{LGT41: One or more American reviewers of my short story (Two Girls in a Cafe) alluded to the idea that the American female character doesn’t sound “American.” In a recent update I tried to remedy the problem but refrained from the attempt. I didn’t wish to make a mess of white American accent.}

Isobel’s Complaint—a brief tale by Lawrence G. Taylor

Isabel’s Complaint—a brief tale

Isabel meowed for my attention one recent afternoon near the end of a busy maintenance day in London’s fashionable urban residence. But I allowed her the time out of decency.

I peered at my wristwatch and said, So, what is your displeasure, me lady?

Her problem appeared absurd to someone standing in my worn-out shoes, pushed for time and whatnot. Isabel grieved from her present custodian’s disregard for her desire to sleep at night at the bottom end of Mrs Grasshopper’s bed.

It resounded like a privilege that Isabel seemed accustomed to and had at Madame Monet’s, who was her guardian.

Isabel appeared distraught, as if tears will well and descend. She seemed well-fed and chubby, unlike stray cats in some rundown neighbourhoods.

Isabel referred to the dog, Teddy, who lodged next door and revelled in the pleasure Isabel missed.

As a temporary caretaker, I cautiously hinted she should make her situation the best. Mrs Grasshopper appeared Christian-like to provide her welfare instead of a kindergarten for cats.

Madame Monet holidayed on the south coast of France.

Isabel didn’t take warmly to my suggestion and dismissed it out of hand.

Her eyes rolled as she sneeringly turned away and murmured under her breath that being stripped of free movement was a compromise. Isabel said she got locked up most of the day and could not even roam or chill at night with cronies.

Sauntering away down a red-carpet hall that led to a table next to a window with glittering sunlight, Isabel stopped, jerked her head back at me and meowed:

The world is what it is for cats, resenting our spontaneity and individuality; even janitors have no heart, with tears cascading down her cheeks, landing on her fur coat of ginger and white shapes, and the current vacuum cleaned red carpet.

Life’s inferno, certainly for animals, I mused as I dashed through my remaining cleaning chores.

Later, the conversation echoed in my cerebral chamber on the bus ride to homebound. I pondered Isabel’s predicament had meowed the trumpet of desolation and despair, like any victim held against his or her will at the iron fist of a disciplinarian. Perhaps this sentiment was ludicrous. Yet, I should have shown empathy for Isabel, the nocturnal creature.

Postscript: Isabel disappeared one week after the brief discussion. Two rumours from tenants persisted: that a speeding vehicle grabbed her breath away, or that she had settled in a new home with an advocate of Save The Cat Crusade. I chose the latter from the dread of the subliminal and sacred nature of cats.

© Lawrence G. Taylor