and angry at the same time. She really wanted to cry in anger and frustration. She just didn’t want to believe it. She pulled herself together and stepped outside towards the two of them.  

“Hi there.” She said, not showing how hurt she was, but pretending to be rather cool.

“Hello, Demi” said Bomba turning her head, while still being in Tuggers arms. And Tugger just smiled at her. She couldn’t believe it. He didn’t even seem to feel guilty. She really wished she could scream at him now. But really she didn’t have the right to do so. He never said anything about love or similar. “Did you have a good sleep?” Tugger asked slyly at least that’s how Demeter took it. “Yes, thank you very much!” she said with an icy voice. Oops! Tugger listened up. Why was she so icy? Coincidence or upset? He didn’t have time to ponder about this more, because Munkustrap came along to see him. “Tugger, hi, could you spare a few minutes for me? I want to have a talk with you.” “Sure, Munkus , no problem.” Tugger said and let go of Bomba. “See you later ladies.” Tugger said smiling and walked off with Munkustrap. Bomba turned to Demeter. Her friend didn’t seem to be so happy this morning. “What’s eating you, Demi?”

“Nothing, what are you talking about?” “Well, you look rather pissed off. Is it cause of Tugger an me?” Bomba said casually. “No, I don’t care what you do with him. But I thought, you said, he’s no good for a cat-ship?” Demeter answered angrily. “I didn’t say, I want to be his girl, though I fancy him, but it’s not love with him, sweetie, I only want a bit of ..well..mating once in a while, and I know, he’ll go for it. I tell you he will.” “Don’t tell me I don’t wanna know.” Demeter bellowed, she found it difficult to stay calm when Bombalurina, supposed to be her friend, talked like that. “Oh, I see, you dooo still fancy him then, and your upset cause I and….” “Rubbish, don’t be silly,” Demeter interrupted. “I’m just pissed off, cause since Tugger came, it’s all about mating now and nothing else.” Demeter stormed off. “She’s in love with him still, I say.” Bomba mumbled to herself in a husky voice amd shrug her shoulders. I did tell the girl, she thought, not to take it too serious.  

Similar days passed and things seemed to be as they were before Demi had her romantic interlude with Tugger. He was still rather nice to her and friendly, she just couldn’t make it out what was going on, but he seemed to pretend, that there wasn’t anything more between them then just talk. So it seemed to her. On the other hand, she didn’t want him to know how hurt she was, and how much she still loved him, so she behaved rather casual to him, as if he was no different than the other toms around here.

One day Demeter just returned from a hunt when it was already dark, she just stepped back quietly to the yard when she heard murmuring. She couldn’t make it out, but thought, it was Tugger’s voice. Once she stood in the center of the yard there was nobody to be seen. Shrugging her shoulders she went into her hide-away and rolled up to sleep. But outside she could hear giggling noises and a deep Tom’s voice, she knew was Tuggers. Whats going on? She thought. Oh no, none of my business, she turn around and hid her ears under the blanket. But she just couldn’t sleep. She was too curious to know what that was all about. She uncovered herself and stuck her head out of the den. The giggling sound came from somewhere rather close. It was not Tugger’s den, nor Bombas’s. Demi just wanted to withdraw her head, when she heard definite sounds of mating, which was clear now coming from very much next door. That was Rumples pipe, and the roundness of the pipe let the sound echo stronger. Oh, no! she thought, it s not what I think it is? Demi withdrew her head and cuddled up to her blanket and tried to forget what she heard. It took a long time before finally sleep took her away but it wasn’t deep either and early in the morning she heard someone sneaking out of the pipe, because he stumbled over an empty tin sitting right in front of Rumples pipe. With a start Demi sat up and looked outside. She felt a deep stabbing in her heart when she realized it really was Tugger. How did that come about? Rumple and Tugger? Now she broke down crying. Why did she have to fall in love with a Tom like that? Demi cried and cried and cried, until she cried herself to sleep again.  

That day she stayed away from the others most of the day, and when they finally saw her, everyone asked her what was wrong, especially Tugger. She couldn’T believe it, why he pretended to care. As usual they were hanging round the tyre and Rumple was there too. Demi threw her a nasty glance and walked off before Rumple could answer to it. Cause Rumple really would have, and wouldn’t have made a secret out of it neither.  

Two days later Demi observed the same game again. But this time it was Tanto’s den, where Tugger crawled out early in the morning. What is that Tom doing? She thought? Did he come here to do the ladies-round? Demeter was desperate, really desperate. She still couldn’t help herself wanting that Tom, why she still believed in him she didn’t know. But she stayed away from them all more and more. When eventually Bomba had her way with him too, and she saw him stealing out of her cavelet, she finally had enough. She went to face Bomba with it.  

“Come with me please.” Demeter said briefly. And Bomba not thinking of anything bad and feeling just so good that morning followed her without any bad expectations. Demeter led her away from the others so she could talk. Finally she stopped and turned to Bomba.

“Whats going on, Bomba? Can you tell me?” “What do you mean?” Bomba looked rather surprised at her. “Well, don’T play games with me, I saw him crawling out of your cavelet.”

“Oh, that’s what it’s about. “ Bomba sighed. “Don’t get so uptight about it, I know I ‘m not the only one, he’s been with Tanto too, you know, and with ….” “..Rumple?” Demeter cried out.

“yeah, that’s right, how did you know?” “Well I happen to live more or less next entrance to her.” “But Demi, why do you get so upset about that? That’s his problem isn’t it, if he’s doing that kinda thing and no-one takes him serious anymore.” Bomba tried to calm her down. But Demi answered: “But you…why you.. you’re my friend..and..” Demi couldn’t hold back the tears now and Bomba took her into her arms, still not quite sure what was wrong with her. “Demi, whats the matter?” “ I.. I …I don’t know what to do Bomba.. but I .. I love him, still…!” Gosh! Not it was out, and didn’t it feel good, to know, somebody knew how she felt. “What?? Your kidding, dear?” Bomba said surprised, she really had thought, it was only infatuation, and that Demeter was over it already. “I really didn’t know Demi, why didn’t you tell me?” “But I thought it was obvious to you, Bomba.” “no it wasn’t, in the last days you seemed not very interested in him or anything to do with him, so I thought , there was nothing. – oh I’m soo sorry. If I had known I wouldn’t have turned him on.” Bomba looked rather guilty now. Course in a way she was glad, that Demi didn’t tell her before, cause she really had enjoyed that night with him, and had she known Demi’s secret before, she would have left Tugger alone for Demi’s sake, but then she’d really have missed out on something real good. “Demi, I don’t know how to say this to you, but whats the point… really, you see he’s just into mating, and not serious with any of us.” Bomba sat down pulling Demeter with her onto the grass and stroke her back. Demeter just cried: “it felt so real..! Bomba” Demeter sobbed. “What did, dear?” “When he was with me…” “you mean..he also..no, come on, not you too!!” Bomba couldn’t believe it, she never had thought Demi was that kinda queen, that easily was talked into something like that by a Tom. Gosh! She really must be madly in love with him. What could she do? She had no idea. It wasn’t as if one could just walk over to Tugger and say, ‘hey lets talk, you know demi loves you how about it? If yes, leave the other dames alone, that’s ok with you? Deal or not?’ Bomba just sat there quietly now, stroking Demis Head and back until she went silent. She felt so sorry for her friend. She really didn’t deserve that. Maybe she should talk with Tugger anyway? But what would she say? It was stupid to even think of that. Finally the two of them went back to the yard and Bomba stayed the night in Demi’s den.  

