Not really a cat person (postcard story*)
Updated: Jul 19, 2019
I’m not really a cat person. Seriously. I’m a dog person and don’t care much for cats.
Bernadette was all cats. She had cats on everything – even her underwear. She always wanted a cat; I wanted a dog. We compromised and got one of each. That lasted two weeks. Bernadette refused to walk the dog or to empty the cat litter. She moved back to her parents when I went on business trips and I had to beg my neighbour, Isaac, to fill in. I returned both animals to the shelter within their 30-day policy.
Instead I got a fully-refurbished 1914 Pope motorcycle. Most people call them mopeds, including Bernadette, as in, “Why the fuck did you get that stupid moped! I wanted a pet!”
“You can’t handle a pet,” I countered, “So I got the ‘POPE MOBILE’.”
Bernadette was horrified. Did I mention she was a devout Roman Catholic? This basically meant that she slept with me, but told everyone she was still a virgin. And she went to mass every Sunday.
“How dare you defame my Pope!” she shouted as a bright crimson rage flushed her angry face. “God will punish you for such blasphemy!”
With a dramatic twirl she pulled her black cape tightly around her and stormed out into the torrential rain. The sky exploded and the house shook from a powerful lightning-thunder strike nearby. Bernadette loved dramatic exits.
Pope Mobile gave me freedom and rebirth. I rode for days along empty roads, past overgrown fields and through abandoned forests. Finally, I camped for weeks in a remote and secluded spot eating wild berries and catching fish from the stream nearby. After my overgrown beard and long hair covered my entire face like some time-forgotten bigfoot, I felt it was time to return to civilization and get cleaned up.
The cat face staring back from the mirror hit me like a sucker punch. Others had told me Bernadette was a witch, and now she had vanished without a trace. I asked other witches and even priests to help me, but they treated me like the devil and held up crucifixes to keep me away. I’ve just had to adjust to being a man with a cat’s head.
Women nicknamed me the “cat’s meow.” When I whispurr how purrfect they are, they love cuddling and rubbing my soft furry tummy. If I ever return to normal, I might even tolerate a perky, cat-loving girlfriend, who is less perfidious. Pope Mobile, however, is my permanent prenup perquisite.
Pope Mobile and I search for Bernadette every night, stalking back alleys, looking in windows, sniffing for her perfume, listening for her voice. Her unique cackling laugh – wait, was that her laugh? I raced towards the end of the alley only to be assaulted by the overpowering smell of fish in the waste bins behind a restaurant. My stomach growled. I parked Pope Mobile.
Bernadette could wait – I dove into dinner.
*Note: A Postcard story is based on a postcard and is limited to 500 words. The idea is that the story could fit on the back of the postcard and is inspired from the picture on the front. The picture shown is a postcard I found in a store in the Westboro neighbourhood of Ottawa.
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