Yogi’s Cat

She was a terrible waitress and we didn’t care. In her charming shy English she and my wife were discussing the history of immunization and plague, while her cousins covered for her. She was a doctoral student specializing in possible future pandemics. Since relatives were putting her up for the semester while she worked at the local university,
it only seemed right she should help out in their small Thai restaurant.
To include me in the conversation, she nodded briefly and said “I like your shirt very much. It is like the song”. She smiled, I smiled, my wife smiled , and I had no idea what song she meant.
My shirt was a lightweight plaid cowboy shirt complete with pearly buttons onto which my wife had sewn 70’s embroidered cats. Two little cats angled over the pockets playing different musical instruments. I tried to think of “shirt song” and did come up with Donavan and Elvis Costello tunes before our waitress gently prompted “you know,” and in her small lovely voice sang “Everybody wants to be a cat……”. The theme song from the “Aristocats”. The Disney animated film for praising cat lifestyles that came out shortly after “Lady and the Tramp” was such a hit. My wife knew it and started to sing, so did the cousins who joined in and in a true Broadway moment a surprising number of the other diners sang along. Only a few people new the song beyond the chorus
and even fewer knew the second verse, but people smiled and hummed along.
One of the cousins brought our food, our waitress gave another little nod and left.
My wife divided brow rice between us, and seemed to think all this was completely normal. I thought what a strange shift in our time-space continuum there had been. Singing a song from a cartoon movie I hadn’t thought of in forty years. Yet who could appreciate all this? Maybe if Yogi Berra had a cat. Deja vu all over again. Meow.
Doug Mathewson

Lend a Hand

Depending on the season Gus-Boy worked construction or fixing cars.
Place he bent wrenches fixed up donated cars and gave ‘em away. Just old cars to get you to work or for folks with kids who lived out in the hills,
Painted his name on the trunk of everyone so if he or a friend saw it broke down, they’d know to stop and lend a hand.
Doug Mathewson