I was at some way station among people who I know, including a young child. It was a cozy place, a little dim inside, rain beating against tall narrow windows, mild rain battering them. A crowded place. Tables, overstuffed chairs, bookcases, brook stone fireplaces with fires going. Noisy.
Meanwhile, I’m giving the little girl a gift: a small cat. This cat is purple, white, gray, and pink. Really sweet little critter. About ten pounds. Of greatest interest, the cat has a set of controls in its side. See, the cat is a radio. It’s a live animal and it’s also a radio. I’m telling her, “Look at this. Listen.” Showing her the controls. But you can also lightly tap the cat to increase the volume, or tap it in another place to change the song.
The little girl is fascinated. Runs off. Comes back. Time and again as the cat hangs with around me, rolling around on the ground, being petted.
But there’s more! Besides the little cat, there’s a larger, almost identical purple-white-gray-pink radio cat. This one is much larger: forty to fifty pounds. And not as friendly. Or playful.
I’m playing with the little one. It’s on its back. I’m about to rub its belly. The little girl comes running up. “No! Don’t rub its belly! It doesn’t like to have its belly touched.”
I’m petting the belly, though. The little one makes a distressed meow. The big one comes running over through the crowd. Gives me an angry look and some serious tail switching. I leave off petting the little one, who gets up and rubs against me.
It’s time for me to go. I get up and dust off, look for the door, and make my way across the room.