I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Toasty Warmth of the Laptop

The cat has gotten quite insistent.

I push her away, as I’ve been pushing her away for the last 10 minutes.  “I’m – hey – get off the keyboard you ridiculous cat you.”

Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, a small, striped animal with emerald-green eyes and a large, padded envelope she’s hidden in the crawlspace since the last Republican Convention, eyes me with a combination of amusement and disgust.

She pushes past my extended arm, tries to step back onto my laptop.

My laptop:  where lukewarm brainwaves are met by a comfortingly warm battery.

I push her off, pat the comfy arrangement of blankets I’ve created for her.

She sighs.    “What do you have against the furnace?”

I pull the blankets around her.  “It’s a Minnesota thing,” I say.  “I’m not sure you’d understand.”

The cat lays on her side, curls up tightly.  “Hmm,” she says, her silken voice muffled by her tail.  “I’m relatively sure that it has to do with a combination of cheapness, misplaced pioneer spirit, and utter pigheaded-ness.”  She smiles, the edges of her mouth tipping up ever-so-slightly.  Her eyes glint up at me like newly minted dimes.  “Am I close?”

Dang cat.

“Not even,” I say. 

The cat stands, stretches, points gleaming, quizzical eyes at me.  “So your setting the thermostat at 64 is not some odd little homage to the pioneers?  The 21st century equivalent, perhaps, of bathing in a creek or something?”

I frown, place self-conscious fingertips on the wrinkles between my eyes, try to smooth them.  I make a mental note:  Next kitty should be less intuitive.

“Not like that at all,” I say.  “I have nothing to prove.  I’m as hardy as the next person.”

Liza Bean wrinkles her nose in an adorably tiny fashion.  “Hardy?” she says.  She rolls the word around as if experiencing it for the first time.  “Hardy.”  She laughs.  “Like how you’re willing to accept Ben and Jerry’s but only if they’re out of Hagen-Daz?”  

I quickly frown – and then un-frown.  “I dislike cheap dairy products.”

The cat grins. 

“Well what about this?” I say.  “Last winter I carried baked potatoes in my coat pockets for warmth.  How’s that for hardy?”

The cat stares at me, unblinkingly.

“Hey now!” I protest.  “Microwaved taters is both the past and the future of mid-winter comfort.”

Liza Bean laughs.  “I just want to be there when you pull that potato from your pocket.”  She pauses abruptly, looks up at me in all sincerity.  “Please do it on the bus.  If you pull a baked potato from your coat and eat it on the bus, I will make it worth your while.”

I purse my lips, briefly consider what the cat would be willing to pay to see a city bus’s videotape of a commuter eating a potato pulled from the pocket of her winter coat.

Our eyes meet, and Liza Bean bursts into laughter.

She leans over, reaches a paw under the computer on my lap. 

“Mmm,” she purrs.  “Warm, toasty words.”


And I scratch between her ears.

37 comments:

Shelly said...

It's supposed to dip into the 60's here in a few days. The baked potato thing sounds like a good fix for me. Hardy, I am not. Glad, I am, that you are back.

Camille said...

I did love a good game of 'hot potato' when I was a little kid but was never allowed to walk around with them steaming away in my pockets. The parents were so strict that way :-)

Glad to have you back Pearl! (Waving my hands and throwing kisses)

Pearl said...

Good morning, Shelly, Camille!

I am glad to be back!!

vanilla said...

Welcome back! You have been missed.
Here's to warm fingers. And paws. Turn up the thermostat.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I'm with the cat. I will PAY to see that potato/bus combo. :) Howdy miss P!

joeh said...

Hope you enjoyed your blogcation.

Chicken said...

Sheeees back! I could hardly wait. you know what probably retains heat really well? A block of stuffing!!! A case of poultice is on the way!

bill lisleman said...

thanks for the warm toasty words.
"combination of cheapness, misplaced pioneer spirit, and utter pigheaded-ness" - wow that cat knows you. I never thought pioneer spirit could get so twisted.

Cloudia said...

toast post-y!


ALOHA to YOU
from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
=^..^=

Delores said...

You're a day late but I'm glad to see you. Keep those warm, toasty words coming.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
So good to see you here and my goodness what a warm arrival...
YAM xx

Douglas said...

