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I have written a book, currently unpublished but copyrighted. The World. 

 

A story from my recently published Sir Thomas Cat and Me is published below.

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Sir Thomas Cat and Me at the Larkspur Landing Ferry Slip

 

 

     Sir Thomas Cat and I had little to do. We sat on a bench and watched the passengers debarking from the Ferry from San Francisco. Although Sir Thomas understands English, he does not speak it. So we conversed in Cat in which I am fluent despite not having a tail to swish about.

     Sir Thomas sneered, “You’d think they’d have something better to do than cross the bay on that slow ferry.”

     “It beats driving and saves lots of time,” I said.

     “What do they do with the time they save?” he asked, “None of them look very happy,” he continued.

     “You’re right,” I said, “they must be coming home from the rat race at work in San Francisco, which is why they look so glum.”

     “Oh never use those words around me. Whether they race or just hang out rats are fearsome to us cats. People expect us to chase and do battle with them. But the big ones are vicious and dangerous for us to tangle with them.”

     It hadn’t occurred to me that cats would fear rats. I teased him, “Perhaps you should confine your efforts to little mice.”

     He arched his back and swished his tail. Without us your houses would be infested and filled with their droppings,” he sneered.

     “You’re right,” I said.

     It didn’t mollify him.

     “Let’ go home and have some dinner,” I suggested.

     “Good idea.” Sir Tomas Cat said, “But don’t expect me to sit on your lap and purr after dinner while you smoke that smelly pipe of yours. I am still offended by your unnecessary nastiness.”

     We returned home. I sat reading and smoking my pipe after dinner. Sir Thomas lay on his rug sulking.

A video for this book is forthcoming. Watch for it.

Unpublished Thomas Cat Stories Not in the book

Enjoy reading these stories. Please send your comments.

Sir  Thomas Cat (Also known as Wally)

Sir Thomas Cat and Me and the Automobile.

Having returned from Philadelphia with a large cash advance which my publisher there gave me for my next novel to be published, I decided to buy an automobile. Sir Thomas Cat sounded off, “What do you need one of those smelly noisy things for? We get around just fine now. Besides, where would you park the thing? We don’t have a garage attached to this house?”

     I answered him, “For one thing, our conversations will be private, and I will not get people looking at me as if I am out of my mind when we talk. For another I have wanted to learn to drive, ever since I was a boy, so I am going to take driving lessons and get my license. For a third, I will buy a Tuff Shed big enough to act as a garage. There is plenty of room on  the side of the house, and for the last, I have envied friends with Jaguars and that’s what I’m going to buy.”

He glared at me and responded, “I know you Roberto and I know that you never listen to my good advice.”

     He closed his eyes and snoozed in his basket instead of on his usual place my lap to indicate his displeasure.

     I took driving lessons and got my driver’s license. , bout and erected the Tuff Shed. Now all I needed was to buy the car. Sir Thomas and I went to the local Jaguar dealer. An oily-haired salesman greeted us. He could not refrain from commenting that I was accompanied by a cat. I decided to give him a shock. “The cat that is accompanying me understands English, and I understand Cat. He is my friend and gives me good advice.”

     The salesman nearly freaked out. But sensing a possible sale, did not comment other to say that Sir Thomas was well groomed and handsome.  He made no attempt to stroke Sir Thomas.

     Sir Thomas said, “You take it for granted that I’m your friend. But don’t be too sure about that.”  

     I gave his usual answer “Whatever,” I said.

     We looked at shiny new Jaguars. The prices were too high for my pocketbook. I asked the salesman to show me used ones. He pointed out that all of their used vehicles come with a warranty.

     Sir Thomas commented, “Be careful Roberto. This guy is oily and would do anything to make a sale. He looks like  a guy who would sell his mother downriver, if it would be to his advantage.

     I mumbled, “Trust me. I have been dealing with salespeople all my life.”

     He responded, “Whatever,” and looked for a place to nap.

     I bought a flashy, used Jaguar and drove it home. Sir Thomas leaped onto the back seat to snooze. He commented, “This thing stinks. I can’t stand the smell.”

     I answered, “It’s customary for car dealers to spray the interior of used cars with fragrances that hide the smells left by  previous owners. I’ll open the windows to air the car out.”

     He said, “OK, But it still stinks,” Closed his eyes and went to sleep.

     I parked the car in the shed. As time passed I polished it until it shone. Sir Thomas and I went for many a spin on the coastal highway.

Sir Thomas Cat and I go Driving

 

I had long had a desire to see what lay on the coastal highway. I decided to drive north on it to the Canadian border. I got out the recently purchase used Jaguar, polished it, checked the oil and filled the tank. When I put Sir Thomas’s blanket-lined basket on the back floor, he asked, “Are we going somewhere special?”

     I answered, “Sir Thomas, we are going to drive up the coastal highway to the Canadian border.

     He responded, “So that’s why my water and food dishes are on the floor near my basket. What am I going to eat while we take this exotic journey?”

