Ghost of Katzenfritzi
By Paul A. Toth
I'm good enough for Paul Klee and his diary, but not Klee's indexer. Believe
me, if I was a dog, I'd be in there: "Dog licks own balls, page 450." Oh,
Katzenfritzi, I am nothing but a furball ghost prowling through that magic
your owner conjured, a genetic trace of light which haunts the way songs torment
the brokenhearted. My only reward: Every now and then someone looks
deep in my pupils and suspects a presence: "But I have never seen a cat with
eyes like this."
Poor Klee. I'm sure he would have believed the world
would recognize this distant relative of his cat just as quickly as they
recognize his art, those luminous scratches and etches that look like something
a hallucinating caveman might draw. How could he have known his cat
would find a way to survive right along with that art, or that the world
I see would look very much like his paintings?
Strange things happened in Klee's proximity.
Lucky Katzenfritzi radiated that presence into future generations.
Am I a grandchild or ghost? A little bit of both. When you
see us, you will know us by our front left paws, which, if seen through
a microscope, reveal a tiny "PK." But when I mention all this to
the neighborhood cats, it's always, "Klee who?"
There are liabilities, too. I chase all that
glows, blurs and shimmers, the translucent and the iridescent. I
have been attacked by children guarding coloring books. I avoid the street;
headlights are my drug of choice.
I hope you will come look for me. If you are
in some way related to Klee, or to any friend or close associate of his,
I have a surprise for you. First, you must recognize me. You
go first. I am a cat, after all. Carry a microscope at all
Once you have identified me, you must take me home.
Only then will I become your Klee cat, your Katzenfritzi. I will purr
electrically and emit the light that glows within me. I will be your
Christmas tree cat, a constellation with a tail.
Copyright © 2002 Paul A. Toth
Paul's short fiction has appeared in The Barcelona Review, Exquisite
Corpse and Pif, among others. He has also joined the staff
at Small Spiral Notebook. This is his Web Site