Two weeks later, the Humbugs (now known as Sally and Bobby) were both still at the commune--Sally in the fields and Bobby working with housekeeping--and Dan and Sal were still arguing. The construction crew wasn’t even paying attention and, when they hit a snag, they met together without Sal and Dan and worked it out. And people went on to other things in the commune meetings.
Like the cute black kitten that had wandered onto the commune and Strange Brew had started feeding.
“We have a cat already,” Marge said. “We don’t need to have two cats.”
“But this is a kitten,” Strange Brew said. “Besides, he’s really cute.”
“Do you know how much money Carrie is costing us a year to feed and take care of?” Sal said. “I don’t mind doing it for one cat but, like Marge said, we don’t need two cats.”
“And what happens if we take in this kitten?” Cat said. “What happens if someone finds another cat? How many cats are we willing to support? Twelve?”
Four people tried to talk at once. Blue Sky, who was running the commune meeting said, “Okay. Viv, then Dan, then Lois, and then Zelda.”
“Carrie hasn’t caused us any problems,” Viv said. “It’s been a lotta fun having her here. What makes anyone think there will be any trouble with a new kitten? I’ve see the little fella. He’s really cute.”
“I agree with Sal and Cat,” Dan said. “We really don’t need another cat here. I think one is more than enough.”
“Yeah, but maybe Carrie is lonely,” Birch said.
“Wait, wait,” Blue Sky said. “You’ll get your turn. Lois?”
“Yeah,” she said. “I was going to say what Birch said. I think that maybe Carrie needs a cat friend. Maybe she’d enjoy having a kitten around.”
“Maybe she’d get to try out mothering,” Patsy said.
“Wait!” Blue Sky said. “Zelda?”
“Maybe we should try having him as an experiment,” Zelda said. “We could just have him for a week and see how things go. See if Carrie likes him and how he is around the farm. If it doesn’t work, we don’t have to keep him.”
“Yeah,” said Sowbug. “Let’s try that.”
“Is that a proposal?” asked Blue Sky.
After thirty-three minutes of debate, Zelda’s proposal was passed.
Carrie was not enjoying this new experience.
Carrie had gotten used to Harry, who at least had the good graces to stay in his aquarium. She liked the people at the commune who petted her and fed her. She was intimidated by the goats and the cow and amused by the chickens--which she wasn’t able to get at because of all that chicken wire.
But this strange new addition to the farm was something else. He was small and black and the people of the commune were feeding and petting him. And this little creature was everywhere and paid no attention to Carrie.
She would stroll right up to him and he would ignore her. She’d arch her back and hiss at him and he would ignore here. He was worse than the lizard.
Finally, she decided to ignore the little thing back. She’d show him.
But the little black kitten just ignored Carrie ignoring him.
Carrie wasn’t enjoying this at all.
“I was so hoping that the cats would like each other,” Lois said to Mo as they were watching each of them working so hard to ignore the other one. “I don’t think this is going well.”
“Yeah,” Mo said. “I don’t think Miss Carrie is amused.”
“Yup,” Lois sighed, as she watched the tabby slink away from her latest encounter with the kitten. “Not working.”