Maria Thermann

Mopple's Story


Youre not going to wear that, are you?


        Listen to the fashion expert. Theres nothing wrong with my new t-shirt. Youre the one wearing a politically incorrect fur coat! Molly snapped.


Ignoring her friends last remark Mopple continued admiring the stripes on her own front legs. Her left paw lazily swiped at a passing fly. She yawned, displaying two rows of needle sharp teeth. The fly had reminded her it was lunchtime. Her yellow eyes squinted into the sunlit bedroom, taking in the second hand wardrobe, the worn rug and the jumble sale curtains. Finally her gaze came to rest on her human friend. Her whiskers twitched.


        Ok, whats wrong with it? Molly took a closer look at herself in the mirror.


        Whats wrong with it? Its got a whacking great big dinosaur printed on the front. Mopple sighed.


        It isnt a dinosaur. Its Nessie.


        Nessie? Were on first name terms with bloodthirsty prehistoric beasts now, are we? Mopple flicked her tail.


        Nessie isnt a bloodthirsty dinosaurshesmythological. Anyway, Helen gave me this t-shirt. She bought it in Scotland during our holiday. Molly spun around on the spot to get a glimpse of her back. The light fell through the open bedroom window giving Mollys mousy brown hair a halo. Next doors dog barked.


        The holiday I wasnt invited to. Just rub it in, why dont you. Mopple rolled onto her side and stared at a rucksack on the floor. Whats mythological?


        Legendary, folk tales, that sort of thing. Nessie is a big tourist attraction at Loch Ness in Scotland. Helen and I -


        Legendary? Like me you mean?


        Mopple, youre not a legend, youre real and at the moment youre crushing my home work. Get off my biology project. Molly tried to chase Mopple off her notebook without much success.


         Hah, I am very much a legend! Im a mesmerizing, omnipotent, photogenic, phantastically legendary entity. MOPPLE for short.


        I was told your name stands for Mostly Organic Prototype Pet Lion-Tiger Experiment. An android prototype cross breed. Its actually stamped on your metal belly button. And you cant spell fantastic.


Mopple stretched her body into a furry sausage shaped obstacle, hooked her titanium claws into the duvet and purred. Molly tore at her notebook trying to shift Mopple onto the bedspread.


Whats a prototype? The lion-tiger cub growled fastening her grip on the duvet.


The very first of something, a brand new invention like a new car model for instance. Or an android cat.


        There you go then! I am unique, one of a kind. I am far too grand to be named by some factory. Look at me: am I not a magnificent, original, purrrfectly paw-tastic, lovely escort for any child?


        Mopple, you are a mutinousobstinatepestilentialpain of a lion-tiger extract. Now get off my homework! Molly tugged violently at her notebook knocking Mopple off the bed in the process.


Turning in mid-air she landed on her paws. The bedspread stuck to her claws, trailing behind her like a train fit for a queen. She freed herself from her unwanted garment and strolled over to the new rucksack. Mopple sniffed, her whiskers quivering with distaste.


        Apart from wasting money on has-been dinosaurs, what else did you and Helen do in Scotland? Rolling about in kippers by the stink of this backpack!


        We visited a fish farm where they showed us how smoked salmon is made.


        Smoked salmon, eh? All right for some. Mrs. Trustworthy dished up the most frightful cat food every day. Rabbit flavoured soy bits in gravyhow could you leave me with that woman! No stimulating conversation either, the old biddy kept making cooing noises at me. What am I - a baby parrot? I bet you forgot all about me, when you were lording it at your hotelhaving fun, eating out, going to parties


We went on long walks in the hills, talked a lot. We stayed on a camping siteyou wouldnt have like it. It rained a lot. Not good for your circuit boards.


        A tent? Why didnt Helen pay for a hotel room? Too stingy, eh, cant like you as much as she says she does. I could have come with you if youd stayed in a hotel. I dont need much: a cosy fire, six or seven decent meals a day, a back rub once or twice


        How can I tell Helen I have a speaking cat? Helens pretty decent, as far as foster mothers go, moneys just a bit tight at the moment. She couldnt afford a hotel. Im really sorry you couldnt come with us, ok? Sorry you had a horrible time with the neighbour. Look, I dont want to spoil it here and be sent back to the childrens home.  Helen would go mad if she heard you speak, I know she would.


        Purrfectly understandable. My voice is musical, operatic, perfectly pitched, lyrical and extraordinary. Its quite right for Helen to be in awe.


        Mopple, you really take the biscuit! Helen must never find out I travelled to the future in a time machine and brought you back. How can I possibly tell her? She thinks I got lost in the woods for a few days. Helens got no idea that Peter, Leroy and I saved Earth.


