Wednesday 2 March 2022

Today, We Buried Poor Oscar


By Michael Gigandet

tea with a splash of whiskey

Today Oscar left us. Our band of quarantine survivors is down to three, my husband Frank, me and Felix, who is our cat.

We buried Oscar in the rose garden. Frank dug the grave. That was easy because a parrot is small and anyway…there was not that much left of him after everything. I put Oscar in a cigar box to make it seem more serious.

Felix, our cat, attended the burying; that cat has no shame.

Frank was happy to help me see Oscar off since someone who wasn’t me left his cage door open after cleaning it. Frank didn’t say nothing. He never does like when he lost his wedding band that I ordered from the Sears catalogue. That’s how long ago that was. They don’t send you those big catalogue books no more. Frank acted all surprised when I called him out on the missing ring and pretended like he just noticed his ring was gone.

These things happen for a reason, I suppose. I believe that all animals and even parrots go to Heaven. Why shouldn’t they? It’s people who got something to worry about in that department.

God won’t hold it against Oscar that the only words he knew were curse words. I’m not one to name names God knows, but I figure Oscar learned his cursing from the man at the Tennessee State Fair where I won him at the “age guessing” booth when the man guessed that I was 78 when I was only 65. He held my driver’s license up for a long time, and then he held it under a bright light like he thought I was lying. “I’ll be damned,” the man said. I bet he’s the one taught Oscar most of his curse words anyway though someone what lives here that isn’t me might have had a hand in it.

Could be embarrassing at times like when the preacher visited me when I was doing poorly. Oscar commenced to cussin’, and the preacher just kept praying louder and louder like he was fighting with a demon who was trying to disrupt the service.

I’m gonna miss Oscar. He was friends with everybody. Felix was not his friend. Cats don’t friend up with anybody.

A nuisance is what I call Felix always getting into things like Frank’s birthday cake.

After Frank tapped down Oscar’s final resting place, I took a little crucifix I made from popsicle sticks and pressed it into the ground. When I looked up there was Felix looking at me just as innocent as you please. French people eat cats. Tastes like rabbit, they say.

 “Rabbit,” I said to Felix and looked at him right seriously. He just walked away like he was done with business for the day. It must be nice to just put things out of your mind whenever you want to.

I’m hoping Oscar is not cussin’ in Heaven. They might pitch him out.

About the author

Michael Gigandet is a lawyer living on a farm in Tennessee. He has been published by the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Reedsy, Spelk Fiction, OrangeBlushZine, Transfigured and Potato Soup Journal. He has published stories in collections by Palm Sized Press, Pure Slush and Down In The Dirt. 


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