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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Cat Turns Five, or The Guy with the Tail at the End of the Bar Wants Another Gin and Tonic

Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) turned five recently.

You remember Liza Bean Bitey, don’t you?

Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) is a delightfully small cat, a symmetrically striped, tiny-pawed catcher of mice and demander of cream, a cat with a sharp tongue and a sharper fashion sense.

Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) is a cat who lures me onto the second-floor porch with casually dropped comments regarding boxes of untended chocolates, only to lock me out and steal my car.

That Liza Bean.

She turned five.

As with years prior, a celebration was planned and executed.

This year’s fete?

You’ve heard of a bar hop, yes? A pub crawl, perhaps?

Well when Liza Bean and her friends do it, it’s more of a pub slink.

Welcome to Northeast Minneapolis, affectionately known as “Nordeast”, a neighborhood full of turn-of-the-century houses, trees and sidewalks, people with multiple piercings, people who “just need a couple bucks to go home”, wonderful restaurants, and bars.

And bars. The optimal words here are “and bars”; and with a dozen bars all in easy cat-slinking distance, slink they did, until the wee hours of the morning when shouts from the neighbors regarding the calling of the police and the treatment they hoped they’d get in jail drowned out the last of the caterwauling from the alley.

The apr├Ęs bar is always in the alley.

Next time you’re out, watch the barroom door for a while. Watch when the door opens, down near the floor. You see that? You see those cats? Because that’s when the little buggers get in: cats of all shapes and sizes are standing nonchalantly outside the front door, smoking cigarettes, tails twitching dangerously, waiting for that moment when the door opens, whereupon they will shoot in, four and five at a time, winding around ankles, dodging the good citizens of Northeast Minneapolis and pushing their fuzzy bellies up against the bar.

“Gin and tonics!” they yowl.

It’s surprising how often it’s gin-and-tonics with cats.

And once they’re in the bar, well, you’d think they’d be discovered and thrown out, wouldn’t you? But you’d be wrong. Cats are not only notoriously generous tippers but they are also fabulous dancers.

“Cats? In my bar? Not here, officer. Not on my watch.”

Nothing gets a crowd going (and drinking and tipping) more than a group of hep cats. Twitter updates streak through the ether, FaceBook pages updated feverishly whenever the cool cats show up; and the good bartenders know this.

Confetti was thrown, tangos danced, flaming shots of imported liquors thrown back amongst cheers in many languages, all of it culminating in an impromptu jam session after the bars closed, atop the garage as the members of A Band of Biteys wailed complex, passionate music toward cold, glittering stars.

A cat only turns five once.

She thanked me the next day, knowing the work I’d put in in contacting her friends for the party. I demurred, of course, but she waved me off. “Little something for you, on the porch,” she said. I lifted one eyebrow. “No, no,” she said dismissively. “Nothing untoward, I assure you.”

I stepped on to the second-floor porch to find three exquisite pieces of Belgian chocolate.

And the door wasn’t locked when I stepped back in.

I tried to thank her for the gift, of course, but she was already curled up, purring contentedly, eyes closed, on the end of my bed.

The little bugger.

Happy birthday, Bitey. Sweet, semi-drunken dreams.


You can read more about Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) and Dolly Gee Squeakers (formerly of the Humane Society Squeakers) under “The Cats Have a Secret Life”, over there on the right, near the bottom.

23 comments:

wozzel said...

Happy Birthday.

Elizabeth said...

What I'm wondering is if Liza Bean is a Nye's kind of a girl or more of a Grumpy's kitty. I mean. You can obviously do both, but the vibe is so different. And usually the attire. Although, stripes are always in style.

Oilfield Trash said...

Happy Birthday.

Will Burke said...

Happy Birthday, LBB! You drank me under the table this time, but next year...

Douglas said...

Sounds like you got off easy... this time

Big Fat Gini said...

Happy Birthday to Liza Bean Bitey! Hoping she's found a cure for that sweet hangover this morning...

Simply Suthern said...

Ooooooooh, Seems Liza does have a bit of a soft side. Dont tell her I said that. You may wanna delete this post just in case.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Good wishes to the tiny feline.

a Broad said...

Pup and I send Happy Birthday wishes ...

savannah said...

yes, yes, happy birthday, liza darling, but pearl, sugar, do you think you might be available to plan the festivities for my birthday party? xoxoxox

Camille said...

I dropped a stool sample off at the vet's this morning - the dog's - not mine, and spied One Eyed Bill the office cat sprawled across the counter top. I asked him "Where you been?" as frankly, he was looking decidedly rougher around the edges than usual. All I could catch was that he had caught the red-eye back from Minneapolis near dawn this morning. LBB certainly casts her social nets far and wide these days. Better check her cell minutes - she may have gone over this month.

Gigi said...

It's quite apparent that Ms. Liza Bean knows how to have a good time. Do you think she has time on her social calendar for our next "event"? We'd love to have her.

lisleman said...

"...notoriously generous tippers.." cats???
not the LOL cats I assume.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Glad there weren't police involved this year...

Happiest of birthday wishes for Liza Bean.
=]

Kal said...

How come every night out with that cat reads like a Micky Spillane novel? All dames and broads and mugs and guns. Steam rising from the manhole covers, trenchcoats and whiskey straight from the bottle.

Roses said...

No police presence this year? And you call that a party?!

Humpf.

Willoughby said...

My cat, Chester, is 21 now. Far too old for the bar scene anymore, but in his younger days.....oh, the stories he could tell.

Pat Tillett said...

Keep your cat away from my cats...
They are relatively serene these days. I believe your cat would be a very bad influence on them. Right now, the only thing they complain about is the absence of a designer's triangle relative to their cat box, food dishes, and scratching post.

Cloudia said...

I love your mad creativity and am certain your cats must adore you as we do, Pearl (you little...)



Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

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Eva Gallant said...

That was delightful! A very Happy Birthday!

Lisa said...

The cats here are jealous, but they wish Bitey happy birthday nonetheless.

Jhon Baker said...

"Twitter updates streak through the ether" - genius.

HermanTurnip said...

Oh yeah..."cats rule, dogs drool." Fantastic imagery, and now oddly enough I find myself hankering for a beer and a quick flip though a thesaurus.

Excuse me...