Mysterious Cat Food
now," Professor Curtis warned. Slowly the workers raised the
lid of the ancient casket. Inside lay the mummies of two cats.
They had been untouched for more than 4,000 years.
Lying beside the cats was a small package. Professor Curtis
carefully lifted it out and put it into his pack. For the
next few hours the archaeologist examined the ancient Egyptian
burial room. "There must be a passageway into a larger tomb,"
he thought. Somewhere in this pyramid a pharaoh's son was
buried. But he could find no trace of an entrance.
Dad," said Rex Curtis later that evening, as his father told
him about the day's discovery. "I wish I'd been along."
I'll take you out to the site tomorrow," said the archaeologist.
"Meanwhile, you can help me. There was a package next to the
cat mummies that was probably a supply of cat food to feed
them in the afterlife. I brought it home to run some tests."
He lifted the package out and carefully unwound the wrappings.
There was a crumbly brown substance inside. Professor Curtis
took several samples of it for chemical and microscopic tests.
While his father was bending over the microscope, Rex looked
at the ancient cat food curiously. "I wonder if it's still
good," he thought. He picked up a few crumbs in his fingertips
and went out to the kitchen. "Psst," he called.
His two kittens, Whiskers and Sparkle, ran over to see what
he had for them. He held out his hand with the crumbs of ancient
cat food. Whiskers sniffed at them, and then began to lick
Rex's fingers eagerly.
you like it," said Rex. "I'll get you some more." He went
back into the lab. His father was still busy at the microscope
and did not notice him come in. Rex scooped out a small portion
of the cat food and placed it in his kittens' feeding bowl.
Whiskers and Sparkle quickly gobbled up the food. Later that
night, Professor Curtis and his son Rex were in the midst
of a chess game. The two kittens quietly entered the room.
Whiskers rubbed against Rex's leg and meowed. Sparkle meowed,
too. There was something in the cries of the kittens that
gave both Professor Curtis and Rex a strange feeling.
They looked down at the kittens. Together, Whiskers and Sparkle
turned and headed out the door. The archaeologist and his
son rose and followed the kittens. Something seemed to be
pulling them along.
kittens led Professor Curtis and Rex to the newly opened pyramid.
They went into the burial room where the mummies of the cats
still lay. Each kitten, in turn, touched one of the mummies
with its nose. Then the two kittens leaped up to a ledge on
the far wall. Suddenly part of the wall swung backward. There
was a passageway leading into the depths of the pyramid. Eagerly
Professor Curtis and his son entered. The kittens slipped
by them and ran on ahead.
There was a dim light in the passageway. It got brighter and
brighter as they moved on. Finally, they could see the end
of the tunnel. The kittens raced out. The professor and Rex
stopped in surprise at the end of the passage. They were looking
out of the pyramid -- but it was broad daylight outside!
Dad! Look at all those people!" Rex pointed. Below, thousands
of Egyptian slaves were dragging huge blocks of stone up ramps.
what are they doing?" Rex asked.
looks as though they are building this pyramid," Professor
Curtis replied. "Somehow -- I'm not sure how -- we seem to
have slipped 4,000 years into the past."
then there was a sudden hush among the workers below. A golden
chariot drew up. The slaves bowed low. The pharaoh's son stepped
down from the chariot and walked up toward the pyramid. Suddenly
he stopped. He bent down to pick up two kittens.
Dad!" Rex exclaimed. "He's got Whiskers and Sparkle."
The pharaoh's son petted the kittens and carried them to his
chariot. Then the chariot started back down the road to the
Those are my kittens," Rex shouted.
Before Professor Curtis could stop him, Rex dashed out of
the entranceway and began to climb down the side of the pyramid.
There were shouts from below. Some of the guards had spotted
Rex. Suddenly a spear whistled past.
Professor Curtis climbed out after his son. Rex had already
turned and headed back toward the entrance as a second spear
They scrambled back into the entrance. Professor Curtis turned
and saw a dozen guards climbing up after them. He and his
son rushed down the passageway and finally entered the cats'
burial room. They slammed the stone door behind them.
Early the next morning, Professor Curtis returned to the tomb
alone. He pressed on the ledge in the wall. But nothing happened.
The door did not open.
Although Professor Curtis and Rex searched for many weeks,
they never found the secret doorway out of the tomb of the
cats. They never did find the tomb of the pharaoh's son. But
every time they looked at the mummies of the two cats in the
museum, they remembered their strange experience.
2013 The Silversteins