Saturday, August 27, 2011

Is There a Writer in the House?

When I turned off my computer last night, I noticed kitty paw prints on the monitor. I had no idea Pekoe was a writer! I looked to see what he was working on because I'm nosy like that. I justified my snooping as getting to know my new roommate so he'll be happier until my daughter, the love of his life, returns from Paris.

We all remember Snoopy's great epic, derivative of Tolstoy, which began "It was a dark and stormy night." I admit I was a bit surprised at the excellence of Pekoe's spelling, even though he was raised by my eloquent and highly educated daughter after she saved him from a beer cooler in which he had been abandoned as a newborn kitten. It seems that despite my love and respect for non-human animals, I still retain a trace of human arrogance, which embarrasses me. I have always believed that we two-leggeds are not the pinnacle of Creation -- we are simply more likely to sing our own praises than other species.

Pekoe seems to be having an existential crisis, trying to make sense of a world in which everything familiar is gone, like coming home to find all the furniture moved. He and Flip are having remarkably similar experiences. Pekoe has moved from the home he knew to one he had never seen before, and the person who was his entire world has disappeared. We both hope ardently that it won't be for long, although I, who have been to Paris while Pekoe has not, am also thrilled and excited for her to be realizing a dream which was also something I would have loved to do when I was young. Strangely, it turns out to be just as exhilarating to experience my dreams vicariously through my children. This grown child, my youngest, has also visited Tahiti (twice,) another dream of mine from the time I saw my first Gauguin painting as a child. I even bought an English-Tahitian dictionary in my teens, when Barnes & Noble was a single brick and mortar store in Manhattan, so I would be able to converse with the natives on arrival. I'm still waiting, but somehow the fact that my daughter has been there makes it more a part of my world than it was. And she did not find it lacking, although she said that nearby Moorea is far lovelier.

Pekoe's writing is amazingly precise, yet unpretentious. I think posting his work here will not create ugly problems regarding copyright laws as I am not plagiarizing but giving full credit where it is due. It's likely that this is his first draft, so hopefully you will take that into consideration when you read it, and be kind. Here, then, in his own words, is my roommate, Pekoe:

Catie's mom is trying hard, I'll give her that. I'm sorry I scratched her (twice.) She speaks sweetly to me, at times in a voice so high it must hurt her throat, and seems to have an endless supply of foods to tempt me when I go on a hunger strike. We both know that I am only allowed to eat one food, the same flavor even, because I am diabetic, but the poor woman is desperate. The first morning I was here, I refused to eat and she ran to the store in pajamas to buy tuna for human consumption and a ripe avocado because my lovely Catie had mentioned that she should not leave avos ripening on the table as I've been known to ravage them. (I really like mangoes, too, and their skins are easier to penetrate with tooth and claw. I'm strategizing how to make her understand that I need a mango. Humans are dense, even when they mean well.) She also laid in a supply of Gerber's baby food (chicken) which savvy cat people know we can't resist. She was unbelievably grateful to me for eating, couldn't thank me enough and even sat on the floor stroking my back while I ate. Despite my intention to be indifferent to her advances, I let her. I think I'm going to like it here, but of course she can't be allowed to become overconfident. Humans will walk all over you if you let them. For now, I'm allowing her to sleep in my new bed. It's a queen size, and she isn't a large human. I can be generous.

I like her house plants and wonder what happened to the rest of them. There is a pile of plant saucers which makes me think that some of them were removed, probably because they were toxic to cats. How stupid does she think I am? I know better than to nibble on anything that could hurt me, but it must have made her feel better to think that she was providing a safe environment for me. There is a cleared two-story table in front of the bay windows with a nice view of the garden, and a big tree next to the building with a pair of small birds who visit me sometimes. They are rather entertaining creatures. I may let them live awhile, at least until I figure out how to open these heavy windows. If I can pull that off, the screens are easy. I have very sharp knives at the ends of all my claws and I know how to use them. I wish she would get me a fish tank as I need a hobby.

I'm not sure how I feel about sharing a bathroom with her. At Catie's house, I had my own bathroom. There is a chair in there which is made of the same material - I think it's porcelain - as the sink. Whenever she sits on it, no doubt to admire my new litter box which I am doing my best to keep full, I rush in and rub against her knees so she can pet me. It also provides a leg up to investigate the stuff she keeps on the shelves above it. Last night I had the most fun hiding. She kept calling me and looking under the bed a million times, checking the door to make sure she had closed it. Finally, I got bored and came out of the kitchen cupboard. All the pots and pans clattered to the floor after me and it was very satisfying, especially since I had just pooped and she had to pile all the cooking stuff into the kitchen sink and wash everything. I notice that cupboard door and all the others are firmly closed now. She is obviously educable. Now, how to use that to my best advantage...


Molly said...

Pekoe is very articulate! I take it back......maybe his company will be a comfort and distraction to you during these rough times. He obviously comes by his writing talent honestly!

the only daughter said...

What a lovely young fella. He shall provide much entertainment, inspiration, joy, and peace.

Jo said...

Well, Pekoe, you can tell Susan that I will soon be inheriting a cat from my daughter too. Her name is Sophie (the cat's, that is...) and she's very sweet and pretty. I think she may be able to write too, so perhaps the two of you can strike up a correspondence with each other.

And please, Pekoe, don't poop in the cupboard again.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Isn't he, though? I would expect no less of my daughter's cat. His presence is keeping me grounded, and I don't feel so alone, so I'm happy he's here.


Yes. He's all that and more. Thanks for noticing.


He didn't poop in the cupboard, he explored the cupboard with his little feet that had just been in the litter box. Sorry I misled you.

I can see a beautiful friendship developing between Sophie and Pekoe.

nick said...

Pekoe has got you well sussed out. You've met your match! And I can see that far from being an unwanted nuisance at such a traumatic time, he's proving an entertaining distraction....

Anonymous said...

I don't trust cats. Cats that appear to write and leave his notes around to be discovered are even more suspect. I think Pekoe is just trying to lull you into a sense of security but I suspect he hides his anti-squirrel literature under his litter box.

TechnoBabe said...

Pekoe will keep you trying to stay ahead of his antics. Thinking about that will definitely keep you grounded. Hiding in the kitchen cupboard indeed.

meno said...

A prolix cat!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


He's great! It's wonderful having him there when I get home as I try to learn to live without Flip.


Now you're getting paranoid, my friend. For all you know, Pekoe has been a staunch supporter of squirrel rights all his life.


Sometimes I wish I could hide in the kitchen cupboards, too. But using a litter box -- no, the tradeoff is too great.


Definitely more Joyce than Hemingway.

Stately plump Pekoe Hooligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of Fancy Feast Beef Feast Classic on which a catnip mouse and a scratching post lay crossed.

mischief said...

Please take good care of Susan. Give her lots of rubs and snuggles and don't let her be lonely. Because I heart her.

the walking man said...

That cat is such a good writer I would ask it for recipes, how do you cook a plant clawing pot pooping feline anyway?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm taking really good care of her, but could do more if she would stay home all the time. She said she hearts you, too.



Char Shu Cat? Moo Goo Gai Cat? Pasta with Catinara Sauce?


secret agent woman said...

Wow, I'm impressed. But I'm not sure if I'm more impressed with Pekoe's writing or your catmind reading abilities.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I read cat body language, too. I am multi-talented.

Maria said...

I think that your Pekoe and my Socks would be good friends.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm sure of it. I had a Westie once - all three of the little Scottish doggies are hilarious, fierce and manipulative (but in a good way.)