Second Letter to Nine Lives

Dear Laura,

Thank you for writing back to me. I know you must be busy, working for such a big company.

I wanted to let you know how things are progressing with me, my lover Jeff and his family. You might remember that our first tentative steps toward togetherness emerged in the wake of a mistakenly eaten Nine Lives sandwich. Jeff and I are now on much more friendly terms with his mother, Vivian, so much so that several weeks ago she invited us out to her place for a barbecue she was having. It was a little tense, of course, but we had a good time. Vivian is still laughing over the sandwich incident--she can't stop telling the story!

Vivian was unusually animated at the barbecue. Sheís usually on the stern side. After serving drinks and chatting with us and her other guests, she began laying out the food. In a large glass bowl, she had made what she repeatedly referred to as "9 Lives Salad," though we all assumed it was really tuna. It was funny the first time she said it, but as she repeated herself again and again, I noticed that Jeff and I werenít the only ones who seemed uncomfortable.

When I passed by the bowl to serve myself, I felt Vivianís eagle eye on me. I donít want to make more trouble between her & Jeff & I was afraid that refusing any of her food would be construed as an insult, so I took some. "Hope you like my 9 Lives salad, John!" Vivian called to me. I just tried to smile. Later, I noticed that sheíd left some empty cans of 9 Lives around the kitchen for effect.

Please donít be offended that I didnít want to eat 9 Lives. I am a very loyal customer, and my cat, Bette, loves 9 Lives. I just donít want to eat cat food in general. When Vivian wasnít looking, I was able to hide the salad in my napkin.

I realize things may sound far from perfect, but, remember, without that 9 Lives lunch, Jeff and I probably wouldnít have been invited at all. I will always be grateful, and I'm sure Jeff will be too.

Please write again.


John Sanchez