     I answered, “Look around you, Don’t you see the bag of Meow Mix, the cans of sardines and that fancy halal cat food that you asked me to buy?”

     He looked, closed his eyes and snoozed. Evidently I had calmed his nerves.

     We set out late in the day. When we reach Hams Station, I checked us into the rest station where a pleasant white-haired woman greeted us. She commented, “I see you are traveling with a kitty. What’s his name?”

     “Sir Thomas Cat,” I told her.

     “Is if OK if I pet the cat?” she asked.

     “Well, Sir Thomas doesn’t take well to strangers. But if his claws don’t come out, you can try.”

     Sir Thomas reacted, “She smells from good food, so let her scritch my back.”

     “OK,” I told him. I see that you talk to your kitty,” the lady said.

     “I do all the time,” I answered.

     “So do I” she said, "dinner will be on the table soon.”

     She left after saying that all the guests ate together.

     When we sat down to eat, Sir Thomas jumped onto my lap. He whispered to me, “That man with the heavy beard and jowls looks just like on of the bastards who kidnapped me.”

     I paid him no attention and fell to. After dinner I sat on the porch overlooking the road and forest. Sir Thomas left my lap and crossed the road, went into the bushes and did his business. He cam back, jumped onto my lap and snoozed.

     The man with the beard and jowls sat down beside us. “So your going up the coast to Canada,” he began.

     I acknowledged that we were. “What kind of weapons are you carrying?” he asked.

     “Oh, I don’t carry a weapon,” I answered, “After all, I’m just a peaceful tourist.”

     He took out a handgun, pointed it out me and demanded, “Give me the keys to your car.”

     I was flabbergasted. But not Sir Thomas. He flew off my lap, claws extended an scratched the offender’s face. He kept scratching, trying for his eyes. The man dropped his gun. “Call off your cat!   Call off your cat,” he begged.

     I told Sir Thomas, “Enough. He dropped his gun.”

     Sir Thomas calmed down, “Nobody takes my basket and food away,” he said to me before hopping back onto my lap, claws retracted.

     Next morning, we left. Before we got to Lake Tahoe, I stopped at a roadside gun shop and bought a twenty-two caliber Beretta pistol, that came with a permit and lessons in how to fire and care for it. I did not want to threaten anyone with it. But I did want to protect myself if needed,    “Whatever,” Sir Thomas commented, jumped into his basket and snoozed.

     Blackberry bushes grow along the roadside and I stopped to pick some, parking the Jaguar well off the road. A California trooper parked his car alongside. After the usual, request form diver’s license, name and address, he asked.     'Are you the fellow whose cat attacked Jack Ringo at Hams crossing?    '

     Sir Thomas’s ears picked up. I answered, “Yes, he was threatening us with a handgun and demanded the keys to my car.”

     The officer said, “We arrested him for several robberies. He claimed that he was going to sue you for attack and battery. Some Chutzpah.”

     The officer laughed and suggested that I keep the Beretta in the glove box. His final piece of advice was to be care with the blackberries because they could be polluted by the exhaust and emissions from passing cars.

     I thanked him for his thoughtfulness but continued to pick and eat the delicious blackberries.   There were no other untoward events on the way to the border. But the ride back on the coastal road was terrifying.

Sir Thomas Cat and the Rattlesnake in the Garden

We had returned from our trip to the Canadian border. I parked the car in the makeshift garage. Sir Thomas Cat went into the garden to do his business. He came in, jumped on my lap where I had sat down to write at my computer and said, “Roberto, we have a snake in our garden.”

I reassured him, “Sir Thomas it is only a garter snake. Its harmless. In fact I raised them as a boy,”

     He responded, “Well this one has rattlers on his end. I can do something about it.”

     I answered, “Be careful, rattle snakes are venomous. They are even worse than our politicians.”

     Sir Thomas did not appreciate my attempt at humor. He said, “Just go into the house. I’ll take care of this,”

     “OK,” I said, “But if he bites you, it will mean a trip to Miss Icy fingers to get you an antidote.”

     “Don’t worry,” he said, “my kind have been dealing with poisonous snakes for millennia.”

     I went into the house and sat down at my computer.

     Sir Thomas came into the house. He said, “The bastard bit me before I killed it. I suppose I’ll die of the poison.”

     Remembering my boy scout training, I got out my recently sharpened pocketknife, cut the bite wound between the two teeth marks and squeezed out blood from the wound and hopefully the poison. Sir Thomas yowled, “Isn’t it enough that I killed the snake? Now you have to torture me?”

     I paid him no attention and called the vet who Sir Thomas had named Miss Icy Hands. She said to bring him in at once. I grabbed Sir Thomas, threw him into the basket in my Jaguar and drove to the vet with Sir Thomas screaming imprecations all the way.

     The vet gave Sir Thomas an injection that quickly put him to sleep. Then she shaved the area around the bite and fastened an aspirator to draw out blood. She commented, “Your quick thinking, cutting the wound open and squeezing out the poisonous blood has probably saved your cat’s life.”

