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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Have You Considered Picking Up A Lovely Piece of String for This Evening?

“Good morning, Acme Grommets and Gravel, Pearl speaking.”

“Good morning, Pearl. How are you?”

For just a moment, I am speechless. Frankly, I’m shocked. The cat never calls me at work. I look quickly toward my cube mate, an intensely sincere Marketing intern I suspect is spying on me.

“Liza Bean?” I whisper. “What’s going on?”

Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys), a small, symmetrically striped animal with a long-standing grocery-related request for “the good shrimp” and an electric violin in the pawn shop, pauses.

“Well, you see…” she trails off, uncharacteristic in a cat with so many opinions, whereupon there is the sound of the phone being dropped and four tiny paws scurrying across the floor.

I wait patiently.

There is a muffled, scrabbling noise as the phone is retrieved.

“As I was saying,” she says.

“What was that about?”

Liza Bean takes a deep breath, sighs. “Well, you see,” she says, “I seem to be having a bit of – MRRRROWWWWW”.

Again, the phone is dropped. I jam my finger into my right ear and close my eyes, trying to picture the scene at home. Again, I hear her feet go skittering across the hardwood, only this time – that’s not four paws, is it?

I swear I hear the sound of two cats running up and then back down a length of curtains.

The phone is picked up again.

“As I was saying,” she says.

“Who gave you this number?” I say.

“You did.”

I briefly consider my decision-making skills. “So get on with it,” I say a bit irritably, “what’s going on?”

There is the sound of a small cat clearing an even smaller throat.

“You see,” she says, “I hate to ask, but Dolly seems to have wound a bit of string around her tail, and every time she goes past me –“

“Liza Bean, listen to me,” I interrupt. “Shut your eyes. You need to shut your eyes or we’ll be here all –“

For the third time, there is the sound of a cell phone being dropped.

I mentally roll my eyes. The Marketing intern casts a sideways glance at me.

The phone is picked up again. “As I was -- ”

“Liza Bean," I interrupt, "shut your eyes. Right now. Are they shut?”

“Hmm,” she says. “Yes.”

“Can you make your way to the big chair?”

“Yes,” she murmurs. “You know,” and her voice has taken on the introspective, dreamy sound of someone walking with their eyes closed, “when Dolly walks by, dragging that piece of string, I just can’t seem to help myself.”

“We all have our weaknesses,” I say.

“Hmm,” she says.

I glance over at my cube mate. “Look,” I whisper. “Just go to the chair until I get home,” I say. “Can you do that?”

“Hmm,” she says. Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, is falling asleep.

“And stay there,” I say.

“Pearl?” she purrs.

“Yes?”

“Bring home some half-and-half, won’t you?”

I sigh. “I’ll see you after yoga,” I say.

“Thanks, Pearl.”

33 comments:

Glen said...

no mortal could resist a trail of string - you ask too much from these cats :-)

Pearl said...

Glen, put her right off her feed. :-)

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Oh Pearl....I can just picture it. There goes Dolly Gee with her tail held high and the string lying low and, oops, there goes Liza Bean. I'll be smiling all day thinking of that.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

How about a packet of ribbons....Liza Bean will go over the moon!
Rosemary

Eva Gallant said...

Poor Liza Bean--inadvertently tortured by Molly! (Or is it on Purpose??)

Pearl said...

Delores, it has happened more than once. :-) Both cats have quite a string fetish. I once came home to Dolly firmly lashed to the coffee table. It was quite piteous!

Rosemary, ribbons, twine, string -- and straws! Throw a straw for the cat and she's in heaven...

Eva, I will NOT tell Dolly that you wrote "Molly". (Oh, and if someone knocks at your door tonight and there's no one around, look down. :-) Dolly Gee is now asking for your address...

Suldog said...

Well, I wouldn't be too hard on Liza Bean. We all have tendencies toward certain actions, programmed right into our DNA, and sometimes we just can't help ourselves. I, for instance, find myself absolutely unable to resist whoopie pies. I can no more pass one up than a Democratic legislator can pass up an opportunity to raise taxes. We shouldn't be chastised for being born that way, and neither should Liza Bean!

Pearl said...

Sul, as Lady Gaga says!

Shelly said...

Perhaps Ms. Liza Bean needs a string-on-tail intervention. I hear it can be as addicting as crack.

Pearl said...

