About to Lose 1 of 9


By now it must be eminently obvious to B. L. Zeebub, my fine frantic feline felon, that he is most likely about to lose 1 of the 9 lives he has been granted ere he ultimately depart this mortal coil. (As things now stand, I’m not too sure how many of those original nine the little terror can still bank on; he’s led, shall we say, a rather full and evil life.)

B. L. appears here to be devilishly delighted with his current pose — protruding playfully up through the mauled middle of a genuine antique hand-stitched Burgundian lap pillow that formerly occupied a sun room salon chair of Louis XIV’s famed Versailles Palace. Dear Aunt Hermione is certain to suffer severe heart palpitations and near-deadly delirium when she sees what has become of her favored keepsake of fine fabrics and wadded cotton from the court of the Sun King.

I suppose I should have expected something of this sort when I inadvertently left Zeeb unattended in Auntie’s sitting room for a trice. After all, this is not the first, nor even the worst, of the wee demon’s wicked antics.

There was, for example, the time this sinister sable Satan opted for occupying the topmost branchlets of the massive memorial elm tree centered in Courthouse Square on Halloween night, mewling and howling at the full might of his skinny lungs for hours on end. Thinking him trapped and terrified, our kind-hearted and helpful local Volunteer Fire Squad and Rescue Team No. 1 quickly arrayed hook and ladder to retrieve. Twenty-seven minutes later, BLZ was nowhere to be found, one ladder lay shattered, four burly firemen required stitches and unguent, and two new fire truck tires were placed on order to replace those that had been mysteriously slashed (by four deep and parallel razored gashes each) during the fracas.

We had almost forgotten that incident (and paid off the balance of the various incipient fines and citations), when the occasion of the mice in the walls was upon us. It was a great gathering of the clan at Uncle Winiferd’s hilltop manse for Shrove Tuesday, and the mid-day sun had almost completely dispelled the frosty chill of that Minneapolis morning. As we all took our seats ‘round the extended trestle table groaning with turkey and ham and greens and potatoes and crystal, there came a thumpity-thump-thump of seemingly small feet pattering twixt studs and blown cotton-wool behind the dining room wallboard. I believe it was Cousin Stanley who unwisely opined,” Gee! Sounds like you have mice in your walls, Unc!” Vile as he may be, my cat is very good at picking up the significance and portent of human speech. In virtually no time at all, we were spectating upon that dashing dark dervish burrowing into the dining room wall, then creating runnels and raceways of destruction as he tore along the getaway paths of said mice.

In point of fact, there were no mice, though there was massive damage to that fine Century home; it was demolished entirely the following week. Turns out Cousin Stanley had mistaken the muffled sounds of a woodpecker testing the sponginess of the cedar roof shingles in pursuit of grubs as the footfalls of resident rodent vermin.

Alas, all I can worry is, what next?

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Comments 2 comments

Christopher Dapo profile image

Christopher Dapo 4 years ago from Havelock, NC

Thank you Rick, what a fun and funny story this was to read. Your pictures are great as well, and you have a great imagination.

- S.

rickzimmerman profile image

rickzimmerman 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio Author

I appreciate the feedback. Thanks, Christopher!

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