Memories of the conversations with my cat – 58

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

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This is Chester. He’s decided to watch the ice hockey with us.

It’s hockey night in Canada, and the Bruins are playing the Maple Leafs, our team. Chester seems unimpressed.

After several minutes he says, it’s a lot of going back and forth with not much happening, and, where’s the ball?

This is ice hockey not football on ice, I tell him. It’s called a puck and it’s a disk, and you hit it with a hockey stick.

I can see this is going to be a long difficult night.

After a few minutes, the Bruins scored and the horn sounds. It nearly scares him out of his skin.

What just happened.

I explain.

Then your team is not very good are they, letting the other team score. Wouldn’t it be better if they all stood in a line across the front of the goal?

Then nothing would happen.

At least the other team wouldn’t score.

I shake my head. I don’t think cats quite understand the nuances of the game.

Another few minutes Chester shakes his head and walks off muttering, let me know when the mouse catching championship is on.

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 57

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160922_162007

This is Chester.  We have a major discussion coming up.

He knows I’m not happy.  We had a discussion about claws and furniture a while back where it was clearly understood that the scratching post was where he worked on his anger management issues.

And for quite some time I thought it was working.

More fool me.

The trouble is, there are certain parts of a room you don’t venture very often, and one of them is that small space behind the chairs in the lounge.  We have a cleaning lady so we don’t venture there very often.

But it’s where we keep our DVD collection, not that we look at DVDs any more, but someone else was looking for one.  That’s where I noticed the damage.  Near the scratching post, on the corner of the lounge chair, clear evidence of the cat’s work.

He thought if he did it out of sight we wouldn’t notice.  He would be right, except for exceptional circumstances.

Now I’m looking for him.  He knows.  Perhaps that was the reason for the fearsome attitude the other day.  Where’s the tiger now?

I can wait.  He has to come out eventually.

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 56

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

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This is Chester.  It’s going to be an interesting morning.

When I finally make it out to the writing room, I find him sitting on my desk, next to the keyboard, with a rather benign expression.

Remembering that cats can’t have expressive expressions, it worried me that he’s working overtime to make me think he has one.

I can feel his eyes boring into me, following me around the room, watching and waiting.

Waiting for what I wonder.

I also remember that cats are hunters and killers.  If he was a lion or a tiger I’d be in a great deal of trouble now.  He’d pounce, and that would be the end.

Is this we hat he’d be doing if I let him outside?

Is he sending me a warning?

I finish what I’m doing on the other side of the room and come over to the seat.

Are you done giving me the death stare? I ask him.

A slight shake of the head, and if I wanted to write anything into it, that would be a no.

A few seconds pass, then he jumps down to the floor and walks off.

Job done, I suspect he’s thinking.

Back to his least favourite dinner tonight, I’m thinking.

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 55

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

 

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This is Chester.  He’s supposed to be keeping an eye on the weather.

This is the second day of Spring where it has started warm, and by mid-afternoon, it has reached a high of over 30 degrees Celcius.

It’s the start of the heatwave that basically starts in October, and doesn’t go away until April the following year.

But it’s not the heat that’s the problem, it’s the humidity, and having a day that’s 35 degrees with 1000% humidity, is like being roasted in an oven.

I see the look on Chester’s face when he comes into the writing room, a sly glance up to the roof to see if the fan is going, and a slight shake of the head when he sees it is not.

Not that hot yet, I say.

What did we get the air conditioning for or the solar panels?

He’s sharp and doesn’t miss a trick.  It’s now more a benefit to run the airconditioning during the day when solar power is being generated.

We’ll be using it soon, I say.  But, just as a matter of interest, don’t you cats like the heat?  After all, in winter, you’re just about sitting in the fire.

A glare, no an insolent stare.  That’s in winter.  This is Summer.

No, it’s Spring.  Let me know when it’s Summer and I’ll be happy to help.

He flops on the ground.

