PERNOD

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
What meets the eye is not necessarily what you see.

Submitted: August 22, 2016

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Submitted: August 22, 2016

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PERNOD

by Lionel Walfish

 

Pernod was no ordinary run of the mill house-cat. He was as hairless as one could possibly imagine a Peterbald to be. He lived on Bella Vista Drive, overlooking the shady hills of Ventura, California. His owners, Dale and Pinky Wasserman, doted on their beloved cat, and treated him in a manner befitting the child they never had.

Pernod’s Russian and Siamese heritage was overshadowed by the Balinese and Javanese in his blood, rendering him at least twelve inches taller than the average Peterbald.

Standing on long hind legs, his sharp nails were capable of snatching ornate object d’arts from decorative mahogany curio stands and hiding them in remote corners of the sprawling Ventura home.

To commemorate Pernod's first birthday, the Wassermans had a sparkling aqua-marine and jade collar designed for their 'darling boy'.

It was at that time, that they felt their cat was sufficiently trained to accompany either of them during their daily business routines in the workplace.

 

Pinky Wasserman, a heavy set, big boned woman, whose comings and goings were heralded by the noisy clank of her gold and silver arm bracelets, dealt in high end Real Estate, showing exclusive homes in the Thousand Oaks West area of Ventura, California.

Dale Wasserman, diminutive in stature, with sizable finger rings on both smallish hands, was the proprietor of Firenze Salon (“Never say shoe store,” he would be quick to admonish) in downtown Ventura. Manola Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, and Zanotti, were the names on tips of tongues of the ladies who shopped there.

Pernod’s first day at Firenze Salon, (which was to be his last) found him gnawing on a Salvatore Ferragamo ‘carry all’.. “Very bad Pernod….bad, bad cat,” Dale Wasserman scolded, wrenching the leather bag’s handle from Pernod’s steel-like jaw.

The cat, suffering instant humiliation, angrily skulked flat-bellied along the thickly piled carpeted floor, before jumping onto a Grecian style pedestal, knocking over a hand painted Crown Staffordshire vase (circa 1920) which miraculously survived it’s fall.

 

“First time out of the house nerves,” Pinky Wasserman said to her husband, later that evening.

She rationalized that Pernod was merely cutting his teeth, so to speak, in a new and untried environment. As any parent might believe, this behavior would be outgrown.

Perhaps if she took the feline along with her, he would sit quietly in an ‘open house’ that she would be conducting, later that week.

 

It was not to be.

 

“Your cat did what?!!!!!!!” Mamie Hosslager screamed out (actually it was more of an echoing shriek). Pinky was trying to prepare her for what she was about to see upon entering her living room, after the ‘open house’ had terminated.

Mamie’s bay window coverings, superb antique Chenille Portieres, (inherited from her grandmother’s collection of fine woven German fabric, circa 1900) had been shredded with knife-like precision; ribbons of flowery remnants strewn about the living-room floor. Pernod had gone wild.

“Why I had only gone into the kitchen for just the quickest of moments for a glass of water,” Pinky explained. “How this could have happened is beyond me. I’ll replace the drapes, of course.”

 

Pernod purred preciously, head poking out from under the vestibule credenza.

 

“Twenty grand for curtains?” Dale Wasserman hit the roof. “That’s insane! Whoever heard of twenty grand for curtains?” “Well that’s what she said it was,” a perplexed Pinky sighed, “and if we don’t pay up, I’ll lose my roster of clients.. She’s got a bad tongue, that one does.”

“Well, that’s the end of that cat’s friggen fancy feast…where is it? WHERE IS IT?” Dale hollered out twice. “I’ll kill it!”

Pernod was nowhere to be seen.

 

It was eight o’clock that same evening, while Pinky and Dale were finishing up their main course of buttered Bay scallops and grilled scampi at ‘La Maisonette’, when Pinky received the call on her cell phone. She blanched, eyes bulging, and gagged. Dale tried slapping her on the back.

All she could do was flail her arms and push him towards the exit of the charmingly decorated eatery. “Put it on my tab,” Dale motioned in pantomime to the Maitre D. —

 

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“More than likely, the fire broke out in a void behind the airing cupboard in the kitchen, and the most probable cause was squirrels chewing through cables,” Chief inspector Radwell said. “The rest of the property was damaged by smoke and heat. I’ve never seen a place go up so quickly—almost as if gasoline had been spilled in each room. Lucky this didn’t happen late at night, when you were asleep.”

Dale and Pinky knew differently.

They did not exchange words with each other after the fire inspector left. The damp and charred ruins of their home had been cordoned off with yellow tape, and they were told that it would not be safe to investigate the property for at least three days. There would be a security guard on site every eight hours to keep prowlers and curious neighbors away.

Pinky Wasserman heaved a heavy sigh as she cast her eyes upwards toward the fading sunset and the silhouetted hills of the Ventura landscape.

 

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Located on North Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada, there is a marina where wealthy tourists from California, can dock their luxury yachts and partake of the splendid scenery and endless wild-life trails.

Some say the first sighting was in this vicinity. Over the years there have been very similar accounts. Through dense thickets of high shrubbery and ancient evergreen, a large rat-like creature has been seen leaping with kangaroo strides; in one instance, a thrashing badger, gripped tightly in its steel tight jaws.

When seen in the moonlight, something glittery sparkled around it’s neck.

To this day, no one has been able to identify this apparition. When spotted on rare occasions, it is talked about in a ‘sassquatchian’ manner.

 

And who is to say if it is, or it isn't.

 


© Copyright 2017 Lionel Walfish. All rights reserved.

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