inessential by Brent Simmons

Cats understand French

Since I was a boy I’ve believed that cats secretly understand French. One cat we had was even born on Bastille Day. Sometimes we called him Jean-Claude Kitty.

On Thursday nights when I come home from French class, with French still ringing in my head, I talk to my kitten Papa. Bon soir, Papa! Ca va? Ca va bien? Oui? Oui, j’aime Papa.

I say, qu’est-ce que on dit, Papa? And he says, miaoooow!