"Sheila's Nose." A Serial Cat Tail. Part 9. The Last.

And so he decided.
       The next morning, Mr. Elliot did not open his bookshop.  Instead, he donned his best suit, groomed his mustache, buffed his head, and combed his eyebrows.   He gargled, plucked, brushed, filed.  The cat needed nothing more than a change of nose.  He choose the cotton ball.

Mr. Elliot stood at Miss Abigail’s door with the cat in one hand and a bouquet of flowers in the other.  He rang the bell and then suffered a seizure of self-doubt, growing near ill imagining what Miss Abigail may think of a grown man's infatuation with a stuffed cat. 
Miss Abigail was not in the mood for guests.  Still, she tip-toed to the door and put her eye to the peek hole.  She gasped. Why, it was Mr. Elliot!  She couldn’t possibly open the door.  She was wearing a bathrobe and slippers and hadn’t washed her hair in who knows how long.  
“Miss Abigail?  I wish to introduce you to someone.”  She squinted at him through the peek hole.  Though he was wearing a rather dowdy suit, his face twitched charmingly.  

“But Mr. Elliot.  You are all alone.”
        Mr. Elliot tried to decide how to handle the situation, blinking so rapidly he couldn’t see a thing.  Did he really have any other choice, having come this far?  He held the little cat up to the peek hole. 
           He heard a loud thump from inside followed by a grave silence.
           "Miss Abigail?" he called.  Now he had done it, making such an abominable fool of himself that surely she would never speak to him again.  "I'll be going home now."  He put his ear to the door waiting for a protest.  "Sorry to have disturbed you, Miss Abigail.  I'll be sure not to come again."  Nothing. He stood before the shut door summing up his life.  Yes, he had raised hems and lowered hems.  He had fixed what was torn and altered what did not fit.  And certainly one could not deny that he had recommended a good deal of great reading to people in search of such things.  But it seemed the door to love always remained shut despite his best intentions. 

            Suddenly, a groan.
            "Miss Abigail?  Is everything alright?"  The good samaritan took over.  Mr. Elliot reached for the handle and opened the door.  There on her back, was Miss Abigail.  He bent towards her, "Miss Abigail.  Please.  Allow me to help you up."
            She opened her eyes.  Looking up at him, she felt the funk draining away.  "What a lovely little cat you have," she said.
            It took some time to get through all the apologies, but eventually, they were sitting together at the kitchen table drinking tea and eating stale cookies while Mr. Elliot explained how he had found the cat in the poetry section.
           “She has such an interesting nose,” Miss Abigail finally said. 

          It was then that Mr. Elliot took from his pocket a ring box.  Miss Abigail choked on her tea, the deep fear of commitment rising within her like a tide.  He held the box out to her, his mouth twitching so rapidly, she was afraid that if she didn’t take it, he might suffer permanent damage. 
             With the box in her hand and Mr. Elliot perched on the edge of his chair, she knew there was no escaping.  She would have to open the box eventually.  She lifted the lid.
              “Noses,” Mr. Elliot said with a fair amount of pride.  “For the cat.”
             With two fingers she plucked from the box a tiny mustache that resembled Mr. Elliot’s. 
“I call that one The Transgender.”

             Miss Abigail snapped it onto Sheila’s face.  “Do you mind if I put her in the curio cabinet?” Mr. Elliot agreed that was a delightful idea.  
             Miss Abigail and Mr. Elliot stood beaming at the cat, both vaguely aware how strange it was that a little stuffed cat with a crooked tail, mismatched eyes and a mustache could inspire such complex feelings.
         “Sheila," said Miss Abigail.  "She seems like a Sheila to me."  
Sheila was so happy to be back in the curio cabinet, looking out on the two people she loved most in the world.  She had them to thank for everything.  Had she not lost her nose, she would not now have six.  Had she not been thrown in the thrash she wouldn’t have a new eye, that, though it did not help her see clearer on the surface of things, allowed her to see the good in even the most unfortunate of circumstances.  She was even happy to see the black cat clock perched on the wall, its eyes still ticking back and forth, back and forth.

Thank you for reading.


  1. I predict Miss Abigail, Mr. Elliot and Sheila will live happily ever after. This story is perfectly whimsical. Delightful.

  2. Thanks for staying tuned in! I think I lost a few with that one.

  3. I'm still here. Thank you for the story. Miss Abigail's is not the good kind of funk that makes one the life of the neighborhood party. So glad she shook the bad funk in time for a happy ending. I was on pins and needles waiting to see. What a labor of love it is to make a set of kitty noses for a friend's beloved pet.

  4. Just the type of thing you would do for a noseless cat, NDL.

    And thanks for the idea for the sequel, Miss Abigail gets the funky funk.

  5. I couldn't bear to start readng until all the chapters were in....maybe that's why I don't read the comics either? Splendid story!
    ....not-a-bot in DC