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Very short stories to read at the bus stop.

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Impractical Cats

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We weren't lucky enough to get practical cats, the mentalists and athletes of the feline kingdom. We just got that other kind.

They're not layabouts -- don't get me wrong -- but though they work hard and study hard, it's just not likely they'll ever amount to much. I mean, take Hawthorne for instance. Graduated high school by the skin of his teeth and took two tries to get through community college. Now he has an associate degree in Theater Technology, a brief resume that includes getting fired from delivering pizza, and last week he started yowling every night at sundown so we had him neutered.

Heather-Lynn just showed up one night on the living room window ledge, peeking between the blinds to watch American Idol with the wife and daughter (Madeleine and Gerty). She's intent on being a music producer, looking for the more promising cast-offs from the show to "rescue" and sign to her label. I took that as a warning sign and had her spayed immediately and dewormed to boot. Unsurprisingly she's completely tone deaf, but does in fact have a wonderful memory for lyrics. But she does not, in fact, have a label. Or a studio. Or any kind of musical taste.

Also, one of her farts can clear a large room in ten seconds. I don't know if it's what she eats out on the prowl for crazier-than-usual buskers or the steady diet of American Idol or what. But if you hang in there and tough it out, she herself will make an excuse and leave the room, looking for a lost oven mitt or checking to see if we have enough toothpaste or some silly shit like that.

And that one's McGillicutty -- if you'd seen him jump up onto that railing there you'd know he's no athlete NOR mental giant. The only reason he's not still sliding is that the paint is flaking and he's apparently grabbed onto it with his asshole. You'll get no hint of that while we're watching, but be sure he'll be walking funny for hours after we're gone.

He reads comic books and plays video games, so at least he's normal there, but he's WAY into shoujo anime, and you can't tell me that's right. He also tells me he's learning to write like Haruki Murakami. I've seen some of it. Let me tell you. Sometimes at night, when it's quiet, there's a ballpoint pen that lies weeping in a drawer. That's all I'm saying.

T. S. Eliot's been dead for forty years, and I guess it's not really his fault for raising the expectation of the typical cat warden (because, like children, you never really own them)... but if next time you see Andrew Lloyd Webber around, please kick him in the pants for me. He'll know why.


Posted by Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

15th Mar 2009, 00:19   | tags:


Dhamaka says:

this is rather different to your normal style(s) and I love the characters - and can match them to cats I know...

15th Mar 2009, 06:40

My normal style(s)... Heh. I'm waiting for the analysis on that.

The trick here is I'm narrating from the viewpoint of a character, so his speaking style becomes my writing style. It feels like cheating...


15th Mar 2009, 14:50

factotum says:

I enjoyed this, although Eliot was still alive the last time I had a cat...

15th Mar 2009, 23:30

Thank you, Factotum. Anyone who has ever had a cat knows that, really, this is the sort of cat you actually get.


16th Mar 2009, 02:08

factotum says:

or Fat Freddie's cat...

16th Mar 2009, 02:28

Dhamaka says:


16th Mar 2009, 07:24

jc1000000 says:

Love it! It's got great pace.

Like the reference to Murakami too - totally reminded me of the talking cats in Kafka on the Shore. Kinda wished the whole book had been about them, so great to read an extension - clearly we're yet to scratch the surface of what the genre can offer! (b'dum tish)

16th Mar 2009, 11:50

Rich says:

I dunno man, grabbing onto railings with your asshole sounds pretty athletic to me. Potential future Olympic sport in waiting?

16th Mar 2009, 11:57

Talking, human-acting cats = Murakami to me. There's no way I could keep him completely out of the story. The extended dance remix of this would have a reference to The Master and Marguerite as well.... Why should Disney have all the fun with talking animals?

They're a huge part of African storytelling as well as the bulk of Native American mythologic tales. It's no wonder I have trouble shaking it as a Southern writer...

As for the upcoming Olympic sport? I hear the IOC is abusing your poor country next (having burned Atlanta nearly as badly as Sherman did). I'm sure there's someone you can suggest it to. Just don't expect me to train with the athletes. I have a fairly sedentary lifestyle that requires a lot of sitting. I know where I am headed. It will only end in tears....

16th Mar 2009, 12:17

Sprocket says:

ha ha, fantastic

21st Mar 2009, 17:40

Thanks, Sprocket. :) I think I needed to write a piece that people could giggle at, for once...


22nd Mar 2009, 13:27

Viv says:

yes - very entertaining

26th Apr 2009, 18:18

Glad you enjoyed it, Viv! :)


26th Apr 2009, 20:30