     I told her that it was my boy scout training. I put the sleeping Sir Thomas back in his basket and drove home, took the basket out of the car and set it on the floor near my desk. When Sir Thomas awakened, he was in a daze. He swore in Cat, words that I had not heard before and complained, “My side is sore. It’s bandaged up. Last I remember you were torturing me with your pocketknife. What the hell is going on?”

     I explained the trip to the vet, what she did and what she said. Sir Thomas went back to sleep in his basket. It was a long time before he would snooze on my lap.

Sir Thomas Cat and Speeding

After the race to the vets and return when Sir Thomas had been bitten by the rattlesnake, things had calmed down. I sat at my computer writing. But in the back of my mind was the question of how fast could my Jaguar go. I had long wanted to know what it could do, decided that there would be little traffic in the wee hours, loaded Sir Thomas into the Jaguar without interrupting his sleep and drove to the highway.

     All was quiet, without another car in sight. I revved up the engine. The vibration woke Sir Thomas.  “What the hell are you doing?” he asked.

     “I’m going to see just how fast this baby can go,” I answered.

     “Roberto, you are a new driver. You just learned how to drive. Do you want to get us both killed? he asked.

“Well I gained experience driving to the Canadian border, so I’m not as new a driver as you think,” I answered.

     “Yeah, but you stayed within the speed limit on the whole trip,” Sir Thomas replied.

     “Even so, I’m going to see how fast this baby will go,” I answered.

     “You always do what you want to do, despite the good advice I give you. I’m going to nap,” he replied.

     I looked to make sure there were no cops in site. I did not see the highway patrol motorcycle hidden behind a boulder. I took off.

     The speedometer read 85, 90, 100, and finally 105 miles per hour. I slowed to the speed  limit and started for home, satisfied that I knew what the Jag could do. Sir Thomas woke up and I started to brag to him. He gave his usual dismissive comment, “Whatever”, and went back to sleep.

     The flashing lights of a motorcycle made me stop and pull over. The officer asked for my documents. I handed them to him. He asked, “Do you have any weapons in the vehicle?”

     I had completely forgotten the Beretta in the glove bis. I answered, “There’s a Berretta 22 caliber in the glove box. I have a license for it”

     The officer said, “Step out of the vehicle and out your hands on its side.”

     He spent what seemed forever checking out my credentials. When he was done he said to me, “I clocked you doing more than 100 miles per hour. I’m issuing a summons for you to appear in court. We’ll see what the judge says. Have a nice day sir.

     Sir Thomas listened. “See,” he said, “I warned you. You’ll probably pay a large fine and have your license suspended.”

     He was right. But the other miscreants in the courtroom cheered on hearing the judge read aloud what my offense was.

     We took a Taxi home from the court. MY beloved Jaguar had been impounded. The cabbie was uncomfortable with my loading Sir Thomas’s basket with the sleeping Sir Thomas inside. He complained. Sir Thomas woke and commented, “See, your stupid act upsets everyone. Tell this cabbie off.”

     I responded in hushed tones, “Let’s just get home.”

     The cabbie noticed my talking to Sir Thomas. He said almost to himself, “Why do I always get he looney tunes?”

     We arrived home. I paid and over tipped the cabbie. Sir Thomas commented, “Roberto, you are a damned fool,” closed his eyes and napped.

 

Sir Thomas Cat Goes Sailing

 

My name s Roberto Gonzales. Sir Thomas Cat and I live with each other in the bay area of California. He understands the English that I speak, and I understand Cat when he deigns to speak to me. At home, he spends much of his time on my lap sleeping and purring. But when we disagree on something he lies in his basket with its comfort pillow and either sleeps or glares at me, swishing his tail. He is my only friend. My family is long gone.
     Sir Thomas has been to the vet where he got all the shots needed to keep him healthy. Despite the vet’s advice to have him desexed, the idea sickens me, and Sir Thomas remains intact. Our front door has a cat door that gives Sir Thomas the freedom to come and go as he pleases. He uses it nights when he goes in search of females who are in season and engages in scraps with other tomcats. When he comes home with injuries, we visit the vet for repairs.

            Sir Thomas spends most of his time either sleeping in his-blanket-lined bamboo box or sleeping on my lap while I sit at my computer writing. I had finished writing my last novel. My publisher in Philadelphia had published it, and the book was selling well.

     I had no idea about what to write next until my fiancée Rachel Worthington visited and came up with the idea that I should buy a boat, learn to sail it and sail it to Hawaii and back. She said she was an experienced sailor, having sailed in the San Francisco bay from the time she was a girl.

     Sir Thomas Cat commented, “Another on of her weird ideas,” and went back to sleep.

     I decided it was a good idea. Rachel suggested that I look up boats for sale on the internet. I found one nearby in Berkeley that seemed interesting. It was a Rafiki cutter built in 1973, offered for sale at $39,900. Rachel and I looked the boat over. She said it would do but that it needed an overhaul. After some negotiation, I bought the boat and arranged to continue its docking. At the Berkeley Marina. Next Sarah suggested we buy things that we needed and that I enter the Cal sailing school to learn to sail I signed up.

