And then it came and, even accustomed as I am to horror in this interminable war, I too quaked as I heard the scream of that far-off creature. Yet in the midst of my own terror, I watched in pity as the Hobbit shrank into himself, tried to hide in the very marble of the escarpment, and as Beregond did the same. Imagine my amaze as the Hobbit, before even I recovered, shook himself and spoke such words of courage as I had not heard in an age. Tears, unbidden, sprang to my eyes. I was in the presence of someone greater than many I had ever known. I settled myself and waited, knowing I would not soon leave this creature's side.
At last though, hunger and time took its toll; I lost my resolve and thought I would get myself up and leave them. A cat has certain priorities. However, at the same time, much to my delight, the Hobbit once again spoke of food. Beregond offered and he accepted an invitation to the guard's buttery. Relieved, I was ready to wander off myself, I still had duties to perform, when Peregrin asked to be taken back to his rooms to see if the wizard had returned. My stomach grumbled in distress, but the long and the short of it was, I had to follow them. Was that not my greater duty? The stars know how grateful I was when the wizard was not to be found. Beregond took the Hobbit with him off to the noonday meal and I headed towards the Great Hall.
At first, I paced the perimeter of the Citadel, glad to see that the other feline inhabitants of Gondor had done their duty and the area was free of vermin. Then, I padded to the Steward's own chambers. He would be there and I had a report to give. Something niggled at my mind, something young and tender. The Hobbit. I found I could not forget him, neither his smile nor his courage. Well, it is not my duty to make decisions. If Lord Denethor needed information, then it was my duty and privilege to give it to him. Though, and I smiled at this, the Hobbit gave not much to report upon, despite the fact that his tongue was loose.
The Steward waited, as was his custom, in his dining chamber. I sauntered forward, knowing a feast would be mine within moments. And I was not disappointed. Fresh mussels and oysters from the Bay. Small, bite-sized scraps of succulent trout from the Anduin. Fresh cream next to these in my own saucer. I rubbed my side against his leg and purred quite loudly. I had not such a feast in over a fortnight. He knew I had been busy this last night and day and was appreciative. I loved him, in my own way.
After finishing the feast and being rewarded with a hand scratching behind my ear, I jumped into his arms. He looked long at me and I conveyed what I had learned. His eyes grew hard as steel as I held forth the words of Beregond. I did not judge, just shared the facts, which were condemning. He had all he needed; I was free to go. However, I looked long and hard at him, conveying my approval of young Peregrin Took. He smiled, one of the glorious smiles that had been his wont before the Lady Finduilas passed. For the second time this day, much to my complete chagrin and humiliation, I found tears filling my eyes. I jumped down before I could be found out. His laughter followed me (he knew!) as I scurried from the room. So much for dignity!
A/N - There is a truckload of debates on the internet about whether or not cats cry real tears, feel emotions, etc. I'm not getting into the thick of that argument here. For this story's sake, the cat cries real tears! Here's one link out of 920,000 +... http://www.usaweekend.com/06_issues/060312/060312pets.html
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.