Next day it was rather busy on the yard again, because the ball was drawing nearer and everyone was working on the preparations. Misto told them to make lovely colourful garlands to hang onto the trees and across the rubbish, even though he could easily have conjured up a few. He thought it was better to support the creativity of everybody by doing something for themselves. So most of the jellicles sat on the yard together chatting and drawing and cutting and sticking busily. Tugger was there too, when Demeter appeared, just being instructed by Tantomile how to stick some paper-flowers onto a ribbon. Tugger kept on getting sticky fingers and a sticky mane rather than anything else, and Demeter just couldn’t help herself laughing out loud all of a sudden. Seeing his paw-fingers stuck together and glue dripping from his head. She just couldn’t be mad at him that day. Tugger looked up at her. It was the first time since at least a week that he had seen her laugh again. He already had had the feeling, that maybe Demeter detested him, and he really didn’t want that, cause he liked her very much indeed, which he didn’t show of course. What good would that do? Helplessly he stretched out his gluey paw to her and Demeter saw, that the tube of glue also stuck on his paw and laughed again. She kneeled down beside him and started to rip the tube off his paw, smiling. Tugger looked at her so charmingly, that for a moment, when their eyes met, she had that same feeling again, that she had , after they’d been hunting and lying in the grass. That feel of REAL! She closed her eyes for a moment. No, it couldn’t be true, this time her intuition had let her down. She wouldn’t fall for it again.

Quietly she got some stuff to disolve the glue from his paw, and out of his mane. Being aware of the closeness to his face while she rubbed his mane clean, and smelling his personal scent made her real crazy in her head. She wished she could just throw her armes around his neck and Say “He’s mine! He’s mine!” ‘course she didn’t. Instead Tugger talked to her:

“I thought you really started to dislike me.” Demeter turned towards him in surprise.

“What gave you that idea?” “I’ve noticed that for the last week you stayed away from me, far away, I wondered if I did something to upset you?” Demeter thought: I can’t believe he’s asking that! Doesn’t he notice how she feels about him? She always thought it was sooo obvious to see for everyone, that she hat the hots for him. And he usually spotted things like that right away. He guesses about Vici and Munkustrap, he guessed about Alonzo’s feelings for her, how come he didn’t guess about her feelings for him. Maybe she should just tell him plainly: I love you tugger, didn’t you know? But she would feel like an adolescent queen, such as Electra and Silla and Etcetera were. So instead she just said: “No, I ..well, I needed time to myself to think.” She said. “To think about what?” Tugger wanted to know. “uh…about…well..” what could she have thought about? “Alonzo?” Tugger put it to her. “Oh, yes, that’s right, how did you know?”

“Well, it’s obvious, he really wants you, that’s plain to see. What about you?” “I’m not so sure yet, that’s why I had to think.” Demeter lied. “Do you like him?” Tugger asked interestedly.

“What? What’s it to you? But ok, I do like him, but …it’s not…well…love.”

The last word she only breathed, cause to her this word belong to him alone. She dropped her eyes and Tugger’s face seemed to light up a little. She was wondering why? Quietly they carried on sticking flowers on the ribbon, Demeter doing the sticking and Tugger the holding. Bombalurina observed them from afar. She made up her mind to let Jennyanydots into Demeters little secret.  

Slowly she went over to Jenny, who luckily sat apart from the others. “Hi Bomba, whats up? I see you’ve got something on your mind, spit it out, dear.” Bomba sat next to Jenny and told her the whole story, as she knew it. At the end of it she sighed deeply. Jenny looked at her.

“oh dear! What a mix up things can get, when love’s involved.” Jenny smiled. “So you think, it’s serious with Demeter?” “Oh yes, Jenny, since the night he returned she’s totally obsessed with him. But what’s the use, he’s just mating around all the time, not taking anything serious, there is no point at all to fall in love with a tom like that. Try tell her that Jenny.” “Hang on, hang on, Bombalurina! “ Jenny said to her softly. “I know my Tugger. He’s not as bad as that. Why do you all think he has no feelings?” “Well, just look at him he’s been at 4 oder 5 or who know’s how many den’s already in such a short time.” “Wait a minute, are you sure, he went after them all by himself, or could it be, you naughty queens seduced him?” Bomba blushed:

“uhm…I guess, well… ok, I can only speak for myself, your right, I wanted it and I knew he’d go for it, and I think it was the same way with Rumple… but anyone else I don’t know.”

“Well, that’s enough, isn’t it? If you want to mate and chose a guy and tell him openly.. then what do you expect? You get what you want. But don’t tell me, Tugger has no feelings. I know the other side of him, dearie. You ladies are always quick to judge, such shallow action, none of you ever asked, what could be the reason, that he does this kinda thing. You know what I mean? The WHY? Not the DOES-thing. “ Jenny sighed. “I’ll have a chat with him then, shall I ?” “oh would you Jenny? Maybe it would clear up some things for everyone.” Bomba’s eyes lit up with hope for Demeter.  

Smiling and somewhat relieved she went back to the others to join in the creative activities. As soon as Demi was alone, she would tell her that she talked to Jenny. It was not fair, not to. But Demi seemed to be in a Dream again, sitting next to Tugger and having only eyes for him. She watched him closely when he was trying to hold down the ribbon for her to stick more flowers on. He appeared to not notice, but he did. Tanto now leaned over to him, asking him to hand her some yellow paper flashing her eyes at him. Demeter noticed and something else was flashing up inside her eyes. Tugger gave her the paper and said: “Oh, that really goes with your lovely stripes.” Grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!! Demeter drew up her shoulders at that. “Oh, you think so? you flatterer.” Tanto threw her head back coquettishly. Right in front of my eyes! Demeter thought. But then again, no-one knew how she felt about Tugger except her friend Bombalurina. “Maybe you want to have a closer look at those stripe again?” Tanto hinted. Heavyside have mercy!! Demeter couldn’t believe her ears. She’s really chatting him up and more. “Maybe I will,” Tugger said smoothly. What? Demeter looked at him. “What about tonight?” Tanto only breathed this words tilting her head. Demeter didn’t want to hear Tuggers answer therefore she pretended to clear her throught and coughed. Tugger looked at her straight away. He could tell she didn’t like what she heard and Tugger looked a little surprised at that. Could it be..? No, surely not someone like Demeter. Tanto tapped him on the shoulder. “So, great Stud , what do you say?” “Can’t you shut up Tanto? Don’t you see, that we are concentrating on working here together?” Demeter burst out loud, that not only Tugger and Tanto looked at her in surprise, but also Vici , Munkustrap, Bomba and Plato. And even Tumble who just hopped by stopped to look at her. Demeter turned their head to everyone and shrugged her shoulders. Then she looked back at Tugger and saw the smirk on his face. Oh dear, that was really embarrassing, she thought. - Oh gosh! Was that a little jealousy? Tugger thought and looked her straight in the eyes. Oh no, don’t blush now. Demeter said to herself, stay strong, hold your head up, show nothing and deny everything. So she held her head up and tilted it slightly. “Yes, Tugger? Why are you smirking?” Demeter looked at him. “I think you know.” “No, I don’t have the faintest.”

