Depending on who you asked, each cat would describe the King Zirk differently. For instance, the way Queen Va-Va (post-exile) would describe the king is very different from the way one of his concubines/mistresses would. Below, you’ll find a small census of felines describing their king. Of course, Myrtle would be shuffled into the category of “Mistresses” but for the sake of our story (she is the protagonist after all), the cat conducting the study has given us her data so we can fully understand the emotional life of this lovely feline:
|King Zirk’s Attributes||Mistresses||Queen Va-Va||Myrtle|
|Charm||“Does smell count? Because based off what he’s wafting in my general direction, I am completely bewitched. Like, 10 out of 10 times I’ve smelled him, my left knee quivers (which should say a lot because it’s the most intuitive part of my body).”||“He’s satan.”||*blushing* “No comment.”|
|Finances||“Gurl. He’s so ballin’. All the girls are treated so good and we’re not even married yet. Get this. We get to stay at this 5 – Star castle, the meals are inclusive and completely out of this world. Seafood chowder, poultry, beef. You name it. He’s got it. Plus, Heggy gives us style classes and we have access to the best cat toys and entertainment in the whole kingdom. Sometimes we get to play with the lazar pointer and there has never been anything better. Like, wow. And it doesn’t cost us a thing. Double wow. I never thought I’d say this but being a concubine is the literal best.”||“That son-of-a *bleep* is so greedy that he would build an entire economy around himself so that even after he died, his surviving family could open up his tomb, pull his rotting carcass and collect interest. And he’d be okay with that.”||[During a tour of the kingdom]|
“No comme— wow. IS THAT A BEDAZZLED KITTY LITTER BOX?! What is this place?! ”
|Sense of humour||“Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha lolololololol aha ah aha ha ha bahabahahbahabahahabahbaha lololololololololololol… Oh your highness! You’re so funny!”||“The only thing that he could do to make me laugh is if he got squashed ten times by a bulldozer.”||“No comment.”|
|Kindness||“What is that?”||“Zero.”||“No comment.”|
|Patience||“He waited for me to finish eating before taking me to the Royal Cubby for love-making. So yeah, he’s pretty patient.”||“Nadda.”||“No comment.”|
|Anger Management (and/or bitterness towards exes)||“The man is flawless.”||“ArE yOu TrYiNg To Be fAcEcItIoUs RiGhT NoW? Or WeRe YoU jUsT bOrN a SaDiSt?”||“Um, yeah, I mean, I’m working on it but I’m still kind of salty about some of my exes and– what? Oh. Oh sorry. I thought you were asking ME if I was– oh okay. Um, forget that. Please don’t write that down. Um. I don’t know we haven’t even met yet so I can’t really say…”|
|Physical Attractiveness||“I don’t need to know math to know he’s a fifteen outta ten.”||*Crying* “He’s gorgeous.”||*more blushing and giggling*|
|Religious Compatability||“The first time we met, he kissed my paw and I haven’t walked on it since. Wrapped it in a plastic bag and now I go around with only three useful legs instead of four. Livin’ the dream.”||*still crying from the last category*|
“We were compatible in every way.”
“I’m sorry,” said Myrtle, “but I don’t know what you mean by ‘Religious Compability’?”
“Do you share the same beliefs?” asked the researcher.
Myrtle hesitated. She’s a Jewish cat (hard to believe, I know, that a cat could be Jewish but even cats have spiritual needs) and Morty told her that she must never tell anyone, especially at the Castle, her true identity. When she asked why, he said what all parents say when a child asks a question that’s too painful to recollect, “You’ll find out when you’re older.” Myrtle, who has always been comfortable with unknown and abstract concepts, accepted the answer and obeyed Morty’s request to keep her identity quiet.
“What does the king believe in?” said Myrtle to the researcher.
“He’s a pagan so he really believes in anything. Animals. Stones. Angels. Bananas. Money. Sex. His own reflection. Whatever. You name it, he’s probably worshipped it at some point.”
Oh dear, thought Myrtle. We are not religiously compatible at all. Why would Morty bring me here? Doesn’t he know Jews aren’t supposed to marry a pagan?
[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This part baffles me. Why would Mordecai, a faithful Jew, bring Esther to the king, a pagan? He knows that inter-marriage between Israelites and pagans is strictly prohibited. He can’t be faithful and sin against God at the same time. Believers who truly love God are obedient to what he requests, no matter the cost. This doesn’t make sense… I wonder if this is another example of God’s grace in the Old Testament?? At this point in history, the Jews have been through a great deal of suffering at the hands of their enemies. So I imagine they will do whatever it takes to survive, even if that means looking to their enemies for help RATHER than the God who loves them. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself here but I wonder if God allowed for the Jews to go through the trial [we haven’t gotten to that part yet], just so He could prove himself as their protector and deliverer? But I digress. The point is Mordecai made a mistake and God’s going to prove that even in the midst of people’s mistakes, He’s still sovereign and He’s still faithful].
“I see,” said Myrtle, “My answer is ‘No comm–’”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” said the researcher as he begrudgingly wrote down her response and walked away.
The researcher had interrupted Heggy’s tour of The Castle. They had visited upstairs where all the toys were and downstairs where all the introverted cats go for some peace and quiet. Their last stop was the windowsill.
“What’s this?” asked Myrtle.
“This is where you’ll begin your beauty treatments. For six months, you’ll get a massage with oil of salmon. Following that, you’ll begin another six months of treatments where you will be massaged with catnip. All the cats here follow a special diet of protein and carbs and I’ll teach you how to comb your fur and other habits the king adores. After a year, you’ll meet the king.”
“A YEAR?! I HAVE TO WAIT A YEAR?!”
“Why do I have to wait a year? I want to meet him now!”
“Naturally but a king requires a queen. A queen is not just any old cat. Queens feel good about themselves inside and out. And the way we help our concubines feel good about themselves is through massage. Nobody has ever left a massage feeling bad about themselves. They might feel a little sore but mostly they are quite comfortable. The king wants to ensure that all of his women are well taken care of and it’s my job to ensure that occurs,” said Heggy, “Now I’ve assigned Petunia as your attendant. She’s one of my best estheticians and beauty advisors. I’ll be back to share some tips later but for now, I’ll leave you in Petunia’s capable paws. Smile. You’re about to begin your first beauty treatment.”
With that, Heggy left the windowsill.
“Hi,” said Petunia.
“Hi,” said Myrtle, “Do I really have to wait a year to meet the king?”
“It feels like a long time,” said Petunia, “But it’ll pass in no time.”
Petunia’s calm heart and kind words put Myrtle at ease. She laid down and Petunia began kneading her like a piece of dough. She nodded off and the last thought Myrtle had before falling into a deep cat nap was, “Pagans are weird but I like their style.”