Who is Chuck and why does he like to travel?
I was born to be a writer and when I wrote my novel Wild Point Island, Chuck, my orange and white recently rescued feral tabby, got it in his head that he wanted to travel to the island and see the place for himself. Well, of course, Wild Point Island, can only be seen by revenants (you'll have to read the book to find out who they are) and Chuck is no revenant so instead, we concocted a plan to take Chuck with us--my husband and I--when we travel around the world, which we do frequently. Not an easy task. First, we have to deflate the poor kid of all air, stuff him in my carry-on bag, remember to bring my portable pump, and when we arrive, we pump him back up. Ouch. But he's used to it by now and given the choice to either stay home in his comfy cat bed or get deflated, he pulls out his passport, ready to travel, every time.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Chuck Plots to Meet French Girls
The jaunt to see Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower didn’t work out, and by the time Chuck was back in our hotel room, we should have known he would already be plotting his next move, but as he was resting peacefully on the bottom of our bed, we didn’t give it a second thought.
The next morning we had plans to travel to Deauville, a charming seaside resort town two hours from Paris--very picturesque--and we decided it would be a good way to end our trip to France, as Chuck’s nerve were shot after the Eiffel Tower debacle.
Or so we thought.
That evening as we were getting ready for dinner, we noticed that Chuck was acting strange.
“Where is he?” I asked Bob.
“Gazing out the window.”
Chuck was no sightseer, and if he had his nose pressed up against the panes--looking outside-it was for one reason only--he was either gazing at food or pretty girls.
Sure enough--our room happened to be on the second floor, overlooking a small restaurant. Couples were sitting outside at quaint tables, drinking wine and eating from what appeared to be silver buckets filled with some kind of black shell fish.
But Chuck wasn’t looking at the couples.
One table was occupied with girls gathered around a number of these silver buckets.
“Chuck, what are you looking at?”
Of course, Chuck never answers direct questions.
“I see,” I said, but of course I didn’t.
Was he looking at the girls or the buckets? Or both? What was this rascally cat up to?
Bob sauntered over. “So what will it be?”
We got one of the last tables, and by pure chance landed a waiter who spoke one word of English.
“Mussels,” the garcon said by way of explanation.
We ordered a bucket of steamed mussels, and I have to admit that when they arrived, they smelled delicious. There was only one problem.
“We need some kind of knife to open these mussels with,” I said to Bob.
“Do you speak French?” Bob said, hoping to make a small point.
Just as I was about to say something smart back, Chuck sprang into action. He hopped onto the table and scooped a mussel out of the bucket and somehow managed to crack it open using pure brute strength. Then he took the shell from the broken mussel and using it as a tool, pried open the second mussel.
“Wow,” I said. “How did you learn to do that?”
Sure enough, most of the smarter French people around us were doing the exact same thing, even the very chic French women.
Then one of the girls at the table near us saw Chuck, and yeah, you guessed it, it took exactly two seconds for Chuck to hop over there and perform the same cat trick to their girlish amazement.
Chuck became the instant hero.
“I just don’t know how he does it.”
“Yeah, it’s humiliating,” Bob said, “when you know you’re not even smarter than a cat.”