"What a Moused-up, Mousin' Mess. MOUSES!" Kickin' an acorn across the driveway, I noticed some squirrels huddled together, chatterin' to themselves. "Hey! Yeah, YOU!" I cried. "What the mouses are you lookin' at? What business is it of yours?" and I kicked another acorn, just for good measure, before turnin' my back on the squirrels and stompin' toward the house.
"Hey PEEPERS! You need to get out here, right now."
The peep came runnin', thinkin' one of us cats was hurt or somethin', I guess. Either that or she was tired of listenin' to Peep #2 blather on about somethin' unimportant. In other words, somethin' not pertainin' to us cats. MOUSES!
"What's the matter?" Peep #1 asked. "What's wrong?"
I stared at the peep. "Can you not SEE what's wrong? LOOK ABOUT YOU, WOMAN. Just look!"
The peep looked, but I could tell she didn't understand. I could see wheels spinnin' in that ol' head of hers, but they were just spinning 'round and 'round, kickin' up nothin' but dust. MOUSES!
"JUST LOOK AT THIS MESS!" I yelled. "Even the squirrels are mockin' me on account of the mess."
"The squirrels are mocking you?" the peep asked. From the tone of her voice, I was thinkin' she didn't believe me.
"Oh yeah. I can tell," I told her, noddin' wisely. "I, Seville the Cat, can ALWAYS tell when squirrels are mockin' us cats. Their chatterin' goes up an octave, you see. It's a TOTALLY different chatterin' sound, for sure. And let me tell you somethin', Peepers: I don't like it. I don't like it, one bit. And let me tell you somethin' ELSE, Peepers: That mockin' chatterin' is ALL YOUR FAULT, for sure. MOUSES!"
The peep looked dumbfounded. In other words - or in ANOTHER word - NORMAL. MOUSES!
"So uh..." and I absentmindedly kicked at another acorn. Where the mouses all the acorns were comin' from was a mystery, for sure, but I didn't ask the peep, on account of my havin' much bigger issues at paw. "So Peepers, exactly what are you gonna do about this mess? Huh? HUH? Might I suggest a clean up crew, perhaps? I'm thinkin' you might need a dozen guys or so. Maybe two. Two DOZEN, that is. This is WAY too much mess for just two. MOUSES!"
"Seville..." and the peep screwed up her nose. "What on earth are you talking about? Where is this MESS you're going on about now?"
I rolled my eyes. "EVERYWHERE!" I cried. "Here. There. EVERYWHERE. Someone must have come along last night and dumped bags and bags AND BAGS of wet, soggy, mushy, icky leaves all over the ground. Not to mention a truckload of acorns. And then there's the potting soil..."
The peep held up a paw. I mean, hand. "We'll get back to the leaves in a moment," she said, "but what's this about potting soil?"
"Did I not mention the leaves are all wet and soggy?"
"Yes, you did mention that. But what's this about potting soil?" she asked, AGAIN.
"Did I not mention they're slippery? The leaves, I mean. They're VERY slippery leaves, indeed."
I could see the wheels turnin' inside her head again. Literally. Yup, I could LITERALLY see the wheels turnin', on account of there not bein' much brain in there to hide the hamster - or whatever the little guy is - runnin' around on that rodent-sized wheel in there, makin' it turn.
"Do you mean..." began the peep.
"NOW you're thinkin'," and I clapped my front paws together. "Yup, I can see the smoke comin' out of your ears, now. Be careful not to overtax that brain of yours though, Peepers, 'cause you don't want it to overheat."
The peep thought for a bit longer before speaking again. "Seville, are you trying to tell me that you slipped on some wet leaves while dragging around a bag of potting soil, spilling said potting soil all over the driveway?"
"Is that not what I said in the first place?" I stared at the peep. "You're pretty slow on the uptake there but, yeah, that's exactly what happened." I shook my head in dismay. "Sometimes I think I have to spoon feed you information, Peepers. It's amazin' you can even get yourself dressed in the mornings. MOUSES!"
The peep sighed. "So what do you expect me to do about this... mess?"
"I already told you. A clean up crew is what we need. And make it a big one, too."
"Exactly how much potting soil did you spill?"
"Not that much, really. But you need the crew to clean up the leaves, as well. Like I said, SOMEONE came along in the middle of the night and dumped TONNES of leaves all over the driveway, and the garden, and everywhere else. You'll probably want to call the police in to investigate, but you need to organise that crew for the cleanin' up, right away. You know, before I go and slip on the leaves again, and..."
"Seville..." the peep began with a sigh.
You know, I thought I detected a hint of exasperation in her voice. Not quite sure why, though. She sounded like she was gettin' frustrated by somethin' but for the life of me, I had no idea what. I mean, it's not like SHE was the one who slipped on those slippery leaves. Nor was she the one at whom those squirrels had been chatterin', either. Spotting another acorn on the ground, I whacked it with a paw. I watched as it rolled toward the peep, stoppin' a few inches from her feet.
"You were sayin'?" I asked.
"Seville, no one dumped tonnes of leaves in our yard."
"Au contraire mon frère... I mean, ma peep. Hmmm... How do you say Peep in French, Peepers? Could it be, Peep?" I asked, usin' a French accent.
And there was that exasperated tone again. What WAS her problem? MOUSES!
I held up a paw. "Peepers, someone CLEARLY dumped all these leaves..."
"No, Seville," and the peep interrupted me, VERY RUDELY, I might add. "No one dumped any leaves. "It's fall. Autumn. The leaves fall in the fall."
I screwed up my nose. "Well why are they all wet and slippery, then? You have an answer for THAT, Miss Know-it-all Fancy Pants?" Why I added the fancy pants bit at the end, I have no idea. Just sounded good, I suppose, but the truth was, the peep's pants were anythin' but fancy. MOUSES!
"Because it rained, Seville. The leaves fell from the trees, and then it rained. A lot. It rained for two days, non-stop, then rained a bit more, yesterday, and..."
"And the fallen leaves got all wet," I concluded. "Interestin'... Well I suppose there's no need to call in the police, then."
"No, there's no need for the police."
"Okay, Peepers, but..."
"But what?" she asked.
"But where are you on that clean-up crew? We've still got a big ol' mess to deal with, and I'M not gonna clean it all up. You best get on the phone, now. I'll go check the garage to see how many rakes and things we have. And uh..."
"And WHAT?" the peep asked. She closed her eyes, probably not wantin' to hear my answer which was Super Stupid on her part, 'cause when you think about it, one hears with one's ears, not one's eyes, and as far as I could tell, her EARS were still wide open for hearin'. MOUSES!
"And some shovels and stuff. You know, for the potting soil."
"How much potting soil did you spill again? And why were you dragging potting soil around in the first place?"
"Meh... Potting soil... Top soil... A bag or two... A dump truck's worth. Po-tay-toes, po-tah-toes, Peepers. Po-tay-toes, po-tah-toes."
The peep let out a loud sigh.
"Oh, and uh... Peepers?"
"Um... Never mind. I'll tell you 'bout the other stuff, tomorrow. You know, when those plumes of smoke have stopped comin' out of your ears. MOUSES!"