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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Would You Mind Picking Up Some Nip on Your Way Home?

“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, an intensely sincere Marketing intern I suspect is 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 curtains.

The phone is picked up again.

“As I was saying,” she says.

“Who gave you this number?” I say.

“You did.”

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.

“Thanks, Pearl.”


vanilla said...

Pearl, Liza Bean, and Dolly G; the triumvirate of fun times!

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I do the same thing when the hubs walks by trailing his usual collection of lint on the carpet...just shut my eyes...hmmmmm.

Joanne Noragon said...

Snake charming to a new level.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
oh golly, it's the cat whisperer!

jenny_o said...

That's a cat for you - all they need to do is close their eyes and bam! they're asleep.

That, and adding their request for liquid refreshment on the end of an emergency phone call. That's a cat thing too. Tsk.

Jayne Martin said...

I really want you to get with an illustrator and do a series of Liza Bean books. You're sitting on a gold mine! Once again you've completely charmed me, my friend.

George Turnbull said...

I can now read your superb (that'll cost you $5) tales on the move.
New phone loads super fast
Keep up the fantastic ($5) work.

Eva Gallant said...

Jayne is right! You need to do some illustrated books! Your stories are so endearing!

joeh said...

Brilliant! Not generally a cat person, but I love me some Lisa Bean Bitey (the one of the Minneapolis Biteys of course. Not to be confused with the Saint Paul Biteys.)

Robert Gilbert said...

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Sioux said...

I can envision a "two voice poem." One is Dolly's and one is Liza Bean's.

This was wonderful, as all your cat posts are (and all your other posts are, too Pearl.)

If you leave a comment on my blog, you might win a copy of "Off the Leash" by Jean Ellen Whatley. It's a winner of a memoir.

Daisy said...

Some temptations are just too great. haha! :D

NotesFromAbroad said...

I can almost hear her voice ..

Pixel Peeper said...

I really should get a cat again...

HermanTurnip said...

This is one of favorite posts by you. Really brings a "I can't believe she just wrote that" smile to my face. You, my friend, are ten ways of concentrated awesome!

The Elephant's Child said...

I think that Dolly Gee was baiting Liza Bean. Or perhaps not.

River said...

I agree with Elephant's Child. Now and again Dolly has a moment...and Liza pays the price.
I also think you should do an illustrated cat stories book.

sage said...

All the good writers seem to have their cats: Twain, Hemingway, Pearl...

Glen said...

cat, string - string, cat ... the rest is inevitable.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Oh how I love the way you write