Tag Archives: cat

McGonagall’s Delivery Service

Pamela pushed through the driving snow, balancing the cup carrier on her back. Why hadn’t she started this business in the summer? She had always been impulsive and starting her own delivery business had seemed like a great idea when she was lying by the heater behind the counter of the bodega with her friend Maya.

Maya knew all about business, having lived in the bodega her whole life. She had advised Pamela on all parts of the business, from advertising to hours to invoicing. Maya could even use a computer and had helped Pamela set up a Paypal account to make payments easier. However, even Maya could not deny that it would be an uphill battle starting a business in New York City as a cat.

She had decided to name the business McGonagall’s Delivery Service after the Harry Potter character who could turn into a cat. She figured that people would trust her more if they thought she could turn into a human if she wanted to. If nothing else, the name would appeal to the Potterhead demographic.

Pamela consulted the smartwatch strapped to her paw. She was almost at the address. She ducked under the covered entrance and scratched at the door until the doorman opened it. She resisted shaking her fur as she walked in, as not to spill the coffee she was carrying.

“Shall I push the button for you, miss,” the doorman said after she showed him the address on the smartwatch. She liked doormen like this, professional to the marrow and deferential to all woman, regardless of species. She gave him a meow of thanks as the elevator doors opened and she darted inside.

The customer was waiting outside the apartment door when Pamela stepped out onto the 12th floor. She plucked the cup of coffee out of the carrier and took a sip. “Ugh, it’s not even hot anymore.”

Pamela typed out a quick message on the smartwatch and held it up. I apologize, but you did order a cup of coffee from 10 blocks away in a snowstorm. It was catty, but Pamela couldn’t help it. She resisted the urge to add a certain canine-based insult to the message, about the worst thing a cat could say.

The woman grumbled something and went into her apartment and shut the door, not even saying good-bye. Without the coffee on her back, Pamela could leap up to push the button for the elevator. The doorman tipped his hat to her and held the front door open as she left. She hesitated under the covered entrance as she prepared to brave the storm again to go home.

I can do this, she thought as she trudged home. Life was never easy as a catrepreneur, but she’d get her break.

I can do this.

 

 

Read more about Pamela’s friend Maya here.

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New York Mayor Grants Health Insurance for Cats

Do cats work hard? They sure don’t act like it. After all, they’re rated the 9th laziest animal by pawnation.com, who should know a thing or two about all things pawed.Notes newspaper

Of course, we know that cats do work hard, just in their own way. They kill enough mice and rats to keep us from swimming in vermin and that’s no small thing. I don’t think the title of this post will be seen in the New York Times anytime soon, but that’s not saying it shouldn’t be. Maybe they could pay taxes in rat tails or something.

Let me tell you about one cat who worked hard. Her name was Maya. She was more than a cat though: she was a lady. She had a job but had to keep out of sight because of health inspectors. She had an infuriating owner, a high-classed friend named Puccini, and a rakish tomcat brother named Gloves. She was also a writer, who tapped out her memoirs, one paw stroke at a time. These memoirs are collected in a small book called Notes from a Working Cat, by Susannah Bianchi. I recently interviewed her about the book.

David: First of all, let me say I enjoyed this book a lot. Where did you get the inspiration for it?

Susannah: Maya was an actual cat on the Avenue where I live. I first met her sleeping in the window after hours. She was the prettiest kitty amid the apples and oranges.

D: Who is your favorite character in this story and why?

S: Maya, of course, with Puccini as a close second for her glamor . . . pearls instead of a collar. If I come back as a cat, I’d want to be Puccini, the Liz Taylor of Pusses.

D: What was the hardest part about writing this book?

S: Not making a full-fledged book, thinking less would be more.

D: Do you have a set place and time you write?

S: I like writing at first light, when all is quiet and I have the world to myself.

D: Finally, do you have any insights or words of inspiration for other writers?

S: Just forget about fame and fortune. All that will come doing what you love.  8-)

 

Notes from a Working Cat is on sale now at Amazon.com. Go check it out.

