Friday, June 12, 2009


rue Didot back in 1994

I was taken with a tiny kitten sleeping on a bar downstairs from where I lived in the 14th. arrondissement.
Auw. So cute.
Polo, an iconic local drunkard exclaimed, "Donne le à l'americaine".
I said " Non, non, non, non, non."
That's French for "NO!"
Everyone was pleading with me.
Six-weeks-old and the beast already had more stories than me.

One being that a lady friend of Polo's had dropped him in the street.
The 58 bus was rolling by. Kiki escaped the wheels.
This was one of three escapes with earthly life he had managed.
One-night-stand, I thought, as I picked Kiki up off the bar.
Kiki, you understand, was the no-name I gave him, because it was a one-night-stand.
The next evening I returned to the café and who appears? The husband of the lady who dropped Kiki in the street, shouting.
"You've stolen my kitty cat!" .
The guy was big and ugly enough to play a monster in a B movie.
The locals were all in arms.
Polo (very slight, but stern) stood on a stool swaying.
"The kitty stays with Marie."
Everyone fell silent.
It was High Noon at Happy Hour.
Well, Polo got his way.
Kiki, Felix, Ruby, and I moved to Montmartre that winter.
First to rue Ravignan, then to rue Berth. From one window, there, he could watch all the pigeons in the world stationed in an abandoned building. From the other window he could find passage to the ajoining apartment and where he took afternoon naps with a Dorbermin.
He liked the move to rue Tardieu.
He has reigned the courtyard for the last 13 years.
Last Thursday, I saw that he wasn't well.
I had appointments in the afternoon and couldn't find him on my return nor the day after.
By Saturday I was certain he had gone off to die.
I began to write this story-tears streaming down my face; Sunday morning, I had the courage to write another line when I heard a crackling meow behind me.
Kiki had returned. Got some grub, then returned to the courtyard to survey.
Perhaps it's time to give him a name.


Ruby chez la princess from