Once again, the money I’ve been saving to remodel the bathroom will have to be used for reparations.
These things happen when a kitty turns eight.
A wee, striped cat of the (mostly) domesticated variety, once allowed to smoke on the bus because she had, indeed, “brought enough for everyone”, an animal already preparing this Thanksgiving’s Turrabster (a hamster stuffed into a rabbit stuffed into a turkey), Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, turned eight Tuesday night.
This year’s celebratory pub slink – the cat-equivalent of the traditional pub crawl – had started from the alley.
It had been Monday night that Liza Bean had slid into the room, jumped to the couch where I was sitting, and sat...
“I’m not sure I should come along this year,” I say. “I’m more mature now, and –“
The cat holds up a silent paw, closes her eyes. “Say no more, my good woman. I’ll not hear another word. If you think I’ll let you stay here, on a glorious Tuesday night, reading –“ she pauses, clears her tiny throat, a sound indicative of both her delicate constitution and her revulsion at my turning down a night on the town – “Sookie Stackhouse novels, you’ve failed, utterly failed, as both a cat person and a person in general.”
I stare at her face until she opens her eyes.
Cats hate that.
Her eyes shine like a teenager’s dreams. “What?” she says.
“Guilt?” I say. “You’re going to guilt me into getting drunk with you?”
She smiles. “My dear, what better way to start the evening?”
I sigh. “It’s a Tuesday night. A school night.”
Liza Bean grins, two rows of gleaming, tiny teeth glint under the living room’s floor lamp. She leaps to the coffee table, presses her face toward mine.
“No one has school tonight, Pearl,” she whispers. “Besides, maybe in the morning – who knows? – maybe you have a slight fever in the morning – nothing serious, no! – but maybe you call in, stay home and make your favorite kitty that mouse-ends-and-bird-bit omelet we’ve been talking about?”
And now I’m smiling.
I do feel a bit feverish…