Past conversations with my cat – 14


This is Chester, the literary critic


It’s important to get that first sentence right, so I’m rattling off a few lines to get his reaction

‘It was a day like no other’

‘Yes, I know’, says the all knowledgeable Chester looking down his nose at me, ‘it’s been used before’.

We are sitting in the writing room and as usual, Chester is trying to ignore me.

I’m trying to start a new novel, looking for that first line that’s going to hook the reader.

I read him a few lines.

He gives me a disdainful look, ‘Heard it all before old boy, try again’.

Once Upon a time?

‘You’ve been watching too much TV’.

It was a dark and stormy night.

He yawns widely, ‘As if you haven’t used that before’.

He’s right, damn him.

Why am I talking to this cat anyway?

He jumps up onto the desk and sits on the keyboard.

Ok, writing is over for the day.

Conversations with my cat – 51


This is Chester. Our standoff continues.

I can tell he’s not happy because when he’s going down the paasage 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. Tgat is fine by me because it takes a liitle longer to find out he’s not in an eating mood.

And come to think of it, he no longer climbs up on the tab l e when we’re having fish. I’ve told him mire 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 but the last time I cleaned it I found cat hair, an alleg a tion 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 him self more comfortable.

He still hasn’t realised 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, I stare back with the ‘do you really want to do this’ look.

Fifteen minutes later…

I’ve been thinking…

And probably it is a matter of being better off not thinking, but

I’m sitting here and writing a piece for a novel about one of my characters, and all of a sudden I stop, right in the middle of where he’s about to get violently murdered if he lets his guard down.

Why have I stopped right there?

A strange through goes through my mind.

Did he remember to have breakfast, did he make the bed and tidy up after he got up?  Did he have to arrange to have his clothes cleaned, or were they cleaned for him?

Does he have a maid and a butler and a cook to do all those things?

The problem is, we don’t know what happened before he finished up in that precarious position.

We may know that he was taught to fight by a sen master, a swordsman, though I’m not sure if there is a requirement for fencing, to drive defensively, to kill people in more ways than you’ve had different dinners.

We may know that he was in a similar fight the day before, and his energy has been depleted and may be running on painkilling drugs.  Of course, if that’s the case, and knowing the side effect of some of those drugs, he may be impaired, and slower in reaction time, which might mean premature death.

But we don’t know if he ate anything, whether he slept well, or not at all (though sometimes it rates a mention more often than not as an afterthought or an excuse), whether he has any distracting thoughts, like what the hell am I doing here?

Everyday things which all of us, and I’m sure even the most successful of spies, have to deal with.

Just a thought.

Back to the fight, yes he wins, got a couple of slashed and there’s a copious amount of blood on his shirt.

Let’s not worry about whose going to clean up the mess, or do the washing.

A few running repairs with needle and thread, including the requisite grimaces in pain, someone else will clean the shirt, and yes, there’s always a cupboard full of clean clothes to change into.

Moving on…

Conversations with my cat – 49


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.


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?

Past conversations with my cat – 13


This is Chester.  He’s pushing his luck.

We have a long-standing issue of where he can sleep and where he cannot.  He has two baskets, lined with very warm and comfortable blankets, one in our room, and one in the dining room.

Despite this, he seems to think he can sleep on the pillows in the granddaughter’s rooms, the end of our bed, on the sofa and on the lounge chair, and catching him out had=s been the catalyst for a number of arguments.

And we all know who lost those.

For a long time, he would not go into our 15-year-old granddaughter’s room, mainly because she had tormented him from an early age, but recently he had finally made up with her, but no, sleeping on her pillow was not part of the bargain.

After getting admonished for sitting on the settee, I wondered where he had got to, and it was only by chance I looked in the room.  He now got a second serve for sleeping on her pillow.

And, no, giving me the sad eyes was not going to weaken my resolve.

Looks like it’s back to his basket!


Conversations with my cat – 48


This is Chester.  I’m not sure if we are still speaking.

For a few days now he has been skulking around the house, turning up, under my feet, without me knowing where he is.

This, I’m getting to understand, is his stealth mode, and to ge honest, he’s getting quite good at it.

I’m wondering if this is because I told him to be seen but not heard, because in the last few days he’s been sitting by the back door, and making a lot of noise.

It’s unfortunate that several birds have decided to drop by every morning, and sit on the fence.  Perhaps they are doing the avian version of thumbing their noses at him.

Then, I thought it might be just another ruse to get outside, thinking that if he makes enough noise I just let him out to get some peace an quiet,

We’re now at the getting under my feet phase of the escape plan.


With all plans, there is always a tiny wrinkle that comes out of left field and sends everything spiralling towards disaster.

Someone, someone who will remain nameless, left the back screen door slightly ajar, thinking they’d closed it.  It’s a little tricky that way, and I had been promising to fix it, but hadn’t got around to it.

And, yes, Chester is clever enough to realize that a slight gap is all he needs, along with a few unsupervised moments.

And silence.

That’s what brought his cunning plan undone.  Days and days of annoying me, then suddenly nothing.  If it was a child you’d be immediately suspicious.  But a cat?

Damn straight.

He was half out the door as I caught him, just six inches from freedom.  Six inches.  Snd good living, because the gap was just not quite wide enough for him to squeeze through quickly.

Now we’re definitely not speaking!


Past conversations with my cat – 12


This is Chester.  He has broken the agreement we had when we first bought the settee.

No cats allowed to sit on it.

Pleading will not cut it.  He is in serious trouble.


No.  You cannot plead your case with Rosemary.


Yes.  Hang your head in shame.

And get off the settee now!