bar 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 times.
    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 .

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