Every real rag-princess needs a close pet, both friend and muse , that gives her inspiration and some good advice, she don´t need.
It can be a dog, a hamster, a fish, a peacock or even a colony of ants in a sight-glass.
Our princess has a cat. No ordinary cat of cause, but a rare “rag-cat”…and that isn´t always easy….
First of advent. As usual the cat layed on the rag-princess work and winked sleepy. Outside a few snowflakes dropped. A rough wind blowed and ripped the last withered leaves off the trees. Dark clouds where floating across the sky. It was frowning and cold.
But the rag-princess saw nothing at all. She just kept on sewing.
The cat observed her for a while, than got bored. “Soon there will be Christmas!” She thought. “And I will get another nonsens like a warming recycling-cover for my feeding bowl, a coat for my winter-walks, a horrible cat-hat or paw-slacks….and like every year, I say “thank you”, ripp off the stuff with my claws and throw it under the christmas-tree, so my princess can recycle it once more….She doesn´t look happy than….But I WANT her to be HAPPY! Therefore I must find something to give her this year….And I think, I already know WHAT!”
Softly, like only cats can do, she got up, jumped of the table and creeped away….Outside, where wind, cold and darkness waited for her. She shivered and hold for a moment. The wild wind ran through her tight fur. No weather for a petted rag-cat. But she had a plan and so she jumped bravely through the door, into the middle of the elements raging.
“Have you seen the cat?” the rag-princess asked her husband, prince charming.
“Hgggn” he sayed and lifted his eyes away from the screen for a moment to look at her.
“Well, I presume that means “No”! The rag-princess sighed and began to look in every room for her cat.
“She isn´t in the wardrobe, I searched it three times over. And she isn´t in her cat condo or under the bed. And also not IN the bed. And not under the table, on a chair under the tablecloth or in the cellar!…I don´t know where to search for her anymore! She looked out of the window full of foreboding and for the first time today, she saw the coming storm.
“I hope, that crazy creature didn´t ran out!!”
“Hgggn!” prince charmin growled.
“We have to look for her! the rag-princess shouted and opened the front door. A gust of wind brought in some snowflakes and withered leaves and from the middle of the chaos, in jumped the cat. But she was not alone. She hold something in her jaws. And it looked dead as a doornail.
Proudly she layed her prey at the rag-princess feet and grinned. “Look!” she meowed. “My advent-gift for you! You will have some more for Christmas! You can eat them and sew me a nice cushion from their skins afterwards!”
‘”A mouse!” Prince charming screamed and jumped of his chair. “How disgusting! What are we going to do ?”
The rag-princess took the huge fire tongs, that hang near the castle´s big fire place for nearly 300 years and grabbed the mouse careful.
“Here!” she sayed and pointed at prince charming with the fire tongs. “Go to the balcony and throw it into the moat. Shall others care for the body!”
“Ugh!” prince charming screamed. “Don´t point at me with that thing! And disinfect the floor immediately” Most careful he took the fire tongs and ran to the balcony.
The rag-cats ears twitched nervously. “Maybe the mouse wasn´t big enough!” she thought. “Or the color of the fur didn´t match with the rag-princess latest sewing project…..Or maybe she found the mouse to skinny! Next time I´ll catch her a big, fat one!”
Content with herself, she coiled up and slept for the rest of the Advent-evening and the following night.
The second Advent came and again the cat creeped out and lurked under a bush, until a thoughtless mouse came along through the freshly fallen snow. This time the victim was fast, with a soft fur in a gentle shade of brown. Content, she went back to the castle, jumped on the table and layed ther gift in front of the Advent wreath, on which now two candles burned. “Look! This time I got a real pretty one!”
Prince charming´s loud scream made the mighty old window in the hall tremble and the rag-princess got the fire tongs again , grabbed the mouse and throwed it from the balcony into the moat. Afterwards she plugged the tablecloth into the washing machine and sprayed the table with organic-disinfection-spray until it blobbed.
“Stop bringing mice in!”
The cat looked astonished at her and vanished miffed.
“A princess can expect something special! The last mouse was better than the first, but not good enough after all! I have to work harder to loot a perfekt mouse and my princess will be satisfied!” She thought to herself, when she layed in the wardrobe and spread her hair all-over the princess precious rags.
The third Advent came warm and sunny and so the cat went willingly outside and strolled through the shrubs, that surrounded the castle, until at last, after a long time of waiting, the perfect mouse came along. Big, fat, with a silky mouse-skin in the color of slate…..almost to good to be true…and to good not to devour it at once. But the cat subdued her avarice, jumped out of the shrub´s shadows and soon after, she layed another dead body at her princess feet and purred full of pride and comfortable feeling.
