The Chronicles of Mingo

Belly Up To The Bar, Kitten!

Probably due to all the construction, the one place Mingo hadn’t climbed onto, jumped up on, or generally messed with has been the kitchen countertop, the bar behind it, and the stove. About two days ago, that changed.

No, he hasn’t set himself on fire. It’s still early days yet.

I’m making my usual pro-forma disciplinary noises: I yell, I grab him and drop him on the floor; I squirt him with the water pistol. Nothing, big surprise, has had much effect. Except one thing.

After a tremendous amount of indecision and second-guessing pre-construction, I decided to replace my tiled bar top behind the granite counter with a wood bar. It’s a beautiful piece, so beautiful that I moaned to the contractor: “I’ll probably kill the first person who sets a wet glass down on it.” The contractor said, “Won’t hurt it at all. Multiple coats of sealant. Trust me.”

It also has another property. You know those old westerns where the bartender fills a mug of beer and slides it the length of the bar to the gunslinger? Replace the beer mug with Ming, sliding on his ass with a surprised look on his face. Now, Ming is not a cat who is easily discouraged. He keeps trying. If he jumps from the floor directly onto the bar, he can’t land at all, too slick. If he jumps from the countertop to the bar he can’t stop.

I confess to a surge of joy as I watch him jump, slide, and FOOMP disappear over the edge like a magic trick. So he’s jumping onto the countertop and walking slowly onto the bar: any fast move and he’s gone. Of course, food prep on the countertop is now a battle and I can’t leave anything uncovered for more than 5 seconds but neatness is a virtue. I just wiped down the bar and checked it for scratches or scrapes. Not a mark on it.

Mary Holland

Mary Holland writes alternative-world fantasy for grown-ups. Her books include Matcher Rules, The Bone Road, and The Dog of Pel. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with three cats and an ever-changing assortment of wildlife.

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