Part I was yesterday. Haven't read it? Go ahead! We'll wait right here...
“Good morning, Acme Grommets and Gravel, a Global Overseer Company,
speaking, can I help you?”
“Hello, ma’am. May I speak to
“This is her.”
“Yes, ma’am, this is
calling from Visa. We’ve noticed some
unusual activity on your credit card this afternoon and we thought we’d give
you a call to alert you and confirm that these are acceptable charges?”
I brace myself. I had borrowed my car to the cats earlier in the day. I can only imagine that the charges have something to do with their “brunch”.
I sigh. “Hit me,” I say.
“Yes, ma’am. We have a charge of $150 at World o’ String?”
I look around the office that I share with four other people. They lead normal lives, ones in which their cats don’t go binge-shopping with their credit cards. “What else?”
“$114 at Puss in Boots?”
“Puss in Boots?”
“Yes, ma’am. Says here it’s “entertainment for mature cats”?”
I close my eyes. “And?”
“$148 at The Nip and the Saucer? Says here “discerning beverages for discerning felines.”
I keep my eyes closed.
That dang cat.
“I accept these charges,” I say.
Ten minutes later, I get another call. The display on my work phone reads “LBB of the Mpls Bytyz”.
“Hello,” I say flatly.
“Now is that any way to answer your – hic – phone? Give me the full greeting. C’mon, Pearl!”
A clamor of voices rises: C’mon, Pearlie! Give us the full greeting!
I frown. “Am I on speakerphone?”
Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, chuckles softly. A cat with a frozen squirrel in the deep freeze (“One never knows when company may stop by”), a golf club purportedly used by John F. Kennedy to chase a chipmunk out of the White House, and an honorary degree in Organizational Psychology, this is not the first time that she’s caught me unaware on the speakerphone.
she laughs. “ Pearl, can you hear me now?”
I sigh. “Oh, I hear you.”
“You should – hic – you should – hic – you should come down here!”
Liza Bean is shouting in the phone over what may be, from the sounds of it, a full contingency of cats.
“Where are you?”
“We’re at Psycho Suzi’s! Waitress!”
“Out on the deck?”
“Oh, Pearl, it’s a beautiful day. Just a beautiful day. The sun is – hey, where’s Dolly?”
A half-dozen voices rise up: I don’t know – Dolly who? – I thought she was with you – did we leave her in the trunk? – where’s my drink?
“Holy Hannah, Liza Bean! What did you do with Dolly Gee?”
Dolly Gee Squeakers, formerly of the Humane Society Squeakers, is Liza Bean’s opposite. A long-haired Siamese/Tabby mix, she is a sturdily built cat with an affinity for playing cards, crunchy kibble, and Patsy Cline. She is a simple cat with simple needs, one of which is taking unwarranted swipes at Liza Bean whilst she sleeps.
Dolly Gee once jumped for the couch and missed.
Liza Bean has never let her forget it.
I’m going to have to let you go – ooh,
thank you, sweetheart. Here’s a little
something for your efforts! “
“Another gin and tonic?” I say. “Where’s Dolly?”
“Hmmm? Oh, Dolly. Yes. Hmm. Well, I’ll make a couple calls. I’m sure she’s around here someplace…”
“I’m coming down there,” I say. “There’s a bus in 20 minutes. Don’t go anywhere!”