Haven’t read Part One? Go to yesterday – better yet, click this link. Go on! I’ll just run get myself a coffee and meet you back here, okay?
I give up waiting for the cat around midnight. I’ll just lie down, I think. Just close my eyes for a bit…
Russell Brand has taken me out to a drive-in theater, where we’ve managed both to drive in and simultaneously smuggle ourselves in in the trunk of his mom’s car. “Can’t get any closer to me?” he says. “Wiggle over. I have to whisper something in your ear. Pssst. Psssst…”
Huh? Russell? Is that you, Russ?
I open my eyes to find a small striped cat settled comfortably on my chest, a set of car keys dangling from her tiny, adorably lethal jaws.
She drops them.
“I’ve topped her off,” she says, alluding to the gas tank.
I roll to one side, sending the cat tumbling in the other direction. “What time is it?”
From the corner of my eye, the cat smiles.
5:37, says the clock radio.
I turn back to her. She casually licks a shoulder blade.
“5:37? What’s open at 5:37?”
The cat smiles up at me. “Did you know there’s half a pack of cigarettes in your glove compartment? I was under the impression that you had quit.”
I scowl at her. I had forgotten about those.
The cat’s eyes sparkle in the darkness. “Do you remember The Nip and the Saucer?”
I do. Once the home of a flour mill, a spectacular explosion around the turn of the last century had definitively and permanently removed quite a bit of brick.
And it houses one of only four cat bars in the Twin Cities proper.
It is, as they say, where all the hep cats can be found.
“You were at The Nip and The Saucer?”
Liza Bean smiles. “I was indeed.”
There is a beat of silence in the dark.
“Well?” I finally snap irritably.
“Pearl, old sock,” the cat says, smiling, “I’ve taken a job.”
“A job,” I say. “Doing what?”
The cat sits up primly, wraps a tight tail around her perfectly placed paws. “I’ve returned to bouncing,” she says. “I’m the new bouncer at The Nip and The Saucer.”
I say nothing.
“I insist you come out tomorrow.”
“Today,” I point out.
“If you must,” she says.
I frown, and then quickly unfrown. Partying with a cat is amusing and dangerous business, often calling for a prior laying in of hangover food, headache medicine, and, for the experienced, the foresight in taking the following day off.
Do I have enough vacation time available to risk a party with a cat?