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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Liza Bean Reports; or Cats Have A Lousy Sense of Timing

Someone small is hissing in my ear.

“Pearl.  Psssst.  I say.  Pearl.”

I frown in my sleep.  One minute one is being handed the Nobel Peace Prize for number of garage sales visited in a year and the next minute one is being paged…



I open my eyes.  I perceive the sound of the white noise machine roaring in the background, the chopped light that filters through the fan in the bedroom window. 

I roll my head ever-so-slightly to the right.  2:26 a.m.

Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, is no respecter of time.

Flat on my back, I roll my head back to stare up into the sparkling green eyes of the cat perched on my chest.

Liza Bean Bitey, tiny, striped holder of the world’s record in freestyle mouse dangling (612 end-to-end and off the Stone Arch Bridge), per diem drug and alcohol counselor for several local news affiliates, and Minnesota State Fair bon vivant, peers into my eyes.

“My word,” she purrs, a sardonic smile on her lips.  “Not a night person, are you?”

I push her away, reach under the nightstand for the squirt bottle I had hidden there.

Cats hate being squirted.

The squirt bottle has been moved.

The cat shakes her head sorrowfully.  “Tsk, tsk, tsk.”

I fall back onto my pillow.  “What do you want?”

Liza Bean lifts a tiny paw, scrutinizes it in the darkness.  “Does a kitty need a reason to speak to her favorite human?”

I close my eyes.  “Yes,” I say. 

“What if she wishes to speak to her about a certain plant-eating usurper with a penchant for yakking on the rug?”

She refers, of course, to Dolly Gee Squeakers, formerly of the Humane Society Squeakers, a cat known for her ability to eat and then fail to properly digest a variety of houseplants. 

I frown upward.  “What about her?”

“She’s writing poetry again.”  The cat yawns elaborately.  “I thought you should know.”

A vision of Dolly Gee, pyramid-shaped long-hair Siamese, sitting at my desk, fuzzy paws poised over the keyboard, nestles in my brain. 

I shake it loose.

“What about it,” I say crossly. 

The cat clears her throat, a tiny sound made even tinier by the darkness.  “I hate to say this,” she says, “but it’s not bad.  Shall I read you some?”

Tomorrow?  Well, what else but cat poetry?


Shelly said...

I picture Dolly as I picture Emily Dickinson: reclusive, but with a brilliant, mousetrap- like mind. I look forward to the cat poetry~

Indigo Roth said...

Achtung, Pearl! It's a scam! A scam, I tells ya! You move, and that cat will be under the covers in your warm spot in a flash. You. Have. Been. Warned. Roth x

Pearl said...

Shelly, I'm just hoping there is depth I've not noticed before. So far, all I see is that no one loves a pile of laundry like Dolly.

Indigo, oh it's far too hot for that here! Haven't slept in three nights now, what with Liza Bean's insistence that she splay herself across my legs!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

"Nobel Peace Prize for number of garage sales visited in a year" - my mom may compete for this. Wonderful write here Pearl. reminded me of my cat Ruby LOL.

Pearl said...

Optimistic, thank you. :-)

Indigo Roth said...

I approve of your use of the reflexive verb "to splay oneself"; it's top drawer stuff.

Pearl said...

Indigo, well, you know. :-) What can I say?!

jenny_o said...

I am cautiously optimistic that Dolly's poetry will not contain an undue number of references to peeing on everything, headless mice, and hairballs. But just to be sure, I'm writing a sticky note to remind myself not to read tomorrow's post at mealtime. Ciao!

Geo. said...

Write a poem or eat a houseplant? One often can't decide. Byron could do both at once while playing tag.

Pearl said...

jenny_o, you and me both!!

Geo., amazing how often your creative types mix business and pleasure.

bill lisleman said...

Pearl you're a puzzle. How many garage sales visits in a year?

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Oh good. If you hadn't promised, I would have demanded..errr.. requested an airing of poetry felinesque.

My kinda cat, is Dolly, all inspiration in the 'wee smalls'. &*>

Daisy said...

I lived with a cat once. Now I get to sleep through the night!

Eva Gallant said...

Feline verse? Surely it can be now worse than my feeble attempts at verse! Looking forward to tomorrow's post!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Top of the line clever, as always. Can't wait to read some of Dolly's work. (My cats don't share poetry with me, but they're maestros at chewing on my plants and then yakking green ralph on the floor.)

Susan Kane said...

I'd be hesitant. Who knows what your cat may have written?

Sioux's Page said...

Hey--isn' t there a (horrible) musical made from a bunch of cat poems?

I cannot wait. Tomorrow? Or more appropriate, midnight?

Joanne Noragon said...

I see odes to abalone.

Jayne Martin said...

Liza Bean paying a compliment to Dolly's poetry? I detect something sinister in the way of motives.

vanilla said...

". . .it’s not bad." --LBB(OTMB)
Now there is a critique of Dolly's poetry that has me worried.

Jono said...

Hark up a hairball or take a nap. We buy paper towels by the case to properly tidy up after them. The poetry isn't half bad until they read it aloud.

Anonymous said...

Oh good. Something to look forward to. I like a good cat poem. I hope it's not too dark, though. I hate it when they go all Sylvia Plath on you. It's not my fault the farmer tried to drown you. I agree it was very mean. And maybe he does deserve to be drawn and quartered. And you've described the process in exquisite detail. Really, I mean just brilliant what you've done here. But can we please watch Modern Family now?

Merlesworld said...

All my cats talk but they don't write poetry at lest they don't tell me about it, your cats are very talented.

fishducky said...

I once had a dog that was an excellent seamstress, but never a poetry writing cat!!

klahanie said...

How about that
Another potential rhyming cat
This dog on a blog
Is all agog
Dolly Gee whizzy
Poetic cats makes me dizzy
Lisa Bean Bitey
Good gosh almighty
That''s it from me
It's plain to see.

Pawsitive wishes
Doggy kisses
Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar
Typing from afar! xx

Timothy Hecht said...

No one likes a tattle-tail and nobody especially likes a cat tattle-tail.

I sometimes read poetry on blogs by accident. Uh, yeah, uh. Here's a poem for you:

Disco is what people with no talent did before Rap music.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Middle of the night poetry readings. Lize is headed for incarceration in the tool shed.

HermanTurnip said...

My cat does something similar to me at night, only she sits on my chest and annoys me with her bad breath until I comply to her demands for petting and food. Argh...

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Thank you for bringing a smile to my face today

River said...

My cats never did anything but eat and sleep. I look forward to reading Dolly's effort. It must be good, Liza Bean said so and she wouldn't lie to us, would she? Hmmm?

the walking man said...

Personally I think it would be easier to ignore a persistent pesky cat at 2AM than it is an 80 moose shaped like a horse that thinks she's a dog who likes to lick her nose and stick said nose in sleeping man's eye. Oh not for conversational purposes, just for the sheer fun of needing a place to dry said oft licked nose.

Daisy said...

I have to admit, I don't believe I've ever read any cat poetry before! You have the most talented cats in the world, Pearl! :)

Pat Tillett said...

If any of our cats had these talents they would make sure everyone but us knew about them. Well, except for yakking on the carpet. The smarts of the four she is darn good at that. I think she does it on purpose.