This was my first time attending the infamous annual Brew and Chew charity event. Tickets are hard to come by especially if you believe the history. Read about it here, but do it after this story.
My friend who was supposed to join me couldn't make it so, I'm flying solo. You'd laugh if you could see me after saying that. My costume is the best I've ever worn. I'm dressed as a wicked, wicked witch. I even splurged to have a professional make up artist style me in the most monstrous and unscrupulous way. The broom, well it's a one of a kind creation by the witchy artist Tabitha Sweepinheimer.
After wandering around the drafty castle I make my way to the banquet table. It's the most magnificent spread I've ever seen. Plus, it has the perks of being prepared in present time. Refrigeration and skillful workers save us from botulism and E. Coli related maladies these days. Mostly. Unless of course we have the misfortune of having the one prep cook who flipped a coin taking the food handlers test. The particular question, how do you thaw meat? A) in the refrigerator? B) in the trunk of your car?
Don't laugh, that was a true question.
Back to this feast fit for, well me.
I grab my crystal platter and start to fill it up when I heard a collective gasp. The crowd was mesmerized by a cat that walked in dressed in a an oriental fuscia gown, dripping with jewels, and holding a solid gold fish mask with precious gems embedded in it.
The murmurs were not so quiet. Who styled this woman? Where did she get this striking costume? Who is she?
Listen, I was staring right along with them. Only I knew it wasn't a woman, but a real cat. I just knew. Unfortunately, when we made eye contact, she knew I knew.
I looked up and gave a courtesy smile and started to move along the table. She swatted at me to get my attention. I turned around and said hello. My hands were full. One with a plate and the other my broom. Boy, do I really wish I could fly away at this point.
She mewed again, then in perfect English introduced her self.
"My name is Isabella Tralala and I need the help of a witch."
"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you Isabella Tralala. However, I'm not really a witch, or a cat person."
Ooops, didn't mean to say that last part out loud.
"What I mean, is this is a costume party. And I do have a barn cat named Hazel."
Oh man, I'm really putting my foot in my mouth with this supernatural diva cat. I just told her I have a cat kept in a barn, not the castle.
Lucky for me she started laughing.
"You may not be a witch, but you do have magical powers. You know I'm a real cat and this isn't a costume." She said as she perused the table and zoned in on the caviar.
She went ahead of me to get near the delicacy while still talking. " You see I just lost one of my lives. My mistress, the world renowned soprano, Matilde Chanteuse, went bat shit crazy and now I don't have a mistress."
"Wait, I thought cats have nine lives, not nine lives of owners?" I asked her.
She was inching closer and closer to the caviar. She bent over the table and licked it.
"You can take the mangy, flea-bitten, raggedy on the brink of death kitten out of cat, but you can't take the cat out of, well you know what I mean." She did not apologize for her table manners.
I knew what she meant being a former white trash, elevated to trailer park girl, upgraded to a wicked witch at the ball of the season. Yes, I got it, but I still wasn't crawling around the table.
This was one of the most bizarre conversations I've had at a party. That's saying a lot because I was partying in the 80's and 90's
"Do you want to hear my story or not? "
She didn't wait for my answer and began.
"My former mistress, Matilde Chanteuse, was at a matinee performing Carmen. When it was over she came back stage and there I was in a box. I was left out back in the dumpster and a stage hand found me and brought me inside.
This elegant woman picked me up despite my state and hugged me close. She fell in love.
Of course she cleaned me up, dressed me then presented me with the name Isabella Tralala. I was her only friend. She was very talented. There was no one in her league. Until a young protege' came about. Ambrosia Deja Vu.
The young phenomenon sounded just as she did in her youth. Only better.
Months went on while my mistress steeped in envy. She wanted the young girl's talent and youth. The better Ambrosia became, the more Matilde unravelled.
So, she decided to keep her enemy close and pretended to mentor her and take her under her wing. Trying to figure out how to stop this change of the guard. It was her only focus.
The girl picked up on the animosity. The more her talent bloomed, the more her ego grew and she taunted my mistress.
One day Matilde, who I called MiMi, invited the young lass for a tea party. The little princess decided to turn up the heat and take over. "Allow me to serve you my queen." She poured the tea.
MiMi did not like being treated like an invalid. The green eyed monster who lived under the bed came out to join the party. He whispered to her that Ambrosia was trying to poison her.
He took his place at the table next to Matilde. Her eyes were taking on his green as she went mad. This time he didn't whisper, he boldly told her to finish the girl.
In her delirium she started singing. The notes she hit were so high they shattered the cups and saucers. Tea and crumpets flew everywhere. It was a storm.
When she hit the crescendo it was the highest note she ever accomplished. It was a history making note. The young girl cowered under the table holding her ears while blood dripped out.
The chandelier shattered and broke the spell.
Matilde Chanteuse lost her voice and her mind.
Ambrosia DejaVu was deaf.
The green eyed monster left to take residence somewhere else.
The ambulance arrived with her haute couture straight jacket. She was wrestled to the ground so they could sedate her. The irony was she was now truly being poisoned. They wheeled her out the door but before they could leave I jumped on the stretcher. I nuzzled her and gave her a kiss and in that moment I inherited her green eyes. Hence, leaving me with eight lives left.
She then swatted a glass off the table.
"Wow, that's some story. First off I hope you don't think I'm going to be your mistress." I looked at this crazy cat.
"Don't be stupid." she swatted another glass off the table.
Well that pissed me off. I grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and took her away from the banquet leaving my plate which I haven't touched and spent a small fortune on for this gala. This wicked kitty wasn't going to spoil it for me.
"Alright, you have my help for fifteen minutes. I will find you a new master and you will leave me alone. Oh and you can leave that golden fish mask with me for my trouble." I told her.
I lifted my broom over my head. I don't know why, but I figured it might be some kind of magic ritual to help me get rid of Mrs. Mittens.
Then I saw her perfect match.
When the empress made her way towards us I grabbed Isabella and flung her at the goddess.
This was a match made in heaven. The Belle of the Ball is a fish monger at a small shop in town square. We met at the costume shop. I think I will get my fresh fish from her now so I can check on the green eyed kitty. Wonder what her new name will be?