I am Esmerelda the Gypsy Cat
Created from many different materials, I am 30" tall, stuffed with pantyhose, and dressed in vintage jewels and clothing. I even have a vintage rhinestone garter belt. Every part of me is realistic... if you know what I mean. You can see more pictures and learn more about me on the About Diabella page.
There are days when I regret that Diabella breathed life into me. All would have been fine had she not placed me near an open window for the paint on my face to dry. You see, there was this beautiful orange butterfly outside and I tried to... oh, well. Doesn't matter.
It didn't take long to learn that the life of a street cat isn't easy but each day did bring a new adventure. By the time I met up with King I'd already been on the streets for a couple of years. However, I had never heard of Brooklyn until that misty Autumn eve.
Come a bit closer. Let me tell you all about that frightful night, and about my adventure with King Kat"...
The heavy glass door of the office building swung out onto the sidewalk with such force that it knocked me off all fours. A woman stepped out through the doorway and scooped me up. I sensed that she was sorry and meant no harm. "Poor kitty-cat, I was in such a hurry to leave the office and get home that I didn't notice you sitting on the sidewalk." She held me close. "Poor kitty-cat," she kept repeating. It was apparent that she was torn between returning me to the sidewalk and taking me home. "Poor kitty... I can't keep you. Already have two at home."
Suddenly she grinned widely and stuffed me into a Macy's shopping bag. Through the glass door and up an elevator we went. Once inside a tiny office she looked around and locked the door behind us. She sat me on a desktop and laughed excitedly. "Kitty-Kat, I have one hell of an idea!""Esmerelda!" I replied. "My name is Esmerelda the Gypsy Cat!" She didn't understand me. She broke a cookie in two and set the larger piece before me. It sure was no burger but I devoured it anyway. After years on the streets you learn to take what you get when you get it. She grinned again."I have one heck of an idea, kitty... and it is going to work! We are going to exchange favors: I will find you a home and, in turn, you will be a Christmas present for a friend."
She opened a desk drawer, pulled out a bandaid and unwrapped it. In tiny letters, I watched her write this message on its surface. She pressed the bandaid firmly against my fur and apologized for not being able to keep me. Once again, into the Macy's shopping bag, down the elevator, out the glass door into the street. As she reluctantly lowered me to the sidewalk she wished me good luck and assured me that I would reach the destination on the bandaid by Christmas. Couldn't remember where I had been headed so I walked towards 5th Avenue. The mist gave way to a light drizzle which loosened the adhesive on the bandaid and robbed me of the promise of a home.
The chill in the air and the store windows filled with black paper witches and trick or treat bags hinted that Halloween was near. I loved Halloween. It was always a fun night in the streets and sometimes the kids would feed me candy.
I wondered how close it was. Crawling through the fallen leaves I spotted a newsstand and pounced atop a stack of papers. The New York Times headline read: "Tylenol Killer stalks City." The date above the headline told me it was Hallows Eve.
The 42nd Street garbage can held no treasures that misty night. A yellow, crumpled coupon with the words "Buy One Get One Free" glared up at me from the trash. Being a cat, I was curious.
What do you get for free if you buy one? I jumped onto the rim of the can, steadied myself on my hindquarters, dug in and uncrumpled the coupon. Hmm, I thought to myself. The one on 34th Street isn't far. Crouching low to the ground on all fours I went full speed ahead. Within minutes the Burger King sign was in view. My instincts for survival were sharp. Their trash can overflowed with the day's leftovers. The moonlit streets were still except for the haunting sound of a newspaper dancing in the wind. I pounced on the trash can and dug in.
Before I had a bite of anything, out of nowhere appeared a big fat tomcat decked out in purple satin shorts, a royal blue cape and a gold paper crown bearing the words "Burger King - Home of the Big Whopper." "Good evening, fancy feline ... and a happy Hallows Eve to you," he bellowed as he bowed deeply. "Allow me to introduce myself. My name is King Kat the Third." His cape swayed in the breeze revealing a huge bulging spare tire about his waist. He lit a cigar and the smoke hovered over his head forming a halo. I was quite stunned by his size and overpowering presence.
"And why is this fancy feline digging in the trash this Hallows Eve?" he asked. The cat's diamond pinky ring flashed in the night as he spoke, and his broad grin became even broader, revealing perfectly pointy white teeth. He sneered at me approvingly. Something in King's twisted smile made me uneasy but being a streetwise cat I saw my golden opportunity. This hadda be one rich dude. Fluttering my whiskers and widening my eyes seductively, I gazed up at him.
