A re-post, from a colder and gentler time.
I’ve been had.
And just as soon as I thaw, I’ll tell you about it.
But no. No, no, no. The story needs telling now, while it’s fresh – and before Liza Bean tells her own version of the tale…
Thursday started as many non-work days do: with an alarm clock I set, out of perversity, to go off at 7:00. I derive pleasure out of turning an alarm off and going back to sleep. Look at me! I’m getting away with something! Hee! Hee!
Twenty minutes later, however, I awoke to Liza Bean sitting on my chest.
Liza “Bean” Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, is a small-pawed creature, a cat of exquisite taste and refined bearing, an animal on a first-name basis with the police. Symmetrically striped, a skilled mouser and a red-hot violinist/vocalist, Liza Bean Bitey is both the cat you wish you had and the cat you wish would get off your back.
I awoke to find her sitting on my chest.
“Oh, nothing,” she says, casually.
“Why are you on my chest?”
“Oh, is this your chest?” She yawns, doesn’t move. “I just happened to look out the window there, out on to the porch? and noticed a number of small dark chocolates…”
I sit up, knocking the cat on to her back. “Dark chocolates?”
“Just so,” she murmurs, picking herself up and repositioning herself next to me. Liza Bean has been reading Wooster and Jeeves lately and little British-isms have been creeping into her speech.
“Well what’re they doing out there?”
“Freezing, I would imagine.”
I stared into the porch. Were those Godiva chocolates? “Maybe I should check on them. You know, just to make sure they’re okay…”
Dressing quickly, I was half-way to the door out to the three-season porch when I heard Liza Bean pointedly clearing her throat.
I turned around. “What?”
“Perhaps you should put your coat on?”
“Hey, I was born in Minnesota. I don’t need a coat to step on to a porch.”
“True, but what of the neighbors? What have they done to deserve a glimpse of you in – what are those?”
I look down. “Yoga pants.”
There is a quiet, polite cough. “Yoga pants.” Her tiny pink nose wrinkles. The words taste bad in her mouth.
She points one graceful paw at my down coat. “Please,” she says. “For me.”
Not wanting to further embarrass the cat, I put my coat on, step out on to the porch, reach for the chocolates – and hear the door’s bolt slide into place.
“Liza! Liza Bean!!”
Her pretty little face appears in the picture window next to the door. She is sitting on my bed.
She is dangling my car keys from her left front paw.
Her green eyes shine.
“Liza! No! No, Liza! Bad kitty!”
Liza Bean winks at me. “I’ll let the neighbor know that you’ve fallen down some steps and need help.”
“No! Not Bart! Don’t send Bart over here!”
Liza Bean smiles, her pointy little teeth shining in the morning light. “He’s the only one with a key to the house.”
Dammit! Bart always has spit in the corners of his mouth and always overstays.
Liza Bean is no longer visible through the window. I run back to the door and press my ear against it. There is the almost imperceptible sound of my keys jingling as she runs down the flight of stairs leading to the front door.
I watch from the second floor as Liza climbs into the car, turns the engine over, adjusts the seat, and plugs in her iPod.
I open one of the windows, lean into the cold air and shout,“You’ll at least return it with more gas than when you left, right? Liza Bean! Right?!”
She raises a paw to me, waves jauntily, and pulls away from the curb.
I pop a chocolate into my mouth and wait for Bart.
That’s it. No afternoon treat for the kitty, that’s for sure.