“I think it’s time to tattoo the cat,” I told Lady, “since as we all know, the cat is as much a part of the family as anyone else. So that’s decided; now then, what would you suggest? Tribal? A delicate rose? The sacred heart of Jesus? Or maybe just the traditional heart with ‘MOM’ written under it…..”
“You can’t tattoo the cat,” said Lady. “Or at least, if you can, I don’t think you should. Anyway, it would be annoying to have to keep shaving the cat, just so that you could see the tattoo….”
“The cat, of course, will be responsible for grooming itself,” I told her. “That’s all it does, anyway, when it’s not sleeping, which is about 20 hours a day. So I will provide the razors and shaving cream, but it’s up to the cat to shave itself!”
“And do you really think you can get a tattoo on a cat?”
“Absolutely—one just has to be firm with it. No nonsense! Brook no dissent! And trust me, the cat will thank me for it, after a bit….”
“Well, several people have tattooed my poem ‘Little by Little’ on themselves,” said Lady. “But you’d either have to shave off most of the cat, or just choose the last stanza. Though perhaps you could write it in really small print, and then hang a magnifying glass around the cat’s neck.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” I told her. “Whoever heard of tying a magnifying glass around a cat’s neck? I refuse to talk to you, if you can’t be serious!”
“Well, I am serious! Just a serious as you, with all that insane idea of tattooing the cat! Really, Marc—you’re as bad as all my poets!”
“What have they done now?”
She tells me—one person left the poetry slam because of another person, who left because of a third person, who left because of a dog. So last night, which should have been a great night, had been somewhat frayed by fits of inflated personalities.
“I’m thinking of writing a short story about the seven deadly sins, and assigning each one to a different poet,” she says.
“An excellent idea,” I tell her. “Though it might be a great way to diminish attendance, as well as to trim your friendships. Anyway, it still begs the question of what to tattoo on the cat.”
“Oh, bother the cat,” said Lady. “Whoever heard of such a thing? Maybe you should forget the tattoo, and get a piercing instead? You know, a nose ring on the cat might look wonderful.”
“True,” I said. “And then we could tie the cat up, if necessary. Which it usually is, since Loquito is the worst cat, bar none, in the house.”
“What,” cried Lady, “you have a sick and twisted mind! First you propose to tattoo the cat, and now you’re doing bondage on it!”
“With it,” I told her, “though I had imagined nothing of the sort. You, on the other hand…”
“Marc, what’s up with you?”
“It’s a ‘meh’ day,” I tell her. “There’s nothing to write about, and the news is absolutely horrible, and my back hurts. And I haven’t been able to write anything. Plus, the news is just terrible. Oh, and did I tell you that I can’t make my phone play my music? Before, it was no problem. But now, I get this error message, which starts with this annoying, ‘Fiddlesticks!’ I kid you not. So I try to do what it tells me to do, and I can’t. It’s completely stupid, and completely annoying, and I either have to buy an iPod for 300$ or go without music until August, when I finally can get a new phone.”
“I hate your phone,” she said. “I want to take a sledge hammer to it!”
“So do I,” I told her. “Actually, we should probably have a ritual purging for all the people who hate my phone, which would be everybody. Do you know, I still can’t figure out how to establish my voice mail? So now it turns out that my voice mail is full—though how it can be full when I can’t access it, I don’t know!”
“Well, it’s full because you can’t access it,” she told me. “That’s obvious. Now then, how about we tattoo…”
“Don’t tell me,” I said. “I am not paying seriously good money to tattoo that phone!”
“The problem” I continue, “is that technology is moving so fast that the professional world hasn’t caught up. Because we should seriously have telephone therapists. You know, the first session could be just being in the room with it. I’d be on the couch, the phone would be on the coffee table, and the therapist and I could be doing visualization exercises. ‘Imagine,’ she would say, ‘imagine that you are holding that phone in your hand. Now let’s process how you feel!’”
“That,” said Lady, “is even more ridiculous than tattooing the cat. How many words has this silly post been? Can I go now? I can’t be spending all morning discussing cat-tattooing and telephone-therapying, if that’s a word. Don’t you have a novel to write? And what about Julian, revalationing away, and what are you doing about it?”
“I’m a news junkie and a depressive,” I told her, “which is not, at this sunny moment in Puerto Rico’s trajectory, a great combo. Actually, it’s sort of like barbiturates and booze. Which is starting to look more and more attractive.”
“Nonsense,” she tells me, “anyway, I’m going off to France, and you’d better still be here, when I get back.”
“I will be,” I said, though….
…I’m definitely gonna tattoo the cat.