This is part two of a story that began yesterday. Go take a look. Go on! Under 300 words. You’ll be back in no time. We’ll wait here.
I sigh. “What’s going on here?”
“Hmmm?” Liza Bean Bitey, graceful, stripe-ed deliverer of headless mice and surprisingly passionate holder of Green Bay Packers season tickets, glances casually over her shoulder toward the heavy drapes that block the bedroom from the living room.
“Heeeey,” I say. “What are you up to? Where’s Dolly?”
Liza Bean’s eyebrows, such as they are, shoot northward. She shrugs a small, noncommittal shrug.
“She’s asleep.” The cat chuckles. “Don’t be so suspicious, Pearl. I just thought you should know about the poetry.”
I frown at her. “Are you feeling okay?”
“I thought she could use some encouragement.”
I laugh, a disbelieving bark in the dim light of 2:30 in the morning. “This from the cat who booed the accordion player in front of The Social.”
She smiles, a small glimpse of gleaming teeth in the dark. “The man is delusional.”
I wrinkle my nose at her.
Liza Bean blinks slowly. “Anyway," she says, "I consider it a mitzvah.”
I sigh again, make a mental note that my next pet will be a dog - and possibly illiterate.
Liza Bean widens her eyes. “She’s performing tonight at The Nip and the Saucer.”
Now it is my turn to widen my eyes.
The cat nods, a brief, almost indiscernible motion.
I smile into the darkness. “You remember “House Cat”?”
“I do indeed,” Liza says. She clears her throat; and - perhaps it's the late hour? - uncharacteristically delivers the poem in Dolly's own speech pattern.
Houthe cat! Houthe cat?
Windowth open on a thpring day
The birdieth alight
On the roof nectht door and I am tranthficthed
A thlave to my dethire
To have them
Run through the houthe with them dangling from my jawth
And when I tire of that
I lay in a pool of thun,
Pat-thy Cline on the thtereo
Chain thmoking thigarettes
Houthe cat? Houthe cat!
Don’t tell me I’ve nothing to do.
And with that, Liza Bean takes a small bow, retreats to the foot of the bed, where she circles several times and lays across my feet.
“The Nip and the Saucer,” she says quietly. “We should go.”
And Liza Bean Bitey falls asleep.