I chuckled. "I'm not sure if I believe you, Cat."
"I'll prove it to you! I know things about King Priam that no one else does, like where my treasure is buried."
"Oh that? I, world-famous archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, located Priam's cache a long time ago."
The cat looked me up and down. "That's impossible. What did you find?"
"Stop right there. That is not my treasure."
"What about the gold diadems? The rings? The buttons?"
"Buttons? Just who do you think I am? I don't know what sort of archaeologist you are, but that 'treasure' you found sounds like a load of rubbish to me. I, on the other hand, have a nose for discovery. I could sniff out buried treasure a mile away."
I pointed my trowel directly at ex-King Priam. "Then let us venture forth, Feline, and we shall uncover the greatest wonders ever known to man!"
"Wait a minute, who ever said I wanted to go with you? Besides, my owners would be ornery if I suddenly disappeared. I'm everything to them."
Meanwhile, as the cat spoke, I purchased a kebab from a passing vendor. Our transaction completed, the man rolled away his chart chanting, "Fresh kebabs!" in Arabic.
"If you accompany me, I will share this kebab with you."
The cat's one-eye widened and a drop of saliva dribbled down his chin. "Fine!" he said. "I'll help you look for treasure, but only if you're willing to split our profits 50-50."
"70-30, and I'll buy your meals," I offered, placing a particularly juicy slice of meat in front of my new business partner, who promptly devoured it.
"We have a deal, Human."
"Hm," I pondered aloud. "You're going to need a better name than Cat, and I'm still not sure if I believe your story about being the former king of Troy. I think I shall refer to you as...Polyphemus, because of that missing eye of yours."
"That's not funny."
I managed to convince him to go along with the new name, arguing that our travels might be hindered should the paparazzi catch wind of an itinerant king. From thereafter, I addressed the cat as Polyphemus, or Polly. Although I asked him how he lost his left eye, he refused to discuss the matter and promptly changed the subject. The next order of business I had to address was his attire. I could not allow a respectable gentleman to parade through Istanbul entirely unclothed.
|Polly: "Hey Rich, why do you have a spare safari hat and bow-tie with you, anyway?"|