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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cats Bearing Gin and Tonics

The lighting at Jimmy’s is dim.  The bar itself is occupied by four men, all sitting separately.  The booths and table are empty, save one of four women howling with laughter.

The corner booth is ours.

I arrange my things: purse, hat, scarf.  The air in Jimmy’s still feels as if someone might light up a cigarette, someone might put  Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” on the jukebox.  As if someone’s long-lost love may walk through the door.

Liza Bean Bitey, symmetrically striped animal of the feline persuasion and general bon vivant, angles a slim paw at the bar, and a woman with sharp eyeliner and sharper eyes makes a bee line for us.

Cats are notoriously good tippers.

“What’ll you gals have?”

“Two gin and tonics, Carla,” Liza Beams at the waitress, “and plenty of limes.”

Carla winks – winks! – and heads back to the bar.

“You are something,” I say.

Liza Bean.  “I are indeed.”

Carla returns to the booth with two gin and tonics and a small bowl of cut up limes. 

Liza Bean offers a folded ten from between curved claws.

We busy ourselves with our drinks.

The cat coughs delicately.  “Pearl.”


We look up from our decimated limes.  Liza Bean stirs her drink with a casual nail.  The ice cubes shine like wet glass.

“You don’t come around.”

I inspect my drink.  Yes, it’s all there. 

“I miss you,” she says.

I look up.

“I miss the way you sat around in curlers.”

I stare.

“I miss the way you’d pretend to throw a treat and the way we’d watch Dolly dash about the room looking for it.”

I smile.  “Remember that time you yakked on the rug and I cleaned it up?”

The cat leans forward, wraps tiny smiling black lips around the glass’s straw, pulls in a respectable amount of cocktail.  “I remember you saying, ‘what, you couldn’t have stayed on the hardwood?’”

We laugh.  One of the women at the other table begins to sing “Final Countdown”.  A man at the bar shouts encouragement at one of two TVs with a game on.

Liza Bean leans back casually, arches her back, casually licks her should.  “You know, Pearl, we should do this more often.”  She holds her glass up. 

Man that cat can drink.

Carla appears with two fresh glasses and disappears quickly.  All servers know that cats do not tip for every trip to the table.

Liza Bean squeezes three limes into each of our drinks with a speed that astonishes, stirs them deftly, pushes one toward me.

She leans forward, eyes shining.  “I hear you have a garage for rent,” she says.  “Do you know that Dolly and I are starting a band?”

A band?  Liza Bean and Dolly?  What kind of band?  What will they call it?  Who would pay to see something like that?

And what about Naomi?


Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Tune in tomorrow for another episode of "Secret Lives," brought to you by Pearlie Whites laundry detergent and Glad She's Back daily mood-elevating snack cakes.

jenny_o said...

Name for the band? All I know is it won't be Soul Sisters. Or Hissy Raucus. Or Sassy Anything ... unless of course LB is still into taunting Dolly and her lisp ...

Haven't thought of curlers for a dog's age. Maybe two dogs.

NotesFromAbroad said...

Ditto what Nancy said.
PS ... I've got two cats here now who have been asking me to read them stories ... keep writing Pearl !!

Susan Kane said...

Hard wood is the only option for those two. Always ask for extra limes.
Name of the band? Claws for You?

Jono said...

Yes, Who WOULD pay to hear something like that?

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari om
I would... like to support the underdog ...&*> YAM xx

fishducky said...

I don't remember a Naomi!!

Elephant's Child said...

Lixa Bean and you definitely ARE something. Quite big somethings.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Dolly played. Garage for rent? Don't you have your 'piece of sheet' anymore?

Gigi said...

Another cliffhanger! And, yeah...who is Naomi?? Did I miss something? Off to search the archives.

Watson said...

Naomi? Band? Dolly and Lisa together again?
Can't wait til the next episode of "As The Lime Turns"

Rose L said...

Wonder what the name of the group will be? Let me guess...The Pussy Cats? Kitty Crew? Fabulous Felines? Purrrfection? Manipulative Meows? Furry Femmes?

River said...

Aah, the ulterior motive - a garage for rent.
It's sweet that she misses you though.

Geo. said...

"Who would pay to see something like that?" I would, that's who.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Limey, a garage band with a few cool cats. We can't wait to hear the next chapter.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Limey, a garage band with a few cool cats. We can't wait to hear the next chapter.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Oh no they want your garage for a band I would be worried if I was Pearl

Pat Tillett said...

That is one cool cat. The question should be, "who wouldn't pay to see something like that?"

Susan Williams said...


I know all about Naomi.

But really?
You expect me to believe that a CAT, who only REALLY cares about herself is a great TIPPER????

I'm kind of stuck there.