“Yes you do.” Tugger grinned broadly. “No, I don’t, you find it funny that I shouted?”

“no, but maybe the reason WHY you shouted.” Oh, by Heavyside’s mercy! He is too clever for his own good. Demeter didn’t divert her glance but she didn’t answer. Tanto pouted and carried on with what she was doing and Demeter had all Tugger’s attention again. Slowly the night crawled in and most of the jellicles left their work behind and stole back to there hide-aways and so did Demi and Tugger. Each to there own place. Bomba still hadn’t been able to tell Demi, that she talked to Jenny, cause she was so tired, that she had left much earlier. But well, tomorrow would be soon enough, Bomba told herself.  

Demeter settled down amongst her blankets and wrapped herself in to get cosy. She really hoped, that Tanto wouldn’t call Tugger out again that night. The thought alone felt like a stab into her heart. She was so restless at that, that she sneaked to the entrance and peeked out. But it was all quiet. No Tanto nor Tugger to be seen or heard. She stayed like that for a few minutes then cuddled up to her blankets again. She pricked up her ears again…..Nothing! all quiet! Oh, by Old Deuteronomy, this was crazy. What was happening to her? Spying like that on other jellicles? It just couldn’t go on like that. Demeter didn’t know what to do. But those endless circling thoughts got her tired and she dropped off to sleep.  

Tugger crawled out of his den and slowly quietly sneaked across the yard then entered Demeter’s home. He came up close to her and sniffed on her. He was just about to settle down beside her, when she woke up with a start. “Aaaah!!!” she cried out. “Shush!” Tugger hissed and put his paw over her mouth. “Its me, Sweet’, Tugger.” Course she knew that, but why…what? Didn’t Tanto ask…? Demeter rubbed her tired eyes. Still half asleep she mumbled.

“What are you doing here?” “Don’t you know?” Tugger said suggestively. Oh no, he wants to have a bit of mating again, and would have gone with Tanto had she not interfered in that conversation. Now he came to her instead!? That wasn’t a compliment was it? Surely he must have thought she wanted it even more than Tanto. Thinking such, Demeter got rather upset.

“Go away, Tugger, and don’t touch me.” Tugger was really surprised at her attitude? He scratched his head and wondered what was going on in that lovely head of hers? He didn’t get it. Had he misinterpreted that little incident with Tanto, her and him? He thought she was a bit jealous, which meant, that she must really like him, more than just a bit of …mating. He thought. But now he wasn’t so sure anymore. He normally guessed really well what the ladies wanted but with Demi he just couldn’t make up his mind. “Demeter, are you sure, you want me to leave?”

“YES!!” she said a bit too agitated. “But, can’t I just lie with you?” “No!” Demeter was desperate. Truly, she wanted to grab him and pull him to her heart and squeeze him and kiss him and have it all. But only…only if he also felt something for her otherwise this whole thing was just a joke. Tugger tried again by reaching for her shoulders, but Demi pulled back.

“No, Tugger, don’t…please leave now.” She had to hold back her tears when she saw his dissappointed face. Why? He probably was only dissappointed cause he couldn’t get what he set out to have. But then…would he not try again at Tanto’s door? She surely would take him in gladly. Then bloody have him! She thought in desperation. And Tugger realized that Demi wasn’t in the mood to argue, nor in the mood for cuddling, and certainly not with …him, so it seemed.

“Ok, then...I’ll go.” Tugger said crestfallen and slowly withdrew himself from her den. Thoughtfully he walked back to his place, not listening to Tanto’s call. Then … silence on the yard again.  

Demeter threw herself into her blankets again and cried. Oh, this really hurt so much to have to hurt him. But maybe he wasn’t hurt at all, just pissed off for not getting what he wanted. Oh never mind – never mind. She better didn’t think about that now and try to sleep. Soon Demeter drifted of into a restless sleep.  

Next day Bombalurina was already waiting impatiently for Demeter to get up. When she finally sneaked out of her den looking rather tired still, Bomba made haste to get to her.

“Gosh! Bomba, whats the matter? I haven’t even had my morning-wash yet.” Demeter said sitting down on the tyre starting to lick her legs. “I have to talk to you Demeter.” Bomba said quickly. “Dear me, what can it be, that it seems so urgent.” Demeter carried on licking her paw and rubbing it over her ear. Bomba settled down next to her on the tyre. “Well, I had a little chat with Jennyanydots yesterday.” “How nice.” Demeter said casually, “is she alright?”

“Yes, she is, but what I mean is, I talked to her about your little problem.” Bomba was getting ready to receive some harsh reaction to this and withdrew herself a little bit. Demeter lifted her head: “I have a little problem? What on earth do you mean?” “Well, I mean….Tugger…” Bomba whispered. “What??” Demeter was not altogether sure she understood what Bomba was trying to say. “What are you trying to say, Bomba?” “Well, I mean, I talked to Jenny….well, I told her your madly in love with Tugger.. and..” “WHAAAAT!!!?????? Are you crazy? “ Demeter stood up straight now. “Oh no, why did you do that?? Oh gosh! That makes me feel like an idiot.” She fumed. Bomba tried to stay calm about that outburst. “Your not an idiot just cause your in love…” “Oh Bomba!! What else did you tell her?” Demeter pulled a face. “I really wanted to ask her what I could do for you, so you forget that Tom…” “Why should I.” Demi interrupted. “Oh well that’s what Jenny seemed to think, too.” “Really?” Demi’s face lit up again, this started to sound really interesting after all. “Tell me, what did she say?” “Ah! Suddenly your interested, ay? Well, she actually told me off a little bit for reducing Tugger to a mating-machine without any feelings, seems that she thinks rather highly of him….” “..oh really?” Demeter interupted excitedly and clung to Bomba’s lips to suck in every word that would leave her mouth. “uh, yes, she said, she knows his other side too, and we shouldn’t always judge him so shallowly. But don’t forget, she kinda half brought him up when he came to us at a kid running away from his bad home. So don’t read too much into her praise for Tugger.” “Come off it, Bomba. Jenny’s not like that? I often heard her tell off Tugger, she says openly what she thinks. I trust her.” Demeter said smiling, maybe there was hope. “Well, we’ll see, she said she’d talk to Tugger for you.” “WHAAAT?” Demeter was shocked, she hadn’t expected it to go all that far. “Oh darn, I don’t want him to know how I feel….makes me feel so stupid.” “Rubbish, she’ll know how to put it.” Just at that moment Tugger passed by them.

