“You don’t talk about politics anymore,” he said, staring at the food in front of him.
“I’m tired of it, and I’m so angry about the never ending requests for money, that I pretty much hate everyone. The other day I had fifty-one emails just in the morning!”
“What is this?” he asked, pawing at the dish.
“It’s good for you.”
“No wonder I don’t like it. Don’t you have any regular food, the kind that’s not good for me? If you don’t I’m going to starve to death, or eat that bird, over there.”
“You didn’t even try it,” she said, giving him a new plate of food.
“I can smell it. It’s disgusting. You try it and let me know how it is,” he said, as he tucked into his regular canned food.
“Are Jinx and Suzie Bell still together?”
“It’s kind of on again, off again. She thinks he works too much?”
“No. She just likes attention. Besides, Jinx has never been one to settle down. Life on the street is dangerous. It’s better not to get too attached to anyone.”
“Jinx knows his work is important. He keeps everyone safe. He wanted me to talk to you about reading to the cats, now and then. He said they would like that. You can do it in the alley, the park, or your at place, but you can discuss it with him, when you see him.”
“I can do that. Definitely.”
“i know you can do it, but do you want to do it?”
“Yes, I want to do it.”
“Okay. Jinx with be happy. He believes education is important, so this will be a good thing. You still look like someone ran over you. When are you going to stop being tired?”
“No idea,” she said, putting her head down on one of the cement stair, “Everyone I know is tired.”
“It’s probably those shots you all got. You can’t fight the government if you’re asleep, you know.”
“I do know that. I don’t get enough sleep. I stay up late and get up early.”
“Don’t do that anymore.”
“Okay,” she chuckled.
“You never had your DNA tested for cat genes. If you were part cat, you would never have trouble sleeping.”
“I tried to get a bird book at the library this morning, but someone new is there and she wouldn’t let me take it.”
“Why do you want a book on birds?”
“I want to know how much each one of them weighs. Just curious, that’s all.”
“You want to know how fat they are, right.”
“Uh, no, of course not,” he said, looking away.
“What happened to the library lady who always lets you take the books.”
“Vacation. She won’t be back for another week.”
“You could always read books while you’re there, right?”
“No. Everyone wants to pet me.”
“Ah. I can see where that would be a problem.”
“And kids have no boundaries. They smell funny and they’re sticky. I don’t like them. They also scream and want to lay on me. I really hate that.”
“Understandable, but I’m not getting you a bird book so you can figure out which birds weigh the most.”
“You’re trying to control my life,” he said, turning his back on her.
“I’m trying to save the lives of birds.”
“You’re ignoring my true nature.”
“You do?” he asked, turning to look at her.
“Yes, but I don’t want anyone killed and you can eat at my house anytime you feel like it. And yes, I know it’s not about the food, it’s about instinct and the chase, but…”
“What if I tried to stop you from being human?” he asked.
“If only you could,” she sighed. “If only you could stop all humans from being human.”
“You kill everything, including each other.”
“Fine. I’ll bring the book tomorrow.”
“You don’t have to. The weight between birds can’t be that different, and it’s the size that matters.”
“Are you guys coming over tonight?”
“Okay. I’ll get some catnip mice on the way home.”
“The others will like that.”
“I love you,” she said, touching his face with hers. “So much.”
“I’ll see you later,” she whispered, kissing his shoulder and neck
“You will,” he said, curling into a ball. “Be careful crossing the street.”
She smiled, grabbed her CRAZY CAT LADY, tote bag, and walked away.