…And Then Things Got Weird….


December 2017

Bomba Strikes Again! (yet another excerpt from Shark Fin Soup)


Reports of mysterious animal deaths were being noticed by news organizations across the U.S. Interpol agent Bernie Benedict hoped that the animal slaughters wouldn’t be linked to his very own, very big, and very hungry kitty. 

Each of Bomba’s latest victims was larger than the previous. The cat was leaving his old “can opener,” Bernie, gifts strewn across the U.S. Thanks, Bomba. I miss you, too. What Bernie found on that muggy Milwaukee night was the ruination of a very large snow-white bird. There were feathers and wing bones strewn across the alley. The head of was gone, as was the bottom half of the poor creature. Bernie’s partner, Frankie had picked up a piece of evidence that he held outward on a stick.

“Check it out, buddy boy. Some angel lost his halo. That’s nutty.” Frankie held out a golden ring that was about a foot in diameter, pulsing with light.

Bernie looked up at the moon. Damned cat, he thought. Jesus K. Ries…No. Wait. Cancel that. (Every time that Bernie mentioned the Messiah, Jesus would show up and ask Bernie to find him a date for his big comeback tour). “Bomba, what have you done, now?” 

“Ooowee this place stinks!” A powerful smell forced Bernie to move back toward the curb. Bernie could barely breathe as it burned his lungs. The smell came from Bomba’s acidic urine. The big kitty had not only marked his territory, but also etched Bernie’s, radioactive luminescing name into the alley’s brick wall.

“I’ll bag and tag the ring, pal — looks like a halo to me. I’ll ask Dr. Green to bring it down to the lab. We both could use some shut eye.”

 Bernie had a terrible feeling in his gut about this particular “bird.”

Bomba, the big pussycat, seemed to be enjoying his road trip with his new leggy, ‘best bud,’ the goddess Artemis, as he followed the trail of Edwin MacHeath’s cannibals eastward.  “Macky” MacHeath was back in town and the “big show” was moving quickly. The prophetic showdown between the shark gods loomed. 

Two dark figures came out of the shadows. “Agent Benedict?”

“Who are you guys?”

“Sorry to surprise you, sir? (Oh, geez, cough cough) What happened here? I’m detective London and this is detective France.” London picked up a huge white feather. “It must have been a real beast that killed this ostrich. Let’s move out to the curb.”

“That was no bird, Mack!” said Frankie, who was walking toward his car with the evidence bag full of glowing halo.

“Do you see the size of the teeth marks on the back of the wing?” asked London.

“Yes. I see, London,” said Bernie.

“What about you?” asked France.

“I see, France,” said Bernie.

My Favorite Quotes about Cats


“Beware of people who dislike cats.” — Irish Proverb

“How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.” — Ernest Hemingway

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” ― Robert A. Heinlein

“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.”― Albert Schweitzer

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” ― Charles Dickens

“Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” ― Mark Twain

“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

“I love cats because I love my home and after a while they become its visible soul.” — Jean Cocteau


Give and Take ~ From Shark Fin Soup

Photo by Fred Barnett 2013, Sorrento, Italy
a sorrento

Go ahead, Bomba, Bernie thought. Abandon me for this…this…wow. Go with her, you big dumb animal. Bernie, after watching his cat and his punching-bag-of-a-heart follow the dreamsicle out the door, he gave up, calmed down and tried really, really hard to fall asleep. Ow!

Bomba’s new-bestest-long-leggiest-goddess friend had left the half asleep human a souvenir. One of her signature golden arrows stuck out from Bernie’s pillow. The arrow was vibrating and still sticky with chili. The beautiful Artemis.

Half dreaming, Bernie heard the voices of his blue caped cat and the goddess, outside, laughing hysterically as they walked toward Artemis’ fine set of wheels. “Did you see the look on chew toy’s face?” the two said in chorus.

Bomba, looked down at a phantom of Bernie’s broken heart laying on the car’s front seat between them, and let out a sigh of surrender. Bernie’s cat’s new-bestest-long-leggiest-goddess friend ever seemed to be amused by the imploded human they left behind.

The daunting goddess and the mighty Bomba took a sip from their root beer floats and sped off toward the setting moon.

“Calling you a big, dumb animal. The big sap.” She patted the growing kitty on his head and smiled. “He should talk.” Bomba spat a hairball the size of a baseball out into the endless void (Within two days, Bomba’s projectile, traveling at a rate of 17,500 mph, would cause extensive and expensive damage to the Soyuz Space Station).

Perhaps, thought Artemis, my job is done. Tag and release. Why am I tingling?


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