So my rush to save Simone’s life turned out to be a bust, except that I am now the new owner of a cat. I know. I know. Cass is not happy. At all.
It went like this: I high-tailed it to the diva’s house only to find her in her movie room watching one of the Ocean Eleven movies. “Hi,” I said at the entry to the room that was larger than my room and my parent’s room put together back home.
“Shhh. I’m trying to watch the movie. Come on, watch it with me.” She patted the seat next to her. There were eight rows of seating in the screening room. She was in the middle row in the middle.
“I’ve got Cass in the car, and you look better, or you seem better.”
“No.” Simone shook her head vehemently. “I am not better, Edie. I’m sick and I need you to stay with me. Your dog is cool. I’d say bring her in, but I think I’m allergic to animals. I think that’s my problem. Actually you’re gonna have to take my cat.”
“What?” I sat down next to her.
“Yeah. You got get my fucking cat out of here. Hey, who do you think is hotter? Clooney or Pitt? Damon has that weird lip thing, so he’s out. I don’t even know why I’m asking. They’re like way too fucking old, but I kind of like old guys. Oh see, see now what that Sudafed has done to me? I’m losing it. So what do you think?”
“About what?” I was still pondering the cat comment.
“The guys! God, are you high or something?”
“No. I’m just confused. I don’t know whose better looking. What did you say about your cat?” I asked.
“Are you gay? How can you not know that those guys are so fucking hot? Even for old guys.” She pointed to the screen. “I’ve seen this movie twenty-seven times. Count that, baby. Ooh boy Sudafed high. Seriously kind of weird and kind of good. Hey Edie, I know a chick you might like, since your gay.” She kept her blue eyes trained on the screen. “She’s da’ bomb, too. Like she is a total gourmet chef and owns something like six of my favorite restaurants. Little lucrative for you.”
“I’m not gay!” I shouted.
“Oh testy. You don’t have to be all prejudice and shit.”
“I’m not prejudice either. I just, can you tell me what you meant about your cat?”
“Fine, but pick a dude first. Who you doing? I mean if you had a choice? Like I’m going Clooney cause I think Angelina could kick my ass and who needs that. Then like all twenty-five of their kids would hate me, and oh whatever…” She tossed up her hands.
“Right. I think Matt Damon is good looking.”
She stopped staring at the screen, her jaw dropped and looking at me, she said, “You’re a strange chick.”
“Um, can you please explain your situation with your cat, because I’m not sure that I heard you correctly?”
Simone rolled her eyes. “There’s nothing complicated here. No wonder you’re a make-up chick.” She shook her head.
Okay, right about there I did have this vision of punching her. I even had a fleeting thought of quitting, but then the reality of what I now had and where I’d come from hit me, and I shut my mouth.
“The cat. His name is McConaughey. Get it after Matthew who I had a little fun with one night, but then he had to shack all up in that trailer and do the father, married thing. Anyway, I’m totally allergic to McConaughey, and he has to get the fuck out of here.” She wiggled her fingers.
“And you want me to take him?”
She pointed at me and winked. “Bingo. You’re catching on.”
“What do you want me to do with him?” I asked.
She shrugged. “I don’t know. Take him to the pound.”
I sighed and shook my head. “Okay, where is the cat? I really do need to get home. If I have to be back here by seven, then I should get some rest and so should you.”
“Look at you, all mommy like. Stay the night here. I got room. Obviously.”
“No. I can’t. I can’t leave Cass in the van and I should get back to the house. I uh, I always water the lawn at night to be, you know environmentally conservative.”
She gave me an odd look. “Whatever. Just hope I don’t fucking kick the bucket tonight.”
I shook my head. “I think you’re okay. Drink lots of water and go to bed,” I said, and then muttered under my breath, “and maybe you should wash your mouth out while you’re at it.”
“Oh sure, then I’ll be pissing all night long. Wouldn’t that be great? Hmmm. The cat. He’s around here somewhere. He’s an orange tabby with a weight problem.
“Would you by chance have a cat carrier?” I asked.
“What the fuck do you think this? Does this look like Petsmart to you?”
“I’ll figure it out,” I said.
“See you in the a.m.”
I found‘said’ McConaughey on the kitchen counter eating what looked to be the remnants of the evening’s dinner—some kind of fish. Lucky cat. And Simone had not been kidding about the weight problem. He weighed at least twenty-five pounds. His name should have been Garfield. I think I know how he got so fat. Simone’s cleaning service went home daily. She had drop off delivery for her meals, and she left the leftovers for the following morning’s cleaning service to deal with. I have a feeling the cat took care of a lot of the mess for them.
I sighed. “Okay, kitty. Looks like it’s you and me, and my dog.” The cat eyed me suspiciously as he licked the plate clean. “And I’m sorry buddy but as of this moment you are going on a diet.” I already knew there was no way I could take the cat to the pound. In my family, the animals were a part of the family, too. I was banking that Cass would be cool with her new feline friend considering my mother had two cats back home—Tabitha and Samantha (yes, they were a play on Bewitched, and if my dad had ever gotten the little joke, he would have come unhinged. That witchcraft stuff is a definite no-no in his world, and watching Elizabeth Montgomery wiggle her nose and make things float in the air was the devil’s work). Cass had grown up with Tabitha and Samantha, and they’d all gotten along famously.
What I didn’t expect was that Mac (I had to shorten the name, and I’m sorry but there was no way I could remotely visualize Matthew McConaughey when I called the fat cat) might have an issue with Cass.
The car drive home was interesting as Mac hissed and howled at Cass who sat in the front seat, paws over her ears and those chastising eyes boring into me.
I decided it best to drop Mac at the house and lock him in the laundry room while Cass and I went back to the store to pick up necessary cat items—littler box for starters and some diet food.
Finally as it was closing in on the witching hour, I was done for the day. As Cass and I walked through the front door of the mansion, she froze. Her ears pricked forward and the scruff of her neck stood on end. “What is it, girl?” I whispered, noting there was something strange in the air. I’d had that feeling before but this time it was more real, if that makes sense. It was dense, heavy. Really heavy. Almost as if the air was standing still. I took another step inside the house. Cass let out a low growl. My fingers grew cold and a shiver went straight down my back. It almost felt like a breeze passed through me, not by me, but through me. I shivered. And then Cass dropped her guard and began sniffing me and she walked into the family room, sniffing around.
My sister’s face and name surfaced in my mind. I’m not sure why, but it did. A sudden howl echoed from the basement, shaking me out of my thoughts. “Mac!” I ran down the back stairs with Cass in tow, to find the cat wedged behind the washing machine.