“So, big day today,” he said.
“What do you mean?” she asked, unpacking her tote bag.
“Isn’t it Halloween?”
“We’re kind of skipping it this year because of the virus.”
“You mean the trump virus, or the Covid virus?”
“Good one,” she said. The Covid virus.”
“He said doctors are liars, saying that people who die don’t have Covid but they get more money if they say they die from the virus. So, all the brave women and men who risk their lives everyday are just a bunch of greedy liars to the republicans. I wonder if he is counting the doctors and nurses who died, trying to save people?”
“I can’t talk about this,” she said, sitting down on the stairs.
“I heard about what he did in Kenya.”
“He’s so evil, I don’t know why he doesn’t catch on fire and burn to ash right in front of all of us,” she whispered.
“Lots of girls are going to die.”
“And not one single male who made them pregnant.”
“It’s always like that,” he said, eating the last of the sardines.
“He pulled all money out of that country if they even talked about birth control, or abortion.”
“Suicide will go up.”
“And dead women, from back alley abortions.” she said. “He’s responsible for so many deaths. He’s so ugly and hateful.”
“Without a doubt. He picks on the poorest people who have no alternatives and absolutely no resources. The women get cancer checks and HIV help from those clinics, and now that’s gone as well, all tied to the money he stopped letting them have. He’s hatred on two orange legs and he takes children out of the arms of their parents, won’t let them have medical treatment, even in other countries. He’s the third anti-christ, after Napoleon and his hero, Hitler.”
“I can’t argue with that,” she sighed, “since it’s true.”
“Hard to argue with reality and the truth,” said the cat, licking his paws, washing his face. “He never makes a single thing better, only horrible.”
“And yet…people follow him.”
She sat down and put her face in her hands.
“What?” he said.
“Let’s hope things change on Tuesday.”
“What will you do if he doesn’t lose? I don’t think Canada will let all of you in. I mean a lot of us could probably cross the border, if we wanted to, but everyone loves cats,” he said. “Americans aren’t liked very much nowadays, even by each other.”
“Truths are all over the place, if you look,” he said, rolling over. “But what’s truth for one isn’t truth for another.”
“What happened?” she said. “Where did all the hateful people come from?”
“They were always here, but one of their own finally got into a position of power and it’s like a hell mouth opened up and they just all spewed out.”
“Is that supposed to be a Halloween image?”
“If you think it is,” he said, eating his treats. “You’re all acting like a bunch of sheep being herded into the corner of a field.”
“Oh, and what do YOU suggest we do?”
“You should have a plan for Wednesday, either way. But you don’t, at least not that I can see.”
“We’re big and bulky.”
“Excuses, excuses,” he said. “You guys are full of them.”
“It’s called brainwashing and conditioning.”
“No, it’s called inability to form a workable plan with enough people. There is such as thing as an internet, you know.”
“I think it’s more about guns and his ability to kill people in the streets.”
“Well, there is that,” he said, grooming his back leg. “People will die, one way or the other.”
“Winter is pushing its way in.”
“Jingle, jingle,” said the cat.
She nodded. “Jingle, jingle, all alone. Not a lot of parties this year.”
“Oh, boo hoo. You’re positively ancient and you’ve had a million parties.”
“Excuse me?” she asked, grinning. “Positively ancient?”
“Got you thinking about something else, didn’t I? Besides, all of us will come to your house for a big cat Catmas Party.”
“Oh, what fun,” she said happily. “I’d love that.”
“I already told everyone.”
“He did,” said Jinx, starting to eat his food. “He told everyone.”
“Decorate the tree with live mice, will you?”
“NO, I will NOT decorate the tree with live mice and you know it,” she said.
“He’s just teasing you,” said Jinx. “He likes to tease you.”
“I brought more of your favorite treats.”
“Thank you. They’re delicious.”
“I love you Jinx.”
“I love you too.”
“Oh, gag,” said the cat, his tail thrashing back and forth.
“I love you too,” she said, making kissing noises all over him, playing with his ears.
He laid as flat as he could. “What is your PROBLEM,” he hissed.
She kissed him some more.
“You’re just so cute,” she said.
“I don’t see it,”said Jinx. “I mean he’s a good looking cat, but cute?”
“Very funny,” said the cat. “You can buy us gifts at Catmas.”
“Wow, thank you,” she said, snickering.
“He doesn’t mean individual gifts, maybe a few blankets for the Queens and kittens, water dishes, things like that,” said Jinx.
“I get those for you all the time,” she said.
“Sometimes people steal them.”
“The homeless take them and mean kids do too.”
“All of you come and live with me,” she said, immediately. “Tonight.”
“You don’t have enough room for all of us,” said the cat.
“I do. I wasn’t going to tell you until next week but I bought the building I live in. You know it’s a two-flat and I’m turning the first floor into a cat live in home.”
“Yes, really. So you can all stay with me.”
“I’ll tell the others and let you know. Are there cat flaps?”
Jinx jumped onto her lap and pressed against her. “Thank you.”
She held her breath and wiped at her eyes.
“What’s wrong?” asked Jinx.
She shrugged. “The world is so mean,” she said, softly, “that when someone is kind…it hurts.”