Past conversations with my cat – 80


This is Chester. We’re back watching the Maple Leafs.

This isn’t going to be pretty. While they have won a few in the last week or so they have also lost, and by large numbers.

I know this is a mistake watching it with Chester, the eternal pessimist, because his initial statement, ‘You know Anderson’s going to let you down again’ even before the match started, is a sign of things to come.

Yep. There it is 21 seconds into the game the other side scores.


He turns his head and gives me the look, “I told you so.”

Double damn.

Nothing worse than a smart-ass cat is there, and especially when he’s right.

The game progresses, and then the internet dies on me, leaving a frozen screen. Bigger fish to fry now, with the internet provider, where we are, the NBN, which is little more than a joke. Try streaming anything…

It’s the same result.

Pixellation, blank screens, endless loading signs and then a seized screen.


For once I don’t mind because I don’t have to listen to the negativity.

Yes, they score again. And again. And yes, once again we’re looking down the barrel of another huge loss.

“Just what is wrong with your goalie,” Chester asks.

“Too many games and not enough faith in the backup, I guess.”

It’s hard to explain wat’s going wrong. I don’t know the ins and outs of the Toronto team because we’re not there. It’s the lot of a supporter whose 12,000 miles away.

Perhaps our year will be next year.

Chester doesn’t think so. Halfway through the third period, he walks off, the internet giving up the ghost. We all know how this end, don’t we, he says.

Yes. We do. The food you hate the most is in your tray.

Revenge doesn’t sound as good as it did in my head a few minutes ago.

Triple Damn.

Past conversations with my cat – 79


This is Chester.  Now we’ve cleaned up the room there’s nowhere to hide.

That might just become a real problem for our furry friend.

The girls are on a mission, as we’ve set them a series of tasks in order to earn some pocket money during the school holidays.  And keep them out of mischief.

But, what does Chester think of all of this?

Not happy at all.

He was apprehensive at their arrival as he always is, and tries to hide away while they are here, but all that rummaging and boxes moving hither and thither, it’s not long before he comes out to see what’s happening.

The office is clean, the hiding spots are gone.  I watch him slink from spot to spot, the look of dismay lengthening.

This is wrong, he says, coming up and sitting at my feet.  You know I need to get away from time to time, spend some alone time to contemplate new ways to catch mice.


There were seven different spots where I know Chester hides away, and these are spots in cupboards and under beds, places that need cleaning and we can’t get to.

His ears prick up, hearing a noise from the other end of the house, and he’s off like the flash.  A few minutes later he’s back.  Another hiding spot is gone.

Absolutely not happy now.

In a word: Rabbit

Have you ever heard of someone rabbiting on, you know, endlessly rattling on about nothing?

That’s just one use of the word rabbit.

The most obvious is the animal, a rabbit.  You know, that burrowing, plant-eating, long-eared, short-tailed animal that goes by the name of Bugs Bunny, maybe.

Nearly every child has a stuffed, cuddly one.

Of course, it’s of some significance at the moment because its Easter, and that there are countless chocolate versions of the so-called Easter bunny.

Then there is that 6-foot high invisible rabbit called Harvey, or not necessarily a rabbit, but a pookah.

We use the expression rabbit ears to describe those old interior television antennas.

There’s rabbit stew, rabbit pie, and white rabbit beer.

But my favourite is when the magician pulls the proverbial rabbit out of a hat.  It’s an expression we also use for someone who pulls off an impossible task.

Past conversations with my cat – 78


This is Chester.  He doesn’t like stormy weather, particularly at night.

We’ve been having a lot of hot days with no relief in temperatures.  From mid-morning, the air conditioning had been running until midnight.

But, Chester’s usual hiding place has been in the non-aircoditioned part of the house, so he’s had to come down to join me.

There’s been no rain for weeks and although some days are cloudy all it does is worsen the humidity which at times even the airconditioning can’t relieve.

But when the storms come, after a long dry period, they are intense, and when the lightning strikes the thunder is particularly loud, and the cat jumps.

Never let a scaredy-cat sit on your lap in a storm.  I did.  Once.  Never again.

I put him on the chair next to me and covered him up.  It helps.

An hour later the storm has passed, and he goes back to lying on the floor.

Oops, was that another crack of lightning?

Past conversations with my cat – 77


This is Chester.  He’s not happy we’re cleaning the office.

I guess I’m not either.


It’s school holidays and it’s natural that while parents are working grandparents take up the slack as childminders.  The trick is keeping them amused, and away from computers or being planted in front of the TV.

Of course, knowing the level of fear the grandchildren can bring to the cat, he views their arrival with some apprehension, keeping his distance.

Based on previous experiences, he is assuming they will remain out of the office on the computer for one, and on the smartphone for the other, so he slinks down the passage and quickly runs into the office.

Is this going happen often, he asks.

They’re on holidays, it’s here or daycare, and I’d rather it be here.

Then they appear at the doorway.  “OK.  We’re here to clean the room.  Where do we start?”

Chester’s cornered.  He knows it.  I know it, and worse still, they know it.

He disappears under the desk, safe for the moment, but it’s going to be a long morning.

Past conversations with my cat – 76


This is Chester.  He’s resting after a rather traumatic morning.

He came down sometime during the morning, into the office, and found me asleep in my chair.

After a long night last night, working on one of my stories, the plotline stretched well into the night and the creative juices were flowing.

It was very late when I got to bed, and I was surprised that he was not on the bed waiting for me like he usually is.

He’s one of those cats, very hard to move, and very difficult to work around when you try to stretch your legs,  And, being summer, he tends to jump around thinking it’s prey, and bites.


