COMMUNAL REGENCY STORY: The Cat in the Cravat

First: the schedule for the next five months of Jane Austen Movie Club — watch the film ahead of time (or go from memory), and come prepared to discuss! (Remember, our discussions are always the first Tuesday of the month!)

January 6: The first Ioan Gruffudd Horatio Hornblower (entitled HORNBLOWER: THE EVEN CHANCE in the UK, and HORATIO HORNBLOWER: THE DUEL in the US…)

February 3: THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1934 — Leslie Howard)

March 3: THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1982 — Anthony Andrews)

April 7: THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE

May 5: SHARPE’S RIFLES

Now, today’s topic: a communal story!

I’ll write the beginning of the story, and anyone who wishes can continue the story in a comment…a sentence, a paragraph, whatever you like! Then the second comment can continue from the first…and eventually, we’ll have a (certainly bizarre) little story! (And if you like, you can keep coming back and adding to it — you’re not limited to one comment!)

THE CAT IN THE CRAVAT

On the first of May, in 1813, Almack’s was a frightful bore…until six minutes past ten, when a giant white cat in an exquisite coat by Weston strolled through the doors.

All the ladies swooned — the mothers, in fear of a wild beast; the grandmothers, in fear of white cat-hairs on their blue or maroon silk gowns; and the daughters, in fear that this ferociously handsome stranger might fall in love with anyone but them.

Let the madness begin!

Cara
Cara King, who far prefers cats to ratafia

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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Keira Soleore
13 years ago

The Horatio movie “The Duel” is unavailable from Netflix at this present moment. I might be able to snag it from Blockbuster and watch it in six days for our January discussion, but if it’s not at the nbhd video store, then I won’t have anything special to say other than: Ioan Gruffud is HAWT!

The Cat in the Cravat cont…

His cravat was a work of art with point as high as his whiskers and framing a face that did not need lead paints to render it pale and beautiful.

Janet Mullany
13 years ago

The Cat in the Cravat cont.

With languid feline grace the cat lifted a quizzing glass to one emerald eye.
“You haz got milk?” he enquired of an outraged Lady Jersey.

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

Brilliant, Janet. “Feline grace” and “jersey cows” in one shot.

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Lady Jersey was not intimidated by this Cat in a Cravat. “Where is your voucher, sir!” she hissed.

Cara King
13 years ago

“Do not hiss at me, madame!” purred the Cat in the Cravat. “I have been hissed at by many a sleeker cat than you in my time, and lived to tell the tale.”

Lady Jersey curled her lip. “Speaking of tails, sir, we have an explicit ban on them within the sacred walls of Almack’s!”

Cara King
13 years ago

(And Keira, sorry about the Netflix thing! But I suspect so many have seen it or own it, that I think we’ll go ahead with the discussion and see how it goes…)

Elena Greene
13 years ago

The Cat in the Cravat opened his mouth to reply but his emerald eyes took on a look of dismay. He strove to contain himself, made every effort to prevent the dread event, but his efforts proved useless. As he gazed down at the hairball he had deposited at the Lady Patroness’s feet, he knew he was a whisker’s breadth away from being cast out of her domain.

Unless…

Todd
13 years ago

Unless some intrepid lady of the highest ton might be induced to take his part. He cast a look of scarcely-veiled appeal to the glittering assemblage. Surely someone might intervene with the offended Patroness?

His desperate gaze fell on a dainty damsel in demure muslin dress, and his whiskers went stiff with shock. Surely it could not be her? Not here! Not now!

Susan Wilbanks
13 years ago

Kitty Purrington hissed, her green eyes glinting in the candlelight. How could he appear here, now, after all her hard work, all the spells she had cast to appear so fully human?

Ha! He had found her, but he could not tame her. She would never yowl at midnight for him again.

M.
M.
13 years ago

“Miss Kitty, you’re looking very…well-groomed, this eve.”

Kitty ignored him with well-practiced disdain. Quite an accomplishment, considering it is no small feat to ignore someone who is kissing your hand.

The cat would have none of it.

“Oh come now, Miss Kitty. It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how!”

She snapped open her fan and undulated with a vigor that put the nearest candleflames in fear of their life.

Cara King
13 years ago

“Kitty, my own kitty,” purred the Cat in the Cravat, “though you may fan out every candle in Almack’s, your efforts only fan the flames of my love.”

“Your love!” she cried. “What do you know of love, sir? Your gaze is never so warm as when it stares into a looking-glass!”

“I am of the feline persuasion,” he said silkily. “And so I always wish to look my best for you.”

Megan Frampton
13 years ago

I have the HH series, I’ll finally be able to contribute to a discussion!

I am not brilliant at cats, however.

Cara King
13 years ago

Just then, the Cat in the Cravat’s gaze was caught by an elegant, dark-haired lady across the ballroom. “My word!” he cried. “It’s–“

Kitty turned to look. “Oh, do you know Lady Frampton?”

“Know her? I wooed her, once upon a time. But she declared that she did not understand cats at all, and would make me a dreadful wife.”

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

Riskies and those of you Risky Readers: Have you had trouble downloading the Undones? I’m having trouble buying the Undones. The system always fails, and I have been trying on and off since the start of September. Do you have any tips and tricks to make it work? I want the PDF versions.

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Keira, you have to have Adobe Pdf 9.0 installed.

I’m guessing you do and you have already downloaded.

Look in Programs. Is there an “Adobe Digital Editions” showing? If so click on it and the books should show up.

If not, in Programs click on Adobe 9.0. Click on Files and look for Digital Editions. Click on that and see if your books show up.

Works for me….

Santa
13 years ago

The Cat in the Cravat urged Miss Kitty to flee as Sir Guppy, puffed up of its own consequence, gave them the fish eye.

“Don’t go with him, Miss Kitty. Stay with me here. Any time alone with a Cat in a Cravat seals your fate. And before you know it, you’ll be setting a date.”

Todd
13 years ago

Lady Jersey, outraged at being ignored under these highly fishy circumstances, cried out in indignation:

“See here, Sir Cat! Shall the shades of Almack’s be polluted by a long-tailed cougher of hair balls? No matter if he be ever so well-spoken and well-tailored!”

“My dear lady!” said the cat, bowing to her once again. “Can you possibly reject a token so sincerely offered?”

Pale with rage, Lady Jersey pointed towards the exit and uttered commandingly: “Scat!”

M.
M.
13 years ago

Miss Kitty was non-plussed. Sir Guppy was most odd, in eye, orange color, and conveyance.

He sensed her ambivalence and implored with greater application of fish eye. “That cat should not be here, he should not!”

The Cat in the Cravat twirled his rakish hat and remonstrated: “You old fish in a pot, that style will never be in the mode. That style of pot, it is sadly passe.”