     Rachel suggested that I visit the Whale Point Chandlery inn Oakland. That’s where her family had bought all their sailing equipment. We visited. I bought boots, a slicker, a spare mainsail and everything that Rachel suggested. This idea was getting expensive. I hoped that the book that would eventually be published would earn enough to make worthwhile. Sir Thomas commented, “She’s going to break your bank. And I did not see anything that would ensure my safety and comfort at that place in Oakland.”

     I assured him that the venture would be worthwhile, and that his needs would be taken care of. He responded with his typical, “Whatever,” and went back to sleep.

     I found the sailing lessons fascinating and believed that I had learned to sail. Rachel tested my skill by our sailing to Alcatraz and back. Rachel said it was not enough. Next we sailed to the Farallon Islands and back. She admired how I had avoided a large freighter when we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge, where there is a swirling current, but she said I needed more practice before setting out for Hawaii. We sailed in the bay many times thereafter. Finally we sailed up the coast to Alaska and back with me at the helm and Rachel as my crew. When we got back Rachel said I was ready for the trip to Hawaii.

     Sir Thomas hearing her spoke up, “Are you two crazy enough to sail that little boat to Hawaii and back without another crew member or two?

     When I told Rachel what Sir Thomas said, she looked at me and said, “Are you imagining that you and that cat are talking to each other?”

     It was useless to try to convince Rachel that Sir Thomas and I talked to each other. She just shook her head and said, “You are weird, but I love you just the same. If you are concerned about the size of the crew, don’t be. My two brothers are going to crew with us. They have been sailing most of their lives.”

     Sir Thomas commented, “Well, she finally makes some sense,” and went back to sleep.

Eric and Nils Worthington, Rachel’s brothers proved to be as friendly and capable as their sister. The joshed about when we would tie the knot. I told them that after we returned, and I had written and published the book about the Hawaiian round trip.

     We made the trip, encountering giant waves, losing a sail and other adventures. After we returned I wrote the story in a book, titled, Hawaiian Adventure. The Philadelphia publisher liked it and published it. The book sold well. Rachel and I married. Wedding guests include Rachel’s family and friends, he dog Frisky and Sir Thomas Cat who slept through the whole event except when it was time to consume some treats.

     Rachel and I decided to buy a newer better boat and traveled to England where we had it built. But on our return, we decided we needed a baby and spent all our efforts preparing. The boat is paid for and is out of the water in England. When Rachel recovers from her pregnancy and birth of Roberto Junior, our intrepid crew will sail it across the Atlantic. We have hired a Norwegian Au Pair to care for our little one while we are sailing. Naturally, Sir Thomas Cat and Frisky are always with us.

Lunch in San Francisco with Rachel Worthington and Sir Thomas Cat

     My name is Roberto Gonzales. Sir Thomas Cat and I live with each other in the bay area of California. He understands the English that I speak, and I understand Cat when he deigns to speak to me. At home, he spends much of his time on my lap sleeping and purring. But when we disagree on something he lies in his basket with its comfort pillow and either sleeps or glares at me, swishing his tail.

Sir Thomas has been to the vet where he got all the shots needed to keep him healthy. Despite the vet’s advice to have him desexed, the idea sickens me, and Sir Thomas remains intact. Our front door has a cat door that gives Sir Thomas the freedom to come and go as he pleases. He uses it nights when he goes in search of females who are in season and engages in scraps with other tomcats. When he comes home with injuries, we visit the vet for repairs.

     We decided to visit my fiancé in San Francisco and take her to lunch at the Fog Harbor Fish House. We knew there would be a snack for Sir Thomas Cat. He said, “Good Choice. Now if Miss Worthington approves, we can enjoy lunch.”

Sir Thomas Cat was talking about the woman I hoped to marry, Rachel Worthington, who worked for the San Francisco Chronicle. Rachel did not believe that Sir Thomas Cat and I conversed with each other. To make matters worse for Sir Thomas Cat she brought her fog Frisky wherever she went.

When we sat down to lunch, Sir Thomas Cat asked, “Why does she always bring that mangy animal with her?”

     I responded, “Not another word about Frisky. She is my beloved’s pet and you’ll just have to accept that sooner r later he will live with us.”

Rachel asked, “Are you still talking to your cat? I love you but your talking to the cat and believing he talks to you makes me wonder if you are mentally all there.”

Sir Thomas Cat sniffed and commented, “She is an ignoramus. But she may be right that you  are not all there mentally.”

     He ate a snack, hopped up onto my lap and went to sleep. When lunch was over, we took the ferry back to Larkspur Landing where we had started from. Sir Thomas Cat slept most of the way. But when a cat-loving woman tried to pet him, his claws came out. “Don’t let any of those old ladies touch me,” he demanded.

     I explained the Sir Thomas Cat was afraid of strangers and she desisted. “Afraid,” he muttered, “not one damned bit. I just like my privacy.”

