by Nick Bridwell
Writing as Count Aloysius Darkheart, Immortal Beloved
I’ve been thinking about my friend Deadcat, the undead feline. Although it has been said (yes, I said it) that Deadcat is a solitary soul, it’s not unheard of for him to have company from time-to-time. On top of Dead Eunice, his old dead lady friend, he will also invite other otherworldly folks for a visit to his crawlspace-turned-home.
He lives beneath the mortuary, where the warmth from the incinerator gives him comfort. This crawl space wasn’t built for company, so when folks comes over he tidies it up in the best way he can. To be honest, he doesn’t accomplish much, because he’s a cat and he’s never seen a Home & Garden or Martha Stewart magazine or television program in his entire life or afterlife.
Last winter, Deadcat invited a waitress over from the local diner. She was a human and about five-foot-and-seven-inches tall. It was the first date he’d had in some time. He greeted her with a bouquet of dead fish bones and she had to crawl on her belly to make it to the sitting room. Even then, her legs went straight through his sleeping quarters and into his bathroom. He tried to play a Van Morrison record for her, but it couldn’t be heard over the autopsy going on just above. For entertainment, he suggested Dance Dance Revolution, but since she couldn’t stand it didn’t work out. She left early, and with kitty drops on her ballerina flats. It was a total disaster.
Then in the summer, we’re all at The Mold & The Beautiful, the bar that hosts our undead book club, and Deadcat gets paired off with Prince Tadpole Jones for an exercise. That creature is a tragicomedy, I tell you. In a nutshell: Human prince gets cursed by gypsy and turned into frog (happens all the time) must kiss a true love to turn back into human. Well, this nimwit goes and makes out with a vampire gifted with eternal youth. So..bam…turned into an eternally youthful tadpole. He floats about with the most obtrusive fluorescent blue glow and he is very snobbish having once been a bona fide royal.
So, Deadcat is leaving Mold, when Prince Tadpole mentions that he’s never visited Deadcat’s home. Practically invites himself over. What was Deadcat to do? Well, the great prince has never been to my house, that blasted tadpole, and he never will. But, Deadcat’s a pushover.
So, Tadpole Jones goes over and because he’s so bright you can see every nook and cranny in Deadcat’s crawl space. At first, they are having a gay old time pointing out Deadcat’s bad habits.
“Oh, look there, Deadcat,” said the prince, shining the light of his undead soul in all directions. “You’ve forgotten to dust and now there are a bunch of mites taking residence in your library.”
“Those aren’t squatters, they are guests,” answered Deadcat with a grin, trying to play it off.
“Oh look, Deadcat,” Tadpole Jones added, “your litter box is overflowing and the cockroaches are throwing a party in there.” And he was holding his nose the whole time because, as we know, Deadcat smells like a dead cat.
“Oh, it’s their family reunion and they needed somewhere safe from the rain,” Deadcat said and saved himself from embarrassment again.
These were all such rude things to say to Deadcat, who was only hosting the glow-in-the-dark snob to be nice and certainly not because he wanted him in his home. But Deadcat took it in stride, because he is ever the good sport. But then, while playing a game of Dance Dance Revolution, something bad happened.
“Look, Deadcat,” Prince Tadpole said, “there’s something green and long and rather amphibian-like protruding from your broom closet.” And with that he went over and bumped the door and it flew open.
Imagine Prince Tadpole’s surprise at finding loads of dead frogs.
“That’s nothing,” Deadcat screamed. “I was just eating them one-at-a-time…for breakfast and dinner.”
Prince Tadpole’s jaw didn’t drop because he didn’t have one.
“Okay, and lunch,” Deadcat admitted.
Prince Tadpole floated away immediately and went straight to gossiping about Deadcat’s horrible hosting habits to the entire circle of fiends.
When last I visited, Deadcat had almost given up having company over all together. I told him not to worry, because the finer guest like myself and Dead Eunice would always enjoy the visit.
“You see,” I told him, “home is supposed to be somewhere you can be yourself. But if everyone you invite over does nothing but judge you and your bad habits, you’ll never get around to having a good time.” That’s the saddest part of it all, because I really think that silly waitress would have enjoyed Deadcat’s red velvet cupcakes. And stupid Prince Tadpole Jones missed out on a great game of hide-and-seek. Deadcat seemed to cheer up after that and we spent the rest of the night prank-calling Burger King.
When I pay a visit to a home, I just make sure that I spend time with the person and not the house. It’s the best way to keep a friend, really. Even at Deadcat’s house, which is so awfully crowded.