This week I overheard someone at the rectory talking to Mary Lou, our housekeeper about how cats have a dark side. Contented dozing came to an abrupt end as I continued to listen, dander ready to fly.
What do you mean cats have a dark side? Oh, and I think the other comment was that they can turn. Oh, boy. I had a hard time breathing after that one. No, cats don't have a dark side at all, any more than anybody else. Capiche? Many times they are misunderstood, a point I have made repeatedly.
After my claws became distended and I was ready to pounce, I figured that my actions would just prove the point. So, I sat and stewed. Well, not for long. I had to go see who the heck it was since I didn't recognize the voice.
I entered the conference room across the hall from the parlor where Mary Lou and this stranger were sorting pamphlets. I waited until the subject was changed so it didn't look as if I had been cued by the insult to come and say something.
"Oh, you have a cat here at the rectory."
Great powers of observation. Let's see where this is going.
"Yes, we do," says the housekeeper. "He's been with us for years. Great cat."
"Oh, really? What kind of breed?"
The kind to claw your eyes out, my dear.
"Oh, I think I've heard of those."
While this insightful conversation is going on, I have proceeded to jump up on the table and am now sprawled over the sorted materials as if they're not even there.
Observing my actions, the visitor is incensed. "What are we supposed to do about him?"
I love a person who adapts quickly to any situation.
"I'll get him." Mary Lou reaches down and picks me up, nuzzling my ear and whispering justifications.
Out of the corner of my eye, I notice that our friend is gathering up her belongings and is proceeding to make her escape.
Mary Lou thanks her for bringing over the materials to be distributed to the parishioners on Sunday. I notice a smell that is a mix of hay and dog feces. I can't get away from this woman fast enough.
I head out of the room with my tail in the air and my backside in full view as Mary Lou straightens the piles, gathers up rubber bands and stretches them one by one around each. I hear the front door close.
"Tom, you're something else," she mutters. "And I wouldn't trade you for all the tea in China."
My acute listening skills are soothed by those kind words. I pause in the parlor. Mary Lou turns off the light and makes her way to the kitchen.
Always keeping a little room for dessert, I turn and trot right behind her, mumbling in reply, "Prove it, mama, prove it."