I have now decided to branch into short stories as well as my poetry. This post is my first foray into that style. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂
Two Cats and a Tom
The waitress led me to a table by the window in the bar on the top floor of my luxury hotel, overlooking Hong Kong’s magnificent harbour. The constellation of coloured lights winked as I sat and ordered a drink. As luck would have it, at the next table sat two Cats and a Tom.
“Puh-leeaase”, said the Tom. “Gravy train, gravy train”.
I wondered what language he was speaking.
“He’s had his snout in the trough for years”, replied Cat 1.
Ahh! Here was a language I understood. The Cats were fashionably dressed with tasteful jewellery and makeup while the Tom was casually dressed with his hair smothered in “product”. I doubt that it could have moved even if the super-typhoon off the coast had appeared in the bar. While the trio sat still, their tails whipped back and forth (as is the way with cats) to indicate their minds were working overtime.
Cat 2 interrupted her grooming to mumble something, at which the others nodded sagely as if something profound had just been said.
In the far corner of the bar, the pianist began playing and the singer began yowling off key. There was no doubt I was tired but I began to wonder if I’d walked into some private bar for felines. My fears were confirmed as the conversation continued.
“He had no idea when he worked on the line,” (this was not a reference to the Internet) continued Cat 1. “So he moved into management as soon as he could.”
My eyes had now adjusted to the half-light and I could make out the painted claws gleaming and clearly ready for action.
Cat 2 now made another contribution, “I was there when a passenger had a heart attack and John (not his real name) went into meltdown. I had to take over while he pretended to direct the action. He got an Excel award and I got nothing! Hello! I was there too!”
“Typical!”, replied the Cat 1.
“Would you care for another champagne?”, asked the Tom.
“Ooonnnee stip closerrrr”, shrieked the singer in the background. Somehow the glass appeared unaffected.
“Oh yes!”, purred the Cats.
A whip of the Tom’s lustrous tail was sufficient to bring the waiter. “Three more champagnes please,” said the Tom. He continued, “We used to do shuttles to New York. They were sooo tiring.”
I must have missed the connection.
Cat 2 replied, “Just about everyone from my initial course has got an Excel award but I haven’t yet. I don’t understand why.”
“But the most tiring of all,” moaned the Tom to no one in particular, “were the Mumbai shuttles. They were shockers.”
Cat 1 now entered her own orbit. “I can’t wait to get back to Tokyo. Being downtown is so much better than being out near the airport.”
“I have leeerrrrved yoooouuuu!” droned the singer. Another patron burst into enraptured applause. I was uncertain as to whether he had enjoyed the song or was simply relieved it had finished.
As I quickly drained my glass, it occurred to me that I was glad that the motivation for those who care for me inflight had so much to do with my wellbeing. Cats might fly! Another day in paradise.
8 July 2016