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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When "The Good Shrimp" Just Isn’t Good Enough

We are less than two months from the birthday of Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys), and I have no idea what to get her.

You remember Liza Bean, don’t you?

Delightfully tiny-pawed cat, catcher of mice, and demander of cream, the cat with a past that includes international jewel theft, conference calls held at midnight in the bathroom, water running so as to mask the sound?

The cat who takes my car for hours at a time (although, to her credit, she always returns it with a full tank)?

The cat who once told me that I “seem to have a working brain” as way of complimenting me just before asking for a loan?

Yes. That Liza Bean.

I took her out for dinner two years ago, and the sushi debacle is still fresh in my mind, particularly since I cannot walk past any of the local police without them making clawing motions at me while chuckling the words “Meow! Meow!” Frankly, I thought the guy had it coming – after all, any lout suggesting that Liza Bean “go back to where she came from” deserves the restaurant-clearing brawl that he gets; and while her bail money – the money I was saving for a flat-screen TV, dagnab it! – was considerable and we still cannot show our faces at the Origami, I carry the memories fondly.

Last year’s birthday celebration was a quiet affair: a houseful of her friends over for “paw” food (trays of puree of mouse on Ritz crackers, bird bits on toast points and of course the obligatory cheese platter). The police were called when the party moved to the roof, but no charges were filed; and as I had enjoyed the gin and tonics as much as anyone else and had agreed to not write about it, the details have moved into the fuzzy-and-disputable category.

Which is just how Liza likes it.

All of this, of course, in no way lends itself to determining this year’s gift.

I could, of course, buckle to her demands and buy “the good shrimp”, the three words she insists on adding, in her spiky, old-fashioned handwriting, to the bottom of every week’s grocery list. Bless her tiny little heart, it never gets old. Landlocked as we are, however, even the “good shrimp” bears limited resemblance to actual good shrimp.

Perhaps a trip. There is, after all, her fascination with the Canary Islands to consider. I know she knows better, that the “canary” bit actually refers to dogs and not to birds, so I think she’s just toying with me there.

She’s also asked for a chemistry set, but I cannot, in good conscience, allow that cat access to potentially combustible materials. The fact that she lights her cigarettes over a burner on the stove is bad enough.

At any rate, there’s time; and it’s important that I choose wisely.

A poorly chosen gift where this cat’s involved is worse than no gift at all.

25 comments:

Krëg said...

Get her a moped. Or a high-def tv. She'd really like that.

Simply Suthern said...

Cats are hard to buy for. Even if they love it they will not say. But if they hate it you will definitely know.

You can order the "Good Shrimp". It will be shipped on ice to your place. Or you could just go to Captain D's. The chairs are fastened to the floor there.

Puree of mouse. Interesting. Remind me not to drink anything mixed in your blender.

Georgina Dollface said...

I'm thinking that not getting the chemistry set is probably a good idea. You could get her a Kitchenaid so she would make her own pureed canapes and fancy drinks. How about some nicotine patches, because the sooner she quits, the longer she'll live...and the less likely she'll burn your house down. - G

Everyday Goddess said...

OMG, I need to take lessons from that cat! She's very good at living large.

Irisheyes said...

She mentioned to me, over lunch at Chipolte, that she would like to get the Bare Minerals "Get Started" Eye Makeup kit. It comes with a tutorial on how to create the perfect smokey eyes. She is really proud of those great lashes of hers. If money is tight, a compilation CD of her favorite songs might be nice...

Jodie Kash said...

She’s also asked for a chemistry set.

Killer.

Anonymous said...

Frankly Pearl, rumor has it via the Liza Bean grist mill (aka: Midnight In the Garden of Sit then Flush) that she is absolutely convinced you're going to screw up her birthday again this year. In fact she recently pointed an accusitory but dainty little paw in your direction that it was in fact you who first climbed onto the roof last year and then screamed "WhoooHoooo" at passing motorists. I'm just saying.

Yankee Gal

Sweet Cheeks said...

Remember when she told you she was playing with Play Dough...and it was actually C4 explosives? Yah, better skip the chemistry set.

I think she would enjoy a day spa mani/pedi. And some of that new Kardashian perfume.

Oh...and a new purse size pistol maybe?

=]

Lisa said...

I suppose handing her your credit card would be out of the question. By the sound of it, it would be an invitation to disaster and bankruptcy.

Symdaddy said...

Am I the only one here that is worried about this young lady losing her marbles?

Simply Suthern said...

She didnt lose her marbles. Liza Bean hid them.

Douglas said...

What? No fishyssoise?

You let your cats rule the house a wee bit too much, methinks. Tell her you will buy her a dog... a rottweiler.

Herding Cats said...

Spoiled kitty! Haha, but as a fellow cat owner - I understand.

MJenks said...

Chemistry set should be fine. There's very little in there that's actually combustible. Or mildly dangerous. *sigh*

Barbara Blundell said...

Hi Pearl,
I read your post to my feline ( sadly she is illiterate as she was inattentive at school due to frequent cat napping ) She was scandalized and this is what she said, "Puree of mouse on Ritz ?shrimps?cream?mobile phone and car access ??? What ever is the world coming to ?? What ever next ?
When I was young I was a single parent and had to bring up twelve kittens single pawed and on a shoestring. If anyone wanted mouse for tea I had to go out hunting (often in the rain ) If they fancied a bit of fish I had to scour the rubbish bins for a discarded cod's head As for cream ? It was unheard of. We might be given the odd saucer of milk ( Semi -skimmed of course) to share on a special occasion.
If I wanted to communicate with my friends I had to climb on the fence and caterwaul as loudly as could
For a present I think you should pack a few scraps in a red spotted hankie, tie it to a stick, say (or sing ) 'Happy Birthday,Liza"and send her
off on a survival trip. It could be the making of her "

Lynn said...

Love this! Why aren't you a household name?!

powdergirl said...

I think you should get her her own blog, I'd be interested in her POV.

a Broad said...

I read this to Pup and now he is all hot to go to Minneapolis and meet Liza.

Sam Liu said...

Liza Bean sounds like the best cat. Ever. In the whole world. She could teach us all a thing or two on how to live life to the full :D

Jon in France said...

How about a trip to the Isle of Dogs?

There are dogs there, but they are incidental to the plot, so she need not fear, and the alleyways of London's ancient docklands (those few that are left) would provide endless distraction.

Argent said...

Laughing too hard to write a sensible suggestion.

Gigi said...

I received an anonymous email that just said: "Diamond cat collar. And be SURE that they are real diamonds and NOT the fake stuff. LB"

Needless to say, I was a bit confused. But now that I know Liza Bean's birthday is coming up it's all clear.

CatLadyLarew said...

This is yet another of the reasons I don't actually have a cat... they're so hard to buy for! (Plus, I get to keep the good shrimp for myself.)

Cheeseboy said...

I'd get her a bronzed mouse, in honor of her accomplishments in life.

sayanotherlexi said...

Dude, I seriously love your blog. I feel like you're my neighbour sitting next to me chatting away.