The Cat Lady’s Kiss

Photograph — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

Angela sat in a juvenile facility, and was sent off in shackles to a prison farm the minute she turned seventeen. She had to punk for the trustees and older inmates, who looked after her and saw to Angela’s education. She even finished high school at the farm. Part of her education was a floating film club: an unfrocked professor would wander from prison farm to prison farm with a DVD player and a whole bag of films out of the 1940s. The one Angela liked best was about a woman who turned into a ferocious cat whenever a man tried to kiss her; even her husband couldn’t kiss this cat lady, who might have torn him to ribbons, fond of him as she was.

The older inmates would laugh and say, “Yeah, she would have loved him to death.” And they began to call Angela the cat lady who’d never been kissed by a man.

The Cat Lady’s Kiss, from Jerome Charyn’s Bitter Bronx-Thirteen Stories

Seducing a cockroach

Link to: The Cat Lady’s Kiss

Originally published at

Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at: