“Assuming female cat owners lack carnal knowledge is pitifully cliché,” I said.
“You’re either a natural coquette or you’re toying with me.”
When I didn’t answer – how could I? – he murmured, “Ah so,” and began to ply me with champagne. By evening’s end I was granting him limited favors in the back of my Corolla parked in the F Street ramp. We fully consummated our dalliance a week later in a remote county park. I brought champagne and teacakes to mark the occasion.
After six weeks, he ended it with a phrase lifted from my own memoir: “What we had was complex and fragile – like a snowflake.” Galling, but a literary critic’s memory must get muddled.
A month later, he was found dead, sprawled under our tree in the remote county park. At first they suspected foul play. His trousers were undone; a champagne bottle, two glasses, and soggy teacakes littered the stormy scene. No witnesses came forth, but the coroner declared Lionel the victim of a lightning strike. Although it was undeniably original, few mourned his passing.