The silver SUV rolled up to the curb and a giant furball tumbled from the back seat and rolled up to the door.
“This is it, the Village Pet Shop” I barked excitedly to the other girls in my group and was immediately met with a roar of anticipation.
“What are we waiting for,” a cute little black and white cat asked.
“You are right Yehudi, let’s go!” Again, a roar of elation went up in response to my exclamation.
Now all the girls were whipped up into a frenzy and stormed the door of the shop without waiting for me. Looking around I realized there was nothing I could do but join them.
Inside, a tall slender blonde waited for us. I couldn’t help but notice her well-manicured nails and sparse use of makeup which served to accentuate just the right points on her face to draw your attention to her.
“Hi Cindee!” the girl greeted me warmly.
“Hi Amber, how are you today,” I asked in response, genuinely interested to hear how she had been doing.
“I am well. You and the girls here for another spa day,” she asked, motioning towards the three cats that had arrived with me.
“We sure are,” the Siamese cat responded without hesitation.
You see, it was Luna’s first trip to the spa with us, and she had been looking forward to it all week long. Normally, her mommy would bath her and trim her nails at home, so this was going to be one special treat.
“All righty then, come with me!”
Amber led us down the aisle to the back of the shop where there was a large glassed-in area separated into several rooms.
“Are you going to be all together, or each separate,” the young blonde asked.
“Together,” the slightly chubby grey and white cat answered.
“That’s what I thought you were going to say Bella,” she answered with a giggle.
“Go on into the last room on the right, Miguel with be with you in a second,” Amber said, closing the door behind her.
“Miguel,” Bella and Yehudi said, looking at each other wide eyed and big grinned.
“Here we are,” I said, entering the room.
We all looked around at our surroundings, then at each other the shouted all at once …
I watched on as the three cats swooned and crooned over Miguel. There was so much eye lid batting going on that I was starting to feel a breeze. Being the only dog in the group, I guess my tastes were a little different.
Don’t get me wrong, Miguel is very good at what he does. He is magic fingers when he is scrubbing you in the tub, and he sure does know how to work that brush, but that is where it ends for me.
“Oh Miguel, you do such a wonderful job,” Bella cooed.
I on the other hand rolled my eyes and just about tossed my cookies. Fortunately for me, Miguel had finished the bathing and left the room.
“We need to tip him really well,” the little black cat said.
“You are so right, Yehudi,” Bella answered.
“Oh brother,” I grumbled.
My comment was met with piercing stares. I smiled and giggled uncomfortably, trying my best to break the tension that was rapidly building. Suddenly, Bella’s eyes bulged out of her head and her tongue fell out of her mouth.
“Bella, are you okay,” I barked from across the table.
She didn’t answer. Instead, she staired straight ahead. Now I was getting very concerned.
“Bella,” I cried at the top of my lungs.
“Chill out honey,” Luna hissed to get my attention, then nodded towards the window behind me.
I turned to look, afraid of what may be there. What I did see wasn’t terrifying at all.
“Look at that beefcake,” Luna purred, her comments directed towards the object that was holding Bella in a trance.
It was none other than a big fluffy Maine Coon cat, that apparently was named Ambrose. Why would I think that? Because every other word out of the mother’s mouth was Ambrose.
“Here Ambrose! Look Ambrose! Good kitty Ambrose!”
Yes, I had no doubts that his name was Ambrose.
The other girls in my party were drawn back to matters at hand when a middle-aged woman with auburn colored hair, swooped back into a ponytail, entered the room.
“Hi girls, I’m Darcy. Who is ready for a mani and pedi?”
She was greeted with a chorus of me … me … me!
Darcy opened a case, and the girls pawed through the contents until each of them had found the acrylic nails of their choice.
Darcy started with Luna, who had selected pink nails with tiny white hearts on them. The auburn-haired woman would file each nail to perfection then pop the pink acrylic onto the Siamese cats freshly manicured nail.
“So how are things going with you and Rapi,” the grey and white cat asked, curious to find out more about our roommates love life.
“Oh, he is fantastic! Do you know he still opens doors for me,” Luna answered, all smiles.
It didn’t surprise me that Rapi would do that. I don’t say that just because he is my best friend, but because for the most part he is a kind, generous and compassionate kind of guy.
“Really,” Bella asked surprised.
I wish I could say the grey and white cat’s attitude caught me off guard, but it didn’t. Rapi and Bella often have a contentious relationship.
