Fritz! Now there was a cat: that
monstrous, malodorous, megalomaniac, marauding, mariajuanaphile
creation of Crumb. Sixties and Seventies
slip through a wormhole, spaced out in spacetime,
materialise the poor creature on my absent neighbours’ balcony,
transfix it among spiked anti-robber railings
it is too scared to back out of.
The cat shrieks, wails, howls
like a banshee, yanks us
from Sunday-morning dreams of long sleep.
Its instinct calls to our instinct;
we snap to our feet,
rush to save ourselves by saving it,
but Fritz is recalcitrant, its freaked-out fur frozen,
all energy focused on throat,
issuing warnings and pleas that drown the Cathedral’s bells
(its creator would chuckle).
Its lord and master, our neighbourhood hotelier,
is beside himself in the courtyard below.
We beam him up, with a gang of his workmen, converted to animal rescue, who compose a human chain to anchor him
as he stretches his yearning across the abyss
between next-door balconies.
The banshee screams,
sinks front claws into its ninth-life owner’s wrists,
thus gets hauled back through space, in time,
cocooned in human arms,
to the tableau outside my condo kitchen.
One by one, the humans disappear.
Fritz goes too.
Bryan Murphy is a retired translator who now concentrates on his own words and divides his time between England, Italy and the wider world. His work has recently appeared in Descant, Eunoia Review, The Camel Saloon, The Pygmy Giant, Rose and Thorn, The Rainbow Rose, Dead Snakes and The View from Here. His website, www.bryanmurphy.eu, contains a taster of his forthcoming novella, Goodbye, Padania.