     He went back to sleep. When we arrived home, I sat at my desk to continue writing the novel I was working on. Sir Thomas Cat slept on my lap.

Sir Thomas Cat and the Plumber

My name is Roberto Gonzales. Sir Thomas Cat and I live with each other in the bay area of California. He understands the English that I speak, and I understand Cat when he deigns to speak to me. At home, he spends much of his time on my lap sleeping and purring. But when we disagree on something he lies in his basket with its comfort pillow and either sleeps or glares at me, swishing his tail.

     Sir Thomas has been to the vet where he got all the shots needed to keep him healthy. Despite the vet’s advice to have him desexed, the idea sickens me, and Sir Thomas remains intact. Our front door has a cat door that gives Sir Thomas the freedom to come and go as he pleases. He uses it nights when he goes in search of females who are in season and engages in scraps with other tomcats. When he comes home with injuries, we visit the vet for repairs.

     We  had a problem with the plumbing in our main bathroom. Sir Thomas Cat complained bitterly that it made the toilet water  undrinkable. I asked him, “Sir Thomas, you have plenty of clean water in your stainless steel dish. Why do you want to drink toilet water?”

     He swished his tail and responded, “What do you know? You wouldn’t understand.”

     The plumber, a big capable man arrived. His eyes lit on Sir Thomas Cat and  he said, “My wife has a tabby she got  from the do not  kill shelter in San Francisco. She calls her Princess. She is all white with a glossy coat that she licks all day in spite of my wife’s constantly brushing her. My wife talks to her all day long. Sometimes it drives me crazy.”

     I responded, “Well Sir Thomas and I have lots of conversations. We enjoy them.”

Sir Thomas spoke up, “Speak for yourself, Roberto. You may enjoy our conversations. I often prefer silence.”

     “OK, I told him.”

     Then I said to the plumber, “I assume Princess has been neutered.”

     He answered, “:Oh no, no, no. My wife would not hear of it”

     “So what do you do when she comes into estrus?” I asked.

     “Well it’s a  hard time,” the plumber answered, “We make sure the doors and windows are closed and my wife wraps an absorbent pad around her until it is over.”

     Sir Thomas’s ears stood up. He said to me, “Why don’t you invite Princess over. I can easily satisfy her needs.”

     I answered, “That would surely produce a litter of kittens that the plumber and his wife would have to give away or have destroyed.”

     “See, I told you that you humans are cruel and uncaring about my kind. Don’t you remember?”

     He had made such a comment and I felt uncomfortable with it. But what is, is, and I accept it even if Sir Thomas does not.

     The plumber finished his job and left. Next day he and his wife came to the door. She was carrying a yowling Princess. She released her into the bathroom. Sir Thomas followed. Soon there  were the cries of feline lovemaking. When it was over the plumber and his wife returned home with Princess. Sixty-five days later Princess gave birth to a litter of kittens. The plumber’s wife took the kittens to the do not  kill shelter in San Francisco. Sir Thomas showed no interest in the litter he had fathered. We went about our usual routine with me working at my laptop and Sir Thomas snoozing on my lap.

Sir Thomas Cat and the Night Watch

 

My name is Roberto Gonzales. Sir Thomas Cat and I live with each other in the bay area of California. He understands the English that I speak, and I understand Cat when he deigns to speak to me. At home, he spends much of his time on my lap sleeping and purring. But when we disagree on something he lies in his basket with its comfort pillow and either sleeps or glares at me, swishing his tail.
     Sir Thomas has been to the vet where he got all the shots needed to keep him healthy. Despite the vet’s advice to have him desexed, the idea sickens me, and Sir Thomas remains intact. Our front door has a cat door that gives Sir Thomas the freedom to come and go as he pleases. He uses it nights when he goes in search of females who are in season and engages in scraps with other tomcats. When he comes home with injuries, we visit the vet for repairs.

            Sir Thomas spends most of his time either sleeping in his-blanket-lined bamboo box or sleeping on my lap while I sit at my computer writing. (I write novels and am fortunate enough to have a publisher in Philadelphia.) The front door of our house has a cat door through which Sir  Thomas goes out after dinner and does what cats do at night.

On this night, he ate and went out. During his wanderings, he visited a nearby synagogue, where he had a favorite tree that he marked to notify the world that it was his. To his surprise there was a group of men wearing kepis and carrying baseball bats. One of them noticed Sir Thomas Cat and said,   

     “Hey guys. There’s a cat. It means good luck. Ha Shem says to feed animals before we eat, so let’s get some sardines for this beautiful kitty, before we have dinner.”

He went into the synagogue and brought out a can of sardines, that he emptied in a dish and said,       

     “Here Kitty. Have some supper.”

     Despite his having had dinner, Sir Thomas downed the sardines and licked the oil from the plate. But when one of the men tried to pet him, his claws came out. “Nobody I don’t know touches me,” he muttered to himself.

     “OK Kitty, so you don’t want to be petted,” the man laughed, “We’ll let you be while we guard the synagogue against the Jew-haters who have been spray-painting swastikas on the synagogue walls.”