“Really! He is the most wonderful cat. My only complaint is that he snores,” Luna added with a giggle.
The rest of us joined her in full out laughter. Even Darcy was snickering at the remark.
“Who is next?” the middle-aged woman asked.
“Me! Do me next,” Yehudi bellowed.
“Okay, you then my little friend,” Darcy said, gathering together the silver nails that Yehudi had chosen.
“How are things with you and Jasper,” Luna asked, keeping the conversation focused on love. Yehudi blushed a little at the question.
“Good, but we have only been together for a couple of months,” the little black cat answered timidly.
“Is he a good kisser? I bet he is because he looks like a good kisser!”
Yehudi pretended that she hadn’t heard the Siamese cat’s question. I understood it too. Bella had a crush on Jasper first, but Jasper was crushing on Yehudi. It was complicated.
“Is he,” Bella asked.
“I guess, I mean I never been kissed by nobody before, except Mommy and Daddy,” the little black cat squeaked.
Bella’s head popped up to gaze out the window. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Ambrose and his mother looking at the shelf containing all the cat toys. I shifted my attention back to Bella and immediately saw a sense of longing and emptiness in her eyes.
“Those look fabulous,” Luna crooned over Yehudi’s new silver nails. With the spell broken Bella glanced down at her friends paws and nodded in agreement.
“I love them Yehudi!”
“Your turn sweetie,” Darcy said, looking into Bella’s eyes.
“Bella is kind of the lucky one, she still gets to play the field,” Luna said, her words chosen carefully so that Bella didn’t feel left out, being the only girl in the group without a boyfriend.
“Meh, I am not lucky with boys anyway,” the grey and white cat answered.
“There is more to life than boys,” Luna reminded her.
“A lot more,” I added my two cents.
While this was going on, Darcy was applying the light blue acrylic nails to Bella’s dainty paws.
“I have never kissed a boy before,” she admitted, her cheeks rosy from embarrassment.
Bella is usually my nemesis, but in this moment, I could feel for her. I just wanted to reach out and hug her, only I know she would try to shred me if I did.
“There you go,” Darcy said, applying the last of the nails.
“Wow, you look beautiful Bella,” the little black cat purred.
“What the heck,” Darcy stood and looked out the window. All of us craned our heads to see what was causing the commotion.
Ambrose was kicking and swatting his mother in the face in an effort to get down, and she was holding onto him with all the strength she had left. Watching the confrontation, it was becoming clear, that the woman was fighting a losing battle. With a final hiss and a left hook to the nose the stout woman dropped Ambrose and he went tumbling to the ground.
It took only a second for the giant fluff ball to regain his bearings and his feet. He took off at a full sprint towards the spa room door. The four of us, five if you count Miss Darcy, stood watching opened mouthed as the Maine Coon launched himself into the air coming down with a crash against the door which swung open.
By now, Ambrose’s mom had regained her composure as well and had begun to chase him down. Ambrose’s back feet came out from under him when he attempted an abrupt ninety-degree left turn on the tiled floor, but he managed to keep his front legs churning until he could get his back legs to catch up.
Again, he went airborne and crashed into the door to our booth. The door swung open and smashed into the wall. Not missing a beat, Ambrose leapt again, this time landing on the table next to me.
“Somebody get that cat,” Miss Darcy began to squeal in terror.
“You come back her Ambrose,” his mother screamed from the doorway.
The big fluffy cat skidded to a stop directly in front of Bella, who stared back at him wide eyed.
“Would you,” Ambrose panted between labored breaths.
“Would you,” he tried again.
His mother was at the table and reaching for him now. The room was thick with tension, everyone worried about what was going to happen next.
“Would you go out with me,” he cried as his mother scooped him up.
“I would,” Bella purred.
“I am so sorry,” Ambrose’s mother apologized, then turned to leave the room.
“I will meet you next door at the Alley Cat restaurant tomorrow at seven,” he called out.
“Perfect!” Bella answered.
“My name is Ambrose by the way,” he called over his mother’s shoulder as she pushed open the door.
“I am Bella,” the grey cat called back.
“See you tomorrow Bella,” his voice came back just as the door closed.
We all gathered at the window and watched as Ambrose and his mom left the store. Once they had gone, our attention turned towards Bella who sat stone faced on the table, unable to stop smiling. Then, out of nowhere she yelled at the top of her lungs …
“What a spa day!”