Luckily, prince charming was on a visite at the castle of his cousin, the frog king, and so the mouse could disappear into the moat without him to know and the cat got another preach “What shall we do with MICE? Can´t you catch us something USEFUL?”
But the cat only whipped her tail and said nothing.
The fourth advent came with rain, cold like ice. Just a few days until Christmas.
“I think, thats only a kind of misunderstanding. The princess knows, how tasty a luscious mouse is…Maybe she lacks of recipes for mice…Yes! That´s it! I can´t rember, I ever saw her cooking mice! Probably she´s ashamed and don´t want to admit. It´s best, I borrow the “big book of mice-fry” from my cousin, the mad cat and the problem will be solved!”
At this evening, in front of the advent wreath not only an old, worn out book with claw-marks on it could be found, but also a mouse, so splendid, every cat would be in entrancement at once by the look.
Prince charming got up, grabbed the table-cloth and like a magician he pulled it from the table as quick as a flash, so the four candles on the advent wreath not even glinted. He took table-cloth, book and mouse, throwed all into the moat and went to wash his hands. The rag-princess just shook her head, sighed and gave her cat a dispraised look.
Now the cat was seriously aggrieved.
“But I´m a CAT!” she meowed. “It´s my Job to catch mice!”
“Wrong! You´re a RAG-CAT! Your job is laying on top of a rag-pile with sleepy eyes and a bored expression on your face. You´re obligated to give constantly good advice I won´t follow, inspire me, purr, open seams and rip off fabric with your claws. And I think, that´s enough! Nobody ever talked about mice!
“You mean, you don´t appreciate the mice?”
“I find them abominable!”
Now the cat began to whine loudly.
“O, what a poor, poor cat I am! All this hard labour and for nothing! I´m the best hunter in whole fairyland and I don´t deserve to be with a dishonorable princess like this, who gives me just censure and no praise!”
She walked around the princess legs, constantly meowing and lamenting, while she winked astute at her with sloppy eyes.
“All right!” the princess yelled exasperated. “I give up! What can I do, to stop you making such a fuzz?””
The whining stopped immediately.”
“First: I want you to to admit that I´m a big hunter! Second: You will make a hat to honor me!”
“A hat? For YOU?”
“No!” Rag-cat meowed. YOU will wear the hat and it will look like THIS…” She jumped on the rag-princess shoulder and whispered in her ear.
“That would be a rather ridiculous hat!” The rag-princess said.
“Almost every hat of yours is more or less ridiculous!” the cat locked a nut.
“Touché! I make the hat….Any further terms?”
The cat grinned conniving. “Third: You will go to town, wearing the hat and visit the wise old wizard!”
“Oh NO! I refuse to do it! The wizard is not only an old friend, he´s also a man of culture and taste. And he´s the only one, who doesn´t mind about my rags. But if he sees me wearing THIS hat, he will strike my name off the list for his New Years Party!”
“There must be a punishment! If you refuse to do it, I will meow day and night until your ears fall off!””
The princess had to face her doom, because there is almost nothing on earth so scary, as a constantly screaming cat.
On the day before christmas, the hat was finished and the rag-cat nodded satisfied, as the princess went on her way to town with a heavy heart and a absurd piece of millinery on her head.
On the way, she got lots of laughter and most of the residents of fairy-land thought it was a new advertising campaign of the puss in boots. When she came to town, as she promised, she went straight to the old wizard´s house, where he lifed with his amicable wife.
“Oh!” the wizard´s wife yelled, when she saw the princess hat. “What an interesting hat you wear! Is it new?”
“Brandnew. It´s for my cat´s honor. She ist the biggest mouse-hunter in whole fairy-land!”
“Now, look at the cute little mice on it! How many are there?”
“Just four.” the princess said. “One for every advent-mouse-gift”!
The old wizard entered the room, looked at the hat, saw the ecstatic look on the face of his dear wife and turned pale.
Quickly he hauled his wife away from the marvel. If there was anything in the world, he didn´t like, it was hats.
“Four mice!” he said. “Thats far enough!” and quickly changed the subject. But in secret he resolved to talk serious with prince charming about his wife´s allures and to strike both off the guest list for the big new years party.
Meanwhile the rag-cat coiled up satisfied on a silk-cushion on top of a pile of fabrics in the princess sewing-dungeon and thought about some things…..
“Mice….battered little creatures!I think, they are to minor to be a gift for a princess….Oh, I was such a fool! But I will fix it! On Christmas, at the big ball in the hall of the castle, I will give her the finest present in front of all her guests! The most desirable of all: A gigantic, fat RAT! Yes, that´s it! A RAT FOR CHRISTMAS!”
And content with her self, she fell asleep.