Once long ago, dearly beloved, in the ancient days of the Northern Gods of Storm and Sky, in the waters of the high flowing Father river, The Rhine, a lone catfish swam and played over a trash pile. The cat fish swam faster and faster and suddenly jumped into the air from exuberant joy singing in a radiant mezzo- soprano, not common for a catfish -
Woge du welle!
wander you waters
waving my whiskers!"
Another soprano cat fish appeared, waving its long whiskers and singing -
"Fliegerfisch, watching alone?"
"If Flugelfisch joined, we were two."
"Let's see how you watch - !"
" - Safely from you!"
and the second cat fish gleefully dashed at the first. They chased each other in leaping circles as the rising dawn pinked the horizon.
A third, bigger cat fish appeared and sang –
“Weiaha hia –
The second catfish sang -
“Katzheilde swim! Fliegerfisch flies,
help me to catch her.”
“You should be guarding
the enchanted flea collar
it waits for your care
Something bad might happen.”
If you don’t get back there, I swear.”
Fliegerfisch splashed her and soon they were all laughing and chasing each other.
Old Possum, a lonely, lumpy, homeless cat slouched up to the river bank and watched the catfish play. He splashed his paw in the water and sang -
“Heh, Heh! You nymphs
From Nibelheim’s night gladly
I’d join in if you let me.”
The catfish stopped playing at the sound. “Who’s that?” “Someone in the dark?” “Quick! To the flea collar –Father warned us someone might come.”
They swam up and saw the old cat. “Phui! He’s horrible!” “Guard the collar!”
The three fish darted down to the bottom and circled the trash pile.
“Hello down there – “
“What do you want up there?”
“What are you doing around that little trash pile? Come back up and play. What is that, an old flea collar?”
“Have you been living in a cave?” sang Fliegerfisch. “Haven’t you heard of the Enchanted Flea Collar of the Gods? We have to guard it because who ever wears it will have power to rule the whole world!”
“The whole world?” sang the old cat.
“I really don’t think you should be telling him this,” sang Katzhilde.
“The whole world?” sang the old cat.
“That’s right,” sang Flugelfisch, “The whole world!”
“Ix-nay on the Orld-way . . . “
“But to do that you have to curse and renounce love. Everybody wants love, so you don’t want that flea collar – “
The cat plunged in and snatched up the flea collar in his paws
“Oh for cripes . . .”
Old Possum brandished the flea collar and sang -
Dread ye not now
Spawn of this stream
this cruel world?
I wrest from the trash the collar,
Hear me oh flood
Thus the old cat curses love!”
He pulled the flea collar over his neck - leaped from the water into the weeds– “HAH! Ha hahaha ha haaaaa . . .” and was gone.
“What do they expect,” sighed Katzfisch, “putting a bunch of fish in charge of something like that. . .”
As the run rose over the mountains of the Rhine, Wotan the one eyed All Father of the Gods stretched and yawned. The great gleaming hall of Valhalla, new and fresh shone before him. He would fill it with lady cats. The Cat House of the Gods. He raised his spear and sang:
“The great work is ended
Towering to Heaven
See it shine!
What in dreams I viewed
My will has created
The Cat House!
And it’s mine!”
The great fortress had been made for him by the two giant hounds, Huckleberry and Assholt. They demanded their promised payment – Gutepussy, the cat goddess of love. “We need to talk about that,” said Wotan. “Nothing to talk about,” said the fearsome Huckleberry. “A deal’s a deal. Gutepussy’s like totally hot, time to hand her over.” “Not so fast,” said Wotan. “You can’t trade off people for construction work, even if you’re a god king.”
Just then Gutepussy came in the room and Assholt grabbed her and sniffed her butt. Things are going badly, thought Wotan. There must be something else I can offer.
He stamped his spear on the ground and Teaser the Fire Cat appeared. Teaser always had an idea, and one of his worst ideas had been trading off Gutepussy who had recently dumped him. “Where the hell have you been?” said Wotan. “Do you know what a jam I’ve got here?”
“Thankless ever is Teaser’s lot!
For your sake alone
Roamed I the world and not
One did I see who wanted gold
More than love.
And now I can see
There’s nothing so great as lady’s love
Nothing so great as cat would ransom be
For lady’s love.”
“Yes,” said Wotan, “That’s the problem I have here now. Can you help?”
“I have an idea,” said Teaser.
“I was hoping you’d say that and I hope it’s better than your last idea,” said Wotan.
“I’ve been talking with the Rhine Maidens, do you remember that enchanted flea collar?”
“What enchanted flea collar?”
“Das Flohhalsband!” sang Assholt.
“Yes, Old Possum has it and he’s definitely going to come after this place for himself with the power of Das Flohhalsband. Why not take it and return it to the Rhine Maidens where it’ll be safe?”
“Is that the flea collar that rules the world?” sang Huckleberry.
