Mrs. Doud and I pay rent (equal to one can of wet food and a half cup of kibble) every day to a cat who owns our house. She has been in a bad mood lately. She is tired of being accused of having said “meow” to a Russian cat during the last election.
Whenever that Russian cat comes around the house now, a caterwaul ensues. You may have heard caterwauls around your house when cats encounter each other. They sound like the brakes on a 1939 Ford gravel truck going down a steep hill.
You may ask how I know this cat is Russian. Well, it’s extremely furry, and it looks like it has undergone electroshock therapy in a warehouse in Siberia. You can hardly see its eyes. It has so much fur on its rear end, one has no way to determine whether it is a male cat or a female cat without taking a terrible risk of having your hand scratched and bitten off. It also smells like a sturgeon that has been squeezed dry of its eggs and left on a riverbank for several weeks.
Our cat, on the other hand, while ill-tempered and demanding, is an often-groomed tuxedo cat that looks like a head waiter at a posh men’s club in San Francisco. (I have never been to a posh men’s club in San Francisco, so I may have entirely the wrong impression of what the waiters there look like; but one can guess when one is making up fake news, can’t one?)
The Russian cat, on the other hand, would not be allowed to work at a posh men’s club in San Francisco as anything but the business end of a chimney brush.
Anyway, our cat and the Russian cat, oddly enough, seem to get along fine when the caterwauling ceases, as it always does. They wander off together to do whatever it is that cats do in the dark.
That their relationship extends from twilight to dawn is what causes the most suspicion on the part of the government bureau looking into this. The Feline Bureau of Investigation has been looking into this for seven months, and now believes our cat may have behaved inappropriately during one of its nights on the town with the Russian cat.
The Russian cat, meanwhile, is being accused of nothing other than behaving like Russian cats usually do when they get too much vodka under their fur. They willingly engage in black-cat mail, cat-and-mouse games and pussy-footing around.
I don’t know much about that Russian cat, but I do know our cat is being wrongly accused. While she is first to caterwaul, she is among the last to fight. That is because she loses so many battles. Every once in a while, we have to get her patched up, and she has to wear one of those cones around her neck, which ruins her head-waiter image. She has no need to steal, because she already lives high off the hog in her house that we rent. She has several beds. She has a bush where she lurks to spy on bluebirds. The Russian cat has nothing our cat wants, so why should she go bad? It would, after all, be a cat-astrophe if she were caught.
Maybe she just likes the Russian cat. Maybe the Russian feline has been struck by catatonia and is hearing caterwauls that aren’t there.
Anything is possible.