Tag Archives: New York

Fruitcake

My wife and I were making fruitcake today for the holidays since I love fruitcake. I asked her what I should write about for this story and she said fruitcake, so here it is.

Fruitcake

copyright C E Ayr

Fruitcake

“It’s art,” Peter told his mother. He was ten and meticulously arranging boiled eggs around a raccoon carcass while a friend played D flat on the piano every 6.7 seconds.

“What does it mean?” she asked, but her expression said she thought he was a fruitcake.

“What does it mean?” a policeman asked ten years later, after Peter had put a woman’s shoe in every drain in New York.

“It’s art.”

“You’re a fruitcake, you know?”

Finally, he made a piece of artwork that captured national attention.

“100-foot statue made entirely of fruitcake!” the headlines screamed. “What could it mean?”


New York Mayor Grants Health Insurance for Cats

Do cats work hard? They sure don’t act like it. After all, they’re rated the 9th laziest animal by pawnation.com, who should know a thing or two about all things pawed.Notes newspaper

Of course, we know that cats do work hard, just in their own way. They kill enough mice and rats to keep us from swimming in vermin and that’s no small thing. I don’t think the title of this post will be seen in the New York Times anytime soon, but that’s not saying it shouldn’t be. Maybe they could pay taxes in rat tails or something.

Let me tell you about one cat who worked hard. Her name was Maya. She was more than a cat though: she was a lady. She had a job but had to keep out of sight because of health inspectors. She had an infuriating owner, a high-classed friend named Puccini, and a rakish tomcat brother named Gloves. She was also a writer, who tapped out her memoirs, one paw stroke at a time. These memoirs are collected in a small book called Notes from a Working Cat, by Susannah Bianchi. I recently interviewed her about the book.

David: First of all, let me say I enjoyed this book a lot. Where did you get the inspiration for it?

Susannah: Maya was an actual cat on the Avenue where I live. I first met her sleeping in the window after hours. She was the prettiest kitty amid the apples and oranges.

D: Who is your favorite character in this story and why?

S: Maya, of course, with Puccini as a close second for her glamor . . . pearls instead of a collar. If I come back as a cat, I’d want to be Puccini, the Liz Taylor of Pusses.

D: What was the hardest part about writing this book?

S: Not making a full-fledged book, thinking less would be more.

D: Do you have a set place and time you write?

S: I like writing at first light, when all is quiet and I have the world to myself.

D: Finally, do you have any insights or words of inspiration for other writers?

S: Just forget about fame and fortune. All that will come doing what you love.  8-)

 

Notes from a Working Cat is on sale now at Amazon.com. Go check it out.

Notes from a Working Cat


Witnessing the Insane – guest blogger Susannah Bianchi

I am happy to introduce my first guest blogger ever: model, writer, and New Yorker, Susannah Bianchi. She is also the genius behind athingirl.com, a blog where she shares her experiences and adventures of living in the Big Apple, all with sparkling wit and a deep heart.

She also has a great book out: Notes From a Working Cat, the memoir of a sophisticated little feline named Maya. I would definitely recommend it.

Notes from a Working Cat

Witnessing the Insane

It’s not uncommon to be on the New York subway in the company of a crazy person. It’s free advertising after all, for their insanity.

Some ask for money, some just babble and I’ll admit, from years of bearing witness, I’m more than a little removed.

You often wonder, is this legit…another well-honed act, because despite how many times you are assaulted by the unexpected pounce, you just don’t know.

There’s the man who lost everything in a fire who asks for alms in English and Spanish, but Spanish so fluent you wonder why he can’t get a job at the embassy.

We have another fellow on the 6 Train who’s been needing 18 dollars to get back home since 1993. He could have been around the world 18 times by now.

I’m a regular rider, so I see them all the time, but a tourist or visitor gets clobbered, wallets out, bills expected.

But every once in a while, a poor, legitimate soul will even get to me.

Last night on the train, coming home, a kid maybe 16 got on. He was all shriveled, like a vegetable left in the fridge too long. His right hand had that stricken fist suggesting a stroke, or some kind of permanent paralysis. His legs were puny, the right half the size of the left. What really spoke to me was his facial expression that looked as if he had been punched so hard, his face couldn’t get back to normal.

It was pain, false or otherwise, making me take an extreme pause.

He was screaming for help at the top of his lungs, his bent legs dragging him down the car. I never saw so many people so clearly affected.

He was young, like a hurt cub, and in my heart, I knew, this was not feigned.

Dollars came out like pennies from heaven shoving them in his one good hand. He said nothing as he held them, not even putting them in a safe place, as though he wasn’t even conscious of the response.

I sat there praying for him.

Suddenly my 14-hour workday felt like a grace as opposed to a grind. I remembered how I walked 30 blocks in the morning to get some exercise in…could this kid do that, let alone have a regular workday lasting that long?

My humility came and sat beside me whispering…Susannah, how blessed and blessed and blessed you are.

I got off at the 86th Street stop to take the crosstown bus, still hearing him screech in the distance.

 

– Susannah Bianchi

 


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