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Famous for never closing and it's Chicken Soup, Zucky’s Deli in Santa Monica was the perfect venue to meet Miki Dora. At the time, I was feeling a little down on account of being dropped by my surfing girlfriend, Kaela. It seemed she had found someone who looked more like Dora than me, could ride a wave with every practiced gesture and nuance of the Cat, and who lived an exciting and adventurous lifestyle flying to distant lands to surf the best waves on the planet. If the truth be told, Kaela had actually replaced me with the Cat himself. Yes, it’s true. And she was living with him in his Brentwood hideaway. I had recently bumped into her at the beach and that's how this present meeting with Miki got set up. She also told me Miki was feeling a little paranoid about breaking us up and, an an insurance policy, had even gone so far as hanging a convex piece of broken glass over his bathroom window to "discourage" any unwanted intruders into his love nest. It was an Improvised Beheading Device and the targeted head was, ostensibly, my very own if I got any idea about revenge. Kaela was a lot of fun and kept the van warm in the winter, but she was a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic, if you get my drift. Miki overestimated the value I placed on her company. At any rate, I was now sitting face to face with him and he started showing me slides of perfect waves in exotic locales on his battery-operated viewfinder. There were also slides of houses in Hanelei, the Bahamas, Switzerland, Costa Rica, South Africa, and a couple of penthouses here and there. The proposal went something like this: Miki was going to introduce me to his ex sister-in-law, who was a bit overweight at two hundred and thirty something, but was, nevertheless, an heiress to a very large oil fortune. She liked to travel around to her various above mention d homes and she was in need of companionship. All I had to do was to be "nice" to her and keep her from getting lonely. She would be more than willing to rescue me from the rat race and crowded waves of Southern California. "What's the catch?" I inquired of the dark, boyish face with the devilish grin across the table. "All you have to do is convince her (after you've earned her trust, of-course)" Miki smirked and chuckled at this,"to invite me and Kaela along as traveling companions. I can assure you, she'll pick up the whole tab just to have our company. She'll do it if she thinks that its O.K. with you" I had to digest it. He scams my girlfriend of five years, then wants to use me as bait to scam some free world travel. The audacity and absurdity of it was unheard of, and if I wasn't already a wounded animal it would have inspired one of those great Zen belly- laughs. But I just sat there perplexed at the churning seas of conflicting emotions I was now feeling. Spontaneously, and with cat-like stealth, I sprung over the table and got my hands around Miki's neck, and honestly had some of my most satisfying moments  trying to choke the life out of the guy before the manager and a few customers were able to pry me loose. The Cat certainly did have nine lives.

IT HAPPENED AT ZUCKY’S

by Meringue Keru

(It really happened, but the story has been embellished a bit and names changed to protect the innocent)
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Photographer: Unknown