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Battle of the Queens

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        The solitary man dressed in a Bahamas shirt and striped pants grinned to himself as he unlocked his door. His arms were loaded full of groceries, and somehow he'd even been lucky enough to avoid the attention of his landlord as he snuck back into his apartment.

        Ace opened his door, walked into his home, shut and locked it quickly lest the old Devil was planning a sneak attack and that was why he had not seen him, put his groceries down, and dropped to his knees. His mouth opened as he cried, "Come to me, my animal friends!", but unlike most days, his mouth remained hanging open after his cry. He stared in shock at the confrontation taking place in front of him even as animals began to fly, run, walk, crawl, and slither to him from every other spot in his apartment.

        Birds sat on Ace's wavy hairdo and pecked the dandruff from his brown hair. Puppies whined and licked the outstretched fingers of his left hand. A snake twined around his sneakered foot. A rabbit hopped into his lap. A raccoon rubbed his furry, masked face against Ace's right hand. One tomcat butted his leg while another stood up on his hind paws, gently braced his front paws upon Ace's chest, leaned forward, and rubbed his face against his. A frog jumped onto the Pet Detective's knee.

        All around him, Ace's animal friends gathered, each and every one begging, in their own unique ways, for attention. All, that was, except for the ones who Ace still could not tear his large, brown eyes away from as they continued to battle each other barely five feet in front of him.

        "{THAT'S ENOUGH FIGHTING!}" Ace finally yowled. "{STOP FIGHTING IMMEDIATELY!}"

        A primate jumped onto his thin shoulder and clung to him. Ace didn't need to turn his head and look to know that it was his most loyal friend of all time, his right hand monkey, Spike. "{What's the meaning of all this?}" he chattered demandingly.

        He felt, rather than saw, Spike shrug his tiny, hairy shoulders.

        "Don't give me that!" Ace protested, finally looking at him. Spike grinned innocently. "Quit that," Ace demanded. The monkey's smile fell. "You're supposed to keep watch over our family when I'm not here and make sure nothing like this happens!"

        Spike gave him a defeated, downcast expression, but before Ace could continue, he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. Ace's head swung back around just in time for him to see a tabby paw slap a furry, orange face. "{HEY!}" he yowled. "{I SAID CUT THAT OUT!}"

        If the cats heard him, for the first time in Ace's entire life, they paid him no attention. The orange cat hit the tabby who reared up on her hind haunches and hit both the orange and calico cats next to her. They, in turn, slapped the tabby again and also struck the two felines next to them. Those two hit four more, and so it continued until all the female cats were slapping each other again despite Ace's angry yowls that they stop their misbehavior immediately.

        He ran at them, and they stopped for a split moment before, as one, all the female cats in the room hit each other. Ace gave an indecipherable yell of frustration and threw his hands up in defeat. "WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH THEM?!" he demanded of Spike who grinned and chittered in amusement at a joke Ace was not yet privy to. "STOP LAUGHING," the Pet Detective thundered, "AND TELL ME WHY THEY'VE GONE EVEN NUTTIER THAN USUAL!"

        "{They're fighting,}" Spike finally chattered an explanation, "{over who's Queen.}" When Ace glowered at him and the sound of the female cats slapping each other echoed again through the apartment, the monkey continued, "{You called two of them queens last night, remember?}"

        Ace slowly and dumbfoundedly nodded. "And this morning they wanted to know why Si and Am are queens, and I explained that all female cats are queens."

        Spike bobbed his little head up and down. "{Yup.}"

        Ace could barely think for the sounds of slapping paws, growls, and yowls. Though they'd shockingly failed to behave as he had instructed them to do, the female cats were getting steadily worse the longer he kept from scolding them. "{STOP IT!}" he cried in exasperation. To his horror, they just hit each other even harder! One tabby cat with white paws fell down on her side, but before Ace could move to her, she was back up and hitting every one in sight!

        Ace felt like crying but turned his attention on Spike instead. "Tell me," he demanded through gritted teeth, "now what the Hell their problem is!"

        "{They're fighting over who's Queen!}"

        "They're all queens!" Ace exclaimed, once more throwing his hands up in disgust and defeat. Some days it just didn't pay to come home! Why couldn't he have had a case that would have kept him working all night long and even to the wee hours of the morn? He had no time for the woman that that particular turn of phrase brought to his mind.

