I grunt in my sleep, vaguely aware that my name has been called. A fog blows in over the picnic I was about to sit down to with a man who has offered to brush my hair afterward.
I sigh and open my eyes. I roll over and look at the clock-radio next to the bed.
I sigh again and roll to my back. “Cat – “
Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, a smallish striped animal with a penchant for umbrella-ed drinks and trolling political websites smiles in the dim light of the bedroom.
“I hope you don’t mind terribly,” she drawls, “but I’ve invited a few friends in.”
I close my eyes. “A few?”
“Stumpy, Pupples, Snowball, Henry. Shall I keep going?”
I shake my head, confident that the cat is watching. She is.
“You seem resigned, Pearlie. I must say, I’m a little disappointed.”
“You want I should get up and make a fuss?”
The cat laughs, the tinkling sound of, perhaps, an elf with a hand reaching for your wallet. “You’re re-reading that Chabon novel, aren’t you?”
I smile, but faintly. “Maybe.”
“Well done, you,” she says. We laugh, both of us prone to mimicking whatever author we’re reading at the time. Liza Bean was last seen reading Wodehouse.
Suddenly I’m Jewish and she’s British.
“So let’s cut to the chase, Kitty Cat. It’s late. I’m weary.”
Liza Bean leans over, bites me quickly on the chin. “You are adorable,” she says. “A-Dor-Able.”
“You’re wondering where the gin is,” I say.
“Exactement,” says the cat.
I close my eyes for the last time of the night. “The pantry,” I say, “behind the kale chips.”
“The kale chips.” The cat chuckles. “Your best hiding spot to date,” she says.
And Liza Bean drifts out of the room to the muffled applause of a living room full of anticipatory cats.
And I drift back to sleep, where handsome men with hairbrushes are pouring gin and tonics, and domestic cats with sparkling eyes offer me fat, juicy limes.