Hello feline friends and human pets!
This morning, Phil arrived bright and early at my house with two cups of Starbucks in his hands.
"I don't drink coffee, Phil," I said matter-of-fact.
"I know, but Marina does. I think maybe I should just talk to her, and see if I can get her to calm down a bit," he said.
"I don't know, Phil. It's not like she's been real good about remaining upright when you say good-bye to her," I replied.
"Well, I'm not saying good-bye. I'm saying hello!" he said.
My human pet came into the room while Phil and I were discussing the plan. She spotted Phil, and her eyes became wide. Then, I think she smelled the coffee, and as is typical of her morning routine, she was drawn to it like a moth to the flame. She sat down at the table across from Phil and next to me.
"Here you go, Marina. I just thought you might want some coffee this morning," Phil said pleasantly and passed my human pet her black morning fuel.
My human pet looked completely shocked and said nothing as she sipped her coffee. I watched as she looked back and forth at Phil and then me, and I couldn't exactly read her facial expressions. She seemed as though she were in deep contemplation.
Under her breath, I heard her say, "This is so surreal."
After a few minutes of discussing where I would be going for the day, Phil announced it was time for us to be on our way. I nodded and leapt up into Phil's arms. My human pet didn't move so much as an inch as we made our way out the door, but I was grateful that Phil hadn't made her faint for once.
The flight was pleasant, and this time, the production crew actually had a taxi waiting for me. I think they're beginning to learn that it's easier to just have it there for me than for me to flag it down myself. The ride out to Miss Maggie May's place was very beautiful as summer is in full bloom in her area of Virginia.
I arrived at her house, walked up to the front door, and jumped up to ring the door bell. A human lady pet opened the door and looked down to find me sitting there on her porch. "Why Zeus! Miss Maggie May is going to be so excited that you're here! C'mon in!"
The human lady pet went off into another room, and before I knew it, I was bombarded by the little calico.
"Zeus! Wowzers! I can hardly believe you're here! Tell me, tell me, tell me! Where we goin'?" said Miss Maggie excitedly.
"I don't know yet, little one. I think, though, Phil will be here soon enough. He has a 'sixth sense' concerning these matters it seems," I said.
"Do we have time to watch some Kitty TV by chance?" asked Miss Maggie.
"Hmm. Possibly. I never know with my friend, Phil," I answered.
We walked over to Miss Maggie's Kitty TV, and I sat down to watch with her. She has some good entertainment on her TV: cardinals, robins, and morning doves darting back and forth, squirrels rustling in the branches, and not to mention, some really nice climbing trees! I was super impressed!
Just then, there was a knock on the door.
"Miss Maggie and Zeus, I believe that man named Phil is here," said Miss Maggie's human lady pet.
We went to the front door, and sure enough, there was Phil is all of his splendor.
"Miss Maggie May and Zeus: You have $100.00 for this leg of the race. Make sure to read your clue carefully, and be safe on your travels."
"Bummer! Only $100.00! Does that mean we won't do a lot, Zeus?" asked Miss Maggie.
"I don't think so. Phil always has tricks up his sleeves," I said.
We opened the clue and read it together:
Make your way to the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. There you will find your next clue.
"But I don't know how to build ships, Zeus!" cried Miss Maggie.
"I don't think we need to know how to build ships, but we will find our next clue there!" I said.
We spoke to Miss Maggie's nice human lady pet and asked her if she could take us to the shipyard. She said she could, but that we needed to be careful when we got there because there were lots of machines, ship parts, and sharp objects we could get hurt on. I thought that was very good advice so I made extra sure to watch out for Miss Maggie.
The Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company (NNS) was HUGE. I could not believe how many boats they were making! People had been making boats at NNS since 1886! The ships they build have been used to aid the Armed Forces. It was simply incredible to see those massive parts come together to make something greater!
Miss Maggie and I found out that the motto for NNS is: "We shall build good ships here. At a profit - if we can. At a loss - if we must. But always good ships," stated by Collis Potter Huntington, the man who began NNS way back in 1886. We both thought that was pretty cool to be so determined!
However, I think that I must have been too fascinated with the shipyard that I let my eyes wander off of Miss Maggie for but one moment. When I turned back to say something to her, she was gone!
