“Hey, Mr. Piddles.”
Elizabeth closed the door behind her locking both deadbolts without thinking, the second and larger one closing with a solid “thunk” accompanied by the sound of Mr. Piddles yowling.
“I know you’re hungry little guy, it’ll just be a second, okay?”
Tangled between her feet for the briefest of moments the big tabby dodged down the hallway oblivious to its owners near demise. Stumbling, she grabbed the old railing along the hallway wall and steadied herself, grateful that the cat hadn’t caused her yet another bruise.
“I swear Mr. Piddles, if I fed you as much as you’d like I would just have to clean up more of your little vomits.”
Hanging her keys on the holder by the door though she could hear the cat’s scratching at the bin where she kept the food, his yowls echoing down the hallway from the kitchen. She put her big purse, the one that always felt self-concious about looking as much like it did like an old ladies, on the little table like she always did and walked there, her first stop the big plastic bin she kept the Friskies in. Mr. Piddles had a habit of chewing through nearly anything which lacked at least a quarter inch of plastic.
The tinkling of the food in the little porcelain dish sent him into a frenzy of course, his head bobbing around and trying its best to block the food from falling.
“Always hungry, huh Mr. Piddles. You silly little poody pood.”
The top priority taken care of and Mr. Piddles silent but for the sound of his chewing, Elizabeth Spiller slipped her shoes off beside the stove as she did every day and walked on to the bedroom right off the “kitchen.” Honestly, the kitchen, dining room, and living room were all just one room attached to the bedroom and a tiny bathroom but she liked to differenciate them in her head. It made it easier thinking each corner of the studio were separate. Like she had more of a real house and not such a tiny apartment.
It made it easier for her to accept the fact that she was living in such a place even at thirty two. Living in a tiny apartment and still working at the bookstore for so many years. She wouldn’t let herself count how many. Not today. The last time she’d counted the years she’d had one to many glasses of wine and she’d had to be escorted from the party by a nice young gentlemen without the best of intentions.
“It’s not such a bad life though; I like all this space to myself.” She paused, staring off at the window who’s curtains were always drawn. “Though I really should stop talking to myself so much.”
Her shoes there in the little place reserved for them by the stove, her purse by the door, her button down blouse pulled from her shoulders and laid gently in the dirty laundry basket, never more than half full. Her slacks next to them soon and her pajamas pulled from the top cubby of her dresser and soon pulled over her soft pale legs. These were all things as they should be and comforting. The plaid of her cotton sleeping clothes warm against her as she walked towards the stove again and saw the clock above it glowing its gentle green 07:16.
“Oh Piddles, you’re so silly”
Opening the compartment at the bottom of the stove to pull out the little frying pan she petted the cat, scratching him behind the ears.
“Not that you would care, you silly pood, but tonight the menu calls for pineapple curry. Mindy at work said it was quite good mixed in with the sauce and so I thought I’d try it.” Scratching him again behind the ears as he tried his best to push the pan out of her hand with his head she went on, “I thought I’d take a walk on the wild side. Scandal, right?”
Chuckling, she put the pan to the eye as she turned it on and began to assemble the onions and tofu from the fridge before pulling the can of diced pineapple from the pantry. Of course the sound of the can opener would send Piddles into a frenzy but that couldn’t be helped. Fighting him away she opened the can, drained it and sat it down on the other side of the stove before turning to the vegetables on the cutting board.
“Silly cat. I promise it’s not tuna.”
Of course the onions make her cry though, so she went to grab a preemptive tissue before cutting them only to find the cat’s head buried in the big can of pineapple chunks, his whiskers sticking out around the edge.
“Piddles! What are you doing?”
Slapping him on the back of the head as she shouted at him, he pulled his head up and licked his little lips as if he’d just had the finest, freshest tuna.
“What? You weren’t eating it.”
“That doesn’t matter Mr. Piddles! You can’t even digest that stuff, you silly cat!”
“Who are you calling silly? I’m just hungry.”
“Wait. . .”
Freezing, Elizabeth looked at the cat and his lips moving as if in speech, the words traveling as surely through the air towards her as hers had traveled towards him. His tongue still flicking over his lips and licking his chops.
“Pineapples, am I right?”