15  Bingley at Play

Bingley loves to play.  He’ll chase a string pulled under a blanket.  He’ll leap through the air to catch a tossed mouse.  He’ll dash back and forth the length of the basement trying to catch my foot.  He’ll go round and round trying to stop a light that’s shining on a wall or on the floor.  If he’s up on his catwalk and you sit below him and try to toss a fuzzy ball over his head, he’ll repeatedly reject it, like an NBA center swatting away lay-ups.

He also loves word play, not for its brilliance, but just for the fun of it.

We were sitting like tree leopards, draped over the back of the couch looking outside at the sunshine on the grass and listening to the birds.

“What kind of beer does a duck drink?” Bingley asked.

“Beer?” I said.  “I have no idea.”

“Mallard High-Life,” he said, looking at me out of the corner of his eye.

“Got it,” I said.  I sat up straight so I could listen better, knowing he had more.

“What kind of beer does an owl drink?”

“I don’t know.”



“What kind of beer does a sparrow drink?”

“Couldn’t say.”


That’s a better joke than you may think:  I’d told him how in the Middle Ages people thought sparrows especially lecherous animals.

“What kind of drink does mourning dove drink?”

“Tell me.”

“Coos light.”


“Mmph-hss-sss-sss.”  I didn’t blame him for laughing at his own jokes.

“You know,” I said, “that some authorities on English language and literature consider puns the lowest form of wit.”

“Well,” he said, “what do you expect?  It’s not my first language.”

“Of course,” I said.  “Quite right.  Sorry.”

“No prob’em.”  He was starting to look sleepy and jumped down into my lap.

“Cuddles now,” he said.