My book "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" became available yesterday. Why not buy a couple?! Tales of mystery, of cats with dental problems and gambling addictions, tales of love, hope, and gin and tonics. And cheap?! So cheap! Eight American dollars buys you a bit of real estate just inside my head. Join me in my head, won't you? Where it's all warm and comfy? See the PayPal link to the right, there, or send me an e-mail and we'll get you a book.
“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, a flighty, 12-year-old Marketing intern I suspect may be 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 curtain.
The phone is picked up again.
“As I was saying,” she says.
“Who gave you this number?” I say.
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.
“Bring home some half-and-half, won’t you?”
I sigh. “I’ll see you after yoga,” I say.