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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wherein I Contemplate a Stronger Sleep Aid; or From This Angle, She Reminds One of a Feline Myrna Loy

I awaken to find the cat sitting on my chest. I blink several times at her.

“You’re on my chest,” I say.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” she says. “I hadn’t noticed.”

She doesn’t move, only continues to peer down at me.

I turn my head toward the alarm clock: 4:55 a.m. I turn back. “Did you have something to say?”

Illuminated by the glow of the clock, she smiles in that disconcerting way cats have. She yawns elaborately, a show of adorably pointy teeth and curled pink tongue.

“I understand you took a phone call yesterday.”

I close my eyes. “Actually I took several.”

There is silence. I wait a beat, then re-open them the tiniest of bits. Liza Bean leans forward, her bright, emerald eyes are focused, laser-beam in their intensity, on my own.

I open my eyes fully. “Yes,” I say. “I took a phone call yesterday.”

“And?”

“Media Specialist blah-blah. Absolutely the right cat for the job, skilled at deception, no prison time. Many lies were told on your behalf.”

The cat – is that a smirk? What is that look? – smiles, then frowns. “I don’t really want the job.”

Any more of this and I’ll be forced to wake up. “What?”

“I said I don’t really want the job.”

“Well what did you apply for it then?”

She stands, stretches, pushes out one back leg at a time, takes a seat on my chest again. “Conditions of my continued Unemployment Benefits.”

Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) had a brief stint as a bouncer last summer. It ended poorly, although the suit was dropped and they agreed to not fight her application for unemployment. Still, the press had a field day.

I close my eyes, exhale in a dramatic display of suffering. “So what then? I say good things? I don’t say good things?”

The cat stands. Purring loudly, she begins the March of the Contented, a back-and-forth, claws-out kneading that causes me to pull the quilt up in self-defense. She closes her eyes, radiates endearing kitty waves of serenity.

“Liza!” I scold. “What am I supposed to do then?”

It is too late. Liza Bean is out of reach, already cocooned in that blissful state that the well-loved kitty manufactures, the one that allows them to sleep for 18 hours a day, the one that makes them stare out windows, their eyes half-lidded.

“Oh, for land’s sake,” I mutter, briefly channeling my grandmother.

The cat begins to snore softly.

And my alarm won’t go off for another 20 minutes.

39 comments:

BamaTrav said...

Does that cat have ass breath like most of them?

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Best shake her up and get the story straight or you may find yourself holding down two jobs.

Pearl said...

Bama, actually her breath smells slightly of Menthol cigarettes, although she claims to have quit. :-)

Delores, I swear, between my day job, my editing job, my cleaning job and serving jobs, my days are already full!

darsden said...

Sounds like kitty had the last meow

Pearl said...

Dar, as I suspect all kitties do. :-)

jabblog said...

And just as the alarm goes off you will fall into a deep sleep.

Glen said...

A cat who knows how to get a point accross without wasting words. i tried waking my wife up by sitting on her chest once - i can't say she took it very well...

SherilinR said...

she's trying to work the system. one more welfare kitty on the books.

Pearl said...

jabblog, oh, you got THAT right!

Glen, :-) I love that visual.

Sherilin, you'd think she had more pride, wouldn't you?!

Joshua said...

And now I can't unvisualize Glen's comment.

Craver Vii said...

Can't win for losing. I'd sleep with a tennis racket nearby.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Liza! You loafer! And Pearl having to wear the black pants and white shirt every weekend...

fishducky said...

Me either, JOSHUA--THANKS A LOT, GLEN!!

jenny_o said...

The March of the Contented - hah! Well named! And often across the full bladder region :)

Pearl said...

Joshua, in my mind, he's got his chin in my hands. :-)

Craver VII, the kitties and I have an agreement: they disturb my sleep as little as possible and I will continue to read their manuscripts.

Dawn, I know, right?! :-) Kids. They don't know.

fishducky, I'm worried about the readers of this blog. :-)

jenny-O, I have a friend who calls it "making muffins".

