So. When I left you yesterday we were talking about the trip Squirt and I made to the crazy cat lady’s house. My soon-to-be-my puppy and I were looking for a cat to adopt us to complete the transaction to make her my actual puppy. When the woman opened her door to let us in, there was an explosion of cats– a hundred or more. Cats of all sizes and colors and shapes.
Squirt and I escaped to my GTO parked at the curb with our lives, and most of our dignity. Facing a crazy woman inside a stinky home that housed a hundred cats was enough to make us run for cover. We had driven a couple blocks after hasty departure when I pulled to the side of the road to get Squirt fastened into her protective harness.
That’s when we heard cat noises from behind our seats and I asked Squirt to tell it to come out, it’s OK to come out.
“Je ne parle pas no fucking gato!” was Squirt’s immediate response. That and her serious bark, the one reserved for ominous occasions.
Turns out it was a fucking cat, a little Siamese number we found huddled and shivering under my bucket seat. When I asked my soon-to-be-my puppy to speak to the cat and translate for me, she told me Dixie hasn’t taught her to speak any of the feline languages.
“And why, pray tell, haven’t you learned to speak cat? We’ve been trolling for a fucking cat for several months now. How am I supposed to properly vet a cat for Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson if you can’t speak cat? How do we obtain sound information if we can’t communicate?”
Squirt looked at me like I was the crazy person. “No ne parlous pas de chat!”
OK,” I said, “But why won’t you speak cat?”
She answered, “Porque son perro– il serait sacrilege!”
“Oh for shitsake, Squirt. I know you’re a dog, but it isn’t sacrilegious to talk to a cat. Maybe if you tried to marry one, but I can’t see the problem with that either so long as you’re in love.”
Why is the world so stove-up with prejudice? Me, I have never had a cat, have never had any kind of relationship with a cat and I find many cat habits disgusting. But I don’t hate cats, I just remain wary of the ungrateful, snotty little fuckers. Fucking cats have no loyalty, but I live with that shit every day of my life. I don’t have time to harbor prejudice in my life, I’m too busy wading through the quagmire that is my life.
Anyway, I grabbed my cell phone and called my actual, ungrateful (ungrateful like a fucking cat) dog, Dixie. “Dixie, talk to this cat. Ask her what she wants?”
“I’m not talking to a fucking cat for you. I’m retired, I don’t work for you anymore. Put Squirt on the line.”
I did and they had an animated conversation. When I closed the cell for her, Squirt told me, “Dixie says domestic cat is like talking to an African Lion except whiny. Whiny like a fucking cat.”
“Well get back there and say something to her,” I instructed. “And be nice.”
The little dog carefully crept between the GTO’s bucket seats, perched on the console and leaned to look under my seat. In a calming voice, she had a lengthy, hushed talk with the cat. When she finally moved back to her seat she said to me, she said, “Houston, we have a problem.”
“What now?” Like I don’t already have enough problems.
“She says she’ll kill herself if you take her back to that lady’s house. She says it stinks so bad she feels like hanging herself.” Squirt looked away for a half-minute and then said, “I think Gram has a rope that would work. It’s hanging in the tack room in the barn.”
“We are not facilitating a suicide, little lady. Now ask her what her name is.”
The diminutive dog and cat conversed for a minute and Squirt came back into the front seat and sat. She stared straight ahead, silent as a brick. I’m good with silence to a point, but when I’m expecting a reply I can get testy.
“All right, what did she say?”
“She says her name is Eighty-three, she’s nine months old, she’s a seal point Siamese– that’s the most desirable of all the Siamese because all of her brains aren’t squished together by a tiny skull, and she has the recessive gene that makes her tail-less.”
Squirt took a deep breath and looked sideways out her window.
I realized that I just had an entire conversation with the Squirt and all in one language. “What’s wrong sweetie? You just spoke English for something like two full paragraphs. Are you OK?”
“I feel sorry for Eighty-three, Mooner. She’s been forced to share a cat box with thirty other cats and some of them don’t cover their shit.” Then she put her front paws on the console and said, “That old nutbag she lived with didn’t even give her a proper name. What the fuck kind of name is Eighty-three?”
My almost-my dog had a point. “Oh man, Squirt, how do I answer that one. I guess that some people try to do the right thing but they screw things all to hell. I’ll bet that woman thinks she’s doing all of those cats a favor when what she’s really doing is traumatizing the entire batch.”
“Well,” Squirt said. “We’re not taking her back. She’s going home with us.”
“What did you say?” I was flummoxed.
“I said she’s going home with us. Looks like you and me have got ourselves a fucking cat.”
Now there’s more crying from the back seat and suddenly the little cat jumps into the front and into my lap. She’s purring and blubbering and yakking like a school girl. “What the hell is she saying, I can’t understand a word of it.”
Squirt listened to the cat with no tail a bit, and said, “She says we won’t be sorry that she’s smart and loyal and a very good girl. And that last bit was her asking if she smelled sardines. She loves sardines.”
For some reason this all made sense to me. “Looks like we’ve got ourselves a fucking cat, little lady. Let’s go home and toast to our new buddy with some icy cold Carta Blanca beers. Maybe we can take her fishing to top things off.”
And that’s when I heard the siren and looked in my rear-view mirror to spot the Sheriff Deputy’s lights asking me to pull over. I did so and patiently waited as the bozo deputy sauntered up to my window. “What’s the problem, officer?” I asked as he reached my window.
“You got a cat in there sir? We got a report that a man matching your description just stole a cat from over on East 51st Street.”
See what I mean when I say how much trouble I get in and it isn’t my fault?