The alarm clock, an appliance long known for its ill-considered promises of refreshing “snoozes”, glows at me, blandly, from the night stand next to the bed.
I’ve awoken, quite against my will, a full five minutes before the alarm. Set to a local radio station with impressive and fail-safe bandwidth, the “morning show” of its opinionated and arrogant DJ is guaranteed to propel me out of bed despite my desire to keep sleeping.
But it’s five minutes before I have to get up.
Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, a cat with a lawyer on retainer and an affinity for writing “the good shrimp” on every grocery list I’ve written since letting the little bugger into the house, speaks without opening her eyes. “Left to me,” she whispers, “I would suggest that you call in sick, stay home and make me tiny, delicious things to eat.” She chuckles softly.
Oh, she cracks her up.
“You snored all night,” I say.
She smiles faintly, eyes still closed. “If we’re going to start telling tales out of school,” she says, “then let us discuss the wisdom of you eating all that hummus before going – “
“All right, all right,” I hiss. “No need to be rude.”
She smiles, her little black lips glinting in the clock-radio’s greenish glow. “You have a couple minutes,” she says. “Why don’t you run see if there’s any of that tapioca left over from last night? I’m peckish.”
Liza Bean has recently started yet another Wooster and Jeeves book, and her rather cosmopolitan accent has taken on a decidedly British tinge.
Liza Bean stands, stretches her front paws toward me, pushes her chest to the mattress, only to curl up again.
“I need to be up by noon,” she says.
I hate myself for it, but I have to ask. “Why?”
She smiles, eyes closed. “I’m taking Dolly Gee out for lunch.” Her eyes open wide. “I’ll need the car.”
I narrow my eyes at her. “Why?”
“I say,” she smiles, eyes closing. “So many questions.”
“But,” I say, “you don’t really like Dolly. Why would you be taking her out to lunch?”
“Think of it as a team-building exercise,” she purrs.
And what the American people fail to realize—
I slap the clock radio.
Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, smiles into the darkness. “Leave the keys on the kitchen table, will you? That’s a good girl.”
And with that, the cat curls up tightly and goes back to sleep.