Jess had just come into the kitchen at Domus Logogustationis, where Daryl, Margot, and I were lolling about. “It looks like something’s moving in your jacket,” Daryl said, eyeing Jess’s windbreaker. He looked again, blinked. “Wow, that was weird. Gave me the whim-whams.”
“More likely the fantods, you mean,” Margot remarked. “A whim-wham is more like a fantastic notion.”
“Or a fantastical object,” I said. “Or an ornament of dress. Like, say, a little pair of cat ears on a brooch.” I gestured to Jess’s neckline, where just such an ornament was apparent.
Then the ornament turned its head and mewed.
“Gentlemen,” Jess said, “and lady, meet Whimsy.”
We reacted as you might expect, kittens being the cutest things in all of creation: “Awww!” We clustered around.
“What gave you the notion to name it Whimsy?” Daryl asked. Jess responded with a don’t-feed-me-straight-lines raised-eyebrow look.
“Is this a he or a she?” Margot asked.
“A him,” Jess said. “There is, after all, a him in Whimsy.”
“What made you decide to get a kitten?” I asked.
Jess gave me the same kind of look she had given Daryl. But then she decided to answer anyway. “Well, it wasn’t whimsy or some whim. It’s always unwise to get a pet on a notion – they’re a commitment. No, I had decided that I needed a touch of whimsy in my life. And here – ow!” The kitten was climbing up her shirt and onto her shoulder.
“Was that a whimper?” I asked.
“Not that I’m a wimp or anything,” she said. She stroked Whimsy. “Well, listen up and you’ll hear a Whimsy purr.” Pause. “Speaking of purr, I came in here to find some milk. And a saucer. Now where, how, what…” She looked around.
“Don’t forget whom, when, and why,” Margot observed dryly.
“Ah, well,” Jess said, striding towards the cupboards, “my favourite wh word is definitely whimsy. Once you’ve done with the details you still need flights of fancy.”
“As long as your whims don’t carry you with the winds,” Margot said.
“Why don’t you have a cat?” Daryl asked Margot.
“If I did, I’d more likely have quinsy. Tonsillitis. I’m allergic.”
“So am I,” I sighed. “One of the great tragedies of my life.” Margot opened her mouth to issue another correction; I pre-empted it. “Yes, I know that it’s not technically a tragedy: there is no hubris, no hamartia, no climax, no crisis… let it go.”
“Speaking of ‘let it go,'” Jess said, attempting to lift the kitten off her shoulder, “Whimsy has developed a whimsical attachment to my shirt.” She shrugged off her jacket and tried again to get the kitten delicately off her shirt, which appeared to be made of silk. “Oww.”
Daryl lent a hand and lifted the kitten off. Unfortunately, the result was a noticeable tear in the shirt.
“Huh,” Jess said, poking her finger into the hole. “Flimsy.”
Thanks to Marie-Lynn Hammond for saying Whimsy would be a good name for a kitten.