Chapter 7 In Which Piglet Meets Bacon and Pork Chop

 

"Look what the cat drug in," said Buster, an older tom Piglet had hired to keep an eye on things in the alley.  "Caught these two skulkin' around."  He nudged two scrawny kittens forward a bit so Piglet could inspect them.

 

"You two got names?" Piglet asked as he looked them over.  The smaller of the two, clad in a battered black motorcycle jacket, was just a scrap of a thing, probably the runt of a litter.  The other one sported some complicated hipster facial hair and clutched a guitar case.  He was scrawny too, but you could tell there was a time when he'd enjoyed being overfed.

 

"My name's Bacon," piped up the runt, "and this is Pork Chop.  We've got a band called Hot Love on the Wing."  He smiled proudly, then stopped for a minute, appearing to mull something over.  "Or Pointy Little Teeth; we haven't decided on the name yet," he said a bit more shyly. 

 

"You lads lookin' for a place to stay?" asked Piglet, and went on without waiting for an answer.  "OK, then, everybody who stays here has to do a chore.  Maybe you two could sing for your supper." 

 

He got an enthusiastic response from Bacon and an almost imperceptible nod from Pork Chop.  Satisfied, he waved them off to go get cleaned up and ready for their show. 

 

Half an hour later, the toms had assembled to hear the band.  Bacon was nervously grooming himself, but Pork Chop was nowhere to be seen.  Following a hunch, Piglet stuck his head out the back door.  Sure enough, Pork Chop was out in the alley, and Piglet thought he smelled the sweet smoke of a catnip cigarette.  He stepped out into the alley and squatted a few feet away from Pork Chop, who inclined his head ever so slightly in greeting but didn't make eye contact.

 

"Bad habit," Piglet remarked.  Pork Chop stayed mute, so Piglet continued, "used quite a bit of weed myself back in the day.  Over in Sturgis…"

 

His reminiscing was cut short by Pork Chop splattering the alley wall with catsick.  Hmm, Piglet thought to himself, don't recall it ever making me sick though.  "You ok, bud?" Piglet asked, as he leaned over and patted Pork Chop on the back.

 

Pork Chop wiped his mouth and leaned heavily back on the wall.  "Stage fright," he confided.  "Always happens to me.  Thought this would help," he said, indicating the catnip cigarette, which he flicked over towards the trash cans.

 

"Tell you what.  Why don't you get in there and play now, then tomorrow I can show you some meditation techniques I learned in India to help you master your stage fright," said Piglet.

 

Pork Chop looked up, giving Piglet the eye contact he craved, then said simply, "Deal," and went inside.  Hot Love on the Wing (or Pointy Little Teeth) ended up having quite a good show.  Bacon and Pork Chop only had two original songs-- a rockabilly number called Runt's All Right during which Bacon proudly showed off his knuckle tattoos spelling out R-U-N-T, and a bluesy song (No Use Crying Over) Spilt Milk, which showcased Pork Chop's talent with guitar and surprisingly deep, rich voice.  The rest of the show, they played an eclectic blend of crowd-pleasers: Led Zepplin, Elvis, Queen, The Ramones, Bob Dylan, and, of course, their personal favorite, The Stray Cats.     

 

 

Stay Tuned for Chapter 8, In Which Piglet...