Freedom Lane: Cecil the Cat
“It’s ringing,” Da’Quarius said after he dialed the phone number from the missing cat poster he had found a few days before. He put the call on speaker phone so Flounder could hear.
“Hello?” the woman on the other end said.
“Hi,” Da’Quarius said. “I found your cat.”
“You did?!” the woman said.
“Yeah,” Da’Quarius replied. “He was delicious.”
“Oh my God!” the woman exclaimed. “Why would you…” There was a commotion as the woman started to talk to someone else in the room.
“Hello?” a man said, picking up. “Who is this?”
“Kentucky Fried Cat,” Da’Quarius replied.
“You little bastard,” the man said. “I’m going to find you, and do things to you…”
Da’Quarius hung up and roared with laughter along with Flounder. “I got one,” Flounder said, pulling his phone off Da’Quarius’ desk. He then took a piece of paper from his shirt pocket and dialed the number.
“Fuchs’ residence,” a nasally voice said.
“I found your cat,” Flounder said quickly. “He was delicious.”
“What?” the man said. “You did what to my cat?”
“Who’s there?!” a man in the background said in a lisp.
“Some kid,” the nasally man said. “He said he ate our cat.”
“He did what?!” the lisping man said. “Cecil?! Here Cecil! Come here, baby. Where’s Cecil?!”
“You’re a monster!” the nasally voiced man said. “If I find out who…”
Flounder hung up the phone and started laughing.
“Wait a second,” Da’Quarius said. “I know dose two guys. Dey didn’t know dat thier cat was missin’?”
“No,” Flounder replied, fighting his giggling.
“Then where did you get da number?” Da’Quarius asked.
“Google,” Flounder said, starting to laugh again.
“So how did you know dat their cat was missin’?” Da’Quarius asked.
Flounder started laughing again. It took almost a minute before he calmed down. “I caught their cat,” Flounder said. “Then I took him home and ate him.”
Da’Quarius stared unbelievingly as his friend degenerated into another fit of giggles. “Damn, Flounder,” he said. “You did not get dat joke at all.”
Created, written, & directed by Budgerigar Orville Bigelow
Season 6, Episode 3: Cecil the Cat
“Was I not supposed to actually eat the cat?” Flounder asked, genuinely confused.
“No!” Da’Quarius exclaimed. “You were supposed to find the phone number on a missing pet poster and tell the owner dat you killed and ate their pet. You weren’t supposed to eat someone’s cat and brag to them ’bout it. You took somethin’ completely innocent and made it disgustin’.”
“Oooooh,” Flounder said. “I misunderstood the prank.”
“Fuckin’ right you did,” Da’Quarius said. “You blocked da call, right?”
“Yeah,” Flounder said, looking at his phone record to be sure.
“Good,” Da’Quarius said. “We’ll be alright den.”
“I know Helen had something to do with this!” The gray haired(yet almost completly bald) Harold Fuchs exclaimed, ready to walk out the door of his house on Constitutional Way (only a block and a half away from Freedom Lane). He pulled his metal cane from the umbrella stand near their door. “I’m going to march over there right now and demand justice for Cecil! This is worse than 9/11!”
“I don’t think Helen had anything to do with this,” Harold’s life partner and husband, Lee, said, chasing Harold to the door. “It was just some kid making a prank call!”
“They ate Cecil!” Harold said. “You loved that cat, dammit, and I’ll be damned if I let Helen get away with this!”
Harold and Lee’s adopted (almost adopted anyway) daughter, Esmerelda Perez de la Hoya came out of her room.”Can I come?” she asked, coming down the stairs quickly. Her curly, black hair trailed behind her. “I haven’t seen Da’Quarius in ages.”
“Good idea,” Harold said. “You can distract the kid while I search the house for cat bones or a feline cook book.”
“Yay,” Esmerelda said, clapping her hands lightly under her chin.
Lee sighed. “I guess I’ll come too,” he said. “Just let me grab my purse.”
“You’ll leave that damn purse here!” Harold snapped.
The doorbell of the home of Rose, Helen, and Da’Quarius on Freedom Lane rang. Rose walked to the door and opened it to see Harold Fuchs scowling at her. He was flanked by Lee and Esmerelda. “Harold,” she said. “What’s up?”
