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Monday, August 26, 2013

Part Four: The Kick-Off of the Guided by Friskies Five-State Tour

Part four of four.  Haven't read parts one, two, or three?  Go ahead!  I'm going to get some coffee, and I'll meet up with you here...

I take a deep draw from my gin and tonic, then another.  When one parties with cats, one will catch a buzz.

I push my empty lowball glass toward Liza Bean.  "Top me off," I hiss. 

The cat casts an amused glance at me. 

"What?' I say.

Liza Bean Bitey, eight-year-old tabby and Minneapolitan bon vivant, shakes her head and grabs the last clean glass on the table, drops four ice cubes into it, reaches for the bottle of gin. 

The large white cat on the stage at the front of the room stands on his back legs, one paw on the microphone.  "Toms and kittens," he says, "friends of the four-legged and two-legged variety, we have, tonight, the kick-off of the spoken-word tour of our very own Dolly "Gee" Squeakers -- "

" -- formerly of the Humane Society Squeakers!" shouts Pupples.

The room explodes with the flickering of table lights.

The Tom leans into the mic and smiles.  " -- formerly of the Humane Society Squeakers!  Fresh from the kitchen table where she smokes when her human is at work and on the first night of her Guided by Friskies five-state tour, would you welcome to The Nip and The Saucer, Dolly "Gee" Squeakers!"

Flick-flick-flick!  The darkened room erupts in galaxies of stars as the crowd shows its appreciation.

A fresh gin and tonic, four limes, is pushed in front of me.  At the same time, a waitress slides by, drops off fresh glasses and a fresh bucket of ice.  Liza Bean holds up a five-dollar bill, which the server lifts with two graceful fingers.

Cats are notoriously heavy tippers, and the bar industry in Minneapolis knows -- and caters -- to this.

Dolly walks onto the stage, smiles up into the bright lights, blue eyes dazzled.  She looks out into the crowd, approaches the microphone, taps it with one curved claw.

Satisfied that the mic is still on, she takes a breath; and the Siamese mix, a cat generally silent after years of kittenhood tauntings for her lisp, begins to speak. 

"Thith one ith called Theafood Platter."

The room goes silent.  Dolly takes a deep breath.

"Theafood platter, pate thtyle
A late afternoon thnack
and with the thound of the can-opener,
I come running.
I thkitter acroth hardwood floorth
thkid around cornerth
My dethire reaching the food dith
Well ahead of my pride.

Thank you."

Pupples operates the light in the center of the table like a cat possessed.  "I know that feeling!" he shouts toward the stage.  "I know that feeling!"

Pupples stands on his chair.  "House Cat!!  Do House Cat!!!"

I look toward Liza Bean, who has leaned back into the crushed velvet upholstery of the booth.  She smiles at me, lifts her drink.  "Who knew the little bathroom dweller had it in her, huh?"

I lift my own drink, consider that I probably should've had more of the "mouse ends" that Liza was offering before the whole "drinking with cats" thing started.  "To Dolly," I say.  And I hiccup...

As always happens when I drink with cats, I wake up in the morning in my own bed, clothes folded neatly, two aspirin and a glass of water on the night stand to ease my aching head.

Late morning, having showered and swallowed several large cups of coffee, I pull a crinkled, ink-stained cocktail napkin, a poem by the late Orangey McStripe written there.

I recognize it from the end of the previous night.  It is, apparently, a favorite among the feline drinking class.

Raise a glass with me, won't you?, and link arms with the cat closest to you. 

Alley slinker
Felonious stinker!
Skirts the garden's edge.

Marks his spots
A poet's jots!
Says "mine" from hedge to hedge.


Indigo Roth said...

Damn, do I have to borrow a house cat? Those STREET cats outside look a bit flea-bitten...

Optimistic Existentialist said...

You had me at gin and tonic. I would drink with my cat, but she already acts intoxicated enough as it is :)

Pearl said...

Indigo, well they ARE the hot new accessory...

Optimistic, :-) It's possible that she is!

Anonymous said...

Love this. I need to check out the RI cat bar scene. the chicken scene is getting to rowdy

Pearl said...

Consigliere, Chickens ain't nothin' to mess with...

jenny_o said...

Well, you're probably not going to believe this, but I left your post up on the computer while I went to switch some laundry, and clearly one of my cats was busy while I was gone, for this was typed on the screen on my return:

Alley cat?
Yes, they're "all that"
But indoor cats
Are where it's at
I'm a clever thing
I know how to Bing
I'm a total nerd
At Excel and Word
And when I want to mark MY spot
I'm smart enough to use the pot

Ooh la la, a cheeky little thing, isn't s/he?

I love your posts. You not only entertain, you inspire. A double gift, Pearl - and I thank you for it.

vanilla said...

Oh, those poetic cats! And thanks to the historian/amanuensis who records the poetry.

bill lisleman said...

Pearl you are the best feline storyteller. How much are mouse ends selling for at that cat dive?

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Oh Darling Dolly Gee... my light is flashing!!

I said it once, I'll say it again; mmeewwwrrrrr meeewwwrrrrr mmmmmmeewwwwrrrrr.

I'm done. YAM xx

Daisy said...

Words fail me and I just sit here laughing and clapping, and drinking with my dog!

Daisy's Barbara, who for some reason has started calling "Daisy", "Daithy"

Jenny, I loved your poem too!

Shelly said...

Oh, my friend- you never fail to disappoint! I'm linking arms with the bewildered library patrons around me right now.

And I loved Jenny's poem, too!

Pearl said...

jenny, you tell that cat that if she finds herself in Mpls that she needs to give me a call. :-)

vanilla, I am but the messenger. :-)

bill, it's scandalous what a good bag of mouse ends will cost you these days. But I know a cat that can get them cheap...

Yam, :-) Shine on, baby!

Daisy, I do hope that our dear Barbara DOES call you "Daithy" every now and then. :-) It's a compliment!

Shelly, Oh, I hope that I DON'T disappoint! :-)

fishducky said...

Neither you or the kitties EVER disappoint!!

Eva Gallant said...

I'm always entertained by your feline friends frolics! Thanks for making smile....widely! And I'n flicking the lights!

Shelly said...

Totally mistyped!!!!!!! You never, ever, ever disappoint, my friend, unlike me!!!

Joanne Noragon said...

How sweet they tuck you in. You need to work up to these marathons.

Anonymous said...

Cats write the best poems.

Elephant's Child said...

Cats ARE the best poems. And the lights are flashing for Dolly Gee (and Jenny)(and Pearl) in Australia. You may have started an energy crisis.

Gigi said...

Lights are flickering like mad all over North Carolina!

Timothy Hecht said...

Catatstic! I liked it.
Tell the truth. How much was you and how much input did the cats have?

Yeah, keepin it real.

HermanTurnip said...

I'm snapping my fingers daddy-o style in appreciation of Dolly's poetic stylings.

And I'm glad to see that the bar still lays the limes on thick and heavy! :-)

Leenie said...

A walk on the wild side! Cheers!

Sioux said...

What a wonderful tail. I mean "tale."

Rose L said...

I wish my felines were poetically inclined. Mooshoo seems to be suffering from mood swings, wanting to be loved and stroked, the biting the hand of the person giving the desired attention.
Kala is very sweet but not happy about the diet she is on. She weighs 20 pounds but says it is because she is thick boned. LOL

Kathleen McCoy said...

I'm raising a glass to that poetic little bathroom dweller!

River said...

Well done Dolly!
I love how thoughtful your cats are, folding your clothes and leaving aspirin and water ready for your wakening.