Sir Thomas retracted his nails. He was just about to go about his business when a car pulled  up and four men emerged carrying cans of spray paint. He watched while the synagogue’s night watch attacked them before they could spray paint the walls.

     One of the four men drew a handgun, but a night watchman swing his baseball bat and knocked the man down. His gun flew onto the ground where a night watchman picked it up and unloaded it.     

     “We’ll keep the gun as evidence when these Momsers file a complaint with the police.”

     The bruised and battered men got back in their car and departed. The night watch entered the synagogue and had their supper. Sir Thomas lost interest and departed.

     When he came in through the cat door, Roberto asked him, “Well, did anything interesting happen during your wanderings last night?”

     “Give me my breakfast first, then I’ll tell you about a fight I watched last night,” Sir Thomas answered.

     Roberto did as Sir Thomas requested and sat down at his computer. Sir Thomas jumped onto his lap, closed his eyes and started to fall asleep. “Aren’t you going to tell me about the fight you saw last night,” he asked.

     “Damn,” Sir Thomas said, “I need a nap. But I’ll tell  you the story, so you can stop bothering me and let me nap.”

     He related the whole story, leaving out the part where he ate the sardines and started to close his eyes. But Roberto had to comment first. “Damned Nazi bastards,” he said, “They’ve been doing the same kind of thing at the mosque, breaking windows and so on. And I understand the congregation has also established a night watch too.”

     Next morning there was an article in the local newspaper about a complaint made against the synagogue’s night watch, which was thrown out when the night watch produced the gun and bullets. Roberto read the story to Sir Thomas. He responded, with, “Whatever,” closed his eyes and went to sleep.

​Sir Thomas Cat and the Housemaid

 

My name is Roberto Gonzales. Sir Thomas Cat and I live with each other in San

Francisco, California in a house that my great grandfather bought with help from the GI bill after WWII.

     Sir Thomas understands the English that I speak, and I understand Cat when he deigns to speak to me. At home, he spends much of his time on my lap sleeping and purring. But when we disagree on something he lies in his basket with its comfort pillow and either sleeps or glares at me, swishing his tail.

     Sir Thomas has been to the vet where he got all the shots needed to keep him healthy. Despite the vet’s advice to have him desexed, the idea sickens me, and Sir Thomas remains intact. Our front door has a cat door that gives Sir Thomas the freedom to come and go as he pleases. He uses it nights when he goes in search of females who are in season and engages in scraps with other tomcats. When he comes home with injuries, we visit the vet for repairs.

     Sir Thomas spends most of his time either sleeping in his-blanket-lined bamboo box or sleeping on my lap while I sit at my computer writing.

     I had kind of let things go and was sitting in my pajamas in front of the computer. Ordinarily Sir Thomas would jump on to my lap, purr and got to sleep. Not this time. He spoke up, “Roberto, this place is a mess. It hasn’t been swept or vacuumed on more than a week. Your bed sheets smell, as do your pajamas because you haven’t changed them in the last two weeks. You need a housemaid.”

     I realized he was right and called an agency to hire one. Then I took a shower and put on some clean clothes and sat down at the computer again.

     Sir Thomas complained bitterly, “Where’s my breakfast?” he asked, “You are supposed to give me breakfast before you eat. And I notice that you haven’t eaten either. It’s no wonder your clothes are hanging on you.”

     He was right. I prepared his breakfast and water dish, cleaned out his litter box, and had a glass of orange juice, two hard-boiled eggs, toast and strong coffee. I felt better and went back to the computer to work on my next novel. Soon Sir Thomas was on my lap, purring and snoozing.

     The doorbell range. I answered it. An attractive African-American woman stood there. She announced, “The agency sent me. My name is Fallah.”

     She came in and looked around, “This place is a pigsty. Tell me where you keep things. I’ll vacuum, wash your sheets and night clothes and set things right.”

     Sir Thomas woke and listened. He commented, “See Roberto, I was right. You’re lucky to get a competent housemaid who knows what she is doing.”

     He closed his eyes and resumed his nap.

     I told Fallah where things were. Ever curious I asked her where she lived. She said,” I Live in a house in Fillmore. My granddad bought it when he came back from World War II. It’s a nice place and developers want to buy it, but I won’t sell. It’s my wealth.”

     I asked her, “So how come a well-spoken woman like you works as a housemaid?”

     She snipped, “Although it’s none of your business, I have completed three semesters of my history major at UC Berkeley. But I ran out of money so it was work at what I could get or quit. I have to eat and put by enough money to return. I refuse to borrow. No one in my family has ever been in debt. Does that answer your question?”

     Fallah made Sir Thomas and my lives pleasant. She told us that she had a Tabby cat, that looked like Sir Thomas Cat’s sister. “The vet wanted to spay her, but I couldn’t bear the thought. I want to have children someday, and I’m sure she wants to have kittens too.

     Sir Thomas’s ears pricked up. “Tell her I’m virile and will gladly help her Tabby.”

I told her. Fallah smiled and asked, “Are you talking to your cat?