“Hi Babes,” he said, looking particularily at Demeter with questioning eyes. “hi Tugger!” Bomba chirrped at him while Demeter only smiled. “What’ya doing?” “Nothing, Bomba, I’m going for a walk.” He passed them by and walked off somewhere down the meadow. All alone.

“You should join him..” whispered Bomba. “No, how could I, I wanna know what Jenny will tell me first. He came to me last night you know..” “No, he didn’t!” Bomba exclaimed surprised.

“Yes he did! He wanted to – you know what – and I was soo upset, I threw him out.” Bomba burst out laughing loud. “You did what? ..your kidding!” “No, I ‘ m not..” “Best thing you ever did.” Bomba still laughed. “No, I think it was so rude of me. “ “You would think that, Demi, you would.” “You don’t know the whole story, Tanto openly asked him to mate with her last night…to avoid him answering her, I told her off, and then he came to me at night instead. Surely he thought, I needed it more urgently than her.” Bomba nearly rolled on the floor laughing. “Hey stop laughing like that, I’m serious.” “It’s funny though, really, you see? He just wants to mate all the time, that Tom wants flesh nothing else and Jenny loves him like he was her own little kitten. She ‘s so proud of him whatever he does. Don’t think, she will be able to do much for you though, you can’t change a Tom like that.” Bomba still giggled. “Oh please Bomba, don’t be so mean, you just told me, that Jenny said , you shouldn’t jugde him so shallowly, so why do you do now?” “Cause I didn’t know that about Tanto and you before, heeheehee!” “Bomba, stop it, your mean. Why’s everyone so rude about him, I’m positive he cannot be that bad.” “We’ll see, dear, we’ll see. If Jenny tells him you love him, he’ll be at your side in no time, for a bit of fooling around, I bet.” Demeter pressed her lips together and didn’t say no more. What did she expect Jenny could do for her? She can’t tell Tugger to be a good boy and join up with her and stay faithful. She sighed. Lets just wait and see. 

In the meantime Tugger had slouched himself unter a tree, spreading himself on the grass with one arm under his head and the other resting by his side. He stretched out both legs and stared up into the sky. Lovely day when the sun shines like that and a little brise keeps the air mellow instead of hot. Tugger was thinking about last night. It was not the first time a dame had refused him, and he usually just smiled about it. But with Demeter he felt different. He actually had felt hurt. Strange, he thought to himself. Do I really like her that much? He also was very confused about her, cause she was always acting diffrently, if he didn’t pay attention to her she got sweet, if he payed her attention she shoved him off. He knew, that Demeter was not a queen to fool around with, like Bomba, and .. he’d never have suspected it before.. Tanto! And therefore he always thought, Demeter wouldn’t take a Tom with a reputation like him serious. So he didn’t bother to think about it further. But all the time, he was being drawn to her more and more, if he wanted to or not. Tugger sighed, then he suddenly turned his head, because he heared rustling of grass and breaking of a thin branch under someones paws. It was Jenny that slowly tapped along the meadow.  

“Hi Tugger, what are you doing here, boy, all alone?” the Gumbie said with a jolly voice grinning all over her face. “What’ re you doing here yourself, Jenny?” Tugger asked back.

“Just taking a little digestive walk, just found some lovely Fish in a nearly full tin. Yummy boy, yummy.” She came closer. “May I take a rest here with you? Or did you wanna be alone?”

“No, no, sit down, Jenny, you’re ok, just came here to think a little.” “I knew it.” She said.

“What did ya know?” Tugger said curiously. “Well, I knew you were a thinker after all, though you never show that side of you.” “Oh well, no-ones interested in that side of me.”

“Rubbish, boy, rubbish.” The Gumbie said. “So tell, ol’ Jenny , what is so important you need to think about it so hard?” Jennyanydots was quite pleased with herself to have found a way already to bring up the subject she had in mind. “oh, nothing in particular.” “Don’t tell me stories, boy, spit it out.” “Really, Jenny, I wasn’t really thinking about anything….” “Rubbish, can’t fool your ol’ Nana, can you, now Tuggs?” Tugger sighed. That’s what she always did when he was a kid returning home with a guilty look on his face pretending that he hadn’t done anything naughty. But she’d always found out with this clever way of interrogation. “Jenny! Leave it alone.” “Come on, boy, what have you got on your chest. I’m all ears!” the Gumbie put one paw to her ear and turned her head to the side, that her ear was just in front of Tuggers nose. Tugger had to laugh, and he knew she wouldn’t give up until he told her. He knew he could really trust her, so he started carefully. “well, I was kinda thinking on my effect on the ladies..”

“Yes? Did you now? Did you? And what’s that effect?” the Gumbie thought she was very clever.

“Don’t know, what do you think , Jenny?” “Oh you naughty boy, you want me to tell you that all the ladies are crazy for you, no wonder they think your only self-centered and egotistical, if you joke around like that all the time.” “See? That’s what I mean.” Tugger said quietly.

“Well, it’s up to you to change that. What’s your problem Tugger? You think, once you start talk intelligently all the dames will run off to some other gorgeous seductive Tom?” “Well, won’t they?” “So, that’s it ey? Want to be loved by all the dames, if that’s what you really want then think no further, boy. No reason then to lie around out here thinking HARD. You may as well carry on as usual then.” Jennyanydots played her trump, now she got him where she wanted him.

“But….yeah, I see what you mean, to be honest, I don’t know what I’m thinking about..” Tugger said confused. “Of course you do, one always knows that, just doesn’t want to admit it. Come on now, no more games, what’s on your mind?” she really tickled it out of him. “Demeter.” Tugger quickly put his paw in front of his mouth to stop it from letting out more. Had he really said her name? Or had he just been thinking it? He looked at Jenny’s face and her broadening smile told him, she heard. “I see! Tugger! I knew you had feelings, my boy. Finally you show them.” The Gumbie was so excited she grabbed Tuggers Head and squeezed him on her chest. Then she kissed him on his forehead. “Jenny, what are you doing?” “Oh, I’m so glad, my boy, I can hear mate-binding-bells!” “Oh no, not that quick. Nothing of the sort. I’m only trying to tell you that I like her.” Tugger was definitely not thinking of any mate-binding-business. That would need a lot of trust and time, if at all. “First things first, Jenny” he added. “Oh, I know, I’m just getting a little overexcited. So you like her, then? And? Does she like you too?” “I don’t know, sometimes it seems as if she does and sometimes not at all. I don’t know whether I really am the right kinda Tom for a lady like that. “ “Course you are, boy, you and Demeter make a perfect match.” Jenny stood up and jumped around and Tugger only shook his head rolling himself onto his belly and picking some grass to chew on. “Oh, you think so, Jenny?”