Shelly, we'll add "string fixation" to her other preferences: a full cat bowl, commemorative ashtrays (still down to three a day!) and standing on her hind legs for a Pounce treat!

Douglas said...

What would an asymmetrically stripped cat look like? I only ask because Dolly isn't one.

Pearl said...

Douglas, Dolly is a Siamese-y, long-haired badger of a cat, a bit of a dim bulb who doesn't know from the word "asymmetrical". :-)

Ann Imig said...

Don't be fooled, Pearl. She already has the spare car key!

Oh, Liza Bean Bitey.

R. Jacob said...

I think a dog is needed to even out the chaos in your life, laying by the window catching the sun's rays and sleeping on the spare car keys!

bill lisleman said...

I get it now - violin - string section. Thanks for stringing us along during your phone call. It was fun.

jenny_o said...

At least your kittehs don't eat the string - or do they? We've had to banish anything string or string-like here because it will be eaten rather than played with. By the kittehs that is. Myself, I like to crochet with it :)

Leenie said...

Almost always guaranteed a silly-smile inducing visual here. You cube intern must have missed the entertainment much while you were out with the ick.

Pearl said...

Ann, now that you mention it, I HAVE noticed a hint of Liza Bean's perfume in the car lately...

R, I've often wondered what a dog would add to the mix...

Bill, ;-)

jenny_0, oh, no. The kitties don't eat the string. They will, however, attempt to eat the hair I get off them during their grooming. Ack!

Leenie, I'm sure he misses me when I'm gone! :-)

W.C.Camp said...

I wish my wife was HALF as attentive you are to the needs of those cats!! Cute post as always! W.C.C.

The Elephant's Child said...

Oh yes. The addiction to string. Or to string like tails. Poor Jewel. Jazz simply cannot resist. As it goes past, as it twitches in the sun.

Pearl said...

WCC, if I don't pay attention to the cats, they try to smother me in my sleep. :-)

Elephant's Child, :-) Jazz and Jewel are my kind of kitties.

the walking man said...

There is a whole branch of Psychiatry dedicated to feline string fetishes. It was begun Sigmund Freud during a cocaine binge after he snorted a kittens tail thinking it was a sting of coke. That by the way is how mirrors became the table of choice for cocaine use...you'd be able to see the reflection of a cats butt no matter how desperate to get wrecked you were.

Pearl, or the Minneapolis Pearls,I think you could test out at least to a Masters in the field.

Pearl said...

the walking man, WHO HAVE YOU BEEN TALKING TO?! :-) (And thank you!)
Now pass that, um, cat over here...

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I would love to study your brainwaves, and these cat stories are your most creative of all.
xoRobyn

Amber Star said...

One of our cats ate the string tie to my nightgown just before we left to go to Jamaica. The kids and the cat stayed with my in laws, and lo and behold my mil got to know more about cats and their feeding habits than she ever needed to know. They were doing ok until the knot at the end of the tie got hung on the way out. One of the kids pulled on it and out it popped. I could almost hear and audible pop when they were telling me the story about it. My mil was shocked beyond believing at all that. She had a sheltered life. She was an only child and my husband was her only child. So, my three hellions kept her in a state of disbelief most of the time. She sort of loved it, though.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

If I had a cubicle mate, I think I'd stab myself with a letter opener.
Liza Bean. She so crazy.

That gentleman's lady said...

I suspect that if my sister's cat could talk, it would say the same thing about the string....

Lazarus said...

Pearl, you are undoubtedly one of the world's best writers of cat dialogue and diviners of of a cat's inner thoughts. When they create a National Book Award or an Oscar or something in that CATegory, you'll be the hands down winner. Congrats!

Silliyak said...

There's a joke in here somewhere about string theory, but I can't find it.

Crystal Pistol said...

"We all have our weaknesses". So true. You are wise beyond your years, pearly Pearl.

My weaknesses include dark chocolate, guacamole, diet coke, red nail polish, gossip mags and staring at other women's butts wondering if mine looks better or worse.

diane said...

That story was great, talk about thinking out of the box!
Congratulations on being published. Ask me sometime about the little boy who was afraid of the Time Being, who he never saw, but his parents were always holding things for.
btw, my new heels have already been promised to my granddaughter. :)

The Angry Lurker said...

That was fecking good, made me smile........

Kara said...

If only every problem could be solved with a cozy chair!