No one really knows why Heggy took such a liking to Myrtle. They were very different. Heggy had the style of Tan France in Queer Eye. Dapper, coifed and poofy. Myrtle was outspoken, scruffy and cared more for things around her than the things on her. But they both knew what it was like to be abandoned and perhaps that’s what created the sprouts of a solid friendship.
Heggy’s resume was a long list of successes (hence, his position as the part-time manager and full-time stylist at The Castle, a cat cafe). Perhaps he was bored and looking for a challenge but at it’s core, Heggy’s determination to see Myrtle succeed was truly done as a labour of love. He did not get anything out of it, except the satisfaction that he had a part to play. Over the course of the year, Heggy took Myrtle under his wing. He tutored her on such things as: the art of conversation with a king, how to tap into your femininity by painting your claws or twirling your whiskers (which Myrtle thought was stupid but Heggy was really into it and didn’t want to hurt his feelings), and the art of love-making.
“Love-making?” asked Myrtle, “Why do I need to learn love-making?”
“Because that’s what concubines do,” said Heggy.
“No what? How do you plan to become a queen without learning the art of love-making?”
“I’m going to learn about love-making when it’s time to love-make. But I won’t use it as a way to become a queen. That’s manipulative.”
“I hate to break it to you, sweetheart but the king makes love to all of his concubines. That’s your job. How do you plan to keep up with the competition?”
“I don’t know,” said the perplexed kitty, “But not like that. Save this lesson for my coronation. Let’s learn something else.”
Heggy was nervous. This has never happened before and he’s not sure how the king is going to handle this. King Zirk is not the kind of cat you say no to but Heggy liked Myrtle’s chutzpah. For some reason, that made him admire her more and kind of put him at ease. So he switched his lesson plan and taught her how to find the best fur-style for your shape.
The day finally came for Myrtle to meet King Zirk. Most concubines will meet him dressed in their fashion of choice but Myrtle had a spot on her face and her cowlick was acting up.
“Heggy!!! I’m a mess!!!” she declared, “WHAT DO I DO?”
Heggy made her sit down. He massaged her back for one final beauty treatment before the big event and styled her up in all the ways that highlighted each of her features that made her a unique beauty.
“You are beautiful,” said Heggy.
“But what about the spot?” asked Myrtle.
“He won’t notice when everything else is too pretty. Now go get him.”
He nudged her firmly forward as she climbed to the Royal Dining Room (which was just a spot on top of a dresser but a special spot reserved for a king).
“I have no clue how she’s going to pull this off without sleeping with him,” whispered Heggy, “but at least she’ll look good if he banishes her.”
King Zirk sat in front of a table with water and fidgeted with the swirly cowlick on his chest. It won’t stay down. At least the poof on top of my head looks good, he thought. As he licked his paw and pulled it back. Why am I so nervous, thought the king. It’s because Heggy told me about Myrtle. She’s very beautiful he said. But I hang out with beautiful women all the time. I’ve done this a hundred times. I’m a king. I don’t need to be nervous. He shook his head a bit to see if that would knock some sense into himself. For precisely one second, the king was calm.
THUMP! The dresser shook and the king sees two well manicured paws clinging to the ledge with lots of scratching.
“Hello?” he says leaning over the ledge.
“Hello,” giggles a pretty kitty with twirly eyelashes.
“Are you Myrtle?” asked the king.
“Usually, yes. But today, I’m a little stuck.”
“Oh,” says the king.
“I always make the jump but sometimes when I’m a bit excited my jumping abilities don’t work as well.”
“Maybe you should fall and try again,” said the king.
“Oh that would be most unladylike,” said Myrtle, “I can do it. Go sit down and I’ll be right there.”
The king thought this was weird but he didn’t know what else to do so he sat down and listened while Myrtle huffed and puffed, scratched a lot and shook the whole dresser. Until he could no longer sit there any longer.
“I’m sorry but could I maybe help you?” said the king.
“Oh no, your highness. I think I can do it.”
“I don’t think you can. Why don’t you try falling?”
“I appreciate your idea, your majesty, but I fell from a barn once and cracked my tail. It was not fun and I never want to ever do that again.”
“I see,” said the king, “what if I let you fall on me?”
“You don’t want to try pulling me up first?”
“No I once tried that with a friend and he severed one of my tendons,” said the king.
“I see,” said Myrtle, “I guess falling is our best option.”
“Hold on. I’m coming down,” said the king. When he looked up, he noticed Myrtle was a fat-bottomed kitten and that made him very happy.
“Ready,” said the king, “Fall on me.”
“What if I crush you?”
He looked up again, saw her bottom and whispered, “Then I will die a very happy death.”
“What?” said Myrtle.
“Nothing. I’ll be okay. Just let go.”
“But I’ll break you!”
“JUST LET GO.”
And so, her paws released and she fell hard on her handsome king.
“Oh, your highness! I’ve squished your beautiful face and messed up your nice little poof!” cried Myrtle as she cradled his head and groomed his perfect poof back into place. The king’s head was chirping with those little tweety birds and stars and frolicking lambs. But he was grinning from whisker-to-whisker as Myrtle held him close.
Oh no, thought Myrtle. I’ve squished the king and we haven’t even eaten our first course. Heggy is going to kill me.
“Are you okay?” asked Myrtle.
The King couldn’t really talk but inwardly he was thinking, that’s the best squish I’ve ever squished. And that made him happy. Very happy.
[TO BE CONTINUED]