Michael Fanizzi

The Diva
The Diva had decided to go out to the patio, but the door was closed. She had never opened a door for herself and was not about to start today. I clumsily opened the screen, and she glided out without even a look in my direction.  She paraded to the water’s edge and gazed indifferently at our lake. The Diva had two expression, indifference and disdain. She had only been in the lake once and that was by mistake. A friend thought a boat ride would add contentment as her third expression. It didn’t. There had been consequences, and I had the scars to prove it.

Bored with the beauty of the lake, the Diva retreated to the patio and stretched out on the lounge chair next to mine. The sun hit her golden hair, and I was filled with joy and blessed the day the Diva had come into my life. She glared at me, and my fantasy quickly ended. One must be careful never to invade the Diva’s personal space so I quickly found refuge on the porch.

Satisfied she now had patio all to herself, the Diva moved into the grass. She frolicked in the newly mowed grass and looked like a young dancer who had finally lost all her inhibitions. This brief moment of bliss suddenly ended with a shrill cry. In mid step, the Diva had hit a small rock hidden in the grass. I had not raked. Her look of disdain told me there would be consequences. The Diva never wasted energy. She would wait until I was close enough to show me her disappointment about the rock.

Retreat was the better part of valor so I fled into the house. She would soon want her lunch. The Diva’s palate was unpredictable, and I always worried that yesterday’s fancy feast would become today’s swill. An annoyed hiss outside alerted me the Diva was ready to come in and that the door had not been opened. Living peacefully with the Diva meant anticipating her every want. I had missed another cue. There would be consequences.

I opened the door, and she stood motionless deciding if and when she would enter. Even a hint of impatience on my part would earn a menacing stare.  She finally crossed the threshold and stopped briefly only to let me know that although there would be no consequences at this time for the stone and the closed door, she would not forget. Her lunch was set out for her, and to my relief her expression of indifference and not disdain told me it was to her liking. She ate quickly and for someone of her breed not very neatly. I had made the mistake once of approaching her while she ate. The scratches had healed quickly.

With lunch done, the Diva went for her nap. She chose the couch and soon was asleep. Her beautiful hair glowed against the green of the couch, and I saw her inner beauty shine through. The glow erupted into an explosion when the phone woke her. I had forgotten to mute it when she went for her nap. There would be consequences and… well you know.

After the Diva marched off into the guest room to finish her nap, I came out from behind the kitchen island where I was hiding and muted the phone. She would come out in a few hours for dinner, or in a few minutes for a snack. I had to be ready for either or face her wrath.

The Diva had a horrible first six weeks of her life, and since the day she came to me I have tried to make up for it. I have willingly offered the couch or any of the other pieces of living room furniture for her to claw. She has special treats, two kitty litter boxes and the occasional hand full of catnip.  I comb her hair, clip her nails and clean her face. My reward has been an uneasy co-existence much like the inhabitants of occupied France endured during the Second World War.

She came out early for dinner, and I was not properly prepared. A look let me know this would be added to the stone, closed door, and un-muted phone. After dinner, we sat in our favorite chair and watched TV. The Diva had always deferred to my choice of shows. Of course, my choice had to somehow agree with what she wanted. I added watching the Antiques Road Show when she wanted NCIS to the stone, closed door, un-muted phone and late dinner.

I had never believed in re-incarnation, but the thought had entered my mind that my Diva had once been Marc Anthony’s Cleopatra and our lake her Nile. I only hoped I was not the slave that would be buried with her in her final resting place after the Asp had fulfilled its mission. Dying was not a problem, but spending all eternity with consequences would be.

I prepared her bed and fixed just the right number of pillows in just the right position. I carefully arranged the coverlet so as not to smother her, a thought that, like re-incarnation, had entered my mind. Only after her expression of indifference signaled everything was as she wanted, did I slip quietly into my third of the bed. Any rustle of a pillow or movement of a sheet would spell disaster and …. well, I really don’t have to repeat myself, do I?

Only after the lights went off, did my Diva show me why I loved her so. My Cleopatra stretched out her long slender body next to mine and purred in my ear. I knew what she wanted and began to stroke her. She arched her back and asked for more. My hands knew all her special places. Soon the insatiable would be satisfied.

Suddenly, she turned on me. Her fluffy tail which had been stroking my arm stiffened. She stood up, hissed and smacked my arm with her front paw. I had done something wrong or not done something right. With the Diva there was no difference. She left my bed and found a spot in the chair.

Even with the lights off, I could see the look of disdain. There would be consequences, and I would have the scars to prove it.