Notes from a Working Cat


I Woke up on Monday as a Dog

I woke up on Monday as a dog—a sloppy, tangle-furred St. Bernard who had grown up on the streets. Everyone in the neighborhood knew me and as the sun peeked between the brownstone houses that lined the east side of the street, I set out to discover breakfast. A few people called out to me, but I just barked and kept going. People around here might know me, but no one ever fed me.

No one except Mae, my adopted mother. She was blind—poor thing—but loved me no matter what. She fed me the same fare regardless of my form, sometimes with terrible results. There was a freezing day in February where I came to her as a goat only to find she had saved a steak just for me, cooked to medium-rare perfection. It repulsed me and as much as it hurt me to reject it, I could not touch it.

Mae was sitting on the porch steps when I bounded up. She could always tell when it was me. “Good morning, Harry. Come sit and talk to me for a while.” I barked at her and she nodded. “Maybe another day then.”

I wolfed down the bacon and eggs she had set out on the steps and lapped at the water next to it. The rest of the day was spent running around the streets and tearing into the garbage bags behind the McDonalds, searching for abandoned scraps and running away from the shouts and threats of the workers. It was a glorious existence.

On Tuesday, I woke up as a man and the grimmer reality that came with it. I ran a hand through my greasy hair, tried to straighten my clothes, and shuffled over to Mae’s where I ate with fork and knife and we talked about the weather and the arthritis she was getting in her knees. I brought my dishes in, washed them and the rest of the pile there, then took out her garbage. I was walking over to the park to sleep when I heard a shout.

“Harry, come here for a second.” It was a cop. I don’t know which one: I’m not good with faces, or names. He waited until I had approached the car, then kept looking at me until I was thoroughly unnerved.

“Some people complained about you urinating on the street yesterday.”

“Aw, Officer, I wasn’t myself yesterday,” I said. “You don’t arrest other dogs for marking their territory.”

The officer sighed and looked down. “I gotta take you in again, Harry. You know I hate to do it.”

“For what? What did I do?”

“You want the list?”

I went quietly. Violence is not what I’m about. I sat in the corner of the public cell but the other prisoners seemed to know me and left me alone. Luckily, the next day I woke up briefly to find that I was a sloth and then slept most of the day. When I did wake, it took half an hour to get over to the can and back to the bunk. At the end of the day, an official came in and talked to me privately but I was too sleepy to hear much. I caught the words “psychiatric” and “trial” but it didn’t concern me.

The next day, I woke up as a dragon.

The shock of sudden strength after a day as a sloth was electrifying. I had only been a dragon once before and that was when I had a horde to protect and I had spent the whole day sleeping on it. But not this time. I sat hunched on my bunk, eyes closed but flexing the muscles in my limbs and wings, feeling the deadly power in my claws.

“Harry, it’s time to go,” I heard someone call. I didn’t move. “Just go get him,” someone else said. “Cuffs but no shackles. He’s not a high risk.” The tip of my tail flicked back and forth in anticipation.

The cell door open and I sprang with a roar. I caught one look at the shocked expression on the guard’s face before I was on him, raking my talons across his face. My tail slammed him against the bars and I was free, my huge bulk crashing through the next room. It was pure exhilaration and I reveled in the power that I suddenly possessed.

I smashed through one room after another until suddenly, I was outside and then I was airborne and flying over the city. But where to go now? I couldn’t visit Mae—the weight of this new form would crush her house. I could not retreat to the subway system like I often did, not with my huge frame.

In the end, the form that gave me freedom caused my downfall. A dragon cannot hide well and they found me and netted me and brought me to another facility. A man came and talked to me, but all I could do was roar at him. It was his own fault for trying to talk to a dragon.

Today I woke up as a cat but they still guarded me as if I were a dragon. It’s a shame and I suppose I’ll never get out of here unless I turn into something stronger than a dragon, something strong enough to bend steel and smash concrete. I look out my window and see the beautiful blue sky. A perfect day for a cat to go exploring—a beautiful tabby cat with golden eyes who’s never hurt a person in his life.


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