At least you put tiles in, it’s nice and cool down here on the floor, he mutters, feigning going to sleep.

And a wide yawn just to emphasize the fact the conversation’s over.

Why not.  I turn the fan on high.  Just to annoy him.

Yes,, I can feel his eyes burning into my back.

 

 

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 54

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As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160903_163858

This is Chester.  Did someone use the word ‘vet’ out loud?

It is odd how some animals can recognise some words and remember what activity is attached to it.

Chester knows the word vet, and his memory attaches a great deal of seemingly horrible experience, not the worst of which is being transported in a pet basket.

Yes, we have just tried carrying him, but there is a sixth sense in every cat that tells them when they’re nearing a vet.  Within 50 metres of the front door, the hair stands up, the cat starts hissing as he would face off against a formidable opponent.

We only carried him once, never again.

But the histrionics start in the house where we have to mound a search party to find hi,  There are innumerable hiding places, and we have to be organised.

Invariably, each time something like this happens, he finds somewhere new to hide.  We keep forgetting he can use his paws to open sliding doors, and close them again, a talent he had learned.

We’ve also learned to start looking a half-hour earlier than we used to.  The vet is only three minutes away, and we used to leave it to the last minute, but being late for the appointment happens only once.

Vets are worse than doctors when you miss appointments.  PErhaps Chester knows this and tries to use it to his advantage.  It no longer works.

Then, once we find him, the next exercise is to get him into the basket.  I’ve never seen so many tricks on how not to let the humans put him in it.

But, over time, we’ve learned, and sometimes it’s easy, others, I have the scars to prove it.

Then, once we get to the vet, it’ss a completely different cat, not Chester, but some other cat disguised as him.  Chester has never given the vet an ounce of trouble.

Perhaps we should become vets.

Chester is fine, just a little off-colour perhaps from something he ate.  Not all pet food is agreeable, and we’ve been trying to get his to have something different.  I even specially cook fish for him, and maybe that was the problem.

What is off-putting is the ease in which he goes back into the basket for the vet.

But all is well, and he will be glad to get out…

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 53

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

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This is Chester.  He’s feeling poorly today.

When I used this expression, he looked at me quizzically, which is not bad for a cat with a constant poker face.

Where did you get that from?

It’s a favourite expression of my mother’s when she wasn’t feeling very well.  She had another, ‘not feeling elegant’ today.

It stops and makes me wonder where these expressions come from, and I suspect, because my mother’s mother was of German descent, that it was one of those translation to English things.

Chester seems disinterested.  I’m beginning to think there may be something wrong with him because he’s not his usual sardonic self.

Perhaps, I say, it’s time to go to the vet, get checked out.  You’re not getting any younger.

His head pops up at the mention of the vet.  He knows what this means.  The cat basket.

He leaps up with newfound energy and heads for the door.

I get out of my chair to follow, and he’s gone, moving quickly up the passage to one of his hiding spots.

Maybe he’s not that bad.  I’ll monitor the situation.

“You’re safe,” I yell out.  “For now.”

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 52

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160902_094127

This is Chester.  He’s left a current edition of a news magazine on my keyboard.

And I think it’s meant to scare me.

The title is “Your cat isn’t trying to kill you, probably”

The operative word that goes with the malicious look on his face, is probably.  In a staredown I know I’m going to lose.

If I try to read his mind, well, all that’s going to get me is a migraine headache.

Perhaps I’m missing the point.  The first few lines tell me that cats don’t have the facial muscles that dogs do, so an expressionless cat is just that, they are not giving you the proverbial death stare.

I’m sure that it’s his way of reassuring me that I’m living on borrowed time.

Or, maybe not, because there are a few more lines further down telling me that cats are predators and they kill about a billion birds every year.  That, I’m guessing, hints that once the birds run out, humans are next.

Ah, now I know that benign expression holds no malice…

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 51

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20151129_000912

This is Chester. Our standoff continues.

