Guest post by Anton Pavlovich Chekov
Mig came home from somewhere yesterday. He had driven his daughter to a museum, that was it. He came home, let in the cat, which he carefully loaded and hung on the wall, and started reading.
His cousin loaned him the latest novel by what’shisface the High Fidelity guy when he was in the States for his father’s funeral. He started reading it this weekend and found it a good, crisp read. Also, reading a story about people who wanted to jump off a building had a positive effect on his mood.
He had a turkey breast to roast. He had also cooked chili con carne the day before. Actually, there was so much of that left that he wouldn’t have needed to roast the turkey except the turkey was set to expire in two days and he figured if he roast it then it would eventually get eaten, whereas if he didn’t roast it right away who knows? So he put it in the oven with some carrots and potatoes and read his book some more.
He basted the turkey a few times. He saw kids off to bed. His wife as well. Eventually the turkey was finished roasting and he put it onto the stove to cool before he carried it downstairs to the cold room in the cellar for the night.
The book, it’s called “A Long Way Down,” that’s it. By Nick Hornby.
Everytime Mig reads that name, it strikes him as though it ought to be Hornsby, although he can’t explain why.
He was about to the end of a chapter. He was about to get up and see if the turkey had cooled enough, when he heard the noises coming from the kitchen.
Immediately he knew what was happening.
It hadn’t happened since one Thanksgiving more than ten years ago.
The noises were like this:
It was the sound of a cat making the most of a small window of opportunity.
It was followed quickly by other sounds – profane sputtering, hurried footsteps across a polished maple floor, “shoo”ing noises, a door opening and closing quickly, then a minute of profane lamenting, then another minute of quiet thought.
Mig fired up the oven, to a higher temperature this time, to the maximum actually, and after carving off the begnawed end of the roast, slid the whole works back in.
It was boiling away within a couple minutes. He let it roast for a quarter of an hour. This, he thought, most definitely would sterilize everything.
But who would eat it but him?
But what if he didn’t tell anyone?
He couldn’t do that. Not even to his mother-in-law.
And even if he could, how could he serve it to her and to no one else without someone getting suspicious?
After it had cooled, he put it into the cellar. When the grey cat woke him at two in the morning to be let out, he cut off a bit of the chewed piece he had earlier removed and fed it to him, since the grey cat was innocent. It was very pleased. It ate it so fast it nearly gagged.
He left the rest of the gnawed piece on the counter and, with both cats outside and the ruined turkey in the cellar, went to bed.
In the morning, the red cat was somehow back in the house and the chewed piece was gone.
What a pig.
He told the story to his wife and she said to put a warning sign on the turkey so no one would eat it by accident.
Mig wished he hadn’t told her the part about her mother, as she didn’t find it very funny.