The Cat's Meow

We drove by this tacky furniture place on our way to breakfast this morning. In the window were life-sized porcelain cheetahs, one in calm contemplation, one hissing or growling at something--the theatre harlequins of the feline world. "When I was little," I told my husband, "I really wanted those porcelain cheetahs."

"What porcelain cheetahs?" he asked.

I pointed. They were flanking a fake fireplace like sentinels protecting the beige rattan furniture from insult. "I couldn't figure out why they wouldn't buy them. To me, they were just an enormous kitty. But for my parents, I thought my suggestion of 'porcelain cheetah' was a useful home decorating tip which would lend the house a touch of real class."

"I love you," he said.

"I really wanted those cats," I said.

I hope they don't show up for Christmas.