     I tried to explain. Unsuccessfully. Nevertheless she accepted the situation. Fallah was one of the few people whose petting him Sir Thomas tolerated.

​Sir Thomas Cat and the Housemaid

 

My name is Roberto Gonzales. Sir Thomas Cat and I live with each other in San

Francisco, California in a house that my great grandfather bought with help from the GI bill after WWII.

     Sir Thomas understands the English that I speak, and I understand Cat when he deigns to speak to me. At home, he spends much of his time on my lap sleeping and purring. But when we disagree on something he lies in his basket with its comfort pillow and either sleeps or glares at me, swishing his tail.

     Sir Thomas has been to the vet where he got all the shots needed to keep him healthy. Despite the vet’s advice to have him desexed, the idea sickens me, and Sir Thomas remains intact. Our front door has a cat door that gives Sir Thomas the freedom to come and go as he pleases. He uses it nights when he goes in search of females who are in season and engages in scraps with other tomcats. When he comes home with injuries, we visit the vet for repairs.

     Sir Thomas spends most of his time either sleeping in his-blanket-lined bamboo box or sleeping on my lap while I sit at my computer writing.

     I had kind of let things go and was sitting in my pajamas in front of the computer. Ordinarily Sir Thomas would jump on to my lap, purr and got to sleep. Not this time. He spoke up, “Roberto, this place is a mess. It hasn’t been swept or vacuumed on more than a week. Your bed sheets smell, as do your pajamas because you haven’t changed them in the last two weeks. You need a housemaid.”

     I realized he was right and called an agency to hire one. Then I took a shower and put on some clean clothes and sat down at the computer again.

     Sir Thomas complained bitterly, “Where’s my breakfast?” he asked, “You are supposed to give me breakfast before you eat. And I notice that you haven’t eaten either. It’s no wonder your clothes are hanging on you.”

     He was right. I prepared his breakfast and water dish, cleaned out his litter box, and had a glass of orange juice, two hard-boiled eggs, toast and strong coffee. I felt better and went back to the computer to work on my next novel. Soon Sir Thomas was on my lap, purring and snoozing.

     The doorbell range. I answered it. An attractive African-American woman stood there. She announced, “The agency sent me. My name is Fallah.”

     She came in and looked around, “This place is a pigsty. Tell me where you keep things. I’ll vacuum, wash your sheets and night clothes and set things right.”

     Sir Thomas woke and listened. He commented, “See Roberto, I was right. You’re lucky to get a competent housemaid who knows what she is doing.”

     He closed his eyes and resumed his nap.

     I told Fallah where things were. Ever curious I asked her where she lived. She said,” I Live in a house in Fillmore. My granddad bought it when he came back from World War II. It’s a nice place and developers want to buy it, but I won’t sell. It’s my wealth.”

     I asked her, “So how come a well-spoken woman like you works as a housemaid?”

     She snipped, “Although it’s none of your business, I have completed three semesters of my history major at UC Berkeley. But I ran out of money so it was work at what I could get or quit. I have to eat and put by enough money to return. I refuse to borrow. No one in my family has ever been in debt. Does that answer your question?”

     Fallah made Sir Thomas and my lives pleasant. She told us that she had a Tabby cat, that looked like Sir Thomas Cat’s sister. “The vet wanted to spay her, but I couldn’t bear the thought. I want to have children someday, and I’m sure she wants to have kittens too.

     Sir Thomas’s ears pricked up. “Tell her I’m virile and will gladly help her Tabby.”

I told her. Fallah smiled and asked, “Are you talking to your cat?

     I tried to explain. Unsuccessfully. Nevertheless she accepted the situation. Fallah was one of the few people whose petting him Sir Thomas tolerated.

Sir Thomas Cat and I Attend the University

My name is Roberto Gonzales. Sir Thomas Cat and I live with each other in San

Francisco, California in a house that my great grandfather bought with help from the GI bill after WWII.

Sir Thomas understands the English that I speak, and I understand Cat when he deigns to speak to me. At home, he spends much of his time on my lap sleeping and purring. But when we disagree on something he lies in his basket with its comfort pillow and either sleeps or glares at me, swishing his tail.
     Sir Thomas has been to the vet where he got all the shots needed to keep him healthy. Despite the vet’s advice to have him desexed, the idea sickens me, and Sir Thomas remains intact. Our front door has a cat door that gives Sir Thomas the freedom to come and go as he pleases. He uses it nights when he goes in search of females who are in season and engages in scraps with other tomcats. When he comes home with injuries, we visit the vet for repairs.

     Sir Thomas spends most of his time either sleeping in his-blanket-lined bamboo box or sleeping on my lap while I sit at my computer writing.

Our house maid Fallah pointed out that the university she attended UC Berkeley offered free sit-in classes to citizens. She suggested that a course on writing might be helpful. Naturally Sir Thomas heard and voiced his opinion, “You always have arguments with the editor tht you publisher in Philadelphia assigns. I think some education in writing would help. Why don’t you sign up. I can go with you and sit on your lap and sleep when you go.

