I started to stay up most nights, as late as I could take, doing god knows what, just to avoid the nightly cat fights. It was around that time that I started trying to teach them simple English to try and communicate with them. I talked to them as you would a baby, just learning how to make sounds and form them into ideas.
“You. Cat. Andy.”
“Me. Human. Michael.”
I would point at their tails and say, “Tail. Can you say tail?”
Ralph, who was big and gray and whom I loved more than Andy, seemed more receptive to the lessons. He would mew and cock his head, as if asking me to, “Explain that again? Maybe slower this time and possibly in cat tongue?” His big green eyes curious to the sounds I was making and the response I was looking for. Andy, on the other hand, would just scamper off, looking for food or a toy. He was a very cat-like cat and I guess I resented him for it. He thought only of cat concerns and seemed to be telling me he had no use for this higher knowledge I was wasting his time with.
If you're in Chicago, please come to Cafe Ballou on Western between Division and Chicago around 7pm Tuesday to hear the whole story!