Friday, September 4, 2009
A Verree Conveenyint Allibai
A great roaring filled Agent Octavian’s ears. He struggled until he heard a female voice, calm and steady, saying, “Oh, I noe eet’s loud an’ obnoxious, but eet will make yu warrm an’ dry verree fast, if yu arr verree brayve.”
The cat speaking to him was in fact the Persian he’d seen before at dinner, with her lush grey fur. And he could, in fact, feel his fur growing warmer and drier, so he forced himself to be calmer than he felt, by far. Clearly, there was nothing to do but pretend to be brave and, by doing so, to prove himself actually brave.
The doorman set him down at her table respectfully enough, so he opened his eyes. The table was already set for two cats, with small water bowls, porcelain trays covered with salmon, mackerel, trout, and kittee crunchies, and tall champagne flutes with straws in them, sending up tiny bubbles into the golden liquid.
Octavian sipped a little and murmured, “Mmm. Whut is this stuff?”
The Persian purred, “Oh, have you never had ze Catneep Royale?”
Octavian pulled himself up to the bar in his best Jimbond manner and said, “Why no. Whut’s in it?”
“Oho, eez three partz jin, wun partz wodka, an haffapartz eau du catneep, weeth a spreeg of meent.”
“Ah,” said Octavian nervously, “so it’s the jinanwodka that mayks it tayst so diffrint.”
“Mais oui. You lyk?”
“It haz a serten somthin…” Agent Octavian licked his paw to get the taste off his tongue without offending her or losing his façade of cat-of-the-world. “So. I’m Octavian. Whut’s yer naym?”
She said, “My hoomin calls me Felicity, but my real name eez Zora.”
Octavian felt a throbbing in his throat. Was it love? A hairball? Or a message from Alek coming through on his camera collar? He had forgotten about that function.
“So, um,” said Agent Octavian, “is ther a littr bokx aroun heer?”
“O, yes,” said Zora. “Across from ze kitchen, zere are 3 doors: 2 with pictures of hoominz, and one with a chat, a kittee, in yor Inglish…”
“Kthx. Be rigt bak!”