Dolly Gee Squeakers, formerly of the Humane Society Squeakers, sits on her perch at the front of the house.
Good ol’ Dolly. The move has been good for her. True, I believe she has hidden a pack of Virginia Slims somewhere in the house, the only evidence of which are the field-stripped butts I sometimes find in the garbage. And she still gambles, of course, sneaking out on Tuesdays and Thursday for Bingo Night at any one of three bars in walking distance. And it’s a given that I should continue to find her atop my head late at night, snoring softly, her soft fuzzy paws twitching.
She’ll get that squirrel yet.
But Dolly relishes being an only kitty.
“You don’t miss Liza Bean at all?”
The cat stares at me, her bright blue eyes shining. She tilts her head to one side.
“Not even a little?”
She shrugs, a charming gesture in a cat.
Indeed, it is rare that Dolly speaks. Teased as a kitten for her lisp, the cat relies, mostly, on movement, quizzical looks, and texting.
I get them at work. And even when texting, Dolly Gee takes pains to avoid S’s, using a thesaurus that I suspect is somewhere in the house, probably next to the cigarettes.
My phone vibrates from within the purse in my bottom drawer. Buzz-Buzz-Buzz.
I pick it up, read: “What time will you be home?”
I look around. It’s not frowned upon, getting texts at work, but the last time someone asked me who texted me all day, I was caught off-guard and replied, truthfully – as is my wont – that it was the cat.
That person looks at me funny now.
Buzz-Buzz-Buzz. “A fly. In the window. I need it.”
I close my eyes, sigh. “Maybe that fly in the kitchen is still there?”
Buzz-Buzz-Buzz. “No. Require fly in window. Come home.”
Suddenly tired of the day, I briefly consider telling my boss that I need to go home, that the cat has a hankerin’ for a fly she has no access to.
I shake my head. “I suggest you go lie down somewhere. Be home in three hours.”
Buzz-Buzz-Buzz. “You are a cruel, thought-free woman. Expect a gift on the rug upon your return.”
I put my phone away, close the drawer and smile.
Having one cat is, in many ways, like having two.