“Oh yes, of course! Your of a kind.” “What? I don’t think so, I think we come from two different worlds.” “No Tugger, don’t be silly , use your brains. It ‘s not important what seems to be on the surface, cause the true character is beneath.” “Very philosophical Jenny. But I don’t think she would trust me. Last night I went to her den and asked if I could stay, but she chucked me out.” “Oh Tugger your such a bad boy sometimes. What do you think she thought about that visit? Course she thought your only after one thing.” “Well, she mated with me before..and I thought..” “She what? Really? You two really confuse me. Still, bad choice of approach, Tugger, to go and see a queen you like at night, at her den, wanting to ..well, well, well, really, no wonder she chucked you out. You know very well not to approach in that manner if you want to be taken serious.” “Oh, it’s been such a long time ago, since I felt like this last. But I don’t even know if she likes me yet.” “I ‘m sure she does, but you have to really show her you care and you can stick with one lady. I’ve heard stories about you already, having visited so many ladies’ dens??” Jenny raised her brow. “Oh, such stories spread fast. But it’s true, still, they all wanted it including Demeter, and since I’m single, I had no reason to refuse…. It was rather nice.” “Tugger, stop that talk.” Jenny waved her index-claw at him. “Well, I ‘m sure I could be faithful if the right one came along. I think Demeter could be….. well, I think so.” Tugger just found it dificult to say the word. “Well, go invite her for the jellicle Ball then, you know they always chose special partners for the mating dance. It’s meaningful to everyone. So if you want to show her your serious about her, invite her, before Alonzo does.” “Oh, I see you know about Alonzo.”

“Hey, who do you think I am, Tuggs? I’ve also had lots of experiences in my live with Toms. I was young once too, you know?” She winked at Tugger. “My boy!! “ Again she came over to him and gave him a big hug on the ground. “Jenny, please, I’m not a kitten anymore.” “To me you are my dear.” She kissed his cheek. “I’ll let you carry on thinking now. And think real hard.” Jenny laughed and wobbled off.

Tugger rolled back onto his back and waved off a fly that tried to land on his nose several times, until he got so mad he smacked his nose, while the fly took off unharmed. 

Demeter still sat on the tyre by herself. She didn’t know what was going on today, it seem so desolate on the junkyard today, everyone out? Or what? She heard voices but saw no-one, then suddenly Jennyanydots waddled in. “Hi Demi!” she waved to her from a far. Then took her time to get over to Demeter and got herself comfortable on the tyre. Demeter looked at her expectantly. “Oh, I see, Bomba talked to you, didn’t she?” Jenny said smiling, the lovely thing.

“Yes, she did, and… Jenny, did you talk to Tugger?” “Yes I did, Demeter, but that’s not important. Is it true what Bomba told me? You really…fell in love with Tugger?” Demeter’s face changed into a frown. The eyes filled with tears, what was Jenny trying to tell her now?

“Now, now, please no tears, no need for that.” Jenny padded Demeter’s head. “He told me he came round your place at night, but you chucked him out, hahahaa. Good for you, Demi. Taught him a little lesson there you did.” “But I thought I was really rude.” Demeter sniffed.

“Nooo, Demi, good for you, you did, now he knows your not like the rest. You don’t want a little affair, do you? You want more, right?” “yes, but you don’t sound as if you like Tugger, Jenny.”

“Of course I do, he’s my boy, kinda. But he has to remember how to behave. That’s all.”

“Oh, I don’t know what to do, Jenny.” “Don’t worry, your doing just fine.” Jenny padded Demi’s arm now. “I can’t see it, I don’t feel fine.” “Demeter, Tugger likes you a lot, really. He just doesn’t wanna admit how much, and finds it difficult to talk about it.” “Really?” Demeter’s frown turned into a smile again. “yes, just carry on the way you have, your doing fine. But now I have to go and take my nap, afterwards it’s sewing class for the field-mice.” The Gumbie cat hopped off the tyre and started waddling off. “But Jenny, Tugger’s so fickle, he’s not the kinda Tom to stick to just one queen,.” “Oh yes he is.” That’s all she heard Jenny say before she dissappeared between some rubbish-heaps.  

Demeter lay herself onto the tyre, onto her belly with her head propped up with both paws. All sounded so easy the way Jenny put it. But it didn’t feel that way. The day went by so quietly and she couldn’t see Tugger anywhere. Where was he? Not hiding away with some queen in the fields? Maybe she should do a round, a little exercise would do her good. But then she shook her head at herself. What am I doing? Either it’s true that he likes me or not. That’s it. There was nothing she could do about it at all. Slowly she decided to turn in. Not even Bomba was out, it was really mysterious. Demeter lay in between her blankets passing in review what Jenny had said and finally feel asleep. She hadn’t drifted off for long when suddenly she heard her name being called. She opened her eyes and turned around and recognized Tugger’s head looking through the entrance.

“Tuuu-uaahh—gger!” she said yawning, “What do you want again at this hour?”

“Can I come in?” Well, at least this time he asked first, maybe her lesson-teaching started to work just like Jenny said. “Well, what for, what do you want? Not IT again?”

“Let me come in, please, I want to talk to you.” “Talk? Are you sure you know what TALKING is?” Demeter said sarcastically. Tugger had to laugh at that, he knew what she was refering to.

“Yes, I do, hehehe…now give me permission to come in.” He sounded rather impatient she thought. Well, good! “Ok, then, come in a moment, hope this is not a trick, Tugger.” Demi said raising an eyebrow as far as she could. Tugger slipped in and sat down beside her.

“Righty-ho, go on then, TALK!” Demi waited attentively. “Well, I… just wanted to … I …uhm…” Tugger scratched his head. “I see, you do NOT know how to talk, good night then, and see you tomorrow.” She pointed towards the entrance. “Hang on, give a Tom a chance to recollect himself.” Demeter dropped her arm and tilted her head looking at him. “Don’t look at me like that, I can’t speak then.” Tugger said, somewhat uncomfortable, but Demeter carried on staring at him and grinning. “That’s not fair, Demeter…” “Talk!!!!!” “Ok, ok…I …well I wanted to say sorry, that.. well, you know, cause Last time I just walked in on you at night an…you know what I mean.” “I don’t, tell me.” She was really liking it when he suffered like that. And having to speak about his feelings obviously made him suffer a lot. “Well, It was bad that I just walked in and….wanting you. And..sorry..that’s what I wanted to say.” Tugger looked at her anticipating her answer. “Well, I accept your apology. Was that it? Then I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Wait, wait.. I wanted to also…” Tugger stopped again a bit uncomfortable. Funny that it should be so easy to talk dirty and suggestive and so difficult to say some true words. “I wanted to ask you something… you know…about the…. The …uhm.. the jellicle Ball!” “Oh, yes I can imagine that.” Demeter said dryly. Tugger looked at her flabbergasted. Demeter saw it and explained:

“Well, surely you just want to know some details about the mating dance, what else.” Tugger looked at her rather innocently. “I …uh… really didn’t want to know details I.. well I wanted to ask…*sigh* .. I wanted to ask if you go with me to that blasted Jellicle Ball, right? There you are!” Tugger was glad it was out. Gosh! Really, how difficult that little question was for him. He couldn’t believe it himself. This time it was Demeter who gaped in astonishment. “What? You ..you want to go with ME to the Jellicle Ball? - are you sure you know what that means?”

