Kitty smiled sweetly. "I'll be good, Daddy. Will you bring me a present?"
"Of course, dearest child," said her father. And, snatching up his briefcase in his claws, he was gone.
Kitty bounded up the stairs to her room, humming, "I'm gonna rock and roll all night/And party every day..." as she selected her very favorite CDs for listening with the machine set at the volume of "10" which was as high as it would go.
The father's business trip went well, and he was soon on his way home. But as he walked toward his home he was overtaken by a storm. Drenched by rain, battered by wind, he searched frantically for shelter. As he stumbled along, he noticed a door in the wall beside the sidewalk. The door was ajar, and hoping it would offer some shelter, he pushed it open and stepped in.
Much to his delight, he found no wind, no rain, no storm, but a beautiful, peaceful garden, filled with blooming roses of every color. Their perfume filled the air. In this realm of beauty, Kitty's father forgot the storm and, as his fur dried, he spied a beautiful rose bush covered with white roses. They were as pure white as Kitty's fur. "Ah," though the father, "that's what I'll take my little kitten -- a beautiful rose the color of her beautiful ur." He broke off a small but beautiful rose and put it in his pocket. Just as he did so, he heard a horrible sound. A scream. A roar.
"How dare you steal my rose?" bellowed the voice, right behind him. The father turned, and almost fainted from shock and fear. He was facing a very large, very angry griffin.
A griffin, reportedly the offspring of a lion and an eagle, has legs, shoulders and wings like an eagle, while the rest of its body, and its head, were like those of a lion.
"Oops," said the father, faintly. "Sorry."
"Sorry won't feed the griffin," screamed the weird creature, advancing on the father. "I let you into my beautiful garden, gave you shelter from the storm, and then you steal my flower. I should kill you right now!"
The father fell to his knees. "Oh, please don't kill me. I really need to stay alive to raise my little girl. Please let me go. If you do, I'll send you a fine present. Please, anything within my power."
This seemed to calm the furious beast. "Child to raise, eh?," growled the beast. "Well, all right. You may go. But you must send me the first thing you see when you get home. Do you understand?"
As the father nodded dumbly, the creature handed him a small piece of paper. "Here is my card." It read, "Griffin A. Beast," above his address.
Clutching the paper, the father stumbled out the garden gate as fast as possible, before Griffin A. Beast changed his/its mind. The storm had passed, but within the father's heart was an even greater storm. What could the creature mean, the first thing he saw when he got home? Why would a griffin want his mailbox? His front gate? It was all too strange. Still, with griffins -- who knows?
But when the father arrived home, this time the first thing he saw was not the mailbox, not the gate. From the end of the block, he could see, out in front of his house, in front of the gate, in front of the mailbox, his dear little Kitty.
"Hi, Daddy," she bubbled, running down the street with open arms to greet him. "I got tired of waiting for you in the house, and the speakers on my CD player broke, or burned out, or something, so I came out to wait for you. Did you bring me a present?"
The father's eyes filled with tears as he produced the rose. "Yes, dearest Kitty. I brought you this perfect rose, but it has cost me dearly."
Kitty took the rose and sniffed it. "It's pretty, Daddy. Thanks. I was sort of hoping for some music, but, well, you meant well."
The father sighed. Handing Kitty the beast's card, he said, "Kitty, dear, I have promised this gentleman I will send you to him. Pack your things, please."
"Okay," said Kitty, as they entered the house. Kitty hurried to her room and soon returned with a backpack and two large suitcases containing a few personal items and her 300 favorite CDs.
"Come, dear child," said her father, sadly, taking his daughter's little white paw in one hand and the larger of the two suitcases in the other. Kitty carried the rest, and they set off for the griffin's house.
On arriving at the garden gate, the father noticed a small bell beside it. He rang the bell. The gate opened and there stood the griffin.
"Ah, you are a cat of your word," said the griffin, sounding surprised. "I shall not, after all, have to track you down and eat you. And this is your daughter? A lovely child." To Kitty he said, "What is your name, my dear?"
"My name is Kitty," Kitty meowed clearly. "What's yours? You look sort of like Peter Crist."
"Peter Crist. You know, the cat guy in Kiss?"
"Kiss. And Vincent -- you look sort of like Vincent, too. You know, in 'Beauty and the Beast?'"
"Oh, never mind," Kitty sighed. "I see you don't listen to the radio or watch TV. You are going to be a bunch of fun, for sure." And she sighed again. "I hope you have a CD player?"
"Well, yes -- "
"Good. Show me," said Kitty, entering the gate with her baggage and marching down the garden path.
"Take good care of her," the father implored the griffin.
"As if she were my own little griffin," said the griffin. "I have always wanted a child." And he closed the garden door on the father, who leaned against the doorframe sadly.
Soon, he heard a familiar sound. "I want to rock and roll all night And party every day -- "
The sound was played at a volume of at least 15, compared to the 10 that was the best the CD player at his home could do. Then he knew his daughter was getting settled, and he slouched toward his now quiet but lonely home.
The next day, as the father listlessly pushed a few kibbles around on his breakfast plate, the phone rang. He answered it, but at first could only make out some kind of group shouting about "We will, we will rock you ---"
"What? What?" the father yelled into the phone.
Then he heard the griffin scream, "I said, come and get your daughter!" And he hung up.
Surprised and puzzled, the father nonetheless hurried to the griffin's garden door. There he found Kitty out on the sidewalk surrounded by her baggage and a new CD player with speakers much larger than those on the one at his home.
"Hi, Daddy," said Kitty, brightly.
"Darling girl, what happened?" the father purred, as he embraced his daughter.
"Oh, nothing," Kitty said. "There's really nothing to do at the griffin's house. But at least he had a nice CD player."
"Had?" the father asked.
"Well, he gave it to me. Nice, huh? That's it, there beside my suitcase. Anyway, that's all I did last night and this morning. Then he said he is going to close the house and move to a foreign country where they don't have electricity, and he gave me his CD player."
"How strange, how gracious," said the father, as he helped Kitty into her backpack. She picked up one suitcase and the CD player, while the father hefted the larger suitcase and both speakers.
Just then the garden door opened. The griffin stuck his head out, roared at the pair, "Don't ever, ever come back here," pulled his head in and slammed the door.
"Goodness, what a terrible scratch he had on his nose," murmured the father. "Um, Kitty --"
"Daddy, he just doesn't like music. And he was getting real pushy about it."
The father sighed. He took his daughter's little paw, with its long, sharp, claws, in his. Then, happily, they walked home together, secure in love's ability to be not only blind, but also, when necessary, deaf.