Mr. Perkins gulped. He couldn’t imagine anyone feline or otherwise wearing something so revealing. Prickles tickled the back of his neck.
She smiled. “Nothing fancy,” she said as she took wedges of imported Gruyere from the fridge and a box of British water biscuits from the cabinet. “Just a little something to tide us over.” She pulled her chair closer to his and put her paw over his hand. “I’ve been so looking forward to our being alone Henry,” she purred melodically.
He smiled and put several crackers and cheese on his plate.
“Well then,” he began. “Can you tell me any more about the when and the how of the world going mad?”
She sighed. “Oh must we talk about that?” She stood and went to the cupboard. Taking out a bottle of sherry, she poured them each a glass. “To tell the truth, I wish I could tell you more, honey but this is all beyond me.” To her surprises, she found herself eying his scalp, wishing she could run her fingers through his hair.
“Perhaps you’re just being modest.”
She shook her head. “What little I know I learned from watching Zeke experiment with magic back when we were an item.” She sniffed at her sherry. “Before this tear in the fabric business I thought I knew a lot about the occult and how it worked. But now I’m not so sure.”
He tasted his sherry and appreciated its nutty bouquet. “If I weren’t under the influence of that magical wallet, it would be difficult for me to imagine everyone seeing everyone else as some kind of an animal.” Maybe it was the sherry but despite the seriousness of this situation he had to laugh.
“It would sure take some getting used to,” she lapped her sherry. Mr. Perkins watched a sensual Persian cat stretching suggestively in an outfit which in his opinion was best left to the burlesque stage. She noticed his glass. “I think we both need a refill.” She brought the bottle to the table.
He pushed back his chair as if to leave the table. Maga recognized his reluctance for more sherry. Was he thinking about the police chief’s ominous words?
“Henry dear,” she purred. “if you want to wait until bedtime before having more sherry I can assure you we’ll never get to sleep.” Oops, she thought, did I really say that? Her face flushed and she felt confused. She wasn’t used to talking to a man this way. “Henry? What is it about you that makes me want to seduce you?”
His eyes glazed. “Oh I fear I’d fall right to sleep if I dared have sherry at bedtime.” He chuckled. “Helen liked a nip before turning in. She always said it helped her to calm down.”
“Do take off your jacket,” she said, helping him out of it as she spoke. She undid his tie, and opened the top buttons of his shirt. “It’s warm in here Henry. You don’t even need that shirt.”
His eyes rolled around in his head and he breathed a little heavily. “I must ask you. Doesn’t the material from your robe cause static electricity when it rubs against your fur?”
“Fur!” Her eyes widened. Then she smiled and sighed. “Oh yes, my fur. How foolish of me to have forgotten about that.” “Problematic I suppose.” He finished his sherry.
“You’ve not been seduced by a cat before. Have you Henry?” Just like a cat, she began twining herself around him.
“Truth be told no.” he paused. “I have to say that petting your fur is about the best I could offer right now.”
She nodded. “I understand, but you seeing me as a cat ignites something catty inside me and makes me want to kiss you so very much.” She stretched languidly. “It’s a very passionate feeling.”
“Yes. I understand. But do you really think people worldwide will see each other from this zoolike perspective?”
“Zoolike perspective indeed!” That made her laugh. “What a sweet way to describe the end of rational sanity.” She wanted to rub her body against his, embrace his knees and put her head in his lap. Instead she refilled their glasses and swallowed more sherry. She giggled. “Beasts from the jungle reading magazines under the dryers at the beauty parlor.”
They both laughed and he sipped more sherry. “Absolute madness with no known antidote.”
“Henry cuddle against me and let’s forget all this talk.” She slinked even closer against him and stroked her paw down his cheek. Her back rippled. “Henry if more men saw their wives as cats the divorce rate would plummet.”
He wriggled and sighed. “I suppose that makes a lot of sense.”
She finished unbuttoning his shirt and moved her paw slowly over his skin. He felt electrified. His body began to surge. “You know. I’m really beginning to like you.” He set aside his glass.
Maga rubbed up against him and purred. He felt her fur ripple. Her lips brushed against his.
He sneezed. His eyes watered. “Your whiskers tickled my nose.”
She drew back. “You’ve got to be kidding.”
He sneezed again, sniffed, and dabbed his eyes with a napkin. “So tell me, doesn’t your fur rubbing against that tight material make you feel uncomfortable?”
She stood up. “Never mind. I’ll only be a minute. I’m going to slip into something more appropriate for a cat.” She swirled her tail and slinked out of the kitchen.
Moments later she reappeared fully wrapped in a fuzzy pink bathrobe that covered everything but her face and half her paws.
“There,” she said. “Satisfied?”
“Yes!” He smiled and nodded approvingly. “Helen had that exact same robe only in a light blue. I think she hung onto it for close to thirty years. Have you had yours that long?”
She smiled at him gently. “I don’t know how long I’ve had it, but I’m glad if you like it.”
He smiled back. “Oh, yes,” he sighed. “I don’t suppose you have any peanut brittle? Helen always liked having some before we’d first get into bed.”
She took his hand and led him toward the bedroom. “No, I don’t. But how about a nice piece of fudge instead?”
(to be continued)