"Hello, King ... I am Esmerelda The Gypsy Cat - and I just love your Halloween costume." "This is no costume," he replied. From the expression on his face I could tell that he wanted me. "Follow me to my castle, fancy feline, and I will shower you with jewels and silks, champagne and satin, lace and furs." His eyes sparkled like iridescent mounds of hot coal and for one fleeting moment I imagined that he was the devil in disguise about to ignite 42nd Street with the flames of hell.
| "Right now I'd settle for a juicy burger and fries," I heard myself replying. "Not to worry, fancy feline. Follow the King and you shall have your juicy burger - and so much more. My castle lies just beyond the bridge in a place called Brooklyn. Let us begin our journey." "Brooklyn? Why, that's where I was headed, King. You see, I met up with this kind lady earlier today and she ..." "Forget the past, Fancy. Follow the King."
I can't lie. I knew what King wanted. But I was so hungry that I didn't care. Guided by the stars we walked side by side across the Brooklyn Bridge and through a maze of darkened streets for what seemed like hours. I was hungry and tired, and a bit scared. Just when I thought I couldn't lift another paw we arrived.
So this was King's castle! The abandoned old warehouse filled the deserted tree lined street. I gazed up and silently counted 38 stories. Once inside the musty building we climbed the cobweb covered stairway to the top landing. King took out a rusty iron key and unlocked the heavy mahogany door on the 38th floor...
Red oriental rugs hugged the wooden floors and expensive oil paintings stood out from the walls. An old wooden ceiling fan hung from the center of the high stucco ceiling. It's blades lazily twirled round and round in slow motion and filled the room with eerie creaking sounds. In the far corner stood a gleaming brass coat-rack adorned with a black satin tuxedo, a top hat, and a carved ebony walking stick. Under it all stood four very pointy black lizard boots. King unfastened his cape and it fell to the floor. He removed the tuxedo from the coat-rack and slipped into it, all the while admiring his reflection in a massive mirror. Then he removed his Burger King Home of The Big Whopper crown and replaced it with the top hat.
I was appointed a chamber next to King's with a stately mahogany canopy bed. The walk-in closet housed furs, evening gowns, and glittery high-heeled slippers. Against the window stood a huge intricately carved oak dressing table with a tilt mirror and two deep drawers. Its surface was covered with antique perfume bottles filled with costly French perfumes. In the center stood a vase of crimson carnations. King opened the closet, pointed to the garments inside, and instructed me to dress for dinner. "This once all belonged to grandmother, but now it is all yours, fancy feline. Dinner will be served at the clang of the bell."
My selection was a peach colored silk gown, a string of pearls, orange velvet evening slippers and a fox capelet. By the time I finished dressing I was so excited that I quickly forgot about my empty stomach. Posing in the mirror I smiled at my reflection. The soft shade of peach did wonders for my complexion, and the capelet was even more luxurious than my own coat. A bell rang three times. King entered, took my arm, and escorted me down a narrow corridor and through an arched doorway.
The stark white walls of the dining room were warmed by heavy oak furnishings of days gone bye. Its long carved table was covered with an off white linen cloth which, in turn, was covered with fine china, delicate crystal goblets and tall vases of beige pussy willows. Groups of candles stood on either side of the mantle, their flames flickering strange textures on the walls. Between the candles hung a huge oil portrait of an elderly cat with big yellow eyes and bent whiskers. The inscription at the the bottom of the frame read "King Kat I."
King pulled a tall upholstered chair from the table. "Be seated, Fancy," he said. Two servants attired in black satin tuxedos entered the room carrying etched silver trays and began to fill our platters. A third servant entered and poured wine into the crystal goblets. "Tell me, King," I asked between forkfulls of lobster thermador, "how did you acquire all of this riches? And with all of this luxury, why do you hang around the Burger King trash can? And why do you wear the Burger King Home of the Big Whopper crown?"
"The internet, Fancy, I made my fortune selling CD's on the internet to the dead with instructions on how to revive themselves." "Why that is crazy, King! If someone is dead how can they play a CD?? And if these people are dead how can they even send you checks??" "I will share all of my secrets with you in time, Fancy. but for now, let's partake of the food and wine." "ESMERELDA, King ... my name is ESMERELDA!" I shouted.
| And so it went for 30 days and nights. But my questions were left unanswered. By day we played chess and watched soap operas, living for the evenings when we would dress up and dine for hours. Each night before dinner I sat at the dressing table and painted my face with the contents of its drawers. Of all the tinted powders and tins and tubes of color the drawers held, I was especially fascinated with one magical gleaming tube. Once uncovered and its bottom twisted, it revealed a bright red creamy substance which I delighted in smearing on my mouth.
