Garbage Cat (for Alex)

One of his eyes was

pale. He had a bad

snaggle tooth, and he

was one big cat.

The trailer park tards

called him “Garbage

Cat” because he lived

out of the dumpsters.

The neighbor lady

started putting cat food out

on her porch. Sometimes I’d

watch Alex head there with

two small, black cats.

What struck me most

was the way he’d let

the little ones eat first,

and the way he’d growl

low and mean if you tried

to get too close. Then the

lady told me that the

manager was poisoning

strays. She and I both already

had cats, so I used her trap

and took Alex and his two

pals to a no-kill shelter where

he tested positive for the cat-

version of AIDS. Luckily, there

was a big, exclusive room there

for cats with that. It was furnished

with a couch, litter boxes, and toys.

Volunteers came to pet the cats and

clean. Alex became a celebrity there.

He lived well for over ten years,

and when he finally grew too thin

and tired, and didn’t want to eat,

I walked into his room, held him,

and said, “Goodbye for now.”

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie (A Story of Passion and Compassion) : Mail-Order Annie

A Good Way to Die

My favorite death scene

is when “The Motorcycle Boy”

in RUMBLEFISH breaks into

the pet store at night to free

these fighting fish. While he’s

doing it, he mutters something

about the fish, how they won’t

need to fight, if they just can

make it to the river. Now the

motorcycle boy, played by

Mickey Rourke, knows that

the pet store is guarded by

this hard ass cop who’s had

it out for him for him for a

good long time, so when the

“boy” is gunned down in the

street with that fish tank in

his arms, we get the idea

that he was ready for end

and even wanted it to go

that way.

Now I’ve been thinking

of another good way to

make a final exit, say

there’s this guy who feeds

stray cats and he’s really

pissed because the only

others who seem to care

are mostly older ladies

whose maternal urges have

been displaced onto hapless cats.

Now say this guy is mad about

more than just how society

regards cats, so when he goes

to feed them, or change the straw

in the makeshift shelter he’s built,

he’s strapped with a .38 on his side.

And say that one day (or night)

he feels that his light is spent, so

he really takes his time

pouring out the dry food and

laying the wet food over it, then

arranging the straw in the shelter

just right, until finally, some cow-faced

fool comes hoofing out of his castle of

commerce or over-mowed  back yard

and yells something like, “Hey, quit feeding

those cats!” So then our cat-guy pulls his

revolver, aims it, and blows a big hole out

the back of cow face’s fat head.

Then our hero waits for the cops to

arrive, while his hands are shaking,

because this isn’t some movie directed

by Francis Ford Coppola, and he’s just

not as cool as The Motorcycle Boy, and

he knows what comes next; but still he

has no regrets. He’s even relieved, feels

he’s chosen his end well, even if only a

few can see it that way.

 

by Fyodor Bukowski

Check out his novel MAIL-ORDER ANNIE (A Story of Passion and Compassion).