An imaginary conversation about simple questions

Are you a cat person or dog person?

Cat. Definitely. I love cats. You?

Mostly a dog person.

I thought you told me you have a cat?

I do have a cat. He’s sitting on my feet purring right now. 

But you don’t like him?

Sure. I just like dogs a little better. They’re so enthusiastic.  Cats can be dicks.

They just have very definite opinions. You remind me of a cat in that regard.

Yeah. Sometimes I am a dick, too.

That isn’t really what I meant.

Don’t worry. I know. You are far too polite to ever say something like that.

You’d be surprised.

I wonder what else I would be surprised about?

Uh. Surprise? I don’t want to ruin the suspense.

OK, fine…act like a cat. See if I care. Do you have a cat right now?

No, and I miss having them around. 

You can have mine.

You’d miss him.

Maybe a little. He’s a good foot warmer, and I don’t have anyone else to purr at me.

I’d purr at you, given half a chance.

Would you also keep my feet warm?

I would do my very best!

You are good people.

Thanks. So what is his name?

The cat? When we got him his name was Fenway. 


Yeah, like the baseball place. 

Oh, right. Fenway Park. Are you into baseball?

No, not at all. 

So why Fenway?

That is what they called him at the shelter. It’s what is on his microchip.

You could have changed his name, you know.

Yeah. Cats don’t care anyway.

You don’t think they care?

No, I think they just listen to tone of voice and the sound of can openers and food packages being opened.

Very cynical.

No, just truthy. Anyway, we never called him Fenway.

So what is his name now?

We call him a lot of things.

He doesn’t have a name?

Not one specific one.

That’s sad!

No, it really isn’t. He has a whole bunch of names.

Like what?

Mr. Squeeeks, with an extra e because he is extra squeaky.

That’s cute. He squeaks?

Like a 20 pound mouse.

What else do you call him?

Fat cat.

Does he really weigh 20 pounds? That probably isn’t healthy.

I have no idea how much he weighs, but he’s pretty hefty.

We can talk about your cat’s diet later. What other names does he have?

Squeaker, Peeper, Peepster, Ratty, Rat, Kitty Kato, Cat, Stupid Cat, Fucker if he scratches me, and Motherfucker if he draws blood.

I see. That’s a lot of names.

Is it? Don’t most people call their pets by different names?

Not that many!

I guess.

I didn’t think “what’s your cat’s name” was going to involve a 20 minute question and answer period.

Some things are complicated.

Some people make things that way.

Well. Uh. 

Don’t look at me like that, I didn’t mean it in a bad way!

I know. It just…never mind.  Do you have any other important questions for me?

How many times have you been married?

Let’s talk about that when we discuss Squeaky Cat’s diet plan.

Really? Complicated again? Usually people just say a number.


Is it more than you can count on your fingers?

No! God, I’m not Liz Taylor!

So what’s so complicated about it?

It’s not a big deal, it’s just. It sounds awful.

Whisper it in my ear.


That isn’t so terrible. Only one more than me.

Oh, good.

Why did you think it was too complicated to just tell me?

There’s a story, but it’s a little late for it now.

You’re so funny. Always worried you’ll chase people away…


It’s fine to just tell me anything you know.

I know.


But I’m weird. Some people don’t like that.

In a good way. I do like it.

I’ll definitely give you a gold star for that!

I’m counting on it.