The 31st day came and went as usual. After a leisurely dinner of chicken and ribs supreme and imported white wine I retired to my chamber. King had left a scanty pair of purple panties trimmed with a purple puff of feathers on the bed. I removed the coral gown, slipped into the panties, and slid under the covers. The wine had left me drowsy. Just as my eyes were beginning to close, there came a knock at the door. King entered and sat at the edge of the bed. He was clad in black satin shorts, a smile, and the Burger King Home of the Big Whopper crown. I couldn't help laughing. "Tell me, King, what's with the crown?" I asked.
"The time has come, Fancy," he answered. "I will show you." He slowly rose from the bed's edge and dropped his black satin shorts to his paws. He untied a string at his waistline and began to unwind something which was wrapped around and around his body. Minutes later, he was still unwinding this thing. It was now tangled around the room many times, and his spare tire had mysteriously vanished. At first I couldn't grasp what was happening. When this thing was finally unwound King looked at me and grinned a wicked grin baring his gleaming teeth. He pointed his paw between his legs and proudly cried: "INTRO--DUCING ............ THE BIG WHOPPER!"
Never had I seen anything like it! All at once I realized what this "thing" was. It was the biggest whopper I'd ever laid eyes on. King Pulled his shorts up, Took a puff of his cigar, and began to sing the Burger King song:
"Aren't you hungry? ...
Aren't you hungry? ...
Aren't you hungry for Burger King now?"
In one giant leap I sprang through the archway and made my way through a tunnel of rooms leading to the landing. Had to get away. It was then that I saw the padlock on the exit door and fainted. I awoke on the sofa sometime later to a servant pressing an icebag to my head. It was morning. King was sitting before the chess board grooming his fur. Yellow rays of sunlight streamed in from a nearby window and pointed at his head. He lit a cigar and a stream of smoke drifted upward and reached the ceiling in an unbroken chain. Half dazed. My eyes followed the chain... and all at once my escape plan was formed.
It was crazy. Would it work? Could it work? Yes. If I played it cool. I rose from the sofa, still a bit dizzy, and joined King at the chess board as though nothing had happened. I told him that the last thing I remembered was passing out from the wine. King seemed relieved. His mouth widened in a grin pulling his whiskers up to his large oval ears. I forced myself to stay calm and make conversation. Besides, I was still curious.
"Tell me, King, with all of this extravagance why do you hang around the Burger King trash can?"
"Because it is the home of the Big Whopper and I am the original Big Whopper." "Oh, dear, don't explain .... it's okay. Don't explain." I quickly switched on the TV to interrupt his train of thought. Thank goodness it worked and kept him from finishing his big whopper story.
|Couldn't sleep that evening. Planning ... thinking ... twisting ... turning. Would it work? It had to. There was a padlock on the exit door and there was no other way out. The night closed in.
The next day was just as any other. That is, until dinner. I dressed slowly. Grandma's red velvet gown clung to my curves. I removed a white lace handkerchief and a bottle of sleeping capsules from the drawer, laid the handkerchief on the dressing table, and poured the powder from 5 sleeping capsules into its center. I folded the handkerchief neatly and tucked it into a silver filigree evening purse. The bell rang three times. King entered and escorted me to the dining room.
I played up to him and filled and refilled his goblet, each time transporting a bit of the powder from the handkerchief into his goblet.
We toasted our friendship .................................... and he drank
We toasted the universe ....................................... and he drank
We toasted the almighty buck ............................... and he drank
And he drank, and drank, and drank, until he passed out cold and the servants carried him off to bed. I went to my room and undressed.
I opened the closet and removed a Paris-fashioned, fire-red evening gown with sequins and its matching beret. This outfit was by far my favorite. Couldn't leave without it. I jumped into the gown, tilted the beret on my head and sauntered over to the dressing table, where I sat for a while gazing into the mirror. After removing the gleaming tube from the drawer I uncovered it and twisted its bottom until the magic red substance appeared. Then I smeared it onto my mouth and winked into the mirror.
The mirror captured the vase of crimson carnations and doubled their intensity. As I bent forward to sniff the carnations, I noticed that with every movement the light played with the sequins transforming them into tiny specs of fire. Suddenly the mirror was ablaze with red. I smiled. What a happy word this would be if everything in it was red. Next I selected a diamond necklace and a tapestry evening pouch from the second drawer. And then I dropped the gleaming tube containing the red substance into the pouch. After one last look at grandma's dazzling array of gowns and furs, I sighed, and with mixed feelings left the room.