“Why does everybody know about this but me?” sang Wotan
They descended to Nibelheim to find Old Possum. There they found him ruling with a cruel hand. When he saw the two he changed himself into a fearsome dragon to frighten them away. But Teaser, who was after all the cat-god of fire, was unimpressed. “Anybody can do dragons. How small can you go?” asked Teaser. “Can you change to Mickey Mouse, or is that beyond you? It’s okay if you can’t do it, just say so.”
“Eff you, little cat. Watch this shit –“ and Old Possum changed to a little mouse in shorts and white gloves. They jumped him instantly and tied him and hauled him off to Valhalla..
“If you want your freedom you'll have to give me the flea collar,” said Wotan.
“I paid for this ring by my own curse
And you think you can just take it
without a curse yourself?
My sin on myself doth fall
But on all that was, is and will be
Will fall my curse if you strip me
Of Das Flohhalsband!”
Wotan grabbed the collar and yanked it from the old cat’s neck. “Just give up the goddamn thing and pack off.”
Crushed and bitter, the old cat bit his paw and held up his bloody claw –
“Then hear me now
Accurst to me it came
Accurst be it now
Its magic now murder who wears it
Envy devour who sees it
No joy to who owns it
Thus the Old Possum blesses his collar!”
Wotan slipped the collar around his neck. “Blow it out your ass. You can go. Scat. Shoo.”
As Old Possum slunk away, suddenly Bast, the most ancient Cat Goddess of all appeared and sang –
“Wisely Wotan wisely
Flee the fateful collar!
Ruthless the ruin
The curse must follow.
All that hath been and will be I know
The Twilight of the Cats
Will follow if the collar returned it goes
To the children of the Rhine!”
And then as smartly as a soap bubble she vanished.
“Jeepers, that old bitch gives me the willies,” muttered Teaser.
“Give me Gutepussy, and you can have the collar,” said Wotan reluctantly and showed it to Assholt. Gutepussy ran to Wotan’s arms and spit at Teaser. “You’re still a jerk,” she said. Teaser shrugged.
Assholt put on the collar. “How do I look – NAH!” Huckleberry socked his brother with a club. Assholt fell stone dead and Huckleberry took the collar.
Whoa, thought Wotan. That was quick.
Now that’s what I call a serious curse, thought Teaser.
Huckleberry withdrew to a forest where he became a dragon with the rings power and killed anyone who came near. Meanwhile the cat gods became comfortable in their new home and Wotan filled it with lady cats.
But Wotan lusted for the ring and made a plan. He went tom-catting around in the world and bore two mortal kittens with a lady cat he met, Siegmittens and Siegbooties. The young little kit Siegmittens was out hunting when he returned and found his den was burned, his mother dead and his little sister had vanished. The years passed and trouble followed him everywhere.
One night, as he was being chased by hounds during a storm he threw himself into a hut in the forest The lady of the hut found him faint by the fire. She was a beautiful and gentle kitty who was married to a hound, a predictably dysfunctional match. She gave him water and they fell passionately in love. In the afterglow of their passionate love making a disturbing thought came to Siegmittens. “Hey – I think I know you from somewhere.”
“Oh my god, are you my brother?”
“I think so.”
“Ewww! I can’t believe I just screwed my brother. Are you kidding?”
“Hey, its better than letting a dog hump you all these years. As least we’re the same species.”
“Is it karma? Why do I keep getting in this screwed up kinky relationships? Is it me? Hooking up with a dog? And then I find out I’m hooking up with my brother? What’s wrong with me?”
“Just go with it.”
They ran away into the night as her husband swore to sniff them out and kill them both.
In the Cat House of Valhalla, Wotan summoned his favorite daughter, the Valkitty warrior cat Fluffhilde. He ordered her to save Siegmittens from Hunding the Hound. Then Gutepussy reminded him Siegmittens and Siegbooties were brother and sister, and Wotan ordered Fluffhilde to bring Siegmittens back to the Cat House alone, which means dead, because this whole thing needed a course correction.
No warrior who looks on the Valkitty may live. Fluffhilde confronted Seigmittens and told him he must die at the sword of Hunding the Hound. On the other hand he would go with her to the Cat House which was a very sweet deal. Siegmittens sang –
“And will I find there
Walse my father?”
“yes, you will,” sang Fluffhilde.
“And are there lady cats
To greet me
“Oh baby,” said Fluffhilde.
“You call me Siegmittens
But will Siegbooties
Be there too?”
“You’ll have to leave her here,” sang Fluffhilde. “Anyway, she’s your sister, you know that, right? Nobody wants to see that kind of thing and really there’re plenty of nice girls you can meet there.”
“Then greet for me Valhalla
And greet for me Walse my father
And greet for me the ladies
Of the Cat House.
Sigmittens will not go.”
Fluffhilde was stunned. “Are you crazy?”