NotesFromAbroad said...

Yes, I think I do need a little cat soon.
The puppy can wait but a little cat might be just what the doctor ordered.
kisses.

Suldog said...

This, taken with yesterday's, is perfect.

Leenie said...

I hope the story about Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) and her stint as a bouncer, the lawsuit, and perhaps some quotes from the news will be in a future post.

Dee said...

Dear Pearl,
There is surely a book here about Liza Bean Bitey. I would stand in a long line at your signing to get my hands on the wit of such a cat!

Peace.

Pearl said...

ABroad, if I may call you that :-), I think you are right. A kitty is often just the thing...

Suldog, thank you. :-) Yes. They are meant to be taken together (and preferably not on an empty stomach/with food) :-)

Leenie, I think that can be arranged. I'll just have to flip through some of the old news clippings...

Dee, I suspect there is! The second printing of my first book "I Was Raised to be A Lert" will be at my house tomorrow. The second book "I've Saved You A Seat, or Tales from the Bus Side" goes to the printer soon, and I think that next I'll just have to put together the cat book. :-)

NYEMT said...

My dog appears to be able to sense the time for which my alarm is set. And invariably wakes me 15 minutes before it's due to go off.

Every day I feel cheated. I figure my dogs owe me about ten or twelve hours of my sleep back just for early wakeups. And someday, somehow, I'm damned well gonna collect.

Eva Gallant said...

I can't believe that Liza Bean is working the system while you're working 3 jobs! Start feeding her the cheap cat food; that will get her attention! And no more jambalaya for her, either!

Sush said...

Beware the cat...they always get the last word.
Hugs~

Pearl said...

NYEMT, you know, everyone sees dogs as such gung-ho, man-friendly animals, but really, I think they're as devious as cats -- just smiley-er about it...

Eva, do you believe it?! But do I get any credit?! Noooooooo.

Sush, too often they get the first word as well! :-)

Daisy said...

Cat's have no respect for us at all!

Rita said...

I can't even tell you how hilarious I find these cat tales. You made my day! :)

Amber Star said...

That Liza Bean sure has you wrapped around her long sinuous tail, doesn't she? 'Tis sad, for I knew you when. :D

Pat said...

The only thing to do with that sleepless 20 minutes is to say your prayers.

Bodacious Boomer said...

I should sleep so well...

Antares Cryptos said...

Oh. Good. Now that you're up, she can finally go to sleep.

HermanTurnip said...

"It ended poorly, although the suit was dropped and they agreed to not fight her application for unemployment. Still, the press had a field day."

Hey, sounds surprisingly like the time I quit my bar tending gig. It's surprising how difficult it can be to get lipstick and asphalt stains out of a tie.

Jocelyn said...

"...a brief stint as a bouncer..."

cracks me up like nuthin'.

Oh, and if you need a new way to channel an older Midwestern lady, go ahead and use my Weight Watchers' leader's "Oh my smashes!"

I'm contemplating how to write an entire post based around that phrase as the punchline.

The Elephant's Child said...

Love it. Recognise it. What more Lisa Bean Bitey. Please.

Susan in the Boonies said...

I TRY not to cuss often, but honestly, some things are just cuss-worthy.

Darn cat.

Pat Tillett said...

That cat has no problem putting you on the spot! One of our cats weighs almost 26 pounds and He LOVES it sit on my chest while I'm sleeping. Or he starts grooming my moustace while I'm asleep. I really can't complain though, because he doesn't keep me awake with his issues... He probably would, but he doesn't talk much...

River said...

"...sleep for eighteen hours a day"
I think I'd love to be a cat. Maybe it's the Leo coming out in me.

Tracy Jo said...

Hilarious. We should get my cat Huck and Liza Bean Bitey together. :-) Nice to "meet" you, my fellow Minneapolis blogger!

jLow said...

Whew! Thank gracious I'm not the only one that channels grandma. ;o)

R. Jacob said...

It seems a little early in the AM for a hiring update!