You may wonder how the carpet panels of the Read Carpet ‘know’ when a doll has truly imbibed the information for the next panel to be lowered down. Well it is because there are secret peep holes incorporated into the dots of the ‘i’s’ in the writing through which three feline masterminds eye the hopefuls incognito in the shadows. It is common knowledge that cats are astutely psychic, so when these cats telepathically know for certain that a doll has really truly read the information they employ a pulley system to let the carpet panel down for the doll to proceed to the next one and so on until the doll reaches the door under Libertine’s bed. This mysterious feline panel of ‘judges’ behind the scenes comprise Etta Kitt (named after singers Etta James and Eartha Kitt by her previous owner) (actually what am I saying – we don’t own cats, they own us!) and the two Peeping Toms, Tom Cat and Tom Foolery. These three marginally moth eaten, macro cephalic and wholly erudite taxidermy cats were granted lodging by Count Mandrake when their ‘owner’ Marma Mender passed on. It was 1953 when Eartha Kitt released her song “Santa Baby” and Marma Mender found three kittens in a sack, abandoned. Had Father Christmas lost some cargo? As three darling little heads popped out the burlap bag, Marma certainly felt she’d been blessed and when she discovered that the little heads were in fact freakishly large heads to their really teeny bodies she felt even more protective of them. This disproportion resulted in the kittens remaining cute and quirky the bigger they got, and they never ended up being much bigger than normal medium sized kittens, but with big heads. Marma Mender was besotted with them and would chatter on endlessly to them as she darned and mended, patched and repaired, tinkered and tailored any array of discarded garments and gadgets she came across or her customers brought her. She felt her kittens possessed a remarkable ‘cat sensitivity’ she called it, on account of their big head to body ratio. She knew in her heart they were startlingly psychic. “I’ll tell ya what’s what… I’ll tell ya all about it Miss Peaches.” She’d say to the peachy marmalady coloured Etta Kitt as she tickled her chin and listened to her favourite rhythm and blues, jazz, soul, cabaret and gospel singers. Normally cats don’t listen to anyone but Etta Kitt paid attention, which is more than can be said for the two Toms. They never listened because they were far too busy entertaining that cat calling named curiosity. You’d have thought Tom Foolery was the more catastrophic, but no, Tom Cat was the curiouser of the two who led poor Tom Foolery astray.
They both clocked up a cat life annually (and it would have been way more if it weren’t for their psychic ability to dodge death most times) so when Etta James released “Something’s Got a Hold” in 1962 curiosity had finally got a hold of their ninth lives. Marma Mender had a reputation in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, of being the well of rejuvenation itself on account of all the remedial work she did but the stress of those Toms took years off poor Marma’s life. The Count was well aware of her when he made inky dark midnight trips to the centre of the town on the back of Megan the Mega Meganeura in search of discarded bits and pieces for his own mansion and he was quite familiar with the Toms on account of their curious anatomies, for the cryptozoological Count was always attracted to the extra ordinary. So, when one fortuitous and frozen dark night he arrived in town and heard Marma Mender’s grief stricken wailing reverberating through the chill air outside her apartment at the Pantiles precinct, he couldn’t help but be drawn in. She was hollering something awful on account of the sudden accidental demise of the two Toms in a freakish accident. The Count felt compelled to assist her. He hastily scrawled a note and slipped it under Marma’s front door. It read: “Madame, may I recommend a most expert taxidermist of extraordinary ability to preserve your beloved companions with a hint of life forever? Leave them in a box outside your door at once.” Marma’s wailing abruptly ceased. From the shadows where he hid, the Count saw her door open half wide and a box pushed out before shutting quickly. Marma was highly superstitious and sensed that some funny business was on the go but in her bereft state she was willing to go along with it, with anything to have her Tom Toms back. The Count enlisted the services of two large owls (who practised great restraint for the cat corpses looked irresistibly appetising!) to assist ferrying the box back to his mansion. He worked all through the night performing his magic. At first light two revitalized Toms sat in a box outside Marma’s door and knocked. She was astounded and astonished to be reacquainted with them. Death had driven some hither to unfamiliar sensibility into them. They now listened. They took to dressing more gentlemanly like sporting well groomed moustaches, bowler hats and bow ties, sometimes even corsages on account of the Count imparting some of his dignified essence into them. They developed a keen interest in the literary and poetic side of life and kept Marma entertained for hours reading and reciting the most beautifully penned works. Etta Kitt was more than a tad jealous of them now, but her turn eventually came. On her death bed the Toms secretly sent for the Count by owl (for Marma never found out who the taxidermist magician was). The Count took her away and she returned with a sophistication of sorts quite preferring to wear pink crocheted ponchos and a cotton candy pink bob styled wig with the hair done in bunches which was trending at the time. She started collecting buttons and would use them to accessorize her precisely presented outfits. She also joined the Toms in entertaining Marma until her very end in 1980. About the time Queen Marcheline set up court and the Count introduced the cats to the new queen who took one look at them and just knew she would establish a special place for them there. By and by, it came to pass that Tom Cat fell in love with his one true love, Olwen Onionhead, second in command to the King of A.R.M.E.N and moved in with her at the Palace of King Fisher. Etta Kitt and Tom Foolery reside in the vestibule suite of the Count’s Manor along with Megan the Mega Meganeura.
The Cybiography of Queen Marcheline CLICK HERE:
AND HE SAID:
"Truly I tell you,
You're NEVER too old to be young at heart
P l a g i a r i s m is
a plague D O N ' T
S P R E A D I T ! ! !
R e s p e c t