In Rome

by Rocky the Diabolical Catâ„¢ After a protracted identity hassle with two Italian security officials named Pallalpiede and Cartastraccia, I found a restroom and climbed out of my Fifi the Calico disguise.

At an airport bar I met my editor, Bartolomeo Pistola, who kissed me on both cheeks in the European fashion. We then drove to the offices of Edizione Testa d'Uovo.

"Bartolomeo," I said as I stood on a stool, looking over the proofs of my new book, "I'm on a tight schedule. We need to get this taken care of quickly. All I see here are the usual typos. What do you think?"

"Rocky, I think we need to insert something, perhaps a memoir, that will link you better with Nietzsche. I'm thinking: 'Nietzsche and Me: An Excursus.' This will put a finer point, so to speak, on the relationship between your work and his," Bartolomeo said between puffs on his cigarette.

"Er, dear fellow, I think titling the book Feline, All Too Feline accomplishes that quite well, don't you?" I replied with a certain annoyance.

"Rocky, I find you rather nettlesome today," he said with a pout.

"Dear fellow, some prefer nettles," I quipped. "At any rate I now must rush off to a banquet. I'll see you first thing tomorrow morning."

Once on the street I stopped at a cafe and downed a double espresso. I licked my chops with my feline tongue, and moved on.

At the banquet I was awarded a Golden Claw Award (my second) by the Italian Anarcho-Philosophical Cat Society for my essay "Al Qaida from the U.S.S. Cole Bombing to 9/11: The Bushists' Support of Gould's Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium." I accepted the Claw with alacrity.

Later I checked into my hotel, read through the proofs of my book once again and drifted off to sleep.

Next Week: Love Rekindled