Maurice

The group of cats sat in a circle in the priests' quarters. The head priest, Justinian, sat at the front, with his offspring surrounding him, Maurice on his right, Constantine on his left, and his lesser grown kittens filling in the rest of the circle. The pillows, tinsels, and decorations of found offerings by the mice, a fork, several buttons, and a necklace, surrounded the space. It was beautifully adorned as compared to the quarters of any mouse. Justinian and Maurice sat tall, while Constantine twitched and fidgeted, re-adjusting himself until he found a comfortable position, lying on his back with his stomach and everything below showing. Maurice glared at his undignified brother.

"Cats," Justinian began. "Henry is unhappy. He's been seeing more mice than ever lately. What can we do to fix this?"

Maurice's wife Anastasius spoke up. "We could give them more Kol?"

"But the Kol will only make fooders more sloppy, and they'll be seen more," rebutted another.

"What excuse should we give them to avoid the humans?"

"What we always tell them. They're imperfect beings, and the humans are saddened by this. That's why they must avoid them until their 36th 'maun' when they 'become perfect'."

"The perfect mouse is a dead one!" laughed Constantine, his genitals waving shamelessly in the air.

Maurice hissed at him. "That was loud! And, if any mouse sees you like that, he'll sure have trouble believing that you're a holy representative!"

"Silence kittens!" hissed Justinian. "Constantine, sit up, or I'll replace you with Basilicus.

Basilicus lifted his head and smirked at Constantine, who quickly readjusted himself.

"We need other ideas," Justinian announced. We can increase the Kol for the kits, ma'ams, and Modmice, but not the fooders or fluff finders. We need them not to be seen."

"What about rations?" Arcadius suggested. "We could cut back on those?"

"But how tasty is a mouse that's skin and bones?" whined Constantine.

"We could give the extra to the 34-36ers."

"That could work. How is Leo doing with the schooling of the Kits?"

"That old bastard? He still thinks he's helping those squealing meals. Teaching them about the divinity of Man."

Justinian counted the cats. Only Leo was missing. "Perfect," he said.

"What if we segregate the schooling between black mice and white mice? Then we can teach the kits directly about the dangers of the other kind."

"Divide and conquer? I like it Valens." Justinian smiled at him. "Tell old Leo to take the white half, and you can have the black. Make sure to kindle the hate. Fear doesn't cut it." The priests stood. "Go do your jobs, so Susannah will give us milk," announced their father. One by one, they exited and walked toward their stations. Lastly, it was just Constantine and Justinian.

"Son, I have a special job for you."

"Whatever you ask, father."

"You will now be the Deputy of Piety. Make sure that everyone is following the Claws of Manism." He switched to a whisper. "Whatever little tidbits aren't behaving are yours to enjoy."

"Yes father. Thank you father."

Justinian laid down on a pillow, Constantine's cue to leave.

When he stepped outside the temple, Maurice was there waiting for him. "What did father want?"

"I'm the new deputy."

"That's funny, I guess that makes me the sheriff," Maurice teased maliciously. "I'm still your boss."

"Yeah, but I can eat what I catch."

"Is that all you care about? Food? You don't even have a family to feed!"

"You perfect son with your perfect little sons. That's all you care about. Family. Have a little fun!"

"If by fun, you mean risking the end of the cat dynasty, I don't think so. You and your fun are sloppy."

"But I'm actually getting the mice."

Maurice smirked. "Oh, I'll get the mice alright. You'll see..."

The End

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