Tea For Twelve by Sarah Linton, age 12
Tea For Twelve: A Cat’s Tale of Gate Crashing a Tea Party
by Sarah Linton
Juliet sprang lightly off the wall into Rosalie’s garden, her elegant Abyssinian coat reflecting in the rising sun. Normally, a first class house cat like her wasn’t up very early, but today was a desperate situation. “Rosalie,” mewed Juliet, “come on out. I know why Tiffany is ignoring us!” Rosalie poked her small, brown tabby head out of the bushes, “Then spit it out!” she exclaimed. “Tiffany is having a tea party, and they’re making loads of good food. And they’re having tea!” Cats, I’ll have you know, go batty for tea.
Rosalie’s eyes widened, “We need to find Yoko, and whoever else we can round up.” Juliet nodded, “Meet me in the Oak Grove in half an hour.” The Oak Grove was actually Nottingham Park, but everyone called it the Oak Grove, so the cats caught on rather quickly as well. Juliet and Rosalie trotted off in opposite directions.
Half an hour later, Juliet, Rosalie, and their buddies were gathered around the bird bath, wondering what the urgent matter was.
“Why did you get us all up this early,” whined Daisy, her cream colored tail swishing back and forth, “it isn’t even ten o’clock yet! Do you have any brains, Juliet?” Juliet thought Daisy was an exceptional blockhead.
“Of course I have a good reason,” purred Juliet, “One of my family members is having a party. A tea party.”
The effect was instantaneous. “I get the lemon tea,” screeched Kindle, a small brown tabby, “I always get the lemon tea!”
“Mint for me!” exclaimed Yoko, the intelligent Japanese Bobtail. Things looked like they were about to get physical over the pomegranate-mango with kiwi essence when the all-practical KB separated them.
“First of all,” said the calico, “we don’t even know what type of tea is going to be there. Second, Juliet hasn’t told us the plan.”
“Thanks KB.” Juliet hopped up onto the edge of the birdbath. “Okay, the tea room has three windows, and there are eleven of us. So Kindle, Milo, and Yak will be in the right window, Daisy, Sage, and Oreo will be in the left, and KB and Blitz will be in the center. Yoko, Rosalie, and I will be at the door. Yoko will open the windows just enough so that you can squeeze in. On the count of three, one of the cats in the center window falls into the punchbowl. At the same time, Yoko will open the door for us and Rosalie and I will run in with her, and get the tea bags out. While this goes on, you guys crash the party.” Juliet sat back on her haunches and began to groom her ears.
“Permission to speak, your honor?” Asked Milo.
“Who’s jumping in the punch?”
Not one cat responded to this. The whole thing was about to go out the window, when out of the blue…
“I will!” Misty, the neighborhood’s fluffy, gray kitten, popped out of the bushes. She stood proudly in front of Juliet. “I’ll jump in the punch!”
“Get lost,” snapped Juliet, “this is no place for kittens!”
”Oh, let her stay,” yawned Oreo, “That is, unless you plan to be leaping into the punch bowl yourself.”
The gorgeous Abyssinian obviously did not have this in mind, because she agreed to let Misty go to the center window with KB and Blintz. “We’ve only got a few hours to plan it out, so let’s get this moving!” meowed Juliet. Her words were met with yowls of approval.
At 2:30, all felines were in position. The teenage girls, oblivious to the “danger,” were sipping their tea and giggling. Juliet thought that they were all incredibly shallow.
“Are you ready?” Juliet meowed softly to Yoko and Rosalie. Both cats nodded. Yoko pulled the door open, just a crack.
Now, one may wonder how a cat can open a door. But they can. Especially Japanese Bobtails, for they are the smartest cat breed.
Juliet peered in through the door. Inside, there were about seven girls, wearing glamorous gowns and eating goodies. But the real prize, the wicker basket with tea bags in it, was sitting in the center of the table. That was the objective of the mission. Juliet signaled Yoko and Rosalie to sprint into the room, and then let out a loud caterwaul. This was Misty’s cue. She dramatically leapt in the air, did a summersault, and, at the last second, stuck her legs straight out and belly flopped into the punch bowl, splashing punch onto some of the guest’s clothing and shoes.
“My dress!” cried Debra, one of Tiffany’s friends, leaping up from the table.
At this moment, while the teens were distracted by the spill, the other cats poured in. Yoko made a beeline for the meringues, while Milo began licking the frosting off of a cupcake. Sage started munching on a treacle tart, while Blintz swallowed an oatmeal raisin cookie whole.
As the other cats gorged themselves on the exquisite cuisine, Rosalie and Juliet leaped up onto the table, knocking over the antique vase with pansies, which, for the record, smashed.
“Grab Juliet!” screamed Tiffany, “I don’t want her to step on the glass!” Several futile attempts were made to seize Juliet, who had no intention of being snatched up and was very well capable of avoiding glass. Rosalie grabbed the wicker basket, and leapt through the window, not spilling any tea.
Now that the grand prize was safely in their clutches, the other cats had no reason to stick around. Most of the good stuff had been finished off, anyway. The remaining cats receded.
A few minutes later, every cat involved in the mission was gathered around the bird bath in the Oak Grove.
“What type of tea should we put in the bird bath?” asked Juliet
“Mint,” said Yoko
“Apple Cinnamon!” Blintz yowled.
“Lemon, lemon, lemon!” Kindle screeched.
“Shouldn’t we let Misty chose?” asked KB, “After all, she was the one who went through the whole punch ordeal.” At this, Misty grinned broadly, her small paws kneading the ground in delight.
“Not fair!” complained Milo.
“Get a grip!” snapped Sage.
“Are you serious?” meowed Daisy
“I guess that’s fair,” said Juliet reluctantly.
Misty chose Persimmon Papaya with Orange Twist. All of the cats gathered around as Misty dropped the tea bag into the bird bath, which had warmed up with the heat of the day. All the cats squeezed in next to each other, as close as they could get.
“To us!” cheered Misty, and the cats plunged their heads in to drink.
After the bird bath was empty, all the cats curled up in the sun to nap, with the cozy feel of warmth from the tea lingering in their bellies.
This, Juliet reflected as she blinked sleepily, is what life’s all about.