My cats are not French speaking because they are cats and don’t speak, but I am pretty sure could she speak Gremlin would have a bad French accent. She has a strong resemblance to internet sensation Henri, the French cat whose name rhymes with ennui. Gremlin is a bit of a starlet; elusive, unfriendly, putting on airs, constantly primping. She thinks she is hiding by standing directly in front of the television turned off. From the back you cannot see her white paws or tuxedo bib and she is all black. She thinks she is camouflaged. I also catch her sitting directly in front of the full length mirror in my bedroom, examining the world in the peripheral reflections. She thinks I can’t see her, like a kid playing hide and seek by putting her hands over her eyes. Otherwise she is very likely to be hiding under the bed or couch. You can almost hear her echo Garbo’s famous words, “I vant to be alone.”
Where Gremlin is the recluse starlet, Babaloo is the goofy clown. He is all fluffy friendliness, curious and sweet. He resembles a black and white Holstein cow with long fur and no udder of course, because he is boy. I imagine his voice as adenoidal like a young boy cartoon character, not as sarcastic as Bart Simpson, not as depressed as Charlie Brown; perhaps more like Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes except he of course is a cat. He is not related to Gremlin but they have some similarities in their coloring, each with a white hook on the side of their face. Whereas Babaloo’s eyes are round and green making him seem constantly alarmed, Gremlin’s eyes are almond-shaped and yellow, making her seem more like a typical, unimpressed cat.
Gremlin rules the bedroom and Babaloo the living room. They rarely hang out together and when they do I am usually there between them. Therefore when I catch them hanging out or worse hiding together I know something is up and they are holding a secret conference. They used to have these in the window sill but now they are too big to use that as a temporary office. Now they hide behind the couch together. This happened earlier today in reaction to yesterday’s somewhat traumatic visit to the vet for overdue check-ups. I can imagine how their conversation went.
G: Psst Babaloo.
B: What, what, what? Is there food? Where is the food?
G: Shhhh, Idiot. We have to chat.
B: No donuts?
G: Not unless you count the thing you sit in on the couch all day.
B: I thought there would be donuts.
G: What is this, 1985? No one serves donuts anymore. Now it’s bagels.
B: Oooh, whats that? Is it good? I want one. I want a bagel. I demand a bagel!
G: Oh my god. Listen. Shut up. Listen. We need to make sure that doesn’t happen again. The taking in the crate in the moving room with the air and the noise blasting in our face through vents.
B: I like the noise. She has that music I like. I love the Led Zeppelin. I want to go back.
G: To the other place with the steel tables and the random hands poking and prodding? No thank you!
B: They had free coffee.
G: You’re a cat. You don’t drink coffee.
B: It was different. I get so bored here.
G: Listen we don’t have much time. I have a plan. When the door opens run out. I can’t because I am scared and have a reputation to uphold, but you do it. You run out and come back and tell me what it’s like. Maybe we can live on the outside.
B: That doesn’t make any sense at all. Here we have food and warm blankets and the TV on when she’s here. Not right now because she isn’t. But she’ll be back. Maybe she will have bagels and we can all watch Flip or Flop. I love that show!
G: Don’t you want to meet the dog next door?
B: Oh yeah. Yeah I do. I want to go outside and meet that dog. Maybe we could bring him back here to meet Mommy. I love my mommy.
G: You are pathetic.
B: Oh yeah, so are you. Bye. I have to go not think about stuff.
G: Fine. Go sit on your donut.
B: Donut? I want a donut!
G: This conversation never happened.
B: Why not?
G: We’re cats.