Saturday, 20 October 2007

Manila

Charlene F. Sawit has just submitted a Cat Boat story about the cat Manila. thank you, Charlene.

here is Charlene's story:

Manila

‘Is she all right?’ asked A Diamond As Big As The Ritz.

‘She’s fine.’ The Old Curiosity Shop hissed, waving a paw at A Diamond As Big As The Ritz, to indicate that he was meowing too loud. ‘She’s just thinking.’

‘Maybe I should talk to her.’ The Diamond As Big As The Ritz said, even louder. ‘She’s been thinking for an awfully long time.’

‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.’

They were talking about Manila, who was sitting high up on the mast, her back to them. Every now and then her whiskers would twitch and the end of her tail swished slightly, but otherwise she was very still. A small, cat-shaped hole against the blue sky.

The Old Curiosity Shop knew A Diamond As Big As The Ritz was asking about Manila because A Diamond had a thing for black cats (The Old Curiosity Shop also knew that A Diamond As Big As The Ritz meowed a bit too loud, not because he was deaf, but because he’d gone a little mad and scruffy at the edges since Jackie O had dumped him for Cloud Atlas. Since then, A Diamond As Big As The Ritz got into the habit of striking up conversations with the other cats during inconvenient moments—like when Lisping John Murphies was on the verge of catching the mouse scuttling out of a hole in the galley walls, or that time he’d interrupted a stare-off between Ethan Hawke and rare nude celebrities, making the latter blink— Ethan Hawke had purred, eyes shut with mirth, as rare nude celebrities miaowed, green eyes and pink mouth wide open in frustration. The other cats grumbmewled among themselves because A Diamond As Big As The Ritz had lately taken to calling everyone by a nickname—he called Childleg ‘baldy’ and 1994 had hissed at being called ’94.’

Frankie Sparo told Papercut that it was a shame Mr. Whiskers, Mr. Pickles, Gardenforce and Ben had stopped A Diamond As Big As The Ritz from jumping overboard the day he’d discovered Jackie O with Cloud Atlas stretched out under her parasol on the poop deck. But The Old Curiosity Shop, the eldest of a litter of seven and a very patient cat, told everyone that they shouldn’t be cruel).

But back to Manila: it was true that she spent quite a bit of time on the mast—sitting by herself for hours, staring out at the sea, even during the full moon parties when everyone got together to caterwaul. Everyone wondered what she was thinking, but cats being cats, they respected her privacy and didn’t ask questions.

Purrlock Holmes said that Manila was waiting for someone.

‘How do you know?’ asked Catson.

Purrlock Holmes took the smoked salmon out of his mouth and said, ‘Elementary, my dear Catson. The way she pricks up her ears, like she is listening for a mouse.’

Purrlock said that he’d heard Manila sighing for ‘Blackbird’, one windless, starry night.

Blackbird overheard this conversation. That night he climbed up the mast bit with a bit of herring in his mouth for Manila.

She thanked him and started munching on the herring. Blackbird sidled closer and pawed her behind.

She bristled and hissed, and a few moments later Blackbird skulked back on deck with claw marks on his ear. The other cats pretended not to notice and listened to the record, but A Diamond As Big As The Ritz pointed to his ear and said ‘Mmmmmrrrahaha!’ which resulted in an all-out catfight, all claws and flying tufts of fur.

Up on the mast, Manila pricked up her ears. There were flappings and flutters, and a moment later something landed beside her. It was a blackbird, as black and glossy as she was, which ruffled its feathers before cocking its head and turning a bright eye to her.

‘Hello my tweet.’ He said.

‘Mwhat took mew so long?’ She said.

Manila gave the blackbird a stroke with a careful paw, and they sat together up on the mast, staring at the stars, and catching up.

4 comments:

Brian, author of many gay erotic stories found in anthologies by alyson books said...

That was Brilliant Cha Cha. Simply Puuurrrfect. Meow.

Cha2 said...

Thanks Bri..actually it's super silly, but I had fun writing it. If Chris ever puts out a cat boat anthology, it'd be a great Christmas gift...

Brian, cat lover, story writer said...

You bet it would. Come on, Chris. When the cat boat is full, do an anthology about it and pitch it on amazon. hottest gift this christmas.

Joseph Ridgwell said...

I liked this story, made me laugh, which is always a bonus while being driven slowly round the bend by lots of other people, all of whom are completely cracked