“Where’s my damn cat?!” Harold asked. “What has Helen done to him?!”
“Your cat?” Rose said. “We haven’t seen it. I’ll keep an eye out for him though.”
“I found your stupid cat,” Helen said, entering from the kitchen. “He was delicious.”
“I KNEW IT!” Harold shouted, pointing a liver-spotted finger towards Helen. “You ate Cecil. You monster!”
“You fruity idiot,” Helen said. “I wouldn’t eat a friggin cat. Not the kind you’re talking about anyway.”
“If you’ve lost you’re cat, we’ll be more than happy to keep an eye out for him,” Rose said. “I’ll even help you put up fliers.”
“You don’t understand,” Lee said. “Someone called us to tell us that they ate our Cecil.”
“Really?” Helen asked. “That’s hilarious!”
“Did you hear that?” Flounder said, backing away from the top of the stairs in horror. “He tracked us here! He knows the one that ate his cat is here!”
“Shutup before he hears you,” Da’Quarius said. “He didn’t track anything. He blames Helen for everything.”
“So none of them know that it was me that ate his cat?” Flounder asked.
“You ate Cecil?!” Esmerelda said, coming up the stairs.
“Ez!” Da’Quarius said. “What are you doing here?”
“Rose told me you two were up here doing homework,” Esmerelda said. “Did he really eat Harold’s cat?”
“We’ve been makin’ prank calls,” Da’Quarius said. “Flounder was supposed to find a missin’ pet sign and only claim to eat the cat, but he fucked it up.”
“So he ate Cecil by mistake?” Esmerelda asked.
“Pretty much,” Da’Quarius said.
“Oh my God,” Esmerelda said. “That’s hilarious!”
“You’re not mad?” Flounder asked, looking relieved.
“Not really,” Esmerelda said. “That cat was a dick.”
“Don’t worry about Ez,” Da’Quarius said. “She cool as fuck.”
Esmerelda blushed. “You wanna go listen to what’s going on downstairs?” she asked.
“Sure,” Da’Quarius said. “Why the hell not.”
“Wait,” Flounder said. “What if they see me?”
“Come on,” Da’Quarius said. “You know dey think Helen did it. Dey don’t even know you!”
“Oh yeah,” Flounder said. “Let’s go listen.”
“Why would I eat your damn cat anyway?” Helen asked. “I’m not some bum that can’t afford baloney.”
“You did it to settle your vendetta against us for taking your son during the summer!” Harold said, waving his cane at Helen.
“Put that damn stick down,” Helen said. “And when did you take Da’Quarius?”
“He had the child welfare department take him away from us,” Rose said. “Don’t you remember?”
“Couldn’t have happened,” Helen said. “If there was a thirteen year old boy in Harold’s house, then Harold would be in jail for molesting him.”
Harold started shuffling towards Helen. “You rotten…”
“Calm down, Harold,” Lee said, putting a hand on his shoulder. “Your blood pressure.”
“To hell with my blood pressure!” Harold snapped. “My rage won’t be sated until I find some kind of proof that Helen ate my Cecil! I want justice for Cecil!”
“Fine,” Helen said, scowling. “Look around all you want, then get the hell out.”
“Fine,” Harold agreed. “I think I’ll start with your refrigerator. I bet you have a tupperware container labeled for leftover cat meat in there.”
“Rummage all you want,” Helen said, following Harold into the kitchen. “Just don’t choke trying to deep throat the kielbasa. That’s our dinner tonight.”
Rose sighed and looked at Lee. “You want a cup of tea?” she asked.
“Yes,” Lee said. “That’ll be lovely.”
“OK,” Harold said, looking through every container of food in Helen’s fridge. “There’s no cat remains in here.”
“Satisfied?” Helen asked, crossing her arms across her chest.
“No,” Harold said. “You could have eaten Cecil in one sitting. You don’t exactly look as if you exercise portion control.”
“This coming from the guy that takes in more protein than a boxer in training,” Helen said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Harold asked, closing the fridge door and starting at Helen.
“Do the math, powder puff,” Helen said, giving Harold the stink eye.
“Don’t be crass,” Harold said, looking around Helen’s kitchen. “I wonder if I’ll find any cat bones in your garbage can.”
“Feel free to look if you don’t think you’ll break a nail, Nancy,” Helen said.