“I think so, someone explained it to me.” He uttered quietly. Demeter ‘s face slowly showed a smile, but then a thought shot into her head. “Oooh! I see!! It’s cause of the mating dance, cause at the end of it one ….Oh Tugger, your really awful!” Demeter boxed his ears.

“Ouch!! That was really unfair. I didn’t think of the mating dance…” Tugger said seriously, but then he had to grin. “How can I believe a word you say when you grin like that?” Demeter started hitting him on his chest with her paws, but rather more playful than serious. “Believe me Demi, I mean it.” His voices started to sound softer now. Demi listend up. “Tugger, please , don’t fool around…it’s not fair.” “I know, I’m not fooling.’” “Not? Sure? - Oh well, then I accept.” She was beaming all over her face and so was Tugger. “Can I… stay the night?”

“Tugger!! She said still grinning, “Get out!” “No, I won’t” he said also grinning and grabbed her round her waist. “Now you make it look as if it was all a trick.” “It wasn’t but can’t I just lie next to you anyway? Come on. I’ll be good.” He pouted. Demi couldn’t resist him any longer and agree. They lay down under the blankets and Tugger snuggled close to her. He curved his body round her back and put his arms around her. “That’s really cosy. “ he said suggestively, moving his loins onto her butt. “Tugger, please…” “Yes, yes, yes! – sleep now.” Tugger shushed her. And they both fell asleep peacefully.  

Next morning Demeter awoke with a start. She had a bad dream about Tugger using her, and then telling all the other Toms on the yard, and everybody laughing about her. No Tom didn’t show any interests anymore. Not even Alonzo. She rubbed her eyes and looked around and realized with a shock that Tugger had left again. Darn, can’t this Tom stay with her until she woke up? She crawled out of the den. “Hi, had a good sleep?” Victoria said winking at her.

Demeter said nothing, cause she didn’t understand why she would wink at her. Jellylorum waved to her winking, too. What? What’s going on? Munkustrap passed by winking at her. Pardon? Then Bomba stormed at her. “Demeter! Wow, you lucky thing I should be really jealous of you.”

“Why? What happened?” Demi replied really not knowing what was going on. “Don’t play innocent. Tugger walked out of your den this morning and everyone saw….” “So what? He walk out of many dens before, and everyone knew.” “Yes, but Munkus asked him about it. Don’t know what he talked about with him, but word spread, that Tugger invited you to the Jellicle Ball. Everyone is stunned. ‘Course Munkus thinks it was time too. Are you happy?” “Course I am.” Demeter blushed. And Bomba put her arm around the shoulder of her friend and went for a walk with her.  

The jellicle Ball was only a few more days off. The next two days passed like usual, only that Demeter saw a lot of Tugger, even though he was his naughty self, talking suggestively all the time, flirting with all the dames. But at least she knew, that he would go with HER to the ball, and she had not seen him go to any other den again. Walking around one afternoon, she saw the adolescent queens sitting together chatting and gossiping. They sat with their back to her and didn’t know Demeter was passing.

“I knew it was too good to be true.” Silla exclaimed rather loudly. “what do you mean?” Etcetera asked. “Well, I heard, that Tugger invited Tanto to the ball first. And then he felt sorry for Demeter, cause someone told him, that she is in love with him. So he must’ve gone and invited her too, to make her feel good.” “Rubbish! Who told such nonsense?” Electra said, believing in the innocense of her hero. “Well, someone told someone else who told someone else and who told me.” Silla said thinking herself rather smart. “oh yeah, I bet it was Tumble or Pounz, you shouldn’t believe them..…” Etcetera said. “True, they tell us silly stories to believe on purpose, so they can laugh at us later.” Electra finish off the sentence. “No, not them. I heard that it was Jenny who first told someone. You know we can trust Jennyanydots?” Silla squeeked again. “But what will Tugger do? It’s no use to invite two dames, when in the end he can only go with one! “ Electra was rather quick-witted today but Silla shook her head. “poppycock! Of course he will ditch Demeter just before the ball. What else can he do. I heard he ‘s been at Tanto’s den last night and he stayed till late in the morning. They say he looked really done up with business of the night, if you know what I mean. I’d like him to show me too.”

“Shut up Silla, your very bad you are. I can’t believe all this.” Etcetera ticked her off. “But it’s true, look over there. What do you see?”

Three pairs of eyes followed Silla’s paw, including Demeter’s, who’s heart was beating wildly with anticipation. There in the near distance Tugger stood broad-legged and Tanto had her armes wrapped round his neck, squeezing her body on Tugger’s. His head appeared to be bend towards her whispering something to her, or so it seemed. “Oohh!” Demeter exclaimed. And the three yound queens turned round to see Demeter widening their eyes in stupor, putting her paws to their mouths. Demeter held back her tears and took a deep breath, then she stomped over to Tugger who seemed a little tense about her seeing him with Tanto in this treacherous position. Before he could push Tanto away Demeter hat already reached him and slapped him hard in the face, then she ran off furiously and hurt. Tugger held his cheek. Gosh! What unexpected strength she had. He wanted to go after her, but Tanto held him back. “She would not listen to you now Tugger, leave her alone.” Tugger didn’t really hear what Tanto said, he only knew there must be some kinda misunderstanding, because he only stood there when Tanto had walked over to him and unexpectedly thrown her arms around him , kissing him. He had no time to push her away. Even though, he had to admit he liked the attention, but he knew now, that what he really wanted was Demeter.  

All day long, he searched for her in vain. “Where is she Bomba, tell me, come on. Don’t hide her.” “I don’t know where she is Tugger believe me, haven’t seen her all afternoon.”

Tugger shook her head. The day after tomorrow was the ball and he wanted everything to be sorted and cleared by then. He had enough of everyone thinking rubbish about him. Still, as much as he searched he couldn’t find her. Even in the night, when he went to her den, she was not there and he got really worried. If she wouldn’t be there in the morrow, he’d tell the guys to help him look for her. Tugger had a very bad night, and his cheek still burned. Somehow, he had to grin about it. He liked that energy that Demeter had demonstrated.  

