Past conversations with my cat – 32

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This is Chester.  I’ve just told him we will be going away for a few days.

What, again?  You do nothing but go away these days!  That look of disdain is meant to move me, but, sorry, it doesn’t.

It is retirement, you know, I say.  I’ve waited for 65 years so that I can do what I want.

Poor you!  Any idea how old you think I am?

15, mate, and lucky to have lived that long, despite the fact you’ve tried to escape.

That’s a matter of opinion, but not cat years, fool, human years.

I’d never quite worked that out.  We had a dog once, and I know that for every dog year it’s seven human years, so it was, in human terms, rather old.

But cats?

I’ll look it up on the internet.

Interesting.  The first two years are worth 24 human years and 4 years for each successive year.  That makes you, wow, 76.

A smug expression takes over.  Old, he says, you don’t know what it is to be old.

Except at your age, you’re too old to be travelling.

He wanders off, the tail indicating his annoyance.  I don’t think it was what he wanted to hear.

 

Conversations with my cat – 70

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This is Chester.  He’s checking the outside temperature.

And the heat goes on with no relief in sight.

Chester has taken to spreading out on the cool tiles floor, trying to get some sleep.

He tells me its too hot for the mice to come out.

I believe him.

I was going to chat about the so-called climate emergency, but here’s the thing. It’s been this hot before, endless days of relentless heat, days where the temperature hits 40 degrees centigrade in the shade.

It happened when we came to Queensland for a holiday 30 odd years ago, and long before Chester was thought of.

The first day it rained. After that it was nearly two weeks of very hot days.

We live in the tropics. You could expect more rain, but rain is a fickle thing.

We have bushfires everywhere, and Chester can’t sit at the doorways because of the pervading smoke permeating in the atmosphere.

I should be writing he says, but instead I’m on a settee in the living room, under a slowly rotating fan.

He jumps up and joins me, the sitting on my lap, not exactly the coolest spot to be. He’s getting the effects of the fan, I’m not and I’m guessing that’s the point.

I tell him he can go for a run outside, something I’ve never let him do.

He sees it for the gesture it is and climbs down, back to the cool floor. I get a long cold stare, and then he leaves me in peace.

No work today, for either of us. I can do without the verbal sparring.

Perhaps there will be a cool change tomorrow.

Past conversations with my cat – 31

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This is Chester. He doesn’t like being on the end of a berating.

In a moment of extreme pique, as can happen when dealing with an obstinate and sometimes utterly obdurate cat, you can sometimes forget who is the master and who is living on borrowed time.

It’s like dealing with a spoilt child, but unlike a child, you cannot get down to their level and instead of speaking down to them, you can reach them on their level.

With a cat it’s different.

You are enraged, you see red, you are prone to becoming something other than who you really are, going from calm and urbane, to this red-faced infuriated gibbering idiot.

Over something so simple that you can only describe the circumstances as inexplicable.

And yet above it all, this wretched animal remains quite calm and looks at you with those innocent eyes and a face that tells you that whatever the problem is, he didn’t do it.

Those claw marks on the curtains didn’t get there by themselves, did they?

And it’s not as if the humans are likely to climb up the curtains, is it?

What’s the point?

It’s off to the vet to have the claws cut. Then we’ll see what happens.

I’m also wondering if we really need curtains. I hear shutters are in vogue.

Damn cat!

Conversations with my cat – 69

This is Chester. He’s looking for a cool spot to lie down.

We’ve been having something of a heat wave for the last few days, temperatures soaring above the mid-thirties, and nearly as high as forty degrees centigrade.

So, this morning we watched the ice hockey, and even Chester stayed the distance, not so he could smirk when the Maple Leafs lost, but to channel the idea it was cold somewhere else in the world.

And it worked for a while. Having been to the ice hockey in Toronto in person, I know just how cold it was.

After that, it was a matter of leaving the doors opens to let what breeze there was flow through the house, so Chester first sat by the front door, then the back door, then came out to see me.

Time for the air conditioner.

Yes, we have air conditioning, and yes, the cost of electricity in this country is horrendous.  It was why we had solar panels put in.

I just leave it as long as possible before turning it on.

I thought about toying with him, but he’s sitting on the keyboard looking angry.

Now was the right time.

Past conversations with my cat – 30

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This is Chester.  Waiting impatiently.

I’ve asked him to stay by the front door and let me know when the delivery man comes.

What is it we’re waiting for?

It’s a surprise.

For who?

If I told you that, then it wouldn’t be a surprise.

That, of course, sets his mind racing, because now he thinks I’ve got a surprise for him.  And the memories of that doesn’t sit well, because the half dozen practice mice I got him didn’t get used.

Why do I need to practice chasing mice that don’t move? he asked.

It was an interesting question, a led to another surprise, a half dozen clockwork mice.

He wanted to know why I was winding them up, and then, when I put them down, he simply watched then crash into the wall.

I shake my head as I walk away.  Why did I say anything?  All I had to do was open the door and he would have come, sat and waited for no reason at all.

 

 

NaNoWriMo Supplementary Day One

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It’s past five o’clock in the afternoon and I haven’t had a look at working on the last few chapters.

I looked at it last night, made the changes I thought I needed to continue working the next day.

But…

The day started with the Maple Leafs playing the Buffalo Sabres. It was at Scotiabank stadium, our home ground, so the odds were in our favour to win.

Of course, the day before we lost.  It was disappointing, and if anyone has been following the trials of living with Chester, my cantankerous cat, you would know he was happy they did.

And still getting his least favourite food.

He knows the deal. Barrack for the Maple Leafs or there will be consequences.

Today we won in overtime. Good, we’ve been winning since we changed coaches, and the loss yesterday was an aberration.

The game ended in the early afternoon, our time.

Then we switched over to test cricket, and this will run till about ten tonight which means not much work will get done.

I have been forsaking the cricket to finish the NaNoWriMo project. Now that pressure is off I have a few things to catch up on.

At least the next hockey game is not till Wednesday.

The cricket may be over in a day or so.

In the meantime, when there is a lull in sport, I will get back to work.

Is there a reason to get out of bed?

I sometimes wonder if there is.

Is that depression speaking, or am I just tired from all the late nights?

Unlike most writers, authors and bloggers I don’t have a day job.  You could say it’s one of the benefits of getting old, this retirement thing, but after a while, not having a reason to get out of bed starts working on your subconscious.

The idea of having a job, and going to work, is a good reason to drag yourself out of bed every morning.  And because of this, the idea of sleeping in takes on a whole new meaning.

You know, I’ll just lie here for a few more minutes, and then I’ll get up.  Having turned off the alarm, the eyelids flutter, and before you know it, half an hour had passed, and you wake up in fright, knowing you’re going to be late.

In retirement, that doesn’t happen.  There is no alarm, there is no guilty pleasure in spending those extra minutes in bed.

Of course, this tardiness, or lack of desire could be because I find I do my best writing in the dead of night, often not getting to bed before 2 a.m.   Last night it was a little later because of a story I’m working on came to life with a new idea.

It had been stagnating because it’s part two and whilst I had an idea about where it was going to go, in the end, we’re off in a different direction, and the words flowed.  You just don’t stop writing when you hit a vein.

But this isn’t always the case.  This morning I have an excuse to stay in bed, but most others I don’t.

Perhaps I should find something else to do, something that will give me that same reason I used to have to get up every morning.

Or maybe I should be more organized in my retirement life, you know, set a schedule and do things according to a timetable.  I was never one for being organized, but perhaps it’s time to start.

Just let me lie here for a few more minutes and think about that.