THE OLD NEW NORMAL, Chapter 12: Live and In Person!

By Liz McLeod

Still Your House Manager


“Can you believe it?” I exulted to Miss Carol T. Cat. “We’re gonna be doing LIVE SHOWS AGAIN! “

Miss Carol T. Cat responded to this announcement with a slow blink of her bright green eyes, and turned her attention to bit of congealed gravy on her otherwise-immaculate fur. 

“Indeed?” she finally replied, opening her eyes in order to facilitate viewing me with disdain. “Am to assume from this that those evenings will mean further delays in the presentation of my bedtime meal? Rest assured that the lateness of the hour will in no way compromise my careful examination of the food served for hidden drugs.”

“Look, we’ve been over this, alright?” I sighed. “You have to take those pills for the rest of your life, an’ that’s that. Besides, this is exciting news! LIVE SHOWS AGAIN! Do you realize how long it’s been? Do you have any idea how long since we’ve had a live audience in the theatre watching a live stage performance?”

Miss Carol’s eyes flicked rapidly, as her razor-sharp mind performed the necessary calculation. “635 days,” came the response. “This was, however, a daytime performance, and thus my evening meal was not delayed. My afternoon meal, however, was presented exactly one hour and thirty eight minutes late. As I advised you at the time, this was unsatisfactory.”

“Six hundred and thirty five days!” I exclaimed back. “So do you UNDERSTAND how exciting this is for us – to welcome a happy, excited crowd back to our theatre to see LIVE PERFORMERS? LIVE PERFORMERS ENTERTAINING PEOPLE again?”

“I must take your word for this,” Miss Carol sniffed. “I have, as you know, expressed my dismay concerning your refusal to admit me to the theatre so that I might view these performances and judge their merit for myself. As you know, my standards are extremely high.”

“Well,” I continued, “you know Paula Poundstone, right? You’ve heard her on the radio, right? She loves cats! She told me so!”

“Bring this person to me at once,” commanded Miss Carol. “I shall permit an audience.”

“I’m sure she’d love that,” I winced, “but she’s on a tight schedule. I’ll give her your regards.”

“That will be acceptable. I would not be displeased should she mention my name over the course of her performance. Any publicity, as they say, is good publicity.”

“But that’s not all,” I pushed on. “On December 4th, we’ve got Kat Edmonson!”

Miss Carol’s ears jutted forward, her eyes flared, and her whiskers commenced a violent oscillation. “YOU PERMIT A *CAT* TO APPEAR ON YOUR STAGE? AND YET YOU DO NOT PERMIT ME, A FELLOW CAT, TO VIEW THE PERFORMANCE? THIS IS MONSTROUS!”

“No no no no no,” I babbled. “That’s just her name. Kat. With a ‘K.’ She’s not an *actual* cat. I checked. She’s a human, not a cat at all.”

“You present your acts under false pretenses?” Miss Carol sneered. “An even greater outrage! I shall take action at once!”

“No, please,” I pleaded. “It’s nothing like that. She’s really a wonderful singer, a jazz-cabaret type of singer, and she’s going to be doing a swingin’ Christmas show for us. I promise I’ll bring home her CD so you can listen.”

“I prefer a long-playing record,” Miss Carol growled. “As you know, I am an audiophile.”

“Sure, sure,” I hastened. “Whatever ya want. And then on December 9th, it’s the Squirrel Nut Zippers!”

Again with the ear-jut, the eye-flare, and the whisker-oscillation. “A SQUIRREL???” erupted Miss Carol. “YOU PERMIT A SCURRILOUS ARBOREAL CREATURE TO…”

“THERE’S NO ACTUAL SQUIRRELS!!!” I cried. And I did, by now real tears. “It’s just a band name! And they’re a great band too, real hot swing stuff – and they’re doing a Christmas show as well. You never heard of a Christmas that swung as much as this one will!”

Miss Carol glared in stony silence. She has for years considered squirrels a mortal foe, and has gleefully fantasized over the prospect of an ultimate confrontation between she and they. Her disappointment was palpable. And I have learned thru many years of deep scratches to avoid palpating her disappointment. So I took a deep breath and plunged on.

“And then, on December 20th, yet another Christmas show – a CELTIC Christmas – with string-band favorites Coig!”

“You will not entice me by dangling a string,” huffed Miss Carol. “Do not attempt to do so. I have grown beyond such kittenish – one moment please.”

A flicker of light from a passing car traced rapidly across the kitchen floor. Miss Carol reared back and pounced and whirled with dismay at her failure to capture the fleeting photons.

“Live entertainment,” I sighed with satisfaction. “There’s nothing like it!”



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