Past conversations with my cat – 55



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.



Conversations with my cat – 93


This is Chester.  We’re getting by during the ‘stay at home’ order.

I’m doing just that, though it sometimes feels like I’m in jail, on the inside looking out.

“Now you know how I feel”, Chester tells me, after jumping up on the window ledge to look out the window, trying to see what had caught my interest.

I don’t tell him I’m basically staring into space.

Except, a car passes, not fast, not slow, but much like the rest of the traffic that passes by.  Or used to.  With the order to stay at home, and the fact schools are not open, there have been fewer and fewer cars passing by.

“Didn’t that car…” Chester mutters.

He’s right.  The same car just went back the other way.  Slow, but not too slow.

“Perhaps’s he’s looking for a house, a particular address.”

We watch and wait.

Five minutes later the car has returned and stops outside my window.  A man gets out the passenger side, says something to the driver, then closes the door.  He starts walking back up the street from where the car had just come.

The car drives off, then a minute later is back, and parks on the other side of the road.  We can see the driver.  Not the sort of person you’d want to need on a dark night.  Tattoos on his arm, and smoking a cigarette, negligently stopping ask on the road below his window.

“He’s watching,” Chester says.

“He’s a lookout?”

We’re both thinking the same.  A crime is being committed.  They’ve scoped the street for an unattended house, a rarity for obvious reasons, though these days robbers rob the house while you’re still in it.

We wait.  Three minutes later the other man comes running very quickly to the car, jumps in and they drive off very quickly before the man had closed the door.

Seconds later another man appears with a baseball bat in his hand.

“Close call,” Chester says, interest now waning.  He jumps down.  “Pity they didn’t catch the robber.”

Perhaps.  But one thing is for sure, those robbers will not be back.

Diversion over, back to boredom.  Chester has gone back to one of his hiding spots.  I’m going to do another crossword.

Six months is going to be a long, long, long, long time.

Conversations with my cat – 92


This is Chester.  He’s been missing a lot.

It’s the confined to quarters thing he doesn’t understand.  We had the discussion about the coronavirus, and the need to stay at home and only go out when there is a reason to go out, like to get food.

Which brought up another concern that he didn’t let go of,  that he didn’t think we had enough cat food or cat litter, or treats, though he didn’t define what he meant by treats.

I assumed it was real fish.

I didn’t tell him that it was a treat for us too, the cost of Barramundi and Salmon just a little expensive for pensioners.

Not that he remembered that we have been pensioners since April last year.

I swear that cat is getting more forgetful.  And, yes, that was another heated debate, whether he was getting dementia.

So, now he’s been taking to his hiding places, and keeping away from me, coming out only to get a pat or two from my other half, and give me the daggers look.  And eat, though some nights he turns his nose up at it.

You can tell his displeased because some of it ends up in his water bowl, and then sits by the water bowl and moans and groans till the water’s replaced.

I swear I’m going to go bonkers if we are forced to stay in the same place much longer.

His annual visit to the vet is coming up, and maybe I can get something for his grumpiness.


Past conversations with my cat – 54


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…

Past conversations with my cat – 53


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.”

Conversations with my cat – 91


This is Chester.

We’re having an interesting time in the quest for self-isolation.

It seems he doesn’t like the idea that we are still going out, and coming back, potentially bringing the virus back.

This, of course, despite the fact that there are no confirmed cases of the virus attacking cats.

That doesn’t mean that Chester might be the first cat that does.

Out of curiosity, and perhaps against my better judgment, I have to ask what his reasoning is.

Old age, he says.  If you are telling me the truth then I’m about 18 cat years old, which means it’s about 126 of your years.

I can see where this is going.  It’s my fault because I’ve left the running count of Coronavirus patients worldwide on one of my computer screens.

As of this morning, there are 393,000 cases worldwide.  He was sitting next to me when I  was looking at the statistical data on the various ages and pre-existing conditions.

For him, apparently, there was only one statistic that mattered.  Anyone over 90 in human years had little chance of surviving.

I reiterate the virus doesn’t attack cats.

I also tell him that I have no intention of getting the virus.  But it raises a point I hadn’t considered.

Going out anywhere always has a risk, whether to the supermarket or the pharmacy which are basically the only places I go.  Then there is the situation of my wife, who is still working and has to go to work.  That is a bigger risk considering one of the staff will be coming back from overseas.

How successful the self-isolation rule is, and whether everyone complies, is a matter of conjecture, and one has to wonder if 14 days in isolation is long enough.

Chester has raised a legitimate point, not necessarily in relation to himself.

Perhaps he might be worried about us.

And if that is the case, will the specter of this virus finally become the catalyst for a change in the relationship between cats and people, where they might realize we are more important to them than they currently believe.

Let’s see what happens.

Conversations with my cat – 90


This is Chester.

He’s not looking forward to being in quarantine.

Yes, he’s been keeping up with the latest developments regarding the Coronavirus, but like many, he doesn’t seem to think it will affect him.

After all, he says smugly, there hadn’t been one recorded instance of a cat getting the Coronavirus.

Of course, he’s right, but I still search for a searing reply.

That may be, but what if they’re not reporting cat infections so as not to alarm the cat population?

Aha, got him with that one.  He ponders that for a moment or two.  I decided to add fuel to the fire.

Apparently, dogs can contract the virus, but after reporting one, there hadn’t been any more.  What if they’re not telling anyone that more dogs have contracted the virus so owners and pets don’t get alarmed.

A reply quick as a flash, Dogs get everything that’s going around.  We cats are more resilient.

Until you get cat flu.  Yes, my nana’s cat got cat flu and it killed him in 2 days.  This virus is a much deadlier form of flu.

A suitable look of concern crossed his face.

Maybe I’ll stay indoors for the duration.  It’s not as if you’re going to let me roam the streets any time soon.

Maybe I will, I say.  Perhaps it is time I started letting you out from time to time.

A shake of the head.

We’ll revisit this when the crisis has passed, he says getting up and walking off, tail flicking in annoyance.

One to me, none to him.  Yes!!!