Topic: "Look for da Union Label"
Previously Frodo described the health condition of his long-time friend Rocky (see "The Italian Stallion"). Rocky continues his magnificent rebound and has actually gained a little weight. He has, however become an African-American. His fur is matted into corn rows, and he is unwilling to tolerate efforts to brush him. He has developed some memory problems, and can't seem to remember when, if, or how much he has eaten. He discusses it at great length with himself in a shrill manner at all hours of the early morning.
Sam's Father has reached an advanced age and, after Sam's Stepmother fell prey to Alzheimer's, required Assisted Living. The couple had a cat whom they never really named. Fearful that the 3 year-old white male might become disoriented in the Assisted Living facility, the decision was made that "Beau" would come to the Shire.
Rocky has seen creatures come and go over his 22 years. Under normal circumstances one more addition to the menagerie would be of minimal concern and/or interest. Sydney, the cockatiel, who often flies down to sleep with Rocky, will require some re-programming. Mick, Fiona, and Georgia will sniff his butt and ignore him. The concern for Frodo is how the real Lord and Master will handle the intruder.
Yesterday, when Frodo returned from Mount Doom, and after he had greeted the larger members of the pack, he saw the "dog door" swing free and heard the incessant yammering of his first feline companion. It was if he were issuing a report on what had transpired in Frodo's absence. Following is a translation of the conversation.
"Do you know what Sam has done? Sam brought another cat into this house, and it stinks! Sam must plan to replace me with this illegal alien. I demand to speak to my Union Representative!"
"Whoa big fella, you da man. Nobody can replace you."
"Yeah, well, our contract requires that you consult with me before personnel actions are taken here in the Shire."
"Honestly, Sam has been talking about this with you for months, and trying to get you used to the idea."
"Who pays attention to that kind of talk, I just assumed that Sam was just engaging in a little verbal foreplay in order to get me to eat that stuff in the blue can that I don't like."
"Come on in, let's take a look at the new guy, and see if we can't establish some groundrules."
"You go establish groundrules, I am going to file a grievance against both of you, and I know two Hobbits who better test their tennis shoes before putting them on 'cause I feel a need to spray my markers around this place."
With that the conversation ended. Beau is on one floor, Rocky commands all others. Frodo is glad that Sam's Father never got into reptiles, hamsters, or cattle.