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Monday, April 12, 2010

I Just Want to Know: What’s the Map Mean?

Liza Bean recently visited the vet.

You remember Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys), don’t you? Liza is the tiny-pawed, symmetrically striped and thoroughly adorable cat my mother insisted I take home.

“I don’t need a cat,” I had said.

“You don’t need a cat,” she corrected. “You need this cat.”

And dagnabit, the woman was right. Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) is one of those cats that make you wish you had one. Small for her age, clever with her paws, a snappy dresser, and a gifted ventriloquist, Liza Bean is a credit to her species.

But there’s a dark side to this endearing puddy tat.

While I have, in the past, suspected her of being a part of an international jewel theft ring – and also of being the one who keeps adding the words “the good shrimp” to the weekly grocery list – it wasn’t until I found the tattoo that I realized that there was still so much more to be discovered about Liza Bean Bitey.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Liza Bean has taken it upon herself recently to relieve the fancy goldfish of some of their water. Sitting atop the tank, she would lift the lid and lap until I got up to remove her. Really, we should’ve put something heavy on the lid right away – as we have since – but Liza’s drinking problem eventually led to the development of some sort of skin issue, causing her to lose the hair on her chinny-chin-chin.

And that’s when I found the tattoo.

“What’s that?” I muttered aloud.

“What’s what?” said Willie.

“That,” I muttered, lifting the cat’s chin. “Look at the ceiling, Liza Bean.” And there, on her charmingly pointy chin, was the dark blue ink of a prison tattoo.

“Liza,” I said sternly. “Is there something you want to tell us?”

As usual, her command of the English language wanes in direct correlation with the potential for a distasteful outcome. Had I been asking her if she preferred salmon over the chicken Friskies dinner, she would have answered me immediately. As it was, she gazed at me blankly for a moment and then nonchalantly licked a front paw.

A cross between an ancient Roman coin and the tiniest Rand-McNally road map you’ve ever seen, Liza Bean coyly refused me access to the tattoo that began under her chin, ran down her throat, and trailed off into her coat.

The vet gave her a shot and a white cone to wear and the wily feline was careful to avoid me as her hair grew back.

She took a phone call last night in the bathroom, water running.

I pressed my ear against the door, of course, but I couldn’t make out a word of it.

I tell you: if she hooks up with those Russians again, she and I are going to have a long talk.


IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! As someone who is no stranger to the odd acts attitudes of talking animals (particularly King the lion stealing my neckties), you have my sympathy. It's a surreal old world, isn't it? Indigo

reasonably chubby said...

Hahaha! Hey Pearl-thanks for making this robe-clad southern woman laugh today...:)

Anonymous said...

So....Liza isn't talking - eh?

Well, I'm not surprised. Remember when you two went to the mall to try on swim suits and she told you she was 'checking out the sale rack' when, in fact, she was in the sporting goods sections looking at siting scopes for high end rifles?

She's up to no good.

Maybe you could get her to talk with a sacrificial goldfish in exchange?.....or the good shrimp.


Lisa said...

LOL - this made me laugh out loud! I came by here from Laura at Love at Home's blog. I've just discovered how much I love cats as I have one of my own who will soon be 1 year old! Love your writing!!

powdergirl said...

Oh Pearl, that was so cute!

I'm not an every-cat person myself, but I have really liked a few that have passed through here. My fave is the black one that hates me and chooses to reside in the neighbors barn instead of under my feet. she's a killing machine with an attitude of 'up your's mom-fo" and a hell of an athlete. I could watch her slaughter mice and voles all day. The best part of it is that she doesn't pay homage to my resident queenship by placing her bounty on the foot of my bed. She kills it, she eats it, she casts disparaging glances in my direction, but she doesn't give me the squirming/squealing fits that leaving a tiny, bloodied corpse on my bed covers does.

Nice kitty. She's Russian, like me.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I don't want to alarm you but you MUST change the subject whenever the topic of that 'tattoo' comes up. She knows you know too much. Love and loyalty only go so far. I have learned myself to give Admiral Fluffy von Schoochiebaloo (of the Manhattan Schoochibalooes) a wide birth while he deals with his 'private' business, much of which involves old family vendettas that are centuries in the making. 'Plans within plans' as the Chronicles of Dune have taught us. She has chosen your nest as her citadel and will kill to protect it. I would hate for you to become non intentional collateral damage. Oh and keep getting the 'good shrimp' just in case.

Simply Suthern said...

Nick Cage will be visiting soon for the 3rd installment of National Treasure looking for a clue. If he asks for some front money I'd recommend saying no.

Jimmy Bastard said...

I am delighted to say that you both bemuse and amuse me with such a refreshing eclectic style of blogging. Don't change a thing hen.

Pat said...

She'll confess all after the cone torture, I suspect.

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

I know people write this all the time, but this LITERALLY made me laugh out loud!!! Thanks again for a really fun post!

Short Poems said...

Cats are cute,love your writing!!

Short Poems

mapstew said...

I thought this was going to be about me! :¬)


The Retired One said...

This made me giggle, Pearl...I miss having cats!!!
But ones with prison tattoos and calls from Russians could definitely tempt me again....

Zaedah said...

I believe I have her sister currently imprisoned in my home. Buggles O'Reilly (our feral addition) is too small, too cute and too devious for the safety of the general populace. Are they, perhaps, making calls to each other?

Laoch of Chicago said...

One always needs a feline!

SweetPeaSurry said...

heh ... I do love ya cat stories. they're soooo lively.

also i do believe your cat may be related to my dog ... although it could just be similar namesakes ... as perhaps the bitey's aren't related to the bitersons!


Teena in Toronto said...

Kitties are craftier than you and I!