“I came prepared,” Harold said, putting on a pair of blue gloves.
“You have those handy for when you have to get the dead mice out of Lee?” Helen asked.
“I’m not listening to you,” Harold crooned while digging through the garbage. Da’Quarius’ dog, Dutchie, watched Harold suspiciously from his doggy bed in the corner, wondering why he wasn’t allowed in the trash but this man was.
“Helen,” Da’Quarius whispered. Helen turned to see Da’Quarius in the door to the den, signaling her over.
“I’ll be right back, numb nuts,” Helen said. “You want me to get you a fork and knife in case you find anything tasty in there?”
“I’m fine,” Harold said. “Just let Lee know I’ll be out in a jiffy.”
Helen ignored Harold and walked into the living room where Da’Quarius, Flounder, and Esmerelda were standing. “What do you kids want?” she asked.
“How long is Harold going to be looking for cat parts?” Da’Quarius asked. “He’s freaking Flounder out.”
“Who the hell is Flounder?” Helen asked.
“I’m Flounder,” Flounder said, raising his hand timidly. He didn’t want to remind Helen that they had met, because their previous meetings usually ended with Helen saying something negative about him.
“Why are you freaking out, Flounder?” Helen asked.
“I dunno,” Flounder said, putting his hand in his pockets and shuffling his feet.
“Spit it out,” Helen said.
“He’s the one that ate Harold’s cat,” Esmerelda said.
Helen looked at Flounder with a serious look in her eye. “You?” she asked. “You ate that idiot’s cat?”
“Yeah,” Flounder said, not looking up.
“How did you do it?” Helen asked.
“I lured him into my cage with cat treats,” Flounder replied.
“No,” Helen said. “How did you cook him? Roasted? Baked? Barbecue?”
“My mom cooked it,” Flounder said. “She did it on the wok.”
Helen looked at Flounder. A smile slowly spread across her face. She started to laugh. “You?” she asked, starting to laugh louder. “You ate Harold’s cat? YOU?!” She began roaring with laughter. She laughed so hard that she fell back into her chair. “AND HE HAD HIS MOM COOK IT!”
“Dammit, biddy,” Da’Quarius said. “Calm down!”
“You have to warn me next time!” Helen said through her fit of laughter. “I just wet my pad a little bit!”
“Why did you make me tell her?” Flounder asked, worried that Harold was going to overhead Helen’s laughter.
“Look at her!” Da’Quariruis said, smiling. “I’ve never seen her laugh so hard!”
“What’s going on in there?” Lee asked, trying to crane his neck to look inside the house. He and Rose had gone outside to enjoy their tea while they waited for Harold and Helen to finish up whatever it was they were currently doing inside.
“Leave them be,” Rose said, taking a sip of her tea. “It’s too lovely out to worry about what’s going on inside. Once they get this out of their system we’ll go back in and separate them again.”
“Alright,” Lee said, taking a sip of his own tea. “Tell me again how you got those daisies to bloom so fully. They’re beautiful.”
“I’ll tell you my secret, but don’t tell anyone,” Rose said. “I put my own mixture of eggshells, coffee grounds, and the insides of tea bags.”
“Fascinating,” Lee said. “I would think that would be harmful to the flowers.”
“You have to use decaf,” Rose said. “And only in small quantities. It took me years to get the the combination just right.”
“Fascinating,” Lee repeated, sipping his tea with his pinky in the air.
“What’s so damn funny in here?!” Harold exclaimed. “What’s this? You brought more people here to mock me? I know you had something to do with this Helen. I just know it!”
“You know nothing!” Helen said. “You looked all over. Now get out.”
“I’m not done yet,” Harold said, looking around. Dutchie came in from the kitchen to be with everyone else. “Aha! If you ate my cat, then I’m eating your dog!”
“Don’t touch my dog!” Da’Quarius exclaimed. “He ain’t into yo freaky shit!”
“Fair is fair, kid,” Harold said. “He’s mine.” Harold approached Dutchie with his cane, but Dutchie thought he was playing. He took Harold’s cane with his mouth and pulled it out of his hand and started running around with it, knocking it into the furniture. Helen’s laughter started again as Harold tried to get his cane back and fell onto the floor with a crash.
“Harold!” Lee said, rushing inside with Rose right after. “We heard a racket. Are you alright?”
