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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gambling is Bad for You; or Dolly Gee Squeakers Goes on a Budget

Dolly Gee Squeakers, formerly of the Humane Society Squeakers, nervously grooms herself.

As in every other year, the cat, an animal that often doubles as a speed bump, has bet more than she can afford on basketball.  The reason?  Because she believes that she can determine the winners of said basketball based upon their mascots. 

This year, she has decided that teams with four-legged animal mascots will dominate. 

Of course, in the event of one four-legged-mascot team playing another four-legged-mascot team, the winner will be determined by a reading of the catnip tea leaves.

No, that’s not true.  Reading catnip leaves is silly.  Dolly’s not superstitious.  Dolly has ascertained the winner of such games scientifically, i.e., by tossing a cigarette into her mouth:  Filter, it’s one team; cherry, it’s the other.

And now, tonight, we have the culmination of just such a flip, because two weeks ago, in a heartfelt and Miller Lite-induced fit of defiance, the cat, unable to decide between wild cats and her wild-life favorite, the wolverines, she had flipped a cigarette.

There are 27 seconds left in the game.  The score is 72 Wild Cats, 72 Wolverines. 

The living room is tense.  The cats from her scrapbooking club perch on the back of the couch, straddle the arms of chairs, monorail-style. Their gin and tonics melt slowly; their cigarettes, unlit, are held between nervous, fuzzy toes.  

They check their brackets; yes, yes, it’s all right there:  Wolverines to win.

And in Dolly’s case, Wolverines to go all the way to the national championship. 

Kentucky’s Harrison sinks a three-pointer.  75-72.

Two point five seconds left.

Michigan takes a time out.

Kentucky takes a time out.

"Thith ith it," Dolly mutters.  "Thith ith for all the tuna."

And with the ball in the Michigan Wolverines’ hands, Nick Stauskas’ three-point shot leaves the ends of his fingers, sails through the air – and comes up just a little short.

The Wolverines are out of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

And just like that, Dolly Gee Squeaker’s bracket is busted.

 The cats on the couch rise silently, slink down the front steps and into the night. 

Dolly does not move, simply closes her eyes.

“Dolly,” I say.

She doesn’t open her eyes, just raises one paw:  Silence.

“I just –“

The cat opens her eyes, fixes them, bright blue and ever-so-slightly crossed, on me.  She squares her shoulders bravely.  “I believe I am going to be quitting thmoking for a while,” she says.  She checks her pack:  four Virginia Slims. 

She closes her eyes.  “Now if you’ll leave me, I need thome quiet Dolly time.”

I do as she asks.

And the can of albacore, Dolly’s idea of haute cuisine, the one I bought at the beginning of the tournament, remains in the pantry, between the gin and the catnip. 


Another time, perhaps. 

20 comments:

Indigo Roth said...

The badgers are great gamblers, but they keep it local. Nobody can bet the sett, you know?

Daisy said...

Poor Dolly, what a heartbreaking result. Perhaps more gin would help? But what would it taste like without the V.Slims?
Oh the agony!

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

I see what you did there, with the Miller Lite. Dolly loves her session beer, doesn't she?
Session beer.
You learn something new every week.

Should Fish More said...

I believe I met this cat once, at the Dew Drop Inn around 1am....she was finishishing a martini and playing pull-tabs.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

I'd better buy a green eye-shade.

bill lisleman said...

"Miller Lite-induced fit of defiance" I can understand but mine are "Sam Adams" induced. Does Dolly have a good system for lotto numbers?

Delores said...

Got to let her gather herself together...the time for tuna will come.

jenny_o said...

After your Dolly thtorieth, I have an overwhelming need to lithp.

vanilla said...

Sadly, Dolly's experience parallels those of the vast majority of people who bet on March Madness.

Jono said...

I didn't remember Dolly having a lisp, but I was pretty sloshed when I met her that night.

sage said...

the saga continues... nothing like a little budgeting to force a chance in habits

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Ah Dolly,Dolly, Dolly... (shakes head, backs silently away)

Sending a whiskery hug. YAM-aunty xxx

Elephant's Child said...

Poor Dolly. Poor, poor dolly. A cat has to dream too...

Gigi said...

Oh poor Dolly! I don't follow basketball, but I understand that a LOT of the folks here can relate.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

Don't feel bad, Dolly, Arizona's Wildcats are also out of the Big Dance.

Daisy said...

Oh dear. Dolly's having a bad day.

HermanTurnip said...

I'm sorry, but the visual of a cat with a cigarette delicately balanced between its fuzzy toes is too much. You can't see it, but I currently have a huge smile plastered on my face.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Like Jenny, I feel a need to listhp. My asth hurts. Did you ever read that book? "Whistling in the Dark"? It has nothing to do with anything except the whole lisp thing plus it is a good book I think you would like if you haven't already read it.

River said...

Poor Dolly, I'm so sorry.
next year perhaps.

jeanie said...

Dolly, Dolly, Dolly - give it up to the higher authority...

Of course, we can always blame the ball.