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Friday, October 11, 2013

Part Two: Thank Heavens We Reserved a Room; or Hey! Is That Liza’s Old Boyfriend?

Haven't read Part One?  You go ahead then -- it was just posted yesterday! -- and we'll wait here.  I'll run and get another cup of coffee...

“Party of – um – thirty?”

I grin sheepishly at the hostess.  It is rare that I travel with 29 cats, but when I do, I grin sheepishly.

She scrutinizes the array of casually intense cats lining the walls of Nye’s Polonaise.  Well into her late 70s, she presses a hand to the mound of carefully shellacked hair possibly sprayed into place sometime during the first airing of the moon landing.

She squints at me, the cats.

“We reserved the buffet room,” I say.  “Downstairs.”

The hostess grins nervously, displays straight, surprisingly white chompers.  “Well why dintcha say so?” she exclaims. 

We are pointed toward the red-carpeted staircase, a mythically shabby corner past the piano bar that, rumor has it, was once the location of a spat between Bobby Darrin and Sandra Dee.  We go down, down, down to the basement, where a nervous South American gentleman, hands clasped behind his back, wonders if what he has heard about “cat parties” is true.

He hopes it is.

I head straight to the bar.

“Hey,” Pupples McBean shouts.  “Hey.  Hey-hey-heyheyheyhey.  Your money’s no good here!” 

I turn to find Pupples rushing toward me.  Pupples is one of those friends of Liza Bean’s that fits into the scheme of things through his apparent inability to fit, even in one’s imagination, anywhere else.   He is a small, nervous cat, one with a habit of running a claw under his collar while his jaw juts out just so, as if the collar, clearly too large, is actually too tight.

One imagines that Pupples McBean grew up watching a lot of Art Carne

Pupples holds up a striped paw.  “Juan!  Hey, buddy!  A gin and tonic for the lovely Pearl.”

There is a flurry of activity, whereupon Juan, all smiling eyes and manners, places a gin and tonic on the bar.

There are extra limes in it.

Pupples points an extended claw at the bartender, grins at him sideways.  “You,” he says to Juan.  “You’re gonna go far, my friend.”

I take my drink, raise it, smiling.  “Sir,” I say.

Pupples, standing on his hind legs on a stool at the bar, presses a paw against his chest in a gesture of gentlemanly ardor.  “Poil,” he says.

I wander through the room.  Cats – everywhere.  At tables.  On tables.  Balanced atop the propped-open door that leads to the bathrooms. 

“There you are!”  Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, Walk-On Cat Number One in the first two Bourne movies and today’s Birthday Kitty, sidles up to me, winds her way around my ankles.  “Pearl!  Daaaaarling!”

I suspect that the cat is no longer on her first drink.

She leaps to a table.  I reach over and impulsively scratch her behind an ear.

Liza Bean shakes me off, laughing.  “Really, Pearl,” she says, squirming.  “Public.”

I grin, suck loudly on my drink, twist around, looking. Do we have waitress down here?

Ah.  There she is.

Secure in the knowledge that my having winked and held up an empty glass will result in a fresh drink, I turn my attention back to the cat.

She is staring toward the door.

“I can’t believe it,” she says, standing.  I notice her tail is fatter than it was just a moment ago.  “Who invited him?”

I regret to inform you, dear readers, that I will be unable to continue this story until Monday's installment.  Inconvenient?  Yes.  Intentional?  No.  The weekend has just filled, and I won't have time to write.  Please come back Monday.

Who just entered?  Why is Liza's tail expanding like that?

And what about Naomi?


Shelly said...

Oh, Poil, in the words of Carly Simon...anticipation...

Indigo Roth said...

Hey PearlyGirl!

"Walk-On Cat Number One in the first two Bourne movies"?

*slaps head*

THANK you!

But Monday? Tease, I say. Tease.

Roth x

Pearl said...

Shelly, I honestly feel bad about that...

Indigo! Yes. Really. :-) And Monday? Unfortunately, yes. And there's nothing I can do about it. :-(

Anonymous said...

I would give a lot to be invited to a cat party..

Eva Gallant said...

Somehow I had missed part one, so I went back and read it first. Love your stories about Liza Bean!

Simply Suthern said...

Never met a cat that didnt think any food on the table was their buffet.

Pearl said...

Delores, I'll see what I can do to get you added to the next one. :-)

Thank you, Eva! I have a lot of fun writing them!

Simply, the food at cat parties is actually a bit dreadful. No matter what they say, do NOT try the pate. Trust me on that one.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I'm not letting my pride of cats anywhere near this story. They have enough ideas as it is.

Sia McKye Over Coffee

terlee said...

Not that I don't love a good party...but what about Friday Tales from a Minneapolis Bus Stop?

Susan Kane said...

Oh, to have been a secret camera installed in the bar mirror.

I also love Tales from Minneapolis Bus Stop. There is a comradery in the spirit of the bus riders. This theme really should be developed. along with Liza Bean and her buddies.

jenny_o said...

A bottlebrush tail on a cat is fair warning. Cue the dramatic shrieking violin music!

bill lisleman said...

29 cats and a blog - Pearl you have it all.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
....tsk, but that suits me as am in the air from about 2 hours from now until nearly Monday anyway... By which time I may have worked out who and why &*> YAM xx

Daisy said...

Bobby Darrin and Sandra Dee had a spat there?! Looking forward to what happens next. Enjoy your weekend, Pearl! :)

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Ah. Another wifi free weekend at Pearlie's house. Indigo and Ray and I are going to pitch in for Pearlie's cable bill . . .

Elephant's Child said...

Bottle brush/toilet brush tail is indeed fair warning. And I hope the cause realises it. Cats don't like to repeat themselves.
Monday? Sigh. I will be here.

Diane Tolley said...

Okay, I'm holding my breath until Monday. Or until I turn blue. Whichever comes first . . .

Slick said...

Looking forward to it! Nothing like an old beau to get the fur standing on end!

Joanne Noragon said...

I often wonder if you shrink, like Alice, to be in your cat stories. That little bottle of Monday morning elixir in your pocket.

Gigi said...

Well, if nothing else, it can be said that you definitely know how to captivate an audience!

Have a great weekend!

Daisy said...

I can wait until Monday - I've got a bad cold. I'll just go back to sleep and wait.....That will be my Canadian Thanksgiving Day treat! Waking up with a bunch of cats in a bar.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

It is amazing I got here at all since I don't blog much over the weekend, not a lot of time but still I did and have to say I am pleased I did. I will be back on Monday because well you have left me wanting more

vanilla said...

Art Carne: an artistic style whereby meat is carved into delicious steaks and roasts.

vanilla said...

Art Carne: an artistic style whereby meat is carved into delicious steaks and roasts.

Anonymous said...

First time ever that I can't wait until Monday~!