Thursday, April 19, 2012

Introducing, Alfonso Tupelo

Hello. I am, how should I say this? Beautiful, right? Puffy, certainly. Furry. I've been told I'm statuesque. Rubenesque. Romanesque. And when people say these things to me, the words are not, I've been assured, euphemisms for fat.

My name, if you didn't read the title, is Alfonso Tupelo, but usually I go by Alfie, and that's what you can call me, unless you are devoted to formalities, in which case I salute you, dearest lover-of-the-past. I enjoy titles myself. Sir Alfonso, esquire. Duke Tupelo. Mr. Alferson Shmalfie Tupac.

And I enjoy classic fiction. Wuthering Heights is, in my humblest opinion, the best novel ever written. Will you let me be your Heathcliff?

But why am I here, you ask?

I ask myself the selfsame question every morning I wake to a dog sniffing me, snuffling and poking at me, hoping for what? That I burst open, cat-pinata, gore covering the terrazzo and MR huffing and puffing to clean it all up? Bah. Dogs.

People do not say "whoresome dog" or "filthy dog" for no reason. They say these things because dogs are whoresome and filthy and all manner of unpleasant adjectives I won't go into because, frankly? I'm becoming bored of the whole dog-topic. Dogs: intrinsically boring as cat kibble: perfectly delicious.

So why, oh why, oh why am I here?

Let's just say I needed a place to stay. I won't go into specifics. You know how... limiting... specifics can be, don't you?

Although, hm, this is a topic MR complains about. She says she always has to attempt to convince creative writing students that it is in the specific the universal can be seen. She uses as an example hearing about starving kids or needy animals - how that's sad, sure, but we're not, apparently, moved to donate money or however it is we alleviate feelings of guilt until we see said suffering creatures actually suffering. We see their skinny legs and drowning eyes and then rush, run, winter-wind to the cellphone or telephone or fax machine (which is a what now?) and dial into the charitable void.

Specifically then? Because I don't want to rumple MR's feathers. Because it's with those feathers she pours the cat kibble.

I lived on a ship sailing the Atlantic. Their good luck cat, if you've heard of such a thing (or if you haven't). And oh, she was sea worthy, she was - the ship I mean. And we sailed all over this blessed, hellish earth. And I grew fat on rats and mice until one day I pissed off the captain because his delicious tuna sandwich jumped into my mouth and he threw me overboard and I had to swim to shore which is where I found MR, bending over to scoop shells into a net; she saw me and scooped me too and I ate all of the invisible shrimp she hadn't even known were swimming and jumping and turning in the water.

Or I was a gangster and I was a king pin at that; mansions and several million dollars worth of expensive things (like cat kibble, tuna fish, balls of twine, open windows and window openers, lizards). Constantly and with consistency I balled hard. My nemesis, another crime gangster animal named Mr. Porky, tried to take me down because I stole all her kittens' mittens.

I mean, I committed white collar crime. See my beautiful fur? How white and shining my collar is? And also I look too good to be free, is what the cops said to me, just too fine to be walking the streets alone.

Rather a neat parallel (neat as in clean and tidy, not as in cool or nice) to misogyny, I think, although I am not a woman, I am a cat, and I am not a female, I am a male. A better word might be, what? Arrhenphobia? Caligynephobia? Ailurophobia? Why is there no word for fear-of-beautiful-boy-cats?

I worked out a mathematical proof that substantiates my theorem regarding the likelihood of an entire new dimension. Scientists swarmed my house like E.T. They dragged me from my lab, burned all my notebooks; I had to watch my life's work flame into ash.

Or I'm nobility from a distant planet. I hold in my hungry heart the cure for all woe, all suffering; a simple nod from me and all your pain vanishes. The CDC heard about me and came calling. This is my hideout.

I'm sure one of these explanations satisfies you. And I'm certain you know I speak the truth when I say one of these is without a doubt the reason I moved in here. Most certainly.

 Or perhaps it's just I had no other place to go. 


  1. Ohhh, Alfonso . . . we'll pretend we didn't even see that brief waver in the proud, shimmering curtain of your confidence. "Who IS that handsome stranger!" See? Nobody noticed it for a second. Clearly you are a rogue, a soldier of fortune, a man of mystery, and all places are yours to go to if you say they are.

  2. Alfie is obviously a form male car model, just look at his poses!

  3. That's former male CAT model

  4. Alfie, is, as you might have suspected, quite flattered. He sends his warmest thanks.

  5. I moved to Sioux Falls, SD for exactly one of those reasons.