The orange-colored cat was watching his every movement, gold eyes narrowed into tiny slits.“There goes that boy,” it hissed loudly, to a long-haired white cat standing beside him.
Her tail curled around her body as a paw came up to rub at her face. “Which boy?”
“That one!” Orange Cat pointed towards him and Maurice froze in midstep. “Remember what he did to our Lord Hugh?”
White Cat stopped her licking, eyes shifting towards Maurice.“The one who abused him terribly?”
“He’s the one!”
Maurice turned towards the cats, an apologetic smile on his face. He bowed his head slightly and tried to appear as humble as possible. “I really did not mean any of that grief I caused Lord Hugh. It was a result of my young, precocious self.”
The white cat hopped off her perch and walked right towards Maurice. “It only happened a year ago! I highly doubt you have grown up as much as you claim in only a year.”
“Mauve!” Orange Cat hissed. “He understands us!”
“Oh, I didn’t notice, Beau. I’m always used to communicating with humans,” Mauve said with a roll of her eyes.
“No need to get snippy, Mauve.”
Maurice found that he had to deal with this on a daily basis ever since the encounter with Lord Hugh, which left him temporarily a cat. He could understand cats and a good majority of them didn’t have anything good to say about him.
They disliked what he had done to Lord Hugh-- troublesome child they liked to say.
“I’m sorry for how I treated Lord Hugh but I’ve learned my lesson. Living as a cat is not easy when you have people picking you up by the tail and cutting your whiskers,” Maurice said firmly.
Mauve scoffed at him. “Well, give my best to Lord Hugh and do tell him to drop by sometime. It’s been ages since we have all gotten together.”
He nodded. “I will give him the message.”
Maurice felt a little insulted that the cats were still dismissing him but he didn’t breathe a word of it to Mauve or Beau. If it got back to Lord Hugh, it wouldn’t be very good.
When he got back home, Lord Hugh was perched on their table, paws curled up underneath his body. Lord Hugh caught sight of Maurice and arched his back before shifting to a sitting position. “Afternoon, Maurice.”
“Afternoon, Lord Hugh. How was your day?”
Maurice smiled awkwardly. “I ran into some friends of yours while I was on my way home; Mauve and Beau. They wondered when they were going to see you around.”
He nodded, an uncomfortable look still on his face. “They weren’t very friendly though. Mauve and Beau don’t seem to like me very much.”
The cat tilted his head to the side, ears twitching once or twice. It looked like Lord Hugh was considering his words-- as he usually did. “Perhaps, I will travel to see them tomorrow. Would you like to come along? It might give you a new perspective.”
“New perspective?” Maurice questions.
He smiled. “You’ll see tomorrow afternoon, Maurice.”
“What is it we are doing today?” Maurice asked.
Lord Hugh hopped up up onto someone’s mailbox, tail swishing behind him. “You said that my friends weren’t being very nice to you but there is a reason for that, Maurice. Do you understand that?”
“Because of the situation a year ago.”
“Correct,” Lord Hugh purred. “You still must accept their anger because they are very upset over how you treated a friend, A good way to remedy this is to spend sometime with them.”
Maurice blinked. “How?”
“By turning into a cat again, of course. Do you remember the word?”
“I do but what am I supposed to do when I want to turn back? Being that I am a cat I won’t be able to say the words,” Maurice muttered. He didn’t fancy being stuck a cat.
Lord Hugh chuckled. “With both of us being cats your words will be understood so do not worry about it.”
After a resounding sigh, Maurice muttered the word. The change into a cat was as strange as the first time. Still, Maurice was better prepared and didn’t face any feelings of nausea. .
He did face some the other time he changed into a cat.
“Yes, but I don’t think your friends will change their mind just because we spend a day together,” Maurice said to Lord Hugh.
Lord Hugh rolled his eyes. “Remember, Maurice this is to give you a new perspective. You have to be patient.”
He walked beside Lord Hugh, his nerves on edge. It didn’t take long to set his sights on Mauve and Beau. They cast a suspicious glance towards him but clearly they knew who he was.
Sadly, his reputation preceded him.
“It’s nice to see our message got back to you, Lord Hugh,” Mauve commented. “I admit I am rather surprised that you received our message from this one. We know how he has been in the past.”
Lord Hugh chuckled. “I assure you that things will be different today.”
He made sure to be on his best behavior but this seemed to make him stiff and unable to be approached. Maurice attempted to loosen up. In time, the atmosphere did change. However, Maurice wasn’t sure if it was going the way Lord Hugh intended it would.
Before they were supposed to head back, Beau walked up to him. He still looked at him suspiciously (like Mauve did) but the look had lessened from before.
“It seems like you have learned your lesson, Maurice. Do you agree?”
He blinked. “I think I have.”
“Maurice still has yet to understand the continued hostility towards him but I think a few more of these meetings will understand. I trust you don’t mind?” Lord Hugh asked.
“For you Lord Hugh? Of course not.”
Maurice didn’t protest. He wanted to be able to turn back into a boy again, after all.