     Fallah asked, “Are you talking to the cat again?”

     I nodded

     “Well what did he say this time? “ she asked.

     “He agreed with you,” I answered.

     She responded laughing about what she thought was my mental problem, “That cat makes more sense than most people. ”

     I signed up. Sir Thomas came with me to the first session presented remotely on the big screen at the front of the room by Joyce Carol Oates. At first none of my fellow attendees noticed Sir Thomas snoozing and purring on my lap. But soon one did and reached out to pet him. Sir Thomas reacted predictably. His claws came out and he shouted, “Tell them to keep their damned hands off me.”

I made excuses that he had been abused early in life and was very wary of strangers. “Satisfied?” I asked him.

     “Whatever works,” he said and went back to sleep.

     The young woman sitting next to me asked, “Did I hear  you talking to your Cat?”

     Knowing that an explanation would be useless, I said, “Yes.”

     She responded, “I talk to my cat, my canary and my plants all the time.”

     Sir Thomas woke and commented, “Another weirdo. This area is full of them. Next thing she’ll be  saying Namaste to you.”

     He was right. She out her hands together in prayer formation and said, “Namaste.”

     “See, I was right,” Sir Thomas said and went back to sleep.

     Sir Thomas and I attended the whole series of lectures. I learned a great deal about writing. I wrote my publisher and told him that there would be fewer disputes with my editor in the future.

     Sir Thomas observed, “Roberto, you never seem to exhaust my wonder at your foibles.”

     I went back to writing using my recently gained knowledge. Sir Thomas sat on my lap and snoozed. Every so often his claws came out and then were retracted. I made up my mind to ask him what he had dreamed about when he woke.

Sir Thomas Cat and the family go camping

My name is Roberto Gonzales. Sir Thomas Cat and I live with each other in San

Francisco, California in a house that my great grandfather bought with help from the GI bill after WWII.

Sir Thomas understands the English that I speak, and I understand Cat when he deigns to speak to me. At home, he spends much of his time on my lap sleeping and purring. But when we disagree on something he lies in his basket with its comfort pillow and either sleeps or glares at me, swishing his tail.
     Sir Thomas has been to the vet where he got all the shots needed to keep him healthy. Despite the vet’s advice to have him desexed, the idea sickens me, and Sir Thomas remains intact. Our front door has a cat door that gives Sir Thomas the freedom to come and go as he pleases. He uses it nights when he goes in search of females who are in season and engages in scraps with other tomcats. When he comes home with injuries, we visit the vet for repairs.

     Our Norwegian Au Pair Tiffany Told my wife  Rachel and me that we were spending too much time indoors and that it was not healthful fore Roberto Junior. She said, “In my country everyone spends time out of doors, no matter what the weather is like.”

     Rachel and I talked it over, Young Roberto hearing the discussion, kept asking, “Mom, Dad, can we get a tent and sleeping bags, a kerosene stove, and other stuff for camping out?”

Rachel and I agreed with Tiffany. We made a trip to the outdoors shop and bought all the necessary items and some that we would probably never need.

     Tiffany was enthusiastic. Our housemaid Fallah commented that she would have a chance to do a thorough cleaning of our house. Sir Thomas had to comment, “So while, you’re out playing in the woods, what’s going to happen to Frisky and me? Will we get our meals and water?”

     Rachel heard me reassuring Sir Thomas. She commented, “You really have to see a psychiatrist about your belief that you and Sir Thomas talk to each other.”

     Sir Thomas wisecracked, “See even your beloved wife thinks you’re nuts.”

     I answered the way he usually did with “Whatever.”

     Our tent was too small for Tiffany, Rachel, Roberto Junior, Sir Thomas and Frisky. He and Frisky spent the night outside. “I showed Frisky a good place to shelter,” Sir Thomas said, “and I invited him to visit my summer quarters but all he did was wag his stupid tail.”

     The family and Tiffany had a great time. Roberto junior asked, “Mom. Dad, when are we going to do this again?. I can cut some bark\ with my pocketknife and even make a whistle”

     “See,” I told Rachel, “He thinks of his pocketknife as a tool, not as a weapon.”

     She simply glared at me. Tiffany smiled. All the boys and men she  knew in Norway carried pocketknives.

 

 

A Weird Dream

 

     For some reason my wife who passed some years ago is always present in my dreams as the vigorous, intelligent person I loved from our first kiss when we were sixteen through the years of our marriage until she suffered from vascular dementia in the last six years of our eighty-nine together.

     In last night’s weird dream we were in a private, propeller-driven plane being flown by An Arab friend. Our friend lived near us and we had had many political discussions about the situation between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Our friend’s wife was collecting funds to aid the Palestinian cause. Neither of us was forthcoming.

     We said almost as one voice, “What a mess.”

     There was no disagreement from our fellow passengers. Finally it came time to land. Our pilot chose a grassy meadow and we descended. But we did not know how to find our way home.

     Nature called and I awoke, wondering why we couldn’t find our way home in my dream.