When I lived in Manassas, Floozie would bask in the heat from the kerosene heater I kept in the basement. He hugged my leg for weeks when we moved to Florida.

Welcome back and... give the cat a break.

Douglas said...

Uh, that should be "She hugged my leg..." I'm blaming the keyboard

Pearl said...

It's nice to have been missed.

The blogcation was lovely. I have to admit that after having written daily for over five and a half years, taking the month off was just what I needed!

fishducky said...

Gawd, I've missed you!!

jenny_o said...

Next kitty? NEXT kitty? I hope you mean in-the-fullness-of-time-next-kitty?

Or should Liza Bean be more careful about minding her p's and q's?

:)

I join the crowd with confetti and silly string welcoming you back!

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I hear there's a big Pearladazzle Parade in Minneapolis tonight to welcome you back. I spent one winter with the thermostat at 64. It was the first year I owned a house and paid for heat. Never again. One cat spent a lot of time in a plastic bread bowl on top of the fridge, the warmest place in the house.

Leenie said...

Cats have no respect for hardy pioneers, especially when there is a sunny window or a cozy keyboard available.

Buttons said...

Oh your back I always love coming here and learning those hidden things about Liza Bean I did not know. Also I need to laugh and you are so very generous with your humour.You were missed. xo B

Elephant's Child said...

Welcome back. You and the feline tyrants have been missed.

fmcgmccllc said...

Gotta say, that cat has your number. Glad to see you back, just don't let it make you crazy.

Joanne Noragon said...

How considerate of her to settle for undies--under the computer.
I once read that seniors are more fragile and the thermostat should match their age. Trouble is, I wouldn't know what to do at 70 and I'm too cheap to find out.

Daisy said...

potatoes! Why didn't I think of that? Getting some tomorrow.

Nice to see you again!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

You are much fun to read! Well done.

Cheers from Cottage Country Ontario , ON!

Daisy said...

I can't find fault with anybody (or any cat) who wants to be all warm and toasty especially this time of year! Glad to see you back, Pearl! :)

HermanTurnip said...

Yay...welcome back! Hope you're tanned, rested, and ready for the end of the year.

Speaking of heated foodstuffs, the wife swears by microwaved socks filled with rice. Dry, thank you. We don't need mushy rice in our pockets...

Linda O'Connell said...

So glad you are back. You have been missed. That Liza Bean is still at it, I see.

Gigi said...

You're back!! Seeing this pop up just made this miserable day of unpacking so much better!!

ellen abbott said...

Nice to see ya! We used to keep out thermostat on 65 (down to 60 at night) but we had a little windfall so now we have been keeping it at 68.

Geo. said...

Delightful reentry into blogosphere. Welcome back, Pearl!

Sioux said...

Pearl--You were definitely missed. My day is not the same without the chance to read your "pearls" of wisdom.

I hope the month off did you good...
Don't ever do it again. ;)

esbboston said...

After years where my wife prepares oyster dressing for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and I am the only person who eats the wonderful concoction, my younger son finaLLy tried some. He said he couldn't taste the difference. But I would bet the at-least-one-gallon of Tabasco Sauce he has consumed in his short little life has probably wiped out his sense of taste. Oyster Dressing!!! Now thats something I should put in my pockets, and when people ask me why I do it, I wiLL simply respond, "My Pearl." and eat in silence.

Rose L said...

I think Liza is tryint to see how much power she has over you! rESIST HER SUGGESTIONS!!

sage said...

Great to have you back posting. Since I no longer have a cat and the dog is too big to be a lap dog, a laptop has become the new cat, warming my lap.

Nessa Locke said...

I have a wonderful habit of telling the children what my NEXT children will be like.
My next kitty, might be a goldfish...
Good to have you back.

Jocelyn said...

I pull the blankets around her. “It’s a Minnesota thing,” I say. “I’m not sure you’d understand.”

---------
And with that, you've summed up everything my California, New Mexico, and Colorado relatives complain about when they visit. So what if our tv room's temp is 56-62 degrees on a good day? That's what fleece is for.

Perpetua said...

Great to see you back, Pearl. You've been missed. Say Hi to Lisa Bean from me. :-)