I’m Fiona Brass. I started out bad, and now I've got it good. Elly Patterson, who is my cousin John’s wife (ex-wife? who knows?) started out good, and now she has it bad. She’s got old Fiona to look out for her now and that’s not saying much. She may be 7 shades of crazy, but I like that in a woman. One of the crazy parts has me writing this letter for pets. She was obsessed about it. Here’s Fiona writing a letter about pets to no one, just to make Elly Patterson happy.
It’s not a problem. Aside from gambling, drinking, and pool; pets are one thing I know about. I still think about my cat Beaumont. I have a miniature headstone for him in my living room. Some people think that’s a little crazy, but not Elly. She’s got a plush doll of her old dead, dog Farley; so she understands. I don’t get it when she says, “Not in time for Christmas, but he's cute, huggable, high quality and approved for ages 3 and up.” Who am I to question it?
Elly does have her moments. One time I left that plush dog on the chesterfield, and the next thing I know Elly bought a brand new pet bed for him to sleep in because (get this) “Dogs aren’t allowed on the furniture.” Sometimes I play a little joke on her and put the plush dog on the chesterfield with its head on a pillow, like it was a human, and you should hear Elly shriek at that plush dog. She’s so loud it makes the cats in my house (real ones), walk funny like they are going to tip over. It’s a good joke for me; but my main cat Beaumont III doesn’t like it much.
Elly treats the plush dog like a regular pet. She calls it Farley. She feeds it Puppy Lunch brand dog food. (She has to buy things where the brand name is what’s inside the package. Another shade of crazy.) She takes the plush dog for a walk and talks to herself about awful her brother Phil is or what a wonderful friend she is. Most places, people would notice this; but not where I live. It’s not exactly the nice part of Milborough. We have drug addicts and stray cats on the streets. And people who like to play pool, since that’s my business. Crazy Elly fits right in.
Most of my cats don’t mind Elly. The only one who has a bad reaction is my grey and white cat with the 3 stripes on top of his head. He hisses and yowls at her every time he sees her. I call him “Mon Petit Ami”. I picked him up off an apartment manager friend of mine, who said he got him from one of his former tenants who got married and there was some kind of family issue or they got rid of him when they moved. I don’t remember the reason. He gets along with my other cats, but not Elly.
Elly’s good at cleaning. The Parkside Lunch & Billiards is the cleanest it's been since 1991 when I bought it. Even before that when Grogan owned it. She’s good at cleaning, but Elly’s terrible at washing clothes. You would think a woman who was a mom all those years would know about separating colours and checking pockets before you wash. And you don’t throw clean clothes on a dirty floor. I was never a mom myself, but even I knew that much about laundry. I guess my cousin John must have done the laundry for her house. I do the laundry, and Elly folds it. She really likes folding laundry, putting it in a basket and walking around with it. I think she would be happy to do that all the time.
Elly’s also no good in an emergency. One night, my bouncer Herman got hurt by a couple of rough guys in the pool hall and Elly had to feed her plush dog before she came over to see what was wrong with him. The guy could have bled to death from his leg those guys broke, and all she could do was stand there and mumble “It’s still all my fault, but I am not going to panic.” I had to call 9-1-1 for Herman, and Elly acted like she had never heard of doing that before. She kept going on about how she had to change her shirt and drive him to see Dr. Plett. I think he was the pediatrician who died from a freak stethoscope accident a few years ago. It was in the news.
Other than that, Elly is a pretty good short order cook. She likes all the greasy food we serve, and sometimes she complains it’s not greasy enough for her. When she is cooking is when she seems the most like the woman I knew back before. The cats like her because she is such a sloppy eater, they always have plenty of food flying off her face for them to scrounge. The guys who come to the pool hall like her too, and all her crazy. They say, “She makes my mom look good.”
Elly and me are getting along fine and it’s not like any of her family will come looking for her. They haven’t come to visit Auntie Fiona in years. They think Elly’s still at the old mental health place and they will probably never know different. They might even think she’s getting better, if my con works just right. That was one of my best cons, and if there is anything I know, it’s how to do a proper con. Don’t mess with a cat lady who owns a pool hall. I’m a professional.