Finding Chunky Rice

Finding Chunky Rice

This story was read aloud at Story Salon in 2007:


It was about two years ago and I was dating a girl named Kasey.   Kasey knows how to name animals, she has a knack for beautiful names, and she had a cat called Isabella Bisket.   I small lithe orange and white tabby.   She was an aloof cat, more aloof than the usual cat, and used to disappear for a couple days at a time.   She also used to climb chain link fences, that is she would put her paws in the diamond holes and just walk right up.

But Isabella disappeared one day, and that day turned to a week and then to a second week.   Kasey and I were out walking the streets on a three-day weekend in West Hollywood watching the men dressed up for each other.

She asked me if she should give up on Isabella Bisket.   I said yes, and that I had given up hope after one week.   We went into a couple bars and swerved a little on the way home.

Kasey was not feeling well in the morning, and I left to purchase helping drugs.   The top was down on my car, and I popped off the cover for the interior, and a cat jumped out.   Damn, what did it do to the interior?   Scratch?   Cat pee?   I pulled off the rest of the cover and there was a bundle of fur in the backspace.   A tiny head, with barely opened slits for eyes looked up at me and opened its mouth with an unheard of meow.

There was a bundle of kittens in my car.

Upstairs I kneeled down next to Kasey.

“You have to come see this.”


“You really need to come and see this.”

She looked up at me with red eyes and moaned again.

I paused a moment and said,


And she was instantly sitting up.

The kittens were less than six inches long, and easily fit in the palm of my hand.   We estimated that they were two weeks old.   We brought them in the house and mewed over them.

There was one that was mostly white with a couple very small spots of brown.

“I’m naming that one Chunky Rice.” She said.

We called animal control, thinking that they would take care of them while they grew up, and then we could collect Chunky Rice and the others would be adopted.

Animal control arrived and the man said that if he took them with him, they would probably be put to sleep, unless there was a lactating mother.

I looked at Kasey, and at the look in her eyes.   And told him that we were keeping them all.

We took at least forty fleas off each of the five kittens, and bought baby bottles to feed them at four in the morning.

But the best part was teaching the kittens how to shit.   Kittens do not know how to shit, I didn’t know that, the mother normally licks their asses to stimulate the process.   So we had wet towels and wiped their bottoms.

I will always have a vision in my head of a two and a half week old Chunky Rice, four paws on the ground, splayed out, with a look of concentration, pain and surprise on her face, and after a moment, a small brown pea popped out of her ass and landed on the floor.

She looked so relieved.

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