        Actually, I saved Earth, but I allowed you to help. Now, about that t-shirt: if youre wearing it to please Helen, finebut if youre trying to impress your friendswell


        For the last time: whats wrong with this t-shirt? Molly stamped her foot.


        Unless Earth was once populated by pink fluffy dinosaurs, Id say your Nessie is a bit girlie.


        The Loch Ness Monster can be any colour she likes. Saved Earth, my foot! You just got in the way when the action started. Peter, Leroy and I fought -


        Got in the way? That killer robot wouldnt have tripped if I hadnt heroically thrown myself into her path -


        That killer robot fell over you when you legged it back to the safety of the time machine, cat-of-mine.


        I wouldnt have had to sacrifice myself, if youd worn that Nessie t-shirt. The robot would have doubled up laughing and there wouldnt have been a fight at all!


Molly threw a rolled up sock at her unruly pet. Mopple evaded the woolly missile with a casual swipe of her paw. The girl picked up a water pistol and chased her cat around the bedroom, squirting water jets at the retreating feline. Trying to escape the firing squad, Mopple skidded on the floorboards, crashed into the desk and upset a pile of books. A cascade of novels tumbled down and Mopples tail was hit by the literary might of Treasure Island and Gullivers Travels. This called for revenge.


She dived under the bed emerging on the other side with Mollys favourite scarf in her mouth. Mopple unleashed her titanium claws and launched a pretend attack. The silky fabric quivered under her paws.


        You wouldnt dare! Helen gave me that scarf for my birthday. If you ruin it, I swear Ill shave off your fur!


        HolidaysscarvesHelens trying to buy your friendship, isnt she? Wonder how she can afford it!


        No she isnt. Shes not like the other foster mothersshe really caresshes been working overtime. Please, give me back the scarf.


        The question is, do you care? I mean, its all very cosy here for you and if she gives you a lot of things, I can understand why you wouldnt want to leave such a profitable place. But do you care for her the way she cares for you?


Of course I care. Shes good to me. Molly bit her lip.


Thats not what I asked. Do you care about her?


If I say yes, will you give me back the scarf?


No. Ill return the scarf if you say YES and really mean it.


Mopple picked up the scarf and jumped on the bed, the delicate silk trailing behind her. She unhooked the scarf from her claws, made a comfortable nest of it and settled down.


I am waiting. Either you like Helen for who she is or you dont. Simple enough question.


Ermwe had a great time in Scotland. No social worker poking her long nose in. Just Helen and me. Shes funny, you know. I mean she makes me laughnot that shes peculiar or anything. The way she threw her arms around me when we returned from the future! I thought shed be madmy clothes were dirty and torn, Id been missing for days, had lost my backpack.


Are you telling me you missed her when you were in the future? Did you actually want to come back here?


 YES! I wanted to go hoit felt good coming back. Molly corrected herself hurriedly.


You wanted to go home? This is home then, is it?


I guess so, cat-of-mine. YES, ok?


Thats good. The social worker with the long nose told me youre allowed to stay here for good. I can adopt you, daughter-of-mine.


Helen! Molly stared at the woman standing in the doorway.


How did I do? Mopple held up her paw and Helen shook it affectionately.


Splendidly, detective Mopple! You didnt think you could keep a secret like a speaking cat from me, did you my girl? The walls have ears in this house. I stopped believing in imaginary friends long ago. Helens eyes sparkled. She fell onto the bed laughing. Her laugh was infectious and Molly started giggling, too.


Tying the scarf around Mopples neck Helen finally said: Anyone for lunch? Its smoked salmon, salad and home made bread.


A most opulent, pricey, purrfectly luxurious experience, Im sure! Mopple sighed in anticipation.


We have a reason to celebrate, lets make it a special occasion. Why dont you dress for lunch, Molly? Your favourite blouse perhaps? Mopple is looking very posh in her silk scarf. Im going to wear my best dress. Honestly, you look like a seven-year-old in that t-shirt! I dont know what I was thinking off when I bought it. I guess my mothering instinct got the better off me. Helen smiled and rose to return to the kitchen.


Youre going to wear that, are you? Mopple asked five minutes later when the friends sat side by side on the bed.


Yeah, its my favourite t-shirt. Any objections? Molly snapped.


Mopples head nestled against the pink dinosaur design. A cloud of multicoloured cat hair rose up tickling Mollys nose, when she stroked her pet.


No, you look purrfectly paw-tastic! Mopple grinned. It felt good to be home.






All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Maria Thermann.
Published on on 11/16/2009.


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