le Chat

by Christamar Varicella

There was a time when I washed my dishes with a stray cat who spoke French. I won't go into all the details of what led the bilingual feline into my kitchen, or how he came to take the plunge into an abyss of soap and grease, cheese-encrusted plates, and marinara-stained plastic sealable containers; the point is he didn't like it.  


In between soakings, he gasped for air and attempted to mesmerize me with fanciful stories about a tree that gets struck by lightening but doesn't die, a glowing orb found in a cave where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and other implausible tales exhibiting elements of magical realism, and in this manner he attempted to delay my daily cleaning duties.


When at last he paused between stories, I held the sopping mess into the air and looked into his glimmering eyes (so captivated was he by his latest tale.)  Alas, my arm grew tired. 


“I don't speak French,” I said and I forced him back under the water.