Well, there was I having a nap on my favourite sofa in my favourite room, when the palace's lions claw door knocker clanged. I could hear Mrs H struggling to the door in her suit of armour and thought she was taking the whole concept of taking keeping the germs at bay, rather too seriously. Still, it was a great opportunity to deal with (scare off) the flurry of salesmen we have had recently, all intent on replacing our new windows with yet newer and better windows that, to me at least look just the same.
Anyways moments later Mrs H clanked and squeaked into the room. Well, I think it was the armour, though her arthritis has been getting worse with the cold weather. I made a mental note to squeeze some glue into the joints later on, and to check for mice too, just in case!
"A card and package for you dear, and unless I'm not mistaken, it is from the Americas." Mrs H proferred me the envelope and the pink plastic package. The package made an interesting rattling sound, either that or the postal service had just broken another of my orders for fine crystal ornaments!
"Can you open it for me, Mrs H, as those plastic envelopes play havoc with my claws," I said, desperately trying to extract a claw from the glue strip edge on the package. "A great opportunity to give that sword of yours a bit of an outing." I smiled at Mrs H, who I knew had put long hours of polishing and sharpening into the old blade, as well as a few hours getting to grips with wielding it; I fear the trees in the orchard won't be bearing any fruit for a few years to come!
After a flourish (or nine) of the mighty blade, the envelope lay open, neatly sliced along all its edges in a pretty scalloped effect. Mrs H really does take things seriously when she gets going, though maybe I need her to get out more?
"There you go dear, nice and ready for inspection." Mrs H placed before me the contents of the letter and the envelope. Boy was I surprised and delighted!
"Wow, Mrs H, this is lovely." Before me lay the most delightful and exotic pink teaser, ever! Thankfully, undamaged by postal service or Mrs H's wrist action. The soft pink heart immediately took my fancy and I nuzzled close to it and could sense the love emanate from its soft fur. I instantly knew who it was from, a fact that was borne out by the letter which was actually a Valentine's Day card from my, and the one and only truly original (top cat, well in my book at least) Valentine!
"I do not know what to say, Mrs H, but this is wonderful. Do you think I should do something special in return?"
"Well, I do think that after two-plus years of courtship and adventures on the high seas, it is time someone made an honest cat of that boy, Valentine. He is single and has his own transport too – plus clearly excellent taste, and first-rate staff." I could tell Mrs H would approve of a formal engagement if not marriage – being of the old school, and how could I put it, older. I nodded sagely and pondered what I could do.
"It isn't really the done thing to propose to a gentlecat though, is it?"
"As a rule no. But this year is a leap year, and as such, YOU could propose to him." Mrs H smiled and pulled up a chair. "I do think it would be good for you both to settle down, well a bit at least. Seafaring and book writing are excellent pursuits but a lady should have a companion." If nothing else it may stop the double glazing salesmen from trying to take advantage!" Mrs H winked and I knew she wasn't thinking or expecting Valentine to come over and act as a guard in the watchtower or wear armour – well I think she wasn't?
" Oh well, If I had known that, I would have been over in a jiffy. Pass me the laptop and I shall profess my love and post, in a post, my proposal." Mrs H gave me an approving smile and slipped open the laptop and booted up the hard drive.
Moments later, well, an hour and thirty minutes and two cups of tea, a sherry (Mrs H's) and a nap, I was ready!
And this is what I wrote:
"To my dearest and sweetest Valentine.
Our adventures have taken us far and wide, across the seas apart and side by side.
Our hearts have entwined in stories bold, told to friends across the world.
But the best story is that of life, lived together husband and wife.
On this special day, once in every four they say, a princess may choose her future
and seek the paw she wants without the risk of suture.
So, on near bended knee I ask, would you be up to the task –
To be my champion – dark and handsome, to be my foil and my transom?
Say yes, at least give me some thought, my window opens and curtains flutter,
just like my heart, and yes, for you it melts like butter....."
"Mrs H, what do you think?"
"Well, I don't think you could have put it better, Erin." I did like the nautical term too, very witty. Now, shall I send that off to him? I believe the first class post goes at midday?"
I sighed as Mrs H really hasn't quite got to grips with the concept of 'sending mail'.
I hope you enjoyed our Valentine's Day Story and proposal.
However you Valentine's Day goes – be the answer yes, or hopes scattered to the litter tray, remember that love is just not once a year (or once every four), but a 25 hour-a-day, 367 days-a-year kind of thing – Just ask Mrs H!