A Novena for the Completely Distracted

The cat took the phone. That is the only explana-scuse I can come up with. Ángel, el gato de amor (pictured above), wanted me to get an upgrade so I could take better (well, any) photos of her. Like the one above.

One night last week, somewhere between the room in which my girlfriend and I were watching television and the bedroom in which we were going to be sleeping, my phone left my person, never to return. I placed it in my pocket upon standing to walk into the bedroom, but when I arrived in the bedroom three seconds later, it was no longer in my pocket. An inspection tour of both rooms and the hall in between them led to neither phone nor evidence of foul play.

An ancient (five-plus-years old) brick of a phone, which did not do its one job of placing or receiving phone calls very well, it is not missed. What is missed is an important sense of myself. What is missed is my understanding, my long-understood understanding, that I do not lose things, that not losing things was my one talent. Sense of self, we hardly knew ye.

My girlfriend, who is remarkable in many and different ways, not the least in how perfect she is, has a completely reasonable theory about the phone’s disappearance: I was staying over at her place, and since I don’t have a nightly routine there or a spot at her house in which I keep my things, she posited that it was easy for me to lose track of it. The phone was in my pocket, though.

She also offered that since she has a history of losing things—I have seen her lose things that we both saw were in her hand, without her leaving my sight—she argued that her ability to lose things is influencing me. (Perhaps so. I lost my heart to her.) (Aw!)

I don’t remember when I started not remembering things. A lifetime spent squirrel-brained and easily distracted by the bright and shiny and the new and loud taught me to embrace my inner OCD self and trained me to check and always re-check to make sure I remembered to not forget.

What happened last week (what happened last week? right, the puzzle of the vanished phone) is something new, though, because unlike most mysteries of misplaced objects, there were not even any steps for me to re-trace here. It was as if my pants pocket had opened to a 4th dimension.

It was as if the cat took it. She was napping beside me the whole night, after all. When asked about it the next day, however, she pleaded the Fifth. She took a meow of silence.

The WordPress Daily Prompt for October 15 asks, “In 300 years, if you were to be named the patron saint of X, what would you like X to be? Places, activities, objects—all are fair game.”

And Tuesday’s Alterna-Prompt, “The Blog Propellant,” asks, “Are you a kind of Dr. Doolittle? Do you have a story about bonding with an elephant? Charming a snake? Is your dog or cat sweet with you, but nasty to others? Have you rescued a parakeet you found in a tree? Surfed with dolphins? Whispered to horses? Have you trained a velociraptor to perform stupid pet tricks? Do you swear your goldfish knows you apart from everyone else?”

* * * *
Follow The Gad About Town on Facebook! Subscribe today for daily facts (well, trivia) about literature and history, plus links to other writers on Facebook.

Follow The Gad About Town on Instagram!

And please visit and participate in the Alterna-Prompt, “The Blog Propellant.”

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


  1. wscottling · October 15, 2015

    Four states and several addresses ago, I lived with my teenage son (the same son mentioned in the bear story I wrote about yesterday, but different address). Whenever things went missing, as they are wont to do in our place, we blamed the ghost cat. We had a ghost cat because both of use kept seeing a grey cat in the apartment, and we both knew that there was no cat in the apartment. Being only 550 square feet, there was no place for a cat to hide, and only one way in and out. Therefore, it was a ghost cat, and it kept stealing our stuff. It was the only explanation.

    I said all of that to say, I totally believe your cat stole your phone and hid it somewhere. You’ll find it in your cupboards when you move….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aldrich · October 15, 2015

      A ghost cat is a great go-to. And yes, I said he same thing you just wrote: when we move Jen out, we’ll find my phone.


  2. Julie · October 15, 2015

    Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LRose · October 15, 2015

    Hi Mark! I always blame the cat. Purrrfectly logical. This also fits the lost object prompt from a month or so ago! When I get home (& with my computer) I will award you the perfectly logical conclusion Spock award.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lifelessons · October 15, 2015

    I once had an entire sandwich disappear off a plate on the table. We never did find it. I bet the cat took it, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Keigh Ahr · October 15, 2015

    I really admire the rhythm of your prose. A line like “I don’t remember when I started not remembering things” is remarkably clever, yet at the same time unpretentious. Very nice!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Aldrich · October 17, 2015

      Thank you for that remarkable compliment. My pacing is what I work on. Thank you for noticing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. LRose · October 15, 2015

    For you! Spock’s Perfectly Logical Conclusion Award

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: A Clock, Broken | The Diligent Dilettante
  8. Amanda Ricks · October 17, 2015

    But taking beautiful pictures of the cat is a big priority! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rogershipp · October 20, 2015

    “my phone left my person, never to return.” Don’t you hate it when that happens!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to lifelessons Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.