"Miss Maggie! Miss Maggie! Where are you?" I cried. My heart thudded in my chest. 'This is going to be all my fault,' I thought to myself. 'People are going to kill me for losing the little one!'
From off to the side, I heard a human male say, "Would you look at that kitty up there? Holy cow!"
I looked to the right and noticed a group of men all pointing and staring at a heavy black chain leading to one ship's gigantic propeller. I followed their gaze to see Miss Maggie May climbing the chain up to the tremendous ship!
"Oh no!! Miss Maggie May, you're not to climb that!" I screamed. "Get down right now! Your human lady pet is going to kill me!"
"I'm practicing for the Catolympics, Zeus! Wheeeeeeeee!" Her voice was faint as she was so high above me.
"I mean it, Miss Maggie May! Get down! We haven't found the clue yet! Don't you want to find the clue?" I was beginning to get nervous. I paced back and forth, meowing up a storm by these human men. Why weren't any of them helping her?
"Ok sure! Let's find the clue!" Miss Maggie May slid all the way down the chain as if she were some expert at carnival tricks, and when she landed, she didn't seem to be phased at all by how high she had been in the air. I nuzzled her fiercely and said, "Please, Miss Maggie, don't do that again! I was so very frightened for you!"
"I don't know why! I'm a very good climber!" she said cheerfully.
Near the black chain (shudder), we found the clue. If only we had spotted it sooner then perhaps Miss Maggie May's life might not have been endangered! We opened it up together, and it read:
Make your way to Colonial Williamsburg.
"That's way cool! Williamsburg!" shouted Miss Maggie, and then added, "What is it?"
I chuckled. "Williamsburg is a very historical place, just like the NNS. Let's make our way back to your human lady pet, and get going!"
The drive to Williamsburg was pleasant, and when we arrived, Miss Maggie bounded out of the car like a rocket. "I wanna see the buildings, the people, the food! I wanna see it all!" she cried happily. "Ok, and we will," I said, bounding after her, "but you need to stay with me this time!"
There was no use. Miss Maggie May had spotted a group of colonial soldiers firing their cannons at the enemy. "Ooo! Smokey! Let's go!" And with that she ran off in their direction.
I about had a heart attack. "Miss Maggie May! No! Don't run in front of the soldiers! Don't get in front of the cannon!" 'Oh my goodness, I can't look!'
BOOM! ZIP! WHIZZ! BANG!
"Wowzers! These cannons are loud!" screamed Miss Maggie.
"Why don't you come over here, Miss Maggie! There's some soldiers marching, and that doesn't require us getting hurt!" I yelled to her.
"Ooo! Marching! Let's go!" she said.
I tried showing Miss Maggie how to step in time with the beat of the drum, but she definitely was into her own beat. We wagged our tails in time and held our heads up high with pride. It was fun marching through the fields, pretending we were real soldiers.
"Hey! Looksie! There's a parade in the town! Let's go!" And off she went without so much as a glance back to see if I had been following her. I chased after her, but I was beginning to pant. The little one had so much energy that I didn't even know if I could keep up!
We sat down (thank goodness!) and watched the parade as it made its way through the streets. The soldiers held their ranks, and all of them looked extremely serious. "This is very interesting, isn't it, Miss Maggie May?"
I didn't hear her answer. My heart sank as I looked down, only to find out she was not there again.
"This guy is so cool! Look!"
I turned around and found Miss Maggie May sitting beside Thomas Jefferson's statue. "He doesn't move or anything. He doesn't even blink! I don't know how he can stay in the same position for so long! Don't you think that's weird?"
I was too pooped to explain so I just nodded. "Have you seen enough? I think it may be time for me to go home."
"Already?! Are you sure?!" cried Miss Maggie.
"Yes, I think so. You're a very precious and curious little one. I just don't think I can keep up with you, Miss Maggie, and I don't want you to get hurt!" I told her.
"Okies, but you come back soon, alright?" she said.
"Alright!" I agreed.
I would like to thank Miss Maggie May and her human lady pet for having me over to their wonderful home. I would also like to extend a special thank you to Miss Maggie May's human lady pet for driving me everywhere we needed to go. You were very kind to take time out of your schedule for us.
And to Miss Maggie May: I promise I will return soon enough! Hugs!