OMG! Bucks has fleas! Look at him scratching. He’ll be sure to leave them everywhere, and then I’ll have them. This is not good. I had fleas once and they gave me such a haircut. It was embarrassing. My pelt is perfect now; two layers of fur, so beautiful . . . like mink . . . easy for fleas to find a nice home in.
“You’ve got fleas.” I tell him. “Always scratching . . . probably got them from your buddy, Boots.”
“I don’t, I’m not, and I didn’t.”
“You are, you do and you did.” I tell him. This is kind of fun.
“I don’t,” he says.
“Okay. Let’s see you prove it.”
“Let me see you keep from scratching for about . . . let’s say, 800 heart beats . . . something like ten minutes more or less. I’ll count my beats.”
“How do I know you’ll get it right?”
“Count your own if you want. I assume you’ll be honest, but I’ll be making my own count. Just let me get comfortable, here on this chair . . .” I leap up gracefully. “Where I can keep an eye on you.”
* * *
Bucks barely makes it through 300 beats. “You’ve got fleas,” I tell him calmly with my best sarcastic tone. The one I perfected in Berlin, when I was in human form. But that’s another story and you probably wouldn’t believe it.
Bucks knows I’m right, but hasn’t thought of a response yet.
“I refuse to have another bath!” he finally says. “Cats don’t need baths.”
“Some do. Or you might be in for a buzz cut. Remember when I got mine? You said I looked like a Chihuahua.”
“Mrrow,” he says.
“Yah, right. Just please stay off my floor of the cat tree.”
“I want the top deck,” he says.
“Fine with me, just say off the bottom one and the bed,” I add.
“Beds are for females. Males like me and boots go for altitude, so we can to see what’s going on.”
“I’m going to take a nap—on the bed,” I’ll him. “Catch your act later.”