Chapter Fifteen

At 3AM the bar is usually closed. People and cats need sleep. BarCat is no exception. After a long day of drinks, heavy cholesterol snacks, and napping, what cat doesn't need nine or ten hours of sleep.

A minor cleanup is done after closing. Dishes washed, tables and floors cleaned, garbage taken out. In the morning Pete comes in early and cleans the bar from top to bottom. Cook also comes in at the same time and scrubs down the kitchen.But the wee hours of the night, that is BarCat's time. Time for sleep, and sometimes wandering. BarCat will sometimes wander outside, accessed by a grate with a large hole in it, down in the basement. It will be dependent on his mood. To sleep or to prowl?

But because he can get out also means things can get in. And there have been visitors of all kinds to the Bistro after hours.

Once a month at full moon Pete leaves two shot glasses of good whisky and a very small chip of honey cake on a table in the basement. BarCat knows one is for him. The other is for his visitor. Once a month on the full moon, the Bistro has a small visitor. And there is a customary ritual associated with the visit.

BarCat notices the moon light through the high window, and proceeds to the basement door, down the stairs. He takes up position near the grate. And waits, in the dark. Quietly. His eyes are slits, so as not to reflect too much light back, giving away his hiding spot. That he hides in the same place every month does not make a difference.

Shortly thereafter, a small creature quietly squeezes through the grate, and into the basement.

Barcat was on it in a flash. The visitor seems to have anticipated BarCat, and moved swiftly out of range of the finger razors. BarCat chases the small visitor under the tables, across the floor, onto a chair and down again. The visitor scoots under a large piece of furniture, BarCat reaches under and tries to hook the small thing, but it avoids the deadly swipe and runs back across the floor, with BarCat right behind it. But along the way, BarCat loses the little bugger. BarCat stops. He turns and looks in all directions for his prey. Did he lose the creature already?

Suddenly there is a yell, and something drops on BarCat's back. It grabs onto his fur and BarCat takes off. He has to dislodge his passenger.

The next few minutes involve BarCat trying to get the thing off his back. He jumps, he runs, he shakes, he spins. Nothing seems to work.

But BarCat is faking it. He has a plan. Something new he is going to try. He lulls his passenger into thinking the ride will continue, by running and jumping some more. And he suddenly flops down onto the floor, rolling over onto his side, then back. And he rolls back and forth on his back.

There is muffled yelling as BarCat rolls back and forth, back and forth, relentlessly. Unmercifully. He doesn't stop. He continues. Rolling and rolling. Waiting for something.

Then he hears the magic words. "Okay, okay! you win!"

BarCat stops rolling, gets on his feet, shakes himself off and jumps onto a chair and up onto the table. He then proceeds to lick up his drink.
Behind him, walking across the table and picking cat fur out of its hair and clothing is a small, man-like creature. It is as small as a rat, and has some fur, but clearly resembles a human of some kind. He is dressed in a shaggy shirt, short pants and boots. On his head is a blue cap. He walks over to the other shot glass, pulls out a small cup, dips it in the shot glass and takes a sip.

"Good move, cat. Ya caught me off guard. Excellent play!"

BarCat smiled that secret cat smile of his. And the two continued to drink, all the while the little man creature chattering away, while munching on the honey cake.

When the drinks and food are gone, the man creature tips his hat to BarCat. "Thank you for the fine sport this evening. Good play! And thank Pete for the fine whiskey and honey cake. Till next month, then!"

And he jumps off the table and is gone. If you looked real close, you could see him exit through the grate and head outside.

BarCat makes his way upstairs, jumps up on the bar to his usual spot, and falls asleep.

Several hours later, he wakes to a hand scratching his head. It's Pete. He is saying something about he hopes he had a good time with his friend last night. BarCat purrs. Pete gives him some raw burger meat for breakfast, and a shot glass of water. BarCat chews his meal slowly, smiles his cat smile, and contemplates his good fortune. And yes, he laps up his water. Even a magical cat like BarCat needs fresh water daily. So, leave a little fresh water outside for your wild fur and feathered friends, and makes sure your indoor furkids have fresh water twice a day. And on the full moon, leave a little something extra for the unexpected guests.


Copyright 2019 Boudica Foster and Tales from the Zodiac Bistro
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