Next day, Demeter awoke in the car-boot next to Alonzo. She had tried to hide herself there, until Alonzo came, cause she knew, Tugger would try and look for her and tell her some of his brilliant stories, that she always fell for. Unfortunately she couldn’T slip out before Alonzo came back. So he found her there asleep. Demeter had only pretended to be asleep or she would have to explain to him too much, and she wasn’t in the mood to do so. Now she climbed out of the car-boot quietly, but Alonzo called after her: “Demi, just a moment…” Demi had to wait, it was too nasty if she wouldn’t since she just stayed the night in his place. “Yes, Alonzo?” Alonzo stuck his head out of the boot. “Demeter, please, do go with me to the ball, will you?” Demeter looked rather heart-broken when he said that to her. “I don’t know Alonzo, I don’t feel like partying at all. I can tell you that.” “Oh, it’s cause of Tugger, he takes you doesn’t he? I heard, just didn’t believe it. “ “No, he is going with Tanto, as far as I know.” Demeter swallowed hard and tried to sound casually. “Sure? With Tanto? So why won’t you come with me then?” Alonzo was hopeful. “Well, maybe Alonzo.” “Maybe? It’s tomorrow.” He crawled out of the boot, “Come let’s get something to eat together, you look so pale and faded.” Demeter sighed and just followed him. It was a good diversion.

Tugger from afare saw Alonzo hunting. But…was that not…was that not Demeter with him? What’s going on now? She hanging around with him again? Tugger felt a sharp pain in his heart. He hadn’t felt this kinda pain for a long time and he remembered now, how awful it was. When Alonzo and Demeter finished hunting they walked over together to the center of the yard and Tugger marched over to them. He stood before Demeter. “Demeter, I think you should talk to me about yesterday.” “No, I don’t want to talk no more. Always turns out a lie.” Demeter remarked coldly and held her head high. She walked on and Alonzo followed. Tugger went after her and held her by her arm. “Hey, Tugger, let me go at once.” “I have to explain…” “I don’t want no more explanations, I’m not interested, go explain to Tanto, if she’s so keen on your fairy-tales.” Demeter pulled her arm away. Tugger tried to grab her again, but Alonzo pushed him away. “Leave her alone, didn’t you hear? You can never take NO for an answer, can you?” “Who asked you?” Tugger said getting angry.  

But Alonzo wrapped his arm round Demeter’s waist and walked off with her. Tugger kicked a tin that lay on the ground in his way and kicked it with force high up and across the yard. Then he stormed off down to the brook and was not seen all evening. A loud meow could be heard from the spot where the tin landed and Pouncival rubbed his head and lay himself flat on the ground with both paws on his head, hoping there wouldn’t be any more coming down. Then he sniffed about on that nasty tin and looked up into the sky praying: “Dear Lord of heavyside Layer, don’t punish me like that, it was Tumble who poured a glass of honey on Silla’s den-floor!”  

It was Jellicle Ball-Day!! Everyone seemed to be up early and the whole junkyard was swarming with jellicles running to and fro and jolly chattering and laughing. Everybody started preparations for the ball itself at night. They pulled furniture about, swept the yard, tidied up bits and pieces and started putting up the many paper-garlands they had made all those days before. Everyone was happy and beaming and jolly. Tumble was just trying to impress Electra, Silla and Etcetera by trying to copy Tugger’s style. He had put a string around his waist pretending it to be a belt like Tuggers, then he stood in front of Silla broad-legged, sticking out his chest and lifting up his head. He hooked up his thumb-claws in his ‘belt’ like Tugger did and grinned broadly. Slowly he strutted over to Silla hoping to make a lasting impression on her.

“Hi, sweetie, will you come to the ball with me, my pretty? I’m sure we’ll have a naughty night together.” “Shove off, Tumble, your cannot be like Tugger, it really looks silly on you.” Silla said casually turning back towards Electra and Etcetera gossiping. “pfffffffffff!” Tumble let out the air he had collected to puff up his chest, and shrugged his shoulders then caught sight of some movement behind him. I’ll catch you! Fiend! – he said and ran after his tail 7 rounds like a nutter. Then he fell over onto his back feeling dizzy, stretching up all 4 paws into the air and letting his tongue hang out of his mouth. The young dames were impressed by this stunt and giggled and pointed at him. Tumble held his head up for a moment. Oh, so that worked also! He thought jollily and dropped his head again.

Time passed and the closer the begin of the ball came the more excited everybody got, grooming themselves and cleaning their chokers until the studs shone. Tugger was nervously walking to and fro and Tanto keep coming after him. “Please leave me alone, Tanto.”

“But Tugger, forget about Demeter, you can come with me to the ball, you won’t have to go alone.” “No, Tanto, I promised her and I want to go with her!” Tugger said getting rather agitated about Tanto pestering him. “Oh come on, don’t be like that, she chose to go with Alonzo.” “We’ll see about that.” Tugger said and walked off, then stopped to tell Tanto to go away.  

Tanto finally was annoyed and left. Tugger searched for Alonzo and Demeter. She’d been hiding all morning and afternoon. He was soo mad, that she wouldn’t even talk to him. He still didn’t know what he did wrong? That was not typical Demeter. He couldn’t believe it. Then suddenly he saw her with Alonzo walking down onto the yard holding paws. Tugger’s eyes widened with jealousy, he had forgotten all about what jealousy could do. When the two stopped near the tyre, Tugger approached them quickly. “Demeter, come with me, we need to talk.” He grabbed her free paw and wanted to drag her away with him , but Alonzo held her tight. “Let her go Alonzo, I have to talk to her, and if afterwards she wants to come back to you , she can. “ Demeter closed her eyes then opened it again, but said nothing. “I say NO! it’s too late to make up for any of your mistakes.” “Shut up Alonzo, I didn’t make any mistakes. It was a misunderstanding. “ Tugger raged. “I can imagine that, “ Alonzo laughed, “easy to call all you do a misunderstanding.” “Stop it Alonzo, watch your mouth.” “Tugger, just go away, Tanto’s already waiting for you eagerly. Just look.” Demeter pointed at Tanto who was chatting to Vici not too far away. “I don’t want to go to see Tanto, Demeter, I asked YOU to come to the ball with ME and you accepted. What changed your mind?” Tugger roared. “Don’t shout like that Tugger, I changed my mind, when I heard the truth. “ Demeter said calmly but she really was so upset inside, seeing Tugger and wanting to be with him so much, but her heart was hurting because of the story she had overheard. “What truth!” Tugger asked. “Well, you should know.” Demeter couldn’t face him any longer and pulled Alonzo away with her.

Tugger grabbed her round the waist from behind and lifted her up to carry her away with him. Alonzo turned and pulled on Demeters arms. “Let her go.” He shouted. Tugger let her go.

“now piss off Tugger, go hunt some other dames.” Alonzo was mad, but Tugger was exploding now.

