Monday June 20th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the cat.

Spent most of the morning researching laptops, as we've decided to get one to replace this thing, which we bought just over four years ago. Found what looks like a really good deal online but wanted to stop in at the local store to see what they had in stock.

Nothing came even close, so I put in the order and it should be here in a week or so. Pretty excited about the affordable upgrade.

Natalie came over after lunch and spent the afternoon playing and arguing and playing and arguing and playing with Max. Mostly entertaining with a few moments of genuine frustration.

Back to harvesting for local orders in the morning.


We were never certain where Banjo had come from. He had some manners (at least two of them, maybe three), so we figured he couldn't be wild. But ours was a small town and we knew nobody was missing a pet, or had even recently welcomed a litter into the world.

He seemed to like us well enough. Mom especially, what with the way she was always tossing him leftovers (and sometimes extra food she had made especially for him - though she'd never admit to doing it). I don't think he ever scratched any of us. Even when Oscar, my little brother, would yank on his tail.

Heck, I would've scratched him for that.

Banjo wasn't much of a mouser. In fact I'm pretty sure I saw him sharing a plate with the local rodent population one night. But he was pleasant company and sure knew how to keep a lap warm when the nights turned cold - but not cold enough to abandon the porch and go inside.

He hasn't been round in a while though, and nobody seems to know where he might have gone. Pretty typical stuff for him, but I miss him all the same. Mom says maybe he's off visiting with another family that's in need of his company. I like that idea. It's better, at any rate, than what Dad suggested at breakfast the other morning.

Anyhow, I don't think Banjo would be foolish enough to allow himself to be cooked - I don't care how tough that bacon was.


Greg said...

Hmm, your link no longer works, but it does get us to the TheSource where I assume you've bought the laptop from. Yorkdale Mall sounds like something from Back to the Future, so I'm choosing to believe that you've order a couple of hoverboards and a fusion engine from there while you were at it ;-) The kids sound like they were fun that afternoon too!
Banjo seems like he/she/it has more of a story to tell, so maybe this one should be on your "to be continued list"? You've picked up a nice family atmosphere there, with a hint of a gentle mystery... something you could read to Max soon enough? You might have to rename the little brother to Miles for him though :)

The cat
Sixticton's cat population was exactly zero. There were rumours, that no-one ever wanted to go and investigate, that Sixticton had once been called Ulthar and something terrible had happened there and that was all tied up with the lack of cats. There was a more plausible sounding story put forward by Janine Garrulous, the town's only anthropologist, who had found documents dating back eighty-five years that said there had been some severe cat allergies in the vintner families in the area and that that had eventually caused everyone to give up having cats as pets. And then there was the tale passed around by the old folk in the area, and occasionally the middle-aged folk after a few too many glasses of wine, that there were bigger cats in the hills around the town that didn't allow for any of their smaller relatives to intrude on claimed territory.
Whatever the reason, the only cat you could find in Sixticton was a statue of a cat that occupied the centre of the lobby in the town hall and had been donated to the community seventeen years ago by a blind nun who'd thought it was a statue of an eagle and that Sixticton was a small American town in the Southwest. The statue had been set in place, covered with a cloth to be on the safe side, and the nun had been given a small room in a convent with a radio that played country&western music all day.
The skinny thug walked into the Sixticton bakery with a squirming bundle of fur in his hands and scratched all down one side of his neck. Behind the counter the new girl took two steps backward and stood on the toes of her co-worker, who was trying to carry a plastic bowl full of dirty coffee cups to the dishwasher. He took a deep breath and then carefully didn't swear.
"Sorry," he said. "I think my toes got under your feet there."
The countergirl pointed, her hand shaking as though she'd personally drunk all the cups of coffee now sitting in the plastic bowl. "What's that?" she said.
"I've got a name, miss!" protested the skinny thug.
"Nuh, nuh, no. In your hands. What's that?"
"It's a cat," said the thug proudly. "First one in Sixticton in a hundred years. I had to fight it all the way here, and I think it wants a cruller."
The girl's co-worker set the plastic bowl and started emptying it methodically. "That's not a cat," he said. "You've never seen a cat, have you?"
"Well duh," said the thug. "There's no cats in Sixticton!"
"Uhuh," said the co-worker. The plastic bowl was empty now and he inverted it, ready to drop it over something. "That's a skunk pup. Not something that belongs in a bakery."

Marc said...

Greg - ah, that's too bad the link doesn't work anymore. It was a special deal on an open box laptop (as in somebody bought it, opened the box, and decided they didn't want it... somehow this gets me nearly 50% off the original price) so I guess once they were all sold they took the listing down.

I shall add Banjo to the list, thank you for the suggestions :)

So many great details in your Sixticton tale, as usual. The bit about the nun might be my favorite. Though the skinny thug is always difficult to top :D