I imagine the conversations between my two elderly male cats as sounding like Vladimir and Estragon (Didi and Gogo) from Samuel Becket’s play Waiting for Godot. Didi and Gogo’s dialogue runs along the lines: “Gogo: Let’s go. Didi: We can’t. Gogo: Why not? Didi: We’re waiting for Godot. Gogo: (despairingly). Ah!”
My Ollie and Grayson would no doubt sympathize with Cookie Monster when he called Sesame Street’s production, Waiting for Elmo, “A play so modern and so brilliant it makes absolutely noooo sense to anybody.”
But, really, waiting is as natural to cats as napping. Deep thoughts, likewise. Given the time and a quiet space, cats will solve all problems, mostly by out-waiting them.
Sadly yesterday, the noiseless tenor of Ollie and Grayson’s way was abruptly demolished. It happened like this:
(Ollie, svelt black and white; Grayson, large and gray; both washing up in readiness for their post-breakfast naps.)
(A sound of footsteps outside.)
(They lift their heads in unison.)
Grayson: What was that?
Ollie: What was that? Is someone here?
Grayson: Someone’s here.
Ollie: Who is it?
Grayson: Who knows?
(pause, more footsteps)
Ollie: Let’s go.
(He jumps off the bed where most of these conversations occur. Ollie pauses by the bedroom door. He thinks, “Closet? Kitchen cupboard?” Where to hide? What’s closer, safer? He makes his calculations .)
(Then—all hell breaks loose outside. Banging so loud it hurts the eardrums and knocks a picture off the wall. Men yell to each other and laugh—the brutes! An excruciating wrenching sound, like the Titanic breaking up as it goes down in icy waters. Pounding, pounding—will it never stop? Ollie bolts for the closet. Grayson, fatter and arthritic, looks around helplessly, and then heaves his bulk off the bed and lumbers down the hallway to the “safety” of the kitchen.)
Let us draw a curtain on this tragic scene. It went on all day. The drama did not end well. For cats, anyway. Certain indignities and hurt feelings should be relegated to the dark shadows of unrecorded history.
The new siding for the house looks nice, but boy it makes a lot of noise going up.
At WMG, we are all cat lovers. Cats pop up fairly often in WMG fiction. Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes about that tiny black familiar, Ruby, so cute and yet so mouthy among others. And this week, Dean Wesley Smith has chosen a cat story to begin the latest issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, which comes out April 30.
As always, Pulphouse offers up a smorgasbord of short fiction, some of which tickles you, some knocks you upside the head, and some slaps you on the back with slightly off-color bonhomie. The first story this time is called “The Fur Tsunami,” by the late Kent Patterson. It, like Beckett’s Godot, is an absurdist comedy with tragedy at its core. And it’s about cats. Lots and lots of cats.
This new issue includes stories from Pulphouse favorites such as Patterson, Annie Reed, Kevin J. Anderson and O’Neil De Noux, along with some who are new to this publication, Brenda Carre and Robert J. McCarter.
Here’s the description:
The Cutting Edge of Modern Short Fiction.
A three-time Hugo Award nominated magazine, this issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine offers up fifteen fantastic stories by some of the best writers working in modern short fiction. No genre limitations, no topic limitations, just great stories. Attitude, feel, and high quality fiction equals Pulphouse.
“The Fur Tsunami” by Kent Patterson
“Unnatural Law” by J. Steven York
“A Cherub by Any Other Name” by Annie Reed
“PMS and a Hand Grenade” by Brenda Carre
“The Disappearing Neighborhood” by Robert J. McCarter
“Hello Brain, It’s Me” by Ray Vukcevich
“Eye of Newt: A Dan Shamble Zombie P.I. Adventure” by Kevin J. Anderson
“Knock on Wood” by Rob Vagle
“Featuring Martin and Lewis” by O’Neil De Noux
“Double Date” by William Oday
“Sleeping with the Devil” by Kelly Washington
“Upgrade? Up Yours” by Jerry Oltion
“Between” by M. L. Buchman
“The Thousandth Atlas” by Robert Jeschonek
“The Injustice Collector” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Minions at Work: Burn Noticed” by J Steven York
Get this lively issue full of entertaining stories by your favorite authors starting Tuesday, April 30.
Meanwhile, if you could just spare a sympathetic thought for cats; the demons who are replacing the siding on our house will continue their dark rites on Monday.