Cats and Coffee Pacts | Sunday Observer
Coffee Shop Stories…

Cats and Coffee Pacts

24 January, 2021

Continued from last week…

“Eight shots of tequila spiked a bowl of cookie dough before it went in the oven.” Carry once said as an utterance looking at me first as he started off and then panning his head towards the window and the world outside by the time he got to “...of cookie dough before it went in the oven.” I thought it was delightful. Did it really happen at any point once upon a time in his life? Was it something someone had done which he was told of or had heard of from another? Was it just something he simply just imagined and uttered to me?

If so, was it pre-planned or a spur of the moment conjuring? I don’t know. We never go into the background of anything we utter to each other. Just in case there is a wrong impression about it, there is no slam poetry competition of two going on there. Neither is there a duet of poetic lines being cobbled together to make a poem written in the air, or on the wisps of steam rising from our Double Cappuccinos.

Do we keep speaking to people we are made to be in company with simply to assure there is no ill or adverse feeling inside us towards the other person? Why else would people feel compelled to talk and end up with terrible conversation that lead to them feeling stupid at times? First dates that are doomed from the start have that kind of element in them don’t they? But then how can you go through a date without conversation? It’s dilemmatic that way.

Somehow I feel that cats have the answer to this one. But it’s their secret and theirs to keep. Cat’s have their oral communication with another cat only if they are about to start a cat fight. A clear confrontation. When they are in harmony there is no meowing exchanged between them. They only mew to us humans. Not even to another animal does a cat mew. So we say they talk to us.

The thing is that we will never know as long as we rely on the belief that our infinitude of words and infinite capacity for verbal communication called speech as the highest and clearest form to convey ideas, how cats have mastered the technique of silent communication between them.

Sometimes they just sit like sphinxes, at times as sphinxes with their front paws folded under them, like roosting hens, and create a moment of feline companionship.

But cats don’t have coffee. Certainly not yet, with all the trimmings of a latte art to grace the occasion of revelling in the bliss of sweet java. Even if they get human rights one day, becoming fully bipedal like the puss in boots, I still wonder if they will sit in coffee houses and actually have coffee.

Maybe they will sit together in little twosomes and threesomes or bigger gangs and engage in rituals of enjoying the silence, the quietude they maintain between them. It’s amazing how cats can hold their silence and solitude as though they are the only creatures existing in the world even though they may be in a group.

“There are no more gypsies. All the nomads sold their carts and took to tree houses.” Carry said it one day just before he took his first sip. And looked me straight in the face as though it was a statement he knew to be absolutely true. As though there is no contest to it, it’s factuality.

I felt sad. But also I felt a curiosity. A delightful curiosity. What would the tree houses look like? Gypsies have colourful caravans.

They have all sorts of curiosities attached to their houses on wheels. So I was curious to know what the tree houses looked like now! It’s understandable after all, right? Who wouldn’t want to know what a band of gypsies who have taken abode on trees have made their tree houses to look like? Carry was quite imaginative there.

Very imagery heavy imagination I’d say. And right now I’m wondering if Carry is in one of those tree houses somewhere in a nameless wooded place sipping coffee with a group of gregarious gypsies.

They are probably strumming their guitars and clapping their hands to a rhythm too. Carry being their very first visitor from a city to go up in to that neighbourhood built on trees, they will surely put on a good welcome for him.

But I wonder if with all the music and the alluring and mournful gypsy singing, which has a mix of so many emotions, will eventually assail Carry’s ears. Because carry wants the quietude that we both so enjoy. So maybe the gypsy coffee and the allure of the exotic gypsy tree dwelling won’t keep Carry there forever.

If cats don’t have coffee even after becoming bipedal, then that means that what we call coffee houses will be like quietude lounges. But maybe they will have mugs of warm milk? Even if double cappuccinos are out for them, they may have warm milk. Maybe warm milk won’t be so bad either. It’s not like we had double cappuccinos as children.

A glass of warm milk on a cold night sitting in bed was always a comfort.

The comforts of childhood are such distant treasures when we reach adulthood. So I suppose I will have to keep wondering what kept Carry away from this Double Cappuccino Tuesday. Wondering is all that is possible. Because to ask it outright as a question the next time, next Tuesday, may go against the practices we have made up between us.

It’s raining outside, if Carry is up in the trees with the gypsies that will make it a magical experience for him, for sure. But the quiet here will bring him back I’m sure. Carry will be sitting here next Tuesday. And maybe some glimpses of the gypsies in tree houses may come out as utterances. That will be my chance to piece together the puzzle.

The rain outside is slow and lazy. The dimming light makes it even sleepy, and unrushed. Cats usually curl up and go to sleep in times like this.

If Carry and I were cats we’d still have coffee. We’d still have double cappuccinos I’m sure. Cats don’t really care to become philosophers, I believe, from what I’ve seen of them.

Though they have nine lives they won’t philosophise about even one of their lives. Maybe having coffee will make cats more philosophical? But then maybe that’s why cats never want to have coffee. They aren’t interested in philosophising. They want to enjoy the bliss and comfort of quietness.