Good to the Last Bite



By Jon Frangipane                     

I’m restless. I look at my bedroom clock. It’s just after 4 a.m. I twist my body into a northwesterly direction, although I prefer the southwesterly direction, and attempt to once again recreate my usual prenatal position. Without warning and absolutely no provocation, Berkel takes a bite out of my right ankle. The suddenness of the attack causes me to fling my right leg into the air, thereby sending Berkel helplessly in flight, across the entire room in a northeasterly direction with a blood-curdling scream, hitting the wood floor with a thud, and barely missing my wastebasket.

“That’s it, buddy boy! Tonight I’m putting you in chains, feeding you yesterday’s guacamole, and putting a muzzle on your lousy puss.”

“On my what?”

“On your face — you vicious, ungrateful, moth-eaten piece of fuzz!”

“I strongly resent that remark. Especially the moth-eaten part.”

“Apparently, your pea-size brain can’t recall the last time you took a bite of my left ankle and I ended up in the hospital with a serious viral infection. Can you?”

“Well, if your pea-size brain can remember, why shouldn’t mine?”

“Oh, so you do remember.”

“Yes, I especially do try to remember the very few happy times I’ve experienced here in this hell hole.”

“Then, what you’re saying is that you very much enjoyed inflicting pain upon the very person who feeds you every day, who cleans your litter box, who vacuums stacks of hair off furniture, carpets and clothes, who protects you from the elements outside, and who pours enormous amounts of affection upon you whenever he has a moment to spare?”


“Well, let’s break it down, knucklehead. You see, yes, I did find it somewhat joyful and gratifying to be able to go back to my roots by exercising my jungle-like heritage when I bit into your ankle.”

“But a tiger you’re not, Berkel.”

“We’ll see about that tonight when your foot flicks out of the covers.

“You’re one—sick—cat.”

“Of course I’m sick! You set your thermostat at 82 degrees day and night, so I’d take my chances living in Hades if I could.”

“I could arrange that easily, if you like, fuzzball!”


“Oh look, that vein in your temple area just began to swell and pulsate!”

“It always happens when we argue. My doctor said my blood pressure is going through the roof and I should avoid commiserating, or conversing with you.”


Well, there goes the eighty bucks you paid for me!”

How about Mrs. Maloney next door? You think she would take you for half price? She seems to enjoy your company.”

“I should bite your ankle right now!”

“But you’re a perfect match! I think you’re worth forty bucks. You’ll be able to watch Golden Girls reruns every night!”

“I should bite both your ankles!”

“Listen, I’ve decided that your stupid remarks are not going to hurt me any longer. Now go play in that two-hundred dollar three-story cathouse I bought you for your birthday and just leeeave meeee alone.”

“Thank you, but as I clearly recall, I had instructed you to buy me a cathouse that had a real penthouse with a master bedroom, with four windows and a walk-in closet …”

“You don’t deserve it!”

“So, I’m supposed to be happy with this glorified dungeon, made from three orange crates that river rats would be embarrassed to be seen in. My friends would laugh me out of town, you nitwit!”

I feel that vein pulsating heavily in my right temple area once again. I feel like my head’s in a vice. This cat is going to kill me. I get an idea. “Hey Berkel, does the word Pit Bull conjure up any pleasant thoughts in your microscopic brain?


“Nice try, Blabbermouth! Just because Pit Bulls receive a bad rap in the press, I’m supposed to take this as a threat? Hey, I have a plan. You get a pit bull to move in …and I call the ASPCA!”


I’m about to pass out, I must think of something quick. “Listen Berkel, if you crawl up on my lap, I’ll make you feel real good with this brand new comb I bought for you.”


“I don’t do laps. I’m not a lap cat. I haven’t been a lap cat since the day I was born. And enticing me with a comb is a lame excuse to… to… you say a new comb?”


Yes, it’s a new, special electric comb that gives a pleasant massage with each stroke.”


“Pleasant massage? Well, maybe a few strokes I can use. But just a few, until I say stop. Okay?”

“Okay, Berkel, whatever you say.”

Copyright © 2008 Jon Frangipane       Revised 2015