He stomped over to Alonzo and hit him hard on the chin that Alonzo in surprise tumbled back and fell on his backside rubbing his jaws. Tugger took Demeter onto his arms and carried her away. Alonzo was just too surprise to act upon it. He just lay there with his mouth gaping in disbelief. Tugger took Demeter to a quiet spot between some rubbish heaps. “Let me down, Tugger, we have nothing more to discuss, I can’t take it no more, can’t you see this whole stuff hurts me?” Demeter cried out. Tugger put her down gently but held her paws so she could not run off. “I want to know what happened.” He said now more calmly. “I heard the truth Tugger. It hurt me very much.” “What truth, I really don’t get it. I’m so confused, I thought you really liked me…!” Tugger mumbled. “Well I do, but I thought you would also like me.” “But I do!!! “ Tugger said desperately. “Maybe , but not JUST me.” Demeter answered snappish. “Yeees, only you!!” Tugger said sighing. “Nice way to show it.” “Tell me please I don’T get it, I asked you to come to the ball with me…..” Tugger began again. “..after you asked Tanto! I heard the story.” Demeter interrupted him. “What? Where did you hear that? Now we’re getting somewhere.” Tugger said, slowly understanding.

Demeter now told him what she overheard the young queens say. Tugger fumed that his mane puffed up and stood on ends in anger. “I can’t believe it! Who spreads such things?? Certainly not Jenny. It’s not true at all! I did not ask Tanto to come with me to the ball. Utter rubbish.” Tugger shook his head. “Is that really true now? I don’t know who to believe anymore. I can imagine the young ladies exaggerating a little, but they wouldn’t make up something like that.” Tugger’s eyes suddenly looked up in the air as if he saw something there, then he looked at Demeter. “Oh for heavyside’s sake, it must have been Tanto herself spreading that. I turned her down once when we sat together… remember? What did she think she was doing spreading stories like that, I nearly …lost you….”  

The last two words he spoke very quietly, looking at Demeter a little awkward. But Demeter smiled the smile of an angel-cat. Tugger looked to the floor and Demeter put her paws on either side of Tuggers face and gave him a soft kiss on his mouth, that Tugger gulped heavily.

“Why only can you flirt around so loud and easily with every queen, and throw around with the most suggestive or dirtiest phrases, but to say a simple word of love , you cannot get it over your lips?” Demeter asked Tugger, but Tugger pressed his lips together and raised both brows. He shrugged his shoulders and smiled. Then they suddenly heard music starting up. The Jellicle Ball! It was starting and they had missed the introducional speech. They grabbed each others paw both at the same and ran back to the yard, where all the Jellicles were already dancing and singing, and screaming with joy!! Golden and silverly lights were sparkling everywhere and Misto had conjured up a gigantic Moon, that shone so bright and hung on the sky as if it was real. Giving them the feeling of this ball being very mystical. Tugger und Demi squeezed between the dancers and twirled each other around. Jennyanydots was dancing with Skimble and nodded to Tugger looking rather pleased with herself for taking part in this plot. Bomba had chosen Plato for this years ball, and Munkustrap was swinging around Vici and both of them beamed like little kitten. Alonzo was not very happy, particulary when he suddenly realized that Demeter and Tugger had made up. He finally gave up hope about Demeter, it was useless to fight against Tugger. He looked around and saw Tanto standing around all alone looking very guilty. He went over to her. “Tanto, may I chose you for this years jellicle and mating ball?” Tanto looked surprised, she had never considered Alonzo before, but maybe that was, because he was always after Demeter. She nodded happily and the two of them joined in the dance. When Tanto came close to Tugger and Demeter she gave Tugger a guilty look but then change her features to express how sorry she was about what she had done. Tugger forced a smile and nodded, accepting the apology, because he got what he wanted after all.  

Everyone danced and sang, and laughed all night. In between they were sitting together in little groups chatting. Munkustrap sat next to Vici holding her hand lovingly, Bomba and Plato were flirting, Mungo and Rumple were fooling around and Tugger and Demeter sat very close to each other. Him tugging her into his arms, where she kinda dissapperared, as Tugger was very tall, and she was rather small. “Well, Jellicles, I hope it’s ok to announce to you our mate-binding-party next week.” Munkustrap’s eyes , that normally looked so serious and proper, beamed the light of love at Vici, still holding her hand. Vici shyly looking down on the ground grinning happily. So it worked for them after all, Demeter thought, then she looked up in Tugger’s face, and it worked for me too. He noticed and turned to her. “Alright?” “Oh yes, I am fine, Tugger,” she said smiling at him and Tugger bent down to grab her chin with his paw and smacked a loving kiss on her lips. Demeter closed her eyes. Had her dream really come true? Tugger really was her Tom-knight in shining armour after all. She knew, the way he looked at her now. Bomba nudged Plato. “Cute, looked at them, they are madly in Love with each other, I say, I ‘d never had thought it possible for Tugger to feel something like that. But look at them, they can’t stop touching each other, the two melt to one.” Bomba put on a dreamy look, maybe fairy-tales could come true. Maybe she also should start to look out for her Tom Charming. She carried on a little while longer watching Demeter and Tugger exchanging little tokens of love and being very gentle with each other.  

Finally there was the calling for the mating dance to be heard. It sounded like a weird loud Meoooww of a queen in heat. And Demeter and Tugger glared at each other then they too started the mating dance, rubbing their bodies at one another, Demeter standing in front of Tugger with her back towards him, Tugger holding her tight like that, moving his hips up and down. They nuzzled and rubbed their heads to each other, while the music got more and more exciting. The music got quicker and frantic and all the Jellicles danced and rubbed closedly with their partners, working themselves into an extasy. When the last notes of the music ceased all the couples sneaked off to their dens, and so did Tugger and Demeter. Tugger pushed her gently in front of him into her den and followed her inside. She lay herself onto her blankets and received Tugger gladly with open arms. He lay down beside her and started kissing her. Demeter sighed with joy. “Tugger, do you really think, you can be faithfull to just one queen?” She caressed his face and looked at his eyes. “But, why not? Don’t take my big talk so serious, most of it IS just talk.” He whispered to her. “But it’s not just talk Tugger, also action.” “If your refering to my visits to the dens of other queens… well, what’s a single Tom to do about his needs?” “Oh, Tugger…there you go again.” Demi pouted. “No, I don’t mean it like that, but if I’m single I don’t hurt anyone, do I? So what’s wrong with going with a queen if she wants it?”

Demeter sighed. She didn’t like to hear such things, but of course there was nothing to say against it, if he was single. “Do you consider yourself single now?” she said carefully.

“No.” he said softly and kissed her neck and all around. “Are you sure?” “I’m sure my sweet, don’t worry, I’ll prove it to you.” Tugger slipped himself onto her and they joined together in love ending the ball with passionate mating through the night, tightly clasped to each other. Just as it was meant to be.

It’s been told that many years later, a little cheeky rogue appeared to be chasing all the kitten-queens around. He was black with leopardspots and a lovely long mane. “Tuggomalley! Stop chasing the girls, don’t tease them.” A female voice would say and scratch her spiky hair, while the Tom by her side just grinned broadly.