Did you miss Part One? Go here. Go on now – we’ll wait for you…
The cat settles on my lap. It’s Wednesday, and frankly, I’m exhausted.
I lean forward, pick up the gin and tonic (extra limes) that she insists I have, and take a sip.
Liza Bean Bitey, one-time Junior Olympic hopeful in the butterfly stroke and in-demand studio musician, looks up at me.
“How was your day?
I sigh, open my mouth. “Well –“
“Let me tell you about mine,” she interrupts.
Well, she made an attempt, didn’t she?
I sigh again. “What up, cat?”
She squints at me, eyes sparkling like purloined dimes.
“I shall tell you,” she says, “what is “up”, as you so quaintly put it.”
Oh, but the kitty do like her dramatic pauses.
Me? I’m tired. “Well?!”
Liza Bean takes a breath. “Fuzzwald was here for lunch.”
I frown, look around the room.
The cat closes her eyes and sighs. “What,” she says, “are you doing.”
“Looking for hidden cameras,” I say. “You had lunch with Fuzzy? Here? You had lunch with the cat who once taped your paws to a bar, leaving you passed out on a stool?”
The edges of her mouth go up slightly. “Well, I was quite drunk. I guess he didn’t want me to get hurt.”
“He left you there!”
She shrugs. “Everyone knows me at Jimmy’s.”
“He left you for a much younger cat,” I point out.
She smiles. “Who left him not much later.”
“Tut-tut, Pearl. You’ll give yourself deeper wrinkles.”
“So you had lunch,” I prompt.
The cat reaches back quickly, licks a shoulder blade.
My jaw drops. “Oh, no,” I say. “You’re getting back together.”
Liza Bean looks up. “What?” She shudders delicately. “Oh, no. Me? What am I? A dog?”
We laugh again. The forgiving nature of dogs has always mystified the cat.
“Then what?” I say.
“Fuzzwald,” she says, “has found himself.”
I stare at her, then reach for my drink.
“He wanted to discuss the power of positivity.”
My eyes glued to the cat, I absentmindedly reach into my glass, find a lime, and see if I can’t squeeze a little more juice out of it.
I lift the drink to my lips. “The power of what now?”
The cat laughs. “Apparently Mr. Stripersson has quit drinking and has replaced gin with –“
“Just so.” Liza Bean stands, leaps to the coffee table, and lifts her drink.
“Wait,” I say. “You didn’t borrow him any money, did you?”
Liza Bean leans forward, touches her glass to mine, and smiles into her drink. “Oh, Pearl. Do I look like a dog to you?”