I quietly entered King's chamber and stood at his bedside where he slept heavily from the mixture of wine and sleeping powder. From his expression it was apparent that he was dreaming about the big whopper... and me.|
I walked to the window, opened it, and nervously gazed down into the streets below. Then I tip-toed to King's bedside and pulled the covers down. His body was clad in yellow satin shorts. I removed them, untied the string at his waist, and put one paw beneath his body lifting him slightly from the bed so that I could begin the unwinding process. Being that it was difficult to calculate the exact length needed, I would have to unwind it all.
This I did, and out the window and down I lowered it just like a chain. Fully unwound it met with the second story. A breeze blew past it and stiffened it ever so slightly. King smiled and mumbled in his sleep. I jumped onto the window ledge, mounted the big whopper and slid all the way down to the second story and jumped to the ground. My crazy escape plan had worked. I gazed up at the big whopper for a moment. It was dancing in the breeze. And then I ran through the streets like a bat outta hell.
|CHAPTER VII - Conclusion|
Dawn broke. It began to snow tiny polka-dots. Once again, I was chilled to the bone and hungry. Once again, I was a stray. I joined several cats feasting near a trash can and managed to grab a chicken bone. One hissed and looked at me cross eyed. The others just stared. I must have been some sight: Sequins and diamonds and a chicken bone hanging from my mouth. Had to think seriously about the future. I had had my share of adventure. Had that butterfly not tempted me, none of this would have happened. Did I want to remain a stray forever? Somehow, I wasn't very eager to cope with life on the streets anymore.
Needed a plan. No. Not a plan. Just a home. A simple home with someone to feed me and care for me and love me. Should I try to find that bridge back to Manhattan? Or, should I chance my fate here in this place called Brooklyn? BROOKLYN? .... why does that name suddenly bring visions of a home? Why is it so familiar? Think I had once seen it written somewhere. Hmmm..... Yes. I think it was near the word "Christmas". Oh, dear, sometimes I am so absent minded. I remember! The bandaid! It was on the bandaid! It was part of an address of a new home for me.
Let's see: Brooklyn ...... Christmas ..... Tan Street ? No. Beige Street? No. It was Brown Street. Yes. Brown Street! It's all coming back to me: Melissa F - 5008 Brown Street - Brooklyn, USA - By Christmas. Yep. That was to be my new home. I was supposed to be a Christmas present for a child named Melissa, who lives there. I remember it all and prayed there was still time.
I bolted like a maniac to the nearest newsstand. The New York Times headline announced "Twelve People Murdered" ..... Somewhere off the the side were the words "Season's Greetings." The date above the headline was December 15th. Ten days till Christmas. Had only 10 days to find this Brown Street. For the next few days I walked in all directions praying that I wouldn't run into King. I passed many street signs. None said Brown Street. It was once again growing dark and I was weary. I crawled into an alley and lied down alongside two other strays. You could tell they were married.
| "George, I'm hungry," the fat one whined in the moonlight. "You are always hungry, Yetta Katz. That is why you are so fat," the male replied. "C'mon, George.... let's go out to eat.....I'm hungry. There's never any good trash on this block, and I'M HUNGRY!" "Stop nagging me, Yetta. You just devoured a half a fish from the corner can." "But, George, I want you to take me to Brown Street. C'mon, George."
Brown Street??? My ears perked up!
"C'mon, George, let's go to 5008 Brown Street......the house with the barbeque and the great garbage." "OK Yetta, you win. Anything to shut you up." George walked, Yetta waddled, and I followed.
So, Thanks to the kind lady who found me in front of her office building, and thanks to George and Yetta Katz who guided me to Melissa's doorstep, I arrived at my new home just in time for Christmas. It wasn't a moment too soon for me as I'd had it with the dangers and perils of life on the streets. After the formal introductions, and after gulping down an entire bowl of Friskies, I promised Melissa that we'd be the best of friends as long as she didn't dream up some silly name for me. You see, I told her that my name was appointed by my creator, and that I always was, and always will be, Esmerelda the Gypsy Cat.
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|Can cats dance? I'm convinced, but I'll let you be the judge!|
|Sure they do! Enter Red-Devil's tail-twitching dream!|
|The cat was to rid the forest of the evil crow but somehow he...|
|Ever wonder what your cat *really* sees in the fish bowl?|
|The cat glared at the devil with cold icy eyes and in a thin frosty voice...|
|An important message from the Spay/Neuter Witch|
|Learn about the many phases and stages of kitten growth|
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|What will become of kitty when you are no longer around?|
|Learn about coverage. It makes a whole lot of sense!|
|Outside the window what seems to be a huge black bird...|
|Diabella's Cat Poetry by Candlelight|
|When she learned why King Kat wore that crown she fainted!|
|A talking gorilla and her beloved kitties. Very tender images.|
|A final word from kitty Alex|
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