I love my bed. It isn’t a big deal and can’t bear the weight of description but it is a bed and quite useful, chiefly for sleep but also for hiding. When I am in bed I inhabit a different state, like a principality inside a country – like the Vatican. My phone and laptop are turned off and there is quiet inside my own house even if the neighbors make an ungodly amount of noise.

But mostly it comes back to hiding, to the meaning of Easter break always including a parent who will show up at my doorstep with a frightened and confused child because the school, amazingly, was closed for the holidays that were announced a year in advance so obviously the next quite logical step was to hunt down any and all teachers at their private residences and assume one of them will care of a kid or two.

I can’t speak as to the exact circumstances of Havana’s youth, but she hides excellently. As if the entire species of cat were being hunted.

note to guest

When I affirmed that you could crash on my couch for a night or two, it was implicitly understood on my part that you were not to turn it into a Jamaican dance hall. Also the game of what-is-in-this-cupboard? Amusing to none but yourself.

Wait, I think I smell marijuana.

Where’s Havana?

no bath

“Why would you do that Havana?” I asked, slumping beside the bathtub. She threw her long tail back and forth, made a noise like someone rolling her r’s. “Do you know how much mommy wanted to soak in Epsom salts tonight?” Her head cocked sideways. “Do you have any idea how tired I am?”

She actually looked kind of proud of the dried little turds she’d left in the tub. She continued to ‘rrr’ and flip her tail.

I looked down. Poor people don’t have the option to feel this queasy, I reminded myself. Nor do they – we, sorry – have the leeway necessary to declare ‘I shall never use this tub again, it has become soiled beyond comprehension.’

What do poor people have? Dollar store bleach.


“What’s that she’s got?”
“Your cat. Havana. What does she . . . it’s a mouse! Oh my God she’s killing it!”
“I don’t have mice,” I sighed. I’m sure it’s just some, you know, thingie.”
“For fuck’s sake Lola I know when I have seen a mouse and I think she’s killing it oh God -”

I picked up Havana, pried the mouse from between her teeth. She squeaked angrily. She squeaks entirely too much; I suspect her miaow mechanism is faulty. “Look, it’s a bow.”
“The thing you put on presents.”
“Oh. Well. What kind of a cat carries around a bow like that anyway. Like, carrying like it’s live prey kind of carrying it. What’s up with that?”
“Cats who don’t have any – um, many toys. Poor people’s cats.”


Havana sleeps on the pillow beside my own, which is either sweet and comforting or completely unsanitary, depending on your proclivities. Sometimes at night when dreaming or nightmaring my hand falls on her and she purrs. Mostly it wakes me up but sometimes it just becomes integrated in my dreams, which is why this morning I awoke with a start from a dream about an Iphone that was licking my hand.

smells like

I walked in on the teachers passing Havana around like a fur sausage, sniffing her and laughing loudly. I raised an eyebrow at them all. “Enlighten me, crazies.”

“We’re imitating Shane,” the director explained. “He sniffed her this morning and blurted out ‘Smells like Lola’ then blushed and ran out the door.”

“And?” I said, telling myself inwardly nonchalance! “Well, she really does smell like you.”

power’s out

We’re alone in the dark, Havana and I. It’s hot. Havana is panting a little.

I peeled off all my clothes and rubbed myself down with a cold wet towel. I’d like to do the same for Havana, but I doubt she’d appreciate the gesture.

Something was scratching at the window just now, dully. I told myself it must be just a particularly large bug – but I don’t think I’ll sleep just yet.

8 weeks

“Havana,” he told me again, not slower but much louder, “is eight weeks old.” I shook my head. “Six. Impossible. Six weeks. Definitely.” He pulled out the chart and hmm’ed to himself.

“Yeppers. You brought her in four weeks ago for her antibiotics. She was four weeks old then, now she’s eight weeks.” He snorted. “And you wonder why she’s hungry all the time. You need to give her more kibbles!”

I bit my lip. I felt bad for Havana.