“I will be as soon as I get that damn dog!” Harold said.
Da’Quarius wrestled the cane from Dutchie and handed it back to Harold. “You ain’t takin’ my dog,” he said. “He’d kick yo ass anyway.”
Harold steadied himself with his cane and got a look at Flounder. “You!” he said, pointing. “Why are you here? You’re the one that did it! I know it! Why else would Helen have one of you in her house?!”
“Flounder didn’t do it!” Da’Quarius said. “We were just doin’ homework upstairs, and we came down to see what was goin’ on.”
“Oh come on,” Harold said. “I know that those people eat cats! Come here, you little shit!”
Flounder ran behind the couch in terror.
“OK,” Rose said, stepping between Harold and Flounder. “You’re not only being ridiculous, but you’re being racist now too. Flounder is a guest in our home. I think it’s time for you to go.”
“No!” Harold exclaimed.
“Come on,” Lee said. “You know Helen didn’t eat your cat, and that boy sure as sugar didn’t do it either. Let’s just go home and have a little funeral for Cecil. We’ll light the pyre in memorandum.”
“Justice for Cecil,” Harold muttered as Lee led him out of the door. “Cecil didn’t deserve to die.”
“It’s OK,” Lee said. “He may still be out there. We don’t know for sure that he was eaten. I’m sure it was just some cruel joke. Come along, Esmerelda.”
“I have to go,” Esmerelda said, turning back to Da’Quarius. “That was fun. Let me know the next time you guys make some prank calls.”
“I’ll hit you up,” Da’Quarius said. “Fo sho.”
Esmerelda smiled before turning to Flounder. “And be careful of who’s cats you eat,” she said before trotting off after Lee and Harold.
“Well she turned out to as racist as Harold,” Rose said, sitting down. “She must be hanging around him too much. I’m sorry you got caught up in that, Flounder.”
“It’s alright,” Flounder said. “But I think I should go home soon.”
“What’s for dinner?” Helen asked. “Leftovers?”
“I’ll see you later, Flounder,” Da’Quarius said. “We’ll do it again soon. You’ll get the prank right next time.”
“That was the prank?!” Helen exclaimed, laughing again. “He didn’t get it right!” She grasped her chest as she bellowed with laughter.
“Get what right?” Rose asked. “What did I miss?”
Da’Quarius, Flounder, and Esmerelda sat in Da’Quarius’ room. Flounder took his phone out of his pocket with a piece of paper with a phone number. “You sure you got it right this time?” Da’Quarius asked.
“Yeah,” Esmerelda asked. “Harold and Lee are still looking for Cecil’s killer you know.”
“I’m done with that lost cat gag,” Flounder said. “I have a new prank. I know I got this one right.”
“Cool,” Da’Quarius said. “Let’s hear it.”
Flounder smiled and dialed the number with his phone. “Hello?” the man on the other end said.
“Hi,” Flounder said, trying his best to sound like an adult and not laugh. “I’m calling from Frank’s Appliance Repair. Is your refrigerator running?”
Da’Quarius and Esmerelda looked at each other and rolled their eyes.
“I guess,” the man on the other end said.
“Can you go check?” Flounder asked, trying even harder not to laugh.
“Um, OK,” the man said. He didn’t talk, but they could hear him moving around his house. “I’m in front of my fridge. It’s definitely running.”
“Good,” Flounder said. “There’s just one more thing to check to make sure it’s running efficiently. Can you open it up and check the test switch inside? It should be near the top left corner of the inside of your refrigerator.”
“What the hell are you doin’?” Da’Quarius whispered. “Dis is goin’ on way to long. Just tell him dat he better go catch it already!”
Flounder waved Da’Quarius off. “I see the button!” the man said. “Do you want me to press it?”
Da’Quarius and Esmerelda looked at each other again, trying to guess if the other knew if refrigerators had test buttons inside of them.
“Yes,” Flounder replied, almost bursting with laughter. “Please press the test button.”
“OK,” the man said. There was a click and then an explosion followed by several loud crashing noises. Flounder laughed hysterically while Da’Quarius and Esmerelda stared. Esmerelda reached over and took Flounder’s phone from him, ending the call as the man on the other end screamed.
“Dude,” Da’Quarius said. “I don’t think you should make any more prank calls.”