I awaken to the sound of the deadbolt being moved.
I am processing this thought when two, and then four paws, land on my pillow.
I should’ve never given that cat a key.
Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, a small-pawed purveyor of bootleg DVDs and one-time Olympic hopeful in the Feline Shot Put, stares down at me, green eyes shining.
“I’m a-sleep,” I say. It occurs to me that I should emphasize this. “Asleep,” I insist.
“How novel,” she purrs. She sits down, contemplates the claws of her right front paw. “In bed at – what is this? 2:00 a.m.?” She looks up, laughs, a disturbing show of gleaming teeth. “How does one find oneself in bed at such an hour? Did you lose a bet?”
I sit up, rub my eyes. “Why are you here?”
She glances toward the kitchen. “Do you have any gin?”
I sigh. “I do not.” I put an index finger on her tiny pink nose and she pushes against it, drives my finger along her whiskered cheek.
There is momentary silence.
“Well,” she says, standing. “I suppose I should run.”
I smile. “You woke me up to ask me if I had any gin?”
“No,” she says, grinning. “I woke you up simply to wake you up.”
I blink heavily. “How cat-like of you.”
She waves a dismissive paw in my direction. “Oh, you,” she says mildly.
I remember something. “Hey,” I say, “how did Thanksgiving go? Weren’t you having some cats over?”
She stops at the door. “As a matter of fact I did,” she muses. “We should get together and talk about it. Some interesting business opportunities arose.”
“Hmmm,” I say, frowning.
“And of course the dinner was delicious.”
“Like turducken,” she says, opening the front door. A cold blast of air screams in from the third-floor porch and swirls above my head. “You know – a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey?”
I blink. I am not at my cleverest at 2:05 a.m. “So turrabbster is…”
“A hamster stuffed inside a rabbit inside a turkey.”
“Mmmm,” I say.
“I’ll give you a call,” she says. “We’ll go out.”
I lie down, pull the covers up to my nose as the front door closes, locks.
It’s been a long time since I had a drink with the cat.