I can tell he’s not happy because when he’s going down the passage and I’m going in the opposite direction, he changes sides.

Instead of coming over to see what food he’s getting, he waits in another room. That is fine by me because it takes a little longer to find out he’s not in an eating mood.

And come to think of it, he no longer climbs up on the table when we’re having fish. I’ve told him more than once that eating off someone else’s plate is just not good manners.

Perhaps I should not be so concerned he’s not talking to me, because he’s almost become the cat I’ve always wanted.

What’s that expression, cut your nose off to spite your face.

But, it isn’t going to last. This morning when I go down to the library, which is just a fancy name for my writing room, he’s sitting on top of my closed laptop.

I never used to close it but the last time I cleaned it I found cat hair, an allegation he vehemently denied and tried to tell me it the dog we used to have.

I didn’t bother telling him the laptop is new, and the dog’s been gone for 12 years.

I ask him to move.

He yawns and makes himself more comfortable.

He still hasn’t realized that all I have to do is pick him up, and move him, which I do.

I sit down to start work, he jumps up on the table and gives me that ‘I dare you to do that again’ look, and I stare back with the ‘do you really want to do this’ look.

Fifteen minutes later…

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 50

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160902_123201

This is Chester.  He knows it’s time to visit the vet.

And we have the same problem every month.  Any other time he would be in one of three places, at the back door, watching the birds on the fence, in his basket contemplating whether to check out the mice situation or sitting at the front door hoping some kind person will take him away and give him a better life.

But, come vet day, he’s nowhere to be seen.  Or heard.  I suspect he hears the sound of the pet carrier.  Certainly, the moment he sees it, if he is anywhere near, he runs.

Odd that, because he has one of those bell neckbands that alerts us, and the birds, if we ever let him out.  Today, in fact now that I think about it, it is not to be heard.

Has he managed to figure out a way to walk without it making a sound?

So, it’s time to mount a search.  WE have to be going if we’re going to make the appointment on time.

He has six favourite hiding spots, one in a cupboard in the spare bedroom.  It took a while to discover this one, and the discovery he could open the sliding door with his paw.  What was hard to understand; he could close it too.

Today, he’s not there.

Under and one of three beds, all very low, and very hard for us to get down to see.  And dark, needing a torch.  Woe betide us if it is in the middle, just beyond our reach.

No, not hiding under the beds, but we do find one of his toy mice, destroyed.

Nor is he hiding under the lounge room table, a new spot since we put an overflowing table cloth on it, making it look like a tent.

Almost at the end of my tether, I hear a bell.

There he is, sitting on the end of the bed, a grin if it could be called that on his face.

Where have you been, we have to get going or we’ll be late, he says.

Yes, and all I have to do is get you in the carrier.

Oh.

He realizes his fatal mistake and tries to run.

One day he’s going to make this easier for me.

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 49

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160922_162007

This is Chester. We are at the delicate stage of peace negotiations.

The ceasefire has been rocky, to say the least.

Blame is being thrown about like confetti at a wedding.

And to top it off, it’s Friday the thirteenth.

Im fuĺly expecting Chester to change his coat to black, and walk in front of my path with an evil grin on his face.

There’s already been signs of his mischievousness.  A long time ago we bought him some fake mice to play with since he didn’t have the inclination to chase the real rodents. Little did we know he had hidden these away, to bring them out on black Friday.

And, sitting on the floor, giving me the death stare, I wonder what his intentions are.

Not good.

So, I ignore him. I go back to the computer and get on with the day’s work. I have episodes to write, some research for a project one of my granddaughters is working on, and a novel in the throes of a third edit.

Still, I can feel those beady eyes drilling into my back.

Enough.

Do what you like, I say, turning suddenly on him, causing him to jump. Just go away and let me get on with my work. Instantly, I realise I’ve lost the battle, as he stands, gives me a final smug look, and leaves the room.

Was that a swagger?