Dolly Gee Squeakers, formerly of the Humane Society Squeakers, having lost her rent money in a regrettable night of pull-tab revelry, has taken up a new hobby.
She sits on the sofa, a hook clutched in one fuzzy paw, a tangle of yarn in the other.
The cat, a sturdily built Siamese/tabby mixture with a strict regimen of daily yakking, looks up from what is either a very wide scarf or a very small blanket. She smiles, then shrugs.
It’s good that she’s keeping busy. Frankly, I was concerned for her that evening up at the Knight Cap.
Dolly was on a roll. Five dollars here, ten dollars there. The modern equivalent of a juke box played, the pull tab box beckoned, and the gin and tonics flowed like wine.
The kitty was winning. She had walked in with her paycheck (24 hours a week at a local coffee shop), bought a round of drinks for the cats she came in with, and since then she had nickeled and dimed herself to a pleasant little sum.
A pleasant little sum that she promptly rolled into one last, mad play for the remaining high-buck pull tabs left in the box.
A calculated risk that has left her without her rent money.
She looks up, her bright blue and ever-so-slightly-crossed eyes shining.
“I have some cigarettes left from the party last week,” I say. “You want one?”
The cat shakes her head, choosing not to speak but rather to hold up her paws, hold up the yarn.
I wasn’t really expecting an answer. It is rare, after all, that she does. Teased relentlessly as a kitten for her lisp, Dolly Gee Squeakers seldom speaks using sibilant syntax.
“I see,” I say.
I walk away, into the kitchen, wondering if we still have a can of that albacore tuna she likes so much.
From the pantry, I can hear her: “Yarn over, pull through two loopth, then yarn over and pull through latht two loopth…”
Good ol’ Dolly. Maybe I’ll throw in some catnip.