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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Part I: Wherein Liza Bean Bitey Tells a Story; or Tin and Jonics, On the Cat, Please

I've taken it into my head to write a horror story.  And so I am.  Please enjoy a repeat from last February, when the nights were long, the commute ice cold, and the drinks were on the kitteh...


We’ve managed to grab a booth at Nye’s.  The gold-flecked upholstery, the low, intimate lighting: the place has the feel of a supper club, circa 1950.  In this atmosphere, Ike is president, Dean Martin is headlining in Vegas, and cigarettes are an appetite suppressant.

Liza Bean gazes into her drink, an iridescent gin and tonic, absent-mindedly fishes out one of four lime wedges.

“Have I ever,” she says, thoughtfully re-squeezing the lime, “told you about the time I worked as a bouncer?”

She hadn’t.  I somewhat drunkenly shake my head.  Drinking with a cat is no small matter, and I reflect on my foresight in having canceled the next day’s activities.

“Nope,” I say. 

Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, a small-pawed murderer of mice, a cat who has a manuscript purportedly written as a collaborative effort between her and Hunter S. Thompson, drops the lime back into her drink, stirs it with one terrible extended claw.

She takes a sip, smiles with tiny, pointed teeth, eyes gleaming like stolen emeralds.

“It was a couple summers ago, actually,” she says.  “You know the building in the Warehouse District, the one that has the top of it blown off?”

For once, I do.  Pleased with this, I nod vigorously, and a passing cocktail waitress pauses briefly, perhaps concerned I’m having a seizure.

Liza Bean flicks her extended claw back and forth, back and forth, through her ice cubes, leans forward and sucks the last of her drink up the straw.  No sooner has she raised her paw but our waitress is back.  “Gin and tonic, four limes,” she says, placing the drink on the table.  Felines are notoriously good tippers, and any waitress worth her salt knows this.

“Thank you, sweetheart.”  Liza Bean hands her a couple bills.  The waitress, a Betty Paige look-alike, winks and practically skips back to the bar. 

“So there was a bar in the basement of that building,” the cat says, squeezing one lime after another into her drink. “You had to know it was there, and it wasn’t for just anyone.  No signs, no flashing lights, no indication that there was anything of interest down those steps.”

Liza Bean takes a sip of her drink, closes her eyes in appreciation.  What is it with cats and gin and tonics?  I consider pulling out the notebook I keep in my purse for just such observations and then promptly forget about it.

“It was a cat bar,” she purrs.  “Do you hear what I’m telling you, Pearl?  A cat bar, one of only four in the city.”

I nod: a cat bar.

And that’s when I settle back, a silly smile on my face. 

Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, is going to tell a story.


Come back tomorrow for Part II!

24 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

What I wouldn't give for a good cat bar in this city.

Shelly said...

Cat bars- does anything good ever come out of them?

Pearl said...

Delores, I love that. :-)

Shelly, the music, usually, but after that, things get sketchy.

savannah said...

if Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, ever, ever needs a winter get away, i would be most honored to have her here on the plantation, sugar! i will gladly restock the bar with her favorite libations, mixers and garnishes! xoxoxo

Pearl said...

Savannah, I'll relay the information. She insists on sleeping late, of course, but otherwise she's a delightful guest. :-)

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Oh, how you tease us, with your "part 1" and "part 2" !

Pearl said...

Dawn, it's just my way of saying that I've no idea how something's going to end...

Oh, and how much I love you. It's a way of me saying how much I love you, too.

:-)

The Retired One said...

I have been hanging around with the wrong crowd, only at dog bars...silly ME!!! LOL

Diane Henders said...

I just followed the link here from Murr Brewster's blog - so glad I did! Just finished buying your book, and I'm picking up your RSS feed now. Looking forward to the rest of the story! :-)

Pearl said...

The Retired One, hey! I know you, Miss Yooper! And yes: dog bars are good fun, but cat bars are where it's all happenin'. :-)

Diane, oh, I'm so glad! I look forward to fulfilling your book order. Welcome: Murr is hilarious and a good writer to boot. I've been reading "Trousering Your Weasel" for almost a week now and I've laughed aloud more than once!

Jono said...

Hmmm, Fear and Loathing in Minneapolis?

Pearl said...

Jono, very nice. :-)

BATS!

Buttons said...

Oh a Cat Bar I can't wait. B

Eva Gallant said...

I wouldn't miss it for the world!

Pearl said...

Buttons, leave the car at home. :-) We'll take a cab.

Eva, :-)

Kana said...

The glitter of stolen emeralds...love it! Everyone knows the forbidden fruit is sweeter, the stolen jewels brighter.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

They closed all the cat bars in our city - too many fights.

bill lisleman said...

"small-pawed murderer of mice" - have you heard of the official mouser? Better known as the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office in the UK. The British have the oddest official titles.

Gigi said...

You keep me on the edge of my seat; gripping my glass of wine just waiting for the ending!

And I'm sending myself a reminder email to buy your book TOMORROW! I keep meaning to...but then life gets in the way and I forget. I promise - tomorrow!

jenny_o said...

I really wish my cats would tell stories.

No, wait. I take it back. They'd probably just tattle on each other and it would be like having five-year-olds in the house again.

Carry on :)

HermanTurnip said...

Awesome! A bar for the feline set. F5! F5! F5! F5!

Daisy said...

I don't believe I've ever had a drink with a cat! :-) Looking forward to Liza's story.

The Elephant's Child said...

Will tomorrow (and part 2 ever come...

Indigo Roth said...

Darn you, Pearl Pearlesson, I'm reading re-runs, and I'm STILL interested... Darn you to heck! Roth