Monday, October 09, 2006


By Bernard Sizemore

The café was small and cozy, bathed in the soft amber glow of candlelight. Elegantly dressed patrons nibbled Fancy Feast from crystal goblets and lapped up bowls of warm, creamy milk. An attractive young couple sat mesmerized by an aquarium swirling with tropical fish. Another frisky pair bounded between the tables in pursuit of a ball of yarn.

The hostess led Murray to the bar and handed him a small, felt mouse to play with. He stared at the mouse for a minute, gently stroking it with his thumb. He thought about his loving wife and three beautiful children. He thought about their large and well-appointed house, and his new job as foreman at the rubber-band factory.

Then he closed his eyes and listened to the meows and mewlings and playful hisses that filled the dining room, and soon he ached with bittersweet memories: of long, furious nights at the scratching post, the ineffable pleasure of kitty litter crunching under bare feet. Oh, how he wished things had turned out differently!

"Meow," he whispered sadly. "Meow, meow, meow!"

(Author Bernard Sizemore is a former restaurant critic for Cat Fancy magazine.)

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