The playwright Seagal Pilchard was known for his great love for his cat, Peabody. An affection I can well and personally attest to. The first time I met Saggy was at his apartment nearby the harbour. I had been convinced by a local and mutual acquaintance who knew him quite well that he wouldn’t mind a house call from a perfect stranger, so long as he were properly vetted. Saggy was, to borrow from Jerome, too conceited to recognize — let alone be bothered by — impertinence. I took the man at his word and knocked on the author’s door one late morning to pay my respects.

The door opened to reveal a jumble of limbs immaculately clad in red tweed vest and pants which brooded over a floral print, butter yellow shirt, complete with matching red bow tie. Across his chest hung, bandolier-like, a vibrantly pied sling containing a sizable hidden mass. As I gazed upon this unexpected scene, the mass moved and the grand head of a great ginger cat rose up from the folds. It blinked sleepily, yawned regally, and made a sound as if to say, “This personage best be of import.” At this, Saggy solemnly bent and kissed his furry master between the ears. Satisfied, the head retracted back into the sling and was, within moments, fast asleep and purring loudly.

Throughout this fantastical scene, neither Saggy nor I had spoken a word. We eventually made our introductions and I was ushered in for a light breakfast of coffee with scones and jams. We had pleasant enough conversation, if of a professional nature and in subdued voices, for little under an hour, during the entirety of which Saggy milled about his room, arranging, unarranging, then rearranging various items, as was his wont. All the while he carried about Peabody who, apparently unimpressed with the present company, failed to make a second appearance.

M A Roosenmaallen writes in BC, Canada.

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