He came down, saw me asleep and decided that I might be dead or something worse.

First, he jumped for the desk to my lap.  I didn’t move.

Second, he used a paw to tap on my arm.  I didn’t feel it.

Third, he did one of those hideous cat screams, and that nearly did give me a heart attack.

What is it they say, the cure is worse than the disease?

“What the hell is the matter with you,” I ask when finally my heart rate is back to under 200.

“I thought you were dead.”

“Isn’t that what you want, to become master of the house?”

“I’m already that, I just need a servant.  Don’t do that again.  Good servants are hard to find.”

With that, he jumps down and goes back to his lair, plotting, no doubt, the next lot of mischief he can get into.


Post conversations with my cat – 75

This is Chester. He’s now answering the phone.

I came down to the living room to find Chester on the counter next to the house phone, and the receiver sitting next to him.

I’m almost too afraid to ask, but, you know it is, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

“What have you done?”

“I thought I’d answer the phone for you. Thing is, they hung up.”

It’s a scam call. They ring up, you answer, they hang up knowing they’ve got a live number to call with their scam.

“Yep. Just sit tight, the scammers will start calling in half an hour.”

I put the receiver back.

“I’m getting back to work.”

“I’ll keep an eye on the phone. When they call, I’ll answer it.”

Yep. That’ll give the scammers something to think about.

Half an hour later, the phone rings. Instinctively I get up to answer it but Chester has answered it. That is, he has dislodged the receiver, and it’s sitting on the bench.

A voice is coming out of it. “This is Aaron. I’m from the Telstra technical department. Hello.”

Chester is looking at the phone, hearing the voice but not quite understanding.

He looks at me. “What is that guy’s problem. I told him I’m not interested. Doesn’t he get it?”

I hang up the phone. “They never get it. But don’t worry, they’ll call back again in an hour or so. Just tell them to go away.”

Chester looks at me with a whimsical smile. “This is going to be fun.”

My scam call problem is solved!

Past conversations with my cat – 74


This is Chester.  Somehow he has worked out it’s Christmas.

He comes down to the office and discovers I’m not there.  I can hear him wandering around until suddenly I realise there is a presence in the kitchen doorway.

Chester, a mischievous look on his face, sitting and waiting.

Waiting for what?  I stupidly ask why, and almost instantly regret it because I know what’s coming.

You’ve blocked off the path to my basket, again.  Why have you got a tree growing in the house?

You know why.

You mean to say it’s Christmas again.  I thought we got that over with years ago.

No, it happens every year.

So, what’s in the pretty coloured paper boxes?


Oh, is there one for me?

Several actually.  Everyone decided to get you something this year.  Especially since you decided to let the grandchildren pat you.

I see him visibly shudder.

Once doesn’t mean forever.

You want those presents?

He wanders off towards the tree, and I can see he’s working out if he can climb it.  He had tried before with another tree, and I will not detail the mess that turned out to be.

I come out of the kitchen, and see him sitting a few feet away.

Chester, I say sternly, there will be no climbing the tree, am I understood.

He turns his head.  OK.  No climbing the tree.  He heads off towards the new location for his basket.

Next morning, questions need to be asked.  Decorative balls on the ground, and tinsels bits in his bed.

Good thing then he’s missing.  I’ll be just another problem to deal with Christmas morning.





Past conversations with my cat – 73

This is Chester. He has suddenly become delusional.

I’m not sure if a cat can become so, but since I gave him a role in one of my stories, he’s started acting weirdly.

I’m sure if he could wear sunglasses indoors he would. As it is, it’s head in the air, looking straight ahead, ignoring everything and everyone around him.

I think about opening the concertina doors that lead into the dining room just to see if he crashes into them.

He thinks, no doubt, that I think he’s just sniffing the air to see if there are any mice to be caught, but I’m on to him.

As he strolls past I say, “Perhaps I might turn that role into a walk on.”

He stops in mid step, and turns his head.

“You can’t. I’ve read the latest chapter. I’m integral to the plot.”

I smile. “You do realise often the best roles end up on the cutting room floor, or in this case, perhaps I’ll start editing early. There’s such a thing as the delete key.”

Smug, or is that haughty, look gone.

“Just go back to being your usual self,” I say, “and I’ll reconsider your role.”

“Does that mean no fresh fish for lunch today?”

“Don’t push your luck.”

I’m sure cats can’t shrug, but he gives it his best shot, and continues on his way minus the attitude.

For now. Who knows what tomorrow will bring

Past conversations with my cat – 72


This is Chester.  He’s finally got a starring role in one of my stories.

The thing is, I tried to keep it quiet so he wouldn’t get delusions, but it failed.

I made the mistake of leaving the page with the ‘cat’ part on the screen.  The screen saver should have kicked in, but I think a well-placed paw brought it back to life.

So, the next morning, I come down and see him sitting on the desk, waiting.

It can either be good news or bad news.

“I see you’ve finally written a cat into the plot.”

“It was only a matter of time.  I think you made your case a week ago by sitting on the keyboard until I agreed.  Now, you’re in.”

“Yes.  I see.  Who’s idea was it to call the cat Herman?  I mean to say, really, Herman?”

“I thought it was a great name for a cat.”

“What type of cat is it?”

“I don’t know.  A cat’s a cat isn’t it?”

“Why not a Tonkinese, like me?”

“Alright, I’ll change it.”

“You made him jumpy, skittish even.  I’m not like that.”

“It’s not you in the story.”

“So you’ve found another cat, who is it.  It won’t last long when I get to them.”

Maybe it’s easier to write him out of the story.  I don’t think I can take this criticism.