“Hell will be Heaven
If Siegbooties is there with me.”
Deeply moved Fluffhilde defended him in the fight with Hunding, but Wotan appeared and let Hunding kill him as Flufflhide fled with Siegbooties who was pregnant. She hid Siegbooties in the forest where Huckleberry the dragon lived, because she knew Wotan would never go there.
Wotan was seriously pissed. Fluffhilde had never disobeyed him before and he had just found a joint in her room on top of everything else and said enough is enough with this girl.
For punishment Wotan had to put Fluffhilde down. She would be put to sleep. As she sank in his arms he sang to her –
“Farewell my valiant
you were the holiest
pride of my heart
Farewell Farewell Farewell
Though I abandon you
whom I love so
the laughing delight of my eye
a radiant bridal fire
will surround you
so that no coward will approach
or unworthy cat to awake you.”
He laid her out in her Valkitty armor and stamped his spear three times on the rock.
Teaser! Bam. Teaser! Bam! Teaser! Bam!
The Cat-God of fire appeared and circled her in a ring of magic fire as Wotan wept and abandoned her there.
Siegbooties died giving birth to a hero who was absolutely without fear; in part because he wasn’t all that bright. He grew up and forged for himself a sword and killed the dragon Huckleberry without trying especially hard and took the flea collar for a souvenir because he liked it.
Wotan met him in the wood.
“Ho! Ho! So you’d stop me!” sang Siegpuff
“I am the rock’s defender,” sang Wotan,
And mine’s the spell that enfolds
The slumbering maid.”
“What slumbering maid?” sang Siegpuff.
“Oops,” sang Wotan. “Cat’s out of the bag.”
“There where the flames are I will go!” sang Siegpuff.
“If you’ve no fear of the fire,
If you’re that dumb at least
The shaft of my spear bars your way!”
“Stretch out your spear!
See it break on my sword!
As Wotan thrust his spear, Siegpuff’s sword shattered it.
“Sonuvabitch,” sang Wotan. “Cheap Chinese made crap. Pass on, I cannot prevent you.” And Wotan vanished in the darkness.
Siegpuff came across Fluffhilde still in a coma encircled with fire. It did not occur to him not to try to walk through fire so he just did. It was the first time he had seen a lady cat and for the first time he knew fear. He knelt and kissed her and she awoke.
He gave her the flea collar for an engagement gift.
On the banks of the Rhine, near Fluffhilde’s rock, three strange lady cats, the mysterious Norns, the daughters of Bast, were weaving the rope of fate. In the future they saw the Twilight of the Cats approaching and Valhalla burning and the gods perishing. From their ashes and the ashes of the great cosmological tree Yggdrasil would be born a new world n which cats would no longer rule by law, but instead a world where men ruled by law unless –
- and then the damn rope broke.
“Cheap Chinese made crap . . .”
Old Possum used his wealth to buy the services of a lady cat to bear him a son he named Burntoast. He sent Burntoast to find the enchanted flea collar. There he met Siegpuff tom catting around looking for adventures to impress Fluffhilde for when he returned. Burntoast tried to set him up with his half sister Boobshilde. Things were going in that direction until Fluffhilde arrived. Though mortal now, even a former Valkitty isforever bad news when she’s mad. She told Burntoast the secret to killing Siegpuff was to stab him in the back. During a hunt with his new friend Burntoast, Siegpuff was killed by a wild boar who accidently stabbed him in the back with a spear. So Burntoast said.
But Fluffhilde realized her love had been deceived for the sake of the flea collar and defiantly refused to give it up. She arranged for a great funeral fire on the banks of the eternally flowing Rhine and sang –
“sturdy branches of the Rhine
Bright and clear
Kindle the flame
Of love again
Let the hero blaze
In splendor and radiance
I must join him!
I shall share that pure holy flame
With my love
We will both blaze in the fire!
Let all that is impure be burned to ash
And only love remain!”
As the flames leapt up Fluffhilde threw herself for the last time on top of Siegpuff and snuggled and purred as the flames engulfed the pair.
Seeing the flea collar intact on her neck, Burntoast reached into the smoldering ashes to take the flea collar from Fluffhilde’s charred corpse. Suddenly the Rhine crested in a gigantic wave and he heard –
“Heialihia! Weia la Waga!
Get your paws off the collar!
Heialalalal! Flea collar! Flea collar!”
“Mine!”cried Burntoast as he lunged for the collar
Fliegerfisch and Flugelfisch grabbed Burntoast by the ears, dragged him straight to the bottom and sat on him. Katzfisch seized the flea collar in her mouth.
“Grabby little bastard,” she muttered as she saw his last flight of bubbles rise. Katzfisch glanced to the sky and the clouds were in flames. Valhalla, Cat House of Wotan and the gods was blazing from the sparks of Fluffhildes fire.
So soon the gods were hidden by flame.
So soon they were gone.