Conversation with my cat – 82

This is Chester.

It’s been a long summer, and it’s not only the heat that’s been bothering him.

It’s been school holidays, and along with many households where it’s not possible for parents to go on holidays, it falls to the grand parents to mind children. It’s a job I take seriously, and also a time to be spent with them before they grow up and disappear into the adult world.

Chester, however, only sees it from a cat’s point of view. To him, they’re trouble, but perhaps not without reason. They did torment him something terrible when they were young.

Of course, what he fails to realise is that children when young don’t quite understand animal etiquette, that is they should be treated with care.

But, I said in their defence, when you were a kitten you were an absolute monster, sinking your claws into everything, ruined lounge chairs and curtains, unravelled balls of wool, and, this was the cruncher, refused to chase mice.

Of course, as usual, when the arguement goes against him, those eyes close, and he pretends he’s asleep. It doesn’t fool me. But once that happens, no one scores any points.

And something else I’ve noticed, his memory is fading.

Of course, I didn’t tell him that they don’t officially go back till Wednesday, so he’s in for a surprise tomorrow morning.

Past conversations with my cat – 43

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This is Chester, he’s just reminded me that it is International Cat Day.

I ask, are you really an international cat, because you live here, and haven’t travelled anywhere.

A studious glance at me, then at a map of the word, he then tells me I haven’t taken him anywhere, but he’s been with me in spirit.

Yes, and while I’m away, well, you know how it goes…

Again apparently that was my fault, I didn’t leave strict instructions on what he could or could not do.

I thought we’d set those boundaries a long time ago.

I’m old, is the quick retort,  Memory is failing.  I’m lucky if I can remember what I was doing yesterday.  You’ll have to remind me.

Every morning.

And even then I might still have trouble remembering.

Anyway, don’t you humans have a saying, respect your elders?

OK.  Now we’re back on the age thing.  And, by the way, I don’t think my granddaughter gave you permission to sleep on her pillow.

Seems it’s my turn to eave in a huff!

International cat day?????

 

Conversations with my cat – 81

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This is Chester.  Today we’re looking at the tennis.

Well, I’m looking at the tennis, and he’s pontificating over the climate change crisis.

I’m not sure if he actually knows what climate change is all about because I seem to be missing the point.

Down here where fires are raging in various parts of the country, it seems that everyone wants to jump on the climate change bandwagon, looking for something or someone to blame.

Yes, the Prine Minister has copped his fair share, because it seems he doesn’t quite agree there is such a thing, but that seems to be the mantra of any conservative political party because at their heart is the promise to benefit industry rather than what’s best for the people.

This seems to be Chester’s view too but slightly amended to include the cats.

If only cats could vote!

That thought, of course, scares the living daylights out of me, because as you know we belong to cats, not the other way around.

Would we all become slaves?

“Aren’t you already?  It seems to me nothing will change.”

So how did this conversation veer off the path of tennis, to climate change, to voting, to slaves?

This is like being at a party with too much alcohol flowing.

Come to think of it, there is a half bottle of scotch missing, and Chester has been acting strange lately…

 

 

Past conversations with my cat – 42

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This is Chester.  Somedays, like today, he is an accomplice.

In what, you may ask.

I got a DM (a direct mail in Twitter) from someone who wants to ask a few questions and write a little piece about me in their blog.

Why? Chester asks.  He’s been sitting beside me staring at the same screen I have, and it finally got the better of him.

They asked I replied.

But what about the last person who tried to get simple answers to simple questions?

I was in a frivolous mood, I tell him.

That’s most days, isn’t it?  Unless, of course, you’ve dozed off after a long night trying to get words on theoretical paper.

OK, so he’s trying to annoy me.  It’s working.

The first question, tell us a little about yourself.

So, what do I say?  Suave and sophisticated.

A sidelong look from an obviously amused cat.  I can tell by the expression on his face.

And then the words, don’t use words of more than two syllables, and worse, use words you don’t know the meaning of.

That’s why I have a thesaurus and dictionary on the computer.

He lets that pass.

So I have been around long enough to have many experiences, go to many places, see many people, and do stuff.

Do stuff?  What the hell is ‘stuff’?

You know, stuff.  Looking at stuff, eating stuff, sitting on stuff.

Groan.

He gets up, gives me that pitiful look of disdain, and leaves.

I shrug.  Maybe tomorrow, when he’s in a better mood.

 

 

Conversations with my cat – 80

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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.

Damn.

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.

Good.

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 – 41

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This is Chester. He had been shocked by my transformation into someone he least likely expected to find in his domain.

After a chastisement, I told him he could expect more shocks in the days to follow.

Why he asks. All I want is a peaceful life lying in the sun by the window, and no pesky mice to chase.

Sorry, I say. I’m playing roles for my next book. Trying to get the feel for the character.

A drunk, a fool, and a man who does household chores. You’re failed in all three, just in case you want to know what I think.

I don’t.

The cat doesn’t have a sense of humour, or if he does, I’m not seeing it.

I think you’ve got it wrong. Not a drunk, a man with physical disabilities, not a fool but a clown who’s lost his will to perform, and yes, I am the one who does the cooking and cleaning,

And who’s in charge of feeding you?  Anything else you care to add?

Looking good, keep up the good work, but how about fresh fish rather than that packet stuff.

Trying to pick up the pieces

I can see how it is that a writer’s life is one that, at times, has to be shut off from the outside world.

It’s a bit hard to keep a stream of thoughts going when in one ear is some banal detective show, and in the other, a conversation that you have to keep up with.  I know how hard it is because I’ve tried doing three things at once, and failed miserably in all three.

So, out I slink to the writing room and start by re-reading the previous chapters, to get back into the plot.  I should remember where I am, and get straight to it, but the devil is in the detail.

Going back, quite often I revise, and a plotline is tweaked, and a whole new window is opened.  God, I wish I didn’t do that!

Then I get to the blank page, ready to go, and…

The phone rings.

Damn.  Damn.  Damn.

Phone answered, back to the blank page, no, it’s gone, got yo go back, blast, another revision, and back to the blank page.

Half an hour shot to pieces.

The phone rings again.

Blast scam callers.  I nearly rip the cord out of the wall.

All through this the cat just watches, and, is that a knowing smile?

It can’t be, I’ve just learned that cats can’t smile, or make any sort of face.

I’m sure his thoughts are not a vague or scrambled, or wrestling with the ploys of several stories on the go, getting locations right, getting characters to think and do their thing with a fair degree of continuity.

The cat’s world is one of which chair to lie on, where is that elusive mouse be it real or otherwise, and is this fool going to feed me, and please, please, don’t let it be the lasagna.  I am not that cat!

Unlike other professions, it’s a steady, sometimes frustrating, slog where you can’t just walk away, have a great time, and come back and pick up where you left off.  Stories have to be written from beginning to end, not a bit here and a bit there.

It’s a bit like running a marathon.  You are in a zone, the first few miles are the hardest, the middle is just getting the rhythm and breathing under control, and then you hope you get to the end because it can seem that you’ve been going forever and the end is never in sight.

But, when you reach the end, oh, isn’t the feeling one of pure joy and relief.

Sorry, not there yet.

And no comment is required from the cat gallery, thankyou!