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A Harmless Necessary Cat

, , , | Right | August 5, 2020

I am performing in a free outdoor production of Shakespeare. The performance space is on someone’s property. The director is greeting the audience as they arrive. A woman approaches holding an animal carrier.

Director: “Hi! Welcome to the show!”

Woman: “Thanks. I’m a neighbor and I just had to see the show.”

Director: “What’s in the carrier?”

Woman: “My cat! Want to see?”

Director: “Aw, sure!”

The woman takes the cat out of the carrier. It is a Maine coon, easily over twenty-five pounds.

Woman: “He’s very curious. He’ll probably wander out on the stage!”

The director laughs, thinking the woman is joking. She is not. The cat wanders onstage during the show, sticking its but in the faces of actors who are crouching on the ground and generally interfering with the show. At some point, the cat decides I’m his “favorite,” and he comes up to me and meows plaintively when I won’t pet him. I have to duck behind a tree to hide my laughter. At intermission, I send the director a text message.

My Text: “Tell woman to take cat home! It’s getting dark and he could get hurt in battle scene!”

The director told the woman to take the cat home.

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