Well, she was dressed like a cat though, I realise as I write the sentence, how really does a cat dress?
Really, the only dress-up cat that comes to mind was a cat called Tuxedo, who was – I assume – so named because of his attire of black and white fur – right down (or up) to his bow tie. And, I remember him because he ran in every civic election for years, and always garnered 500 -700 votes. He lived a few blocks from me and always had his lawn signs out. Yeah, he probably had a human manager – but still.
But I digress.
The cat lady, it is true, had an exceedingly colourful set of clothes, with a frilly shirt and what looked like a square dance dress. I didn’t note if there were dancing shoes. I was down on the harbour, sitting on my favourite bench, looking out to sea. Summer is picking up and there were many, many other folk walking and taking in the view. So, it wasn’t really her garb that meowed “cat”, but the fact the had her face painted up as a cat, with accented eyes and tufts of fur and a set of cat ears. It’s summer, and there are lots of entertainments on the harbour, and it is possible she was part of some CATS revue that was giving entertainment for the masses. (or that could just be me, trying to make sense of it all).
However, she broke the tranquil evening by starting to yell.
“IN THE WATER
“IS IT A SEAL!?!”
She was becoming so excited and agitated that I finally yelled back:
“YES, IT’S A SEAL”
“I’VE NEVER SEEN A SEAL. EVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE. ARE YOU SURE?’
Yes, I was sure. I had already been watching the animal, and it was putting on a good display. Not many seals venture so far into the harbour, and when they do they are usually above the water less than a minute before they dive to come up somewhere else. This seal was swimming tranquilly along, in nearly a straight line, for longer than a minute at a time. Perhaps basking in the sun. Or watching the people, so he would have tall tale to tell to his friends.
“A REAL SEAL?”
“I NEVER SAW ONE BEFORE.”
And with that she walked away, the sight, apparently, not being as earth-shattering as her voice.