        Of course, he reckoned in his next thought as wads of fur of all colors began to fly around his tiny apartment, if he had been gone all night, he probably wouldn't have had an apartment to come home to left! "STOP IT!" he cried. "SPIKE, WRAP IT UP! TELL ME WHAT THE BLAZES THEIR PROBLEM IS!"

        "{They're fighting,}" Spike said again, "{over who the Queen is. The Queen of them all,}" he hurried to explain as a trickle of blood appeared on the face of the solidly brown cat. "{The Queen of all of us, of everything here!}"

        The truth of the matter finally dawned upon Ace. "The Queen of their domain," he spoke slowly. "The Queen of our domain!"

        "{The toms are queens!}" he called out the first thing he thought might work. "{And you're toms if you're female! They changed their minds today and renamed your genders!}"

        Furry mouths dropped open in shock, and green and blue eyes alike bulged. A bird whistled, warning Ace he was about to get it. Spike and several of the other non-feline animals shook their heads. The true toms yowled in fear, and all of them ran behind their adopted "father". Then, as one and with all their tails raised like stiff banners and their fur completely fluffed out, the queens of the house began to descend upon Ace.

        Quickly Ace sprang to his feet, jumped around, dropped his pants, grabbed firm holds onto both of his bared butt cheeks, and began to move them. The queens stopped in shock as their rescuer's butt yowled at them. They stared through wide, bulging eyes as Ace spoke to them in their own language through his butt.

        "{You should be ashamed of yourselves!}" his butt heatedly meowed. "{None of you deserve to wear the crown of the Queen! A true Queen doesn't just care about herself and her own wants and needs! A true Queen cares about her people and sometimes even puts their needs first! You're all beautiful, but it takes much more than beauty to be a real Queen! It takes honor, intelligence, and compassion, and all of you have shown yourselves lacking in those characteristics by this ridiculous show of femininity!}"

        "{Femininity?}" a chimpanzee asked.

        "{I think he means masculinity,}" a bulldog barked, his little stub of a tail wagging uncertainly as his drooling tongue panted nervously. He'd never seen Ace so mad at any animal before!

        "No," Ace said firmly. "I mean femininity! No one puts on a show of ego better than bitches!"

        He heard a chorus of sad, little meows from behind him and quickly twisted around so that he was looking over his thin shoulder at the misbehaving queens. They were all pouting now and feigning innocence. A calico bathed herself while an orange queen leaned over and licked the furry heads of a tabby kitten and a white cat. Several of the queens started to purr. All gazed at Ace with big, watery eyes, and instantly his heart melted all over again.

        Ace sighed as he stood up, pulled his pants up, and refastened and zipped them. He turned around and looked, with a sigh, at the female cats. Then, holding his arms open wide and dropping to both knees, he asked, "Who's Poppa's good girls?"

        All the females in the apartment rushed to him as fast as they could, but none reached his open, waiting arms faster than the very queens who had just been acting so mean. Ace's hands swept over them all, petting every head and stroking every furry, feathery, and scaly body, as he crooned to each animal in their own language. Heads butted him. Tails entwined his legs, feet, knees, and other body parts. Little paws kneaded his striped trousers and Hawaiian shirt while animals of every sort rubbed their bodies up against the remarkable human man who was hero, best friend, brother, and father to them all.

        An especially frisky tabby queen butted her head persistently against Ace's handsome face several times. He butted her in return and kissed the tip of her nose. "{You're all beautiful,}" he meowed to the female cats, "{and wonderful in your own special ways, but to be a real Queen, you have to act the part too. No more fighting amongst yourselves, okay?}"

        The queens mewed their agreement, and Ace continued, "{Love each other. Protect one another. Never forget that we are all family. Always cherish, respect, and love each other above all else no matter what.}"

        When Ace had his little, feline girls' agreements, he spread his arms even wider. "Where's my good boys?" he called to the males who had all began to pout for want of the attention the females were receiving, and the rest of his animal family ran, flew, galloped, and slithered into his arms. Grinning from ear to ear, Ace announced eagerly, "There's plenty of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, to go around!"

        His hands and head were busy stroking every furry, feathery, scaly, hairy, and even slimy body in his home for the next many hours, and when Ace fell asleep early the next morning, he was still there, laying upon his floor, covered in his brothers and sisters, and doing the one thing he liked to do more than anything else in the whole, wide world -- loving his family!


The End

This Ace Ventura moment brought to you by Kat Lee.